Christian Churches of God
The 18 Restored Truths of Herbert W. Armstrong
(Edition 2.0 20100206-20100227)
This paper examines the 18 Restored Truths claimed by Herbert W. Armstrong. It will be seen, from their magazine article that on this claim rests the WCG assertion that he was the promised Elijah.
The 18 Restored Truths of Herbert W. Armstrong
In The Worldwide News article in the “Iron Sharpens Iron” section dated Monday 25 August 1986 p. 5 the Worldwide Church of God published its justification as to why Herbert W. Armstrong had completed the task of the promised Elijah and restored all things. He had died in January 1986 and they had commenced the process of consolidation before they then commenced to pull it apart. They could have rectified the errors but they were still trapped in this false paradigm.
We will examine this article to test validity of these so-called 18 Restored Truths. Previously we had examined the proposition that he could have fulfilled the role of Elijah and listed fourteen grounds in which he could not have been or fulfilled the role of Elijah. These grounds are detailed in the paper Elijah? (No. 233).
The WCG no longer holds this view. It in fact no longer exists as the WCG. However, many of the offshoots hold these “Truths” to be valid. We will examine these claims against the Scriptures and many will be seen to be not only false but self serving devious misleading of a church.
We will state each of the 18 points as they were stated in the article and then examine them against Scripture. We will also see that they are not in fact the correct so-called 18 Restored Truths as originally outlined in the sermon by Herbert Armstrong. That will be examined and explained below and the reasons some of the so-called Truths were omitted and others relisted will become obvious. The truths are themselves a later forgery and explain where these people were going, even then.
The Worldwide News,
article Iron Sharpens Iron
Dated Monday 25 Aug 1986 p.5
18 Truths Restored by Herbert W. Armstrong
1) The government of God. When Christ comes, He will restore God’s government to the whole earth. So you can be sure the one to come in the spirit and power of Elijah would restore God’s government in his church. When Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong came among the Oregon Conference era of the Church of God (Seventh Day), the church had the right name, the law, the Sabbath and the tithing system. But they also had a government of men, with a biannual conference, voting just like they do in the world.
Today, the government of God has been restored to His Church. That’s the kind of government you find in Ephesians 4 and 1Corinthians 12.
Comment: It is true that the church had a Constitution when he entered it and it was run decently and in order according to biblical principle. Herbert Armstrong unlawfully disposed of the constitution when he was in a position to and the ministry supported him. He in effect took the entire assets of the church and placed them in his own name. After January 1986 the transfer of assets from Armstrong to Tkach could only have been effected by this fiction of sole ownership and the unfettered control of the church which Armstrong effectively stole. Had he been a CEO of a trading corporation he would have been charged and imprisoned.
The ministry allowed that initially so that they could be free of the limitations of the constitution and the representation of the brethren whom they considered to be an inconvenient “laity” and a hindrance on their unfettered control of the funds and expenditure of the church. These people knew that Herbert Armstrong had unlawfully disposed of the constitution and that fraudulent reports had been made to the State of California regarding supposed referenda which Herbert Armstrong and another officer had signed under penalty of perjury. This was effectively the introduction of the doctrine of the Nicolaitans (see The Nicolaitans (No. 202)).
However, when the transfer was effected to Tkach Snr they were caught in their own pit and the church was wrecked by the man to whom control was transferred. It was all highly unlawful but God allowed it to deal with the mindset involved.
The assertion that God does not allow control by the involvement of the members is directly contrary to the Scriptures and the instructions given to Moses by Christ at Sinai when he gave him the law.
Whilst the text in Exodus is not quite as clear, the text in Deuteronomy shows that Christ told Moses to tell the people to choose their leaders and Moses was to then appoint them. This aspect was covered in the paper Standing Operating Procedures (A3).
 "At that time I said to you, `I am not able alone to bear you;  the LORD your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude.  May the LORD, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times as many as you are, and bless you, as he has promised you!  How can I bear alone the weight and burden of you and your strife?  Choose wise, understanding, and experienced men, according to your tribes, and I will appoint them as your heads.'  And you answered me, `The thing that you have spoken is good for us to do.'  So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and set them as heads over you, commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, commanders of tens, and officers, throughout your tribes.  And I charged your judges at that time, `Hear the cases between your brethren, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien that is with him.  You shall not be partial in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike; you shall not be afraid of the face of man, for the judgment is God's; and the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.' (RSV)
To suggest as the WCG suggests Herbert Armstrong claims is a lie. The appointment of the leaders and representatives of the churches was also done in the same way (Acts 6:2-4; 15:22,25). The Church of God works with the consent of the governed, which Armstrong subverted.
The organisation of the church according to the Bible structure could thus never be restored while these ministers supported this false doctrine and instead of restoring anything it became a fraud aimed at preventing any true restoration specifically for improper reasons of corporate control.
The next “Truth” is an arrogant imputation against God and Christ and the entire church.
The WCG argued that the church had not held the doctrines for 1900 years until Armstrong restored them. They stated:
2) The Gospel of the kingdom of God has been restored after 1,900 years. The Church of God (Seventh Day) did not have a clear understanding of the gospel: they emphasized what they called a "third angel’s message."
Comment: What presumptive arrogance; The Caldwell Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day) could have bought and sold Herbert Armstrong and his ministry on biblical truth. They had the correct understanding of the Nature of God and kept the correct calendar and the feasts. Armstrong could not join them because he could not be the king pin immediately and did not know enough.
