“I do not believe in the teachings of Herbert W Armstrong!”
If you cannot make that statement, then it is time for you to repent of your idolatry! I believe in the teachings of the Bible and of Jesus Christ, and if the teachings of Herbert W Armstrong happen to line up with them, so be it! To those who will not repent of their idolatry may find themselves waking up after the Millennium!
Time may be short, and it is only through the patience of the Father that such blatant idolatry has been permitted in His midst for so long.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
HWA was a man used by God, but he was not perfect, and indeed no one can be perfect before a just and holy God. To quote his words as if they were God’s own words is blatant idolatry! It is preaching another gospel!
6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel [any gospel other than what the apostles gave us] unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
9 As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
~ Gal 1:6-9
You are not saved by the teachings of HWA. HWA did not write any of the NT. Mystery of the Ages is not the Bible. HWA himself did not claim to be a prophet. HWA did not shed his blood and die for you. Christ, the Messiah predicted in the OT, is the only intermediary between you and God!
I may have a bit of a different perspective given my age (I was born a month after his death), but the focus people put on HWA and what he said/did has always left my head spinning. Not just mine, though, as I have heard many people in my generation express a dislike for the HWA worship. (“I’m tired of getting sermons about The Gospel According to Herbert” as one of my friends once put it).
God did use the man to do a great work. But the man also had many failings and was plain wrong in many instances. Your recent blog post highlighted my ‘favorite’ chapter in MotA– it’s so full of complete speculation and ideas that are not Biblically sound. And yet the book and man is still venerated.
I wonder how much of it has been misplaced desire to go back to the “good ol’ days” than actual “worship”. Holding on to those old feelings of nostalgia and the like.
Andrew wrote: “I wonder how much of it has been misplaced desire to go back to the ‘good ol’ days’ than actual ‘worship’. Holding on to those old feelings of nostalgia and the like.”
I suspect quite a bit, actually. Human beings seem to have a nostalgic tendency for the “good old days” even when the days were neither that long ago nor all that good. I think people conveniently forget about scandals like using 3rd tithe to pay for jets, the splits and controversies during the 70s, and of course the heavy speculation that Christ would return in 1975.
Then again, there are others who would rather remember nothing else but those items …
Isn’t that lesson part of the reason God allowed the subsequent administration to throttle MOA?
Thanks for the post, John D. And for the post.
@Deborah: Not the only reason, but I’m sure it had a lot to do with it. Even as a teen, I knew something was wrong when “Bible study” consisted of reading one of the booklets. Today, I am amazed at stories of how people are required to read MOA in some organizations.
Instead, we all need to be keeping our noses in God’s word. Commentaries and studies of men are fine in their place, but human beings are fallible and therefore so are their commentaries and studies — and that means whether they are converted or not!
@ John D.
No, not the only reason.
Fwiw, I don’t have a problem with most of MOA doctrinally, and I disagree with the succeeding administrations suppressions and actions.
But, at the same time I can’t agree with the protracted pitched battle between PCG & WCG over the copyrights; and without every having been in PCG, I know enough about PCG from friends and acquaintances who have been there to appreciate the validity and relevance of the point you are trying to make.
I don’t think suppression of MOA ever made any sense, yet I think PCG’s pursuit of obtaining the copyright for it only outlines the idolatry I’m talking about. Even if it were 100% true, that alone would not make it Scripture.
However, the idolatry spreads far beyond MOA, anyhow. It is just a symptom in most cases. When people claim “the end time Apostle” (notice the capital ‘A’) “restored all things” and go on to selectively pick a statement he made that contradicted earlier statements he made, it really does show the level of deceit some have fallen into. Truth is normally straight forward. Deceit has twists and turns, and the tortured logic some come up with to uphold doctrines that frankly are not often that important can give someone whiplash.
It amazes me that 3 of the more well-known COG organizations not only equate “Thus saith the LORD” with “Thus saith HWA”, but they actually quote HWA more than the Bible itself. And, they aren’t the only ones that do that, either, but they are just the larger of the cults of HWA.
