Christian Churches of God
Effects of 20th Century Churches of God Doctrines
on the Nature of God
(Edition 1.0 20110312-20110312)
In this paper we will examine some serious errors in the Churches of God that entered it in the 20th century with the Ditheism of Herbert Armstrong.
Effects of 20th Century Churches of God
Doctrines on the Nature of God
We examined Herbert Armstrong’s error in the paper Ditheism (No. 76B).
This error of Ditheism has expanded into what appears to be an even
greater blasphemy on the part of a former WCG minister who is a devotee of
Herbert Armstrong, seemingly to the point of idolatry. Along with a host of
false impressions and premises, that minister also claims publicly that Herbert
Armstrong was inspired by God in his views and especially on the Nature of God.
He argued that to disagree with Armstrong's prognostications means that one
hates Armstrong. It is a matter of reason that to disagree with a position on
anything does not mean that one hates the person making the error. Indeed that
is a Biblical position or injunction on all the elect and was endorsed among
the Bereans who searched the Scriptures daily to see
if what was said was so.
He followed up the usual Armstrong view that God the Father was not revealed in the OT with the view that the First Commandment referred not to God the Father but to Jesus Christ. Thus "thou shalt have no other gods before me" meant no other gods before Jesus Christ.
None of the CCG officers exposed to the WCG that have discussed this matter had heard this blasphemy uttered in the WCG or in the offshoots previously. Some of their comments are listed below.
Now it may be that a Trinitarian might assert that the commandment refers to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as a Triune entity, but we have never heard or read even a Trinitarian assert such blasphemy.
This is the basis of the position of the former WCG minister. This man has no church and thus maintains and teaches his position without any organisational authority. The matter needs addressing as it is a logical extension of Armstrong’s Ditheism and a serious heresy.
Author: Frank W. Nelte
Date: March 1994
GOD IN THE O.T. AND THE JEWISH UNDERSTANDING
“Now let's look at Exodus chapter 20.
5) Notice what Exodus 20 actually says:
And God spake all these words, saying, I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:1-3)
A) WHO was speaking those words? The answer is JESUS CHRIST!
B) HOW does Christ identify Himself to Israel? The answer is as the "YHWH your Elohim who has brought Israel out of Egypt".
THIS IDENTIFICATION IS VITALLY IMPORTANT!
C) WHY is this identification embedded in the 10 commandments? We'll see the reason for this in a little while.
D) WHAT does Exodus 20:3 actually mean? ... "You shall have no other gods BEFORE ME"? WHO is saying these words?
Is Jesus Christ, the Speaker of these verses, saying: ‘you shall have no other gods before God the Father’?
NO, that is not what He said! Christ said to Israel: ‘before ME’!
Can we grasp the clear significance of Exodus 20:3? Israel had no idea that there was a ‘God the Father’.
He had not been revealed to them by Christ. Jesus Christ Himself was dealing with the nation of Israel, and He told them not to have any other gods before Him, Jesus Christ.
He chose to reveal Himself to them as ‘YHWH, your Elohim’ who had brought them out of Egypt.
E) Was Christ putting Himself ahead of God the Father by instructing Israel to worship Him, Jesus Christ?
NO, not at all! God the Father and Jesus Christ had decided and agreed that Christ would be the One to do all the creating;- Christ would be the One to deal with mankind until the whole plan of salvation was completed;
- Christ would reveal Himself to Israel;
- Christ would, prior to His first coming, keep the existence of the Father hidden from Israel in general;
- In O.T. times Christ would only reveal the Father's existence to a very few selected individuals, for God's own reasons;
- Only at His first coming would Christ reveal the existence of God the Father to mankind;...”
This bizarre assertion rests on a series of false premises and a false assertion that God the Father was not revealed in the OT. Note the bizarre comment that they had a discussion and Christ agreed to do all the creating and he would “deal with mankind until the whole plan of Salvation was completed.”
Then the next false assertion was made that Christ would keep the existence of the Father hidden from Israel in general. He would reveal the Father’s existence only to a few selected individuals. Now it was on this lie that Armstrong’s theology was built and it is contradicted by a number of texts in the OT and the NT quoting the OT.
The next false assertion is the claim that elohim is a “uni-plural” (sic) word and refers only to Jesus Christ. The fact is that it is a plural word. There is no such thing as a uni-plural word except that the word elohim can refer to a member of the class. When used with the article as Ha Elohim, as The Elohim, it is held to refer to the Father. There are a number of words in the OT used for God that can only refer to the Father as the One True God and the names show the distinction between God and the elohim who are sons of God.
The Father is the creator and He is identified in the OT on a great number of occasions. The failure of the WCG to understand the names of God and the distinction between the Father and the sons of God who are the elohim is the fundamental flaw in their theology and the corruption of their explanation of the Plan of God and the understanding of the OT and NT. It was for that reason that they never converted anyone from Islam, or any but a handful from the SDAs and other elements of the Churches of God and very few from Judaism.
The implications of this error are far reaching and this view had never been heard proclaimed as plainly and heretically as this from the WCG ministry or the offshoots from Australia or publicly from the US. The other authors of the paper Ditheism (No 076B) were asked if they had heard this heretical view in the WCG or any of the offshoots.