We know for a fact that the Church in Transylvania had the entire structure including the New Moons according to the Temple Calendar and also understood the nature of God and actually died for it as did most of the Waldensians and those that came before them including the Celts of Britain (see also the paper Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170) and see also the paper General Distribution of the Sabbath-keeping Churches (No. 122)).
The next claim is equally as arrogant and presumptive and as equally wrong.
3) The purpose of God, that we are to be born of God and become God. God is reproducing himself, and no other church on earth knows that or preaches it. As a counterfeit, they talk about being already born again. Christ is the firstborn of many brethren. Has anyone else been born again by a resurrection from the dead like He was?
Comment: The WCG taught the wrong doctrine on the nature of being born again. It was not taught by the other churches of God because it is false. It constitutes another division in the church of God termed a choice, or choosing or party; hence abstractly a disunion or heresy, which is the Greek word of the NT text (SGD 139 hairesis) and hence a division or sect.
The process of being born again is explained in the paper Born Again (No. 172).
The function of how man and the Host would become elohim and how God was extending himself was not understood properly by Herbert Armstrong. He completely misapprehended the role of the Host and how they were already elohim as sons of God. The biblical references and structure were completely lost on him. He was lost because of the false doctrine he introduced on the Nature of God. How that doctrine is false is explained in the paper Ditheism (No. 076C).
The mechanics and biblical position on how we are to become elohim is explained in the paper The Elect as Elohim (No. 001).
The function of the Creation of the Host is explained in the paper How God Became a Family (No. 187).
The false doctrine on the nature of Christ in relation to the Host was introduced to Christianity and resulted in Trinitarianism from Binitarianism. Armstrong did not understand that process and fell into the error of Ditheism because of the incoherent understanding in US Protestantism which influenced his thinking. Those who follow his error seek to misrepresent what he taught as Binitarianism to try to make some sense of the heresy. They fail because they don’t understand that it is heresy. The errors are also covered in the paper Binitarian and Trinitarian Misrepresentation of the Early Theology of the Godhead (No. 127b).
The next step in his logic from this Ditheism led him to misunderstand the function of the Bible terms and the distinction of Eloah and Elohim. He completely misunderstood or misrepresented the OT in its declaration of God the Father and His Son.
Proverbs 30:4-5 asks the question regarding the name of God and the name of His son. It answers the question in the next verse by declaring the name of God as Eloah. Such a declaration destroys Armstrong theology and so he ignored it if indeed he ever knew it. He seems to have never even read Lesson 8 of WCG’s own correspondence course which declares that the word elohim was derived from the singular Eloah as the name of God.
He simply did not understand the position and function of Christ in the OT (see the paper The Angel of YHVH (No. 024) and also the papers The Pre-existence of Jesus Christ (No. 243); Isaiah 9:6 (No. 224)) and Micah 5:2-3 (No. 121)).
Error followed error from this false understanding. He then concluded that God the Father Eloah was not the God of the OT.
4) Who and what is God? The Jews think God is one person. Many people mistakenly think that God the Father is the God of the Old Testament and then Christ came as His Son. Traditional Christianity believes in a trinity, that the Holy Spirit is a person. God is neither one person or the Trinity. God is a family into which we may be born and also become God. His Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are the begotten children of God. And when we are born of God we will not even be able to sin.
Comment: Some of his ministry were aware of the use of the term Eloah but they did not understand what it meant and its function in the Bible.
He then speared off on a tangent which produced an infected theology asserting that elohim was a uni-plural (sic) word meaning that there were two gods as the co-eternal beings in the sequence. He fell into the error of asserting that Christ was distinct from the other sons of God. He did this by making the false statement that there were no other sons of God and that the angelic host were not sons of God as that would imply that God was prior to them in their creation. To assert that Christ was a son of God meant the same thing therefore the angelic host had to be distinct from Christ. His flawed theology is explained from his own quotes in the work Ditheism (No. 076C).
This false theology led him into a mass of other false assumptions and false statements regarding the life and purpose of the angelic host and the way in which they would share in the Plan of God after the Second Resurrection. He actually produced a theological argument in this regard that would have been worthy of the adversary (ibid).
Four false claims down and fourteen to go. The next one or Fifth “Truth” misrepresents the doctrines of the COG (SD) in part.
5) What is man? Do we have an immortal soul? Or are we just an animal? What happens at death? The dead are unconscious and they don’t know anything. The Church of God (Seventh Day) people understood some of what happens at death, but not fully. They believed that man did not have a spirit. That’s been explained more fully now.
Comment: The Bible is quite clear that the spirit in man or Nephesh returns to God on death and humanity is dependent on God for the Resurrection from the grave. This doctrine has been a constant understanding in the churches of God for 2000 years. Even in Rome ca 154 when they had gone off track with Easter they still understood the truth of the Resurrection and the Millennium with the reign of Christ and the elect of the First Resurrection from Jerusalem (cf. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho LXXX).
The Caldwell Conference understood the truth. The Oregon group is the one to which he refers but the evidence is missing for his claim. The Denver Conference may wish to dispute the matter also. If they did hold this view at Oregon it was one of their many errors which they transferred to Denver.
The understanding has been fairly constant throughout the two millennia and his assertion is that he now understood it more fully than the COG (SD). There is no real evidence to support this contention.
This view of the spirit seemed to be garbled into the Sixth “Truth.”
6) The human spirit in man. What makes the difference between a human mind and an animal brain is that there is a human spirit with a human brain. That spirit is not the conscious part of the man. And it needs to be united with the Spirit of God.
