Archive for the ‘WCG News’ Category

WCG/Ambassador Campus

Monday, September 27th, 2021

COGwriter

Have you ever wondered what the old Pasadena Campus of Ambassador College and the former Headquarters of the old Worldwide Church of God look like?

A while back, my wife Joyce and I visited the grounds. We have also put photos together of our visit–see Pictures of the Pasadena Campus of Ambassador College and the former Headquarters of the old Worldwide Church of God.

But we thought we would also share some of the photos and some comments here.

Here is a photograph of Ambassador Auditorium:

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It is still called Ambassador Auditorium. But the fountain is a little different. So is the inside:

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This is a door handle to Ambassador Auditorium. The door handles appear to be aged a bit, but original. They show a child with a lamb on his lap, sitting in front of a lion. This was a symbol often used by the old Worldwide Church of God to help picture the millennium.

This building was (and still may be) called Mayfair:

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Mayfair was the female dormitory of the old Ambassador College.

There were still waterfalls and streams on the grounds, though less than there used to be:

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Here are Joyce and I sitting on a bench (Joyce used a tripod and timer to take this photo):

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The grounds still were nice to walk on.

But the grounds are not as nice as they once were. Furthermore, there are restricted areas as many parts are no longer open to the public as the following sign helps demonstrate:

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So, you are not allowed to walk up to all the areas that we once were allowed to. This was a disappointing sign to come across.

The old Ambassador College Student Center is still there as the two photos below show:

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It appears to be a Student Center for the Maranatha High School.

Here is the slightly changed track field:

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The old track was still a track, but also an American Football field with football yard markings and goal posts at the ends. Tackle football had been prohibited to be played at Ambassador College by the late Herbert W. Armstrong (see Is American Football Evil?).

Overall, the grounds of the Pasadena Campus of Ambassador College and the former Headquarters of the old Worldwide Church of God were still nice. But, they were not nearly as nice or well kept up as they were under the old Worldwide Church of God.

We were disappointed to see many fine buildings and fountains gone. We also did not like the fact that you can no longer walk all of the old campus.

But, it was still nice to see. Hopefully, those of you seeing these photos will benefit from either your memories (if you ever saw the old campus) or some of the original buildings for the first time.

Joyce also went to the campus earlier this week and said it looked about the same as our earlier trip, but again, not like it once did.

Of course, physical things do not last. Even the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed (though some of the bricks from the second temple apparently were saved, see Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill).

Like the Jews who saw the original temple that were disappointed when they saw the second temple (see Haggai 2; see also The Temple and the Work), some believe that the Church of God needs impressive buildings in the 21st century (cf. Why Not the Restored Church of God?).

But God does not see things the way humans do (Isaiah 55:9).

Also notice what God told people who wanted a fancier temple:

“The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former…” (Haggai 2:9).

This temple was not more glorious because it was as elaborate. It may have been more glorious because it represented the work of God under adversity (see also The Temple and the Work).

And that is the case today, which is part of why God allowed the old Ambassador College campus to no longer be the headquarters for His physical church on the earth.

Anyway, to see more of Joyce’s photo’s of the old campus, click on Joyce’s Pictures of the Pasadena Campus of Ambassador College and the former Headquarters of the old Worldwide Church of God.

 

Feast of Tabernacles in the 1990s and today

Monday, September 20th, 2021

COGwriter

The Feast of Tabernacles has began in the Eastern Hemisphere and will soon begin in all of the Western Hemisphere.

Feast of Tabernacles’ services are to begin the evening of September 20th and continue until the Last Great Day which is September 28th in 2021.

The Continuing Church of God put out this message from its ContinuingCOG channel for 2021:

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The Bible commands keeping the Feast of Tabernacles. Is that the only reason to keep it? What about learning? What about rejoicing? Can you rejoice about matters in your past and present? What about the future millennial Kingdom of God? Can you rejoice and be happy despite tests and trials? What if things go wrong at the Feast of Tabernacles? Does God’s word promise no problems? Does it promise a fantastic eternity? Will there be problems to deal with by the resurrection saints? Can you be thankful as a man in the Philippines who was pleased with something resembling prisoner or war circumstances. Dr. Thiel gives a message intended to be watched on the evening of September 20, 2021.

Furthermore, here is a link to the Continuing Church of God Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2021.

That being said, I thought a look at the past might be of interest to some.

In the 1990s in the old Worldwide Church of God, over 100,000 people used to attend around the world.

In 1990, our family went on the Mediterranean cruise for the Feast of Tabernacles. Over one thousand attended that. This cruise began in Venice, Italy, went to Greece, and to several of the churches of Revelation 2 & 3. This was the first time we had visited any of those Churches, since then my wife and I have visited them all.

Here are photos of Venice, the cruise ship, many there, and the isthmus of Corinth:

Venice Grand Canal Ship used for the 1990 Feast Cruise

Poeple who attended the Cruise Cruise Ship Going to Isthmus of Corinth

Additional photos of or related to that 1990 Feast are included in Joyce’s Photos of Corinth, Joyce’s Photos of Ephesus, Joyce’s Photos of Pergamos, and Joyce’s Photos of Smyrna.

In 1991, we went to Victoria, British Columbia (Canada). Over 1,000 (perhaps 2,000 or more) attended there. Below is a picture of Victoria Harbor and the children’s choir at the Feast:

Victoria, B.C. Harbor, Canada Children's Choir in Victoria, B.C.

In 1992 we took our first trip to the Caribbean and we went to the Bahamas. Over 500 attended there. Below is the children’s choir, as well as the view from our hotel room of the tip of Paradise Island:

Children's Choir in the Bahamas Tip of Paradise Island, Bahamas

In 1993, we went to Eastbourne, England for the Feast of Tabernacles. Around 1500 attended there that year. Below is a picture of Eastbourne, as well as a castle not too far from the city:

Eastbourne, England Castle near Eastbourne, England

In 1994, we went to Eugene, Oregon for the Feast of Tabernacles. Over 1000 seemed to be in attendance there. While there we visited 3-4 places of historical interest to the old Worldwide Church of God (some photos of two of those are included in the articles 6. The Philadelphia Church Era and The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians?)–what struck me was that no one other than us was ever at any of those places. This was our last year at a Worldwide Church of God feast site. The first picture is a welcome to Oregon, while the second is near Florence Oregon:

Welcome to Oregon Dune Buggy near Florence Oregon, 1994

In 1995, we attended our first Feast of Tabernacles site outside the Worldwide Church of God. The Global Church of God site we attended was in Del Mar, California. Around 700 were in attendance there. It is near San Diego. The first picture is in Del Mar, while the second is of San Diego:

Del Mar GCG Feast San Diego 1995

In 1996, we attended the Feast of Tabernacles in Penang, Malaysia. About 70 attended there. We were one of only 2 American families there. This was the first feast site I spoke at (I gave two sermonettes).

Penang Attendees at Penang Malaysia Feast Site, 1996

In 1997, we attended the feast in Hengelhoef, Belgium. Several hundred were in attendance there.

Hengelhoef Sign 1997 Belgium 1997

In 1998, we attended the feast in Branson, Missouri. At this site, the late Dr. Meredith and I became better acquainted, which helped when the Global Church of God crisis erupted the next month. The second picture is from a place called “the Holy Land” and is a short drive away in Arkansas:

Branson Sign Ten Commandments in Holy Land, Arkansas

In 1999, we attended the feast in Anchorage, Alaska. This was the first time my wife or I ever attended the same feast site more than once. However, it was different than the previous time (1982) and there was a significant reduction in the sizes of the glaciers I remembered from the prior visit.

Musk Ox, 1999 Glacier, 1999

Up until the late 1990s, the old WCG had over 100 feast sites pretty much every year, and thus we tended to have a lot of choices about where to attend.

It might be of interest to remind people that leaders that Christians consider to be saints such as the Apostle Paul and Polycarp of Smyrna kept the Feast of Tabernacles.

In the CCOG, we have sites around the world (see Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2021).

If you did not get to an actual site this year, perhaps you can view Feast of Tabernacles’ related sermons which are at the following link: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2021.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

How to Keep God’s Festivals Many have heard of God’s Holy Days and wonder how they are kept in the 21st century. This is an overview article. A related sermon is also available titled: How to Keep God’s Feasts.
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2021 This is information on the Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God in 2021. Feast of Tabernacles’ services are to begin the evening of September 20th and continue until the Last Great Day which is September 28th in 2021.
Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. Two related sermon would be Which Spring Days should Christians observe? and Fall Holy Days for Christians.
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should you keep the Fall Holy Days?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not? What does the Feast of Trumpets, which the Jews call Rosh Hashanah, help teach? A related sermon video would be The Trumpet Release.
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? A sermon of related interest may be Day of Atonement: How Jesus fulfilled His part for the Atonement.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time to Learn the Law The Bible teaches that every seven years that the law should be read at the Feast of Tabernacles. This is what I did at the first Feast site where I gave an actual sermon (as opposed to a sermonette) in 2006.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2033, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.

Satan’s role in sin and how to resist his snares

Sunday, September 12th, 2021


(Unsplash photo)

COGwriter

Satan the devil does exist.

Satan plays a major role in sin.

Here is something that the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote related to that:

The Azazel Goat Not Our Sin-Bearer

Let us get this straight!

Is there justice with God? Is not God a God of justice, as well as of compassion and mercy? Who is the real author of our sins? The devil is the author of them, even as Christ is the author of our salvation. Jesus took our guilt our blame our sins upon Himself as an innocent substitutionary sacrifice. He was an innocent victim. He loved us, and was willing to die for us. Our guilt our sins, were borne by Him, and Him alone and God forgives them when we repent and accept His sacrifice. And yet, is this, if we stop there, full justice?

The real cause the actual author of those sins was Satan the devil. Is it justice for Christ to bear guilt that is not His, while the devil goes off scot-free? Do you not suppose GOD’S great plan will finally work full justice by placing that original blame and guilt right where it belongs?

Now mark carefully this distinction. Christ bore our guilt. For we have been guilty, even though the devil was the original cause of it all. But justice certainly demands that God place right back on the head of the devil his guilt not our guilt, but his own guilt for leading us into sin. We were guilty, too and our guilt Christ bore yet all our sins belong right back on the devil as his own guilt!

Now notice another point. The Azazel goat carries away the sins of all the people already forgiven. These sins already were fully paid for by Christ’s substitute sacrifice, symbolized by the killing of the innocent goat before those same sins were finally laid on the live goat. They had been previously paid for by the death of the slain goat.

The devil is the real author of all sin. Can we, then, be finally made at one with God, as long as this instigator of sin is with us? Can we not see he must first be driven away? And there would not be justice with God unless his own guilt in our sins were placed right back on his head? Is it justice for Christ to bear the devil’s guilt, as well as our own guilt, for our sins? Christ has carried our sins, but must He continue to carry them? Should they not be removed entirely from us, and from the presence even of God?

Thus the killing and sprinkling of blood of the first goat visibly set forth the means of reconciliation with God, through the substituted sacrifice of an innocent victim. So finally the sending away of the second goat, laden with those sins, the expiation of which had been signified by the first goat, no less vividly sets forth the effect of that sacrifice, in complete removal of those expiated sins from the presence of God!

Satan the Accuser

Satan is the accuser of the brethren. His power over men is founded on sin. When all these sins, of which he is the author, are laid back on him, after being removed from us by Christ, then Satan shall have lost his claim on us. And no longer can he accuse us!

Thus, finally, as the acceptance of the blood of the first goat (Christ) symbolized complete propitiation, and pardon of Israel’s sins, so the sending of Azazel bearing away those expiated sins symbolizes the complete removal of all sins deliverance by the atonement from the power of the adversary.

The sacrifice of the first innocent victim was the means of reconciliation with God, but not yet complete justice.

The driving away of the second live goat shows the final atonement, by placing the sins on their author where they belong, and the complete removal of the sins and their author from the presence of God and His people and thus the complete deliverance of the people from the power of Satan.

Webster says to atone means to set at one. To join in one to form by uniting. We shall not be completely joined in one, and united with God, until this is done.

Before leaving this, notice, too, that after laying both his hands on the live goat, Azazel, Aaron had to wash and cleanse himself before coming in contact with the people. So, too, the “fit man” also had to wash his clothes and bathe himself after coming in contact with the Azazel goat, before he came into the presence of the people. The symbolism is certainly that of having come in contact with the devil!

