Sunday, January 31, 2010

Two Trees - Two Covenants

This post is about the two Covenants. I want to go over, once again, how the Bible had foreshadowed the New Covenant even from the beginning.
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Were there not two trees?

One was the Tree of Life. The other was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Are there not two covenants?

One was death:

(II COR. 3: 7) But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones...
(ROM. 4: 15) because the law brings about wrath
(ROM. 7: 10) And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death.
(GAL. 3: 10) For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”
(II COR. 3: 6) ...for the letter kills...

The other is life:

(II COR. 3: 6) ...not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
(II TIM. 1: 10) but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel
(I JOHN 2: 25) And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.
(I JOHN 5: 11-13) 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

Which of these trees is the law?

(ROM. 3: 20) Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Be absolutely assured, none of these things come from the law:
Justification (GAL. 2: 16)
Righteousness (GAL. 2: 21)
The Spirit (GAL. 3: 2)
Perfection (GAL. 3: 3; HEB. 7: 19)
Miracles (GAL. 3: 5)
Inheritance (GAL. 3: 18)
Life (GAL. 3: 21)
Grace (GAL. 5: 4)

The two covenants are not alike.

(JER. 31: 31-32) 31 “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— 32 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt
(HEB. 8: 13) In that He says, “A new covenant, ” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

The New Covenant is better!

(HEB. 7: 22) by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
(HEB. 8: 6) But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
(HEB. 12: 24) to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

The Old is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, because by it we know sin. And when we fail in it we receive death.

(GN. 2: 17) of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.
(HEB. 10: 28) Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

But in the New is the Tree of Life. Life how? Jesus is the life; not the law:

(JOHN 1: 4) In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
(JOHN 3: 16) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
(JOHN 14: 6) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.
(JOHN 3: 36) He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
(JOHN 5: 39-40) 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
(JOHN 6: all) [Read the whole thing. Notice all the talk about life.]
(JOHN 17: 3) And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.
(I COR. 15: 45) And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
(II TIm. 1: 1) Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus
(I JOHN 1: 1-2) 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us

Jesus Christ is life, and the New Covenant is in His blood. The Old Covenant is death.

(ROM. 6: 21) For the wages of sin is death [by the law we know sin], but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(II COR 3: 3-9)3 clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. The Spirit, Not the Letter 4 And we have such trust through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.

The New Covenant is in Him. We enter it by faith in Him.

(ROM. 1: 17) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
(ROM. 5: 1-2) 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
(ROM. 11: 20) ...Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.
(GAL. 2: 16) knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.
(GAL. 3: 2-7) 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?
5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?— 6 just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.
(GAL. 3: 26) 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
(EPH. 3: 17) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love
(II TIM. 3: 14-15) 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
(I PET. 1: 6-9) 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
(I JOHN 5: 4-5) 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

It is a gift.

(EPH. 2: 8-9) 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

It is a promise.

(ROM. 4: 13-14) 13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect
(GAL. 3: 17-18) 17 And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. 18 For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
(GAL. 3: 29) And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Even the promise is in Christ.

(II COR. 1: 20) For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

So, we must ask, if the law is death, why the law?

(GAL. 3: 19-25) 19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
(ROM. 5: 20-21) 20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

And it worked! We are all sinners. Romans 3: 23 says, "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." But why would a loving God design a system to bring us all under sin?

(ROM. 3: 25-26) ..to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

And that brings everything into focus if we know that everything is for God's glory.

(ROM. 11: 36) For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

In another way, Paul speaks to this very same thing about the foreshadowing of the two covenants from Genesis:

(ROM 5: 12-19) 12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

Yet again, Paul speaks of the relevance of Genesis to the two covenants:

(GAL. 4: 21-26) 21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through promise, 24 which things are symbolic. For these are the two covenants: the one from Mount Sinai which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar— 25 for this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children— 26 but the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written: “Rejoice, O barren, you who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labor! For the desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.” 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are children of promise. 29 But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman but of the free.

And I believe, if you can accept these things, the tree of life and the rivers of life in Revelation will also start to make sense to you.

May God bless you and speed you into His New Covenant.
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I also want to give a shout out to J from Shadows for an excellent article about "Law or Faith: Which?"
To all of you who have escaped the yoke of legalism and have accepted the wonders of God's grace -- Keep up the good work, people!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ron Weinland - In His Own Words

I would just like to review a few of Ron Weinland's past statements. This post is nothing new, nothing revolutionary. Other blogs have done similar posts, and their posts have been just as ignored as this one will be.
Still, I stick by my belief that a false prophet is always exposed by his own words.
And I feel that going over this sort of thing regularly, as repetitive and fruitless as it seems, is actually a benefit in the long term.


How this works is I'm going to post some quotes from Ron, grouped by topic, so you can see what he said a while ago compared to what he's saying recently and you can see how he changes things subtly over time.

Weinland On The "Truths" (Some of Which He Changed):

"Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong being God's apostle at the end of this age and the one God used to restore truth in the Church [a reference to end-time Elijah], etc., are a few of the examples of the kinds of things being attacked and changed by people who see themselves as new restorers of truth. They fail to understand our history or how God called us and worked with us. They fail to grasp that truth had to be restored to the Church [another reference to the end-time Elijah] by God and that what they are actually doing now is tearing down the very work that He Himself did."
(Also read the section "Rejected" for more.)

But a "restorer of truth" is exactly what Ron now sees himself as, and he's taken to changing the old "truths". Starting at 18, we've now exceeded 50 truths. How is he some exception, then? Is he tearing down work now, or were those others innocent when he made this boastful claim back then?

"The greatest challenge to the scattered Church of God has been the testing and trial upon brethren as to whether they would be faithful stewards to the truths that God had restored to the Church [a reference to the 18 truths] during Philadelphia through Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong [a reference to the end-time Elijah]."
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, Q5 2002

Well, are you a faithful steward? Are you rejecting Ron?

“The abomination of desolation that has been working to destroy the Church is the very power that works to dilute and change the word of God — the truths restored [a reference to the 18 truths].”
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, Q5 2002

That's a HUGE bungle! He calls himself the Abomination of Desolation! Open mouth -> Insert foot.

Ron altered these "truths" post facto, and demoted Herbert Armstrong to a type of Elijah, but not really the Elijah after all. Hypocrisy? You decide.
I would just like to point out that unless one literally IS Elijah the Tishbite, then one can be nothing more than a type of Elijah. So what is Ron's point of making this distinction about HWA?



