GCI: Eighteen "Truths" Restored by Herbert Armstrong


Armstrong’s “18 Truths” Kernel of Truth Armstrong’s Mistake
1) The government of God. When Christ comes, He will restore God’s government to the whole earth. So you can be sure the one to come in the spirit and power of Elijah would restore God’s government in his church. When Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong came among the Oregon Conference era of the Church of God (Seventh Day), the church had the right name, the law, the Sabbath and the tithing system. But they also had a government of men, with a biannual conference, voting just like they do in the world. Wherever Christ is, the kingdom is present. Jesus taught that John the Baptist fulfilled Malachi’s prophecy (Matthew 11:14; 17:12). Herbert Armstrong identified himself as the fulfillment of Malachi’s prophecy.Congregationalism is a legitimate form of church government.
2) The Gospel of the kingdom of God has been restored after 1,900 years. The Church of God (Seventh Day) did not have a clear understanding of the gospel – they emphasized what they called a “third angel’s message.” The church should preach the gospel of the kingdom of God. Herbert Armstrong believed the kingdom of God to be only in the future. He believed the message of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus to be a substitute, or false gospel.
3) The purpose of God, that we are to be born of God and become God. God is reproducing himself, and no other church on earth knows that or preaches it. As a counterfeit, they talk about being already born again. God calls people to be his children. There is only one God. Humans are not becoming God. “Born again” is a Bible teaching.
4) Who and what is God? God is neither one person or the Trinity. God is a family into which we may be born and also become God. God is creating a spiritual family. Testimony of Scripture is that God is one and reveals himself in three distinct personalities. As Matthew 28:19 teaches, we are baptized into the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Our heritage is not to become God, but rather, glorified children of God.
5) What is man? Do we have an immortal soul? Or are we just an animal? What happens at death? The dead are unconscious and they don’t know anything. The Church of God (Seventh Day) people understood some of what happens at death, but not fully. Man is not just an animal. Whether deceased humans are unconscious or not until Christ returns is not of primary doctrinal importance. It is a mistake to allow a secondary issue to cause division.
6) The human spirit in man. What makes the difference between a human mind and an animal brain is that there is a human spirit with a human brain. That spirit is not the conscious part of the man. Arid it needs to be united with the Spirit of God. God created humans superior to animals and salvation extends only to humanity. Scripture speaks of the soul and the body (Matthew 10:28), as well as the spirit in man.
7) The church is only the firstfruits, and not the end of God’s plan of salvation. God isn’t trying to save the whole world yet. It starts with us, and we’re being taught and trained so that we, under Christ, will be teachers and rulers when Christ comes to rule in the Millennium, when he starts to save the rest of the world. The church is composed of a harvest of the people of God. Raising premillennial dispensationalism to the level of primary doctrine causes division in the body of Christ.
8) The church is not yet the kingdom of God, but we are the embryo that will become the kingdom of God. The WCG is the one and only true church! The church is not yet all that it will be. The Bible does not call the church an embryo. The saints are already in the kingdom (Colossians 1:13). There is no one corporate organization on earth that is “the one and only true church.”
9) Only those whom God the Father calls and draws to him can be converted now. No other church knows that or believes it. Only those God chooses and calls now can come in and become part of the firstfruits. Satan has deceived the whole world, and the church is called out of that world. John 6:44: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” All Christian churches teach John 6:44. It was an error to teach that the WCG was the”one and only true church of God” and anyone outside the WCG was part of the “world” and therefore deceived.
