Sardis...Thou Livest, and Art Dead
The early Catholic bishops had actually nurtured the construct of a "primitive church." Later, when small groups of heretics wanted to challenge papal authority they would claim a link to the "primitive church." But such claims had no real substance to them. They were just claims.
When someone actually believes that a construct or metaphor is real, the person is practicing something known as reification. Let me give an example.
For many years, scientists could not understand certain physical properties of light. So, they devised a construct called the "ether." No one had ever seen the ether. But, the security blanket of knowing that the mysterious behavior of light could be assigned to its existence, helped scientists believe that the physics developed by Isaac Newton was applicable to all material things. Since light did not operate in Newtonian fashion, the invisible ether must have been the culprit causing its misbehavior. It wasn't until the turn of this century that a brilliant young scientist working in a patent office published five papers that changed the world dramatically. Albert Einstein's theory of relativity proved that there is simply no such thing as ether. It had never existed. Rather, the limitations of Newtonian physics required further analysis.
Like the invisible ether, the concept of the "primitive church" had only existed in the imaginations of men.
I have shown that the establishing of a lineage from the "primitive church" is a very old tactic. Both Catholic and Protestant groups have tried to invent or define their own versions of it. Their reasoning was that if they could reveal the "primitive church" observing their own doctrines, they could then create a link to that church. That would make them the only true church. Through the ages it has been perceived by a few that this unprovable concept could not really be a proper one at all.
It only took a few centuries of organized Christianity, dominated by a corrupt papacy and church government enforced by the Inquisition, to prove that "apostolic succession" was a complete fable. Thus, if there was no one true visible organized church, then there had to be another understanding to replace the old construct. This was redefined in the concept of an invisible church.
Many of the early Catholic reformers were not interested in the idea of creating an organized system of their own. They wanted to protest the idea of the "one true church" being an organized system under the control of corruptible men, one that had grown into a tyranny which could put to death its opponents.
What the theologians of the Worldwide Church of God would call the beginnings of the "Sardis Era" of God's true church was, in actual fact, the beginnings of Protestant reform in England.
In Part 8 of Ronald Kelly's 12-part series on the "History of The Church of God" (August 1991 Plain Truth), he drew his readers' attention to the man who was the alleged author of this "era", John Wycliff. Now it is a fact that Wycliff did not observe the Saturday Sabbath, and this did not even escape the attention of Kelly.
Wycliff was devoted to the Ten Commandments, but interpreted the Sabbath laws as applying to Sunday. (Kelly, 18)
Wycliff became an important link, though, to this concept of church lineage because his followers were called the Lollards, of whom Kelly wrote:
During the early part of these dynamic centuries a group of people associated with Wycliff, and called Lollards provided an interesting transition from the Waldensian period. (20)
This transition that Wycliff and the Lollards provided was the logical link that brings the alleged one true church to England. This was important. If one was to trace a "lineage", one must find a pathway through history. In this case, the pathway led from Jerusalem and ended up in Pasadena, California. The Lollards in England only served as a stepping stone between the fourteenth century Waldensians of Europe and a seventeenth century group of Sabbatarians in England who moved to America. Inconsistencies were overlooked by the Worldwide Church of God and similarities were pointed out.
What made the Lollards the true Church? They were anti-Catholic! They had no other similarities to the Worldwide Church of God.
Kelly neglected to point out that, just as the Waldensians believed, Wycliff and the Lollards believed that Christian ministers could not claim tithe money.
Priests and bishops, he maintained, should be honoured because of their character and should set an example to their flocks. Clergy who tried to enforce the collection of tithes by that very fact were revealed as unworthy of their office (Latourette, 664)
Was Wycliffe an apostle? No. Had he, in any way, stumbled upon the undying remnant of God's true church?
Wycliffe argued that the true Church is made up only of those elected by God and is invisible, and that since it is God's choice which determines membership, no visible church or its officers can control entrance or can exclude from membership. Nor can Pope or bishop know who are true members. To his mind, salvation does not depend upon a connexian [sic] with the visible Church or upon the mediation of the priesthood, but solely upon election by God. (p. 664)
Earlier we had seen how Herbert Armstrong felt that salvation could not have been achieved outside of the Worldwide Church of God. He felt that this would amount to an abortion from the womb of the Mother Church.
Wycliffe died in 1384. He had stirred up the Catholic community in England so much that his remains were exhumed 44 years after his death, by papal order, burned to ashes and thrown into a nearby stream.