Weinland On Herbert Armstrong:

"By denying what God did through the Church and Mr. Armstrong up until the mid 1980's, we can be guilty of denying the "work" of God. There are many ministers who believe they must teach about a "Work of God" yet to be accomplished through their efforts and those of their organization. Brethren need to understand what they actually mean when they say such things."

I point out to you, dear reader, that this quote matches Ron Weinland 100%. Consider carefully what it is that he is doing!

"Foundational truth necessary for salvation [a reference to the 18 truths] was replenished through the Elijah that would 'truly first come, and restore all things' [a reference to Herbert Armstrong] before the end of this age and the return of Jesus Christ (Mat.17:11). If you believe these things, your focus is going to be much different from someone who believes we are still living in Philadelphia and that Laodicea is yet to come. Your focus will be different from someone who believes that Mr. Armstrong was not 'the Elijah to come.'"
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, Q2 2001

And Ron Weinland no longer teaches that Herbert Armstrong was THE Elijah to come. And thus, by his own standard of measurement, he denies God Almighty.
(Read "Elijah - Ron Weinland or Herbert W, Which?" for more info on this.)

"If we believe that we are living in the time of the great apostasy spoken of in 2 Thes.2, we will more fully grasp the importance of what God did through Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong in restoring foundational, trunk-of-the-tree truths [a reference to the 18 truths] to the Church during the period of Philadelphia. Most of these truths had been lost by the end of Sardis [completely untrue; read this article for details]. Again, we are speaking of very basic truth that is necessary for salvation."
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, Q2 2001

"Your focus will also be quite different from others who believe the gospel must yet be preached in all the world as a witness, if you believe 'that witness' has already been given."
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, Q2 2001

If it was already given, how can anyone give more? If it was so necessary for salvation, why did Ron change it? If it were so necessary for salvation to know that Herbert Armstrong was the end-time Elijah, why does he now teach against it?
Not so necessary after all.


"Prophet" Weinland On Physical Destruction During The Tribulation:

"Ezekiel 5 is going to be fulfilled in a physical way to the nations that make up modern-day Israel, and they have already been almost fulfilled on a spiritual plane within the Church—the spiritual Israel of God."
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, Q5 2002 [emphasis mine]

"Ezekiel prophesied about a time when there would be such great destruction upon Israel that one-third would be destroyed almost immediately in the days when this tribulation begins, and another third would be destroyed over the following few months. Through this traumatic time, the last third would be scattered as a result of this devastation, but that is not the end of the tribulation because the last part of verse 2 makes it clear that a sword of destruction will come upon this last third."
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, Q5 2002

"We have not always understood those prophecies in that [spiritual] light. Instead, we have focused more upon a physical fulfillment rather that a spiritual one that involved the Church."
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, Q5 2002

Please allow me to elaborate slightly. There was supposedly a spiritual destruction upon "the Church" since the 1990's.

"We live in a time of spiritual tribulation upon the Church (the spiritual Israel of God)."
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, Apr/Jun 2000

"Just as great physical tribulation will come upon the modern nations of Israel, great spiritual tribulation has already come upon the modern-day Israel of God—the Church of God."
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, Q1 2002

And that spiritual tribulation was supposed to be ending at that time.

"...we are drawing near to the end of the tribulation and the scattering that is upon the Church."
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, Apr/Jun 2000

From there, we were supposed to enter a physical phase of the Great Tribulation that would bring all kinds of destruction across the earth, as we have already seen quoted. "The Church" has always taught about physical destruction. At least since 1934 that was taught.


“If by Pentecost [2008], I’m just going to make this real clear to everyone - if by Pentecost it is not powerfully and abundantly clear that there has been a great deal of destruction that will clearly encompass a third of all plant life in the U.S. and at least the clear results of this mingled with blood the death of very much animal life and the beginning of large numbers of human life then I will stop preaching. Just so all the critics and everyone out there will understand. I am true to my word in these things. OK? And for all the critics if by the end of July and for most likely around Pentecost if nothing has clearly caused great destruction and death I will make it very clear that I was a false prophet. I will do exactly what I said I would do on all of those interviews that I have held; to do less, ah.. well.. would be quite insane.”
-Ron Weinland, “Three More Weeks” sermon; timestamp 1 hour 28 minutes

But.. notice anything missing? Where is this physical destruction? (Or the apology?)

"Since the timing of what I had stated as being the moment when the First Trumpet was blown (April 17), we have seen no clear evidence on a physical plane of the fulfillment of that trumpet, although it has been stated that such things will be revealed throughout the timing of the entire first four trumpets."
-Ron Weinland, New Truth, June 2008

As recorded in the You Tube video, "God's Final Witness" ["Final Witness" is always a reference to Ron himself], Ron, from his own mouth, makes the following two statements:

“And the world will be shocked! And in horror! On the day that the 7th seal is opened. You will lie, you will twist, you will distort, and you will die… speedily.”
-Ron Weinland

Pretty succinct, no? Though we were promised one thing by a "prophet", now we get this instead:

“The 7th seal is opened. Somebody in email will say, ‘Well, nothing happened.’ You know? Well, you know? Did I say anything would happen on the 18th? It’s a spiritual thing. I thought I made that abundantly clear.”
-Ronald Weinland

Oh, things are abundantly clear, alright.
It was supposedly spiritual, that spiritual was coming to an end, then it was going to be physical, the physical never manifested as prophesied, and now we're back to spiritual again. Physical? Who mentioned anything about physical?

Confused reader, you may be asking yourself how anyone can excuse Ron Weinland's blatantly ungodly series of lies, twists, and distortions. Please allow me to explain this from a believer's standpoint.
It's a "progressive revelation", you see. No matter who he cursed with death, or bashed and condemned, or who he caused to sell their family homestead to give him money expecting the timing was accurate as claimed (it was supposed to have been revealed to him by God, after all), or whatever... no matter the unending river of contradictions... never mind any of that. Ron made those predictions "from God" in ignorance; not knowing he was wrong. Only what he says now matters because now God has really revealed the really true truth. He's not a false prophet just because he prophesies in God's name falsely. He gets a pass because he was completely ignorant as to just what magnitude of an ass he was making of himself. He didn't know that the things he claimed were given him from God were actually things he made up, and since he didn't do it on purpose, he's a real prophet. Especially now - this time - because he's finally right.
Well, at least until it's progressively revealed that he is still wrong. Because you never know when that will happen! Then it will be OK at that time.


