Sunday, July 9, 2023

Personal From ... Armstrong Religion

Leonard V. Johnson   About

Throughout my proclaiming God’s living Word, Truth, and Plan of God ─ the glorious Gospel message. The very message preached by JESUS CHRIST and His Church, concerning the history of our Lord Jesus of Nazareth, and His soon-coming kingdom to this earth. Including the very message of what our Lord Jesus had done in the past, what He is doing now, and what He will do. The message of the NEW COVENANT ─ I had never been called a “spiritual murderer”! But, today I have!

Let me give you the skinny of what happened.

The Church of Jesus Christ Online Ministries shares many of our posts and publications with our affiliated church - a Facebook group page - The Independent Christian Church of God – administered by Minister Guy LaMar. And there was a posting from a group page calling itself “Recapturing Tomorrow.” Apparently, this administrator has many Facebook group pages, there’s also one called “Samuel W Kitchen” which its intro states, “A third-generation baptized member of the Worldwide Church of God (WCOG). Asst. Editor @ The Worldwide Church of God Archives”

Well, with the grace of the LORD God – and as I said in a 2021 Personal – in 2018 I had accepted a challenge. A multi-month intense Bible study. Breaking down and methodically going through each doctrine of God’s living word – I truly wanted to understand and know biblical truth and knowledge and to properly distinguish, differentiate, and discern between biblical truth and biblical error. I needed to erase the chalkboard – but not forget – everything I was taught for those 3 ½ years that I had attended the WCOG.

I discovered that the WCOG was based upon biblical truths and partial truths! I discovered that I was not, nor could I, just go along with the crowd.

The religion of Armstrongism is very much alive! 
 It’s a religion of Satan the devil!

On The Independent Christian Church of God Facebook group page this “member” had posted an article concerning the LGBTQ+. And it was great that he was warning that “parents need to protect their children, … If they aren't following God 100% they will lead their children into the hands of perverts who will teach them the ways that will destroy them and bring them suffering.” But, you could easily see in that writeup that he was attacking anyone that didn’t think or believe that Herbert W. Armstrong was an apostle.

I don’t normally respond ─ and if you follow my Facebook page you know this to be true ─ back to these sycophants. But, God’s Spirit moved me, and I responded – this is what I wrote – 
“Dear Brother, be not deceived. Our LORD God is not calling them - yet.

Let us, dear brother, “’ seek FIRST AND FOREMOST the kingdom of God and His righteousness, ...’” Do not worry about trying to “save” or proselytize those who have no knowledge or understanding of the living Word of God, Truth of God, or Plan of God.

Also, Herbert W. (let's not forget the W) Armstrong was NOT an “apostle.” PLEASE read and or listen to our articles! cf. Look to Jesus


LOOK TO JESUS - look to no mortal man.

Also, as you state, “Sodom and Gomorrah had similar LGBTQ lifestyles. They celebrated their pride and went on a march” is at the least conjecture. In an article I state: “Why were Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain destroyed!? Certainly, homosexuality along with all sexual immoralities was rampant in other cities of the world at that time!? Yet, unlike Sodom and Gomorrah, they were not destroyed. Why were they not!?”

True there was grave homosexuality in those cities, but there was much more that our LORD God was concerned with – 

I go on to say in that article, “In Sodom, Gomorrah, and the other cities of the plain it no longer shocked their sensibility if one saw a homeless person impoverished, or the worship of a modern-day false idol – such as Beyoncé. ... As Sodom became, the United States of America (as well as the United Kingdom and her Commonwealth Nations) are now at the point in which social and sexual values are not bound by any stable spiritual or social rule – lifestyles can be whatever each individual wants. ...

Our societies are truly in the depths of what can be labeled a “gutter society.” And what we are witnessing in our nations in ‘this generation’ is truly just the tip of our gutter societies within our cities.”

Truly, truly, our Lord Jesus Christ asks, " ...’ When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?’"

Not just faith of those God the Father has called out of this wicked, perverse, and adulterous world, but also faith in general. As in - faith in a Creator God. Notice this BBC Science Focus report from 2021. 

