Garner Ted Armstrong auction on the Sabbath

Portrait of Garner Ted Armstrong from auction announcement site


A reader sent me a link to an auction that featured the portrait of Garner Ted Armstrong (GTA) that is shown at the beginning of this post.

Next to that portrait, that page said “click here  to view Armstrong estate items.”

The auction schedule page puts this auction on the Sabbath as follows:

Saturday, November 14th at 10 a.m.
Preview: 8 a.m. ’til Auction

Cherokee County Showbarn
611 SE Loop 456  |  Jacksonville, Texas
(Indoor Auction – Held Rain or Shine)

Garner Ted Armstrong was the first Church of God (COG) minister I ever heard.  I heard him on the radio originally about 43 years ago.   He denounced evolution and the teachings that the Greco-Romans held on the fate of babies who die.  Both of those subjects caught my attention, and eventually I became part of the old Worldwide Church of God.

Because of GTA’s personal issues, like sexual impropriety, he eventually was put out of the Worldwide Church of God in 1978 by his father, Herbert W. Armstrong.

GTA then founded the Church of God, International (CGI).  He made doctrinal changes that I did not agree with at the time, and still do not agree with.  A few examples would include failure to teach church eras, teaching against the idea of a place of safety, the acceptance of birthday celebrations, eliminating third tithe, teaching against the idea of a future Elijah to come, and teaching that jury duty and secular voting are fine.

It is my understanding that the GTA supporters felt that there were a lot of problems at WCG and that GTA was on the correct side of the argument. Those who remained faithful to WCG felt that GTA had been properly disfellowshiped for problems, including alleged sexual improprieties. Approximately 2 decades later, GTA was involved in a publicly reported sexually-related scandal, and many left CGI to found the Church of God Outreach Ministries (CGOM) (Ron Dart, a high level CGI official, also left to found the Christian Educational Ministries). There were many who felt that GTA may have been falsely accused, and they remained in CGI. However, after reviewing a variety of evidence (including possibly a videotape), CGI’s remaining leadership felt it had no choice but to disassociate itself from GTA. GTA then left and founded the Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association and the Intercontinental Church of God (ICG).

Although his father, Herbert Armstrong, did not want to consider that GTA’s CGI church had any validity, it was my view back in 1978 that CGI was seemingly Laodicean.  At present time, with the exception of the Continuing Church of God (CCOG),  I consider all the groups and independents that came out of the old Worldwide Church of God as either not part of the COG, or part of the Laodicean, Thyatira, and/or Sardis subdivisions of the COG.  That is NOT to say that there are no Philadelphians in the other COGs or that all in CCOG are Philadelphian, but that the other groups themselves are NOT Philadelphian for numerous reasons (there are articles on dozens of claimed COG groups at for those interested in specific details on individual groups and independents).

GTA, himself, remained with the Intercontinental Church of God until his death on September 15, 2003.  After GTA died, his son Mark Armstrong was put in charge of ICG, and he still runs it until this day.

FWIW, let me mention that I did see GTA in person at the opening night of the Feast of Tabernacles in Squaw Valley, California in 1977.  He was always a fairly dynamic speaker, though often light on scriptural details.

Despite his personal problems, Garner Ted Armstrong was a Sabbath keeper, and presumably most of his heirs were.  So, it is sad that one or more have to decided to attempt to auction some of his personal effects on the Sabbath.

The Sabbath is not a day to buy or sell, but is a time for rest and spiritual rejuvenation.

Although there can be travel (cf. Luke 6:1-5; Exodus 12:16) or emergency (Luke 13:15-16) or other situations (Luke 14:4-5; Exodus 12:16), generally speaking one should not buy (Nehemiah 10:31) nor sell on the Sabbath (Amos 8:5).  More on how to keep the Sabbath is covered in the sermon The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It. An article of possible interest may also be How to Observe the Sabbath.

So, no one who agrees that they should not buy personal effects on the Sabbath will be participating in the GTA auction tomorrow.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Intercontinental Church of God ICG was Garner Ted Armstrong’s last group; it is now led by Mark Armstrong.
Teachings of the Church of God, International This article focuses on where CGI differs from the old WCG.
Independent Members of the COG: Herbert W. Armstrong Comments, Plus Questions and Answers What did Herbert W. Armstrong teach about being independent of the organized Church? Should independents who claim to accept Herbert W. Armstrong’s teachings support the end time Philadelphian work?
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. There is also a YouTube video: The Seven Church Eras of Revelation. There is also a version in the Spanish language: Las Siete Iglesias de Apocalipsis 2 & 3.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety?  Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Is Second Tithe and Third Tithe Still Valid Today? Should you save and use second tithe? Some in the COGs no longer teach payment of third tithe, is this biblically correct?
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.
Should a Christian Vote? This article gives some of the Biblical rationale on this subject. Would Jesus vote for president/prime minister? Is voting in the Bible? This is a subject Christians need to understand.
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
4. The Thyatira Church Era was predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1600 A.D. The Church during the Inquisition.
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.

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