Many thousands around the world in the United Church of God (UCG) read an earlier letter to UCG, posted this spring. A growing number of these have already come with RCG. (Hundreds of others have come in recent years—and some are in our ministry or on our Headquarters staff.) A large number are currently reading our materials and mulling their decision. Many others contact us every day, asking for guidance. Some time has passed since this second letter to UCG was posted. Thousands more are reading this one. It has been gratifying that more than 20 positive letters and inquiries arrive for every one negative attack on Mr. Armstrong, or on me for supporting what he taught. The many
wonderful heartfelt thank-yous and the bitter vitriol by a few others in UCG tell their own tale about the two completely different “minds” at work there.
If you read to the end, you will understand events in a way that will leave you wondering how you could have possibly missed what is really happening in UCG. This second letter is necessarily long.
Terrible and ever-worsening turmoil, division, accusation, counter-accusation and general confusion have now gripped and almost completely paralyzed the United Church of God. The struggle has been largely over the matter of how UCG is governed, but this contention has taken on other issues. This letter is not an attempt to make matters worse, but to show the only way out. (In fact, things could scarcely get worse in UCG at this point. Your church is now certain to split—and in a big way.) It is an effort to show the only solution—one that over 150,000 people once believed—and to help you find peace in a coming violent storm.
What started many months ago in UCG has become a long, slow, tumbling, disgraceful public fight that is an embarrassment for the ages to God’s Church! Thought-to-be haphazard, random resignations, suspensions and terminations (that are now speeding up) are all in fact working toward a very, very carefully contrived end, foreseen and worked out by key players in UCG well before events began surfacing. Developments have now become a protracted, tortuous competition for brethren—YOU—as the “merchandise” (II Pet. 2:3) that both sides desperately need to go forward. A battle for hearts and minds through “feigned words” (same verse) is playing out—because both sides know they need TITHES.
Some history. When UCG began in May of 1995, its organizers openly declared—and have periodically acknowledged since—that it adopted an entirely new form of church government, one completely different from what Mr. Armstrong taught was the true, biblical pattern of government that God had restored to the Church under his leadership.
Recall that Mr. Armstrong often repeated, “Government is everything!” Here are two quotes from him about what he believed was his role in the restoration of God’s government to His Church. The first touches on Mr. Armstrong’s recognition that he had fulfilled the “Elijah” role—but also on what he saw as the centerpiece of what the modern Elijah restored (Matt. 17:11). Read slowly, pondering Mr. Armstrong’s words, asking if the passing of 25 years could change such crucial understanding:
“Jesus said the Elijah shall yet come and restore all things. [The original] Elijah did not restore what was taken away…The Government of God was taken away. It was to be restored…God raised me up to restore it. God raised me up to restore the Government of God. But it is only restored so far in the Church. I have no authority from God, no ability, to restore the Government of God any further than just over you brethren in the Church. But that has been done. That has been done, brethren. You go back and read Malachi 3:1-5 and Malachi 4. [And] where Jesus said, ‘Elijah truly shall come’—even after John the Baptist was put in prison, He was yet to come. He [the Elijah] was to restore. John the Baptist didn’t restore. You’d better realize what this Church is and what you are behind when you say you are behind me 100 percent.”
Sermon, Oct. 2, 1982
“But to go on with the things that have been restored…The Government of God has been restored to the Church, and the Government of God has been placed in the Church. You read that in Ephesians 4 and I Corinthians 12. Christ is the Head of the Church and under Christ in the administration of the Government are an apostle or apostles, then evangelists, then pastors, then all are called elders, ministers all the way up clear down to the lowest. So then there are teachers and elders, both speaking elders and preaching elders, deacons and deaconesses. And the Church is restored in that form of Government. The Sardis Church didn’t even have the right form of Government.”
