Recent Internet sightings:
HWA memorabilia on sale on eBay for $13.50. Of course, the person selling it probably got it for free.
UCG says, “You made a smart decision to check out UCG as the next step in your career. We have created this web page to tell you about the company and what it can offer you.” Oh, wait. That’s ucg.com, not .org.
Even more interesting is that I see nowhere on the ucg.com page what “UCG” stands for. Hmmmm. Used Coffee Grounds comes up as a hit. Well, too many more losses in the other UCG, and maybe … oh, never mind.
On a more serious note, LCG Arkansas has an HWA Sermon Library page. I honestly did not know that before.
On a definitely unfunny note, though, you can still get hits where the Terry Ratzmann episode gave some an occasion to talk about how LCG is a “cult”. Of course, they twist British Israelism into something it is not, yet again.
It looks like my suggestion for an “Intergalactic Church of God” is going to have to be nixed, as someone already has laid claim to that name. I was thinking of linking to it, but … well, even tongue-in-cheek can be too, well, cheeky.
Someone claims that Ben Franklin was the great grandfather of Joseph Smith, who founded Mormonism. Don’t know if it is true, but it is still interesting nonetheless.
The “Church of God International” that comes up first in Google is not CGI.
The same Google search has Grace Communion International on the first page.
Dating for Nerds has had two recent articles on the Philadelphia Church of God.
Mentioning HWA stuff reminds me of something that made me a little sad today, while listening to R.Pinelli. Good for LCG Arkansas! yes RP's message was good but why the 7th day adventist? does he not remember enough of the history of the COG up to and including the esarly years of the Radio COG and Ambassador? (I remember the feast presentation put on by Clyde K. 3 years ago that had some good stuff about the history of the COG under HWA's time.) Why not build his (RP's)sermon around that and how closely related that is to what Elijah did?
It just strikes me as kind of odd why they all seem to want to forget that HWA fulfilled role that better than anyone else could have and instead, they keep wanting to say there is one coming that will fulfill Matt.17:11 and do a great work, even through the tribulation. If the COG, the "woman" which IS the Church, is taken to her place and kept from the tribulation, how can she also be going thru the tribulation and doing all this great work? Is Christ's wife divided?
Another thing, can anyone show me in Scripture where it says that the great multitude are sealed with the Holy Spirit? RP. touched on this sealing for the 144,000–but seems to have forgotten that the Scriptures never say that about the multitude. IF the multitude or also in the first ressurection–then why does Rev.14 show only 144,000 first fruits? Many are called but few are chosen. A great multitude is not a few.
@Anony Jon: You bring up some good questions, most of which I'm sure only Richard Pinelli could answer adequately. I will say that he might have had to cut some things out of his sermon due to time constraints after the technical difficulties. I don't know. We had problems on our end as well, but only minor ones during his sermon.
I'm not sure I understand exactly how he envisions doing a work through the tribulation, either. Will there be some technology where we will broadcast like Radio Free Europe did? I don't think that's what he meant, but unless he is talking about the remnant not taken to a Place of Safety, then how is there any hands-on preaching involved? I really don't think that "gelled" for me either.
As far as Rev 7:14 goes: "These ["a great multitude", v 9] are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
Sounds to me like they have received the Holy Spirit. For some reason, there are two groups pictured. One is the 144,000, and the other is a great multitude. Special attention is often drawn to the 144,000 because the angel is seen putting the seal upon them, but the other group is sometimes overlooked by people. They must have repented, been baptized and received the Holy Spirit as well.
Perhaps the 144,000 assist in converting the others? I'm not sure how that can occur, either.
"Dating for Nerds has had two recent articles on the Philadelphia Church of God."
ROTFLMBO, now that is the kind of dating service I could recommned to my kids. 🙂 Nerds who write articles about niche churches, Too, Too funny.
Thanks for the links to the audio library, lots of yummy goodness for portable listening and it looks like there are some I haven't heard before, such as "If Leaders Depart from Truth 2/4/84." That'll be the first on my ipod.
Along the lines of your ramblings: I heard a UCG Pastor last weekend mention the "so-called decision to go to Texas."
So-called?!? Is that simply a word some ministers blurt out from habit, when they can't think of anything else to say?
It's very simple. If HWA were Elijah, the end would be here. It's been 25 years since he -died-. An entire generation has come on the scene that has never even heard the man's voice or know the work he did but anecdotally. The world itself does not even know him now. To that extent the world itself now does not even know God or truly have God's Word preached to them in the way that the end time prophecies say that Elijah will do.