Comment: Here he confuses the Nephesh of Man that does not have the Holy Spirit of God with the function of the unification with God. Mankind is capable of the Resurrection because it has been made with the capacity to receive the Holy Spirit imprinted on it and thus can be resurrected and made an elohim. Animals including the Nephilim and Rephaim do not have this capacity (see the paper The Nephilim (No. 154)).
This has been a constant doctrine of the Church of God for two millennia and is not in any way a “Restored Truth” or any version of it. Even the Koran refers to the two Gardens of Paradise, which are the Resurrections.
The next and Seventh Point is like unto it.
7) The church is only the firstfruits, and not the end of God’s plan of salvation. God isn’t trying to save the whole world yet. It starts with us, and we’re being taught and trained so that we, under Christ, will be teachers and rulers when Christ comes to rule in the Millennium, when he starts to save the rest of the world.
We have the great opportunity of being made God and, in the future, to rule over others and teach then and help them be converted so they can become children of God, also. And those who are converted during the Millennium will, with us, be kings, priests and teachers for the rest of the world that will be resurrected after the end of the resurrection.
Comment: The statement is a restatement of the standard doctrine of the Churches of God for two millennia and there is nothing “restored” about it. It was perverted by his ministry into a position that the 144,000 were the only ones to be in the First Resurrection which is contrary to Revelation 7. They asserted that the Great Multitude was in the Second Resurrection and only 144,000 were in the First Resurrection from the same infected theology that held that the Church of God had been non-existent for 1900 years.
(A variation on this view was also a JW doctrine).
Thus, from this assertion, God and Christ had been on a holiday and Christ did not know what he was talking about when he said the gates of death would not prevail against the church. The truth was that they were not capable of the hard work involved in the research of the history otherwise they would have known that what they said was heresy.
The next or Eighth “Truth” is another false statement.
8) The church is not yet the kingdom of God, but we are the embryo that will become the kingdom of God.
Comment: This is in direct contradiction of Christ who said to the elect that the Kingdom of Heaven or of God is at hand (Mat. 4:17; 10:7) or among you (Lk. 10:9,11; 11:20) or within you (Lk. 17:21). In Luke 9:27 Christ said: I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death till they see the kingdom of God.
If Herbert Armstrong’s doctrine of Born Again and the Kingdom of God is correct then Christ lied and we have no saviour; but we know Christ did not lie and he was accepted as a sinless sacrifice. Thus Herbert Armstrong’s understanding is wrong and cannot be a “Restored Truth.”
Well did Christ say of them: Woe unto you ye scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men. You neither go in yourselves, neither do you allow them that are entering to go in (Mat. 23:13).
The next or Ninth “Truth” is also a distortion of the truth and Plan of God.
9) Only those whom God the Father calls and draws to him can be converted now. No other church knows that or believes it. That’s another truth restored to the Church through Mr. Armstrong. None of us had ever heard that before, except as we got it through Mr. Armstrong. Only those God chooses and calls now can come in and become part of the firstfruits. Satan has deceived the whole world, and the church is called out of that world.
Comment: There are two lots of people that are called. The first lot are the called and chosen. They are predestined by God to be called and converted and to be part of the First Resurrection (cf. Rom. 8:29-30).
The second group were the called but not chosen. They heard the voice but did not have sufficient resolve and dedication to be part of the First Resurrection and could not keep the faith. Hence the text “many are called but few are chosen” (Mat. 20:16).
Thus the base premise is that those predestined by God are called by God to be converted. In that sense it is true.
However, the simplification of the facts is made so that the doctrine of the Third Resurrection can be asserted. Thus Herbert Armstrong and WCG taught, and incorrectly, that all beings baptised are called and those who fail are consigned by God to be cast into the Lake of Fire. From his error in understanding regarding the facts of the OT, he asserted that Angels could not die. They were then to be cast into the Lake of Fire in eternal torment along with the Beast and the False Prophet (which are in fact concepts of Government and False Prophecy). The fate of the person baptised and who left the WCG or failed the First Resurrection was to be cast into the Lake of Fire and burned. Thus there was a Third Resurrection simply to be put to death for these people. That is of itself a bizarre and sadistic imputation of God. However, there was an eternal punishment for the fallen host. Such decree is gross respect of persons and attributes sin to God.
This view is gross heresy and an imputation against the nature of God. No other doctrines caused as much harm as this one and the doctrine on divorce and remarriage in the WCG (see the paper Fallacy of the Third Resurrection (No. 166)).
The Tenth Restored Truth is a standard doctrine of the church of God for two millennia and has nothing to do with Herbert Armstrong. The wording of it is incorrect as his understanding of what happens in the resurrection to Krisis or correction.
10) The resurrection to judgment, the Great White Throne Judgment. God has a plan to save those who have not had an opportunity for salvation and who are now dead in their graves. They have not had the Holy Spirit. Their time is coming. But our time comes first, and we have to fight the devil, and they won’t. In the judgment, they’ll be found guilty and condemned to death. They’ll have their first chance to know that Christ came and paid the death penalty for them. They’ll be allowed to accept that payment, and they’ll have 100 years to prove they want to live differently than they did in their first life. They can be saved at last.
Comment: The Resurrection is simply a process of education and bringing people to repentance. Hebert Armstrong’s understanding of how God deals with the Fallen Host and the Called but not chosen is a nightmare scenario of a god with a sadomasochistic mindset.
The errors in his theology and that of his ministers are explained in the paper on the Third Resurrection above and the papers Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son (No. 199) and Judgment of the Demons (No. 080).