Notice, now, this act of putting these already expiated and forgiven sins on the head of this live goat does not take place until after the high priest returns from the Holy of Holies within the veil so this typified an act to take place after the Second Coming of Christ to this earth!

But if the live goat represented the resurrected Christ, then the sins Christ bore on the cross were placed by another, typified by the high priest, back on Christ, after His resurrection. Would this make sense? Is the theory of the Azazel goat being Christ consistent? No, but the plain simple meaning does fit at every turn, and IS consistent. The first goat represented the innocent Jesus who died for our sins the high priest represented the risen Christ going within the veil to the mercy seat, or throne of God in heaven, for over 1900 years and the high priest returning to place the sins finally upon the head of the live goat represented the return of Christ who will place the sins He bore on their author, the devil, and who will send him away alive into a desolate uninhabited wilderness the “bottomless pit” or abyss of Revelation 20:3.

In the 19th chapter of Revelation, we have the prophecy of the Second Coming of Christ. At the beginning of the 20th chapter, what is to happen?

Exactly what the 16th chapter of Leviticus shows. The devil is sent away the symbol here used is the “bottomless pit” symbol of an uninhabited desolate wilderness (Revelation 18:2) and he is sent there by a FIT man an ANGEL from heaven. Now the devil is not killed. He does not die. He is still alive a thousand years later after the Millennium (Revelation 20:7).

Now a few points that will come to mind. Both goats were “presented before the Lord.” Can Satan be presented before the Lord? Job 1:6 and 2:1 says he has presented himself before the Lord. Note, too, Azazel was driven away from the Holy of Holies, a symbol of God’s presence.

And so the annual Day of Atonement was instituted forever to keep continually before God’s children and His Church the plan of redemption, to occur after the Second Coming of Christ.

And we find this annual holy day recognized in the New Testament. In Acts 27:9, when Paul was on his perilous sea voyage to Rome, it is recorded that “when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past. . . .” See the margin in your Bible. The fast refers to the Day of Atonement the 10th day of the seventh month. Now this day could not then have been past on that particular year unless that day was still in full effect and force and existence. Otherwise the Holy Spirit surely could never have inspired those words! Surely this strongly indicates that this day was still in existence and being recognized thus by the Holy Spirit. (Armstrong HW. Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days Which?)

The goat ceremony was part of the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). Christians have kept the Day of Atonement throughout the church age (see The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance).

For 2021, the Day of Atonement runs from sunset September 15th through sunset September 16th.

Satan does not want people to be in the Kingdom of God.

Christians are to resist Satan and draw close to God:

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:7-9)

Christians are not to be double-minded, but are to:

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 2:5)

Notice also:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7)

Just as with Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6), Satan wants you to be wise in your eyes.

Do not fall for that–resist Satan and ask God to help you overcome your vanity.

The late evangelist Dibar Apartian wrote the following that was originally published old the Good News magazine in May 1983 of the old Worldwide Church of God:

How to Escape Satan’s Three Major Snares

What causes a seemingly solid, balanced, deeply converted Christian to turn from God’s way of life? Could it ever happen to you?

From time to time, sad to say, we all hear of cases in which true Christians burn out, sour on God’s Work or are caught up in some problem or movement that takes them out of God’s true Church.

Many of us probably even know people — perhaps former close friends — to whom it has happened.

When it occurs, we are shocked and disheartened. In disbelief, we ask ourselves, Why?

But it would, perhaps, be more appropriate if we asked ourselves, Can this ever happen to me?

Can it, really? Is there any possibility that you, too, would one day turn away from the Christian way of life — reject the calling God has given you? What assurance do you have that you are firmly rooted in God’s true Church? How can you be sure — absolutely sure — that you are immune to such tragedy?

Can’t serve two masters

No matter how converted we are, it is possible for everyone of us to become preoccupied with the cares of the world. Then, we are easy prey for Satan’s snares. We overlook Satan’s relentless efforts to tempt us and attack us on our weakest points. Without realizing it — and certainly without wanting to — we are actually trying to serve two masters.

Christ said: “No one can serve two masters [that’s a dogmatic statement!]; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24).

The more deeply you are involved in God’s Work and in the aims and activities of God’s true Church, the less likely you are to fall to Satan’s snares. It’s a matter of setting your priorities right.

Strangely enough, those who leave often spend more time thinking about the Church than some of us who are still in the Church! But the concern of dissidents is destructive; they seem to want to fill their minds only with what they imagine is wrong with the Church. They want to find ways to hurt and destroy the Church.

Our focus must be the exact opposite. We must constantly look for ways to build up God’s Church and God’s people — constantly work toward unity, harmony and peace.

Have you taken time to find out what other master you may actually be trying to serve? Could it be your ego, perhaps? Your vanity? Your ambitions? Your job? A close friend or one of the other members of your own family? When you are facing trials and tribulations, do you begin to doubt your calling? Do you want to turn away from God’s Church? Do you start to seek other ways to satisfy your desires or solve your problems?

Let’s look at three broad areas through which Satan works to trap and destroy God’s people — cause them to lose out on their chance at salvation!

The spirit of rebellion

Satan, the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10), is rebellious toward authority. He wants you to be like him and to follow his example. He will set all kinds of stumbling blocks before you to make you fall.

Swayed by his own ambition, he turned against God, fought and lost (Isa. 14:12-14). He also wants you to turn against God, fight and lose!

He will, therefore, do anything in his power to make you rebel against authority — whether at home, at work or in God’s Church. He will do everything he can to work on your emotions and put all kinds of doubts in your mind.

In the name of freedom, people all through history have turned against authority — chosen rebellion. Mankind has not understood that there is no place for rebellion in true freedom. Only God’s way leads to true freedom — to peace, joy and happiness. The apostle Paul wrote: “Because the carnal mind [a mind set on worldly things] is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7-8).

Is your mind set on worldly things? What preoccupies you most, day after day? Physical things or spiritual things?

Pride will befriend you with Satan, but will put a wall of separation between God and you. Is your pride worth that tragic price? Will you turn your back to God because of your own vanity?

Of course, you need to take care of yourself, as well as the needs of your family. That has nothing to do with serving two masters. What Christ meant is something totally different — you cannot have other gods before the true God. You cannot be slave both to God and to the ways of the world.

Actually, in a world where Satan is still god (II Cor. 4:4), you don’t need too much encouragement to set your mind on rebellion. Satan knows this better than anyone else. He is always available to give you the push you need. He will help you to be more carnal — to become enslaved to the works of the flesh.

In Numbers 16, God tells us the story of Korah as an example of rebellion. Korah and his men, 250 strong, turned against Moses and rose up before him in protest, saying, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy” (verses 1-3).

Is this the way you sometimes reason? Whenever you wonder whether you should submit to authority, remember the fate of Korah and his group: “And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, ‘Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment'” (verses 20-21).

God was truly angry with the people. It was only because of the fervent intervention of Moses and Aaron that the whole congregation didn’t perish.

Moses strongly pleaded with God, saying: “‘O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation?’ So the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the congregation, saying, “Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram”‘” (verses 22-24).

Notice what happened: “And a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense” (verse 35).

There is a great lesson for all of us to learn. We too, stirred up by Satan, can sometimes nurture similar thoughts. We judge and criticize. “Why should I obey that order?” we may say. “I don’t agree with it.”

When you look at the world today, you can see how hard Satan is at work. Everything he does, in one way or another, is directed toward rebellion. Satan’s attacks are primarily directed toward God’s Church, however — that’s where he wants to do the most damage.

In a society based on Satan’s principles of selfishness and vanity, obedience doesn’t always seem pleasant or easy, but with God’s help we can overcome Satan’s snares: “Submit to God,” wrote the apostle James. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7).

This is a strong commandment. But what should you do in order to resist the devil? And how can you submit yourself to God?

James gives the answer: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (verse 8). In other words, you can draw closer to God by submitting yourself more and more to Him, by hungering and thirsting for His Word and His way of life. If you always put God first in your life, you will not be serving two masters.

The snare of pride

Another of Satan’s snares, one that affects us all, is pride. Satan will tempt you by working on your pride and vanity.

You don’t always realize it, but pride is potentially one of your biggest pitfalls. It makes you unable to recognize your faults — unwilling to apologize when you are wrong. You want to maintain your own ways because of pride. And Satan loves that, because he himself maintains his own ways and does not recognize his sins.

The apostle James, in the course of telling us to get closer to God in order to resist Satan, states that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jas. 4:6).

Do you grasp the meaning of this verse? Pride will befriend you with Satan, but will put a wall of separation between God and you. Is your pride worth that tragic price? Will you turn your back to God because of your own vanity?

One of the most important lessons God gave to His people through Moses was to command them to remain humble: “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. … Beware that you [all of us] do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest — when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses… your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage … then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth'” (Deut. 8:3-17).

This warning applies to us today as much as it did to our forefathers. It is only by the grace of God that we have whatever we possess.

Pride will also incite you to judge and criticize; it will make you think you know better and that your opinions are wiser. Christ said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3).

Think of it — there is no place for the carnally proud in the Kingdom of Heaven!

Don’t {wrongly} judge. Don’t {unnecessarily} criticize. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (Jas. 4:10).

The more you know God and study His Word, the more you will realize just how little you actually are.

Always be ready to admit your faults. Correct them and forgive those of your neighbors. When you return good for an evil deed, you will have God for your partner. He will be your friend, and will help you solve your problems the right way.

Continuing in James: “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law” (verse 11).

Covetousness

The third major snare of Satan is covetousness. Satan wants you to covet — to go after something that is not yours, or to which you are not entitled. Humanly speaking, covetousness appeals to our nature. We want to get rather than give, to have and keep for ourselves rather than share.

God actually spelled out, in the Tenth Commandment, a whole list of items after which we should not covet (Ex. 20:17). Be sure to read the article entitled “Beware of Covetousness!” beginning on page 17 for a full explanation of this Tenth Commandment of God.

In Satan’s world, everything is geared toward lust — false publicity, sex, material wealth. The media encourage you to covet: You are given many vain but appealing reasons to buy things you don’t really need, or to lust after things that are neither right nor good for you.

Are you guilty of breaking the Tenth Commandment? Are you deceived by Satan’s snare of encouraging you to covet?

There is danger in much wealth, just as there is danger in much poverty. In both instances Satan can effectively use this tool of covetousness.

God has promised to never forsake you. If you let Him fight your battles… you will never have to fear Satan’s snares. They will have no power over you. Satan will be powerless…

Agur said, under God’s inspiration: “Two things I request of You (deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches — feed me with the food You prescribe for me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God” (Prov. 30:7- 9).

Do you pray this way when you are asking God to supply your needs? If you have everything you want, you may deny God and turn away from Him, claiming you don’t need Him anymore! And if you have too little, you may allow Satan to make you judge and condemn, and you may even end up stealing.

Christ taught us to ask God for our daily bread — just what we need from day to day (Matt. 6:11 ).

This will help us not to fall into temptation. It will teach us to trust God — and not to set our hearts on material things, which are temporary (Eccl. 5:10).

Remember Christ’s warning: You cannot have two masters. If you lust after wealth or anything else, you will actually be trying to serve two masters.

The apostle Paul wrote, “Keep your life free from love of money [covetousness], and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never fail you nor forsake you'” (Heb. 13:5, Revised Standard Version).

Be courageous

God has promised to never forsake you. If you let Him fight your battles, and if you resist evil with His Spirit, you will never have to fear Satan’s snares. They will have no power over you. Satan will be powerless — totally disarmed.

Perhaps you had not thought of it before, but those who leave God’s Church let themselves fall victim to these three major snares of Satan: They rebel against God’s authority; they are too proud to admit they are wrong; and they covet power, material possessions or personal glory.

Be courageous! Act and live as a true Christian. Ask God daily to help you, and do your part in fighting against Satan’s three major snares: the spirits of rebellion, pride and lust.

Your victory over them will put you on the way to the Kingdom of God!

Yes, you can, with Jesus’ help overcome the snares of Satan and become part of the coming Kingdom of God.

As far as Satan’s fate goes, the Continuing Church of God put out the following sermon on its ContinuingCOG channel:

1:41:10

Is Satan immortal? Does he have eternal life? Or will he perish? Will you believe what the Bible says about this? Richard Close examines many scriptures indicating that Satan’s final fate has been revealed.