One of the CCG Coordinators in the US was asked regarding the matter. He was born into the WCG, attended Ambassador College, and represented the college at the AC project in Jordan. His view was as follows:
“After reading some of his writings, I really shouldn’t be all that surprised if this sort of thing is coming from this former WCG minister when his theology is based on the fact that whatever Herbert Armstrong says goes. His idolization of his shepherd Herbert Armstrong will not allow him to see clearly what the scriptures say about matters of God’s nature and His sons when Armstrong stood on the ground that God had only one son, regardless of the scriptures in Job and elsewhere mentioning many sons of God before the incarnation of Christ (Gn. 6:2,4, Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7) contrary to Herbert’s beliefs.
The simple logic alone that Jesus Christ is a son of God would have to mean that he was created by God the Father. That is what fathers do – they make sons. Otherwise you border on the Trinitarian philosophy of hypostasis and the like. Ahh, but if Armstrong didn’t think that, then logic must need a revamping.
This sort of shepherd idolization blinds men of all rational and logical explanations in the scriptures.
His statement that the first commandment does not refer to God the Father and instead refers to Jesus Christ is definitely the first time that I have heard it from any man coming from the WCG. This makes me wonder how many former WCG ministers may be in the closet with this belief. He may not be the only one.
Of course this implies that we are to worship Jesus Christ, and again goes directly against Christ’s teachings to worship God (the Father) for He alone is good (Mat 19:17, Mk 10:18, Lk. 18:19), and Christ’s direction to us in prayer to God the Father. This leads me to think that a man that believes this may be praying to Jesus Christ.
Any follower of Herbert Armstrong would of course think it blasphemy to say that Christ was a pre-existent son of God along with the other sons of God as Christ’s brothers, or companions or comrades. But, we know where this goes. It is just a blinding disregard for the scriptures when they clearly say that God the Father, the God of Jesus Christ who is a lesser god being as a son of God, was anointed above his companions or comrades (Hb. 1:9). Logic says that before this anointing from his God he was equal to his companions.
Of course this is logic, not Herbert Armstrong theology of a two-true Gods system, and if it doesn’t fit Herbert Armstrong’s illogical, anti-biblical theology it will not make sense to them no matter how many scriptures disprove this sort of blasphemy.”
The officer’s view regarding Hebrews 1:9 is exactly where Frank Nelte went in referring to Psalm 45:6-7. We have also heard others stumped by Psalm 45:7 claim that the text refers to the elect of the church above whom Christ was elevated. However, the text of Hebrews makes that impossible and also proves that the Father was known in the OT as it is quoted in Hebrews 1:5, specifically the fact of God and the Son of God. This relationship was also proven in Proverbs 30:4-5 where the name of the Father was identified specifically as Eloah the God of the OT.
Hebrews 1:1-4 states:
 In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets;  but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.  He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,  having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs.
(RSV used throughout unless otherwise stated.)
Christ is stated here to have become superior to angels meaning he was not always so. Indeed he was part of the Host as the Angel of the Presence, or Angel of the Lord, in Israel.
Note that God is portrayed here as speaking through the prophets of old. So to assert that the prophets did not know that God existed is absurd from the text of the NT itself. Christ here was appointed heir of all things. We also are coheirs with him. The words in the KJV of “By himself” and “our” are additions to the text that do not appear in the ancient texts and were added by the Trinitarians to qualify the text further.
This text in Hebrews is misused by Trinitarians and Ditheists/Binitarians to assert that Christ was always different from and above the Angelic Host when the Bible is clear that is not true. Such a view entered Christianity from the converts from the god Attis in Rome and began to be circulated ca 170 CE. The process is explained in the paper Binitarianism and Trinitarianism (No. 076) and specifically in Binitarian and Trinitarian Misrepresentation of the Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127B).
The text here in Hebrews 1:2 has also been mistranslated to say “by whom also he made the world,” when the word is not world but is aion meaning age.
The text here shows that the existence of the Father was known and declared from many texts in the OT but these examples are simply ignored by Armstrong worshippers.
Hebrews 1:5 For to what angel did God ever say, "Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee"?
Or again, "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son"?
Verse 5 quotes from Psalm 2:7 (in the Septuagint (LXX), see Brenton trs). Psalm 2:2 also refers to the Lord Yahovah and against His anointed, referring to the two beings, and verse 7 shows the text refers to the Father and the son. Thus from this text we clearly see that the Father and Christ are referred to and Yahovah in verse 2 is the Father as a generic term. The word Yahovah in verse 4 was altered to Adonai by the Sopherim in the post-Temple period to disguise the matter. The text translated begotten thee is literally brought thee to the birth. This point was held by Bullinger to be at the Resurrection when Christ became “the glorified federal head of a new order of beings” (derived from Acts 13:33; see Comp. Bible fn to Heb. 1:5). The text that continues in verse 5 and says “I shall be to him a father and he shall be to me a son” refers to 2Samuel 7:14 which refers to God referring to Christ. God is revealing to Nathan that the seed of David will produce His son from verses 12-16.