Here is what the Worldbook Encyclopedia mentions about the Lollards:
Lollards were originally a religious group of the early 1300's in Holland. About 1387, the term began to be used as a name for the followers of the English religious reformer John Wycliffe. The Lollards preached obedience to God, reliance on the Bible as a guide to Christian living, and simplicity of worship. They rejected the riches of Mass, most sacraments, and papal supremacy. They denied that an organized church was necessary for salvation. Most Lollards were poor priests or members of the laity. They wore long russet gowns, carried staffs, and lived on what they could beg. Henry IV, who became king in 1399, persecuted the Lollards because their views disagreed with religious law. By 1420, their movement had been practically stamped out.
The Lollards had little permanent effect on religious life in England, but they had great influence in Bohemia. There, John Hus was burned at the stake in 1415 for preaching Wycliffe's doctrines. One hundred years later, Martin Luther embraced some of Hus's ideas. In this way, the Lollards helped to pave the way for the Protestant Reformation (Maehl, 381-383).
Interestingly, it is through these early Catholic reformers that the Worldwide Church of God has founded its lineage theory and not in the Judaizers who have also existed through the centuries.
As Kelly concluded Part 9 of his series, he actually drew attention to the existence of a group of medieval Sabbath-keeping Christians in Russia called Subbotniki. They actually had nothing to do with the story--they were neither linked to the Lollards nor the Waldensians. It is unclear why he tried to make a connection with the Worldwide Church of God and the Subbotniki in Russia. Maybe as a diversion to make it within the realm of possibility that, scattered like freckles upon the earth, both anti-Catholicism and Judaizing have always coexisted with Catholicism. And possibly in their collective form they comprised the true church.
The Russian Sabbath-keepers really only served to divert the readers' attention until Kelly could produce his first authentic group of Christian Sabbatarians in seventeenth century England. Their appearance occurred centuries after the time of the Lollards, which again seems to defy the concept that the gates of hell had never prevailed against the one true church. It was with this closing paragraph in Kelly's Part 9 of the Plain Truth that he introduced these Sabbatarians.
That brings to a fitting close another chapter in the history of the New Testament Church. Next chapter, we'll pick up the Sabbatarians in England and see how they came to the New World colony of Rhode Island more than a hundred years before the American Revolution.
On page 23, of Hoeh's 1959 history he attempted his explanation of this Sabbath-keeping church.
It was not until about 1650 that there were again enough Sabbath keepers to establish local congregations. They often called themselves the Church of God, but the world termed them "Sabbatarians" and Sabbatarian Baptists.
From England the true Church of God spread to America. In 1664, Stephen Mumford, sent to Newport, Rhode Island, raised up a small church mainly from Baptist converts. One by one new churches were established through continued help of the churches in England.
But as always happens, after several generations the children take truth for granted and never really surrender their wills and lives to God. In less than one hundred and fifty years, the English churches almost disappeared, having cut themselves off from God by turning from His truth, and by adopting the name "Seventh-day Baptists."
In America the number of churches gradually increased as the gospel was spread from state to state. But so nearly dead were these congregations that in 1802 many began to ORGANIZE THEMSELVES together into a General Conference instead of submitting to the government of God for the carrying out of the gospel. At this serious juncture most of the local churches joined themselves together to form the Seventh-day Baptist General Conference and thereby ceased to be the true Church of God.
Hoeh's interpretation of history had often called attention to the specific statement that God's church had to bear the official name "Church of God". Without that title, it could not be authentic.
According to Hoeh, the first third of the "Sardis era" began with Walter Lollard moving to England. The second third was when the Sabbath came to America with Stephen Mumford. We were told that he was sent to Newport, Rhode Island. We were not told who sent him there. Could it have been the "apostle in the Church of God" in England? Did Herman Hoeh or Ronald Kelly know who sent Mumford to America? It should be obvious that those who actually have read and accepted such teachings have not been sensitive to the Worldwide Church of God's aptitude for creating historical and factual gaps.
The name of Mumford's church was very carefully implied to be the "Church of God". We were told that the name was later abandoned and that this caused God to abandon the church. Why God operated this way is a mystery. Is the name of the church a test in itself? Is the very name of the church a key to salvation? Is God searching the earth as one might peruse through a phone directory and, upon discovering the proper name, capable of establishing contact?
