"There are those who admit that Herbert Armstrong was wrong in his teachings and there are those who don't care or cannot bring themselves to admit that he was wrong. After all, the consequence of admitting that you wasted your life following a man can be quite disconcerting!"
The following article is by Painful Truth supporter Doris....
This is something I wrote to challenge Herbert W. Armstrong's teachings. First this is to help anyone struggling to come out of the "churches of god", secondly to all Armstrong loyalists and thirdly to all atheists or nonbelievers. To the nonbelievers I did not write this to prove the Bible was correct or to coerce you into believing the Bible. I wrote it after reading Carl's letters to James here. Like I said to James once, a person doesn't have to believe in the Bible to know what Herbert W. Armstrong taught from the Bible was wrong and prove it. Anyone whether or not you believe in God or maybe you believe in God but not the Bible; you can take HWA's teachings and a Bible and prove what he taught from the Bible is simply not true and is not in the Bible. And that is my sole purpose.
When I was coming into the church I remember being told by a minister that nothing could be changed or taught unless HWA "changed it". All things had to be revealed to HWA because God was working through him. I guess through him alone came doctrine and no one else. There were many changes made in the church on and off through the years. So my first question is why would God reveal a wrong thing to HWA and then reveal to HWA what HWA was teaching was wrong? Then God revealed the correct thing to HWA and to change the incorrect doctrine to the correct doctrine (or truth) so the correct thing could be taught? Does that make sense? I had a hard time writing that to ask my question.
So to all nonbelievers I will be writing this mainly to those loyalists who believe in the Bible and that the Bible is true. But if they are going to believe that then they'd better know what the Bible actually says. And to any non believer maybe you can use this the next time a loyalist challenges you.
And to anyone in advance, unlike HWA you can actually go to the Bible and look for yourselves. You can take any verse anyway you want because you have that right. HWA said that too but did he really mean it?
I've come to realize that the only two groups who are willing to admit HWA was wrong are those who have left to find Christ or maybe some other religion or those who don't believe. The loyalists of HWA will not "admit" that HWA was a false prophet and false teacher who abused people and thought that only he understood the Bible while everyone else was too stupid to understand anything.
He also spent much of his time in his literature accusing other churches of attacking his beliefs when he in fact did that very thing to them first and spent much of his time trying to prove them false teachers with a false message about the "person" of Christ. Just go look at his literature and read how much time he spends saying other churches are false and are deliberately deceiving people. If he hadn't been so abusive I would have concluded he was sincerely trying to help people but was misguided and really didn't understand.
If a loyalist wants to challenge you or lecture you, to me this is some of the most important teachings that came to my mind. And not because I feel they were important but because I feel these are the topics that were stressed to us in the church the most. And forced on us with threats with death of eternity in the good old "Lake of Fire" if we didn't believe. So were we threatened with the "Lake of Fire" for not believing in the Bible or not believing what HWA believed the Bible said? Fair question in my opinion.
Did Herbert W. Armstrong really mean "don't believe me believe your Bible"? As much as this may anger many HWA loyal supporters my answer is" not in my opinion".
But many may argue "he always said don't believe me you Bible", except I had to believe the Bible" his way". If I couldn't prove these so called "truths" the way he believed and interpreted them could I have attended the Worldwide Church of God and the answer is" of course not!"
My opinion is HWA always wanted us to prove "him right". HWA may have said don't believe me believe your Bible but let's face it there was a "condition" and that is a person had to believe it his way.
If a person wanted to attend the Worldwide Church of God they had to be visited usually several times by a minister, showed somehow they "proved" everything that was taught by the "church" to him or herself, was in fact the "truth" and that person had to have been paying tithes to the church. Otherwise that person could not attend.
And if you "finally" did qualify then you were invited to attend wherever the secret location was. There was nothing public about it. A person was not allowed to freely attend the Worldwide Church of God. That is main reason the supposed greeters were for, they were to not allow the uninvited in.
You may say no it wasn't but I say yes it was.
But what happened if a person attended for awhile and may have actually questioned if something was actually true? What happened if they went to a minister and said "I believe the Bible actually says this which was the opposite of what HWA said and what the church taught? From what I experienced the person was usually told he or she had an "attitude problem".