Thus David was told by God, using the Holy Spirit through Nathan that God would produce His son (Christ) from David’s seed. Thus the assertion by Armstrong is yet again proven false.
2Samuel 7:12-17  When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.  I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men;  but I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you.  And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.'"  In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.
The text in Hebrews 1:6 refers to the text as the prototokos or first begotten quoted from Deuteronomy 32:43 in the LXX (cf. Ps. 97:7).
Hebrews 1:6 And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him."
The LXX text says in this verse: “Rejoice Ye heavens with him and let all the angels of God worship (proskuneo – bow down to) him. Rejoice ye Gentiles with his people and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him.”
The term sons of God is pantes uioi theou. This is literally all the sons of God and these beings are not Christ but the other sons of God that are distinct from the Gentiles and the Israelites and thus can only be the spiritual Host also referred to in Job 1:6, 2:1 and 38:4-7. This text was also forged by the Sopherim in the Masoretic Text (MT) as was Deuteronomy 32:8 which was changed from the words according to the number of the sons of God to the words according to the number of the Sons of Israel. They took the text out of this verse 43 to disguise the following facts: The sons of God in verse 8 not only had the nations allocated to them and Israel was given to the Yahovah of Israel, but, from v 43, that salvation was open to the Gentiles, as well as Israel and also to the sons of God in the Host. We had the truth in the LXX text to confirm the text in Hebrews, but the Trinitarians did not draw attention to the forgeries, as it suited them. The Ditheists of Armstrong simply don’t know enough to deal with it. There is, however, no doubt whatsoever that Hebrews is quoting directly from the LXX and the full text sheds light on the meaning of Hebrews. The Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) also confirms the text in the LXX and shows that the MT is a later Jewish forgery. The RSV has corrected the text in verse 8 on that basis.
Hebrews 1:7 is drawn from Psalm 104:4. This reference also proves beyond doubt that the Father is being referred to in the Psalms and the Book of Hebrews assumes that fact as it shows Psalm 104 is referring to the Father as the creator Who laid the foundations of the earth (Ps. 104:5a).
Hebrews 1:7 Of the angels he says, "Who makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire."
Psalm 45 is referred to in verse 8 and shows that the son is revealed, and thus also the Father. Hence, the elohim who is the elohim of Christ can only be the Father. So once again in seven separate instances in the first part of Hebrews chapter 1, the contention that the Father was not revealed in the OT texts is proven to be false.
Hebrews 1:8-9  But of the Son he says, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom.  Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness beyond thy comrades."
Verses 10-12 refer to Psalm 102:25-27. It is obvious that this text refers to the Father as it is used here in Hebrews in contradistinction to the son who is then referred to again in verse 13 referring to Psalm 110:1 and the angels in verse 14.
Hebrews 1:10-14  And, "Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of thy hands; they will perish, but thou remainest; they will all grow old like a garment,  like a mantle thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years will never end."  But to what angel has he ever said, "Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet"?  Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?
How then are the Father and Son not understood from these aspects in these texts? How is the Father not understood from Psalm 110 in the OT? The suggestion is absurd. The text in Psalm 102:27 is mistranslated from Thou art He to thou art the same to disguise the fact that we are talking about the One True God and not a triune system.
The text was rather unfortunate as it has been used with a few mistranslations to elevate Christ above the Angels and assert that was always so when the texts show that he was one of them as sons of God. The purpose of the text is to show that Christ, as one of them, was made a little lower than the angels, and then elevated above them through his sacrifice. They are referred to in the LXX as sons of God and part of the Host being distinct from the humans, both Israelite and Gentile. We will look again at the understanding of these texts and then go on to demonstrate further the identity of the Father as the One True God of the OT.
Returning to the question of the First Commandment referring to Christ: one of the CCG coordinators in California was to say:
“I have never heard it said in the Worldwide COG or its offshoots that the First Commandment of Exodus 20 pertains to Jesus Christ, not God the Father, until I read it in Frank Nelte's article, GOD’S PLAN FOR MANKIND & CHRIST’S RETURN. I have been with a few of WCG off-shoots and never heard this blasphemy.
But it does not surprise me as I read in the sermon transcripts from John Ritenbaugh's series of sermons on The Father/Son Relationship that it is OK to pray to Christ. This too was never preached in Worldwide under Herbert Armstrong. It was always taught by the ministry to pray to the Father in Christ's name as it was taught by Christ himself.”
The WCG taught, as did all the Churches of God over two thousand years, that it was absolutely forbidden to pray to Christ. All prayer was to the Father in the name of His son Jesus Christ.
Once you make this error and you elevate Christ to co-equality with the One True God you then proceed down this track of blasphemy. As these ministers work together in error without the guidance of a board of elders and outside of the lamp-stand of the Church of God they make errors and thus it is not surprising that they got to this dead end. The man who is the subject of this analysis even denies that the name Eloah applies to God the Father from this same flawed reasoning. He also denies that there was a Temple Calendar and we will examine that fallacy also.