I won’t deny, however, that MOA is actually an important book to the COG; it’s just not Scripture. During his entire life, HWA was a prolific writer. He wrote booklets, member letters and magazine articles, but not many books. MOA‘s contribution to our history is that it documents more than any other record the systematic theology of WCG. In spite of having a college, I am not aware of any other real systematic theology work during HWA’s time at the helm (and, no, GTA’s “STP” thing does not count in spite of the name), yet many religious educational institutions have entire courses on it.
I’ve sometimes wondered why he waited so long. The only answer I can come up with was that he believed he would be alive at Christ’s return, and therefore he probably believed it wasn’t necessary.
As important as it was, it is not Scripture, it is not on the same par as Scripture, and, as I have shown in many previous articles, not only contradicts earlier positions HWA had but even contains real errors and faulty reasoning, and therefore it must be rejected as a writing of truth and only truth.
Perhaps, though, God does not intend for it to be as easy as picking up a single book written by a man and find all truth. That places faith in a man, not in Him.
How many times must I repeat and repeat the falsehoods he taught? From the aritlce on “Heresy: What Is Heresy?”:
Primacy of Peter.
One man in charge.
“One true Church” being equated with a physical organization.
Misuse of the word “Apostle”.
Banning interracial marriage and treating the offspring in a callous, cruel and scandalous manner.
Divorce and remarriage doctrine prior to 1974 which forcibly broke up families, the building block of the Church and the nation.
Adam was white. Noah was white because he was “pure in his generations”. I don’t care how you candycoat it; it is heresy, it is racism and it ignores the truth that Adam was probably red.
Chapter 6 of MOA:
“Peter” a Title Designating Leadership
Immediately after the decisive battle to overcome Satan, two of the disciples of John the Baptist saw, with John, Jesus. Jesus asked them to follow him to his home. One of these was Andrew, son of Jona. He called his brother, Simon bar-Jona.
Jesus looked on Simon, and said to him, “Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas [in Greek, PETER],” meaning a stone (John 1:42).
In Mark 3:14, 16, we read: “And he [Jesus] ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach….And Simon he surnamed Peter.” A surname is, according to Webster, “an added name derived from occupation.”
The surname Peter had for centuries been a surname or TITLE, designating a religious LEADER, HEAD or HEADQUARTERS. Peter was the first and chief apostle. An apostle is “one sent forth to proclaim or preach.”
So, at the very beginning of his earthly ministry, preparing the FOUNDATION for the Church, Jesus Christ chose his chief human apostle and the other original 11. They, with the prophets whose writings were preserved from the days of God’s first chosen Congregation (and NATION), Israel, were to form the very FOUNDATION of God’s CHURCH. Jesus himself was to be not only Founder but HEAD, and chief “corner stone” of the CHURCH (Eph. 2:19-21; 5:23).
There’s another equation of sorts that I believe most everyone would agree on. It comes from “Don’t believe me – BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE – BELIEVE GOD!”
Either a person is being persuaded to believe a teaching from a man or a teaching that comes from scripture inspired by God. It’s either equal to godly instruction or it doesn’t equal godly instruction. And one the more concrete verses coming out of scripture about how Peter looks at himself compared to others.
1Pet 5:1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
He states himself as an elder or as some other translations put it, a fellow elder but Not as the leader of the Church. In my view members need to come to grips why that is. BTW there several other NT verses that have similar views that avoid calling and showing Peter as the one man in charge. They instead show authority stemming from a group of leaders.
Either the idea of Peter’s primacy is in the scriptures or it is not.
It is high time for the Church to repent and worship Christ, not HWA.
Peter was a special person, but if anyone was the leader of the early Church, it would have been James. Who brought the Jerusalem Conference in Ac 15 to a close? James.
Yes, I know the above quote is only part of it, but that is where HWA got the false idea that God only works through one man. God has worked through multiple people in multiple ways at various times. HWA taught the mantel was passed down, and he was the end time Apostle. However, “apostle” simply means “one who was sent”, IOW an evangelist. HWA was hardly the only one doing a work, even during his lifetime.