Let's take Pentecost for example. Wasn't it for years taught by HWA that Pentecost was on a Monday? Well from what I understand some ministers went to him and showed it was on a Sunday. Some of these ministers were eventually kicked out of the church and labeled rebellious and wanting to follow the way of Satan false teaching etc. (So much for saying they had no ill will toward a disfellowshiped member. Wasn't true was it?)
Well eventually it was discovered that these ministers were in fact "right" and Pentecost was indeed on a Sunday. So did HWA ever apologize and say I was wrong and these men were right and try to untarnish their names and invite them back into the church. I don't think it ever happened. I think they would have still had to repent for challenging and questioning HWA and for not waiting for God to reveal it to him.
I remember once when Gerald Waterhouse visited to give one of his "lovely" long talks about the importance of staying loyal to Mr. Armstrong. Waterhouse actually brought this up and said if anyone would have observed Pentecost on Sunday prior to it being changed by Mr. Armstrong that that person would have been observing it on the "wrong" day. So much for obeying God rather than man. Acts 5:29 And so much for believing what the Bible says. Like I said a person had to believe what Mr. Armstrong said was true. We all had to wait till God revealed it to HWA.
In fact did Armstrong ever take responsibility for things going off track in church? If the church went off track it all started with "women wearing make up". I guess women wearing make somehow causes uncontrolled behavior in others.
The Great Tribulation didn't happen in 1972 and Jesus didn't come back in 1975. Did Armstrong take responsibility by maybe trying to dictate to Jesus when he should return? Well of course not According to Mr. Armstrong it probably didn't happen because the "church wasn't ready".
Even though Jesus said no one would know the day or hour and his second coming might catch some off guard, Armstrong said it didn't happen because of us. It was our fault and not him for setting dates, but our fault for not being ready.
What happened with the Church of God 7th Day was their fault not his. They were in the wrong and he was right. How many checked this out and listened to their side of the story? I also want to point out that HWA thought he should have the "right" to teach what he wanted in the Church of God 7th Day something he didn't allow in his church. Hypocrisy in my opinion.
He lost his businesses because of the crashing stock markets. It is true the economic crashes happened but I often wonder now is that the "only" reasons his businesses failed. Could some of it been his fault maybe? I mean how do we really know?
Let's take a look at the healing doctrine. Many people suffered because of it, some lost loved ones because of it and others themselves died. But if anyone did go to a doctor or took their children or some loved one to a doctor, that person was judged as not having faith to be healed.
But what does the Bible say? The Bible in 1 Cor. 12:9 calls healing a "gift". In Acts 3:1-5 the Apostles were able to heal a man who didn't even ask to be healed or didn't know what they were going to do. They told him to rise and walk. Was Armstrong ever able to tell anyone "rise and walk" and it happened? Not that I'm aware of.
A woman was condemned for having pain medicine while she was in labor (something I don't think would have been a rule if men had to have babies) or people were condemned for having a pain killer if they were dying of a painful disease which Mr. Armstrong, evangelist or minster in the church had the no power to heal.
I'd also like to point out that Mr. Armstrong traveled around with his own doctor and nurse. Excuse me people "where was his faith"? Also from what I have heard from others he took pain medicine as well as other types of prescribed drugs.
In the booklet "Which Day is Christian Sabbath" HWA states that there are Christians who say that the Seventh Day Sabbath is still binding and failure to keep it is punishment for all eternity. (page 1) You want to know something HWA used no Bible scripture to back that up. We all know HWA loved to use scripture to back up his teachings. But I want to point out that if that was true, wouldn't Sabbath breakers be cast into the Lake of Fire? Go to Rev. 21:8 and see if those who don't keep the Sabbath are cast into the Lake of Fire. Because if they were going to be punished for all eternity I think that is where they would be thrown.
When the Apostle Paul went into the synagogue it was to "prove" Jesus was the promised Messiah. It had nothing to do with keeping the Sabbath. I imagine he went there because he knew several Jews and converted Gentiles to Judaism would be there because they gathered on the Sabbath.
In Acts 17: 2-3 Is says 2 And as his custom Paul went into the synagogue, and for three Sabbaths he reasoned with them from the scriptures explaining and proving that Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead. "This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Christ."
And if a person goes to every place in the Book of Acts where the Apostle Paul went into the synagogue that was the reason. He was also thrown out many times for preaching Jesus was the Christ.