Sermon, Dec. 17, 1983
When the apostasy came, UCG’s leaders decided that what permitted it to occur was the system of government that Mr. Armstrong taught rather than the false leaders who commandeered the system. They believed “one man in charge” was the problem. Few seem to consider that these men could no longer have believed that it was GOD who gave revealed knowledge of HIS form of Government to Mr. Armstrong. And recognize that this alone disqualified any UCG leader from being one whom God could use. This rejection of all-important and proven
understanding—ESTABLISHED DOCTRINE!—was further confirmed when at the outset of UCG all evangelists, pastors and preaching elders who joined with it so willingly gave up their previous Christ-ordained higher offices in order to all become equal “elders”—thus allowing “one man, one vote” by hundreds of men. This new false system was carefully calculated to attract more men of lower rank from the WCG into what would be seen as a system more “inclusive”—more “open to suggestion”—where local elders and local church elders, even brand new ones, had the same authority as evangelists, or even senior evangelists. Many public references have been made to “this system we agreed to” and “this new form of government” and “this very different structure” (phrases used time and again in posted UCG letters and documents over the years). This system of voting by hundreds of ministers governed choice of leaders (council members and officers in the church), selection of doctrine, expenditure of money and the making of decisions. It also brought unwieldy bureaucracy, constant concern with confusing bylaws, committees upon committees, endless debates and even more endless red tape that keep everything moving at a crawl.
In regard to government and UCG’s system of voting, UCG’s members are now reaping what its leaders sowed—but also what at least most of its members just as willingly accepted when they saw that government unveiled. This became an “all in” decision for many thousands. (Of course, a very small offering of cunning new “theology” was presented in an attempt to justify the change. With little more than a glance, most happily swallowed what was shallow nonsense.)
Understand this most basic truth about the seventh and last era of God’s Church. The word Laodicea means “the people rule, judge and decide.” The problem with this final era is that Jesus Christ is no longer leading them (any of their “churches”). This is because people—ministers and members—and their organizations have rejected His form of government, and necessarily therefore the only way He defines His Church. Having been betrayed by false leaders in the WCG, members and ministers have taken matters into their own hands, deciding that “we’ll lead this thing ourselves” and “no man is going to deceive me again.” No one seems to consider that Jesus Christ has been thrown out of their church no less than adopting the trinity god threw the true God out of the WCG.
Also understand that UCG’s leaders openly declared at its inception that their redesigned government was “temporary”—was “only until God shows the leader He
has chosen.” Outsiders all knew this claim was disingenuous. (I realize a few perhaps temporarily did believe this way.) Eight years later, in July 2003, I had a candid, face-to-face conversation with the then current UCG president (a fine man of conscience). Appreciating his openness, I was surprised when this man suddenly volunteered to me that “Our government does not work. We knew this from the beginning, but adopted it in the belief that we should use it only as we wait for God to show us whom He would raise up to lead His people.” I asked how long his term would last. He answered, “Two more years—if they will have me.” I was incredulous at his candor. It was obvious he was more than a little discouraged with how he was (un)able to function. I affirm these were very close to his words, having recalled them many times.
Since 1995, no attempt has ever been made in UCG to find
where God’s Government—and the one leader under Christ—is located. (Of course, this would necessarily also lead to the location of God’s Church and true Work.) Neither the UCG Council of Elders nor any appointed “search committee” in the organization has sought for a minute to find God’s Government, Church and true Work today. Neither will this Open Letter likely inspire such a pursuit. BUT IT SHOULD!
Some years ago, I wrote the book “Anoint Your Eyes” – Christ’s Warning to His People. Explaining Christ’s command in Revelation 3:18 to His people in the last era, this book contains a crucial section describing the dilemma facing the leaders of the United Church of God, then and today, with the humanly devised government they formed. Read this book! (Incidentally, if you do, you will also come to understand why UCG’s leaders so relentlessly slander my leadership and The Restored Church of God—and why they do not want you to read or view the things referenced at the bottom.)
Additionally, I wrote another book, The Government of God – Understanding Offices and Duties. It explains in detail everything that Mr. Armstrong taught about God’s Government—and, while most have forgotten, he was very specific. Human opinions about government are now throughout UCG. But opinions do not count (Prov. 14:12; 16:25). The truth
counts. And this book brings the truth about the Government of God! It is loaded with facts, evidence, scriptures, proof—and a great many of Mr. Armstrong’s quotes. They explain in detail what it was he restored. You will find his words impossible to misunderstand—and utterly different in every regard from what your leaders are telling you—and from what they are practicing. Here is just one example from Mr. Armstrong that is almost prophetic. Describing a dream he had, it is as though he wrote directly to the United Church of God. This quote carries a powerful message to every member and minister there of honest thinking (all emphasis is his in each quote cited):
“I awakened considerably impressed with the dream. Was God revealing to me that too many within the Church membership are leaving
God out of the picture?—in their own minds putting GOD out of the Church? Do they think that the kind of men the people would vote for ought to be made the leaders in the Church?—that the people should say to God, ‘This is our Church, God, we want you to get out of the Church and leave us alone. We will run this Church our way!’ I awakened impressed that too many of our people are leaving God and Christ out of His Church, and trying to make it our Church—the church of the
people, and not the Church
“[In the 70s] there were at least six or seven in top offices next to Christ’s apostle in authority—men trusted and honored. But they were going to make it ‘the church
of people,’ instead of the Church of God. They could not see God nor Christ in their mental picture of God’s Church. They were liberals!…”
“Now churches or works of their own have been started. But they overlook one thing: ‘Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it.’”