The Eleventh “Truth”, like the Tenth Truth, is another restatement of the basic doctrine of the church over two millennia but a denigration of the understanding of the mechanics of the Millennium.
11) The Millennium. The kingdom of God will rule nations on earth, and Christ and the saints will rule and bring prosperity to the entire earth. The Church of God (Seventh Day) understood the time duration, but, because they did not adequately grasp the full meaning of the gospel of the Kingdom of God, they knew little in the 1930s of what the Millennium would be like.
Salvation will be open to all for the first time since Adam sinned and God closed the tree of life.
Comment: Herbert Armstrong did not understand the mechanics of the time frame of the Millennium, nor its start and finish, nor the period leading up to the commencement. To explain it further he would have had to restore the jubilees and the Temple Calendar neither of which he did.
As we demonstrated previously, even in Rome they understood it, and also in every era of the Church of God for two millennia.
The Twelfth and Thirteenth “Truths” are based on the Born Again Doctrine as he understood it.
12) The Holy Spirit coming into us only begets us. It opens our minds so we can understand the coded book, the Bible. Eye has not seen nor ear heard the things God has in store for us, described briefly in the Bible. God does reveal them to his church by his Spirit that resides in us. Without that Spirit, we cannot understand the Bible. Spiritual knowledge comes from the Bible, but by the Holy Spirit.
13) We are only begotten now, not born again. We are heirs, not yet inheritors. The Holy Spirit begets us as children of God, but we are not yet born.
Comment: This understanding is incorrect and rests on his false premises. The Bible texts that show why he and the WCG were wrong are contained in the papers Born Again (No. 172).
The Fourteenth “Truth” concerns British Israel and his incorrect understanding of it.
14) The identity of modern Israel. What are America’s roots, our national identity? We are Manasseh, one of the lost 10 tribes of Israel. Numerous other groups have some knowledge of this truth, but no major denomination does. The Church of God (Seventh Day) officially rejected this truth. Mr. Armstrong wrote up the proof in an article and sent it to the leader of that church. You’ll find a copy of the leader’s letter in response in Mr. Armstrong’s autobiography.
Comment: The work to which he refers was finally published as The US and BC in Prophecy by WCG.
It is virtually a complete plagiarism of J. H. Allen’s work Judah’s Sceptre and Joseph’s Birthright. It has a premise in truth but the Church of God (Seventh Day) was right to dismiss his plagiarism. He himself should have been dismissed for it. If it had been copyright Allen’s heirs would have sued him.
The problem with the work was that it contained serious errors enshrined in British Israel ideas and doctrines.
The errors are able to be discerned from the work Genetic Origin of Nations (No. 265) and in the series on the Sons of Japheth and the Descendants of Abraham series at www.ccg.org and also at www.abrahams-legacy.org.
The premises of the lineages involved are also examined in Hittites in the House of David (No. 67C).
This is not a “restored truth” it is an error of understanding that Herbert Armstrong plagiarised. There is an element of truth that has since been rectified.
The next and 15th “restored truth” is a premise. It is an overstatement and not a truth.
15) Prophecy can be understood only if you know that we are Israelites, and what prophecies apply to us and which do not. Others who do not know Israel’s identity can’t understand, for example, the 30th chapter of Jeremiah and scriptures like that, which show the Great Tribulation will the time of Jacob’s trouble.
Comment: There are some prophecies that require an understanding of the identity of Israel over history. Many other prophecies do not require that understanding at all.
In spite of Herbert Armstrong’s identification he got every single prophecy he made wrong and failed to explain the others in any correct structure. His major errors are identified in the paper False Prophecy (No. 269).
The next or 16th “restored truth” is a blatant lie.
16) The annual festivals, the feast days. What other church knows about them or keeps them? Where did you hear it from? God revealed it to Mr. Armstrong.
Comment: Herbert Armstrong got the understanding of the Feasts from the Caldwell Conference of the Church of God (Seventh Day) which was keeping them correctly according to the ancient Temple calendar (see the paper God’s Calendar (No. 156) and also the paper The Calendar and the Moon: Postponements or Festivals (No. 195)). He introduced the Hillel Calendar into the Church of God for the First time, it is true. That however merely proves that he was guilty of heresy and distorted the understanding of the faith for his time and decades afterwards. If he did not know the COG (SD) at Caldwell was keeping them then he was blind. It is however unlikely that is the case.
The New Moons were kept with the feasts among the Transylvanians who were the Eastern Waldensians. The Waldensians kept the Feasts for centuries as the paper Role of the Fourth Commandment in the Historical Sabbath-keeping Churches of God (No. 170) shows.
The next and 17th “restored truth” is arrant nonsense.
17) The authority of the sacred calendar, preserved by the Jews. Before Mr. Armstrong revealed this to the Church of God (Seventh Day), they were confused as to when the year should begin. Mr. Armstrong also made clear the importance of the Jew’s preservation of the weekly cycle.
Comment: The Church of God (Seventh day) kept the year according to the conjunction and they kept the Passover correctly throughout their existence. As can be seen the Caldwell Conference kept it all including the Feasts except for the New Moons. The only one confused was Herbert Armstrong and anyone silly enough to listen to him,
The Hillel Calendar kept by the Jews was a construction of two Babylonian rabbis in 344 BCE based on the Babylonian Calendar and its fixed system of intercalation that were inaccurate even when they were adopted by Rabbi Hillel II as the Jewish calendar in 358 CE. No Church of God, and indeed no “Christian” Church, was fooled by them as they had been commencing the year in Abib according to the Conjunction in the same way the Temple system had done until its destruction.