Acts 13:14, 27, 42,44, 15:21; 16:13; 17:2; 18:4 All the verses of Paul going into the synagogue on the Sabbath.
The Apostle Paul said to the Corinthians in 1 Cor. 2:2 He was determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
And even though Jesus was born under the law that is why he went into the synagogue too. Luke 4:17-21
Two other things I want to mention. Even though it mentions God resting on the seventh day there is nothing calling it the Sabbath yet or God commanding for Adam and Eve to stop working and rest every seventh day. Can you imagine how hard it would have been to keep track of days and time for them? We have calendars now and I have a hard time remembering what day it is sometimes. Do you really believe they kept track of every seventh day maybe marking it on a stone or something?
Anther thing HWA say is Abraham kept the Sabbath. He points to Genesis 26:5 where it says "Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws." There is nothing that says Abraham kept the Sabbath it is just pointing out that whatever God commanded for Abraham to do Abraham did it. But believe what you want, but I am just pointing out what the Bible actually says.
HWA taught Sunday was the day pagans used to worship the sun. There no proof of this. But I want to ask people who created the first day of the week God or Satan the Devil?
Mal. 4:2 is a prophecy pointing toward Jesus but calling him the "sun of righteousness". Interesting isn't it?
I can also remember HWA saying how he had been struck down just like the Apostle Paul and had the authority of the Apostle Peter.
There are two things I would like to point out. The Apostle Paul said we are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:28 Is anyone going to tell me the HWA really viewed everyone the same considering his problem with interracial marriage, how blacks and other minorities were treated and how the women were treated? They were not treated as one in Christ Jesus.
The other thing I would like to point out is the Apostle Paul opposed Apostle Peter to his face about the way he was treating non Jews Gal. 2: 11-13. Can anyone imagine confronting HWA on the same type issue? Most couldn't even go to him about incorrect doctrine like Pentecost.
He believed the flood was sent because of interracial marriage. The Bible says the flood was sent because the Earth was filled with violence. I guess according to Armstrong's thinking interracial marriage causes violence on the Earth. At the same time (according to Armstrong's thinking) two of Noah's sons' apparently each had married a woman of another race in order to preserve that race God sent a flood because of interracial marriage and at the same time preserved two races using interracial marriage on the ark. Does that make sense?
The next thing I would like to address. HWA liked to accuse others that they taught law was done away. Well so did the Apostle Paul. Go to Gal. ch. 3 & 4 Paul went on to say that Sarah and Hagar symbolized two covenants. One symbolizes Sinai "the law" and the other Jerusalem which is "free".
Those who wanted to cling to Sinai and be subject to the law were compared to Hagar (the slave) and those who wanted to be free as belonging to Sarah. But I want to point something out. Whose descendants actually went to Mount Sinai? Sarah's not Hagars's. Did anyone every stop to think of that? I don't remember if that portion of the Bible was read in church.
It also mentions circumcision but we know that circumcision was given as a covenant long before the law at Mount Sinai. And no the Ten Commandments were not enforce before they were given at Mount Sinai and neither was the Sabbath as stated by HWA. in Heb. 8:13 talks about the first covenant becoming obsolete and disappearing. Actually I don't remember this being taught in church. I wondered why?
So many might argue if the ten commandments are not binding what about murder? Well Jesus's teachings laid out a whole new covenant. In Matt. 19:17-19 Jesus said not to murder and the Apostles said to hate is as bad as murder. Jesus and the Apostles said to love others as ourselves. So murder or anything that would be mistreating other people would be wrong. We are no longer under the Mosaic law but under Christ's law. 1 Cor. 9:21 This isn't the only place where this is mentioned. If you are reading this then you have a computer or using one so go ahead and look this up.
Next thing I want to point out is the Apostle Paul pointed out this many times in the NT that circumcising was not binding Rom 2:25-29; 3:29-30; 4:7-16; Gal. 2; 5:1-12; 6:12-15; Eph. 2:11-22; Phil. 3:2-3; Col. 2:9-14; Tit. 1:9-11
Now in the Missing Dimension in Sex Ch.10 in his section on "Truth about Circumcision" even though HWA admits it's not commanded to circumcise anymore he strongly recommended it because otherwise little boys might start masturbating and how he "knew" this I question?