(JOHN 9: 39-41) 39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” 40 Then some of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these words, and said to Him, “Are we blind also?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains."


(ROM. 3: 3-8) 3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged." 5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world? 7 For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

Yes, observant reader. That view does mean that everything I've written in this post means nothing to Ron Weinland's followers. They will dismiss it all because these quotes were from a time of ignorance. Only what he says next matters.

I admit that I can sympathize with this view, because I was once a follower myself. My heart goes out to Ron's followers. They don't understand that I'm on their side. I hope some day they can.


Weinland On How He's Been acting Lately:

"Too many today are lifting themselves up, kidding themselves that they are doing God's bidding, yet all the while denying the true evidence all around them. To lift ourselves above what is true and falsely esteem an organization and its efforts while ignoring the truth, is the epitome of Laodicea."
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, January 2000 [emphasis mine]

"Many brethren are going to be found guilty of working against God's will, not for it. They are not actually doing His work, but they believe they are. Lifting up our own efforts, as being God's, is idolatry. Stubbornly supporting things that are false and lifting up an organization or a ministry that denies the true evidence is idolatry. Spiritual idolatry was the great sin that led us to being spewed out of God's mouth. Idolatry is sin, and sin separates us from God."
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, January 2000 [emphasis mine]

"You need to be alert now more than ever. This is not the time to support false visions. Now is not the time to bury your head in the sand, as we all did once. Shame on us for doing it again! You may not like the truth. The truth always hurts when pride is in the way, because pride fights against humility and seeks to hold on to self-justification"
-Ron Weinland, News Watch, January 2000 [emphasis mine]

Now that is something I can stand behind.

Esteemed reader, please hear my reasoning on this post.
Ron Weinland is not the first false prophet to come along, and he won't be the last. It didn't start with William Miller, it won't stop with Ron Weinland. Allow me to remind you of some other "great disappointments" in our recent past. The Adventists followed William Miller. The SDA church follows Ellen G. White. The Jehovah's Witnesses follow C. T. Russell and the Watchtower Society. The Worldwide Church of God followed Herbert Armstrong. The Philadelphia Church of God follows Gerald Flurry. The COG-PKG follows Ron Weinland. And on and on it goes.
Some people perpetuate false prophecy for generations. Some people see the lies and allow it to destroy their faith in Christ altogether. Some people bear a heavy burden of personal guilt and pain for years, even decades after they leave. I hope you see, a false prophet is no small thing! What can possibly come of this mess but more judgment and condemnation? This is nothing to shrug off by saying "Well, I'll know in 2012 if he's true, then I'll be on about my way. No harm done." Oh, I'm certain there will be some harm done.

God bless you and protect you from these false prophets that Jesus Himself describes as "ravenous wolves" (MAT. 7: 15). I just wish to remind the ones who need to hear it that it wasn't Christ who lied to you, it was men! Don't give up faith. It's not all for naught... if you allow these things to try you like pure gold. Don't give up.

If you feel you need some support in this, there is help. Please contact the Exit and Support Network as soon as possible. You are not alone!

God bless you and keep you.


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It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom.
Acts 17:11
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Plain Truth About the End-Time Elijah

“ANKARA, Turkey – The Turkish man who shot Pope John Paul II nearly 29 years ago emerged from prison Monday, declared himself a messenger from God… ’I will meet you in the next three days,’ Agca said. ‘In the name of God Almighty, I proclaim the end of the world in this century. All the world will be destroyed, every human being will die. I am not God, I am not son of God, I am Christ eternal.’”
-Fraser, Suzan, “Pope John Paul II gunman released from prison”, Yahoo News, 1-18-2010

INTRODUCTION ----------

This is part 2 of a 2 part post regarding the end-time Elijah. [You will find part 1 here.]
In the last post I went over the absurdity of claiming oneself to be a fulfillment of prophecy. In this part I would like to look more closely at the verses involved with the "Elijah to come", and get a better idea about what a butchery of scripture this nonsense is.
I left off from part 1 with this verse:

(DEU. 18: 22) 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

Deuteronomy 18 is so important to keep in mind at times like this since it makes the gravity of the situation abundantly clear. This is no joking matter. We have people who have elevate themselves to titles and offices and commissions, supposedly in service to God, who think they are somehow exempt from the words of the Bible. Ron Weinland is only one of many.

But maybe there are some who think this is a light matter; being a false prophet is not a big sin. Hey, it’s not like they tried to kill the Pope, right? I appeal to such a one to spend time dealing with the minds of people who have been crushed under the weight of these false prophets. When these precious souls realize the lies, when they see their faith misplaced, when they see the emptiness of all the work and the tithes and the promises, when they see the wasted years, when the pointlessness of the broken relationships dawns on them, when the false god they were sold evaporates and they have no means of trusting the true God anymore, let alone trusting other people, and they feel ashamed and betrayed and even personally guilty (although it’s not their fault) - take a walk in their shoes; shoes I have been in - then there will be no doubt how grave a thing this is.

(LUKE 17: 1-2) 1 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses [snares, stumbling blocks, occasions to fall] should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.

God thinks this is a subject of grave importance. I must agree completely.

We still need to see what “this thing” is, I guess. Let’s start at the beginning.

ELIJAH IN SCRIPTURE ----------

(MAL. 4: 5-6) 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”

Malachi states that Elijah the prophet will come. It doesn’t say Ron Weinland will come. There are several groups who believe that the original Elijah the Tishbite will literally be resurrected before the second coming. If you take the prophecy literally and alone, it would appear this can be fulfilled by none else. Good thing we have more than just this one verse to help us understand. The angel Gabriel is sent to explain this prophecy to us. He speaks to Zacharias and Elizabeth, the parents of John the Baptist.

(LUK. 1: 17) 17 He [John the Baptist] will also go before Him [Jesus Christ] in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Gabriel speaks of nothing less than the fulfillment of Malachi 4. The modern Elijahs all believe they know better than Gabriel – who stands in the presence of God. But if Gabriel were correct, wouldn’t there be some other evidence to this effect?

(MATT. 11: 14) 14 And if you are willing to receive it, he [John the Baptist] is Elijah who is to come.