Another coordinator who had experience with the Church of God International (CGI) stated that he had never heard this said, while he was in the Church of God, International. In that church it was taught that the First Commandment referred to both the Father and Christ since Christ was also considered to be God from a misunderstanding of John 1. John 1:1 simply states that Christ (the Word) is a theos/elohim, as are the other sons of God (angels) from Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7 and Psalm 82.
Christ is distinguished from the Father, who is the God of John 1:1 as Ton Theon/Ha Elohim.
The problem with which CGI is faced is that the command is that you shall have no other elohim before me. The text says: I am Yahovah thy Elohim. You shall have no other elohim before me.
It is true that Yahovah is a name used for multiple sons of God and Genesis 18 and 19 refers to four Yahovahs at the same time. One stayed with Abraham and two went to Lot at Sodom and then they called fire down from the Yahovah in Heaven. This is explained in the paper The Angel of YHVH (No. 024).
Thus the language of the text can admit of a subordinate Yahovah of Israel; however, if the wording of the First Commandment were to apply to Christ or another Yahovah it is direct idolatry and the Sin of Satan.
Such a view comes from the false assertion that the God of the OT was Jesus Christ which is the false theology of Armstrong running directly against the OT texts. Were the claim to be made that the Yahovah here refers to Christ and not to God as Ha Elohim then we are faced with the fact that this text, being singular, makes Christ demand that he is the object of worship in Israel and not the One True God.
The text linguistically cannot refer to two beings, although the claim that they were two beings as one is obviously the false premise on which they rely. The real understanding of the OT is clouded by the error of Armstrong being perpetuated by his advocates blindly accepting the false assertion and building on it as we see here. We have no doubt that Armstrong himself would have censured this view re the First Commandment referring to Christ.
As was also pointed out here, the point should be obvious to anyone that if those were the commandments of Christ, then worshipping the Father would be a transgression because we would be worshipping the Father in the place of Christ. It's absurd. When we read Ezra chapters 4-7 we see that the Temple belonged to The Deity (SHD #433 Eloahh, Eloah), and the laws were those of The Deity, and in John 17:3 Christ called this Deity the One True God. Christ also identified this Deity as his God in John 20:17 and as such this would make this God Christ's Creator and it makes Christ a subordinate elohim who acts at the behest of his Creator. So those laws can only be the laws of God the Father and that would also explain why the First Century Church considered Christ the Great Angel of the OT who gave the law to Moses, as the Bible states.
Our God is Christ's God. We only have One True God. We serve Him, as does Christ.
This insidious heresy of two true Gods and the lie that the Father is not mentioned in the OT has been spread by these people to the extent that we see that one or two COG people in Africa have been approached via the Internet by one or two other ex-WCG people, seemingly in South Africa, who are trying to advance the possibility that the First Commandment applies to Christ. Fortunately it is being rejected as utter heresy by those of whom we are aware.
The Bible is quite clear that there is One True God and that God is identified in the OT as the Father and creator and His name is Eloah, and he has a physical son. Proverbs 30:4 directly challenges anyone who thinks he has understanding of the texts to declare the name of the Father and the name of his Son. The text then proceeds to identify Him by name as Eloah which is a singular name that admits of no plurality and it refers to the Father only. Understanding this name of God is the test of understanding in the Holy Spirit. Ditheists or Binitarians fail this test. They deny or misrepresent its application.
Eloah is the God of the Temple and we know from Deuteronomy 32:15 that He is the creator and from Deuteronomy 32:17 that He is the object of sacrifice. He is the God of the Bible.
He is the Most High (Eleyon or Elyon) and there can be only one Most High by definition and the logic of language. He divided the nations according to the number of the sons of God (Deut. 32:8 RSV and DSS). He gave Yahovah's portion to be the Children of Israel. Thus Elyon and Yahovah, as God and son of God, are set in place here in the Torah where Yahovah of Israel is one of the sons of God and Eloah is set as the creator. For this reason the MT was forged in this text in the post-Temple period and that is why the KJV is false.
Job mentions Eloah in 45 places. The redeemer is listed as one of the Thousand and is not Eloah in Job (Job 33:23).
This name is singular and admits of no plurality whatsoever. The texts completely destroy the myth that Armstrong created, namely that the OT referred only to Christ who was the God of the OT and the Father was unknown in the OT. That is a lie.
Ezra identifies Eloah as the God of the Temple and proceeds from the texts in Ezra 4:24 to identify the Temple as the House of Eloah; The God (Eloah) of Israel (Ezra 5:1). The prophets at the House of Eloah are the prophets of Eloah (Ezra 5:2). It is the "eye" of Eloah that observes and commands the activities at the Temple.
Darius was petitioned over the House of the Great Eloah at Jerusalem (Ezra 5:8).
The Jews knew and stated that they were the servants of the Great Eloah of Heaven and Earth (Ezra 5:11). But it was the fathers of Judah that provoked the Eloah of Heaven to wrath (Ezra 5:12). There is only one Eloah of Heaven and Earth and that is the Father. To suggest otherwise is idolatrous blasphemy.