The Apostle Paul lived in a time, I'm guessing, when it was a lot more unsanitary and still didn't command or recommend it. There is nothing in the Bible saying circumcision was done for men and boys health and the Apostle Paul never said it would prevent masturbation. 1 Cor. 7:18
This kind of ties into the "Divorce and Remarriage" issue. For years husbands and wives were forced to separate and divorce if they had been married prior. Matt. 5:32 Matt. 19:9
I want to focus mainly on Matt. 5:32 Matt. 19:9 "That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery."
HWA used to teach that the only way a man could divorce his wife if she had fornicated before they married and she hadn't told him.
However, the world fornication comes from the Greek word "porneia" which would apply to all wrong sexual behavior. But that isn't even what I want to point out. What Jesus was really talking about was marital unfaithfulness. And that is basically what it is referring to.
And in Matt. 19:3-12 when the Pharisees were asking him about divorce I want to point out that Jesus was not talking to a battered woman's shelter but he was talking to men who really had no high regard for women.
One of HWA favorite arguments is, "where did we see Jesus or the Apostles do "that" on issues he was trying to prove so my question is where may I ask did we ever see Jesus or any of the Apostles forcing people to separate because they were married and divorced prior to becoming a Christian or more importantly ever, ever, ever doing such a thing?!
Are we going to believe that when preaching the gospel to people, for example, in Corinth etc. that the Apostle Paul never came across divorced people? Also did Jesus say that divorce was an unpardonable sin which basically how it was treated in church.
I always wondered how HWA interpreted 1 Cor. 7:15 or even if he it existed or if he knew did he even care?
The last comment on the "sex" topic is, I don't think what King David did with Bathsheba was put in the Bible to help defend anything HWA may have done or any evangelist in the church by sinning in an horrendous way but rather it would have been put there to show how bad behavior can affect many lives and hurt many people and I think that is the lesson we should take from it.
I want to point out something in the book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. I could write how false I think it is but instead chose to point out this. Why is the inheritance of the physical promises made to Abraham more "important" than the spiritual promises? Yes the birthright went to Joseph from Jacob's loved wife Rachel "but" the promise of "salvation" for all people on Earth came through the unloved wife "Leah". Did anyone "ever" stop to think of that? Which is more important the so called "birthright" of physical promises or the offer of salvation of the Promise Seed (Christ)? Think about it people. Jesus was descended through Leah the unloved wife not Rachel the favorite. Duh.
I would like to point out in 1 Tim. 1:4 for people not to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. On a personal note I don't remember that being read in church. Hmm, again I wonder why?
In Rom. 3:1 the Apostle said there was no value in being a Jew and a person should be a Jew inwardly. And circumcision was of the heart. Rom. 2:29 I'm guess that would apply to any tribe a person thought he or she belonged to.
Mr. Armstrong made a point that Noah was white, Abraham was white and made sure Isaac didn't marry a dark Canaanite but a white Rebekah. Jacob's two wives were white and so were the two concubines. Was the white race near extinction or something?
Truth is God never mentions anyone's race.
My final subject on this subject is, warning the United States, Great Britain and the Commonwealth and other and any other nation that might be one of the Lost Ten Tribes of coming destruction is "not" the Gospel of Jesus. I see no where Jesus preached such a thing and when Jesus said go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel that was extended to the Jews living there of that time and it was to repent of their sins and offer of salvation. Jesus was not talking about the "Lost Ten Tribes" who were other nations then.
Also does anyone "really think" that a whole ten tribes migrated all the way from Judea to Northern Europe and the British Isles? Really, really, think about this. In order to stay together they would have had to migrate together and I'm guessing they would have to live again together in other lands before finally stopping in Northern Europe and the British Isles. I for one don't think it happened!
This also ties into the "end of the world" gospel. Come on people that is basically what HWA taught. His Gospel focused on how bad things were in the world, the "Great Tribulation" was going to happen. First before and during WWII and then in 1972 and Jesus would return in 1975 to set up God's government. And when that didn't happen it always came down to in the next five to ten years up until the day he died (Jan. 1986) and I'm still waiting.
But hey in the end Jesus would return and stop the last world war from continuing on. That was the Good News.
Truth is shouldn't a person repent because that is what he or she should do regardless of what is happening in the world? In Matt. 10:28 Jesus said to fear what God can do to you not any human. Matt. 19:28 That is kind of back up by Heb. 10:31 It's a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
Also according to HWA we had to fear what God would do to us if we didn't do everything HWA commanded.