“God is not building their houses!”
“Shall We All Leave the Church of God and Join ‘The Church of People’?”, Good News, Sept. 1980
Many other statements from Mr. Armstrong demonstrate exactly what he believed and taught about government (and what is the Church). You will not need to believe my word on anything. A short video introduces the book. I urge you to view it.
May God help you understand why the United Church of God is in crisis today—and why it will not—and its leadership cannot—solve its “government” problem. However sincere, its leaders simply cannot remedy what Jesus Christ was never leading. The Government of God book proves Mr. Armstrong was right when he said the all-powerful living Christ has always led only one
organization—one Church. Mr. Armstrong’s statements are plain. The first quote comes from his 30-page “signature” letter on this subject (all emphasis his):
“Today some in the Church of God do not UNDERSTAND just what the Church of God really IS! Some have become confused as to whether there is ORGANIZATION or government in it—and I mean in GOD’S OWN CHURCH! And God HAS ONLY ONE CHURCH! (I Cor. 12:12, 13). But we of ‘the wise’ shall understand! That understanding shall be made PLAIN in this letter.”
“God has ONLY ONE CHURCH on earth, which He directs in the doing of His Work—not TWO churches—not MANY denominations and sects, and ‘groups.’ ‘But now are they many members, YET BUT ONE BODY’ (I Cor. 12:20—see also v. 12, 13). ‘For by one Spirit are we all (not part of us) baptized into ONE body.’”
Brethren Letter, May 2, 1974
“Stop and think!
“Is Christ going to marry a number of differing groups, not in complete harmony with each other—yet all ‘professing Christ’?
“Jesus said, ‘He that is not with me [and since He is the Head of God’s one and only Church, He plainly meant with Him where He is working—in God’s one Church] is against me; and he that gathers not with me scatters abroad’ (Matthew 12:30).
“Jesus Christ is going to marry the one and only true Church—not a number of scattered groups or scattered individuals.”
“7 Proofs of God’s True Church,” Plain Truth, Sept. 1979
We might ask: Was Mr. Armstrong correct in his understanding?
The Bible definition of the true Church is “The house
of God, which is the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (I Tim. 3:15). The Church and Body of Christ is where “THE truth” is—not “some of the truth” or “much of the truth” or even “most of the truth”—and certainly not “truth mixed with error”—but rather simply “THE TRUTH”! (Of course, this includes the truth of how God governs His Church.)
Also get clear from this that the Church is called “the House of God” (or Temple of the Lord)—and it houses both God’s people and the truth. Ephesians 2:21 calls God’s HOUSE (or Temple) “a BUILDING fitly framed together.” Ephesians 4:16 speaks identically of Christ’s BODY. Notice: “the whole BODY fitly joined together.” (The apostle Paul had the same thing in mind whether he was discussing the Church, House [or Temple] of God or Body of Christ.) The Greek for the two phrases in italics is the same word—sunarmologeo. Its meaning presents fascinating understanding: “to render close-jointed together, i.e. organized compactly, be fitly framed (joined) together (in the sense of laying).”
Referring to individual members of the Church, the apostle Peter adds that those of God’s “spiritual House” are “lively [living] stones” (I Pet. 2:5). This said, the phrases “render close-jointed” and “together (in the sense of laying)” carry the obvious meaning of laying individual stones that are mortared or put “close-jointed” beside each other (“together”) as one would lay them in rows within a single building, in this case God’s building.