HWA did many good things, but he was a man. He made mistakes and had some wrong ideas. Unfortunately, he taught some of those wrong ideas as doctrine.
One of those was the doctrine of government. If you believe the teachings of HWA, then you must believe that God works through one man in “God’s government”, i.e., the Church.
I find it stunning how many replies you’ve had on this topic, John. It is clear that many people are still “hurt” and “sensitive” over the issue of organizational government. Note that I did not say “Church” government — because the Church is NOT a human organization — something HWA said many times, but clearly he, nor the men who came after him, truly believe it.
It occurred to me a few weeks ago that this whole focus on “God’s government on earth” is another direct violation of God’s Law against idolatry. Everyone claims that they each have the CORRECT FORM … or IMAGE … of God’s government here on earth. Here’s the problem:
Idolizing the men in charge, or idolizing the supposed type of government — it all goes hand in hand, and it is all wrong. We’re supposed to follow these men ONLY AS THEY FOLLOW CHRIST (1 Corinthians 11:1). And, do you think we are only supposed to check that they are following Christ once? Are we only supposed to check those who say they are apostles (Revelation 2:2) once and then forget about it? No! We are supposed to constantly be proving all things! How do you think the Corinthians knew how to imitate Paul as he imitated Christ? Clearly, they were studying God’s Law and knew what Christ taught through the entire SCRIPTURE they had at the time — the “OLD” Testament, the same way the Bereans (Acts 17:10-11) did!
Solomon, one of the greatest kings with the MOST POWER AND AUTHORITY in Israel’s history, who had the most experience of WEALTH and the sinful “delights” of this life summed things up nicely in his final writing:
There is no need to make “government” a fundamental core doctrine of any organization. All they need to do is to teach to obey ALL of God’s Law, because that is what we are all called to do and to teach!
What about Asia? There was one man traveling up and down Burma who never did connect with WCG. What about China? HWA could not preach the Gospel in China because the Chinese was a closed society. Yet, when China relaxed its grip, how many Sabbatarian home churches became known? They still are not officially recognized today, BTW, but they are there.
And, yes, HWA claimed to be the only one doing a work. Go back and read his member letters. Lay members were supposed to pay and pray, and lot of them took him to heart. That’s why things fell apart so badly after he died. The Apostle was gone, and some of the membership felt they had no responsibility in anything other than to follow the leadership.
Again, he taught he was the end time apostle and that God only works through one man. Where is that one man today? HWA taught the Church was God’s government. Where is that government today? If you believe in the teachings of HWA, then that is what he taught.
“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, all 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 even didn’t have the right form of government”.
I think we should focus on the truth that Jesus Christ has given the Church and not idolize a man.
Hi, no offense, John D. Appreciate your blog, and yes, you are totally wearing that hat.
However, I’m going to agree with Mr. Anonymous much more than you on this, with the following tweak: I don’t think WCG was exclusively the only Church through which Christ was working. I believe there is still a remnant of COG,7th Day to this day, and they did and do have a work; but I do think that Mr. Armstrong was the primary leader and that organization the primary org during his lifetime through whom/which Christ was doing the work of preaching the gospel, based on the evidence and fruits.
I also don’t have the issues with some of the doctrines in MOA that you do, Mr. Carmack.
Also, fwiw, seems clear to me from scripture that Peter was the primary apostle (though not exclusively) through whom the Father and Christ revealed and brought the gospel at that time (e.g., “Blessed art thou Simon bar Jonah …” – it was to and through Peter the Father revealed the identity of Christ when asked; also, the gospel first went to the gentiles through Peter (e.g., Cornelius) but that is not the same as the Catholic doctrine “Primacy of Peter.” Peter was not an autocrat or a dictator operating on his own whims or contrary to the laws of God. Anyway, my two cents, fwiw.
At any rate, the leaders in Edmund and Wadsworth are not only worshiping HWA, but they teach their followers to do so as well.
@Deborah: Ah, but just COG7? What about Church of God International, which has a stronger following in Jamaica than in the US? They broke away long before HWA died.
