August 23, 2019 Brethren Letter
I understand there are over 500 corporate Churches of God in existence today. Most of the COG groups have formed since the death of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong in 1986.
Many (if not most), of these groups openly reject Mr. Armstrong’s office as an apostle and the role he had as a TYPE of “Elijah” (Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:11). Other groups take the “smorgasbord” approach to established doctrines. Their thinking is, “We’ll choose these doctrines because we agree, but others we’ll reject because we don’t agree.” These leaders have taken on a role that does not belong to them.
Certain men will claim to teach EVERYTHING that Mr. Armstrong taught, while behind the scenes, they subtly dismantle the doctrines and teachings taught, as established by Jesus Christ. Leaders often like to remind their congregations of how many television stations they broadcast from or how many magazines they print. One leader claimed the number of websites under his control was proof that Christ was working through him. I guarantee you that God the Father and Jesus Christ are not looking for seat warmers in a corporate Church of God. As Christ said, “You shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). God expects much more.
Jude 3 shows that we are to keep our spiritual focus on the FAITH once delivered. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3).
By his fruit, we saw that Mr. Armstrong followed Christ’s lead. That is why we followed his human leadership under Christ. Mr. Armstrong fully realized that the Church was a “spiritual organism.” He wrote the following in Mystery of the Ages…
So, once again, WHAT and WHY is the CHURCH? The Church is the called out (from this world) begotten children of God. It is the Body of Christ (I Cor. 12:27; Eph. 1:23). It is the spiritual organism that shall be the “Bride of Christ” after its resurrection to immortality. Then it shall
be married to Christ! It is the spiritual TEMPLE to which Christ shall come at his second appearing (Eph. 2:21).
Today we see the condition of the Church (the “called out ones”), has been SCATTERED!
Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished” (Daniel 12:7).
Never Lose Sight of the Truth
Sadly, there are many “shepherds” who have fed THEMSELVES with large salaries, engaging in a form of preeminence (see III John 1:9-11). Even so, it is still our responsibility as individuals to NEVER let any man take our crown (Revelation 3:11). LOVE God’s TRUTH and never STOP loving it! (Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:15, I Thessalonians 2:13, II Thessalonians 2:13, I John 3:18-19, III John 1:4).
God expects much of me as an elder. I am to be a helper of your joy (II Corinthians 1:24). Two of the greatest responsibilities I have is to feed you spiritually (John 21:16-17), and to BUILD you, as FAMILY together! It’s my duty to serve as God expects me, and not fear what men might say about me!
Have a wonderful Sabbath!
Sincerely, Your Brother in Christ,