The Seventh Day Baptists' are headquartered in Janesville, Wisconsin, where they have a historical library housing over 3,000 books. They also possess the original documents quoted by Ronald Kelly in his 1990-91 version of the "History of The Church of God" in the Plain Truth and Good News magazines. They have the original diaries and records of the Newport, Rhode Island church. They also know the name of Stephen Mumford's church.
I wrote to the library in December of 1991. To be absolutely fair, I kept my request simple. I did not want to reveal that I had any knowledge of the Worldwide Church of God. Here is the entire body of my letter to them.
I am presently doing an extensive research on the history of the Sabbatarians from the time of the Apostles to the present day. A thorough understanding of the history of the Seventh Day Baptists seems to be very pivotal. If you can be of assistance as a source of study I would be most grateful.
I have come into some curious claims by some religious groups that you may be aware of. I would like to know what your views are in this matter. One claim is that somehow there is this continuous lineage of Sabbatarians in history. From the early church and Apostles to the Waldensians to the Puritans to the Seventh Day Baptists to the Seventh Day Adventists and so on. Another claim is to that of a name being consistently used by all of these groups through history. That name being The Church of God.
The conclusion drawn by the adherents to these claims is that they continue the commission and commands given to the church by Jesus Christ in the New Testament making them the only non-apostate churches and granting them historical authenticity.
From your historical documents, how much of this can you confirm or deny? Is there anything that I am not understanding about your history? And is there any literature that you can refer to me for a complete and accurate understanding?
I received the following response from Dr. Donald Sanford:
I was much interested in your letter of December 28 concerning the history of the Seventh Day Baptists, particularly as it relates to the Waldenses and etc. I assume that you have read some of the recent historical sketches of the Worldwide Church of God as published in the Plain Truth magazines of the past year. The enclosed article which I wrote for the December issue of the Sabbath Recorder, our own periodical may answer some of your questions.
As I stated there, we make no claim to any direct relationship with the various sects of the Middle Ages which may or may not have observed the seventh-day Sabbath. The evidence is very sketchy at best and documentation is questionable. Furthermore, it has no bearing upon our holding of the seventh-day Sabbath. We base our belief on the Scriptures rather than on any apostolic or historic succession. And as for the reference to the Puritans, this is a fictitious supposition put forth by A. N. Dugger and C. O. Dodd in their 1936 book, A History of the True Church, Traced from 33 A. D. to Date. In order to keep an unbroken succession, which they feel is essential to their belief, they had to appropriate Seventh Day Baptist history, since we were the only Christian church which observed the Sabbath during the critical years of the English Reformation.
It is true that some of our records did use the term "church of God" in its generic form, but they capitalized the word church to make it conform to their name. A more common designation in the early years was "The church of Christ keeping the commandments of God.." This use was to clearly identify us as Christian rather than Jewish.
In a subsequent chapter I will discuss A. N. Dugger and C. O. Dodd. They are important to the story of the Worldwide Church of God claim of being the one true church.
As Dr. Sanford had mentioned, he had just written an article in response to Part 9 of Ronald Kelly's story of the lineage of the Church of God. Here are some interesting excerpts from that article entitled "Research reveals plain truth" in the December 1991 Sabbath Recorder:
During the mid-17th century, the Bible became available to the common people. Those who were known as Separatists, separated from the Church of England, giving birth to such nonconformist movements as that of the Congregationalists and the Baptists...
One of the first Baptists to write in support of the seventh day Sabbath was James Ockford, whose book was condemned by Parliament. He was followed by others such as William Saller and Dr. Peter Chamberlen, men associated with the Mill Yard Church which still exists as a Seventh Day Baptist church in London...
James Ockford, Francis Bampfield, and John James are all mentioned in Part 9 of the series in Plain Truth (September 1991), but no mention is made of their Seventh Day Baptist connection, leading people to assume from the heading that they were members of the Church of God.
Part 10 continues the history under the title, "The Sabbath Comes to New England." The authors credit Stephen Mumford with bringing the Sabbath to Rhode Island. They write of the separation of the Sabbathkeepers from the First Baptist Church of Newport in 1671.
Although the source of most of their material is taken from the Seventh Day Baptist Memorial, published in 1852-54, they avoid identifying that church as the first Seventh Day Baptist church in America.
Many of the existing records of that Newport Church are in the possession of the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society, with the last book beginning with the words: " A continuation of the Records of the Seventh Day Baptist Church of Newport, R. I.