The thing about it is that HWA did teach one man in charge, whether you all like it or not. If you belong to UCG or COGWA, then it is impossible to claim you are following the teachings of HWA.
@ John D:
No, I wasn’t trying to be exclusive, I was merely using COG,7th as an example.
I don’t belong to UCG or COGWA. We got excluded from UCG & booted out by them for disagreeing with their government from the get-go, and not much has changed where they are concerned.
As far as I’m concerned, COGWA merely attempted to reconstruct more of the same idols they built when they started UCG when God allowed those idols to start going down in UCG.
Regarding Church of God International, do I believe God can use the preaching of one who isn’t walking in the truth to lead others into the truth? Why not? What did Jesus say @ the scribes and Pharisees? “Do as they say, not as they do.” They obviously were talking the talk, even though they themselves weren’t walking the walk.
My point about CGI is that they not only kicked out “the adulterer”, but they keep the Sabbath and holy days, and they have much of the same doctrines. I’ve been told, although I haven’t seen it firsthand, that they are a very welcoming group of people, just as Jesus said His disciples would be recognized by having love for one another.
Who are we to say they aren’t part of God’s Church? Why can we overlook the faults of one man and not the other? Is that displaying the love of God?
I have to admit that I don’t know why you would attend with UCG if you didn’t agree with their form of government. After all, it was never a secret.
In the end, though, until I see a Scripture that clearly designates a form of government, I’m not going to believe it. If I did believe it, I would attend with one of the top-down government types.
God is not all about putting on a show, and that is what form is: the outside appearance. In this stage of His plan, He is much more interested in whether we will obey and why.
Interestingly, HWA claimed the Church was a training ground for future leaders, but in effect the members were not allowed to make a lot of decisions. How can you learn to lead without making decisions? The very form of government stunted the growth of what it supposedly stood for.
God left Hezekiah alone to see what he would do. God is interested in trying the heart. Hezekiah did not make a wise decision, however. I believe strongly that part of the reason for scattering the Church is to see how we will each individually make decisions. Will we seek God, or will we show off all the glory of our own little kingdoms as Hezekiah did?
Even in the Millennium, there will be multiple nations. There will be rulers over these various nations. Zec 14 makes it quite clear that the king of Egypt can make a bad decision and not come up to the Feast of Tabernacles.
One person in charge? Sounds more like each nation will still retain a sense of sovereignty.
“38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
“39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
“40 For he that is not against us is on our part.”
~ Mk 9:38-40
Jesus was God in the flesh, yet He did not restrain others from doing a work. Even John the Baptist continued his ministry after Jesus began His own!
In the OT, there were two nations, each with its own king. Before that, there were multiple judges, many times ruling concurrently.
One man in charge? Where does the Bible say that? It doesn’t! Sorry, but HWA was wrong about that one, just as he was wrong about Noah being white because he was “perfect in his generations”, which was about the stupidest “doctrine” he ever came up with!
@ John D:
“I have to admit that I don’t know why you would attend with UCG if you didn’t agree with their form of government. After all, it was never a secret.”
But, apparently, as attested by your comment, agreement with it is still a litmus test for attendance. Why? And, how is that any different than the litmus tests you complain about that PCG, Wadsworth and the others like to impose?
Regarding Church of God International, you describe a situation after the leading elements group in question ousted an unfit leader which, according to Mr. Anonymous, they were foolish to have followed to a new group in the first place. Who moved?
@Deborah: C’mon, now! That has to be the least subtle of a dodge I’ve seen this year. Do you attend a Sunday church and then complain because they worship on Sunday? Who is providing the “litmus test”? UCG has a tradition of allowing people to worship with them as long as people do it “peaceably”. I’ve never had a UCG ministry grill me on my beliefs about governance before attending with them. Therefore, the most likely answer is that you brought it up or they would have never known. Even if not, that still does not answer the question: Why would you attend with a group in which your beliefs run obviously counter to?
As far as who moved, didn’t you? If not, you are not saved. God does not move. We either allow Him to draw us or we run away.