At this point, I think a little perspective would help matters. It was a very common teaching that Elijah the Tishbite would arrive before the Messiah’s first coming. The teachers of that day thought they knew the general timing and meaning of the prophecy. Notice that in Matthew 17 and Mark 9, the Apostles ask, “Why do the scribes say…?” We have to keep in mind that the Jewish scholars and teachers had no concept of a second coming. They did not do what Herbert Armstrong did (wrongly), and assign almost every prophecy to a future second-coming of the Messiah. “The day of the Lord” to them was the time of His first coming. The Apostles were with the Messiah, but where was Elijah? I personally feel this is the very reason why the Apostle John began his Gospel speaking of how John the Baptist came first.

Some commentaries would point out that the scribes were using the absence of Elijah as proof that Jesus was not the Christ. Three of the Apostles had witnessed Elijah in a vision but were told not to share this with anyone. John Gill’s Expository extrapolates that to mean the Apostles wanted Jesus to allow them to counter the scribes with this. But Jesus only explained about John the Baptist.

(MATT. 17: 10-13) 10 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 11 Jesus answered and said to them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. 12 But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands.”13 Then the disciples understood that He spoke to them of John the Baptist.

The disciples understood Jesus was talking about John the Baptist. Ron Weinland understands Jesus was talking about Ron Weinland.

Let’s see that once again.

(MARK 9: 11-13) 11 And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 12 Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.”

There you go. Those are all of the verses about the Elijah to come. Surprisingly simple and focused on Christ, are they not?

CONCLUSION ----------

The entire claim of being the end-time Elijah rests on nothing more than the belief that the “day of the Lord” refers to the second coming, and not a span of time that begins at the first coming. That is it. There is no more substance to it than that. Private interpretations regarding timing.
But is that even a good understanding of what "the day of the Lord" is? Have we not read what Peter said in Acts 2:

(ACT 2: 16-21) 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 21 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Peter said that the "last days" and "the day of the Lord" were already upon them on that very day. Are we to believe that neither Peter nor Gabriel nor Jesus had any idea what they were talking about?
Herbert Armstrong taught us to expect the fulfillment of these things in the future, but we didn't get that from the Bible. The Bible specifically and without confusion states that these things have been fulfilled. So must "the day of the Lord" refer to the second coming? Certainly not.
Many say, "It could be dual in fulfillment." It could be. But isn't that just speculation built on more speculation? It could be, but we have a perfectly fine and Biblical explanation already that doesn't require it to be. No one has to speculate about that. We know it is fulfilled in the past.

Keep in the forefront of your mind that these supposed Elijahs demonstrate a complete lack of ability to understand or predict God’s timing. Who would be surprised that they completely misunderstand this timing as well?

“Lying is the outcome of people being right in their own eyes and stubbornly holding to their own viewpoint, regardless of evidence to the contrary.”
-Ron Weinland, “2008: God’s Final Witness”, p. 27

No man in the entire Bible but John the Baptist is said to fulfill this prophecy. There is no mention of a repeat appearance in Revelation or Daniel. Gabriel announced that it regarded John the Baptist. Jesus – the one who inspired the prophecy - by His own mouth confesses several times that the entire prophecy was fulfilled already by John the Baptist (MATT. 3: 15). The Elijah was to announce the Messiah, and according to the Messiah, all that was written about Him is fulfilled (LUKE 24: 44). John the Baptist IS the end-time Elijah! The Apostles understood and accepted this. Even the scribes, to their credit, wondered about it enough to inquire about it (JOHN 1: 19-23). Yet these modern false prophets say, “No, Jesus isn’t telling it straight. The prophecy is about the second coming… and therefore I am Elijah.” Incredible! The hubris involved in such a thing is off the scale!

PARTING THOUGHTS ----------

None of this comes as any real surprise. False prophets lift themselves up (JAS. 4: 10) to such lofty heights in the sight of everyone, but they fail miserably and they will come to nothing. Because what does God say (MATT. 18: 4)?

I wonder which of these Elijahs will fast for forty days and forty nights? If I were approached by an Elijah, this would be the second thing I would require as proof (the first being humility). It should be no problem whatsoever for Elijah. I recommend everyone demand this of Ron Weinland, and then withhold your tithes until day 41.

The Elijah did come, and the religious leaders knew him not. The religious leaders still do not know. I wonder why? Could it be “I I I I… Me me me me"… ? The following are paraphrases of actual statements made by Ron Weinland:

I am the Elijah/prophet/Apostle/Witness/spokesman/Zerubbabel/John’s Counterpart… I have been given a commission… I have received… I pronounce curses whenever I choose and call down fire and turn water to blood… I chose the fifth thunder… I am important… I am the true minister… Humble yourself and accept me as your minister, teaching you, or you will die… My book is the truth… The miracles are to prove me… Prophecy was hidden so it could reveal me… The seven thunders and the book of Revelation and all prophecy and the whole Bible was reserved to be revealed at this end-time through God’s end-time prophet - me… You will know that I am who I say I am… I am the most formidable prophet God has ever used in all 6,000 years of human history… God magnified me in a way no prophet has ever been magnified before… I exercise great power, more than all other prophets combined….

Me me me me! I I I I! Remind you of anyone else?

(LUKE 18: 11-12) 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’

I, I, I. Me, me, me!

That’s not at all how the Elijah was. John the Baptist drew attention to God and not himself. He knew that if only people would listen to Christ, he himself would not be needed at all. He knew he would diminish (JOHN 3: 30), and that didn’t bother him a bit.

This raises an important point. If by some chance there is to be a final fulfillment of this Elijah prophecy, it most certainly will not be fulfilled by a self-aggrandized narcissist who lacks the spirit of Elijah, or the humility of John the Baptist, who was not announced by Gabriel, and who utterly fails to prophesy accurately. These false Elijahs do not match the pattern in any way. Not one way!
When asked if he was Elijah or a prophet, the greatest prophet ever born said "no." Ron Weinland, on the other hand, writes book after book, going on the radio and the Internet and touring across the globe, in order to proclaim that he is both a prophet and Elijah. False prophets call themselves Levites in order to collect tithes, but they refuse to wear the priestly garbs of a Levite. No way on earth would they lower themselves to wear camel’s hair like Elijah and John the Baptist. Ron Weinland also calls himself one of the Two Witnesses, but he has yet to put on sackcloth (REV. 11: 3) - either literally or figuratively! And these men want us to believe in them based on their great swelling words (JUD. 1: 16)?