The Jews acknowledged that it was Cyrus that gave the command to build the House of Eloah at Jerusalem (Ezra 5:13). The vessels of the House of Eloah were returned to the prince of Judah (Ezra 5:14) and ordered returned to the House of Eloah as it was built in place (Ezra 5:15). The request was made as to whether the decree of Cyrus existed regarding the House of Eloah (Ezra 5:17).
Darius ordered a search and the decree of Cyrus was found regarding the construction of the House of Eloah at Jerusalem (Ezra 6:3), as well as the vessels of gold and silver taken by Nebuchadnezzar from the House of Eloah be restored and returned to the House of Eloah (Ezra 6:5). Thus the old temple and the new temple were both the House of Eloah.
Hence, the attackers were ordered to leave the construction of the House
of Eloah alone and the Jews be left to build the House of Eloah (Ezra 6:7). The
tribute beyond the river was allocated for the construction of the House of
Eloah (Ezra 6:8) and also for the sacrificial offerings to the Eloah of Heaven
It was Eloah that caused His name to be put there in the House of Eloah and a hundred bullocks were offered to the dedication of the House of Eloah (Ezra 6:12,16-17). The Priests and Levites were set in divisions for the service of Eloah at Jerusalem (Ezra 6:18).
Artaxerxes recognised Ezra as a scribe of the Law of Eloah of Heaven (Ezra 7:12). Ezra was sent to assess Jerusalem according to the Law of Eloah which was in his hand (Ezra 7:14) and the king and his counselors offered silver and gold to the Eloah of Israel who is the Eloah of Heaven whose habitation is in Jerusalem (Ezra 7:15). They had to purchase animals for offering to Eloah in Jerusalem (Ezra 7:17) and then they were to use the rest according to the Will of Eloah (Ezra 7:18). Then they also had to deliver the vessels of Eloah before the House of Eloah at Jerusalem (Ezra 7:19). Whatever else that was necessary to bestow on the House of Eloah (Elahh) was to be taken from the king’s treasure house as Ezra the scribe of the Law of Eloah directed (Ezra 7:20-21). Whatever was commanded by the Eloah of Heaven was to be done diligently for the House of the Eloah of Heaven (Ezra 7:23).
Also the priests, Levites, singers and porters, Nethinims, were ministers of the House of Eloah and it was not lawful to impose toll, tribute or custom upon them (Ezra 7:24). Ezra was commanded to act according to the wisdom of Eloah to appoint magistrates and judges. Whoever did not do the Law of Eloah and the law of the king was to have judgment executed speedily upon them (Ezra 7:25-26). This being Eloah is the One True God.
His name admits of no plurality whatsoever and the Law emanates from Him and He is the object of sacrifice at the Temple. Christ identified the Temple as His Father’s House. The priesthood, including Christ as High Priest after the order of Melchisedek, worship Him and serve Him. The elohim emanate from Him as Ha Elohim. They as Elohim, which is a plural word, are the sons of God and they are the council of the Elohim of the Psalms and the Council of Revelation chapters 4 and 5.
It is obvious that the contention by Herbert Armstrong that the God of the OT is Christ is a complete fabrication and displays an appalling lack of knowledge of the OT texts. In the WCG Long Correspondence Course in Lesson 8 the WCG stated that the word Eloah was the singular word for God that was the origin of the name Elohim. This lesson remained unchanged from its inception to the last edition published under Tkach Snr. Herbert Armstrong never altered or removed it. It seemed that he did not understand the significance of the text as the next lesson lapsed into a form of Ditheism. However, his subordinates, such as Herman Hoeh, knew of its existence but perhaps not its implications. Unfortunately, they never developed the OT structure as they should have. There are other texts that deal with the two deities of Israel such as Zechariah 2 and others that deal with the position of Christ as the Angel of Yahovah such as in the Torah and in Zechariah 12:8.
Yahovah and Yahovih Distinctions
The Yahovih (SHD 3069) and Yahovah (SHD 3068) distinctions were not understood by Armstrong and his subordinates either.
One position of significance to this matter is the text in Exodus 4:10 and also in 4:13 where the word Yahovah relating to the Angel of The Presence speaking with Moses were two of the 134 places altered to Adonai thus showing that they understood implicitly that it was Christ speaking to Moses and not the One True God for whom Christ acted. Otherwise the words would have been retained and read as elohim. This is just another example of the error of the Armstrong hypothesis. Every one of the 134 texts shows the reality of the distinctions between the deities.
Yahovah of Hosts as Eloah, and the Elohim
It becomes obvious that the Armstrong ministry and its theology did not comprehend the meaning and structure of the names of God and the Host. Nor did they understand God’s Temple system and as such they were unable to properly reconcile the Monotheist structures, which is a task that must be performed by the Churches of God and the Witnesses in the Last Days. Herbert Armstrong was more intent on declaring himself the premier witness and the prophet Elijah to come than understanding the truth and the requirements of the plan of God. That was a vanity encouraged by his sycophants, which attitude resulted in the errors we also see developed here (see the papers Elijah? (No. 233) and The 18 Restored Truths of Herbert W. Armstrong (No. 233B)).