Anonymous wrote: “They followed an open adulterer and gambling addict. I don’t consider them legitimate because of that.”
… isn’t that hypocritical?
Earlier you wrote:
“And I will make the statement: I believe the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong…unapologetically.
Because I believe that man did preach the teachings of Jesus Christ. I follow him, as he followed and taught the message of Jesus Christ.”
Now, I’m not going to make any excuses for the failings of a man that led another organization. But HWA was no saint and certainly had his failings and didn’t always walk with God or teach what Christ taught.
Solomon didn’t always do the same.
The kings of Judah and Israel also didn’t always do the right thing. Did that make the people in the Kingdom any less legitimate people or children of God?
The failings of a man in charge is what sets the entire organization apart from being legitimate? I think what they believe and do is far more powerful indicator. Pretty much every church have let the failings of the men in charge go pass and without much comment. The church is pretty well sick from the top down and in more ways than one.
I will also be completely honest. I find your position very suspect, Anonymous. I’m not sure you’re entirely honest with yourself. You are taking a very strong effort to defend the man against his own words (something I was aware of long before John’s post), and to try and paint him in a much better light than some statements from John that weren’t that awful. They were direct and they’re pretty objective in analysis and more geared at getting others to think about their own view of the man and where they might place him. If even touching on this topic is provoking such a knee-jerk defense from you… I just find it something to maybe take pause and think about.
@ John D:
Was that a dodge? Or was that an insufficiently subtle dodge? 🙂
Because my disagreement with their form of government wasn’t a problem for me as much as it was a problem for them because it raised some sticky questions they didn’t like; just as our disagreement with the doctrinal changes being favored by those going toward GCI to Sunday was a problem for them. We got booted from both for the same reasons.
We weren’t going along. We weren’t fitting in.
Either way, it’s a dodge. It would seem that requiring to be booted from somewhere rather than simply attending elsewhere can give a person lots of justification for slamming an organization and many other games.
At least in WCG/GCI’s case, they changed. You were already there, but the church was the one that changed. Perhaps you were unjustly kicked out. But, you knew what UCG was with eyes wide open, yet you elected to attend anyhow? If “they” had a problem w/ it, it wasn’t due to them reading your mind. Furthermore, if you truly believe that the Church is God’s government, and that the form of government is so important, then why hang out w/ a bunch of people who obviously oppose such a doctrine? Again, how is that different than attending w/ a Sunday keeping church but then saying it’s their problem? It makes no sense.
@ John D:
First of all, UCG wasn’t exactly forthcoming about their government or their plans. When we started attending with them, they’d claimed that they were a Bible Study group and it didn’t matter where else other’s attended, and a number of people believed UCG was going to be an association of independent congregations working together cooperative rather than a centralized system.
Within a short period of time (particularly after the GCE in Cincinnati), this changed dramatically and we were told not to come there at all unless we were going to go to church there, say nothing at all, and do what the COE said, and they’ve been centralized and centralizing ever since.
Some comments removed by request. Other supporting comments that sounded totally bizarre without them removed selectively as well.
John wrote in a previous post:
“In fact, it is blasphemous to suggest it [MOA] even approaches Scripture, as it contains errors and heresy!
It is in regard to the second part of the sentence, that my comments concern chapter 7, “The Mystery of the Kingdom of God,” are made.
HWA did not preach “THE” gospel of the Kingdom of God. But, he did preach “a” gospel of the Kingdom of God – a gospel of truth and error.
“THE” Gospel of the Kingdom of God is yet to be preached to the world and then the end will come.
“THE” Gospel of the Kingdom will include:
(Certain Scriptures quoted may not be saying what is said of them, but it is implied in them).
Eze 43:7a And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever,
That Jesus Christ will dwell in the Millennial Temple in the same way as He did in Moses’ Tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple.
Jer 33:18 Neither shall the priests the Levites want a “man” before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.
That the Levitical priests will be “do sacrifice” in the Millennial Temple as they did in Moses’ Tabernacle and Solomon’s Temple.