You don’t need to watch prophecies fail to see that these people are false prophets. I tell you a better way!

(MATT. 7: 15-20) 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

What are his fruits? Did I not relate to you about the broken minds in the wake of Herbert Armstrong, Ron Weinland, Rod Merideth, Gerald Flurry, Harold Smith, etc, etc, etc? If you are one of these, hurt by these deceivers – like I was – I want you to contact the Exit and Support Network right away.

(II PET. 2: 1-3) 1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

I want to put the entirety of II Peter 2 here, but for space I will not. I ask that everyone read that chapter now on their own. I’ll move ahead.

(JUD. 1: 10-13) 10But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves. 11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. 12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; 13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

Big words, no? Not my words, mind you. It’s something important to God when his children are harmed by false prophets and con artists. From the gravity of every verse on this subject, I’d gather God takes it quite seriously. That’s something you would expect a false prophet to take into consideration.

I started this post with Deuteronomy 18: 22. I would like to end with verse 20:

(DEU. 18: 20) 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’

PERSONAL NOTE ----------

I don't want anyone to die. I don't enjoy their end. I simply don't know how they will escape it - only an unprecedented act of mercy by God will do. I don't revel in what they bring on themselves. I pray for them, and I ask everyone of you to pray for them, that they will repent in time and undo what they've done. God have mercy on their souls.

For years I followed these men. I donated to their ministries. I taught what they said was true. I unwittingly aided in the deception and enslavement of minds; precious minds of God-loved souls. I feel compelled to apologize again because these men I once supported have caused so very much harm to so very many people. I tell people over and over that it isn’t their fault that they were deceived. Easier said than done. But I escaped - you can too.
Praise God in the Highest, His mercy has set me free! All things are for His glory.

Maybe you are one of these people who are hurting. If you are anything like me, if you feel pain, guilt, anger, remorse, frustration, if you see the cracks in the Armstrongist system and want out, or even if you have left and simply do not know where to turn, I highly highly suggest that you get in contact with the Exit and Support Network. They have been of immense help to so many. You are not alone!
God bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you, and bring you peace.


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It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom.
Acts 17:11
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Elijah - Ron Weinland or Herbert W, Which?

There is again a buzz stirring among the Armstrongist splinter groups. Recently Ronald Weinland, founder and leader of the “Church of God – Preparing for the Kingdom of God”, has declared himself to be the end-time Elijah, in reference to a private interpretation of Matthew 17: 11 and Mark 9: 12. Even though a number of people are already writing about this, and others are preparing to write (they no doubt have more to say and will do a better job than I can) I write about it for no other reason than I have been asked politely to write about what the Bible says concerning the end-time Elijah.
I think it would be the best approach to write this in two parts. This first part will not be so much about what the Bible says, but I will attempt to show the absurdity of any man proclaiming himself to be a unique fulfillment of prophecy. And I would like to start by showing the great number and diversity of people who do.

WILL THE REAL ELIJAH PLEASE STAND UP

Some people say the actual Elijah will be resurrected before the end, thus making Elijah himself the end-time Elijah. Some people say their entire ministry is the end-time Elijah, and no single man, thus making their whole church the end-time Elijah. I have a better idea.

Elizabeth Elijah Nikomia is certainly the one. It’s her middle name!
Jahtruth is certainly the one. He’s got only one name!
Father John is certainly the one. He’s from Zimbabwe.
Charles Meade is certainly the one. Would Elijah live anywhere besides Florida?
William Branham is certainly the one. He has a supernatural halo. Photographs don’t lie!
Towards the end of the 1800’s the rage was “The Third Angel’s Message.” Now it’s the “Third Elijah’s Message.” Brought to you by Frank T. Clark. Certainly the one.
Or, if you prefer to chat with the Elijah, you can find him at Yahoo.com. You simply cannot argue with the provided headshot. For the love of Scott, his email address is elijahthetishbite! (<- The one.)

Just look at all of the wild-eyed, self-appointed prophets of doom. Marvel at the sheer volume of people contending for the title. Which could it be? Which is the real end-time Elijah? Choose wisely! You're salvation depends on it.

But without a doubt the king of all end-time Elijahs was our very own Herbert (the W doesn’t stand for anything) Armstrong. If for nothing else than the rabid evangelism of his remaining followers who demand HWA was indeed “Elijah to come.” It has been elevated to a matter of salvation. Disavow at your own risk. Still, some foolishly dare to disavow:
"Although God has personally given Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong no commission, he nevertheless feels that virtually every commission God has ever given is his. Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong either thinks he is, or is to do the job given to: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the 'watchman,' the 'inkhorn,' the one who 'cries aloud and spares not,' Elijah to come, a type of John the Baptist, either Joshua or Zerubbabel, one of the two witnesses, an apostle, a 'messenger' one who 'prepares the way,' Hosea, Malachi, Moses (anyone who disdains Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s authority or position is immediately compared to Korah), Daniel, Joel, Amos, etc., etc., etc. And, of course, he primarily feels he is to fulfill Matt. 24:14 -- see Rev. 14:6 for the most likely individual to take care of that job."
-Taken from Robert Garringer's 1975 letter to Charles Hunting, as posted on the Exit and Support Network website.

Does that not illustrate how ridiculous it is to take upon yourself so many titles? What kind of person would do such a thing?
Enter Ron Weinland.

Here is Ron’s explanation in his own words:
“As God has made me both an apostle and a prophet for this end-time, He has also given me to fulfill prophecies being the spokesman of the two end-time witnesses of Revelation 11. In addition, He has given me to fulfill the prophecies of the 'Elijah to come' and of Zerubbabel.”

-Ron Weinland, "The 'ELIJAH TO COME'", 12-24-2009
It’s getting a little crowded in here with all those titles. How many Elijahs can there be?

(I COR. 8: 2) 2 And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.

THE ELIJAH WORK

Ron Weinland doesn't stop there. He also states other “truths”, like this one:
“Herbert W. Armstrong did restore truth to the Church—truth lost during Sardis.”

"Restoring the truth" is a term used by many Armstrongists. This is how they define the "Elijah work." The "Elijah" will come, and his "work" is to "restore the truth". What truth? Why, the truth lost during the Sardis era of the church, of course. Ron claims Herbert Armstrong did this!