Here is a link to the sermon: Destiny of Satan.

Some items of perhaps related interest include:

The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? Is fasting healthy? Here is a link to a sermon: Christians, the Day of Atonement, and Fasting; here is another sermon: Day of Atonement: How Jesus fulfilled His part for the Atonement. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: El Día de Expiación Su significado cristiano.
Lies Where did they originate? What was really the first lie? What happens for lies? Here is a link to it in Mandarin Chinese {,NN*ŒŠTŒWúwc_’v„aTs
Christian courage vs. cowardice As you courageous? What biblically is cowardice? Do YOU really understand this? Two sermons related to this article are available and are titled Courage and Cowardice and Cowardice and Overcoming Fear. A Spanish language article is also available: Valor Cristiano vs Cobardía.
Ten Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear This is a vastly expanded version of a shorter article by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh on getting past fear. Here is a link to a related sermon: Ten Plus Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear.
Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen What is faith? Can faith be increased? Are you saved by faith? What about works? Do Christians need to keep the Ten Commandments? What is the ‘faith chapter’? How do the just live by faith? Is faith one of the weightier matters of the law? How does faith come? Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido. In German: Glaube für die von Gott Berufenen und Auserwählten. In French: La Foi pour ceux que Dieu a Appelés et Choisis. Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Faith for the Called and Chosen.and here is a link to another sermon
Faith and Courage. Here is a link to shorter version of the written article in Mandarin Chinese N{ÇQsNŽOáNðv„\e‡zà. Here are links to the sermons Christian Faith and Increasing Faith.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available:
What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
Did God Create a Devil? If not, what happened? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

A few tips on ending your financial worries

Monday, August 30th, 2021

COGwriter

The stock markets around the world are jittery. Many around the world are concerned about international matters.

The USA has more debt than any nation in world history has ever had (it holds about 32% of all ‘sovereign debt’ on this planet, and that does not count unfunded liabilities and other debt). The per capita debt of those in the UK are amongst the highest of all time. The Eurozone has struggles between members, plus its own debt issues.

Those in Asia and South America have seen their economic standards of living generally rise, but great apprehension exists. There have been gains in some parts of Africa and the Middle East, but also great perils. Even the oil-exporting nations have concerns.

Instead of focusing on national and international finance (which I tend to post about a lot), this post will mainly consist of quotes from the late Herbert W. Armstrong about personal finance from a biblical perspective. Anyway, here is some of what he wrote:

Ending Your
FINANCIAL WORRIES

by Herbert W. Armstrong
©Copyright 1959

What are YOU most concerned about? Is it the threat of hydrogen bomb WAR that can blast all human life from off this planet? Is it the race to conquer SPACE? MOST are concerned not about these issues but about making ends meet. THINK OF IT! In the industrial nations about 25% of parents are “farming out” their children so that both parents can work! WHY are most families experiencing such desperate financial worry? WHY such worry and striving over MAKING ENDS MEET?

FINANCIAL worries Seem to plague us all! IT JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!

When you stop to think about it, never in the history of this world were any nations so rich as the English-speaking and the western European nations today! Our peoples possess more developed resources and national wealth than any people ever had before.

Yet nearly every one of us is engaged in a constant STRUGGLE to make ends meet. Financial worries seem constantly to bear us down — rob us of real happiness and joy! WHY SHOULD THIS BE?

There is a reason! You CAN BE FREE from financial worry!

What Most People Don’t Know

There is something you probably don’t know about your income. If there is anything people are jealous of, it is the money they earn. They usually work hard for it. And they want full freedom in deciding for themselves what they do with it.

People say: “What I earn is MINE — I can do what I please with it!”

But is the money you earn really your own? Don’t be too sure. Notice these FACTS about your income you probably haven’t known!

What you earn is not yours!

The man who says, “What I do with the money I earn with my own labor is nobody’s business — I produced it — it belongs to me,” is mistaken.

What you earn, by work performed or investments made is not yours — not any of it — that is, not UNTIL …!

And here is what most people don’t know about their income!

There are two prior claims on your income. One, of course, is taxes.

Human governments, by virtue of MAN-made laws, are able forcibly to extract from your incomes not one tenth, but an average of over ONE QUARTER, a vast amount of which is mis-spent. Jesus said we are to pay taxes — render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s — be subject to the powers that be. Governments, therefore, have exercised a PRIOR right to one quarter of your income — and in the case of salary or wages, governments take it out BEFORE YOU get your pay.

But the first claim is GOD’S claim. You probably never realized this fact before — but it is a fact. God Almighty the living CREATOR-RULER of the universe claims it all — every dollar — every pound — every franc — every mark. Your Maker who gives you the very air you breathe tells you it all belongs to Him, not to you!

But didn’t you earn it? Didn’t YOU produce it?

Not exactly! Everything produced — money, and all that money can buy — comes out of the earth. You didn’t produce that! God created that. You merely applied certain energy in physical action and in thinking to what God had created and owned. And God created even that energy you expended — He created your thinking processes. He not only created, originally, but He sustains what He created, including all force and energy.

So, after all, it was GOD’S LABOR of creating and sustaining that really produced all. God’s claim to its ownership of all you have THOUGHT YOU produced is valid. It is prior to yours.

God Almighty says, in His written Word: “The earth is the Eternal’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods” (Psalm 24:1-2). These inspired words are repeated in I Corinthians 10:26.

“Whatsoever is under the whole heaven is MINE,” claims God (Job 41:11).

“Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the ETERNAL’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is” (Deut. 10:14). “All the earth is MINE” (Ex. 19:5).

“If I were hungry,” says God (Psalm 50:12), “I would not tell thee; for the world is MINE, and the fullness thereof.” “For every beast of the forest is MINE, and the cattle upon a thousand hills” (verse 10).

Yes, even the money — even the gold and silver: “The silver is MINE, and the gold is MINE, saith the ETERNAL of hosts” (Hag. 2:8).

DARE any man deny this claim of God? These same words of God are the words by which every man shall be JUDGED at the last. If any man deny God’s claim, the decision will be rendered against him, in the judgment! God’s claim stands! Admit, then, your income BELONGS TO GOD! It’s HIS to do with as HE wills.

How God’s Law Regulates It

However, God is a God of love. He knows your need. God is concerned about you. He is not selfish. He has your interest and welfare in mind. Therefore God has made A LAW respecting that portion of HIS WEALTH which your thinking, and your labor has extracted and worked upon.

Get this fixed thoroughly in your mind. Your wages, your salary, your profit, your income BELONGS TO GOD, not to you. Probably you never realized this before. This may seem like a new idea to you. But it is not an idea — it is a fact.

GOD IS THE OWNER OF WHAT YOU WORK ON AND HAVE A PART IN PRODUCING. You could produce nothing apart from God’s matter which He created — apart from the use of laws of force and energy which God set in motion and sustains.

Therefore GOD HAS A RIGHT to take, or dispose of what you regard as your income AS HE WILLS. He OWNS it. It is not yours, it is HIS!

So God, the rightful OWNER of your income, has MADE A LAW respecting its disposal and its use. By virtue of being Creator and Sustainer of the earth and all in it, God is supreme RULER and LAWGIVER.

God’s LAW respecting what you earn is in fact a DEAL He has made with you. He allows you to work on HIS EARTH, to use a part of the earth or what is in it or on it, and of its forces and energies, and to extract from it food, materials, supplies, metals, wood, oils, coal, or whatever — or to work on or with that which others have extracted from the earth, in manufacturing, distributing, selling, buying, investing — whatever may be your occupation or job or profession — and so, whether you have realized it or not YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GOD.

The farmer or gardener may plant seed, plow, and expend his labor in raising food. But WHO supplied the SOIL? WHO created the living process that makes the seed sprout and grow? Who sends the rain, or provides water for irrigation? Who set the sun in the sky and causes it to shine and warm the earth? Who causes the plant to drink out of the soil the minerals, vitamins, and good elements, and to grow into the vegetable, the grain, or the fruit? Did YOU perform this part of the business of raising the food you eat?

When we sit down and really THINK, we shall see that God supplies about NINE parts of everything man makes or produces, and man’s thinking, planning, and working supplies only about ONE part. But God does not take nine tenths of the proceeds, or the income. He doesn’t take even eight tenths, or seven, or even three or two tenths. God is GENEROUS. God has reserved for HIS use only one little tiny tenth of what is produced out of His earth through His forces and energies!

God takes only ONE tenth. And after you have been honest in PAYING God’s tenth to God’s chosen representative, then — AND NOT UNTIL THEN — God has decreed that the other NINE tenths becomes legally YOURS!

THAT’S GOD’S LAW! Not a penny of what you earn, or a penny’s worth of the value of what you produce, is YOURS — it ALL belongs to God to do with as HE directs. But God has legally directed that after you have honestly paid Him the one little, small tenth He requires for His use, then the other NINE tenths He gives to YOU. Then, and not until then, you can rightfully claim OWNERSHIP over that nine tenths. Then and thereafter it is YOURS to do with as YOU decide.

When we get our thinking straight — when we get UNDERSTANDING — when we stop to realize HOW MUCH of what we have was provided by GOD — then we realize how LOVING, how GENEROUS, how solicitous for our welfare God is.

How to HAVE MORE

But that’s only part of the story.

What does God want with that first TENTH? How does He use it? He requires that small fraction of what is produced out of HIS earth for the purpose of disseminating to the people HIS MESSAGE OF THE WAY OF LIFE that will free them from fears and worries, give them peace of mind and happiness, give them joy and success and LIFE ETERNAL!

Yes, even this tenth which God withholds for His use is expended for HUMAN GOOD! For proclaiming His gospel of peace, and happiness and joy and salvation! For letting people know God will heal them when they are sick — that God will deliver them from every trouble — supply their every need! Give them Eternal Life! (You can click the following for the rest of the article: Ending Your FINANCIAL WORRIES)

I will simply add that God is faithful and that one can live in this age as a tithe payer. No modern currency is going to last over a few decades from now. Do not put your faith in it.

Remember what Jesus taught:

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

The world will pass away, but God’s word will not (cf. Matthew 24:35).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Tithing Questions and Some Answers Answers questions about tithing and also addresses some non-biblical arguments against tithing. Should people tithe? Here is a link to a related sermon: Tithes and Tithing. Here is a link to an older sermon: Tithing Answers from the Bible.
Ending Your FINANCIAL WORRIES How can people help themselves and others financially? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. A video of related interest would be: Dealing With Financial Worries.
Gambling and Sin: Is it a Sin for Christians to Gamble? What does the Bible reveal? A related video is Gambling: A Covetous Sin?
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There are also two YouTube video related to this: Living as a Christian: How and Why? and Living as a Christian: Pure Milk of the Word.
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
Why Holy Day Offerings? This is a slightly updated version of an article originally by WCG evangelist Leroy Neff that was published in the old Good News magazine in September 1983. Here is a link to a related video message: Why Holy Day Offerings?

PCG claims Herbert Armstrong restored all things, but he did not, nor did he ever make that claim. HWA’s writings show he was NOT the Elijah to come

Monday, August 9th, 2021


Elijah in the wilderness

COGwriter

PCG’s Joel Hilliker wrote the following:

A sign of Jesus Christ’s return you must not ignore

When He was here in the flesh, Jesus Himself prophesied. And He also gave a number of signs to look for so that true Christians could know when these prophecies, these end-time prophecies, would occur.

Here we will look at one remarkable Bible prophecy that will give you a strong understanding of where we are in end-time events. …

Preparing for Christ’s Return

Malachi 4:5 reads, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” …

“[Elijah] truly shall first come, and restore all things” (Matthew 17:11). …

Once this man from God comes, the Day of the Lord is imminent—and then comes the return of Jesus Christ!

This is a very specific, important and powerful prophecy!

It is connected to another prophecy in Malachi: “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me …” (Malachi 3:1). This too is talking about a human being whom God would use to prepare the way for Christ. In fact, it is the same man described in Malachi 4:5. It is an end-time type of Elijah, a man God promised to send just before the Day of the Lord and the return of Jesus Christ.

Malachi 3 continues: “and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? And who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap” (verses 1-2). …

Herbert W. Armstrong expounded on this prophecy in a landmark sermon on Dec. 17, 1983. “As John the Baptist was the physical messenger in the physical wilderness of Jordan, so there would be a messenger with a message—with a voice crying out in the spiritual wilderness of the modern 20th century,” he said. “Preparing the way for … Jesus to come to His spiritual temple [speaking of the Church] … this time to set up the Kingdom of God and to rule.”