Under a section headed, "The Name of the Church," the authors correctly recognize the Hopkinton congregation (the First Hopkinton Seventh Day Baptist Church in Ashaway, R.I.) as an outgrowth of the Newport Church, but refer to it as the "Church of God," based on a couple of passages which use the term "church of God" in a generic sense...
The final quotes in that article from the November/December 1991 Plain Truth were taken from a more recent book, A Free People in Search of a Free Land, written in 1976 by the author of this review, and published by the SDB Historical Society. Yet no identification is made of its Seventh Day Baptist author or origin...
THE SEVENTH-DAY BAPTIST STORY
I soon learned from Dr. Sanford that Worldwide Church of God researchers had to appropriate Seventh Day Baptist documents to fill in the gaps of the true church theory. But, in doing so, they felt that they had to edit out most references to the title "Seventh-Day Baptist" and replace them with the titles "Sabbatarian" or "Church of God".
After my own personal discoveries, (some are yet to be shown), I composed a letter to Ronald Kelly at Ambassador College and encouraged Dr. Sanford, in a phone conversation, to do the same. He chuckled, "They never respond to our letters." He was right. My letter also went unanswered. Had I discovered the Achilles heel of the organization? Had they deliberately fabricated their history? Was the Worldwide Church of God a fraud?
Later Dr. Sanford informed me that the Bible Sabbath Association of Fairview, Oklahoma was going to reprint his article, in their Sentinel magazine. Out of respect for the truth, they said that they would also ask for a rebuttal from The Worldwide Church of God.
Who else would have given the rebuttal but Herman L. Hoeh. I managed to get a copy of this article. Here was Hoeh's rebuttal:
Your cover letter and article by Don A. Sanford point up that certain editorial inaccuracies in the early history of Sabbatarians (in the U.S.) appeared in Part 11 of the series on the history of God's church in The Plain Truth. In particular, please thank Don Sanford for addressing them in The Sabbath Recorder.
As you know, God's people were commonly referred to as Sabbatarians in the 17th and 18th centuries and that is how we identified them-rather than by the now common denominational term Seventh Day Baptist. We did identify these first Sabbatarians in America as having reluctantly severed connection from the parent church, the First Baptist Church of Newport. As author Don A. Sanford says of the literature of God's people, the church of God was used as a generic term, not a denominational term. We used it thus throughout our series, and do not dispute the use of other terms in the Sabbatarian churches, for the New Testament does the same.
The introductory paragraphs of Part 11, page 18, column 1 of the series in The Plain Truth mentioning Samuel Hubbard and Tacy Hubbard are properly corrected by Don A. Sanford. The errors arose from misreading of the text and will be correct in any future reference to the Newport church.
The quotation in reference to the 18th century Sabbatarian church in Pennsylvania was wrongly attributed to Clarke's History, p. 1208, due to a deletion in copy fitting. The quotations should have been attributed to Seventh Day Baptists in Europe and America, volume 2, page 1208.
We happily thank Don Sanford for drawing readers' attention to these particular oversights in Part 11 of our series.
Please refer back to Hoeh's statements earlier and notice that we have yet another inconsistency in Herman Hoeh's story. And in case you did not notice it, Hoeh did not address himself to the main issue: Namely, why did the Worldwide Church of God remove the title "Seventh Day Baptist" from historical texts and replace it with the title "Church of God"? (He also failed to address these corrections to the readership of the Plain Truth.)
Was the Worldwide Church of God using the term church of God generically? Hoeh wrote to the Sentinel that it was always meant to be used in that way. Members of the Worldwide Church of God would have known that this was never the position of the Worldwide Church of God. I need only to quote what Herman Hoeh wrote in 1959 to give an example of the Church's long-held published stance:
THE TRUE NAME
The Bible gives the true name of the Church in twelve different places. Twelve, remember, is God's complete number...Thus when speaking of the entire Church, including all its individual members on earth the name is The CHURCH OF GOD. (p. 27, The True History of The True Church)
Concerning the church in Newport, Rhode Island, as well as the early history of the Seventh Day Baptist Church, the Seventh-Day Baptists say this:
Restoring the Scriptures to the Church
The Protestant Reformation, of which Luther was a part, was the attempt to reform the Catholic Church of those practices which had little or no foundation in the Bible. The reformers believed that the Christian Church had taken wrong turns and neglected the truths set forth in the Bible. Seventh Day Baptists for nearly 350 years have been among those who believed that baptism upon profession of faith, the priesthood of all believers, and the seventh day Sabbath were truths which much of the Christian Church had neglected. On this they have taken their stand because their conscience has been "taken captive by God's word." (Conscience Taken Captive, A Short History of Seventh Day Baptists, Donald Sanford, p.1)
Baptists trace their beginnings to John Smyth and Thomas Helwys. In 1609 John Smyth wrote that infants ought not be baptized for two scriptural reasons: first, there was no example in the New Testament that any babies were baptized by either Jesus or the disciples; and secondly, Christ had commanded that the disciples were to teach and then baptize. Thomas Helwys, founder of the first Baptist Church in England in 1611, accepted Smyth's ideas and expanded them to include the command of Jesus to witness to the faith.