“Sardis” and "Sardis era," you see, are codes (loaded language) for the Church of God (Seventh Day). Armstrongism is a branch of Adventism. Adventism teaches that the church throughout history came in waves, called eras. The COG7 is the church group out of which Herbert Armstrong sprung, so it gets a special nod as being an ancestor to Armstrongism. But it also needs to be de-legitimized in order that Armstrong's own church can be sold as the "one true church." (There can be only one.)

In the fall of 1937 Herbert Armstrong was fired and his ministerial credentials revoked. Having no axe to grind whatsoever (I say that sarcastically), Herbert Armstrong often referred to the COG7 as the Sardis Era (aka The Dead Era) of Revelation 2, and his own church, the Worldwide Church of God, as the Philadelphia Era.
He lifted this idea, among others, without due credit from one Mr. G. G. Rupert.

I do not want to go into whether or not Revelation 2 & 3 spoke about church eras in time or not. I hold that they do not, and I will provide some links below to reinforce my stand. But HWA held that they did. I only provide this background as an FYI.

What I will get in to are the historical facts of the Adventist movement and what they believed. The "Elijah work" is to restore truth, after all, and what people claim is that Herbert Armstrong restored truth. If I can demonstrate that Herbert Armstrong restored no truth, or that truth was never "lost" in the first place, then we have a strong case against all this nonsense about HWA being the end-time Elijah.

QUICK SUMMARY

To sum up so far, we have Herbert Armstrong, who supposedly was called by God to lead the one true church. He was supposedly called to restore some lost truth. This is the what Armstrongism believes the Elijah will come to do. He supposedly will restore lost truth.
We also have Ron Weinland, who would like to be that Elijah. So, Weinland tips his hat to Armstrong, saying that HWA restored eighteen truths, thus making HWA a "type" of the Elijah. Then Weinland must himself invent an even greater list of truths that he restored. This makes him greater than Herbert Armstrong, and sets him about the real Elijah work.

WHAT WAS "LOST"?

In his hat-tip to Herbert Armstrong, Ron Weinland claims this:
"John the Baptist was not used by God to 'restore' anything. However, we did see Herbert W. Armstrong used in a very unique way to “restore” truth to the Church that the era of Sardis had lost (they only had three basic truths remaining). God said of Sardis that they were spiritually dead and that was because they had consistently become weaker through time by losing many foundational truths of God. The Church had become so weak that it was ready to die completely."

However, oh best beloved, is this even so? I can provide evidence that it is not.

A. N. Dugger was arguably the greatest leader of the COG7 during the years Herbert Armstrong was a minister of that group. A short-list of the COG7's doctrinal beliefs was compiled by Mr. Dugger in 1936. Note that the date 1936 was one year before Herbert Armstrong was sacked, and it was ten years before the Radio Church of God was officially incorporated.
This list comes in handy when compared to the earliest list of "truths restored" by Herbert Armstrong. An official publication of the Worldwide Church of God makes this claim:
"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."
"The WorldWide News", August 25, 1986, p. 5
Count those "truths" again. I see four, not three. So, right off the bat, Ron Weinland is wrong.

This can get real confusing real quick, so I have made a chart so you can more easily see what the COG7 believed in 1936 versus what the Worldwide Church of God printed in 1986 as the "18 essential, basic truths that God restored to His Church through our late Pastor General Herbert W. Armstrong." 
Why did I choose the list published by the WCG in 1986? Because there are several lists of "18 truths restored" floating around out there. They do not all match up. So we went to the earliest, most official version we could find.

You will find the information for the COG7 list printed in A. N. Dugger's report in the 1936 Census on the Salem Oregon COG7 group's doctrinal beliefs, which I got from chapter 11 of a history on the Seventh Day Church of God on giveshare.org. You will find the information for the WCG list printed in "The WorldWide News", August 25, 1986, p. 5.

I would draw your attention to the first 4 "truths" in the column on the right. These are the four, not three, "truths" that supposedly remained at the end of the "Sardis era". The ones HWA "restored" begin at number 5.


Church of God (Seventh Day), 1936
Worldwide Church of God, 1986
1.      The Bible was held to be the only inspired writing.
2.      The Holy Spirit is that which abides in the believer and not a third person.
3.      Christ was in the tomb exactly three days and three nights, rising at the end of the Sabbath.
4.      The apostolic organization and government must be followed today.
5.      The "Church of God" is the inspired Bible name for God's people.
6.       Prayer and anointing will save the sick.
7.       Laying on of hands (at baptism) is to be practiced.
8.       Lord's Supper is to be observed annually at the beginning of the 14th of Nisan.
9.       The Sabbath is to be observed from even to even.
10.    Payment of tithes on increase is obligatory.
11.   Participation in carnal warfare is condemned.
12.   The Law of clean and unclean meats is to be observed in this age.
13.   Habitual use of narcotics and habit-forming drugs, alcohol and tobacco is condemned.
14.   Under this gospel age the judgment is upon the house of God.
15.   The return of Christ will be literal, personal and visible, is imminent, and He will sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem, ruling the world with the righteous saints on the earth.
16.   Righteous saints will be resurrected at His second coming.
17.   There will be a final regathering of the dispersed nation of fleshly Israel.
18.   The dead are unconscious.
19.   The wicked dead are resurrected to final judgment, with no probation but will be eternally destroyed.
20.   The Third Angel's Message is a present day message.
21.   The seven last plagues are literal and fall at the end of the gospel age.


1.      The proper name of the one true church is the “Church of God”. (#5)
2.      The Ten Commandments and certain other Old Covenant laws are still binding today. (#9, #12)
3.      The correct day of worship is a seventh-day Sabbath. (#9)
4.       A tithing system is still mandatory for today. (#10)
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5.      The Government of God would be in force on earth at Jesus’ return. Before then, the Elijah would restore the true government to the one true church. That government is one-man-rule, top-down.
6.      The true Gospel, restored after 1,900 years, is that Jesus will return and rule on earth. All other churches teach a false gospel.
7.      God is reproducing Himself. Man is to become god-beings; members of the Family of God.
8.      God is not a Trinity. God is a Family of separate beings.
9.      Man does not have an immortal soul. Death is soul-sleep.
10.   Man is separate from animal in that we have a different, non-conscious spirit within us.
11.   The one true church will rule with Christ forever, but the rest of the world will be brought into the God Family, too.
12.   The one true church is not the Kingdom of God on earth now; not until the return of Christ.
13.   No one comes to the one true church except those God the Father calls, and all who accept the call come to the one true church.
14.   The one true church is judged now, the rest of the world will be given a second chance at life and obeying God.
15.    The Millennium is literal, 1,000 years in length, and will be on earth.
16.   The Holy Spirit reveals the truth of God to our minds. Without the Holy Spirit, man is incapable of understanding or accepting the truth of God.
17.   Salvation is not assured yet. Christians are only “begotten” now – as adopted sons and heirs. We are not “born again” in this life – as natural children and inheritors.
18.   British-Israelism (Anglo-Israelism) is true.
19.   British-Israelism is the key to understanding prophecy.
20.   The Old Covenant Holy Days of Israel are mandatory for all people today.
21.   The Hebrew calendar is the one true sacred calendar.
22.   There are three tithes, not just one.