Christ said this Elijah would “restore all things.” Mr. Armstrong then noted, “Now John the Baptist didn’t restore anything. They already knew about the law, and he called them to repentance; but he didn’t have to give them sermons about what all the law is. They knew that. He just called them to repent and turn to another way, and baptized them.”

The “restore all things” part of Christ’s statement is at the heart of what makes this the most pivotal end-time prophecy.

There are many end-time prophecies, and people naturally tend to focus on the ones about wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and supernatural disasters. Some people focus on things like blood moons.

But this prophecy is what Jesus Christ focused on.

This prophecy is directly connected with His Second Coming: He said this man would restore all truth within the Church just before the Day of the Lord. This is a sign of the nearness of Jesus Christ’s return that you must not ignore!

And what makes this even more important is that this prophecy has already been fulfilled!

Already Fulfilled

There was a man who fulfilled this preparatory role in the end time. A man who did “restore all things.”

That man was Herbert W. Armstrong. https://www.thetrumpet.com/17486-are-we-in-the-end-time-this-pivotal-end-time-prophecy-shows-yes

Herbert W. Armstrong did restore various doctrinal truths to the COG, but Herbert W. Armstrong is not recorded as ever claiming to have restored all things–though he did claim to restore at least 18 (see 18 Truths Restored to the Churches of God: Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era).

But, according to the Bible, could Herbert W. Armstrong have been the Elijah to come (Matthew 17)?

Let’s start with Malachi 4:5-6, but as shown in the Jewish Publication Society translation:

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet

Before the coming Of the great and terrible day of the LORD.
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children,
And the heart of the children to their fathers;
Lest I come and smite the land with utter destruction.

Notice that the Elijah is to come just before the great and terrible day of the LORD, and if he did not come, utter destruction would occur.

Herbert W. Armstrong died in January 16, 1986.

Now let’s see what Herbert W. Armstrong actually wrote about the timing of the final Elijah:

Also Malachi 4:5-6 pictures the Elijah to come at the very end of the Church age (Mystery of the Ages. 1985, p. 349).

When did Herbert W. Armstrong write that the Church age was over? Notice:

At the end of the Church age and 6,000 years from Adam, Christ would return to earth as King of kings and Lord of Lords, ruling all nations, with the saints, for one millennium. (Armstrong HW. What If Adam Had Taken of the Tree of Life? Plan Truth, March 1983)

The “very end” of the Church age was not over 35 years ago! The 6000 years has NOT yet been fulfilled (see also Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?). Since the “very end of the Church age” has not happened, and Herbert W. Armstrong died decades ago, his writings support that there must be another Elijah. And he was referring to an individual in the Mystery of the Ages.

That being said, sometimes Herbert W. Armstrong did think that he may have fulfilled the Elijah role, but he told the late Dibar Apartian (who told me) that he was NOT the Elijah. Dibar Apartian did not believe that Herbert W. Armstrong was the Elijah when we discussed this several times and he agreed with me about this. Furthermore, essentially on his deathbed, Herbert W. Armstrong admitted to his closest aide, Aaron Dean (who told me this multiple times) that there could be an Elijah to come after he died (see also The Elijah Heresies).

Combining what Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in The Mystery of the Ages and the length of time since his death demonstrates that Herbert W. Armstrong could not have been the final prophesied Elijah.

Now, various ones improperly think that John the Baptist was the prophesied final Elijah and no other was to come (see The Elijah Heresies).

While it is true that John the Baptist was a fulfillment of some of the Elijah prophecies (see Matthew 11:14) and he came “in the spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17), Jesus taught more on this subject:

1 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.

9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”

10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”

11 Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. …” (Matthew 17:1-11).

In Matthew 17:11, the term translated “will restore” is the Greek term apokathistemi which means “to reconstitute” or “restore (again)” (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.) and is preceded by the Greek term men which means “truly” in the asseverative sense. In Matthew 11:14 the Greek term mello is used which means “was,”this term is not used in 17:11.

So there is an ‘Elijah’ past – John the Baptist. And Matthew 17:11 does NOT say that “All things” = God’s laws and all the true doctrinal teachings while WARNING His chosen people, Israel, of the Great Tribulation.

Herbert W. Armstrong never claimed to have restored ALL THINGS (Mark 9:12). Neither did he nor the Bible define ALL THINGS as Joel Hilliker has.

Since the Bible does teach that there will be an ‘Elijah’ who is alive right before Jesus returns (Malachi 4:5-6), thus it is not possible that Herbert W. Armstrong was the prophesied final Elijah.

Now, presuming Jesus will return within the next couple of decades, then that ‘Elijah’ would need to be alive now. And he would be part of the church that places the highest priority on the truth.

Yet, most Christians seemingly refuse to accept that.

We in the Continuing Church of God are regularly restoring more truth about church history (e.g. see Continuing History of the Church of God and Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church), Jesus (e.g., see Proof Jesus is the Messiah), the Bible (see Who Gave the World the Bible? The Canon: Why do we have the books we now do in the Bible? Is the Bible complete?), doctrine (e.g. see Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God), and prophecy (e.g. see Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation and Do You Hold to Any of These Laodicean Prophetic Errors?). And we have done this more (and in more languages), by far, than any other group in the 21st century (COG or otherwise for that matter). Plus we have restored important truth about why God created anything and His plan for each human (see The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?).

Was that supposed to happen?

Yes.

Notice something that Daniel wrote:

4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” (Daniel 12:4)

Consider also the admonition of the Apostle Peter:

18 … grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:18)

Also consider that any who have already died are not relevant regarding all things to be restored just before the Day of the Lord–only one alive then (who would also be alive now) can possibly fulfill the Elijah role to increase knowledge and restore all things. It is not that others cannot add to knowledge, but what was to be restored in the end has to come from someone who is a real follower of God who is alive at the end. Growth of Christian knowledge did not end by January 16, 1986.

Consider also that the Bible indicates that it is likely that the ‘Elijah’ will be one of the two witnesses.

In the old Radio Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

The Two Witnesses

Who are, or will be, these witnesses? …

1st, they “prophesy” or preach a final warning to the world during “1260 days.” …

2nd, at the END of their testimony…it is “the BEAST THAT ASCENDED OUT OF THE BOTTOMLESS PIT” which kills them. …

3rd, after their testimony is ended, and they have been killed and resurrected, it says in verse 14 “the second woe is past.” …

They do the works of Moses and Elijah. …

John the Baptist was NOT Elijah as he plainly said, yet he came in the power and spirit of Elijah, and in that sense he was Elijah. Compare John 1:22, Mat. 11:14, and the explanation in Luke 1:17. So it is likely the two witnesses will be two men who come in the power and spirit of Elijah and Moses or Enoch. (Armstrong HW. What is going to happen! Plain Truth, June-July 1934, p. 7)

Herbert Armstrong gave a speech in May 1967, in which he said the following:

“Verse 3: God will empower His two ‘witnesses’ to proclaim God’s truth for this three-and-one-half years, from the same city of Jerusalem. These two have the same powers that God had given to Moses and Elijah. That is why this Führer and his armies can not stop them. So they will be two men coming ‘in the power and spirit’ of Moses and Elijah – just as John the Baptist came in the ‘power and spirit’ of Elijah, though he was not Elijah.

“Now notice particularly verses 9 and 10: Evidently they shall not be merely speaking to a few people on a street corner – but broadcasting WORLDWIDE! (Armstrong HW. Personal from the Editor. Plain Truth, June 1967, p. 4).

Verse 3, that Herbert Armstrong alluded to, specifically states that the two witnesses will prophesy, as they are prophets:

3 And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. (Revelation 11:3)

Herbert Armstrong later wrote that he was NOT a prophet:

I have definitely NOT been called to be a PROPHET (Armstrong H. Personal from the Editor, The 19 Year Time Cycles. The Good News of Tomorrow’s World. February, 1972, p. 1).

Since Herbert Armstrong was not a prophet, Elijah was a prophet (1 Kings 18:36), the Elijah to come is to be a prophet (Malachi 4:5), and the two witnesses will be prophets, Herbert W. Armstrong was not the Elijah to come.

When Herbert W. Armstrong was directing it, the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) taught:

These two witnesses are two human beings who are given extraordinary power for 3 1/2 years just prior to Christ’s return (verse 3). If any man attempts to hurt them before their ministry is up, “…fire proceeds out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies” (verse 5). Note how similar this is to the power given to Elijah (II Kings 1:9-15). They also have power over the rainfall, to produce drought and famine as did Elijah (Luke 4:25; I Kings 17:1-7), and to smite the earth with plagues (Rev. 11:6). Their mission will be to give one final warning (Armstrong HW, editor. The Plain Truth Personal Correspondence Department response on the two witnesses to Mr. and Mrs. Thiel. September 13, 1984).

Herbert Armstrong was NOT one of the two witnesses.

Sadly, just as many would not hear Elijah’s nor John the Baptist’s messages, relatively few will pay much attention to the end time Elijah as well.

That is not a surprise as most Christians in the end times were to be Laodicean, and Jesus warned the Laodiceans since they would not ‘get with the program,’ that they would be punished (Revelation 3:14-18).

Of course, if you are willing to believe the truth and do what the Bible teaches, that does not have to include you.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong? Two related sermons are available Elijah: Prophecies and Heresies and Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong, and CCOG.
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have.
Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God Simply calling oneself ‘Philadelphia’ does not make one so (see Revelation 3:7-9), nor does Gerald Flurry calling himself “that prophet” make it so. This article provides many quotes from this group which tries to look faithful.
Elijah: Past and Prophesied Information about the original Elijah and some information about the Elijah-related prophecies.
The 18 Restored Truths: Do You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made? Some have said healing, others other subjects, but probably the first change had to do with eliminating being part of the Philadelphia era. This article documents what those changes were and compares the Tkach list of restored truths to Herbert W. Armstrong’s list of restored truths as well as his Autobiography. This article contains many quotes from Herbert W. Armstrong. Here are links to a related two-part sermon: The 18 Restored Truths: 1-8 and The 18 Restored Truths: 9-18.
18 Truths Restored to the Churches of God: Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era Herbert W. Armstrong wrote that he felt he had restored at least 18 lost truths to the Church, here is Herbert W. Armstrong’s list given 12/17/83. This articles also has links to show that these truths were believed by professors of Christ in earlier times, hence they were not some invention of Herbert Armstrong.Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Lista de Herbert W. Armstrong de las 18 verdades restauradas. As far as the mission goes, here is a link to a sermon: Mission of the Remnant of the Philadelphia Church Era. Here are links to a related two-part sermon: The 18 Restored Truths: 1-8 and The 18 Restored Truths: 9-18.
Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18? Here is a link in the French language: Est-ce que l’Église Continue de Dieu confirme les signes d’Actes 2:17-18? A related sermon in the English language is also available: 17 Last Days’ Signs of the Holy Spirit.
Church of God Leaders on Prophets Have there been prophets throughout the church age? Are any supposed to be around in the last days? What have COG leaders stated or written about prophets? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here? A related sermon is available: Prophecy and the Two Witnesses. Here is a related link in Spanish/español:¿Quiénes son los dos testigos?
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.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The Philadelphian organization striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God to fulfill Matthew 24:14, Matthew 28:19-20, and Romans 11:25 with literature in over 100 languages.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.

Inc., WCG, and the Bible on Being Happier

Friday, August 6th, 2021


(Unsplash photo)

COGwriter

Inc. had a few comments about keys to happiness:

Want to Be Happier? …

The key is to know what you already want: to know your goals, your dreams, your ambitions, to know what provides you with the greatest sense of fulfillment and happiness.

Do that, and you won’t be as tempted to compare what you have with what other people have. Do that, and you won’t be as tempted to compare what you do with what other people do.

If you want to be happy, embrace the fact that only two comparisons matter.

First, compare who you are today with who you were in the past. That will remind you … just how far you’ve come.

Then compare who you are today with who you hope to someday become.

Because that will keep you focused on having, and doing, what truly matters to you. 08/04/21 https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/want-to-be-happier-science-says-avoid-effect-of-relative-deprivation-on-fulfillment-satisfaction.html

Well, Inc. left out that what matters is God, your relationship with Him, love, etc.

Furthermore, though the article had a couple of decent points, Inc. does not understand the The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?