To persuade the RCG/WCG system that the Jews were correct the false doctrine that the Jews were given the Oracles of God was asserted. This false assertion was made in spite of the comments of Christ and the Apostles in the Bible texts.
It is a false assertion and has been exposed for what it is in the paper The Oracles of God (No 184).
The last and 18th of the “restored truths” is another false doctrine asserted by Herbert Armstrong in his cynical rendering of the sheep of God to the hooves.
18) Second and third tithe. What other church knows these points? The second tithe is for God’s feast days. Other churches do not keep these feasts, so they have no reason to have second tithe. Third tithe is for the needy, primarily within God’s church.
Comment: Indeed what other Church of God would have so cynically misconstructed a doctrine that even the Jews had not done, in order to get three tithes in two years in a fictional cycle that ignores biblical law and the Sabbath systems of the Law of God.
The Jews argued for the Third tithe allocation every third year, namely in the Third and Sixth year of the Sabbath Cycle in perversion of the Laws of God. Even the Rabbis did not dare to claim that the Third Year Tithe was not the Second Tithe paid into the system as the law dictates.
There is no such thing as three tithes. In the third year of the seven-year Sabbath Cycle the Second Tithe is converted to the Third Tithe and paid into the Temple or Church system. It is not paid in the sixth year. It is certainly not paid in addition to the Second Tithe.
In addition to this additional tithe that he imposed on the members there were an additional four offerings invented that made seven offerings instead of the biblical three offerings, and a collection was taken up on the Day of Atonement which is specifically forbidden (see the paper Tithing (No. 161)).
Why did God allow this corruption of His laws and the false doctrine to be introduced on such a scale?
The Forged List of the 18 Restored Truths Examined
The version of the 18 Restored Truths as listed in the Worldwide News after the death of Hebert Armstrong was challenged and examined by B. and J. Thiel in their analysis of the tape made by Herbert W. Armstrong on the subject and they have demonstrated that there were four truths missing and they produced a comparative chart of the list and the tape.
We will identify these claims and examine them for truth and validity and historical accuracy.
The comparison chart by B. and J. Thiel is at Annex A. So also is their identified list of the 18 restored truths from Hebert Armstrong’s sermon. It is obvious from Thiel’s analysis that there are four so-called truths missing and these will be seen to be in the same category as the other so-called “truths.” It will be obvious that the four missing truths have been removed for a very good reason by the Tkach administration and it tells everyone exactly where they were going. As for them being restored truths however is another matter.
The Thiel list follows the chart at Annex A. The four missing truths are reproduced here. The lists are reproduced in the public interest due to the levels of duplicity involved in the administration of the WCG over the years and their false claims. The complete article is found at: http://www.cogwriter.com/j18.htm
The “truths omitted from the WCG Article above are most significant.
“10. Truth About the Holy Spirit
He [Armstrong] immediately continued with,’Now truth regarding the Holy Spirit’, but did not in this sermon go into it in depth. He had previously emphasized ‘GOD IS NOT A TRINITY!’
This is about all he mentioned about the Holy Spirit in this sermon, and thus it is possible that he may not have intended it as a separate restored truth, though his context suggests otherwise. Furthermore, he did write, ‘No one can have the Holy Spirit, which alone can open the human mind to understanding this Word of God, without a complete repentance. There was a time, when those two Personages coexisted and NOTHING ELSE did. No third Person is mentioned—no ’Ghost’...The Holy Spirit came from heaven, audibly, sounding like a mighty wind, ‘and it [the Holy Spirit] filled all the house where they were sitting.’ Next, the Holy Spirit appeared--WAS VISIBLY SEEN--manifested—‘And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it [the Holy Spirit in the form of divided tongues] sat upon each of them’ (Acts 2:2-3). In verse 18, Peter is quoting from the prophet Joel: ‘I will pour out...of my Spirit....’ The Holy Spirit, like water or a fluid, can be ‘POURED OUT.’ Can you pour out a person from one into another--as from God into those assembled there? John 7:37-39: ‘In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy [Spirit] was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)’ Again in Acts 10:45, ‘...on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy [Spirit].’ (Mystery of the Ages pp. 5,44,56-57). ”
Comment: This point is not a restored truth of Herbert Armstrong in any sense of the word and is blatant lie. This has been the consistent doctrine of the Churches of God for 2000 years. Thiel is correct that this was ignored because it conflicted with their intended Protestant direction. It is however nothing that Armstrong restored. If he had not taught this he would have had no credibility in the Churches of God and would have never been credentialed. The next point is like it.
“16. Identity of Babylon and Her Daughters
He [Armstrong] immediately continued with, ‘Then the great deception, the counterfeit of Revelation 17:5, Babylon, the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, her daughter churches and who they are...Those people in the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches have been deceived.’
Comment: This again was the basic teaching of the church for almost two millennia. It certainly was the teaching of the entire Thyatiran and Sardis eras. This was not restored by Armstrong. It is not surprising that it was omitted by the WCG under Tkach as the intent was again to try to be accepted by these people. They had to be accepted as bona fide when they have been our persecutors for almost 1700 years. So also is the next point omitted but listed by B. & J. Thiel.
“17. Satan Has Deceived the Whole World
He [Armstrong] stated, ‘And the fact that Satan, the devil, has deceived the whole world. Brethren, Satan is the one who is guilty. Those people in the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches have been deceived. And I think they really believe. God just hasn't opened any more truth to them. We don't sit in judgment of them. We're not judging them YET. We're going to do it and when WE judge them, then all truth will be opened and God will take away the blindness from their eyes so they can understand if they're willing. Today they couldn't understand it, even if they're willing. I don’t think they're willing, either, as far as that goes.’”