Notice the overlap in "truths". In the left-hand column, have colored the numbers red if they overlap the beliefs in the right-hand column.

#2 on the left is a rejection of the Trinity, corresponding to #8 on the right. 
#8 & #9 on the left show a clear adherence to the Hebrew calendar, corresponding to #21 on the right. 
#14 & #16 on the left both show the church in a different judgment than the general population, corresponding to the first part of #14 on the right. 
#15 on the left speaks of a literal, earthy Millennium, and corresponds to #5 & #15 on the right. 
#21 on the left speaks of a pre-Millennial Tribulation period, and works hand-in-hand with the literal, earthy Millennium, which corresponds to #11, #12, & #15 on the right.
#18 on the left speaks of soul-sleep, corresponding to #9 on the right.

That's 5 additional "truths" that were supposedly lost by the COG7 and restored by Herbert Armstrong, that never were. So, there were 9 "truths" remaining, and only 13 "truths" restored.

Now, just for the sake of being circumspect, let us see some conflicts.

#4 on the left speaks of government, but it conflicts with the style of government in #1 on the right. 
#19 on the left speaks to a judgment of the wicked but contradicts the second half of #14 on the right which says the wicked will have a probationary period.

As a last tidbit, if you are so inclined you can see what Grace Communion International has to say about these "18 truths". On April 16, 2009, the Worldwide Church of God changed its name to Grace Communion International. Same organization that put out the original list, but with a new name and a new outlook. Here is their own critique of their old material: "Eighteen 'Truths' Restored by Herbert Armstrong".

WHAT WAS "RESTORED"?

Continuing on from our earlier quote, Ron Weinland goes immediately on to say this about Herbert Armstrong's Elijah-like work:
"God prevented it from dying out by raising up Herbert W. Armstrong and his wife, Loma, in order to restore lost truth to the Church. Mr. Armstrong is well-known for restoring 18 foundational and basic truths of God that were necessary for the Church (for salvation) in order to be revived and restored to spiritual strength once again. God had strengthened and restored 21 foundational truths for the Church."

There were not merely three "truths" remaining, as Ron Weinland’s list of “truths” claims, but as we saw in our chart above there were no less than nine overlapping beliefs between the COG7 and the Worldwide Church of God. 
What's more, if we disregard the list of 18 "truths" and go on to other beliefs held by Armstrongism that didn't make the list, that number grows!

Here is where the conflicts get really interesting.
If you read the article from the August 1986 article of the WorldWide News, you will see many boisterous statements like this one, 
"What other church on earth has taught [past tense] that God is a Divine Family and the plan of God is to reproduce Himself through Divine Children, Christ being the first? Absolutely none!"
And this one, 
"The Church of God never understood this until Mr. Armstrong."
Now, think about this --
If Armstrongism is the only church in the history of the earth to teach a certain thing, then it cannot also be the second church to teach this thing. If the one true church never before understood a thing, then it did not teach that thing, now did it? If Armstrong was the first, then he didn't restore, he invented!
This proves that Herbert Armstrong did not "restore" any of them. They were either already held up, or they were made up.

Sets the lie to these “restored truths” does it not?

A CATCH-22

Knowing that he wishes to be seen as Elijah, Ron Weinland has a choice to make. He can either discredit his predecessor, or he can outshine him. To discredit Herbert Armstrong is to lay the axe to your own root. Too much rides on Armstrong's authority. So, Weinland must outshine him.

Having tipped his hat to Herbert Armstrong as a type of Elijah, Ron Weinland now needs to grow the list of "truths" and add to them. He must invent - errr, I mean "reveal" - more truths than Armstrong did. Weinland's list now exceeds 50 "truths". That's more than 30 additional "truths". Almost twice as many as the original.
Well, if you are going to outshine your idol, do it with gusto, I say.


Funny thing about this whole decision to discredit or outshine is that it puts Weinland into a sticky situation. You see, a few years ago, Ron Weinland opened his big mouth to bash a competing leader of a competing Church of God splinter group, and what he said is of great interest to this discussion.

I would call your attention to something pointed out by MikeDDTFA on Ronweinland.info. I want to emphasize the erratic behavior of the man who claims to be Elijah.
Here is a snippet from the COG-PKG FAQ page, copied live from the website on 1/15/2010, regarding this Elijah business:
"The Living Church of God, under the leadership of Roderick Meredith, is also asleep spiritually. Roderick C. Meredith is guilty in his failure to acknowledge Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong as the prophesied Elijah to come, who would restore all things to God's true Church. In a sermon series where Roderick Meredith's own words are quoted from taped recordings, Ronald Weinland has exposed the leadership of the Living Church of God for refusing God's true witness of what God accomplished through His end-time apostle (See 'Sermon Archives' for 2001, beginning in a four part series on Oct. 27, 2001). In doing this, Roderick Meredith has denied God Himself."
If Rod Merideth doubted that Herbert Armstrong was the Elijah, and Ron Weinland has condemned Mr. Merideth as a denier of God Himself for this act, what then becomes of Ron Weinland for doing the exact same thing!? When Weinland says that he is the real Elijah, that is no different than saying Armstrong was not the real Elijah. How is that not denying God?

Do you see the hole he has dug for himself? If he doesn't deny or outshine Armstrong, then he can't be the Elijah, but if he does deny or outshine Armstrong he denies God by his own standard. It's a catch-22!

He says something at one place and time, then says something completely different in another place and time. This is not merely opportunism, it's madness and sheer hypocrisy!
A false prophet is always exposed by his own mouth.

Then again, this is how Ron Weinland has always been. He once threatened to disfellowship a man for claiming Jesus Christ is a created being, a thing which he now professes to be a truth specially revealed to him by God!