That being said, what should you want? What should be YOUR focus?

Jesus said:

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:33-34)

Yes, understanding and seeking first the Kingdom of God is the key.

Yes, as Inc. said, you need to grow. YOU need to change.

Jesus also said:

10 I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b).

The Apostle John wrote:

2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (3 John 2)

Misery is not what God wants to have.

The happiness that God has, that which He offers to us, was meant to be with us constantly. It was meant to become a permanent part of us — of our personality and character.

As far as happiness goes, the old Worldwide Church of God had an article about happiness by Charles F. Vinson in the January 1973 edition of old the Plain Truth magazine:

How MANY times have you thought, I’d be happy , if only . … “? The daydream usually continues with ” If only I had more money,” or, “if only I had married someone else,” or, “if only I could change jobs,” or, “if only I had better health.”

Always “if only.”

Is happiness the impossible dream? Why does it always seem to be somewhere around the corner, off in the vague future, but never really right now?

Certainly there are reasons enough for the world’s all-too-common victims of war, disease, hunger and poverty to be less than satisfied with living. But what makes most Americans, Britons, Japanese, Germans – peoples who, in the main, enjoy a higher degree of human comfort than most of the other peoples of the world – so often dissatisfied, unfulfilled, empty and discouraged? Why can’t these people be happy?

The answer is deceptively simple. No one has ever told them how to achieve happiness.

What’s Your Concept?

Most human beings have little difficulty conjuring up their own purple-hued vision of the ultimate in human existence – very often a pleasing combination of wealth, status and power, with freedom from frustration, both mentally and sexually. If this vaguely fits your concept of happiness, you really ought to consider whether or not this “vision of Valhalla ” is a truly worthwhile goal.

One way to find out is to examine the lives of men who have actually lived under such conditions – and to see where it got them. One of the best examples historically is King Solomon, a real-life figure widely noted throughout the ancient world for his fantastic wealth and wisdom.

Solomon had everything going for him. His father, King David, had at great effort and cost subdued the worst of the neighboring war-hungry tribes and had established a measure of peace in the Kingdom of Israel. After David’s death, Solomon stepped into a situation few men have ever had the opportunity to experience – limitless wealth at his personal disposal, a conditional promise of blessings from God and the gift of unparalleled wisdom, also given by God. Gossip undoubtedly circulated far and wide in that ancient world about Solomon’s fantastic kingdom.

Foreign royalty paid him state visits to see if what they heard was really true.

It was. What they found in the City of David only served to reinforce the Solomonic legend, even though the truth needed no embellishment. According to the Biblical record published in Second Chronicles , chapters six through nine, Solomon possessed enough wealth and power to luxuriate in a life-style making notorious penthouse-dwellers of today seem poverty-stricken by comparison.

A Catalog of Wealth

On a yearly basis, Solomon received 666 talents of gold, or about 960,000 ounces. That amounts to something like $33,600,000 in gold per year at the old rate of $35 per ounce {$1,248,000,000 per year presuming a gold value of $1300 per ounce which it has been in the 21st century}.

There are … individuals today whose yearly assets … exceed that figure on paper, but this was the real thing – solid gold. It was reputedly so common, in fact, that Solomon didn’t bother to buy certain items for himself. He had them made from his gold. His throne was made of imported ivory overlaid with gold. None of his drinking vessels were made of silver. It was simply too common, assertedly as common as ordinary rock (I Kings 10:27).

Solomon imported finery from all parts of the world. His navy reported to him each year, bringing him more gold, silver, ivory and rare animals. In a triumph of understatement, I Kings 10:23 says that Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. State visits involved extravagant exchanges of gifts. When the famous Queen of Sheba for instance, came to investigate the fabulous rumors she had heard about Solomon, she brought along 120 talents of gold, a “very great store” of spices and precious stones to boot. Nearby friendly King Hiram, who lived on the Mediterranean coast, used his ships to bring Solomon gold from Ophir, as well as large amounts of rare wood and precious stones.

However, money really wasn’t everything. The Bible says that Solomon loved “many strange women” (I Kings 11:1). That is another magnificent understatement. Solomon kept seven hundred bona-fide wives plus three hundred concubines. To impress these wives, he commanded a personal army of charioteers – 1,400 chariots, to be exact, and twelve thousand horsemen. He even built special cities for these men, and imported their horses from Egypt. To keep his wives happy, he also ordered the best of imported fabrics (I Kings 10:28- 29).

But Was He Happy?

In addition, Solomon, being king and all-powerful, could of course do anything he desired – which is precisely what he set about to do. Later on, he wrote a book about his exploits called Ecclesiastes.

In this book, Solomon relates how he experimented with nearly every- thing under the sun to see what might make him happy. Nonstop entertainment soon grew tiresome. “But I found that this, too, was futile. For it is silly to be laughing all the time; what good does it do?” (Eccl. 2:2, The Living Bible.) He mentions taking up drinking to see if happiness could be found in a bottle. Happiness wasn’t, but morning-after headaches probably were. He constructed monuments to himself in the form of immense and beautiful public works. They were impressive and undoubtedly provided a great ego-trip, but they seem to have made him no happier. He built elaborate houses for himself and constructed temples for the gods of his favorite pagan wives. He raised vineyards and conducted experiments in his botanical gardens on all kinds of rare trees and plants. He constructed waterworks to irrigate the nearby arid land. Most of this is described in Ecclesiastes, chapter two.

He stated matter of factly, “I became greater than any of the kings in Jerusalem before me, and with it all I remained clear-eyed, so that I could evaluate all these things.” This, admittedly, sounds like shades of Muhammad Ali, the boastful American heavyweight boxer, but it was the literal truth. He also confessed that “anything I wanted, I took, and did not restrain myself from any joy” (Eccl. 2:9-10, The Living Bible).

In short, Solomon had fame, money, and wisdom – every physical blessing there was to have. He tried everything there was to try – at least, all he could think of – and he had whatever he wanted whenever he wanted it. It was all paid for. He lacked absolutely nothing in the way of human comfort.

Unfortunately, Solomon was miserable. He admitted it himself . “So now I hate life because it is all so irrational; all is foolishness, chasing the wind” (Eccl. 2:17, The Living Bible).

Why on earth would a man who had everything, including an unrestricted and enormously varied sex life, be so fed up with living that he felt like committing suicide?

The truth is that Solomon knew what would have made him happy – but he ignored it. Had he paid more attention to it, he could have lived a life more like the happier, fulfilled and rewarding existence of another man who lived almost a thousand years later.

From Persecutor to Persecuted

This man seemed to have every right to be miserable. He was Jewish and a member of the sect of the Pharisees. He hated the new sect which was called “Christian” after a certain Jesus Christ who had been publicly executed, but who the Christians claimed was still alive. He considered them an annoying threat to the Jewish religious establishment in which he held a high position. He persecuted the Christians with a vigor that astounded the liberal Romans in charge of that part of the Empire.

This man was forced to undergo conversion to the very “sect” which he had been so avidly persecuting. His former compatriots probably considered him slightly insane to take such a flip-flop in his thinking. The man’s name, of course, was Paul. He later became an apostle and one of the chief figures in the development of the New Testament church.

Far from having the magnificent wealth which Solomon had enjoyed, Paul was forced by circumstance to fall back on his childhood training of tentmaking in order to support himself as he ministered to the Churches of God located around the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, he had to do much of his traveling on foot, or by ship. Devastating storms were common occurrences. Then, too, he was under constant danger from those intent upon persecuting the Church as he had once done himself. He didn’t always escape their wrath.

He catalogued his “misadventures” in the ministry in one of his published letters to the church located in the Greek city of Corinth:

“Five different times the Jews gave me their terrible thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I was in the open sea all night and the whole next day. I have traveled many weary miles and have been often in great danger from flooded rivers, and from robbers, and from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the hands of the Gentiles. I have faced grave dangers from mobs in the cities and from death in the deserts and in the stormy seas and from men who claim to be brothers in Christ but are not. I have lived with weariness and pain and sleepless nights. Often I have been hungry and thirsty and have gone without food; often I have shivered with cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

“Then, besides all this, I have the to pay attention to his disastrous life constant worry of how the churches and to avoid the same mistake he are getting along” (The Living Bible, II Cor. 11:24-28).

That is quite a list of adventures, enough to make men of lesser fortitude to opt for a safe, comfortable office job. But external problems were not all Paul endured. He also had what he a “thorn in the flesh,” possibly a health problem, although he doesn’t refer to it specifically by name (II Cor. 12:7). He does imply, that his eyes gave him problems (Gal. 4:15).

In addition, he just wasn’t very impressive in person. He says little about this fact, but does mention that others had tried to denigrate him in the sight of his congregation by rather nastily alluding to the fact that he was powerful enough in his letters, but that his bodily presence was weak and his speech contemptible (II Cor. 10:10).

Yet Paul Was Happy

By now you can probably sense the obvious lesson about to hit you be- tween the eyes: Happiness doesn’t necessarily come from wealth, position, sexual freedom, or unlimited power and status. A man enduring the worst of living conditions, like Paul, can be happy in spite of the way things look or feel. ” . . . For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” said Paul in Philippians 4: 11. “I know now how to live when things are difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of facing either plenty or poverty” (Philippians 4:12, Phillips translation).

What was his secret? What did Paul know that Solomon didn’t?

The answer is: NOTHING.

Solomon knew the same basic formula for happy living that Paul preached, but the fact that he ignored with- it literally ruined his life. As a bitter old man looking backward on years, Solomon advised younger men, made: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the, evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them … . Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: refers to as · for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl . 12:1,13).

“Fear God and keep his commandments.” That was the one thing though, which could have made Solomon happy – which would have made his fabulous wealth, not at all wrong in itself, a blessing rather than a frustration. And, obedience to the laws of God was the one ingredient in Paul’s life which enabled him to keep going – even to be happy – in spite of all obstacles in his path.

And these same principles, if you obey them, can make you happy–no matter what your situation in life if YOU choose not to ignore them.

But Are They Relevant Today?

“All right,” you say, “but we are all living in the twentieth century, not two thousand years ago in a Middle Eastern kingdom noted for its mystical adherents and richly embellished history. How would following an ancient code like the Ten Commandments help anyone living in the city ghetto, or playing the freeway game each day, or struggling with unpaid bills, striving to patch up marital spats, worrying over visits to the hospital, breathing the polluted air?” Isn’t telling everyone to do so more than just a little absurd, a gross over- simplification as a solution to complicated human problems?

Not really. The Ten Commandments are timeless and apply no matter which century you happen to have been born into. For instance, the seventh commandment says, in what sounds to many like foreboding tones, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” In other words, “Don’t cheat on your wife or husband. It’ll make you both unhappy.”

It goes without saying that all of mankind is not now obeying God – and probably won’t unless forced to. But think, for a moment, of the fantastic results which would occur if everyone on earth were to obey just that one commandment. No more broken homes. No more agonizing heartbreak which cannot be measured statistically. No more wretched childhoods spent first with one parent, then with the other, always with the tension and insecurity which accompanies such a childhood situation, and which very often produces deep problems in the adult years. If everyone were striving to obey JUST this ONE commandment, the very marriage covenant would not be entered into so blithely. Young couples would take marriage much more seriously if they realized they were marrying for life, and not simply until the next attractive body comes around. In short, obedience to that one commandment could save mankind from a whole host of premarital and marital problems, heartaches and tragedies.

But that is only one commandment out of ten, only one example of why Solomon’s advice to “fear God and keep his commandments” is an open invitation to a happier, fuller, more satisfying life – the kind of life God wants every human being to experience.

If you would like to have more information about the Ten Commandments, explaining how all of them are applicable to life in today’s world, check out our free online book, The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast.

We all want to enjoy life. Our Creator is concerned about how we do it.

Notice the following instruction from God to young men:

9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth,
And let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth;
Walk in the ways of your heart,
And in the sight of your eyes;
But know that for all these
God will bring you into judgment.
10 Therefore remove sorrow from your heart,
And put away evil from your flesh,
For childhood and youth are vanity. (Ecclesiastes 11:9-10)

Girls and boys and men and women should strive to live God’s way:

1 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”: (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

Besides acknowledging that God exists, remembering Him also means being thankful to Him for your existence, for your parents, for His plan, and for the material things you enjoy.

Do you know who the Bible says is happy?