Eze 45:15 Also one sheep is to be taken from every flock of two hundred from the well-watered pastures of Israel. These will be used for the grain offerings, burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to make atonement for the people, declares the Sovereign LORD.
That the Mosaic/Ezekelian sacrificial system will be required for forgiveness and fellowship with the Sovereign Lord.
Eze 45:19 The priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering and put it on the doorposts of the temple, on the four corners of the upper ledge of the altar and on the gateposts of the inner court.
Eze 45:20 You are to do the same on the seventh day of the month for anyone who sins unintentionally or through ignorance; so you are to make atonement for the temple.
That animal blood will be required to expiate for sin and ritual impurity.
Eze 44:15a But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok…
Eze 44:23 … shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
Eze 44:24 And in controversy they shall stand in judgment; and they shall judge it according to my judgments: and they shall keep my laws and my statutes in all mine assemblies; and they shall hallow my sabbaths.
That the Levites will “teach,” and will “stand in judgment” for, God’s “people”.
Eze 44:3 The prince himself is the only one who may sit inside the gateway to eat in the presence of the LORD. He is to enter by way of the portico of the gateway and go out the same way.
That the “prince” is the leading individual on the earth.
Eze 45:17a It will be the duty of the prince to provide the burnt offerings, grain offerings and drink offerings at the festivals, the New Moons and the Sabbaths – at all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel.
That the “prince” is the patron of the Millennial worship system.
Jer 33:16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness.
Jer 33:17 For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel;
Eze 46:16 Thus saith the Lord GOD; If the prince give a gift unto any of his sons, the inheritance thereof shall be his sons’; it shall be their possession by inheritance.
That the “prince” and his successors are the Davidic kings, (mostly likely direct blood-relative of Jesus Christ – just as James, Christ’s half-brother, was head of the Jerusalem Church) who rule over Israel and the nations – just as the Levites will not want for a “man” to do sacrifice, David also will not want for a “man” to sit on the throne of Israel.
Jer 33:15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment (mishpat) and righteousness (tsedaqah) in the land.
2Ch 9:8 Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment (mishpat) and justice (tsedaqah).
That the Branch of righteousness, Jesus Christ, will execute judgment and righteousness through His representatives – the Davidic kings.
Heb 6:20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
That Jesus Christ will be the “high priest” in the heavenly Temple.
Rev 7:15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
That the Saints will also serve in the heavenly Temple, on the heavenly Mount Moriah, assisting the heavenly high priest.
Rev 14:1 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
2Sa 5:7 … David captured the fortress of Zion…
2Sa 5:9 [And] then took up residence in the fortress and called it the City of David.
That the Saints, having a dual role, will rule the earth, from the heavenly mount Zion; that is, after Satan and the Demons are expelled from the true Zion, by the true David, Christ and the Saints will take up residence on the heavenly Zion.
Da 10:13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty-one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.
Da 10:20 So he said, “Do you know why I have come to you? Soon I will return to fight against the prince of Persia, and when I go, the prince of Greece will come;
That the demonic rule of the nations will be replaced by the saintly rule of the nations.
Lk 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Lk 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Mt 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Heb 10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
That the gospel will take Old and New Testament Scriptures seriously so they are complementary, not contradictory.
Eze 48:15 And the five thousand, that are left in the breadth over against the five and twenty thousand, shall be a profane [“common” (NIV)] place for the city, for dwelling, and for suburbs: and the city shall be in the midst thereof. (AV).
Eze 45:6 the city … will belong to the whole house of Israel. (NIV).
Ezek 48:35 … and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there. (AV).
“Characterizing the city as hol, “common” (v.15), and opening it to the masses of Israel’s population, however, does not mean that it is perceived as secular, sterilized of theological and spiritual significance. On the contrary … the city will bear a new name … “Yahweh is there.” Like Ezekiel’s restoration oracles, this name announces the undoing of a past evil situation…
“But there is something remarkable about this city bearing this new name. The center of gravity in Ezekiel’s cartography of power is obviously the temple, the place where Yahweh resides in the midst of the most sacred teruma several miles north of the city. In comparison the city is for human habitation; it is “profane, common” (hol)… Like the temple, however, the city is located in the center of the (civic) band; it is also square, and surrounded by open space (migras). But with this new name the implicit symbolism of the design is made explicit: the city reflects the presence of Yahweh!” (Daniel I. Block, The Book of Ezekiel Chapters 25-28, NICOT, p.739).