Christ himself declares the Temple in Jerusalem to be his Father’s House. It is Christ’s God and his Father (Jn. 20:17) who is the God of the Temple system both in the Old and New Testaments. There is no doubt that Israel understood the Temple to be the House of the One True God and the elohim of Israel was a subordinate deity that was a messenger from the Elyon that gave them the law at Sinai, and Christ and the apostles state that fact (cf. also 1 Cor. 10:4).
In John 2 verse 13, Christ and his disciples travel to Jerusalem to
observe the Passover. It was here that he declared the Temple in Jerusalem his
Father’s House, and cleansed the Temple by driving out the money changers and
animals (vv. 14-16). Christ had a zeal for his Father’s House, as John 2:17
quotes Psalm 69:9.
John 2:13-17 (Complete Jewish Bible).  It was almost time for the festival of Pesach in Y’hudah, so Yeshua went up to Yerushalayim.  In the Temple grounds he found those who were selling cattle, sheep and pigeons, and others who were sitting at tables exchanging money.  He made a whip from cords and drove them all out of the Temple grounds, the sheep and cattle as well. He knocked over the money–changers’ tables, scattering their coins;  and to the pigeon–sellers he said, “Get these things out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market?”  (His talmidim later recalled that the Tanakh says, “Zeal for your house will devour me.”)
Job 33:23 refers to the One of the thousand that redeems Job. This being is also in Genesis 48:15-16 as the elohim who walked with the Patriarchs and who fed Jacob and who Jacob stated was the Angel that redeemed him. The elohim are the sons of God. The elohim of Jacob was a messenger for the One True God and the Bible shows that to be so in the earliest stages of the texts.
From Hebrews 1:8-9 we know beyond dispute that this being referred to in
Psalm 45:6-7 is Christ as an elohim but he has an elohim above him as his Elohim
or his God and that he also has these fellows or comrades who were equal to him
but above whom he was anointed. Who were they?
They are clearly his comrades or partners. The Bible tells us who they are and they are not humans as these Ditheists try to assert. The Armstrongite Ditheists, such as Frank Nelte, (and the Binitarians) try to isolate the word chabbar translated as Fellows and Comrades as having no equivalent in English and actually makes that false claim that they are his human followers.
However, the word had a Greek equivalent in both the OT and NT translations. The academics all agree that chabbar (SHD 2271) has a perfect English equivalent which agrees with the Greek word used. It means partners, or companions. It comes from the root chabar (SHD 2266). The root means "to be compact" or "have fellowship with", or to "heap up", or "join oneself together, or in league". In every usage of the words from the root the word means companions or associates or partners. There is no other rendering or usage and the English equivalents carry perfectly the meaning.
The Greek is metoxous
(SGD 3353). The Greek has a specific meaning of a participant which carried
with it the meaning of a sharer and by implication an associate hence a fellow,
a partaker or a partner. The LXX uses the same term in translation and Brenton translates it as fellows and the NT translations render it partners (Knoch, and Marshall's
Interlinear) and comrades (KJV, RSV).
This Greek word has a perfect association in English as explained here and the Hebrew has the same absolute association. This Hebrew word has a specific meaning from a specific root and to assert that it has no equivalent in English is a blatant false statement. The assertion that it has no equivalent has no validity in language or in logic. These ministers will apparently say anything to distort the scriptures to fit with Armstrong's errors.
So, from the text, Christ has partners or comrades in association with him that shared in his position and above whom he was appointed or anointed. The absolute requirement of this position logically is that he cannot have always been above them. He was one of them until he was anointed above them. So who are they?
It is obvious from 1Peter 3:21-22 that the anointing of Christ took place after he was resurrected by his Father, ascended to heaven having his sacrifice accepted by his Father, and then being at the right hand of his Father. This is agreed by most Bible scholars.
1Peter 3:21-22 21) The like figure whereunto even baptism does also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22) Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him. (KJV)
This elevation took place from the resurrection of Christ from the dead. He was raised and elevated above the other sons of God, as we will also see below.
From Deuteronomy 32:15-17 we see that it was Eloah who was the God that
made them, and the God to whom they sacrificed. In verse 8, Eloah the Father,
is the Most High who divided the nations and in verse 9 gave Israel to our Lord
Jesus Christ. In Exodus 34:5-6 we see an example where Christ descended in the
cloud and stood with Moses, and then passed by before Moses, and proclaimed:
"The Lord, The Lord God"...
He was not proclaiming himself; he was proclaiming the Father before Moses, the same Father that Moses called Eloah in Deuteronomy 32. So when we read Exodus 20:3 we see that Israel did indeed know that there was a God the Father or Almighty who was above Christ because Christ had revealed Him to them. Christ was the reflection of His glory. The entire body of Israel knew that the being at Sinai was the Angel of the Lord that was revealing the Elyon, the God of Israel, to them. This was the constant view of the Churches of God over the ages.
In Ezra 7:21 the law is also identified as the law of Elahh (SHD 426 Chald.) who is Eloah (SHD 433) referred to elsewhere in the text by Ezra. He is the Supreme Deity. So the law that reads: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" is the law of God the Father, the One True God of Heaven and Earth.