God’s people:

5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the Lord his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
7 Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. (Psalm 146:5-7)

15 Happy are the people who are in such a state;
Happy are the people whose God is the Lord! (Psalm 144:15)

Do you have the God of Jacob (whose name God changed to Israel in Genesis 32:28) for your help? Is the God of the Bible your Lord?

If you really do, you should be happy.

13 Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
And the man who gains understanding;
14 For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver,
And her gain than fine gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies,
And all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.
16 Length of days is in her right hand,
In her left hand riches and honor.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her,
And happy are all who retain her. (Proverbs 3:13-18)

Yes, wisdom can bring happiness to all: males and females.

If people everywhere obeyed God’s laws, there would be no war, no unhappy families, no divorce, crime, violence or stealing. People would be honest and concerned for one another’s welfare and property.

Consider also that the Apostle Paul wrote, “the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good” (Romans 7:12).

We are to delight in God’s ways:

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:3-5)

11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it. (Psalm 34:11-14)

DELIGHT IN THE LORD and He will give you the proper desires of your heart.

The Continuing Church of God put together the following sermon related to happiness on its ContinuingCOG channel:

Nearly everyone wants to be happy. An advertising campaign decades ago attempted to directly tell us “that’s what happiness is.” Is happiness material goods or physical experiences? Are Christians supposed to be happy? What does the Bible teach about being happy? Does the Bible approach happiness from a different way than the world does? How should a Christian view tests and trials? Are you supposed to rejoice at God’s Holy Days? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more, plus lists fourteen biblical keys to happiness.

Here is a link to the video sermon: 14 Biblical Keys to Happiness.

Now, in this time of COVID-19, many are fearful and concerned. Here is something from the Letter to the Brethren: March 19, 2020 of the Continuing Church of God:

The restrictions on movement and the discouragement of physical cash because of COVID-19 are paving the way for the acceptance of the 666 Beast and total government financial control. Now, however, as Jesus said, “do not be troubled; for such things must happen, but the end is not yet” (Mark 13:7). Jesus also said:

33 … In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33b)

32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

While you should take reasonable precautions, you do not need to fear. …

With all the reality and hype about COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) going around, the following came to mind:

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23)

Brethren, trust God, for we are destined to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

At risk of repeat, remember that Jesus said “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32).

Despite COVID, Delta and other variants, corrupt governments, proponents of anti-biblical morality, yes, you can be happier.

Here is a link to a video sermon: 14 Biblical Keys to Happiness.

Consider:

6 … Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:6, NKJV)

17 “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:17, KJV)!

Focus on God’s Kingdom and you being part of it. This will bring true happiness for those who really do it.

UPDATE 08/09/21: We just uploaded a short, sermonette, video on this topic:

8:55

Want to Be Happier?

Do you want to be happier? Almost everybody does. Inc. magazine posted something online recommending what to focus on to be happy. Although Inc. did not refer to spiritual matters, a couple of its points are applicable to Christians. In this video, Dr. Thiel goes over some key points from Inc. as well as words from Jesus on what our focus should be. He also quotes scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments related to being happy. Wisdom and growing are mentioned. He mentions the Kingdom of God as well as that biblical principles for happiness are applicable to men and women, boys and girls.

Here is a link to our video: Want to Be Happier?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Biblical Keys to Happiness This is an article for those interested in biblical teachings about being happy. A related sermon is available and is titled: 14 Biblical Keys to Happiness.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection. A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
Ten Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear This is a vastly expanded version of a shorter article by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh on getting past fear. Here is a link to a related sermon: Ten Plus Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear.
Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen What is faith? Can faith be increased? Are you saved by faith? What about works? Do Christians need to keep the Ten Commandments? What is the ‘faith chapter’? How do the just live by faith? Is faith one of the weightier matters of the law? How does faith come? Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido. In German: Glaube für die von Gott Berufenen und Auserwählten. In French: La Foi pour ceux que Dieu a Appelés et Choisis. Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Faith for the Called and Chosen.and here is a link to another sermon Faith and Courage. Here is a link to shorter version of the written article in Mandarin Chinese N{ÇQsNŽOáNðv„\e‡zà. Here are links to the sermons Christian Faith and Increasing Faith.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

Former WCG member asks, ‘Who do you go with?’

Monday, August 2nd, 2021

COGwriter

A while back, I received an email from a former Worldwide Church of God member that included the following:

I AM CONCERNED ABOUT SOME ISSUES OF MR. …. BELIEF AND APPARENTLY YOU DON’T AGREE WITH. I DON’T THINK THAT ANY OF THESE CHURCHES AGREE WITH OTHER SO WHO DO YOU GO WITH? …

SOME OF GERALD FLURRY’S TEACHINGS ARE COMPLETELY WRONG AND HE’S GONE FAR OUT ON SOME THINGS SUCH AS ARMSTRONG’S STONE REPLACING JACOB’S. MANY, MANY PLACES IN THE BIBLE STATES THAT CHRIST IS THAT ROCK AND IT’S SPIRITUAL. CHRIST DOESN’T NEED A ROCK. FLURRY BASED HIS THEORY ON THE IDEA THAT COME KIDS STOLE JACOB’S ROCK FROM ENGLAND. THAT’S AMAZING SINCE IT WEIGHS OVER 350 LBS. I’VE READ OTHER LITERATURE THAT THE STONE IS STORED IN SCOTLAND.FALSE PREACHER #1

I SAW A DAVID PACK SERMON ON THE INTERNET ABOUT THE 2 WITNESSES . HE SAID THAT THEY ARE IN HIS CHURCH RIGHT NOW. I BELIEVE HE’S NOW PULLED THAT SERMON BECAUSE I COULDKN’T FIND IT NOW. FALSE PREACHER #2

I SAW A SERMON BY THE LIVING CHURCH OF GOD ABOUT THE MARK OF THE BEAST AND THE PRESENTER SAID WITHOUT HESITATION THAT THE MARK OF THE BEAST IS SUNDAY WORSHIP. PERIOD.. HE MADE NO MENTION OF ANY MARKS ON YOUR BODY OR 666. SABBATH MAY HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT, BUT THERE WILL BE OTHER FACTORS. YOU LEFT BECAUSE OF DOCTRINE. I’LL ????????? ….

NOW I COME TO … A FALSE TEACHER …

YOU SEE HOW A PERSON COULD BE DECEIVED?

PLEASE ADVISE

Actually, I left LCG because it had integrity issues and broke promises about correcting doctrine that it admitted was wrong. For details, check out the article Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God. Regarding the ‘mark of the beast,’ check out the following:

The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?

Anyway, here is what I responded to the former WCG member with:

Dear …:

As I have repeatedly written at COGwriter, I doubt that David Pack or Gerald Flurry are converted.

I consider that the only COG that is Philadelphian is the CCOG–though not all in CCOG are Philadelphian and there are Philadelphians not in CCOG–but no other COG represents the continuation of Philadelphia.

You should use God’s criteria, and none other to decide.

Here are two links you should read and pray about if you are truly serious:

  1. How does the Continuing Church of God differ from other Sabbatarian COG groups?
  2. Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?

But most refuse to believe and use their own standards.

Best regards,

Bob Thiel

Many have been confused and used the wrong criteria to assess churches.

Sadly, in the end time, in Revelation 3:14-19 Jesus revealed that even most real Christians would use their criteria, not God’s as they would be part of the “people decide” churches (which is basically what Laodicea means).

P.S. The same former WCG member sent me a follow-up email after I posted this. Here is some of what he wrote (Note: This is a different Mr. … in a different COG than the one alluded to above):

ALSO, I’M NOT HAPPY WITH … IN THIS RESPECT—–I’VE BEEN IN THE CHURCH FOR A WHILE AND ONE OF THE 1ST THINGS I NOTICED IS THAT THEY HAVE LEFT OUT 1/3RD OF THE BIBLE AND THAT PERTAINS TO PROPHECY. I KNOW THIS PANDEMIC CAUGHT THEM UNAWARE AS MR. … DIDN’T CALL FOR A PRAYER AND FAST INTIL THE PANDEMIC WAS IN FULL FORCE. SOME WATCHMAN

I WROTE A PERSONAL LETTER TO MR. … ADVISING HIM THAT ALL SCRIPTURE IS TO BE TAUGHT, AND HE NEEDS TO CRY OUT AND SPARE NOT. THE LATEST ISSUE OF OUR MAGAZINE FINALLY WOKE THEM UP AS THERE WERE SEVERAL MEANINGFUL ARTICLES REGARDING THE TIMES AND PROPHECY ALSO, HE SAID THAT THEY NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB IN BEING A WATCHMAN. THIS IS THE 1ST TIME IN 25 YEARS THAT THEY STARTED TO WAKE UP ON PROPHECY.

My response to the above was to tell him that the COG he attends as well as a group that came out of it do not teach much about prophecy. They also have a lot of prophetic errors. For details on 43 prophetic errors that the groups other than CCOG have, check out the article: Do You Hold to Any of These Laodicean Prophetic Errors?

We also have a short sermonette discussing 17 of those: 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.

We also have a short animation related to churches that some may find to be of interest:


9:17

Which Church would Jesus Choose?

If you are looking for a true Christian church, how should you choose? Should you choose based upon any building(s) used? Is the criteria in the Bible? What are some widespread ‘doctrines’ that many churches teach that were not part of the original faith? Do Christians go to heaven upon death? Were early Christians militaristic? What about tradition? This animation addresses those issues and more.

Here is a link to the animation: Which Church would Jesus Choose?

More information can be found in the following:

How does the Continuing Church of God differ from other Sabbatarian COG groups? There are scores of different groups claiming to be Church of God. How is the Continuing Church of God different?
Why is the Continuing Church of God a corporation sole? What is a ‘corporation sole’ and why is this a better organizational choice?
False Conversion! Have you really been converted? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote an article on this important subject–but more scriptures have been added to it. How can you tell false conversion? A related video is also available: False Conversion.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]

Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Similarities and Differences Between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Continuing Church of God
Both groups claim to represent the original Christian faith. Do you know much about them? Both groups have some interesting similarities, but many major differences. Would you like information on how to deal with Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The genuine Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White. Did Ellen White make prophetic errors? Did Ellen White make false prophecies? Here is a version in the Spanish language: SDA/COG Diferencias: La bestia de dos cuernos de Apocalipsis y 666. Here is a sermon in the English language: CCOG and SDA differences and similarities.
Seventh-day Adventist President Ted Wilson’s Comments on the Remnant Church Ted N. C. Wilson spoke on the SDAs striving to be the “remnant church”, but what do the related scriptures actually teach?
Some Dissimilarities Between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and the Continuing Church of God The genuine Church of God is not related to the Mormons and this article explains some differences and a couple of similarities. Also, might certain LDS prophecies apply to Mitt Romney?
Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
Attending the Church of Choice This article discusses whose choice is important to worship God; should you attend the church of your choice or the church of God’s choice?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Unity. Here is a related article in the Spanish language: Unidad: ¿Cuál Iglesia de Dios para usted?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?
Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18? Here is a link in the French language: Est-ce que l’Église Continue de Dieu confirme les signes d’Actes 2:17-18? A related sermon in the English language is also available: 17 Last Days’ Signs of the Holy Spirit.
Church of God Leaders on Prophets Have there been prophets throughout the church age? Are any supposed to be around in the last days? What have COG leaders stated or written about prophets? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy. See also Do You Hold to Any of These Laodicean Prophetic Errors?

Charges against Herbert W. Armstrong not based on verifiable truth

Friday, July 30th, 2021


Herbert W. Armstrong

COGwriter

A reader sent me a pdf file that consisted of an article put together by Brian Davis and published by PCG in the July-August 2020 edition of Royal Vision.

Here is a link to the article: Charges Against Herbert W. Armstrong – DISPROVED!

The file format is such that I cannot copy text in the normal way, which is one reason why the link above is provided. Let’s start with an image of how the article begins:

Yes, for decades, various false accusations have been made against the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong.

One of the most blatant and outrageous is the accusation against incest.

The Bible admonishes us to:

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV)

So, related to the accusations I had heard about Herbert W. Armstrong, I also did so.

Back in the February 28, 2003 edition of The Journal: News of the Churches of God, I had an article published titled: Consider candid responses to 15 accustations about Herbert W. Armstrong. The Journal’s editor, Dixon Cartwright, found the incest charge so offensive that he edited the word incest out of my original submission.