And I want to ask some of you people, who like to focus on earthquakes or whatever catastrophe is happening, if you were lying under a pile of rubble from an earthquake, is the only thing that would matter to you is "end time world events" or would you want to be pulled out?
The suffering of others should be about helping others and not getting excited about end-time world events!
If tithing was binding why did the Apostle Paul support himself by making tents in Acts 18? If anyone deserved a tithe for preaching the Gospel this man did. He traveled all over. There are times when people did help him and support him with offerings but that was of their own volition not commanded tithing.
BTW, Paul never took any money from the Corinthians because he didn't want to burden them. 2 Cor. 11:9 Mr. Armstrong had no problem burdening people over and over again and again and again
I want to point not only did HWA command 1st tithe, 2nd tithe for feast and 3rd tithe for widows and poor (yeah right) but he said said we weren't allowed to save excess 2nd tithe for next year's feast but had to send it to headquarters (something the Bible doesn't say)or we could use excess 2nd tithe in our offerings if we wanted (something the Bible also doesn't say.)
He also asked us to give above and beyond that the very little money we had left to live on.
One thing HWA said in his tithing booklet is that a person would be blessed. I don't know about you but that was not my experience. We struggled. We were never able to give our daughter a music lesson (like I saw ministers did for their kids). Once we tried gymnastics and later a music lesson and we had to stop doing both because we couldn't afford it. Whenever we went to a minister because of money troubles the first questions was "are you paying your tithes"? And of course we always did.
One time I said I didn't feel like we weren't being blessed and of course the minister said that was a wrong attitude and being blessed wasn't a reason to pay and that is probably where the problem was . Of course I knew that wasn't the reason a person should pay tithes but then again is that something the church should have promised? I didn't want huge blessings or to be made rich I just wanted to be able to "not struggle" so much and be able to do something for our daughter.
One time my husband and I were given money to go out to supper and we chose to buy our daughter some clothes instead. The people that gave us the money didn't like the fact that is how we used the money they gave us. We should have used it to go out for supper like they intended for us to us it.
Remember the third tithe years? If a person received an extra $5 you were sure that was a blessing from God!
Mr. Armstrong said we couldn't vote because it never showed where the Apostles did that. Well I guess not because they never lived in democracy or a representative republic like we do. Can anyone prove they never would have not voted if they have had the freedom to do so? Stupid argument. I would like to ask in return, "where does it sat we can't?
Mr. Armstrong said he restored God's government. Where is that government in the Bible? Where does it say Jesus said that was his type of government?
The only time that type of government was practiced was by the gentiles and Jesus said not to do it. Here is how Jesus said to behave.
25 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (Is this how people were treated in church.?)
It goes on to say in, Matt. 23: 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Don't tell me that HWA and the higher-ups taught to themselves or practiced it because I won't believe it!
This is mentioned more than once in the Gospels. Luke 22:25-27; Mark 10:42-45;
In 1 Pet. 5:3 Peter says not to lord it over people entrusted to your charge.
Here are a couple of experiences I can remember with experiencing God's government, they may be minor but in a way not.
One was our church was going to put on a fashion show for clothes that had been made by women and girls in the church. Now there were certain rules that this other one church could be in the fashion show but that church couldn't. Even if clothes were made and they came they couldn't model their new clothes. My sister made a dress for a poor girl in another church but she couldn't get up and show it. I'm not sure if the minister even liked the fact my sister made the girl a dress. The whole irony is he was the minister of all three churches. Why not let every girl from all three churches be in it? I'm not sure if I even understood his point other than to show that he could make that rule because of "God's government". You may think it's a minor issue and that is kind of the point it was a stupid rule to begin with.
Here is another story I want to share with another minister to came to this same church and was our minister. He started a young YOU for kids age 7 through 12. My daughter was too young to be in it. He also had one daughter that was to young but two others that qualified. But here is one of the things that happened. He planned a pizza get together for all young YOU members and their "family members". So this meant his underage daughter could go and this "nice" little girl came up and told my daughter that she could go and my daughter couldn't and she wasn't nice about it. If fact my daughter was about the only one under seven who basically understood she couldn't go. Most of the other kids were too young to understand. My daughter cried but there wasn't a thing I could do about it because of "God's government". It may seem minor to some but of course you're not the child being left out. The way Jesus loved children I don't envision him doing this.