Comment: This was again the view of the entire Church of God for centuries. If you did not believe this you would have been regarded as ignorant of the plan of God and the activities of Satan in any previous Church of God. The reason for the omission from the 1986 list above is obvious. They had sold out to the Trinitarian movement already by 1986. So also the next item had to be omitted.
“18. We Are to Be Separate
He [Armstrong] immediately continued with, ‘And how in Revelation 18:4 that God has called us out from among them, to be separate.’
Thiel held that “This, combined with his initial statement about the Bible being written primarily for the Philadelphia era, suggests that he is also stating that PHILADELPHIANS ARE NOT TO BE UNIFIED WITH THOSE WHO DO NOT HOLD ALL THESE RESTORED TRUTHS. (However, it does not forbid having any contact with others.)” (emphasis retained).
Comment: So also this “come out and be yet separate” is a doctrine common to all the churches of God for centuries before Armstrong existed. He restored nothing. He was perhaps the greatest plagiarist ever to exist in the Churches of God. The fact he is eulogised is merely proof that he was indeed the Idol Shepherd.
The claims that the Bible was written for the Philadelphian era were arrant stupidity as Armstrong was part of the Sardis system as were the offshoots demarcated by the Living Church of God.
The reorganisation of the list as pointed out by Thiel shows they knew they had to produce a list of 18 so-called “truths” so they reorganised it to remove the offending items that would bar them from entry to the Trinitarian system, but yet make it appear they were still with Armstrong. It should be noted that not one of these ministers objected to or corrected the fabricated list in 1986 or subsequently and they are still making justification for him and the lists. Herbert Armstrong was a minister of the Sardis Era and Thiel’s Living Church of God is the demarcation church of that era from Revelation 3:1. It is the only church in history to have the name that it is Living.
Far from being Elijah, Herbert Armstrong fulfilled only one role in Scripture. He was and could have been no other than the figure in Zechariah 11:17 where he is known as the Idol Shepherd and all of them are addressed in Ezekiel chapter 34.
God allowed this man to do what he did and used him to fulfil prophecy. He used him as an instrument of testing the church and measuring its members and ministry. That measurement commenced the year after he died in 1987 and was declared publicly by his successor Joseph Tkach snr.
As can be seen, not one of the so-called 18 Restored Truths was in fact completely true or even half true. They were all false in entirety or misrepresented to argue points that were false. Herbert Armstrong did not restore all things or anything like it.
For all the reasons listed in the previous paper he could not have been Elijah (see the paper Elijah? (No. 233)).
The restoration is required of the Churches of God in the Last Days and will occur.
The brethren are now being put together all over the world from all the churches of God of the last eras and they will be brought to understanding with or without their ministry.
The following is a comparison of the restored truths that Herbert Armstrong listed in his sermon and the 18 truths article in the Worldwide News:
in WWN Article
1. True Gospel...............................................................2,8
2. Purpose of God..........................................................3
3. God's Plan through the Holy Days...............................16,17
5. Who and What is God?...............................................4
6. What and Why is Man?...............................................5
7. Spirit in Man...............................................................6
8. Firstfruits.....................................................................7,9, Alluded to in 10
9. Knowledge of What the Millennium is...........................11
10. Truth About the Holy Spirit.......................................MISSING
11. Begotten Now..........................................................12,13
12. Born-Again at the Resurrection.................................Alluded to in 13
13. Identity of Israel........................................................14
14. Identity Opens Up Understanding of Bible Prophecy..15
15. Second and Third Tithes............................................18
16. Identity of Babylon and Her Daughters.......................MISSING
17. Satan has Deceived the Whole World........................MISSING
18. We Are to Be Separate.............................................MISSING
The truths Herbert Armstrong stated God used him to restore to the Philadelphia era of the Church of God are listed below in the order he listed them as restored in that sermon.
1. True Gospel
Herbert Armstrong stated, "Now in Romans 5 and about verse 5, you will read that by the blood of Christ we are reconciled to God. Now the gospel was suppressed and, as I say, they turned to a gospel ABOUT Christ, but they have not talked of His message. And His message talked about God as being the supreme ruler, and His message had to do with the government of God and God is the lawgiver, and when you sin, the sin is the transgression of the law, and that has cut you off from God, the Father. And what was restored? The world had lost the gospel, they didn't know what the gospel was. I came among the true Church of God of the Sardis Era. They didn't know what the gospel was, they thought it was what they called the third angel's message. They didn't know what the gospel really was. They called it a third angel's message. God revealed it to me and through me, to the Church. That the gospel is the Kingdom of God, that is the gospel Jesus preached, that's the gospel Paul preached to the Gentiles, that's the gospel that Peter and John preached. You'll find when Jesus sent them out and sent out 70, He said preach the Kingdom of God. That is the only gospel, is the gospel OF Jesus Christ. The world preached and has a gospel ABOUT Christ. Now the first thing to be restored to the Church is the true gospel. The world has lost the purpose of God. They have lost all knowledge of the gospel of Christ, which is the Kingdom of God. They have lost all of these things."
