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Unraveling the Church in Philadelphia P5

 

THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD

 

In each of the seven Church eras, there is a remnant that appeared after a Church era ended. But before that, there was a Church organization that first did the work of God in each of those seven epochs in the history of the true Church of God. We are unraveling all the successive Churches that did the work of God from Ephesus era until the end of the seven Church eras. Even though those Churches had done the work of God that does not mean that the leaders of the seven Churches were like God, infallible and perfect. As a matter of fact, it was their weaknesses, shortcomings and imperfections that ultimately brought an end to the work of their Church organization. They terribly erred in many ways and the people that remained faithful to them perished without seeing the light and knowledge of salvation.

Most of the time the Church era ended when the Church that was doing the work of God in that era went into apostasy. Majority of the members of the Church embraced and followed the way of unrighteousness. They completely abandoned the Law that God gave to the people of Israel through Moses the prophet. The Philadelphia era ended when the Church that kept the commission of God and preached the gospel to the world had also forsaken the commandments of God many years later on after the death of its founder named Herbert W. Armstrong.

A terrible error was done during the spiritual upbringing and education of the ministers and members of the Church in Philadelphia era when its original leaders were still alive. They were not taught to follow the commandments of God. They were not taught to believe the true teachings of God in the Holy Bible. This horrible error had resulted in the complete takeover of the Church by its unconverted and lawless ministers and Church employees.

Here is a very brief story of the Church that did the work of God during the era of Philadelphia.

At almost the same time that Rabbi Yeshua had started His 3 and ½ year ministry in the autumn of 26 CE, the conversion of Herbert W. Armstrong, the founder of the Worldwide Church of God, began 1900 years later on. In the latter part of the year 1926, God moved Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong to study the Holy Scriptures fervently as the Sardis era was drawing to its end. Seven years later on, the work of God in the era of Philadelphia had its humble beginning with the man that God had chosen to lead His work.

Let me quote from the writing of Herbert Armstrong how the Sardis era ended:

At the 1933 General Conference, held, as near as I can remember, either early or mid-August, its president and editor of its paper lost the presidency by one vote. This was cast by Elder Burt F. Marrs, acting as the chairman of the conference. He had the deciding vote in case of a tie.

That vote resulted in splitting the church, which thereafter split and re-split until I was unable to keep track of the many splinter groups --- spin-offs of what once was the Sardis era of the Church of God. Thus, so far as the ORGANIZED “Sardis Era” of the Church of God is concerned, that 1933 conference may well be said to have marked THE END of the “Sardis Era.

And that may be of considerable significance. For late in August of that year, the small parent church of the “Philadelphia Era” (Rev. 3:7-12) was raised up near Eugene, Oregon” (from the article ‘The Plain Truth About The “Sacred Name”’, Herbert W. Armstrong, The Good News magazine, Nov-Dec 1972 issue, page 1).

After undergoing a prophetic seven year consecration, Herbert W. Armstrong with about nineteen or more brethren from the Church in Sardis, officially started on October 21, 1933 the Philadelphia era. He served as pastor of this new Church of God with Mr. E. E. Fisher taking the office of the Church deacon.

Herbert W. Armstrong began on the first Sunday morning of the year 1934 the first half-hour radio broadcast of the Radio Church of God that later on re-named to The World Tomorrow radio program. A free subscription to the one-page Plain Truth magazine was offered at that time. The prophesied Church in Philadelphia became known first as ‘The Radio Church of God’, and subsequently its name was officially changed to ‘The Worldwide Church of God’ when the work had reached worldwide in proportion.

In the light of fast-developing, world encircling events, it became apparent that what was actually happening in 1934 was precisely this: Jesus Christ was opening the gigantic mass-media DOOR of radio and the printing press for the proclaiming of His same original GOSPEL to all the world!

On that tiny-powered radio station KORE---in that infant mimeographed Plain Truth---was going out an astonishing Message! Just as the public, 1,900 years before, had been astonished at Christ’s gospel (Mark 1:14-15, 22), so were those who began to hear this Same Gospel in 1934. It was so utterly different from what had been palmed off as “Christianity” (Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, Volume 1, page 539).

 

The World Tomorrow Radio Broadcast

 

 

From that time forward the one page Plain Truth magazine of Herbert Armstrong had ‘undergone a transition which has catapulted it into an internationally recognized, worldwide news magazine’ reaching a circulation of 8 million in 1986. The World Tomorrow radio broadcast covered the United States in 1942 and became a daily radio program by 1945. As early as 1955 it went on national television and starting in the year of 1972, the World Tomorrow TV program was aired on a daily basis.