The Baptists in seventeenth century England were dependent upon the reformers of the previous century for preparing the soil in which further reform could take place. But Baptists rejected identification with any groups such as the Anabaptists with whom they shared many beliefs. In separating from the Church of England and its reliance upon tradition and authoritarian rule, Baptists claimed their basis for belief on the unfettered interpretation of the Bible, independent of "apostolic succession." Similarly Seventh Day Baptists do not attempt to trace an unbroken succession of Sabbath observance back to the New Testament Church. The Scriptures are sufficient reason for its practice.(pp. 2, 3)
Seventh Day Baptists in America trace their origins to three centers in colonies where freedom of religion was encouraged: Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The churches at Newport, the Philadelphia area and Piscataway each have independent roots and were formed under different circumstances, but all three beginnings resulted from the study of Scriptures.
Rhode Island 1671
The first Seventh Day Baptist Church in America was organized in December 1671 from members of a Baptist Church who had come to the conviction of the Sabbath of the Bible. Stephen and Anne Mumford were Sabbathkeeping members of the Tewksbury Baptist Church in England when they migrated to America in 1664 during a period of dissenter persecution. About the same time, according to Samuel Hubbard's journal, his wife, Tacy, "took up keeping the Lord's holy 7th day Sabbath the 10 day March 1665." Within a year her husband, their three daughters and a son-in-law followed. By the end of the decade there were nine people within the congregation who had embraced the Sabbath along with others who had moved to the western part of the colony.
For several years the Sabbathkeepers remained as active members of the First Baptist Church in Newport, but in 1669 two couples rejected the Sabbath and spoke against it. The others found it difficult to take communion with those who had once known the truth and then entered into apostasy. Correspondence with English Seventh Day Baptists urged caution and "love to all saints holding up general communion with them lest it be those you have the particular offense against." Finally, in 1671 when the pastor preached that the teaching of the Sabbath was causing people to leave Christ and go to Moses, the split occurred. Five members, Samuel and Tacy Hubbard with their daughter, Rachel Langworthy, William Hiscox and Roger Baster withdrew. With Stephen and Anne Mumford they covenanted together to form the first Seventh Day Baptist church in America. Within 20 years about 76 names were added to the covenant relationship which spread out to places such as Westerly, Rhode Island, and New London, Connecticut. The membership included American Indians as well as English colonists. ( pp. 8-10)
In brief, Stephen Mumford was not a member of a Church of God but rather was a minister of the Seventh Day Baptist Church. The Hubbard's were members of the first Seventh Day Baptist Church of America. The Newport church kept a roster or diary in which it calls itself the Seventh Day Baptist Church. The historical library in Janesville, Wisconsin has the church roster which I'm sure Dr. Sanford holds dear, since his ancestors are Samuel and Tacy Hubbard!
Research By Others
I was not alone in my discoveries concerning the Worldwide Church of God's falsified link to the Seventh Day Baptist church of Newport, Rhode Island. As early as 1968, William T. Voyce of Des Moines, Iowa had corresponded with both the Seventh Day Baptist Historical Society (located then in Plainfield, New Jersey) and the Worldwide Church of God editorial staff in Pasadena.