Mr. Armstrong was correct. He knew what Peter and Paul knew—and what 150,000 WCG brethren and ministers once knew until the apostates had finished with them. Just this brief study makes absolutely plain that there is no such thing as an organization being part of some “greater” Body of Christ—or House of God or true Church. An organization either constitutes all that is that Body, House or Church—or it is entirely outside it. Reality is upon you. You must decide whether you agree with Joseph Tkach, the Protestant reformers and your leaders—or the apostles Peter and Paul, and Herbert W. Armstrong, another apostle. If you say the former, you are saying that Mr. Armstrong did not even understand what the apostates and the Protestants knew about what constitutes God’s Church. The same with government. Are you prepared to hold your position? Are you sure? Reread the third paragraph of Mr. Armstrong’s last statement above quoting Christ and ask if you are ready to be found “against” Christ—part of the “scattering abroad” instead of coming together (“with” Him) where He is leading to do His all-important final Work before horrific prophecies slam into an unsuspecting world—and into a final era of His people that would not recover from “blindness” (Rev. 3:17) when presented with the opportunity to no longer be a “branch” cut off, but rather one grafted back into the “Vine” (John 15:1-6).
In early January, I will post a very extensive additional Open Letter addressed to ALL splinters of the WCG. It will bring ABSOLUTE PROOF that the Church Jesus Christ built can only involve a single organization. You have never read anything like it—and never will.
The leaders of the big splinters and many of the smaller “slivers” decided after the apostasy that the Church and Body of Christ came to be split into many groups. This mirrors what the Protestant reformers Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, Jan Hus and Ulrich Zwingli came to believe about the “Body of Christ” upon starting separate disagreeing movements. As these men had to necessarily reject Catholic
government, the splinter leaders also had to necessarily
reject God’s Government. Here is why. The leadership of one man (taught by Mr. Armstrong) cannot be spread over many groups. Think about the dilemma your leaders have put themselves in. And think about how it was JOSEPH W. TKACH and company (taught by the Protestants) who taught them to believe what they now teach YOU about what is God’s Church. Remaining too long in the WCG left your “leaders” deeply influenced by the false leaders in the WCG whose presence they left, but whose false doctrines they took with them when they did. They have been teaching these false doctrines to YOU. While you saw them as “standing up for the truth,” they were in fact standing up for SOME of the truth. That is the truth no one else will tell you.
The question is do you care?
Themselves desperately deceived, your leaders are deceiving YOU. Read the apostle Paul’s powerful—and prophetic—II Timothy 3:13 “last days” (vs. 1) warning about this danger, and the verse 14 instruction to you about how to avoid the danger—or how to recover if one didn’t. Then read the continuing context starting in chapter 4, verses 3-4. After overcoming the shock of what you missed in such an obviously applicable WARNING for today, you will quickly shift to being very glad you read these verses. Memorize verse 14!
United’s current president recently wrote of a “spirit of rebellion that has been brewing in the United Church of God for some time—but which is now rising to the surface.” Over 100 ministers and thousands of brethren have already left UCG to join a new “organization”—COGawa—that was carefully planned over a long period.
The special conference room in which UCG’s Council of Elders meets at its headquarters (“Home Office”) carries a picture of Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong on the wall. I have seen it. But we could ask why hang such a picture? This is a less-than-subtle claim to carry the mantle of a man who taught a form of government this council rejects. In fact, the very formation of UCG was an act of OVERT REBELLION against God’s form of government—the only biblical form. So the breakaway occurring within UCG’s ministry is more correctly understood as “Rebellion against a rebellion”! Make no mistake! The new group will also be a train wreck—just a smaller one than the wreck they left! So then, those picking a side are choosing between wrecks. Both will consist of twisted cars, broken rails, downed power lines, toxic chemical spills—and many casualties.
To know in advance what will soon happen, just remember that “the past is prologue.” While thousands died spiritually all around them in the Worldwide Church of God because of ministerial inaction, those who formed UCG sat for over two years there meticulously planning the face and structure of a new organization. What happened in May 1995 was far from spontaneous. In the summer of 1993, the current leader of UCG’s ministry carefully selected 12 regional pastors on the basis that these men would be willing to leave the organization after waiting for the chosen signal. (10 left right on cue, and an 11th followed soon behind.) In concert with other Pasadena figures, these regional pastors (and some international regional directors) worked very deliberately to “feel out” hundreds of ministers regarding what they would do when the time came. In the meantime, everyone was to “keep quiet about what’s happening” and focus on giving “safe sermons”—“neutral sermons”—the terms used. (In a four-hour conversation, I was also recruited and urged to be patient by the same man above, but I refused to “go along” and “be quiet,” and was the first WCG pastor fired, just 10 days later—very early in 1993—as a direct result. Chapter 42 of Volume Two of my biography tells the story in greater detail.)