From a spiritual standpoint, why did God DIVIDE the LIGHT from DARKNESS? Was it merely to create a day and a night in our physical world? The answer is no. The entire spiritual Plan of God can be summed up in this one verse – Genesis 1:4.

God is telling us His whole plan right from the beginning of the Bible, and He repeats it at the end - Revelation 22:16 – “’ I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I AM the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.’” 

Verse 17 – “And the Spirit and the bride [the living Church of Jesus Christ] say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” – again we see Acts 26:18 – “ …’ in order to turn them from DARKNESS to LIGHT, …’” 

Our Lord Jesus emphatically says, " ... ‘the night [the darkness] is coming when no one can work. As long as I AM in the world [along with those that belong to and follow Him], I AM the light of the world.’"

Sadly, those of those abominable sexually perverted lifestyles will not see our Lord Jesus’ Light in this lifetime, unless God the Father calls them out of this growing darkness. 😢

Thank you for your work in Christ. And WARNING this world of our LORD God's soon-coming wrath! - cf. Ezekiel 33:11.”
He responded back by saying, “I am speaking to those within the Worldwide Church of God in this article.”

At first I asked myself – does he know that the WCOG is a defunct organization!? But, it is apparent that an Armstrong religion is being kept alive in this 21st century present evil age!

I suppose if I had praised and worshiped Herbert W. Armstrong, he would not have attacked me!? But I instead praised and glorified our Lord Jesus Christ! I glory no man.

The Apostle Paul writes, “For though I preach the gospel, I have NOTHING TO GLORY OF …” – 1 Corinthians 9:16 KJV

I gave and will continue to give glory to JESUS CHRIST!

I had and have great respect, admiration, and love for Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong and Mr. Garner Ted Armstrong. They, I knew. But, these sycophants are umbrellaing under their name and prestige for financial gain. 

He comments back – 
“But concerning you...

Your words are an attempt to undermine the fact Herbert W. Armstrong is an apostle, a true apostle of Jesus Christ just like Paul of Tarsus was an apostle of Jesus Christ.

I was emphasizing that, because men and women like yourself tend to de-emphasize it, so they can “get away with murder” (so to speak), and can assume certain authority over doctrine, and therefore control over the people. You do not want to scare away new potential money sending donors, and so “washing the subject out” to a less “pointed” take is what your trying to advise me to do. … you are standing in the crossways (Obadiah) and would rather suppress the call to remembrance.” 
In that same Personal I asked – is it not clear that there are, even today, two groups!? This grave division of these two basic groups is with us even to this day. I was speaking about, in that Personal, the great division between God’s Church and this world’s churches. But, this can also apply to the fact that there is, even today, a great division between God’s Church – Jesus Christ’s “’ little flock’” – and the “Church of Armstrong,” which has many splinter groups. 

Notice this quote from Minister Michael C. Garrett –
“Yes, Worldwide was a very unique outfit, and it flourished for a long time, but eventually its leaders started to think of themselves as being MORE IMPORTANT than God. And its leaders were fascinated with power and control. And I think that Worldwide had its lampstand yanked and thrown away! I’ve heard several people over the years say, “Well, Satan destroyed the Worldwide Church of God!” No, Satan couldn’t have touched the Worldwide Church of God IF God didn’t allow it! But I think God is up to here with the Worldwide Church of God! He was up to here with the hubris, the arrogance, the haughtier, the self-promotion, the self-lining of pockets, the positions, and sense of power.” 1
We hold this truth to be self-evident - let facts be submitted to a candid world.

What is an Apostle – According to God’s living word!?

In Koine Greek, the Apostle Paul (cf. Romans 1:1) uses the word apostolos – meaning an apostle, a representative, a messenger, an envoy, a divinely appointed founder of the Church. And, there are two primary uses for the word apostle. 1) specifically referring to the twelve apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2) a generic term referring to other individuals who are sent out to be messengers or ambassadors of our Lord Jesus Christ.