Later, I posted an article titled 17 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert W. Armstrong where a summary of my investigation into this was included.

Here is what that article currently has on this:

Gross impropriety

Accusation No. 4: Herbert W. Armstrong was guilty of gross sexual impropriety (incest) when younger.

After reviewing the details of one particular allegation regarding sex and what I uncovered, Dixon Cartwright, The Journal’s publisher, asked me to remove them from this article because of the lack of proof and because certain parties are not alive to defend themselves and because The Journal is a family publication.

Various versions of this accusation are extant, most of which seem to be based on a chapter of David Robinson’s 1980 book Herbert W. Armstrong’s Tangled Web. (A version of the accusations appears in Tuit’s book as well.)

I investigated four allegations related to this specific accusation and concluded that unless certain alleged Lochner audiotapes (which have never been made public, and I requested them and even spoke to one who had claimed to hear them–Art Mokarow–he finally admitted to me that he actually had not heard them) surface (and I made diligent inquiry to attempt to find them, including dozens of phone calls, plus E-mails through late February 2003, and even later after this article was originally published), the accusations are not provable and aspects of the accusations are indeed disprovable.

Perhaps I should mention that since one aspect of these accusations is commonly attributed to a comment supposedly made by Herbert W. Armstrong’s son Garner Ted Armstrong (GTA) concerning his dad and another relative. I personally called Garner Ted Armstrong’s office on Dec. 12, 2002 to inquire about this particular accusation. I was not able to speak with GTA directly, but a key employee of the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association discussed it with him and got back with me. Through his spokesperson, GTA declined to comment except to pass on the message that:

“everything you really need to know about my father is contained within the Autobiography (of Herbert W. Armstrong).”

Thus GTA would not stand by a statement attributed to him on this matter–so how can any believe this?

In December 2006, I saw a post at an anti-Church of God website that stated that Dibar Apartian supposedly confirmed that he felt that Herbert W. Armstrong was guilty of incest. On January 3, 2007, I spoke with Dibar Apartian about this. He knew Herbert W. Armstrong for the past 30 plus years of Herbert W. Armstrong’s life. Dibar Apartian clearly and flatly denied the claim someone made that Dibar Apartian said he felt that Herbert W. Armstrong was guilty of incest.

Every single time I have gone to the alleged sources of information on this incest matter, none of these “sources” have ever stood by the statements that the anti-Herbert W. Armstrong critics have claimed were made. I would like to add that at that time Dibar Apartian was 88 1/2 years old and he specifically told me that it should be clear to everyone that he had nothing to gain by denying this. Dibar Apartian also told me that he has never once made a statement confirming any of Herbert W. Armstrong’s alleged personal faults, and specifically that he never stated that he thought Herbert W. Armstrong was guilty of incest. Others have different opinions, but if HWA is guilty of this, no strong facts have emerged (another article related to this that someone else wrote would be Herbert W. Armstrong Did NOT Commit Incest!).

In his Tangled Web book, the late D. Robinson wrote that “like the Wizard of Oz, Herbert Armstrong is operating on image. When his hand is called, there is no substance there. Like the Wizard, he is just a lot of bluster.”

Based on my experience in trying to track down credible sources for this accusation, all I find–including a whole chapter in Robinson’s book–is “just a lot of bluster.” Actually, it appears to me that no one who has made or repeated most of the accusations against Herbert W. Armstrong actually has any real proof for most of them–no one seems to have checked with either the primary (those involved) or secondary sources (those with proof), but instead relied on accusation and rumor–simply stating a false charge does not make it true, no matter how many times it may be repeated.

Let me add that since I wrote this, various ones on and off the internet have indicated that they have ‘proof’ on the incest matter, yet none have produced the Lochner tapes or any actual proof that I have heard. Speaking of late additions, here is something from an email I received about this on November 26, 2014.

HWA & “incest.”

I tend to disbelieve this one. Here’s why: I worked full time at AC after graduation. Was put in charge of the Shipping & Receiving Dept. Because of that I had to deal directly with Vern Mattson. He had to sign checks I needed for shipping items through LA airport and customs. One day, sitting alone with him at his desk he said this to me while writing checks for credit card invoices. “Charles Hunting spends God’s money like there are no limits to it.” I don’t think he would say “God’s money” and use,”God’s work” like he did in private, and off the cuff, if his wife was abused like the critics claim. If any one would have known what happened by then, he would have. Don’t know if you need info like this on the subject, but just info in passing.

Robert Petry

Vern Mattson was Beverly’s (HWA’s daughter) husband at the time of the above. Again, I am not saying there is no possibility of guilt, but too much goes against it.

Furthermore, as far as Robertson’s book goes, consider the following from HWA’s longtime aide Aaron Dean who commented on it in 2018:

Yes I read Dave Robinsons book. I worked for HWA 12 years and he never told me anything that HWA was supposed to tell him in a half hour walk one morning at the feast as we flew from site to site. I was listening in circumstances where this should have come up, but didn’t. It seems he created a lot from other sources.

He had a bit of an axe to grind, and did Marion McNair. There was a lot of fighting for positons in the earlier years of the church. Bad information and lies created many bad decisions. Many people said things, and HWA knew that trying to answer or refute really solved nothing except to keep the issue alive. (Aaron Dean. Post 02/11/18 12:30 PM #7895)

The Robertson book was not based on first-hand or probably second-hand information. But many seem to want to believe it anyway.

For more testimony and comments against the incest charge, check out the following link: Charges Against Herbert W. Armstrong – DISPROVED!

The Royal Vision article cites my research, Mel Olinger, Aaron Dean, Steve Szabo, Loretta Olinger, and Norbert Link. Here are some more images from the article Charges Against Herbert W. Armstrong – DISPROVED!:

The evidence for the allegation is simply not there.

Notice also the following related to Herbert Armstrong’s daughter Dorothy:

Notice also:

Of course, despite research into the truth about this, some people do not care about the truth.

Many have not truly wanted to “prove all things” or “hold fast” to what is good.

In the last chapter of the last book of the Bible, the Apostle John was inspired to write:

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:14-15)

Sadly, there are many corrupt and bitter people who prefer to believe, love, and push lies about this, as well as others in the COGs.

Please, do not be one of them.

Note: Posting the images that I did does NOT mean I agree with everything PCG and that article teach about Herbert W. Armstrong. The images put up were to show that this incest allegation had many flaws and should not be accepted as a fact.

Some items of possibly related interest may 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 who he was and how he should be viewed today.
What is Armstrongism? Did Herbert W. Armstrong raise a new faith or promote the original Christian faith? Here is a link to a related video: What is Armstrongism? Are Some Dismissive of Original Christianity?
17 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert W. Armstrong He, even after his death, keeps being improperly maligned–here is the truth on these matters.
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong? Two related sermons are available Elijah: Prophecies and Heresies and Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong, and CCOG.
The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had? What are some of the scriptural limits on ecclesiastical authority? Do some commit organizational idolatry? Here is a Spanish language version La Biblia, Policarpo, Herbert W. Armstrong, y Roderick C. Meredith sobre el gobierno de la Iglesia. Here is a link to a sermon titled Church Governance.
Herbert W. Armstrong, the Philadelphia Church, & the Mantle Herbert Armstrong claims God had him raise the Philadelphia up. Are there reasons to believe that the Philadelphia mantle in now within the CCOG? Here is a link to a related sermon: Herbert W. Armstrong and the Philadelphia Mantle.

Drive: HWA’s Fourth ‘Law of Success’

Monday, July 26th, 2021

COGwriter

It is Monday.

Some people do not Monday so much, a song was written against it years ago with lyrics including Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day.

Some do not have the drive to go to work or school, which often starts with Monday each week.

But, of course, Monday itself is not the problem.

Drive and motivation may be the problem.

Can that be helped?

Long ago, in his booklet, The Seven Laws of Success, the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the following related to what he called the fourth law of success:

The All-important Fourth Law

A person may have chosen his goal. Having it may have aroused tremendous ambition to achieve it. He may have started out educating and training himself for its accomplishment, and he may even have good health and still make little or no progress toward its realization.

After all, success is accomplishment. It is DOING. They say any old dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim up. An inactive person will not accomplish. Accomplishment is DOING.

Now comes an all-important law.

The fourth success-law, then, is DRIVE!

Half-hearted effort might carry one a little way toward his goal, but it will never get him far enough to reach it.

You will always find that the executive head of any growing, successful organization employs drive! He puts a constant prod on himself. He not only drives himself, he drives those under him, else they might lag, let down and stagnate.

He may feel drowsy, and hate to awaken and get up [in the morning]. But he refuses to give in to this impulse.

I remember the struggles I once had with this situation. It was during one of my “Idea-Man” tours as a magazine editorial representative at age 22. I was having quite a struggle with drowsiness. Yet I acquired the habit of sleepily answering the morning telephone call and promptly going back to bed and to sleep. Then I bought a “Baby Ben” alarm clock, which I carried with me. But I found myself arising to turn it off, then plunging back into bed. I was too drowsy to realize what I was doing. I was not sufficiently awake to employ willpower and force myself to stay up, get under the shower and become fully awake and alert. It had become habit.

I had to break the habit. I had to put a prod on myself. I needed an alarm clock that couldn’t be turned off until I was sufficiently awake to get going for the day.

So one night at the Hotel Patton in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I called a bellboy to my room. In those days the customary tip was a dime. A half dollar then had about the same effect that a $20 bill would have today. I laid a silver half-dollar on the dresser.

“Do you see that half-dollar, son?” I asked.

“Yes, Sir!” he answered, eyes sparkling in anticipation.

After ascertaining that he would be still on duty at 6:30 next morning, I said, “If you will pound on that door in the morning at 6:30, until I let you in, and then stay in this room and prevent me from getting back into bed until I am dressed, then you may have that half-dollar.”

I found those bell-boys would, for a half-dollar tip, even wrestle or fight with me to prevent my crawling back into bed. Thus I put a prod on myself that broke the morning snooze habit and got me up and going!

Often workmen never rise above whatever job they may have because they have no drive. They slow down, work slowly, poke around, sit down and rest as much as they can. In other words, they must have a boss over them to drive them, or they would probably starve. They would never become successful farmers—for a farmer, to succeed, must get up early and work late, and drive himself. That is one reason so many must work for others. They cannot rely on themselves—they must be driven by one of more energy and purpose.

Without energy, drive, constant propulsion, a person need never expect to become truly successful.

Despite various ones in the COGs not particularly interested in the goals of gospel proclamation or changing and building the type of character that God wants, the gospel proclamation need remains per Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20, as does the need for personal repentance.

Notice something that the Apostle Peter wrote:

2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:2-11)

In this Laodicean era, are you truly diligent? Are you so satisfied with where you are at that you do not feel that you need to change or not change much? Jesus warned against that type of complacency:

14 And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked– 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:14-19).

Drive helps people live up to more of their potential and accomplish more, not just for personal gain or reward, but so they can give love more. Do you truly have the Philadelphian-era drive?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?
What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There are also two YouTube video related to this: Living as a Christian: How and Why? and Living as a Christian: Pure Milk of the Word.
Living as a Christian: Strong Meat Can you handle solid spiritual food? A related sermon is available: Strong Meat: James 1-2 and Strong Meat: James 3-5.
Priorities and the Most Broken Commandment Which commandment is broken the most? Which one is most involved with what should be your top priority? Here is a link to a related sermon: The Most Violated Commandment and Priorities.
What are Your Priorities? The late evangelist Dibar Apartian wrote this.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
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?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage and rive 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.
Christian Success Does the Bible teach that Christians are to be successful? Are there at least seven laws of success that Christians should follow? How does the Bible teach we are to become successfully spiritually? Does the Bible really teach that Christians should be successful physically? This video answers these questions and more from the Bible. An outline of some of the scriptures used is here: Christian Success Outline.

Herbert W. Armstrong on the beginning–what about the ‘gap’ doctrine?

Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

COGwriter

Where does the Bible actually begin?

In terms of time order, it would be John 1:1, and not Genesis 1:1 as many assume.

Here is an explanation from the late Herbert W. Armstrong:

If one should ask, where do you find the actual beginning of events in the Bible, most who possess even a slight knowledge of the world’s “best seller” would say, “Why in Genesis chapter one verse one, of course.” WRONG!