WERE THE TRUTHS EVER TRUE?

Let us focus attention on Ron Weinland’s precise wording: “truths lost during Sardis.”
These truths were not “lost during Sardis” at all, whatsoever. Most were added, one might even say invented, during the years between 1846 and 1936 - most of them by Ellen G White. These were not truths held by the Apostles and guarded by the "true church" through time. The group here referred to as the Sardis Era did not start with these truths and fall away from them. This is fantasy!

Not one of these things, not even the seventh-day Sabbath, was a held belief at the assigned beginning of this Sardis Era (which was defined as 1315 AD to 1934 AD, according to Herman Hoeh’s “True History of the True Church”). The seventh-day Sabbath was the first to be added, and that occurred in the late 1500’s. The Sabbath doctrine was introduced to William Miller’s Adventists by one Ms. Rachel Oakes somewhere between March 1843 and autumn 1844. And from there it was passed down to Herbert Armstrong.

I have much more information for you on this topic from these three posts:
I believe these three links will fill you in sufficiently to prove all that I am claiming here. But if you are truly interested in the history and beliefs of the various eras, I urge you to read my study on “The True History of the True Church – Reviewed.” [the link works in IE and FireFox, but may be problematic in Chrome.] You may get a brief glimpse into its contents in this post:

Ron Weinland’s “truths” are false. His fantasies masquerade as truth.

(ISA. 5: 20-21) 20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

What can anyone say about a man who treats truth with such disrespect? Can we trust a single thing that comes from his mouth? What is “I am such and such a thing” from a man who disregards truth? Will such a person not blurt out whatever comes to mind? And why wouldn’t he? Would he hold back for fear of misleading the innocent? Hardly!
He concludes with unmitigated gaul:
“Yes, time will prove I am who I say I am. And that is my commission to proclaim such a message!”

Time will do no such thing, because time has respect for truth.

WAIT AND SEE

This is precisely the “wait and see” game that Herbert Armstrong hobbled himself with.
“I want to tell you that all this weather disturbance means a terrible famine is coming on the United States that is going to ruin us as a nation inside of less than 20 more years. Alright, I stuck my neck out right there. You just wait 20 more years and see whether I told you the truth. God says, if a man tells you what’s going to happen, wait and see. If it does not happen, he was not speaking the word of God; he was speaking out of his own mind. You watch and see whether these things happen. You’ll see who’s speaking to you, my friends.”
-Herbert Armstrong; from an audio recording made in the late 1950’s
“Wait and see, my friends,” he would say, “then you will know who was speaking to you.” But we waited, and we saw a false prophet, and he died and came to nothing.
 His prophecies have all failed. His empire crumbled. His greatness sold off in pieces. His kingdom divided among his servants.

Now Ron Weinland mimics his idol in this very same game. But I want you to never forget his own words, because a false prophet is always brought down by his own mouth:
“If by Pentecost…”
On March 29, 2008, Ronald Weinland blurted out this absolute statement:
“If by Pentecost [2008], I’m just going to make this real clear to everyone - if by Pentecost it is not powerfully and abundantly clear that there has been a great deal of destruction that will clearly encompass a third of all plant life in the U.S. and at least the clear results of this mingled with blood the death of very much animal life and the beginning of large numbers of human life then I will stop preaching. Just so all the critics and everyone out there will understand. I am true to my word in these things. OK? And for all the critics if by the end of July and for most likely around Pentecost if nothing has clearly caused great destruction and death I will make it very clear that I was a false prophet. I will do exactly what I said I would do on all of those interviews that I have held; to do less, ah.. well.. would be quite insane.”

-Ron Weinland, “Three More Weeks” sermon; timestamp 1 hour 28 minutes
“You’ll see who’s speaking to you, my friends.” None of what he so dogmatically stated came true… not even his promise to stand down. Failure from start to finish. But we must ask ourselves, what is the motivation of these things? Who is glorified by all of this bluster and nonsense? God?

(ROM. 11: 36) 36 For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

God will be glorified when the truth comes out in the due course of time, but now, today, God is not glorified by this mess at all. Ron Weinland isn’t even glorified, though that is what was intended.

(ROM. 2: 23-24) 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.

What, then of the manifold claims of how “God did this”? When the prophecies fail, that too is assigned to God. They blame God! They made it into God’s fault! “God was tricking Satan,” they say.

(ISA. 55: 11) 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

I recommend you go to Ronweinland.info and read the section on “Ron Weinland’s False Prophecies.” Take some time to review the many changes in timelines, in exact dates set, in specific names mentioned, in destructions prophesied, and think about them.

(PRO. 22: 20-21) 20 Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, 21 that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send to you?

Where is there any certainty in these shifting "truths"?
Knowing how Ron Weinland treats “truths” – rewriting them as it suits him; knowing how he went back on his word; knowing how Ron Weinland and Herbert Armstrong have utterly failed to prophesy anything correctly; knowing that Ron Weinland claims Herbert Armstrong – his own source of authority and anointing – was wrong in several major areas (including his own identity and even the very nature of Christ – big things); knowing that Ron Weinland and Herbert Armstrong have rewritten their own history several times, and now pass as fact a manufactured past; knowing they descend from Ellen G. White and William Miller, two people that even Herbert Armstrong and Ron Weinland both readily admit were false prophets; knowing that there are multiple people all claiming to be Elijah for this or that reason… how can any right mind, any open eye, any listening ear, any discerning heart, give this man the benefit of the doubt that he is a prophet/Witness/Elijah/Zerubbabel?

(ISA. 59: 3-4) 3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity. 4 No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity.

We are all encouraged to ignore all those blatant failures and just forge ahead anyway! Suspend your disbelief. Abide in Ron's word! Purchase your salvation from him! Just a few more years, a few more years, and you’ll see.

CONCLUSION

But if all these things are shown plainly as untruth, and we cannot trust the claims of a man, what shall we do? Get out of there! Abandon that man and leave him to his own end. And pray that God have mercy on his soul.

(I TIM. 6: 3-5) 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

Turn rather to God. Turn to His word.

(JOHN 17: 17) 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

(JOHN 8: 31-32) 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Free at last! Eyes open. Ears hearing. Where, then, should we start within God’s word of truth?

(DEU. 18: 22) 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.


I also recommend you read this article by Seeker of Truth: "Herbert W Armstrong: End-Time Elijah?"