Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

You May Be Shocked at God’s answer…Should You Trust “God’s Ministers”? [Cultist]
FriendsofSabbath.org (Church of God-21st century, offshoot of Herbert W. Armstrong) ^ | Raymond F. McNair

Posted on 01/04/2014 2:34:24 PM PST by Colofornian

...Never before...have so many people become so deceived in such a comparatively short time of less than a decade. How could this unprecedented end-time deception have happened with such lightning rapidity? The success of this...apostasy was due, at least in part, to mass defections in the ministry, but...also partly due to the power of modern means of communicating and disseminating information.

At the time of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s death in January 1986, about 130,000 members of the Worldwide Church of God regularly observed God’s weekly and annual Sabbaths, as well as other important laws and commandments of God. During the next few years after Mr. Armstrong’s demise—while the Church stayed on track—the number of commandment keepers increased to about 150,000, as faithful members continued to observe God’s weekly and annual Sabbaths, along with other laws and statutes of God.

SNIP

Today, it is doubtful if as many as 30,000 true, commandment-keeping brethren exist in the 300+ newly incorporated “Churches of God”—churches which sprang from the Worldwide Church of God. How could such an apostasy have swept away scores of thousands of brethren, turning them back to old pagan doctrines and practices which they once believed?

Why You Cannot Always Trust “God’s ministers”!

...we should never put our trust in any man or in any church or human organization...

But we must also remember Christ’s words: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing [but are in fact] ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15)!...

But someone will yet ask, “Can’t we trust God’s true ministers?” No, not in the strict sense of the word! For, as we have seen, the Bible gives numerous examples of “men of God” turning from the Truth—apostatizing and leading others astray; and in recent years many top-rank ministers apostatized, and led others astray!...

(Excerpt) Read more at friendsofsabbath.org ...


TOPICS: General Discusssion; Other non-Christian; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: antichristian; churchofgod; cult; herbertwarmstrong; inman; legalism
Note: A 2005 date appeared on the link for this article above; but doesn't the exact origination date is likely closer to 1995 based upon a comparison to January 1986 and use of "less than a decade" reference in the piece.

From the excerpted article:

At the time of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s death in January 1986, about 130,000 members of the Worldwide Church of God regularly observed God’s weekly and annual Sabbaths, as well as other important laws and commandments of God. During the next few years after Mr. Armstrong’s demise—while the Church stayed on track—the number of commandment keepers increased to about 150,000, as faithful members continued to observe God’s weekly and annual Sabbaths, along with other laws and statutes of God. ... Today, it is doubtful if as many as 30,000 true, commandment-keeping brethren exist in the 300+ newly incorporated “Churches of God”—churches which sprang from the Worldwide Church of God. How could such an apostasy have swept away scores of thousands of brethren, turning them back to old pagan doctrines and practices which they once believed?

Several notations here:

Mark of a cult #1

First of all beware, when someone portends that the VERY PEAK of Jesus' disciples maxed out -- worldwide -- at 150,000! (Mark of a cult #1)

Mark of a cult #2

That ONLY 30,000 "true...brethren" existed as of circa 1995. Now somebody could say, "Well, he's only referencing "true...brethren" of Herbert W. Armstrong groups...Yes, but when a cult defines itself as the ONLY "true brethren" church around, look out!

Mark of a cult #3

That a mark of a "disciple" is how he "observes...annual Sabbaths...other important laws and commandments...statutes"

Mark of a cult #4

Here, within the article, this writer (McNair) acknowledges that: "we should >NEVER put our trust in any man..." ... all while at the end of the article he cites appointment after appointment + an ordination by "any man" Herbert W. Armstong...(go to the link and see the "boxed" section)

IoW, it wasn't God or Jesus Christ who appointed McNair; no his mousetrap "authentication" is Herbert W. Armstrong alone! He ironically tries to cite his very authority as being Armstrong, all while warning vs. personality cults!

1 posted on 01/04/2014 2:34:24 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: All

Mark of a Cult #5

Because of the tremendous INTERNAL conflict that existed within the Worldwide Church of God from around 1988 on, these "Church of God" splinter groups have waged war vs. each other in the same way they've waged war vs. Christians and Christian churches: They readily accuse them of being "false prophets" -- and they broadly use the term versus ANY and all "individual members" of churches...not just the "prophet":

Here are several examples, starting with McNair in this article:
* "...we must also remember Christ’s words: 'Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing [but are in fact] ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15)!"
* "Thus INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS are to bear fruit. And, beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them (Matt 7:15-20)." (Unity: Which Church of God for You? [Note: While misusing the word 'unity' -- the author actually discusses more of the 'disunity' within 'Church of God' splinter groups!])
* " Mat 7:15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. The word translated "false prophet" here is not referring to a Godly person who has a prophecy that fails. Instead it's referring to a person who pretends to be a Christian but in reality is not. They are compared to "ravenous wolves" among the flock." (DouglasKc: Linked with United Church of God offshoot of Herbert W. Armstrong)

Notice how the above "generalize" "false prophets" and apply it to "individual members" and those supposedly "pretending" to be Christian -- and not just "false prophets" themselves, even though the very Greek word in Matthew 7:15 is pseudoprophetes" (false prophets).