Satan and the Saints ruling on the earth
Rev 2:13 I know where you live – where Satan has his throne… your city – where Satan lives. (NIV).
Rev 2:13 I know … where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is… where Satan dwelleth. (AV).
Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them … and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
“The risen Christ knows where they live (katoikeis suggest permanent residence): it is “where Satan sits enthroned” (Moffat, The NT: A New Translation)… both the believers and their ultimate adversary live in the same locality…” (Robert H. Mounce, The Book of Revelation, NICNT, pp.78-80).
“The phrase “where Satan dwells” means either that someone representing Satan lives in Pergamon or that evil is present in a particular potent way in Pergamon” (David E. Aune, Revelation 1-5, WBC, p.185).
Satan wasn’t personally in Pergamon but the rule and conduct of the city so reflected Satan that it could be said that Satan ruled and dwelt there.
Lev 26:11 And I will set my tabernacle among you…
Lev 26:12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.
In the future the “prince”, a descendant of David, will represent God and Christ in Jerusalem, exercising godly rule; and “good” will be “present in a particular potent way”, so reflecting God, that it may be said ‘God is there’.
John from Australia wrote: “Heresy?”
Is it unnecessarily divisive? Is it speculation or actual teaching?
Most every time I read a response from you, I am reminded of a certain verse:
“12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” ~ 1Co 13:12
Paul had the humility to realize he did not have all the answers. He readily admitted that some things just are not that plain. We might see the bigger picture, but there are a lot of details that are just plain not very clear.
John was no different.
“2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” ~ 1Jn 3:2
There are many out there who seem more than willing to deceive and be deceived because they latched onto some small thing and lost sight of the forest because of concentrating upon one or two trees.
More to the point, HWA did preach the Gospel, whether you like it or not! He preached the same Gospel that Jesus did:
“14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
“15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
~ Mk 1:14-15
Jesus spoke about the soon coming Kingdom, He spoke about His return, which would be the beginning of the ushering in of that Kingdom, and He spoke about repentance and belief. HWA spoke of those same things.
Once you get beyond that, he began to add other things to the message that are not spelled out in Scripture. He speculated about things, and began to teach those speculations. Can you truly say you are not doing the same?
Good question, John.
I would like to ask a couple of questions to gain the scope of speculation.
In your latest post you wrote:
“It is no overstatement to say that truth and particularly God’s truth is under attack from every side. Ironically, one of the teachings in regards to the Day of Atonement keeps getting Protestantized by saying that two goats stand for Christ, which is far beyond illogical. It is another case of teaching what is right in one’s own eyes.”
From this statement I believe that you identify Azazel with Satan – as did Origen and not a few Protestant interpreters.
Is this position speculation? Or is this interpretation?
If this is “spelled out” is seems that some do not see it.
Charles Feinberg, an Orthodox Jew who converted to Christianity wrote an article entitled “THE SCAPEGOAT OF LEVITICUS SIXTEEN,” and had this quote, from S. H. Kellogg:
As a matter of fact, it has no parallel in the Mosaic legislation or in the heathen world. It is unique, most singular, and impressive (Kellogg, op. cit., pp. 263, 265). But what the exact meaning of this ritual was, continues to be one of the most vexing questions in the exposition of the entire book. The answer lies in the significance attached to the term “scapegoat” (from escape goat) or the more accurate, azazel (ibid.,p. 266.)… (BIBLIOTHECA SACRA 115 (1958), p.321).