If HWA were the end-time Elijah, then Christ must have missed the train bringing him back to Earth. Because too much has happened and gone on since then. And there's many more people now that have never had the chance or opportunity to even hear God's Word preached.
Was he a man that God used powerfully to do a great work? Yes. Yes he was. And he was most certainly a type of the Elijah to come. But was he Elijah? No. There's no doubt about that in my mind.
As RP's sermon goes, I'm pretty sure what he is indicating is that there will be those left behind that keep the work going. It may take the start of the tribulation and the events unfolding before people's eyes for them to really understand that what all those kooks preached about for years is true and then get in and do the work themselves as well.
I didn't really have much problem conceiving of this idea or really any issues with what he said.
Now let's just see if they take it seriously enough and put those words into action.
Andrew Giddens said…
It's very simple. If HWA were Elijah, the end would be here. It's been 25 years since he -died-.
Naahhh. Not so simple.
HWA taught that he was the one who was prophesied to come in the power and spirit of Elijah and "restore all things." Now, consider all the biblical understanding that was restored by HWA that you cannot find anywhere else as a complete package. Many now take it all for granted and think it is so simple and obvious, but that is only because HWA taught them what they know. Without HWA, the best they could hope for would be to be in some church that knows only one or two or three things at most–and maybe they would now be in a church that knows nothing at all.
HWA also taught that he was leading the Philadelphia era of the church, and that after it a rather pathetic Laodicean era would arise. Many people now say that HWA's great work was not really so great after all and that an even greater work must be done. They think that they are just the people to do it, too. Interestingly, these are all people who know what little they do remember only because HWA taught them in the first place. None of these people can do anything even remotely as great as what HWA has already done, even though they are feeding off the remains of what HWA had put together.
Anonymous said; "HWA taught that he was the one who was prophesied to come in the power and spirit of Elijah and "restore all things."
EXACTLY!! R.P used Matt.17:11 but maybe he did not have enough time to expound or relate that to HWA, as i think John mentioned.the truth has been restored, yet not that everything done was all that needed to be done–but the basics of almost everything was put back into the COG thru him-(although he did not do it-God did by the power of the Holy Spirit.)
Those truths were restored in the sixth era or letter whatever you want to call it –(i believe the eras)the true Gospel started going out in the early 30's until about 88 before any real watering down set in and when the seventh era had come on the scene, born out of liberalism and compromise with truth in the 70's. HWA's death closed the Philadelphian era and Laodicea began. We are now being tested as to what we will do with the truth restored–hold it fast and build on it or let it go by watering it down here and there and everywhere else–stick our heads in the sand and pretend it has not been done yet—in the process becoming blind to what has been right before us all the time.
"It's very simple. If HWA were Elijah, the end would be here. It's been 25 years since he -died-." Your right–HWA was not "Elijah" nor was John the Baptist–but they were both in the same power and Spirit that drove Elijah. Guess what– so was Elisha! That is why COG-ff's book the THREE Elijah's is in error. D. Billingsly and G.flurry both have forgotten about the Scripture that says Elisha had the Spirit of Elijah. HWA was #4 –Elijah himself is not going to return until he is made Spirit with the rest of the saints and the dead in Christ. 25 years is nothing in the scheme of things. remember the 40 years of wondering in the wilderness—might that be happening again?? Have we forgotten 2 Pet.3:8-10? why will so many be caught off guard? Because they are looking for some one to come who has already came and they did not want to acknowledge who he was.
Just like with John the Baptist and with Christ in their own time. The Jews are still looking for the coming of the savior—they didn't recognize Him, or willfully denied Him. The Catholic's and Protestants deny Him every year at "Easter" and Christmas by looking to another Jesus—and the story goes on for the blind who lead the blind—
How many of these COG "leaders" do you think would really except some one even CLOSE to being like HWA today, if he just showed up out of nowhere—a “nobody” in their eyes? I would guess they would probably label him a rebel or renegade and boot him out of their organization because he would not "comply" with their watered down or unrealistic approach to some Scriptures.
The Editor wrote: "40 years of wondering in the wilderness—might that be happening again??"
Interesting thought. We are definitely wandering around in circles in a spiritual wilderness.
Regardless as to what HWA himself taught, that doesn't mean it was true. HWA taught a few things that turned out to be erroneous. And his Elijah teaching did not start with himself (and I've never read an explicit statement by him saying he was Elijah, though there was definitely implications at times, such as in Mystery of the Ages), but rather started with other men who claimed it. I have no doubt he eventually bought into the idea itself, but that doesn't mean it was right.