Another "Church of God" splinter preacher, Martin G. Collins, does the SAME thing here -- and even says he is "generalizing" it:

* "The title prophet has a general application to ALL who have messages from God to man. The infamous label of false prophet also has a GENERAL application which includes: ministers, teachers, authorities, and the so-called scholars that do research (as the theologians do) and come up with their own human ideas. This sermon will analyze false prophets from a general perspective. I do not intend to get into details specifically of a false prophet, but the content of a false prophet. A MORE GENERAL APPROACH that includes all of these individuals: ministers, teachers, authorities, scholars, and theologians, whatever they may be called."
Source: Sermon: Beware Of False Prophets: Their Motivation, Appearance, and Works

What is consistent here with Church of God splinter group leaders is that they somehow think literally EVERY streetcorner is bedeviled with false "prophets!"

And let's face it, if you think you and 29,999 others are the "only game" in town on the face of the whole earth...
...and that 120,000 of your former associates have apostatized in less than a decade...
...and you ALREADY had been slandering the ENTIRE TRUE worldwide church of Jesus Christ as being full of "false prophets"...
...of course you're going to toss that term EXTREMELY loosely!!!

2 posted on 01/04/2014 2:35:44 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian; RichInOC; Prince of Space; JoeFromSidney; TNMountainMan; alphadog; infool7; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

3 posted on 01/04/2014 2:36:20 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: narses

x


4 posted on 01/04/2014 2:37:05 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion (Truth is hate to those who hate the Truth)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: aMorePerfectUnion

+


5 posted on 01/04/2014 2:38:48 PM PST by narses (... unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: DouglasKC

Mention of you in post #2


6 posted on 01/04/2014 2:39:34 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian

Men and Churches are imperfect, The Word is perfect.


7 posted on 01/04/2014 2:55:40 PM PST by LukeL
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian

Read and understand Galatians and you will know that there is no “Sabbath Day”. Every day is a Sabbath day with Jesus. Also read and understand Ephesians it explains it more.


8 posted on 01/04/2014 2:57:31 PM PST by Ponyexpress9790
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: narses

[double facepalm, not sure whether laughing or crying or both]


9 posted on 01/04/2014 3:02:39 PM PST by RichInOC (2013-14 Tiber Swim Team)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: All
Here was a testimony posted on FR yesterday. This guy and some of his siblings finally came out of Armstrong's Worldwide Church of God Cult...but his dad paid the price...eventually committed suicide:

Escape From The Iron-Fisted Worldwide Church of God Cult into The Power and Freedom of Jesus Christ!

10 posted on 01/04/2014 3:08:34 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian

... I seem to remember that after the founders death, the church became trinitarian.


11 posted on 01/04/2014 3:14:03 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion (Truth is hate to those who hate the Truth)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: All
Note Nine personality cult Names associated with "Church of God" original/splinter groups in this list:

Who's Who in Prophecy -- Post #7... This list includes "...those from pseudo-Christian organizations (so-called Christian groups that adhere to doctrines outside mainstream Christianity)."

12 posted on 01/04/2014 3:15:29 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: aMorePerfectUnion
... I seem to remember that after the founders death, the church became trinitarian.

Yes, one portion did:

That group was led by Joseph Tkach.

He enlisted CRI to try to get their orthodoxy re-focused.

The rest fractured into 300+ groups (as this thread article mentions) in less than a decade. Most of the fracture was over "governance" issues; some of it was still highly doctrinal.

13 posted on 01/04/2014 3:17:35 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian

Armstrong's illustrator for that booklet was Basil Wolverton of MAD magazine...how appropriate.

14 posted on 01/04/2014 3:25:04 PM PST by re_nortex (DP - that's what I like about Texas)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: aMorePerfectUnion; All
Here is the transformation of the portion of Armstrong's church that went Christian:
A Short History of Grace Communion International

They say:

Transformed by Christ


A Brief History of Grace Communion International In the early 1930s, Herbert Armstrong began a ministry that eventually became our denomination. He had many unusual doctrines. These he taught so enthusiastically that eventually more than 100,000 people attended weekly services. After he died in 1986, church leaders began to realize that many of his doctrines were not biblical. These doctrines were rejected, and the church is now in full agreement with the statement of faith of the National Association of Evangelicals. To reflect these doctrinal changes, in April 2009, the denomination changed its name to Grace Communion International. This name better reflects who we are and what we teach. For a press release, click here. For a letter of further explanation, click here.