This minister made quite a few rules that didn't apply to him and his family. He and his wife once considered taking one of their daughters on a teen YOU trip and she wasn't even close to being a teenager. He didn't do it because there ended up not being enough room but he had the power to allow this for himself because of "God's government".
Like I said those are minor compared to what some went through because of "God's government".
Most things that we had to submit to under God's government is nothing I can even imagine Jesus condoning.
I have never read where any of the apostles were constantly changing rules and doctrines and threatening people with the lake of fire if they didn't obey " God's government"!
I think if men wore makeup and HWA would said there is "nothing in the Bible that forbids men from wearing makeup and would have wore it if he had wanted to. In fact he gave himself complete freedom and did whatever he wanted. He was the head of the government so he could do just that.
Mr. Armstrong condemned the Catholic church for forbidding things (like birth control) because the Bible said no such thing but yet did the same thing himself even if the word of the Bible said no such thing on something he taught.
He condemned anything "he thought" was pagan or came from paganism (but God was very specific about what Israel couldn't do like child sacrifice, trying to contact spirits, witchcraft and incest etc.!)
I have one more interesting story. My sister came to church her husband didn't attend, she had several children to care for. There was an elderly man who offered to help her. Well that was nice and he did help her for awhile with her little kids, except there is more to the story, after awhile he wrote my sister a letter and told he was in love with her nine year old daughter but then changed his mind and decided it was her seven year old daughter he loved and he wanted it to be arranged so he could eventually "marry her." Things like this were arranged in the Old Testament times when kids were young. My sister of course went to her minister (this was another different minister) and he asked what her daughter did to lead this man on and she was only seven years old! My niece was fortunate that she was never molested by this man as I have read other children have gone through in the and "nothing" was done. (But hey it was God's true church. A person had to stay regardless or Lake of Fire)
After the church started changing my last minister (who was the only minister I ever really liked) told me that the church "never" let anyone leave but that they had to tell that person they were person disfellowshiped and even told the congregation the person was disfellowshipped even if a individual actually did leave on their own.
HWA said for years that the "true Gospel" was lost and God sent him to restore long lost "truths". And for some reason in his own 1900 year times cycles qualified him for the job. He was baptized 1900 years after Jesus and started preaching the "true Gospel" again 1900 years later after Jesus did, because God allowed it to be lost until the end when HWA finally restored it.
I could actually address this but instead I will ask you two questions. If we are going to use the Bible as our authority then I want to ask you, "When has God ever in the Bible only worked through only one person" and "why would God send Jesus to preach his Good News die on the cross only to suppress the Gospel for 1900 years"? Does that even make sense?
HWA said that a future ruling government is what Jesus preached (the actual kingdom of God) and the Pharisees rejected it when in fact that is what they actually wanted. That is the type of thing they were expecting from the Messiah and not what Jesus was bringing them.
The Gospel wasn't about Jesus. Oh really? Let's see if that is really true. One of Armstrong's favorite verses to prove this was Mark 1:14-15
14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Now according to Armstrong Jesus was preaching "the kingdom of God" (future)and not about himself. I want you to notice the word "hand" in Mark 1:15.
Let's take a break and go to Jesus coming crucifixion in the Gospel in Matt. 26:25 where Jesus says "behold the hour is at hand and the son of man is being betrayed into the hand of sinners"
What does that mean, something immediate or something far into the future?
Hand in this sense meant near. Look up the meaning in a concordance if you can. And it was the same Greek word meaning hand in Matt. 26:25 as the one meaning hand in Mark 1:15. It meant near.
And what was near in Mark 1:15 "Jesus" of course. In fact some translations use the word near instead of hand in both verses.
Now it makes a lot more sense in Luke 17:21 when Jesus said the "kingdom of God is in your midst" that is what it meant "Jesus was in their midst or within you or among you.
But Armstrong always said no that isn't what that verse meant. To him preaching Jesus was wrong. False Gospel. I guess Jesus was wrong and too bad that HWA wasn't there to explain it to him.
I didn't know how to tie in the Old Testament festivals (Holy Days) but I think I will do it here because it seems to fit in.
First when God gave the Holy Days he of course gave them a calendar to know when to keep them. Ex. 12:2 HWA called this calender God's Sacred Calender. Now I know many are not going to like this but there is no where God calls this calender "sacred". And God at the same time doesn't condemn keeping yearly passings with the sun. (Which is actually more accurate.)