The work of God in the era of Philadelphia prospered continuously under the leadership of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong until iniquity was found in the Worldwide Church of God in the seventies. With the absence of Herbert W. Armstrong from the headquarters of the Church in the early seventies, Garner Ted Armstrong became the man-in-charge and the wickedness of this son of Herbert had bankrupted the church financially, morally and spiritually.

The Worldwide Church of God became a church of adulterers with the marriage of Mr. Armstrong to his divorcee-secretary in 1977. The doctrine about marriage and divorce of the Worldwide Church of God was changed in order to accommodate the adulterous marriage of its leader. The members and ministers of the Church followed the sin of its leader and expectedly God began withholding His blessing on the Church in Philadelphia era until the punishment of Mr. Armstrong became complete and all his sins forgiven.

Death is the penalty for transgressing the divine commandment of God. In August of 1977, Herbert W. Armstrong died of a heart failure thereby completely paying for all the sins he committed in the past. Although He was gone for a minute and a half according to the nurse’s estimate, death is still death no matter how short or how long it occurs.

After recovering from a deadly heart attack, the eighty-five year old Pastor General of the WCG re-assumed leadership of the Worldwide Church of God in 1978 with the removal from the Church of his womanizing son named Garner Ted Armstrong. So many intrigues and controversies beset the Worldwide Church of God during the seventies and after overcoming all those problems that threatened the stability of the work of God, the glory days of the Worldwide Church of God began at last. Unbelievingly, the work of Herbert W. Armstrong in the Worldwide Church of God had a stunning unprecedented growth that embarrassed most of its critics.

When Herbert W. Armstrong completely died on January 16, 1986, most of the former members and ministers that jumped out from what they perceived as a sinking Worldwide Church of God in the seventies found their foot on their mouth ignominiously. God blessed the work of Herbert W. Armstrong more in the latter years of his life.

Obviously that showed us Herbert W. Armstrong was under the guidance and direction of God throughout the entire years he led the Church he founded. Most of the Church organizations that did the work of God from the era of Ephesus to the era of the Laodiceans came to its inevitable end for that is how destiny designed it to be. Otherwise we will not see the prophesied seven Churches written in the book of Revelation that reveal to us the existence of the seven church periods in the history of the Church.

The Philadelphia era continued on until the year of 2003 for an era cannot end without the appearance of the prophetic remnant of the Church in that particular era. Prior to that, in 1995 because of massive doctrinal changes, the Worldwide Church of God like the rest of the other Churches of God went into a church split with the General Conference in Indianapolis on April 30 to May 2. Many of its elders and ministers formed the break-away group called The United Church of God. This officially started the Laodiceans era even though the Philadelphia era had not yet ended. More than 300 splinter groups from the Worldwide Church of God were formed from 1995 until the end of the Laodiceans era in 2003.

On Pentecost day of 2003, the fledgling, true remnant of the Church in Philadelphia era separated from the Worldwide Church of God and became a legitimate Church of God organization in the eyes of God. This marked the end of both the Philadelphia and Laodiceans era. From the message of Yeshua HaMashiach to the Church in Philadelphia, we can discover that the name of the prophesied remnant of the Worldwide Church of God is The New Jerusalem---Philadelphia Church of God and Jesus Christ (Revelation 3:12). The name of this remnant is shortened when it has been realized that the name of Jesus has nothing to do with the true name of the Son of God named Yeshua.

From the autumn of 1933 until the autumn of 2003 the Philadelphia era had lasted for seventy years, with the Church of God in Philadelphia existing under the spiritual captivity in the religion of Christianity. The death of Garner Ted Armstrong on September 15, 2003 had somehow marked the official end of these two Church eras since Garner Ted was part of both the Church in Philadelphia and the Church of the Laodiceans. Most of the members of the splinter-churches of the Worldwide Church of God that became the Laodiceans are former members and ministers of the Worldwide Church of God that the late Herbert W. Armstrong had founded and started.

A prophet of God remained a prophet of God even if many of his prognostications and prophecies were done presumptuously. The Holy Bible shows us that many of the people that God had chosen in the past were unable to utterly follow the commandment of God and complete the work that God gave to them. Yet that did not make a false minister and false prophet of God out of them.

Most of the things that happened in the Church during the Philadelphia era are still being reported and written by the former members and ministers of the Worldwide Church of God. The truth has to be told no matter how many disagree with it. The Worldwide Church of God under the leadership of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong was the Church that vaguely preached the gospel of Rabbi Yeshua during the Philadelphia era. The New Jerusalem is the true remnant of the Church in Philadelphia era for it is keeping and teaching all of the commandments of God written in the Torah of Moses. When the Philadelphia era ended in 2003, God put in the heart and in the mind of the members of the New Jerusalem congregation His law and they have been keeping the Law of Moses since then for Yeshua commanded His true and faithful disciples to observe the Law in its entirety.

 

Part 4

 

Part 6

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