Deuteronomy 32:8 shows that the Elyon was the deity that allocated the nations to the sons of God. There is only one Most High and it is not Christ by definition. Christ is not the Eloah of Heaven and Earth. That being can only be God who is the Father. The Father, the Elyon, allocated Israel to the Elohim that was Christ. This text had to be altered by the Sopherim after the fall of the Temple to discredit the doctrine of the salvation of the Gentiles and the position of Christ as Yahovah of Israel. So they forged the text to read according to the number of the sons of Israel rather than according to the number of the sons of God. These were twelve rather than the 70[two] of the sons of God as reflected also on the council of the elders, which reflected them. This was the Sanhedrin appointed by Israel at Sinai to represent the government of God as Christ showed to Moses.
The relationship between the Father as Yahovah of Hosts and Christ as Yahovah of Israel is seen in Zechariah chapter 2:7-12:
 Ho! Escape to Zion, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.  For thus said the LORD of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye:  "Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me.  Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion; for lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of you, says the LORD.  And many nations shall join themselves to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you.  And the LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem."
Note that the subordinate being here is speaking for Yahovah of Hosts and he has said that Yahovah of Hosts has sent him to protect them. So Yahovah of Hosts is acknowledging him and sending him to deal with those that touch the apple of his eye. Bullinger actually identified that text as the "apple of my eye" in the footnote to the text. The subordinate Yahovah of Israel is identified as the elohim of David and head of the elect as the Angel of Yahovah at their head in Zechariah 12:8.
Zechariah 12:7-8  "And the LORD will give victory to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be exalted over that of Judah.  On that day the LORD will put a shield about the inhabitants of Jerusalem so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the LORD, at their head.
This elohim is the Angel of the Lord at the head of the house of David who shall also become elohim.
Now, the WCG ministry NEVER addressed this text or the text in chapter 2. It completely destroyed their theory and so they ignored it and lied about what the OT said. They also ignored the fact that the comrades or partners of Christ were identified in Revelation chapter 4 and 5. The inner circle of the 70 was the thirty which was reflected in the Temple of Eloah in Jerusalem. Around the throne of Eloah there were the Cherubim or four living creatures. They were the Eagle headed cherub in the North, the Bull headed cherub in the West, the Lion headed cherub in the East and the Man headed cherub in the South. These last two rebelled and their fate and their replacements are prefigured in the Temple decorations beside the Palm that is Christ and their identities are identified in the Hebrew text of the OT. The new or replacement Cherubim are Abraham and Moses. They were the only servants of God that were named as elohim in the texts (see Gen. 23:6 in the Hebrew and Ex. 4:16; 7:1).
The twenty-four elders with Crowns that place them before God are represented by the twenty-four high priests of the Temple at Jerusalem. They are before the throne of God and the Lamb is there as the twenty-fifth and High Priest before the throne of God. These are the partners of Christ above whom he was elevated as High Priest after the order of Melchisedek. These are all sons of God. They state that Christ has redeemed us, of the human elect, to be a nation of Kings and Priests and we shall reign upon the earth. These are the companions of Christ before whom Christ confesses us as we see in Psalm 82:1-6 and all are children of the Most High (Elyon) as sons of God (Deut. 32:8; Job. 1:6; 2:1; 38:4-7; Lk. 12:8). The Elohim of Israel is among the elohim (Ps. 86:8). This text was held to refer to the judges of Israel by some Trinitarians, and Armstrong-trained Ditheists. However, Christ never held a place in the Sanhedrin or as a magistrate. This council is the one referred to in Revelation 4 and 5. The scholars are virtually all of the opinion that the Council of the elohim in the Psalms is that before the throne of God and is multiple.
In case there is any doubt as to who is the entity that is the Angel of Yahovah at the head of Israel in Zecharaiah 12:8 one can simply read on to the next texts which refer to the Messiah and the prophecy of him being pierced and his dealing with the nations that come against Jerusalem. There is no doubt that this being is the subordinate Elohim of Israel.
Zechariah 12:9-14  And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.  "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first-born.  On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadadrim'mon in the plain of Megid'do.  The land shall mourn, each family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13] the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shim'e-ites by itself, and their wives by themselves;  and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves.
This is Messiah. He is the subordinate Elohim of Israel and the Angel of the Presence that redeemed Jacob.
Genesis 48:14-16  And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it upon the head of E'phraim, who was the younger, and his left hand upon the head of Manas'seh, crossing his hands, for Manas'seh was the first-born. 15] And he blessed Joseph, and said, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has led me all my life long to this day,16] the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and in them let my name be perpetuated, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."
There is no mystery and no doubt of who we speak. The Angel of Redemption in Job 33:23 and Genesis 48:15-16 is one of the sons of God, the elohim referred to as the Angel of the Lord.
There is only One True God in John 17:3, who sent Jesus Christ, and the apostle Paul tells us that this God is the only being that has immortality (1Tim. 6:16).
Therefore, to equate another being to this God is blasphemous. To assert that a son of God, who himself claimed to depend on the One True God for his life (Jn. 6:57), as equal to the only True God, who gives life to all things (1Tim. 6:13) is blasphemous.
