Australian Wrong: Old Worldwide Church of God Was Not a Doomsday Cult


A reader forwarded me an article that included the following:

WHEN Benjamin Grant Mitchell decided to write a novel based on his life, he had plenty of material to work with. The former Neighbours actor, singer-songwriter and new father was born into an American doomsday cult. To top it off, his father was one of the ministers. Mitchell, who now lives in Warrandyte, started penning his story three years ago and next week will unveil the debut novel, The Last Great Day, at the Melbourne Writers Festival.

The 42-year-old, who played Neighbours character Cameron Hudson in the 1990s, spent his early childhood moving around Australia, then settled at the Worldwide Church of God headquarters in Los Angeles.

There are a lot of misunderstandings about the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG).

But it was not a “doomsday cult.”

Those of us who were part of the old WCG and in the current Living Church of God (LCG) are not like the Jim Jones’ followers–we do not plan on drinking poisoned flavor-aid to end our lives.  Although some are expected to die in persecutions, LCG church members mainly hope to live until the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom, and hope to proclaim the truths of the Bible to the world as a witness until the end (Matthew 24:14).

Regarding what we call The Last Great Day, the old WCG taught (and the LCG still teaches) that it pictures a time where God will offer salvation to all that never really had an opportunity for it (it is one of the biblical Holy Days that we in LCG observe–see also The Feast of Tabernacles and the Last Great Day).  That is GOOD NEWS.  Notice what the New Testament and the Old Testament plainly teach:

6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. (Luke 3:6)

10 And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:10)

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  (John 7:37-38)

As far as preaching prophecies in the Bible that show that the Anglo-descended nations will be chastised if they do not repent, yes the old WCG and current LCG taught that (see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel and Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves?).  But urging repentance is not a sign of being a doomsday cult.  It is a sign of trying to follow what Jesus said to do.  Notice, the following, that Jesus taught:

3 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.  4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?  5 I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.  (Luke 13:3-5)

And if Jesus did not want the prophetic warnings to be taught, would He have taught the following?

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)

Remember, between 1/4-1/3 of the Bible is prophetic.  It is included in the ALL THINGS that Jesus wanted taught.

Sadly, many simply do not understand the message that He came to bring.

People should read and study the Bible.  Promoting misunderstandings about the Church of God is not good.

Some biblically-referenced articles of possibly related interest may include:

The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This is a booklet written by Douglas Winnail that answers if the Bible is just a collection of myths and legends or the inspired word of God.
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
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 History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer.
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?
What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments? This article quotes what Jesus actually said about them (His words are in red).
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? True religion should be based upon the true gospel.
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Will God call everyone? Will everyone have an opportunity for salvation? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account?
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
Are You Saved? Do You Love Jesus? What is a True Christian? What is the Gospel? Evangelist Richard Ames answers those important questions.

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