Miss Evalois St. John of the Historical Society provided several photocopies to Voyce of original church documents dating back to the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries proving that A. N. Dugger (and later Herbert Armstrong) had counterfeited and altered the reading of their original documents. Miss St. John informed Mr. Voyce in her June 1968 letter to him:
A great disservice was done to both Seventh Day Baptists and Seventh Day Adventists by an Elder A. N. Dugger who now resides in Jerusalem. As you must know he was formerly a member of the denomination known as The Church of God (Adventist), with headquarters in Stanberry, Mo. In fact the U. S. Census of Religious Bodies 1926 carries the history/doctrine of this order which a footnote states was revised and approved by Elder A. N. Dugger, of the Church of God Publishing House. In 1934 (or 1933) Mr. Dugger separated from this group - Church of God (Adventist) - and established a new order - The Church of God (Seventh Day) - with headquarters at Salem W. Va. In the U.S. Census of Religious Bodies of 1936, one finds a history of this new order prepared - as the government states by Mr. Dugger. For the history of this group he deliberately "lifted" the history of the Seventh Day Baptists, added some Seventh Day Adventist history, and called it the History of the Church of God (Seventh Day). Because this pamphlet is put out by the U.S. Government - through its census Bureau - researchers and students of Church history have accepted his facts as true. One finds more of this "lifted" history in the book History of the True Church by A.N. Dugger and C.O. Dodd, published in 1936....
Mr. Voyce researched every document that Dugger (and later the Worldwide Church of God) used for sources to produce a history of their true church and found them, in every case, in error and deliberately misquoted.
In 1985 Mr. Voyce wrote to the Worldwide Church of God to point out errors in their publication "The Church They Couldn't Destroy."
I have just finished reading the reprint article "The Church They Couldn't Destroy," and am dismayed to find that you are still promulgating the long discredited Dugger-Dodd thesis of 1936, that the Seventh Day Baptists and Seventh-day Adventists are off-shoots of the "Church of God." The book in which this thesis first appeared, A History of the True Church, has been rightly characterized by C. F. Randolph as having been written "by ignorant hands, unskilled in historical research and interpretation" (The Sabbath Recorder, Vol. 133, No. 26, p. 447). This assessment is justified not only by the large number of misspellings, etc., in the book, but also by the fact that its central premise is false: the denomination which came to be known in history as the Church of God (Seventh Day) is not the oldest Sabbath-keeping church at all, but rather an off-shoot or outgrowth of the seventh-day adventist movement of the 19th century, having no connection whatever with the Seventh Day Baptists. This is very clearly shown by an honest examination of the pertinent historical documents; to attempt to conclude otherwise is really just a waste of time and effort....
Voyce found misquotes by the Worldwide Church of God editorial staff in both The Literature of the Sabbath Question, Robert Cox (published in 1865) on page 162 and Joseph Belcher's, The Religious Denominations of the United States (published in 1850) on pages 246 and 247. He pointed this out to them and asked for an explanation. He never received one.
There have been others who wanted to know if per chance they had read the wrong books when looking for the Church of God lineage in historical sources cited by Worldwide Church of God publications. For example, in 1991, Mr. Gene Bailey of Nicholasville, Kentucky wrote a four page letter to evangelist Ronald Kelly at Worldwide Church of God headquarters:
...I am enclosing many copies of pages so you can see where my questions come from. I have been reading your information in the Plain Truth about the "History of the Church of God." Also I have been studying the booklets "A True History of the True Church" and "The Church They Couldn't Destroy"....
...I have not been able to find any evidence that William Miller ever became a Sabbath keeper. If you have information about this, please place it here....On page 23 (Cox's Sabbath Literature, Vol. 1, p. 162. Enclosed is the page from what I think is that book, please mark on that page where that information in that paragraph is taken from what and where it is, I don't see it...Please let me know here where I can find this information. On the next page...Please explain on this page what is meant out of this paragraph...At this point please mark what state, city, where this church was located so I can do additional research on it to see if it also was involved in the Millerite movement and if it was a Sunday or Sabbath keeping church...please review and elaborate here...please at this place explain...at this place, let me know where I can locate this information...I haven't found any information that the name "Church of God" was given to any church which you mentioned coming before the Worldwide Church of God, The Church of God (Seventh Day), and the Seventh Day Baptists from about 1673-1875....should one then say the above churches from 1673 to 1875 were counterfeit and could not have been part of the Church of God at anytime? Also, can anything that is counterfeit ever become the real true thing?...
Mr. Bailey informed me over the phone in 1993 that he had still not received a response from the Worldwide Church of God or Ron Kelly to his 1991 letter.
And so ends our investigation into what Worldwide Church of God authors have entitled the "True History of the one true church of God" from the New Testament to the 19th century. Up to this point it has been more or less pulled out of thin air, falsified and fabricated--frustrating those who have tried to verify their sources.
In the next chapter I will review what we have learned about Christianity through the eyes of historians like Herman Hoeh and Ronald Kelly.
Go to the "Painful Truth" page.