And another thing in Deut. 12:5 they were to seek out one place to worship God which included the Old Testament festivals and mainly for that reason. But I don't have to go to the "feast" to worship God. Jesus said I could worship him in Spirit and in Truth. Go read in John 4:21-25 where Jesus said we don't have to go to Jerusalem to worship him but can in Spirit and in truth.
But HWA didn't even keep the Old Testament festivals accurately. Minus the sacrifices people were to attend "three times a year" Ex. 34:23 and holy convocations were to be kept on the first and last days not every day were they required to gather. But at the feast of tabernacles we had to go to services "everyday". From what I heard in the early days of the feast there were services three times a day! Where is that commanded?!
HWA taught that the Holy Days showed God's plan of salvation when Jesus is God's plan of salvation.
HWA misused the worth "truth" saying he restored long lost truths when Jesus said he was the "the way, the truth, and the life" John 14:6 Jesus never said the Holy Days were God's plan of "salvation".
I don't know need to go through Herbert W. Armstrong and any of his orders and teachings to come to Jesus. The curtain was torn at Jesus' death to give "everyone" direct access to God. Matt. 27:50-51. And I also want to say from all those threats to the "Lake of Fire", what is HWA going to do, make God throw us into the Lake of Fire from not following any or every rule he gave to us like regarding makeup etc.?
Actually the things he taught were never really revealed to him even though he led us to believe that they they were. He never gave reference to his sources. He said God revealed it to him. That is what he said. But it wasn't, he plagiarized. G. G. Rupert and J. H. Allen.
Someone once told me once "well I always believed he got his "truths" from other sources". It' would be one thing if he said he found G. G. Rupert literature and felt like it was the truth and it should be taught. However, that is not what he said. He said they were revealed to him by God regardless what someone may have thought his or herself.
The Gospel (if you are going to believe the Bible) was about Christ's death for our sins, his resurrection and putting our faith in him so we can believe in the resurrection and be saved. Jesus taught kindness and helping others others was important.
HWA said at times that the Pharisees never recognized Jesus first coming well in a sense neither did HWA. It seems as if Jesus' sacrifice was secondary to he kingdom message when in fact he first coming was the whole point!
HWA said Jesus had to qualify to become the Earth's ruler. So if Jesus hadn't would have HWA been next in line?
He said he didn't preach salvation by works, "but" could we be saved unless we believed as HWA believed? Could we or would we be saved if we didn't do everything he said in the name of God's government ?
In his booklet What do You Mean Salvation our works couldn't earn us salvation but they could earn us death if we didn't whatever HWA thought his followers should be doing. Going through his literature I see him often accusing other churches what they teach is "false" when at the same time he uses no scripture to back up his own teaching and that is quite often. He uses lots of capital letters and exclamation points so I guess that makes what he taught was true.
The true Gospel and what Jesus actually taught has never been lost! The way to behave and how people should treat each other taught by Jesus and the Apostles was never lost either.
It was not sending people back to their own land to separate the races to avoid the "great sin" of interracial marriage. And everyone would learn that Mr. Armstrong really had the whole truth after all.
If there were to be a millennium I'm guessing the thing that would be taught is bigotry is wrong and different races can get along even if they live in the same country on the same continent. That is what I'm guessing Jesus would have us teach.
There isn't a church out there publicly that I couldn't walk into if I wanted to attend even if I belonged to a non Christian religion. And if they passed the collection plate around and I didn't put anything in I wouldn't be kicked out.
I think I have addressed all I can remember so I will close with a bit of humor. Like I said HWA made us believe that God revealed these things to him.
In his booklet The Plain Truth About Christmas he said is was believed that Nimrod was born on December 25. How he knew this I don't know? There was no proof of when Jesus was born (which was hundreds of years later) but somehow how Armstrong "knew" that Nimrod was born on December 25. Well I didn't think God revealed that directly to Mr. Armstrong but I figured he got that information out of some old history book. So I went to the library and actually tried to look that up and find it. I never did and I look back and actually laugh at that every once in awhile. Also no God never commanded us to celebrate Jesus' birth or resurrection but neither did God forbid it. Actually the resurrection was celebrated for years after Christ's ascension into heaven (and still is)and why wouldn't they celebrate it? That is what the whole Gospel was about.