While I agree with the identification with Satan;
[Roy Gane points out that the preposition lamed as in Lev 16:8 is used “of possession, see Isa 38:9; Hab 3:1; Ps3:1” and goes on to note that “Archaeologists have found many objects, especially seals, with inscribed names of their owners immediately preceded by the lamad of ownership (Levine, Leviticus, 102). The lots placed on the two goats apparently indicate their new owners, which have just been determined through the casting of lots…” (Cult and Character, Purification Offerings, Day of Atonement, and Theodicy, p.249)].
1Jn 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
I can appreciate that others may have other views:
“Thus, the conclusion is this: Both goats were a sin offering to the Lord; one was sacrificed, whereas the other was sent off into the wilderness to convey visibly and strikingly the truth of complete removal and dismissal. The escape goat does not represent Christ any more than it stands for Satan. That which was symbolized by both goats pointed to the finished work of Christ on Calvary. Blessed be our sufficient Sin Offering.” (Charles Feinberg, pp.332-33).
Numerous groups identify the descendants of Ephraim and Manasseh in England, and her offshoots, and in America.
Is this speculation? Or is this interpretation?
After all that I have posted on my preferred interpretation, which you have generously allowed, could there be an ever so slight question to the validity of the proposition that Christ and the Saints may not be literally on the earth during the Millennium?
For me the Kingdom Age begins when the “glory of the Lord” enters Ezekiel’s “house”, similar to the Church Age beginning with the Holy Spirit entering the “house” on Pentecost.
For me Ezekiel 43-1-7a, my favourite seven and a half verse in the Bible, is the key that Christ will not literally be on the earth during the Millennium literally ruling of the throne of Israel.
Tom Robinson wrote in “The Throne of Britain: It’s Biblical Origin and Future”:
The Davidic throne was actually, as we’ve seen, the throne of the Lord. And since Jesus is the Lord, the throne ultimately remained His to take back.
I believe that just as the Davidic throne was Christ’s under the Old Kingdom Covenant, and He did not literally sit on it during that administration, so that the Davidic throne will be Christ’s under the New Kingdom Covenant, and He will also not literally sit on it during that administration.
John from Australia asked: “After all that I have posted on my preferred interpretation, which you have generously allowed, could there be an ever so slight question to the validity of the proposition that Christ and the Saints may not be literally on the earth during the Millennium?”
Yes, but you knew that answer from before.
Frankly, you’re bordering on Gnosticism. The idea that God is so holy, so high above His creation, and He cannot be contaminated by anything physical, that many layers must be placed between Him and His creation. Of course, it comes in many forms and in many degrees, like many other things.
Yet, did Jesus come literally to the earth the first time? Will He literally come to the earth again the second time? Was God literally with Israel in the wilderness? Did Moses literally speak to God face to face in the tabernacle?
And, just what is “literal” when spirit meets physical?
“Yes, but you knew that answer from before.”
Trying not to sound too much like a politician, but I can’t recall you giving that answer – I can be very forgetful at times – the tone that I perceive, whether intended or not, behind your response will make sure I won’t forget a second time – at least for awhile.
I would like to think that I am not bordering on Gnosticism – but maybe I am coming across that way – so I won’t say any more on the topic at hand at this time.
Regards John from Australia.
@John from Australia: I’m honestly surprised you don’t remember it, but perhaps that can be somewhat attributed to the inherent weaknesses of such discussions in a blog format.
I took the liberty of looking up “literal” once again at Dictionary.com, and I still don’t see why there is any issue with proclaiming a literal kingdom that is literally on the earth with a literal ruler at its head. As I’ve stated before, though, it does not prohibit that ruler from traveling from time to time to another location.
Furthermore, the origin of the word is somewhat interesting for this and other apologetic purposes: “literal literal late 14c., ‘taking words in their natural meaning’ (originally in reference to Scripture and opposed to mystical or allegorical), from O.Fr. literal, from L.L. lit(t)eralis ‘of or belonging to letters or writing,’ from L. lit(t)era ‘letter.’ Sense of ‘verbally exact’ is attested from 1590s. Literal-minded is attested from 1869.”
I don’t think it inconceivable that the physical manifestation of a spirit’s presence means it is “literally” there, just as the cloud and fire was a manifestation of God’s presence during the 40 years after the Exodus.