2. Purpose of God
He immediately continued with, "And the second thing to be restored is the PURPOSE of God. And the gospel has to do with that. That God IS reproducing us and that MAN CAN BECOME God! No other Church on earth believes that, brethren. And now let me tell you, I'm going to reveal to you, now, things that have been restored in this Church. Let me tell you, THESE ARE ALL THINGS THAT SOME OF THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN MINISTERS IN THIS CHURCH IN HIGH OFFICE, HAVE GONE OUT AND NOW ARE SAYING, AND SAYING PUBLICLY, THAT WE ARE DEPARTING FROM THE FAITH AND THAT WE ARE GOING FARTHER AND FARTHER INTO ERROR BECAUSE THEY WILL NOT RECEIVE THE TRUTHS THAT GOD HAS BEEN RESTORING INTO THE CHURCH. God's purpose is that He's reproducing Himself and that we, ultimately, become God."
3. God's Plan Through the Holy Days
He immediately continued with, "Now another thing that has been restored is, through the Holy Days, God's plan, His Master Plan for accomplishing that purpose, and the annual Holy Days. And no other Church has had those Holy Days, and understands them."
It is quite possible that Mr. Armstrong felt that keeping the Holy Days and what they meant were two separate restored truths, yet in this sermon he mentions those together here as well as later when he states, "The fact of the annual festivals, that they represent God's plan." He did not separate them into separate truths quite like he does with the other ones listed in this article. Also, it should be recognized that most in the Church of God, 7th Day kept the Passover while Mr. Armstrong affiliated with them, and some kept the other Holy Days--thus this may be why he did not clearly separate this point into two truths.
Insert Comment Herbert Armstrong then added, "All right, what's the next thing restored? I don't think these are in any special order". He did not number any after the first two in his sermon, but this article will continue to number them for clarity sake. It is certainly possible that Herbert Armstrong may have numbered them differently than this article shows them, but major efforts have been made to list them as he did in this 12/17/83 sermon.
He stated, "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". He also wrote "The government of God is of necessity government from the top down. It cannot be 'government by the consent of the governed' " (Mystery of the Ages. p.49).
5. Who and What God Is
He immediately continued with, "Who and what God IS. NO RELIGION ON EARTH KNOWS WHO AND WHAT GOD IS! NO RELIGION ON EARTH! BILLY GRAHAM DOESN'T KNOW IT! JERRY FALWELL DOESN'T KNOW IT! ROMAN CATHOLICS DON'T KNOW IT! GOD IS NOT A TRINITY! GOD IS NOT A SINGLE PERSON! God is a family of persons, and the family began with God and the Word. You read of that in John 1:1-5. And you read of it in Genesis 1 beginning with verse 1. You should learn about God first, and it begins first both in the New Testament and the Old, because many experts feel that, so-called experts, that the book of John should be placed first in the New Testament, although it was not written first. That God is a family and it began with the two, and we can be born into that family."
6. What and Why is Man?
He immediately continued with, "Now the next thing that's restored to the Church — what and why man is! WHAT IS MAN? WHY DID WE COME TO BE ON EARTH? The Sardis Church didn't know, they didn't know in the Middle Ages. Man was made from the dust of the ground. Man was made with one spirit and he needs another spirit, the Spirit of God which unites him with God, and is the impregnation of God-life in him, and he will be born of God." Later in that sermon he states, "The knowledge that he that is born of the flesh IS flesh, mortal, that's what we are", which seems to clarify the 'what' portion of this truth.
7. Spirit in Man
After the term 'God', he immediately continued with, "Next the human spirit IN man. No other Church knows about that. That has been revealed to the Church. That is knowledge that has been restored to the Church of God. And this Church has that knowledge."
The Bible teaches that "there is a spirit in man and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding" (Job 32:8) which God did not give to the animals (e.g. Job 39:17). "For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of man which is in him" (I Cor 2:11). Mr. Armstrong wrote, "This 'human' spirit imparts the power of intellect to the human physical brain" (Mystery of the Ages p. 105). This spirit is not the same as the spirit of God which humans need to understand the things of God, but this spirit is needed to understand the things of humankind (Job 32:8; I Cor 2:11).
He immediately continued with, "Another, the next piece of knowledge that has been restored to this Church, that the rest don't know and no other Church knows it, that this Church is the first-fruits, that God is not trying to save the whole world now. He's calling us out now and He'll use us as teachers to help save the others in THEIR turn, and they’ll turn, from the Millennium, will help save all the rest in the great White Throne of Judgment. And ultimately, God's going to go after the saving of everybody who ever lived. But no Church understands that, that we are the first-fruits, we are the embryo of the kingdom of God. The fact that we have to be called by God, and salvation is not open to just anyone, whosoever will. The whosoever will may come is found in the last chapter of the Bible, and does not pertain to this time at all. And no other Church seems to know that. That knowledge has been restored to this Church."
(Before listing any restored truth he also earlier stated, "And it is only the called who can come"--which is consistent with this truth.)
9. Knowledge of What the Millennium Is
He immediately continued with, "The knowledge of the Millennium and what it is. Now the Sardis people knew that Christ would rule a thousand years. They knew it would be a Millennium. They had NO IDEA IN THE WORLD about what would happen in the Millennium. They HAD NO IDEA WHAT IS THE PURPOSE of the Millennium. We know when we assemble at the Feast of Tabernacles, that's what we're celebrating, and we know what's going to happen in the Millennium and that salvation will be open, then, to all that are still alive. But it is not open to all now. No other Church knows that. These are things that YOU, brethren, are privileged to know. YOU, God has blessed you with this knowledge, has restored this knowledge to you."
10. Truth About the Holy Spirit
He immediately continued with, "Now truth regarding the Holy Spirit", but did not in this sermon go into it in depth. He had previously emphasized "GOD IS NOT A TRINITY!"