10) The resurrection to judgment, the Great White Throne Judgment. God has a plan to save those who have not had an opportunity for salvation and who are now dead in their graves. They have not had the Holy Spirit. Their time is coming. But our time comes first, and we have to fight the devil, and they won’t. In the judgment, they’ll be found guilty and condemned to death. They’ll have their first chance to know that Christ came and paid the death penalty for them. They’ll be allowed to accept that payment, and they’ll have 100 years to prove they want to live differentlythan they did in their first life. Everyone will stand before the judgment seat of God. Several evangelicals believe that those who did not hear the gospel in this life will be confronted with it at the final judgment, and those appointed for salvation will believe and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord. Herbert Armstrong assumed such people would need another lifetime to “prove” faith by obedience. The mention of “100 years” comes from Isaiah 65:20, which Mr. Armstrong connected with Revelation 20:5, 11-12 as descriptive of a second physical life for humans who never heard the gospel in their first life. There is no proof that these verses should be connected.
11) The Millennium. The kingdom of God will rule nations on earth, and Christ and the saints will rule and bring prosperity to the entire earth. The Church of God (Seventh Day) understood the time duration, but, because they did not adequately grasp the full meaning of the gospel of the kingdom of God, they knew little in the 1930s of what the Millennium would be like. Revelation 20 speaks of a 1,000-year reign of the saints with Jesus. By equating the millennial reign of the saints with the kingdom of God, Herbert Armstrong’s gospel became a message focusing only on the future. Neither Jesus nor the apostles preached a “millennial gospel.”
12) The Holy Spirit coming into us only begets us. It opens our minds so we can understand the coded book, the Bible. Eye has not seen nor ear heard the things God has in store for us, described briefly in the Bible. God does reveal them to his church by his Spirit that resides in us. Without that Spirit, we cannot understand the Bible. The Holy Spirit opens our minds so we can understand the truth of God in the Bible. This truth has been part of Christianity for centuries. It did not need to be “restored” by the “end-time Elijah.”
13) We are only begotten now, not born again. We are heirs, not yet inheritors. The Holy Spirit begets us as children of God, but we are not yet born. The Holy Spirit begets us as children of God and Christians are to grow. Christians will be glorified and made immortal at the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:52-54; 1 John 3:2). Herbert Armstrong misunderstood the English translation as well as the Greek original. The Bible describes Christians as children of God, already born again (1 Peter 1:3, 23; James 1:18).
14) The identity of modern Israel. What are America’s roots, our national identity? We are Manasseh, one of the lost 10 tribes of Israel. Numerous other groups have some knowledge of this truth, but no major denomination does. The Church of God (Seventh Day) officially rejected this truth. America owes its blessings to God. There is no proof in either the Bible or history that Americans are descendants of the northern 10 tribes of Israel. The New Testament witness is that all 12 tribes of Israel were represented in Judea and usually referred to collectively as “Jews” (Matthew 10:6; Acts 4:10; 5:21; 13:24; 26:7).
15) Prophecy can be understood only if you know that we are Israelites, and what prophecies apply to us and which do not. Many prophecies applied to the people of Israel. Anglo-Israelism leads to misunderstanding the Bible.
16) The annual festivals, the feast days. What other church knows about them or keeps them? Where did you hear it from? God revealed it to Mr. Armstrong. The old covenant festivals served as shadows of Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:16-17). The annual festivals were commanded for ancient Israel. God did not command anyone else to keep them, either before or after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 8:13).
17) The authority of the sacred calendar, preserved by the Jews. Before Mr. Armstrong revealed this to the Church of God (Seventh Day), they were confused as to when the year should begin. The Jews calculate the Jewish calendar and the dates of the annual Jewish festivals. The Jewish calendar has no authority over Christians because the old covenant is obsolete (Hebrews 8:13).
18) Second and third tithe. What other church knows these points? The second tithe is for God’s feast days. Other churches do not keep these feasts, so they have no reason to have second tithe. Third tithe is for the needy, primarily within God’s church. The New Testament teaches sacrificial generosity (Luke 12:33-34; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 12; 1 Corinthians 9:3-15). Tithing is an appropriate form of worship, devotion and stewardship. Commands for the second and third tithe are found only in Deuteronomy. They were part of a covenant now declared obsolete (Hebrews 8:13).

Author: Joseph Tkach

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