Comprehend what this means. In effect, the decision was that all who came to be involved would not begin any earnest action to save God’s flock before ensuring there would be sufficient tithes (and enough ministers on board) to support them (and to provide for retirements that Mr. Armstrong explicitly never allowed). I repeat, this meant that two years had to pass, and scores upon scores of false teachings had to be deliberately ignored—left unaddressed from the pulpit—while they waited. Thousands were abandoned and allowed to wallow in the apostates’ deceit until details of the new organization could be worked out. These are the facts.
Today, too weak to step out alone, full-time ministers involved in the new “rebellion” in UCG will remain where they are until they are confident a paycheck and established structure awaits them elsewhere. These men committed fraud against the entire UCG membership before—from the very beginning—and they will do it again.
Same players, same game—with both sides destined to end in ignominy.
The leadership in Cincinnati is now more actively beginning to “force men’s hands.” The position of those seen as rebels has come to be summarized as good ministers being forced out by unethical, ungodly top leaders. In the end, two sides, BOTH comprised of REBELS, continue publicly spewing human reasoning designed to seize the high ground in the eyes of the confused membership. Rebels fighting rebels. The blind fighting the blind. Christ directing neither. A repeat of two UCG factions in March 1998 and two LCG factions in November 1998.
A critical inset applies: Many thousands in UCG left the WCG because they heard my series of three sermons—“30 Reasons to Follow the Truth”—and a great many others read my two earliest books (There Came A Falling Away and Except the Lord Build the House) explaining the apostasy—all of which I produced on my own while in the Global Church of God (renamed the Living Church of God in 1998). I have always known that many of these same thousands would not at the time come to Global because of its leader—and regret that this caused many to see UCG as their only option. I also have well understood that endless false stories about me—begun long ago by Joseph W. Tkach, but continued and supplemented by LCG’s leader and virtually all of UCG’s leaders—has long held many of you back from RCG. There is, however, no way to undo what was always part of God’s endtime test for His people. Though I had my own lessons to learn about false leaders in the splinters (II Tim. 3:13-14), I came to understand that my six-year experience in Global was part of final vital training that God wanted me to complete before He changed my role in early 1999.
May God help you understand what is at stake for you in deciding whether to continue under UCG’s failed, broken, rebellious government, or any new or adjusted form it takes going forward. This includes going with the new “smaller train wreck.” Get this: The solution is OUTSIDE UCG entirely! Any attempted “fixing” of UCG’s government, by either the Council of Elders or the General Conference of Elders (GCE), is merely an effort of men that will fail as do all the efforts of men to fix their governments! Such attempts could be likened to cleaning up the Gulf oil spill with a straw and a paper cup.
There also remains the question of whether the GCE would correct (through further unbiblical voting) the scores of other
doctrinal errors—additional departures from what Mr. Armstrong taught—that all lie unaddressed. Understand. UCG is wrong on marriage between “believers” and “unbelievers” (both of these variously defined)—what is the Church and Body of Christ (where it starts and where it stops!)—who is the end-time Elijah—how doctrinal truth enters the Church (Mr. Armstrong taught this was only through apostles)—numerous points of prophecy, some of them very important—use of cosmetics—dress codes—hair lengths—Sabbath and Holy Day attendance and observance, as well as many other standards of basic Christian conduct—and so much, much more.
Also consider that UCG teaches a patently false gospel—one that includes the Person of Jesus Christ alongside the kingdom of God. Paul declared that any man (and therefore certainly any whole organization!) who perverts the truth of the gospel is under a CURSE! Read and believe Galatians 1:6-9! This passage should ring in your ears! Then ask yourself if there is a direct message to you in these verses about fruits you are witnessing today. It is well-known, both inside and outside UCG, that many of its ministers also hold to a host of differing private beliefs they absorbed before leaving the Worldwide Church of God. Examples: Mr. Armstrong was not even an apostle, Church eras do not exist, God has a family rather than is a Family, Christians are “born again (from above)” at conversion and not at the resurrection—and many, many more. There are dozens of other true doctrines that UCG has either rejected or forgotten. This is beyond question. The relevant question again is do you care?