Here is the story of how the church developed and how it changed. Transformation of a denomination


Jesus Christ changes lives. He can change an organization, too. This is the story of how the Lord changed our denomination from an unorthodox church on the fringes of Christianity, into an evangelical group that believes and teaches orthodox doctrines. The story involves both pain and joy. Thousands of members left the church. Income is less than one fourth of what it once was. But thousands of members are rejoicing with renewed zeal for their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

(You can go to above link to read a LOT more)

15 posted on 01/04/2014 3:27:56 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: re_nortex; All
ALL: Yeah...supposedly back in the 70s/80s, you could walk up & down many Southern California cities and see "The Plain Truth" magazines offered up for free in the same kind of vending machines that newspapers would come in.

What's been consistent with the Worldwide Church of God and some of its offshoots is that they still rely heavily on media -- both print and broadcast -- to try to influence the spiritually vulnerable/gullible.

16 posted on 01/04/2014 3:32:15 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Ponyexpress9790

“Every day is a Sabbath day with Jesus”

You might even say, considering that ‘a day is a thousand years’, that we are in the last thousand years, and thus are in the Sabbath (7th thousand years).

I live in the Lord’s Sabbath = The Lord’s REST each and every second.


17 posted on 01/04/2014 4:31:02 PM PST by Scrambler Bob ( Concerning bo -- that refers to the president. If I capitalize it, I mean the dog.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian

“After he died in 1986, church leaders began to realize that many of his doctrines were not biblical. These doctrines were rejected, and the church is now in full agreement with the statement of faith of the National Association of Evangelicals.”

Ah, if only mormonism would see the light. This shows it can happen.


18 posted on 01/04/2014 4:48:12 PM PST by aMorePerfectUnion (Truth is hate to those who hate the Truth)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian
Yeah...supposedly back in the 70s/80s, you could walk up & down many Southern California cities and see "The Plain Truth" magazines offered up for free in the same kind of vending machines that newspapers would come in.

I remember seeing them around here, a lot more recently than that.

19 posted on 01/04/2014 5:04:20 PM PST by Lee N. Field ("You keep using that verse, but I do not think it means what you think it means.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Lee N. Field; All
I remember seeing them around here, a lot more recently than that.

Yeah, one of the break-off splinter group leaders, David C. Pack...claimed to be either THE key (or one of) the instigators of the Worldwide Church of God newsstand distribution programs.

Pack said in one message still online that 80% of the membership of the Worldwide Church of God either went with Grace Communion International (see post #15) or left the "Church of God" entirely.

In that same message, Pack then said 80% of the major break-off group (headed then by Roderick C. Meredith) wound up leaving that group...which...if I do my math correctly, tells me that ONLY 4% of the original Worldwide Church of God stuck with the BIGGEST remnant cultic portion of the splinters...

And, per this thread article, The Worldwide Church of God peaked at 150,000 in the late 80s...

Therefore, 20% of 150,000 = 30,000...and then another 80% left after a further split...whittling it down to just 6,000.

Yup...that's a "cult" which claims that their 6,000 is the ENTIRE worldwide REMNANT of God's church...

I mean, that's worse than the JWs saying ONLY 144,000 will be in heaven!

20 posted on 01/04/2014 5:27:22 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian
I have an uncle who was caught up in the cult while Herbert W. was alive, after H.W.A.'s death my uncle sort of drifted away from it.

Unk. is only about 7 years older than me and during that period of his life he was just plain nuts about the subject. He's bearable now, just barely.

He delivered his own two daughters, I don't know if that had to do with some nutty religious principle, he didn't trust doctors, he maybe couldn't afford a doctor because he was sending boat loads of money to support "the ministry" or maybe he was just a whack job. Anyway like I said, he's better now.

21 posted on 01/04/2014 5:36:12 PM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: All

ALL: Not sure what happened to original link of this thread...but you can go here for it: You May Be Shocked at God’s answer…Should You Trust “God’s Ministers”?]


22 posted on 01/04/2014 5:36:36 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian

Mark of a cult #1
First of all beware, when someone portends that the VERY PEAK of Jesus’ disciples maxed out — worldwide — at 150,000! (Mark of a cult #1)


The article did not say 150,000 world wide, it was that number of members in the Worldwide Church of God

Mark of a cult #2
Agreed.