And yes, Armstrong did a great work. But many prophets did great works of restoring Israel to God (Zerubabel, anyone?).
The Elijah-to-come, coming in the power and spirit of Elijah and being the -prophesied- Elijah, in my opinion, was not HWA. He did a great many things and helped restore God's Church. But I do not believe he fully fulfilled the prophecy of the matter. For that, I look to another individual yet to come who will do a work far greater than Mr Armstrong ever did.
That is not to say that HWA did not have the spirit of Elijah. But then, as Mr Pinelli pointed out, that spirit of Elijah should be in all of us as we move forward as well. Having the spirit of Elijah does not make you the one prophesied about.
And who says Elijah has to come out of nowhere in a COG environment? Who says that perhaps he is not some newborn baby, right now, going to services? We know little about Elijah's life before he came on the scene, but I bet God spent a lot of time making sure he had the proper training and upbringing for what he needed to do. There is the possibility that one could come on the scene, internally, and work his way up through the organizations and be The Elijah To Come. You never quite know how God will work things out.
This is all conjecture anyway. If HWA was the elijah, then nothing really changes what must be done. We still must strive to do the work and preach everywhere (making sure that we are "so doing" when the master returns), and we should not be complacent and rest on our laurels. I think striving to do a work greater than HWA is a noble goal. And if HWA was not the Elijah, then that just means we still need to do the work more!
It's never said what "era" the prophesied Elijah would return to. And it seems to me that Elijah would be preaching a very eminent return. John was sent prior to Jesus to preach his coming and was there when Christ began his ministry and even into it. It seems odd to me that the prophesied Elijah would come, preach, die, and have so much time pass between then. Not that such a thing never happened to prophets (because it did), but for someone being sent to prepare the way and make the people ready… it doesn't fit. Not in my mind.
In the Bible, a generation is 40 years. That's why they wandered, so the older generation(s) would die out and the new one be ready. 25 years may not mean much in the grand scheme of God's view, but on the world scene 25 years matters a lot.
Imagine the work that HWA would've been able to do with the level of technology we currently have.
Like I said earlier, the identity of HWA as the Elijah or not doesn't truly matter in the end. I doubt he was myself, others think he was. It changes nothing. It affects nothing of our calling and our commission. And though we may very well be in a lukewarm Laodecian era, that doesn't mean we have to accept it, be complacent about it, and not strive for lofty goals of greater works.
"I would guess they would probably label him a rebel or renegade and boot him out of their organization because he would not "comply" with their watered down or unrealistic approach to some Scriptures."
Oh, a comment about that…
Such an attitude is dangerous as it already presupposes what that kind of Elijah or strong figure would preach. It's an indication of the hardness of your own heart against such an individual if they don't meet your own criteria.
(I've seen similar statements from people about the Two Witnesses needing to preach things such as tassels and land Sabbaths and how they are so certain that the witnesses will preach those things and the COGs reject them because of that)
"Such an attitude is dangerous as it already presupposes what that kind of Elijah or strong figure would preach. It's an indication of the hardness of your own heart against such an individual if they don't meet your own criteria."
I don't think that you even grasp the point I was trying to make. If I was that unclear then accept apologies. however, let me say this; HWA had to deal with people when he was alive that wanted the "chief seat" among their brethren. many of those have now gotten their "authority" by being a leader of a group. or group of men now wielding power over an organization—many of these reject HWA as being that Elijah, as you also have done. They are not going to be ABLE to recognize him–possibly because of the very thing you mentioned–THEIR attitude toward Him and His approach–plus not wanting to yeild authority to Him and follow.
I welcome someone to come with the right fruits and clear knowledge and understanding of Scripture to help me learn more and faster–see things I don't yet see–but I have already learned just enough to know to go right back to the Scriptures to verify before I "comply" with what seems to be a wrong approach or application of Scripture. Yes HWA did make some mistakes as every human has done except Christ–and a lot of people also rejected Christ and hated Him because they didn't like His approach either.
Perhaps we all need to do a little better at quickly trying to get the splinter out of someone else's eye while there is a big log in our own. I know of plenty of ministers that resented HWA and would have risen up against him, but they did not because that would have meant looking for another job. He did not tolerate disrespect and questioning the obvious fruits of God's spirit, nor should he have. However, he did NOT call down fire to burn them up, as Elijah did twice.