To assert that a son of God is the God that we worship in the place of the One True God is truly blasphemous for Christ told us to worship the Father who is his God (Jn. 20:17).
These are his words in John 4:21-24:
 Jesus said unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (KJV)
Christ made it clear that true worshippers worship the Father. They worship the Father in spirit and in truth, and the Father seeks such people to worship Him.
Christ said that the Jews knew who they were worshipping and they were not worshipping sons of God; they knew the Temple was the House of God the Father. Christ called the Temple his Father's House in John 2:16.
Therefore, to assert that Christ is the God that was sacrificed to and the God that should be worshipped in spirit and in truth is blasphemous.
What is it then that sets Christ apart from the other sons of God in the Angelic Host? The answer is that he was elevated above the other sons of God from his resurrection from the dead and his appointment as High Priest of the Host after the order of Melchisedek. We will all become elohim (Jn. 10:34-35) and be equal to the Angels (SGD 2465 i.e. SGD 2470 + SGD 32 equal or like an angel) (Lk. 20:36; Mat. 22:30; Mk. 12:25) who are also elohim by definition and as sons of God and the Council of the elohim of the OT texts. Christ will confess us before these angels of God (Lk. 12:8). They are referred to as sons of God in numerous places in the OT and we as sons of God will be as elohim as stated in both the OT and NT. They are sent with Christ to the earth at his return (Mat. 13:41; 25:31). Christ confesses us before them in order that we may be accepted among them as elohim.
The problem with Ditheism and Binitarianism is that the false doctrine has sought to elevate Christ above the sons of God and establish the error that was brought into the Christian system by the followers of Attis in Rome and which was not present at all until 170 CE. Armstrong’s Ditheism was NEVER part of the Church of God doctrines over the 1900 years before he introduced the heresy. Binitarianism came from the worship of Attis into Rome ca. 170.
We can demonstrate that fact by analysis of the Early Church Theology and writings and reference to the Smyrna trained bishops of the church such as Polycarp, Irenaeus and Hippolytus who are completely Subordinationist Unitarian. Even the prominent Trinitarian theologians admit that the Early Church was Subordinationist Unitarian. In detailing the writing of the Early Theology of the Godhead and demonstrating beyond doubt that the Smyrna trained theologians were Biblical Unitarians, these Ditheists appeal to ad hominem arguments such as:
The intellectual failure of the WCG and offshoots is a very serious impediment to the growth of the Churches of God and appears to be the reason why they are being destroyed. Their Ditheism is a joke. Their Binitarianism is a stepping stone to the heresy of the triune God that came in from the Binitarianism of Attis. The advocates in the offshoots are simply advancing the doctrines of Attis, Adonis, Osiris and Baal/ Mithra of the sun cults into the Churches of God. The assertion that Christ is elevated above the other sons of God as the Angelic Host is the exact argument that came in from the sun cults and which was used by the Athanasian Catholics at the Council of Nicaea in 325 CE and which was denounced as heresy by the Churches of God for centuries. The view was denounced as heresy and thrown out with all the canons of that council in 327 CE.
These ministers of the offshoots or unaligned individuals also make serious false claims to justify the failure of the WCG and offshoots system in failing to restore the New Moons and the Jubilees and Sabbath Cycles in the Temple Calendar. Some have even tried to deny that the Temple calendar existed and that the Temple system kept the New Moons at all, let alone as Sabbaths. We will deal with those aspects elsewhere. Others have tried to claim that the Hillel system was operating in the Temple system and that Christ kept it. The claims are false and self-justificatory. They have no basis in historical fact.
Herbert Armstrong was a proven false prophet and an uninformed leader (see the papers False Prophecy (No. 269) and Ditheism (No. 076B)). He was never ordained by any officer of the Church of God (Seventh Day). He was baptised by a Trinitarian minister and ordained by the laying on of hands at an all day tent meeting. COG (SD) credentialed him shortly thereafter. His authority stemmed from the baptised members that laid hands on him, to the extent that God honoured that action. He had no formal qualifications. His autobiography discloses these aspects. His Ditheist theology and claims reflect that fact, as do those of his followers by the sorts of claims they make also, as demonstrated above. The above comments have no pejorative intent. They are merely statements of fact. The authority of all Churches of God derives from the constitutions approved by the baptised members forming the association, under the NT authorisation of Christ of the binding and releasing. The Churches of God have a history of doctrines that are identifiable and the WCG and offshoots are the only Ditheist systems in our history.
The false claims of the Binitarians and Trinitarians can be seen from the paper Binitarian and Trinitarian Misrepresentation of the Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127B).
See also the paper The Bible (No. 164) for further references on the texts.
Christian Churches of God
PO Box 369 Woden, ACT 2606 Australia
E-mail: CCG Secretary
Copyright: The papers on this site may be freely copied and distributed provided they are copied in total with no alterations or deletions. The publisher's name and address and the copyright notice must be included. No charge may be levied on recipients of distributed copies. Brief quotations may be embodied in critical articles and reviews without breaching copyright.
| Search | Alphabetic Index | Long Catalogue | Home Page | Webmaster | Additional |