Mr. Armstrong also spoke often on the subject of compromise with doctrinal truth (emphasis again his):
“Forty-three years ago, the living Christ commissioned to me His great commission.”
“But during these 43 years, I have frequently been pressured to compromise—‘just a little’—with God’s truth.”
“[God] entrusted me with this precious truth.”
“But honestly, now, what do you think?”
“Wouldn’t it be all right to compromise, ‘just a little,’ on some ‘unimportant minor point’? Especially on some ostensibly unimportant point where we appear ‘crazy’ to the world.”
“Nevertheless, if we begin to compromise with God’s truth, even in smallest, slightest manner, we have allowed Satan to get a foot into the door of the Church, and soon he will push open the door (he is stronger than we) and take over the whole Church.”
“A little leaven leavens the whole lump! …I have been charged with the commission of keeping God’s Word. Keeping it inviolate—no compromise! I have never compromised with God’s truth—regardless of the cost or the circumstances. I never shall!”
“Just as [the modern nation of] Israel is little in population and financial means among the nations, so God’s Church is little in numbers and popularity among churches or religious organizations. But Israel stands strong and alone among this world’s nations in determination to not yield one inch to the outrageous methods and demands of terrorists!”
“Satan is the chief of terrorists. He hates God’s holy, sacred Word.”
“I will change whenever proved wrong. I will accept new truth as often as proved to be new truth to me or to the Church. But I will not compromise with the truth! I never have!”
“I won’t compromise—not even ‘just a little.’”
“Personal,” Good News, Dec. 1976
“…Brethren, I won’t compromise. If you want to compromise, go join one of these factions that have gone off from us, that are liberal…if you want to go Satan’s way instead of God’s way and pretend that you’ll be in the kingdom of God—pretend you are in God’s Church…”
Sermon, First Day of Unleavened Bread, April 16, 1985
“This man was on a program of watering down GOD’S TRUTH while I was on the other side of the earth (and without my knowledge).
“God’s Church will NOT COMPROMISE a millionth part of 1% with GOD’S TRUTH as He reveals it to us who willingly accept it—hunger and thirst for it! When a program of watering down starts, it grows with increasing momentum.”
Brethren/Co-Worker Letter, November 28, 1978
There are many similar statements from Mr. Armstrong, also very powerful. Space prohibits their inclusion because they are long. These cited are sufficient for those of honest thinking.
If you agree with your leaders—either side—and their deceitful “government theology” arguments, and have rejected the pattern of government that Mr. Armstrong restored, this letter is not intended for you. It is not written to those who do not care—who are deceived by choice. On the other hand, if you believe Mr. Armstrong was not only an apostle, but the prophesied Elijah—and that he was sent to restore many more doctrines than God’s government—and if you believe the Church is one undivided organization, led by one man, the only place Christ does the Work and is Head, and where His Body is found, then you can recover. This means you can have back again EVERYTHING that was stolen from you, beginning a generation ago.
Here are two more extremely powerful quotes from Mr. Armstrong—one long, one short. Both speak to a duty that belongs to whoever is God’s leader. Mr. Armstrong references Isaiah 58:1, which he did often:
“God sent His prophets—HIS DIVINE SON—His Apostles—His true ministers, pleading with a world forced to choose—warning this world of the inevitable result of its folly of rebellion.”
“Most people today are like a person in a deep sleep, dreaming a pleasant dream. When one tries to arouse him to tell him his house is on fire and he’s about to be burned up, he drowsily protests:”
“‘Don’t! Don’t wake me up! Go ‘way—let me sleep!’”
“Well, listen! Your house is on fire!”
“I have to warn the people—or have their blood required at my hand! God Almighty commands me, ‘cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgressions.’ (Isa. 58:1). God doesn’t say ‘whisper.’ He does not say, ‘preach soft and smooth things soothingly.’ He tells me to lift up my voice—to cry aloud!—to thunder forth His warning!”
“The time for soft, dainty, purring, soothing preaching is past!”
“I do not talk softly, soothingly, on the air. I cry aloud! I do not spare you—I tell you the TRUTH with all the power God gives me!”
“We seek not to please people. We seek only to obey GOD, and to help and to SAVE people—because we love them!”
“DO YOU THINK I CAN KEEP SILENT, TODAY? God has revealed to me your danger! I can also see your lethargy.”
“Some few have written to me gripes and criticisms. Some few have not wanted to see such realistic pictures of what’s coming in real life ! Some few have threatened to stop reading The Plain Truth …”
“…if by God’s grace, thru His power, I can make this real enough, I can be the means of saving some of you. And your lives are very precious! Every single one that is saved is worth all the effort—all the criticism from those who want soft and smooth things and deceits—all the persecution.”
“Your life is very precious. It’s a potential child of God! I hope to see you, and know you, and love you, in the kingdom of God! Yes, your life is very precious to me! I’m going to try to wake you up to reality, if I can. Criticize and condemn me, I can do no other than to make this warning plain! It’s motivated by a spirit of love! God help you to wake up and heed!”
“Yes, I Know,” Plain Truth, Feb.-Mar. 1955
“I have given you God’s Word faithfully. It is not popular. It is not what the popular majority will tell you.”
“My responsibility ends with telling you. I have cried aloud. I have lifted up my voice.”
Which Day Is the Christian Sabbath?
Do Mr. Armstrong’s words seem old-fashioned to you—too strong for today? A loving God always warns before punishment, particularly severe punishment—and the worst punishment in all history now lies just beyond the horizon. Mr. Armstrong spoke long ago in the terms above. Those who are even casually watching prophecy—and know anything of the speed, sequence and magnitude of oncoming events—realize this. God’s people are supposed to grasp what happens when, as well as where and to whom—and why. Make yourself remember that the final era of God’s people are not promised protection from what is coming—and make yourself remember WHY!
Consider this familiar passage also quoted often by Mr. Armstrong because he recognized it to be one of his roles: “Son of man, I have set you a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear the word at My mouth, and warn them from Me” (Ezek. 33:7). Later in the same chapter, God speaks to another group at the end of the age whom He calls “My people.” This is a group that loves to hear God’s words, but not do them (vs. 31-34). The whole chapter of course speaks of a “sword” to come on all those—both groups—who will not take heed to what is coming. God makes plain to the watchman that he will be no exception if he does not fulfill his duty.
God commands HIS servants to “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show My people their transgression, AND the house of Jacob their sins” (Isa. 58:1). There is more to this verse than first meets the eye. Who is the first group introduced—those whom God calls “My people”? And what is their “transgression”? It cannot be speaking of physical Israel because the “House of Jacob (Israel)” is referenced next—after the word “AND.” The identity of this second group referenced is obvious, as are their “sins.” The first group is also obvious. They are God’s people at the end of the age who have committed a “transgression.” It becomes obvious what that transgression is when one merely understands the meaning of Laodicea. Do you see the point? God no longer rules the great majority of His people at the end of the age. His final leading servant is to tell you this transgression in no uncertain terms (“spare not”).
Mr. Armstrong at times applied Isaiah 58:1 to both the modern nations of Israel and to the Church, doing this in writing and sermons. So do I. The last two paragraphs explaining more about Ezekiel 33 and Isaiah 58:1 help you understand why he did this. Mr. Armstrong’s pattern to God’s people has been repeated here. Make yourself comprehend. No other voice will be sent to cry out without sparing!
On God’s authority, I tell you that your leaders in UCG (again, both sides of this latest fight) have rejected God’s rule over them—and they have as much as admitted they have, even though they have pasted Christ’s name over their system, by regularly declaring Him the “Head” of their church, anyway. Worse, they have taught you to do the same. Read in Matthew 24:4-5 of those who come in Christ’s name—and think UCG. (Obviously, other leaders outside UCG are also doing this.)
Understand. UCG’s form of government is not merely misguided, incorrect, unwise or wrong—it is EVIL! Here is how you know this: “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity [lawlessness] and idolatry” (I Sam. 15:23). May God have more mercy on UCG’s leaders than they have had on His flock!
Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:16). Do not be afraid to KNOW within UCG those Jesus said you can KNOW! If you are not willing to apply Jesus’ admonition, you are doomed to continue even more years of wandering wherever your leaders take you—the blind leading (or following) the blind. Reflect on the longstanding tragedy and many faces of United’s terrible fruits. You have a job to do. God’s Spirit will help you—if you yield to it.
While LCG’s leader and others under him have activated the usual “back channels” to pick off individual ministers for themselves, and with PCG labeling UCG and other splinters as “Laodicean enemies” (actual words used often in sermons), there remains an organization that truly wants to help UCG members. It is one that has not compromised anything. The blessings it experiences (daily) reflect that God is pleased with it. Its members, in 49 countries and growing, hear regular reports of dramatic and powerful fruits of God’s Government at work. Consider these: absolute unity of belief in all corners of the Church—very large and growing numbers of requests to attend services (November and December alone will probably bring far more of these than UCG will see in all of 2010)—corresponding growth in congregations across the globe, with new congregations established frequently—a rapidly expanding ministry blanketing the world, as well as a large and fast-growing Headquarters staff—95 students in just the first Ambassador Center graduating class in May 2010—more than 20 Feast of Tabernacles sites covering every continent—significant increases in income annually to fund the First and Second Commissions—and finally, regular healings, some of them very dramatic, as well as other inspiring miracles. In summary, our fruits include a veritable ongoing statistical explosion in virtually all categories of measurement.
Mr. Armstrong taught time and again that “When our ways please God, He blesses us.” This describes The Restored Church of God!
Take time to contrast UCG’s fruits with those of the only Church led by Christ. You may wish to peruse our three websites just to grasp the sheer magnitude of the Work of God today—and ask whether God is showing where you belong. Ask why no other organization is experiencing such fruits. Having also terribly compromised on God’s government and many other doctrines, the other two (LCG and PCG) of the three big splinters certainly are not seeing such fruit and numbers! (A very powerful letter was posted January 13, 2012 revealing much more of RCG’s truly remarkable fruits.)
Your house is on fire! Shake yourself. Make—FORCE!—yourself to come to grips with the facts and truths presented in this letter. Then recognize that they are only the tip of the iceberg.
Some books change lives forever. Here are three such books (true spiritual recovery begins with the first one): “Anoint Your Eyes” – Christ’s Warning to His People, The Government of God – Understanding Offices and Duties, and The Work of God – Its Final Chapter! Those who regain sight will make the right decision.
Here is a final statement from Mr. Armstrong (with his emphasis). Read it with UCG’s leaders in mind, but while also thinking of the array of other splinter leaders:
“Are some of you trying to be more kind, merciful and considerate even than God? Are we actually disobeying God in our soft, fence-straddling approach toward certain others?”
“‘Now we command you, brethren, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly,’ and, ‘if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him…’ (II Thessalonians 3:6, 14).”
“God is far more strict in all such matters within the Church than we have sometimes been inclined to be.”
“We must not appear to try to be more kind than God. Christ will say, ‘Depart from me!’ We must not compromise! God does not!”
“I do pray for all such. I pray that God will bless them—with whatever He in His supreme wisdom knows is best for them—even though that may be severe punishment!”
“Can We Fellowship the Disfellowshipped?”, Worldwide News, May 4, 1981
I also pray for UCG’s (as well as LCG’s and PCG’s) leaders, among others. So should you. But this question remains: Will you withdraw yourself from leaders and pastors you have almost certainly come to love and trust? And will you put God and His Way in front of friends and associates? And then also will any of you ministers and elders be willing to withdraw yourselves from your leaders and companions, whom you have now come to see in a very different light? Rereading Christ’s all-important instruction in Matthew 7:13-14—“narrow and difficult is the way”—presented in the context of avoiding false leaders!—will help guide your decision. (Believe me, I understand the dilemma you face. In writing this letter, I also have surely incurred the displeasure of many friends, relatives and in-laws on both sides of the split in UCG. But God’s truth must always trump all such concerns.)
There is simplicity in Christ (II Cor. 11:3). In The Restored Church of God we speak often of what I call “20 words”—JESUS BUILT A CHURCH THAT DOES A WORK UNDER A GOVERNMENT THAT EXPLAINS AND DECLARES THE TRUTH THROUGH TWO COMMISSIONS! It has always been this simple.
May God help you to understand what is at stake if you reject or ignore the warning in this letter.
DO YOUR OWN THINKING—“Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12)! The first step in the process is rereading this letter, asking from the beginning this single question: Do I care?