These twelve apostles are referred to in several places throughout God’s living word – 

“Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus [Judas son of James] whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.” – Matthew 10:2-4. 

“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, ‘Sons of Thunder’; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Canaanite; and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. …” – Mark 3:14- 18, 19.

“But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable.” – Mark 4:10.

“And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits.” – Mark 6:7.

“And He sat down, called the twelve, and said …” – Mark 9:35.

“Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. … In the evening He came with the twelve.” – Mark 14:10, 17.

“He answered and said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, …’ – Mark 14:20.

“And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also names apostles: Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.” – Luke 6:13-16.

“Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.” – Luke 9:1.

“When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him.” – Luke 22:14.

“He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.” – John 6:71. 

“Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, …” – Acts 6:2.

“and that He was seen by Cephas, and then by the twelve.” – 1 Corinthians 15:5.

These were the twelve apostles – Peter, Andrew, James son of Zebedee, John, Phillip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Simon the Zealot, Jude (Thaddeus), Judas Iscariot (who was replaced with Matthias). The first messengers of the glorious gospel message after the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. And, it was these twelve apostles who were the FOUNDATION of the Church of God!

We – built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone – continue to bring you the great and awesome message of God - which is based upon the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God. Our mission and our purpose is to follow the admonition of Jesus Christ, when He said, “’ FEED MY SHEEP!’” We do the will of God the Father and Jesus Christ - to preach the Gospel - the good news of Jesus Christ, of His forgiveness, of His atoning sacrifice, of the opportunity for all of us, to have Jesus Christ as our great High Priest and to live under the promises of the New Covenant, and to someday be a part of the glorious Kingdom of God!

To be clear: this type of apostle is NOT present in God’s Church today. The qualifications to be this type of an apostle were –
  1. To have been a witness of the glorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!
“Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?” – 1 Corinthians 9:1.

      2. To have been explicitly chosen by our Lord Jesus Christ.

“But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before the Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.’ – Acts 9:15.

      3. To have the ability to perform signs and wonders.

“Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.” – Acts 2:43. 

“Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.” – 2 Corinthians 12:12.

Now, there were a few in the New Testament who were called an apostle in a generic sense. Such as Barnabas – Acts 14:14. And, the same Greek word translated as an “apostle” is used in reference to Titus – 2 Corinthians 8:23. As well as Epaphroditus in Philippians 2:25. So, the term apostle can be used to refer to a “messenger” of the gospel besides the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. Anyone who was “sent” could technically be called an apostle.

However, there is a growing number of people who are calling themselves an apostle with the same office as the twelve apostles. This is BLASPHEMOUS! The majority of the time those claiming this position seek authority equal to, or rivaling, the authority of the original twelve apostles chosen by Jesus Christ! There is absolutely no biblical evidence to support such an understanding of the role of apostle today! Truly, this would fit with the LORD God’s dire warning of a false apostle –

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 11:13. 

Brethren, in a sense, and in a generic term we are all to be ambassadors for Christ Jesus! Notice – 

“And Jesus came and spoke to the, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples [teach] of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I AM with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” – Matthew 28:18-20.

“Now all things ARE OF GOD, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

NOW THEN, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17-20.

Brethren, we are all ambassadors for Christ – not just one individual!

It's sad to know that a great many people who followed (or even follow today) Herbert W. Armstrong, called him an apostle equal to the apostles of Christ Jesus! And, many would even say to him, "But you are also our "Father in Christ."    Is this not a title they give to the Catholic pope!?

Brethren, the Apostle Peter saw too in his day, writing that "false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, EVEN DENYING THE LORD who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction." - 2 Peter 2:1.

Remember, our Lord Jesus Christ says that the Holy Spirit which will reside within us will TESTIFY OF HIM! -

"'But when the Helper comes, [which] I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth [which] proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.'" - John 15:26.

Let us, dear brethren, bear witness to Jesus Christ - of what our Lord Jesus had done in the past, what He is doing now, and what He will do. Not any mortal man. □

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