Mark of a cult #3
Agreed, but he does realize that God rested on the seventh day and not the first day.

Mark of a cult #4
Agreed.


23 posted on 01/04/2014 6:32:56 PM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ravenwolf
The article did not say 150,000 world wide, it was that number of members in the Worldwide Church of God

(Yet to the Worldwide Church of God [capital W.C.o.G. acronym], the worldwide church of God [lower-case w.c.o.G.] consisted of only the Worldwide Church of God [capital W.C.o.G.]

24 posted on 01/04/2014 6:42:15 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58; All
I have an uncle who was caught up in the cult while Herbert W. was alive, after H.W.A.'s death my uncle sort of drifted away from it. Unk. is only about 7 years older than me and during that period of his life he was just plain nuts about the subject. He's bearable now, just barely. He delivered his own two daughters, I don't know if that had to do with some nutty religious principle, he didn't trust doctors, he maybe couldn't afford a doctor because he was sending boat loads of money to support "the ministry" or maybe he was just a whack job. Anyway like I said, he's better now.

Yeah, this is from the "testimony" of the ex-HWA cult member posted yesterday:

"While growing up, my father worked hard to support my brothers, sister and I with very little left over after paying income taxes and MULTIPLE TITHES to the CULT. For years, my mother would cook simple meals and shop at thrift stores, grow gardens and sew clothes for us to make it - and my father made good money - but gave much of it to support the cult’s “iron-fisted” control to OBEY and PAY!"
Source: Escape From The Iron-Fisted Worldwide Church of God Cult into The Power and Freedom of Jesus Christ!

25 posted on 01/04/2014 6:47:06 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian

I can’t remember exactly where my uncle and family had to go every year, either California or Texas. They lived in Missouri, They saved enough money every year to go to some kind of convention. I couldn’t say if it was a church requirement or not but they went every year.


26 posted on 01/04/2014 6:56:09 PM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: re_nortex

It looks similar to Chic tract illustrations.


27 posted on 01/04/2014 6:57:42 PM PST by Graybeard58 (_.. ._. .. _. _._ __ ___ ._. . ___ ..._ ._ ._.. _ .. _. .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian

(Yet to the Worldwide Church of God [capital W.C.o.G. acronym], the worldwide church of God [lower-case w.c.o.G.] consisted of only the Worldwide Church of God [capital W.C.o.G.]


That would have to be translated for me.


28 posted on 01/04/2014 7:20:24 PM PST by ravenwolf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: ravenwolf
That would have to be translated for me.

(I'll see if I can borrow Joseph Smith's "urim & thummim"...buried DEEP within the Mormon Church archives...and for some reason, not used by ensuing Mormon "prophets")

29 posted on 01/04/2014 8:28:16 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Graybeard58
I can’t remember exactly where my uncle and family had to go every year, either California or Texas. They lived in Missouri, They saved enough money every year to go to some kind of convention

'Twas Pasadena, CA.

And you might be thinking either CA or TX because both states have a city called Pasadena.

The WCoG was h'q'd in Pasadena, CA

30 posted on 01/04/2014 8:29:47 PM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian
But we must also remember Christ’s words: “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing [but are in fact] ravening wolves” (Matt. 7:15)!...

And, in the old days...


Zechariah 11:17 ASV
Woe to the worthless shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

31 posted on 01/05/2014 4:15:20 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: re_nortex
SomeBody is taking a bath with supersonic waves!
32 posted on 01/05/2014 4:27:07 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: aMorePerfectUnion

This shows it can happen.



33 posted on 01/05/2014 4:30:08 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian
I mean, that's worse than the JWs saying ONLY 144,000 will be in heaven!

Nah; what is WORSE are MORMONs failing to ACKNOWLEDGE that only about 15% of them (the 'worthy' ones) will be in the HIGHEST level of their 3 'heavens'!

34 posted on 01/05/2014 4:32:01 AM PST by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: LukeL
Men and Churches are imperfect, The Word is perfect.

Yep - it seems that some of those weighing in actually believe that they and others can actually observe the commandments. I heard that there are so many man-made laws that the average citizen commits a couple felonies a day without being aware of it. It's just as impossible to obey the commandments as it is to obey the man-made laws. Else, He would not have had to make the trip and suffer the consequences for us. In my book, that makes them almost as "cultish" as those they rail against. Might be ironic - false prophets warning about false prophets.

35 posted on 01/05/2014 5:19:20 AM PST by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: trebb

Revelation 14:12

Here is the patience of The Holy Ones, those who keep the commands of God and the faith of Yeshua.”


36 posted on 01/05/2014 8:14:19 PM PST by delchiante
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson