December 16, 2016 Brethren Letter
It is my understanding that there are over 500 corporate Churches of God in existence today. Most of them have formed since the death of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong in 1986.
Many of these groups openly reject Mr. Armstrong’s office as an apostle and role 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 particular doctrines, over here because we agree with Mr. Armstrong, but these other doctrines (and rulings), we’ll reject, because we don’t agree.” These leaders have chosen to take on a role of an apostle that does not belong to them.
There are some ministers who claim to teach EVERYTHING which Mr. Armstrong taught, while behind the scenes they subtly dismantle doctrines and teachings established by Jesus Christ. As Christ said, “You shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16).
Jude 3 shows that we are to be keeping 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 knew that Mr. Armstrong followed Christ’s lead. That is why we followed his human leadership under Christ. Mr. Armstrong realized that the Church was a “spiritual organism.” He stated it 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).
Sadly, there are many shepherds who have fed THEMSELVES with large salaries, or have taken on a form of ungodly preeminence (see III John 1:9-11). Brethren, no matter what men do, it is still our responsibility to NEVER let any man take our crown (Revelation 3:11), and to LOVE God’s TRUTH forever! (Ephesians 1:13, Ephesians 4:15, I Thessalonians 2:13, II Thessalonians 2:13, I John 3:18-19, III John 1:4).
Have a wonderful Sabbath, everyone!
Sincerely, Your Brother in Christ,