This is about all he mentioned about the Holy Spirit in this sermon, and thus it is possible that he may not have intended it as a separate restored truth, though his context suggests otherwise. Furthermore, he did write, "No one can have the Holy Spirit, which alone can open the human mind to understanding this Word of God, without a complete repentance. There was a time, when those two Personages coexisted and NOTHING ELSE did. No third Person is mentioned--no "Ghost"...The Holy Spirit came from heaven, audibly, sounding like a mighty wind, "and it [the Holy Spirit] filled all the house where they were sitting." Next, the Holy Spirit appeared--WAS VISIBLY SEEN--manifested--"And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it [the Holy Spirit in the form of divided tongues] sat upon each of them" (Acts 2:2-3). In verse 18, Peter is quoting from the prophet Joel: "I will pour out...of my Spirit...." The Holy Spirit, like water or a fluid, can be "POURED OUT." Can you pour out a person from one into another--as from God into those assembled there? John 7:37-39: "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy [Spirit] was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" Again in Acts 10:45, "...on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy [Spirit]." (Mystery of the Ages pp. 5,44,56-57).
11. Begotten Now
He immediately continued with, "And the fact that we are begotten now. You're not born yet, only begotten".
He did not mention much else about it in that sermon, but did write the following, "Now, as the physical male sperm finds its way to, and unites with the nucleus in the ovum, so God's Spirit enters and combines with the human spirit and MIND! There is, as explained before, a spirit IN man. This human spirit has combined with the brain to form human MIND. God's Spirit unites with, and witnesses with our spirit that we are, now, the children of GOD (Rom. 8:16). And God's Holy Spirit, now combined with our human spirit in our MIND, imparts to our mind power to comprehend SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE (I Cor. 2:11)--which the carnal mind cannot grasp.
"Now we have the presence of ETERNAL LIFE--God-life--through God's Spirit. In like manner the human embryo was an actual human life as yet undeveloped. But we are not yet immortal spirit beings--not yet BORN of GOD--just as the human ovum was not yet born of its human parents--not yet inheritors, and possessors, but physical HEIRS (Rom. 8:17). But IF God's Holy Spirit dwells in us, God will, at the resurrection, "quicken" to immortality our mortal bodies BY his Spirit that "dwelleth in us" (Rom. 8:11; I Cor. 15:49-53)" (Mystery of the Ages pp.260-261).
12. Born-Again at Resurrection
He stated, "You're not born yet, only begotten, that we will become born at the time of the second coming of Christ, when this mortal puts on immortality, when we won't be human any longer, we'll be divine. The knowledge that he that is born of the flesh IS flesh, mortal, that's what we are. That that is when you're born in the Spirit you BE Spirit. Someone please go tell Jerry Falwell that, so he'll know he's not born again (laughter)."
13. Identity of Israel
He immediately continued with, "Another thing restored to us is our own roots, our identity, who we are. We are the tribe of Manasseh of the lost ten tribes of Israel, and no other Church on earth knows it. That knowledge has been restored into this Church, and God restored that to me 53 years ago."
14. Identity Opens Up Understanding of Bible Prophecy
He immediately continued with, "Our identity. And that opens all the doors...and the understanding of prophecy has been opened to this Church. That has been restored to this Church."
15. Second and Third Tithe He stated, "The second and third tithe, what other Church knows about that? And that was restored by this Church, that knowledge restored by this Church."
Though not mentioned further in that sermon, second and third tithes are discussed in Deuteronomy 14:22-29. God specifically calls third tithe a "holy tithe" (26:13).
16. Identity of Babylon and Her Daughters
He immediately continued with, "Then the great deception, the counterfeit of Revelation 17:5, Babylon, the Great, the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth, her daughter churches and who they are...Those people in the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches have been deceived."
17. Satan Has Deceived the Whole World
He stated, "And the fact that Satan, the devil, has deceived the whole world. Brethren, Satan is the one who is guilty. Those people in the Catholic Church and the Protestant churches have been deceived. And I think they really believe. God just hasn't opened any more truth to them. We don't sit in judgment of them. We're not judging them YET. We're going to do it and when WE judge them, then all truth will be opened and God will take away the blindness from their eyes so they can understand if they're willing. Today they couldn't understand it, even if they're willing. I don’t think they're willing, either, as far as that goes."
18. We Are to Be Separate
He immediately continued with, "And how in Revelation 18:4 that God has called us out from among them, to be separate."
This, combined with his initial statement about the Bible being written primarily for the Philadelphia era, suggests that he is also stating that PHILADELPHIANS ARE NOT TO BE UNIFIED WITH THOSE WHO DO NOT HOLD ALL THESE RESTORED TRUTHS. (However, it does not forbid having any contact with others.)
HWA's Next Comments
Getting back to the sermon, Herbert Armstrong then immediately continues with, "Well, brethren, all those things have been restored and there is a mission for this Church that never applied, and has never been done by any other Church."
This statement of Herbert Armstrong shows that the truths mentioned in this article are at least part of those he felt were restored to the Philadelphia era of God's Church.
It is telling, because it reveals that he believed that the last 3 truths were restored truths. Those are three that were not in the Worldwide News (though the Living Church of God specifically teaches them as part of the 18 restored truths. re: Ames R. Treasure the Truth. Sermon, Charlotte, NC, 8/12/06). Since the listing of the restored truths in the Worldwide News is so similar to those in this article, we cannot believe that those composed it did not have access to this particular sermon. We feel that they intentionally left out the last three, essentially because separation from the Catholics and Protestants was the opposite of what the new leadership apparently wanted. “ (B & J Thiel ibid).