The real beginning, in order of time sequence, is found in the New Testament, in the first chapter of John, verse one. The events portrayed in Genesis occurred later – possibly even millions of years later. But the event recorded in John 1:1 reveals an existence perhaps long prior to the time God created the earth and the material universe. Note it: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” It continues, “The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” The term “all things” is translated in Hebrews 1:3, in the Moffatt translation, as “the UNIVERSE.” The entire UNIVERSE was made by Him!

The fourteenth verse of John 1 says: “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.” The Personage called the Word was the one who ultimately-yet more than 1900 years ago-was born Jesus Christ. The name, “the Word,” is translated from the original Greek text, and means, literally, just what is translated into English -“Spokesman.” But He was not the Son of God “in the beginning.” Yet the Scriptures reveal that He has always existed, and always will – “from eternity to eternity.” He was “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life . . .” (Heb. 7:3).

So think on this, if you will! Originally there existed only these two Spirit Personages, self-existent. They had creative powers – they had perfect supreme minds – they possessed perfect, holy and righteous CHARACTER.

But THERE WAS NONE ELSE – NOTHING ELSE! There was no matter – no material universe – YET! No other living being or thing. Only these two, equal in mind and powers, except that God was supreme in authority, and the Word in perfect harmony under that authority. They were of one mind, in absolute agreement.

But ALL THINGS – the universe and everything existing in it – was made by the Personage called the Word. Yet, as we read in Ephesians 3:9: “God. . . created ALL THINGS by Jesus Christ.” And prior to becoming Jesus Christ, He was “the Word!” Also, in His human life Jesus said He spoke only as the Father directed. Yes. THINK!

In the eternity even prior to “prehistory” there were these two Supreme Beings. Alone! In the emptiness of space! No other life forms – no other living beings! Nothing else!…

The Perfect Creation

The original Hebrew words (the words originally written by Moses) imply a perfect creation. God reveals Himself as Creator of perfection, light, and beauty. Every reference in the Bible describes the condition of any completed phase of God’s creation as “very good” – perfect. This first verse of the Bible actually speaks of the original PHYSICAL creation in its entirety – the universe – including the earth, perhaps millions of years ago – as a perfect creation, beautiful and perfect as far as its creation was a finished, completed work. God is a perfectionist! In Job 38:4,7, God is speaking specifically of the creation of this earth. He said all the angels (created “sons of God”) shouted for joy at the creation of the earth. This reveals that angels were created before the creation of the earth – and probably before the material universe.

The suns, planets, and astral bodies are material substance. Angels are individually created Spirit beings, composed solely of Spirit. It will come as a surprise to many to learn that angels inhabited this earth BEFORE the creation of man. This passage from Job implies it.

Angels on Earth Sinned

Other passages place angels on earth prior to man. Notice II Peter 2:4-6. First in time order were “angels that sinned.” Next in time sequence, the antediluvian world beginning with Adam, carrying through to the Flood. After that, Sodom and Gomorrah. This Book of books, containing the revealed knowledge of the Creator God, tells us that God created angels as composed of Spirit. But can you imagine angels becoming sinning angels? Angels were created with power of thought, of decision and of choice, else they have no individuality or character. Since sin is the transgression of God’s law, these angels rebelled against God’s law, the basis of God’s government. Notice carefully what is revealed in II Peter 2:4-5:

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.

These verses show that universal sin brings universal destruction to the physical earth. The antediluvian sin, culminating with the flood, was worldwide, universal sin. Notice: “…the earth was filled with violence …. for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth …. for the earth is filled with violence.” (Gen.6:1 1-13). “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the [Eternal]…. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” (verses 8-9). All flesh had sinned – over the whole earth. But only Noah “walked with God.” So, the Flood destroyed the whole earth – all but Noah and his family. The homosexual and other sins of Sodom and Gomorrah spread over the territory of those two cities. And physical destruction came to their entire area. The sin of the angels was worldwide; the destruction of the physical earth was worldwide. The verses quoted above place the sinning of the angels prior to the antediluvian sins that started with Adam, prior to the creation of man. And that should be a surprise revealing of one phase of the missing dimension in knowledge! Angels inhabited this earth before the creation of man. And the government of God was administered on earth until the rebellion of the sinning angels.

How long these angels inhabited the earth before the creation of man is not revealed. It might have been millions – or even billions – of years. More on that later. But these angels sinned. Sin is the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). And God’s law is the basis of God’s government. So we know these angels, apparently a third of all the angels (Rev. 12:4), sinned – rebelled against the government of God. And sin carries penalties. The penalty for the sin of the angels is not death, as it is for man. Angels are Immortal Spirit beings and cannot die. These Spirit beings had been given dominion over the PHYSICAL EARTH as a possession and an abode. The universal, worldwide sin of the angels resulted in the physical destruction of the face of the earth…

Now back to Genesis 1: 1-2. Verse 1, as stated above, implies a perfect creation. God is the author of life, of beauty, of perfection. Satan has brought only darkness, ugliness, imperfection, violence. Verse 1 shows the creation of a perfect earth, glorious and beautiful. Verse 2 reveals the result of the sin of the angels.

“And the earth was [became] without form, and void.” The words “without form and void” are translated from the Hebrew tohu and bohu. A better translation is “waste and empty” or chaotic and in confusion.” The word “was” is elsewhere in Genesis translated “became,” as in Genesis 19:26. In other words, the earth, originally created perfect and beautiful, had now become chaotic, waste, and empty, like our moon, except its surface was covered with water.

David was inspired to reveal how God renewed the face of the earth: “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth” (Ps. 104:30).

Now another surprise for most readers. Here is another bit of the missing dimension in knowledge, actually revealed in the Bible, but unrecognized by religion, by science, and by higher education. From verse 2 of Genesis 1 on, the remainder of this first chapter of the Bible is not describing the original creation of the earth. But it is describing a renewing of the face of the earth, after it had become waste and empty as a result of the sin of the angels.

What is described from verse 2 on, in the supposed “Creation chapter” of the Bible, did occur, according to the Bible, approximately 6,000 years ago. But that could have been millions or trillions of years after the actual creation of the earth described in verse 1! I will comment later on the length of time it might have taken before all earth’s angels turned to rebellion.

The earth had become waste and empty. God did not create it waste and empty, or in confusion. God is not the author of confusion (I Cor.14:33). This same Hebrew word – tohu – meaning waste and empty, was inspired in Isaiah 45:18, where it is translated “in vain.” Using the original Hebrew word, as originally inspired, it reads: “For thus saith the [Eternal] that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain [tohu], he formed it to be inhabited.”

Continue now with the remainder of verse 2 (Gen. 1) (the earth had become chaotic, waste, and empty): “And darkness was upon the face of the deep [the ocean or fluid surface of the earth]. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness” (verses 2-4).

Satan is the author of darkness. The rebellion of the angels had caused the darkness. God is the author of light and truth. Light displays and enhances beauty, and also exposes evil. Darkness hides both. The verses which follow in this first chapter of the Bible describe the renewing of the face of the earth, yielding beautiful lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetation – then the creation of fish and fowl, animal life, and finally man. (Armstrong HW. Incredible Human Potential, 1978)

So, yes God and the Word existed from the beginning and before anything else was made (John 1:1).

And while there was a creation in Genesis 1:1, there was a gap between that and the recreation that was needed in Genesis 1:2. Thus, this explanation (which, in my view, is the one that best agrees with the records, despite flaws, of science) is commonly referred to as the gap theory. And yes, I hold to it (see How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation?).

The Bible teaches:

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

But the Bible does not say when that happened, other than it happened in “the beginning.” Many (including this author) have added up ages of various biblical figures when they became fathers, combined with reigns of biblical kings and other scriptures, and concluded that from the time Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden to present, there has been a little less than 6,000 years (for details, please see the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

Now notice what the KJV translation of Genesis 1:2 states:

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2, KJV)

Because the NKJV also kept about the same translation, many have been confused about what Genesis 1:2 really teaches.

The following is the Hebrew transliterated into characters that non-Hebrew readers can recognize:

2 weh’ares haytah tohû wabohû wehošek ‘al-penê tehôm werûha elohîm merapet ‘al-penê hammayim.

(Genesis 1:2 from Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, edited by Karl Ellinger and Wilhelm Rudolph. Fifth Revised Edition, edited by Adrian Schenker. © 1977 and 1997 Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft Stuttgart. Used by permission. With certain letters in modern form by COGwriter as html would not display minimized certain characters properly)

Here is a somewhat literal translation of it:

2 the earth hath existed waste and void, and darkness [is] on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God fluttering on the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2, Young’s Literal Translation)

Here is a more understandable translation of it:

2 But the earth became waste and void, and with darkness on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God moved upon on the face of the waters (Genesis 1:2, clarified literal translation)

Before going further, notice something else:

18 For thus says the Lord,
Who created the heavens,
Who is God,
Who formed the earth and made it,
Who has established it,
Who did not create it in vain,
Who formed it to be inhabited:
“I am the Lord, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:18)

Notice that the earth was NOT created in vain. The word translated as ‘vain’ above is the same Hebrew word (tohu) translated as ‘without form’ in Genesis 1:2 (tohu). Obviously, then, according to the Bible, something happened between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. It should be noted that this is NOT a gap between day 1 and day 2 as some anti-gap people have written, as day 1 began with Genesis 1:3.

“Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) and Isaiah 45:18 is clearly in support of the gap-theory position that there must have been a second creation. So is, Psalm 104:30.

It should be pointed out that in the Hebrew of the Masoretic Old Testament text, there a pause/gap symbol between the first and second verses of Genesis.

Furthermore, in the Masoretic text in which Jewish scholars tried to incorporate enough “indicators” to guide the reader … is one small mark which is technically known as Rebhia which is classified as a “disjunctive accent” intended to notify the reader that he should pause before proceeding to the next verse. Such a mark appears at the end of Genesis 1:1. This mark has been noticed by several scholars including Luther. It is one indication among others, that the waw (וּ‬) which introduces verse 2 should be rendered “but” rather than “and,” a disjunctive rather than a conjunctive. (Custance AC. Without Form and Void. 1970, pp. 18-19)

This shows a gap, not a conjunctive connection, between verses one and two, therefore verse one is NOT an explanation of verse two.

So we see that, anciently, there is an actual gap symbol between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis. And that instead of Genesis 1:2 beginning with “And” like the KJV and Douay Rheims have, it should begin with “But.”

Now, one anti-Gap article asks, “WHY CAN’T WE JUST BELIEVE THE BIBLE?” It then refers to the biblical gap view as an “imagined theory” and claimed it was based on non-biblical evidence (Closing the Gap. co-written by Brian and Kenneth Hoeck for Truth On The Web Ministries. http://www.truthontheweb.org/gapclose.htm accessed 07/23/18), yet it failed to mention that there is an actual pause/gap in the Masoretic text of scripture.

And a correct translation of the Bible makes the point more apparent.

Let’s now see two translations of something else in the Bible:

28 And God blessed them; and God said unto them: ‘Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.’ (Genesis 1:28, Jewish Publication Society Tanakh 1917)

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:28, KJV)

The Original Douay OT (1610) also teaches to “replenish the earth, and subdue it” (though the version I checked uses old English spelling, like “fubdew it”).

To replenish (Strong’s word 4390, transliterated from Hebrew into uwmil°uw) means to “restore (a stock or supply of something) to the former level or condition.” There would be no reason to “replenish” if there had not been a previous time when the Earth existed.

Furthermore, consider that this was the same command (with the same Strong’s word 4390, transliterated from Hebrew into uwmil°uw) God gave Noah after the Great Flood:

1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. (Genesis 9:1, Jewish Publication Society Tanakh 1917)

1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. (Genesis 9:1, KJV)

Adam was told to replenish as Noah had.

There was a major time ‘gap’ between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2, and Jesus existed prior to all of that.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Gap Theory? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Were the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here are links to two sermons: Gap Theory: Doctrine or Modern Heresy? and Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! Would you like Christian answers to give atheists? This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution. Two animated videos of related interest are also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator? and A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?
Does it Make Physical Sense to believe in God? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Is There Another View of Evolution? and another titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.

Did Angels Marry Human Women? Many insist this is so and also that this mating caused giants to be born. Did this come from the ‘Book of Enoch’? What does Genesis 6:4 really mean? A related video is also available: Did Angels Marry Women and Produce Giants?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
Questions and Answers from Genesis Many wonder about certain early events that this article discusses.
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, Mystery of Race, and The Mystery of YOU.