For anyone struggling I highly recommend Ralph Woodrow's booklets Christmas Reconsidered, Easter is it Pagan?, Three Days and Three Nights Reconsidered in the Light of Scripture and The Babylon Connection. In my opinion those books are quite helpful if a person is truly searching for the "truth" and for anyone who wants to show Mr. Armstrong was wrong about Christmas, Easter, and the three day and three night "theory".
HWA said Jesus being in the grave three days and three nights was the only sign that Jesus was going to give them that he was the Messiah. Matt. 12:40 I want to point out that Jesus hadn't even at this point talked to apostles about his death and resurrection yet so why would he talk about it to the Pharisees?
Also Jesus gave many Besides "signs" and "wonders" and not just that. John 20:30
Are we really going to believe considering all the miracles Jesus performed none of them proved he was the "Messiah" and the only thing that did was he was in the grave "three days and three nights"? Miracles were happening left and right all over the place but the only thing that made Jesus different from others was he in the grave three days and three nights so we can know he was the Messiah.
When I was questioning the church in my private thoughts that was the one thing that kept me from leaving because that was the "only" sign. But once I proved that HWA's teaching of the three days and three nights was wrong I was finally able to leave. I still had a long withdraw to go through but I kept reminding myself how I actually proved what he taught on basically everything was in fact wrong. the last domino finally fell. I had no reason to stay.
HWA said teaching about the person of Jesus was wrong when in fact that is what Jesus and the Apostles taught. So I guess even Jesus taught a "false" Gospel also. But the irony is HWA had no problem stressing his "own importance".
Reading Matthew chapter 23 many of those verses makes me think of him. He put burdens on other he didn't live by, tithing seemed more important then justice, mercy and faithfulness. He loved being admired by others. How about greed and self indulgence and hypocrisy?
I think of all the guilt trips he put on people for no real Biblical reason.
Teaching that he was the only one preaching the truth. How he was baptized and restored the long lost Gospel 1900 years after Jesus. Why HWA was almost as important as Jesus if not as important. We really didn't need Jesus because we had HWA. Until HWA came along what did POOR GOD DO?! In HWA's memory I had to use all caps just once.
In all the offshoots from the Worldwide Church of God if I go to their websites and read their beliefs Herbert W. Armstrong is the focal point not Jesus. Teaching Jesus is supposedly a false Gospel but teaching about Herbert W. Armstrong is not.
But shouldn't our loyalty be to Jesus? Shouldn't it be what Jesus actually taught and not what Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong taught. HWA is dead but Jesus is still living!
I have said to those who don't believe in the Bible, I didn't write this to prove to you the Bible was true. I wrote that no matter what anyone believes Mr. Armstrong was wrong on what the Bible actually said. He was wrong no matter what any loyalist of HWA try to tell us.
To those who believe in the Bible as their authority did you really prove this to yourself? Were you really allowed read the Bible for yourself that what HWA taught was actually from the Bible? Did you look in the Bible for yourself like HWA said to do or did you read it the HWA's way?
My opinion is HWA didn't even know what he was talking about. He really didn't even understand what the "real Gospel" was. So how could he actually have had the "truth"? Which finally means he didn't restore anything which really means he wasn't as important as he "thought" he was.
It's too bad that the common bond between the separated groups that all spring from the Worldwide Church of God, isn't Jesus Christ which could and should bring them together but their common bond is rather HWA which instead separates them.
Think about it,
Article by Doris
P.S.: How many know that the poor members were expected to pay back 3rd tithe help?
Ministers (I don't know if this applied to local elders) never had to save 2nd tithe for the feast using their money, it was given to them out of the tithe of a tithe. They were given enough to book first for the best rooms at the best motels. People who couldn't afford, like women whose husbands wouldn't give them money to go were given barely enough. My sister wanted just a little extra money to stay overnight one time on the way to the feast because that became a long drive with 4 kids and she eventually had 2 more. But anyway she was denied. There is also no scripture for the tithe of a tithe.
I know some ministers used it to make down payments on houses after they moved to a new location to minister. I will say I don't know if they had to pay it back.
"Armstrong was a man utterly without honor, without principles, without a shred of genuine decency or patriotism. He was the ultimate exterminator of religious life for thousands, and the grand compelling creator of a vast army of atheists."
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