You May Have Been Deceived About Herbert Armstrong's List of Restored Truths and WCG's Earliest Changes!

By B. Thiel and J. Thiel

Throughout the years, many people have made many statements about the earliest changes imposed by the the initial Tkach administration of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). Some of the first changes were so subtle that almost no one noticed them and thus nearly everyone in WCG had been, to some degree, deceived.

Perhaps the first change involves what is commonly referred to as 'the 18 truths' restored to the Philadelphia era of the Church of God. Herbert W. Armstrong once wrote, "1933...At least 18 basic and essential truths have been restored to the True Church since that year" (Mystery of the Ages, Dodd & Mead, 1985, p. 251). The Worldwide News ran a listing purported to be those truths in 1986 (and though some have hinted that these truths are "tradition," it should be noted that we believe that they all have proper biblical support--some related articles are at the www.cogwriter.com website).

Earlier this year, we ran across a transcript of a sermon titled Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era by Herbert W. Armstrong given on December 17, 1983. We have also listened to the audio tape to verify that the transcript is authentic. Herbert Armstrong's sermon seems to have been given shortly before he wrote the aforementioned comment in Mystery of the Ages. He lists approximately 18 truths that he felt that God led him to restore to the Philadelphia era of the Church of God that had been lost and no longer understood by the main group of the Sardis era. This sermon may have been the first place this amount of identified restored truths were listed in one place. Here are links to a related two-part sermon: The 18 Restored Truths: 1-8 and The 18 Restored Truths: 9-18.

The Listing in the Worldwide News

However, the listing in the Worldwide News was somewhat different. In the Worldwide News article, the following quote preceded its listing of 18 truths:

"The Editorial Services staff has compiled here, for the first time in any of the Church's publications, 18 essential, basic truths that God restored to His Church through our late Pastor General Herbert W. Armstrong. 'As you prepare spiritually for the coming Feast of Tabernacles, please spend time with this important article, reviewing each of the 18 truths and thanking God for restoring them to His Church.' - Pastor General Joseph W. Tkach" (God restored these 18 truths: How thankful are you for them? Worldwide News, August 25, 1986, page 5).

While it was true that this compilation was 'the first time in any of the Church's publications', the article did not mention that Herbert Armstrong had listed many of the truths he felt he restored to the Philadelphia era of God's Church in the aforementioned sermon (which he had given less than three years prior to the Worldwide News article). Having repeatedly read the transcript of that sermon, as well as having listened to the actual audio of that sermon, it is our belief that WCG must have had this sermon available when it decided to publish the 18 truths article. However, it is also our belief that WCG intentionally omitted the last three truths listed in that sermon.

Sermon Begins

Except otherwise noted, all of the quotes in this article from Herbert Armstrong come from that sermon.

"Greetings, everybody! This afternoon I want to speak on the mission of the Philadelphia Era of the Church, this Church today in comparison to the first era of the Church, the Ephesus Era of the Church. It's been seeming more and more to me, as the years go by, that the Bible was written primarily for the Philadelphia Era of the Church...Today's mission of the Church you will find in Matthew 24:14. And this gospel of the kingdom…that is the same gospel that Jesus preached…shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."

Thus, Herbert Armstrong begins the sermon by comparing the Church at Ephesus (the apostolic Church of God) to the Philadelphia era of the Church of God. He then states that the mission of the Philadelphia era of the Church is to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to the world and then the end shall come. It may be of interest to note that 'the end' has not yet come and that mission is the one that those who truly accept these truths would logically accept as their church's top priority.

(Note: Many of the linked articles shown here will contain quotes showing that the doctrinal truth discussed was held by first, second, and/or third century Christians. Herbert Armstrong did not provide such quotes when he spoke, other than sometimes referring to scriptures. More on Church History can also be found in the free online booklet Continuing History of the Church of God.)

Why Restored Truths in Modern Times

Herbert Armstrong continued, "Verse 19, the third chapter of Acts. Peter said, 'Repent you therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. Now He's ascended up to heaven and the heavens would receive Him UNTIL a certain time; until the times of restitution of all things, which God had spoken to them out of the mouth of His Holy prophets since the world began. Now 'restitution.' Look that word up in the dictionary. Restitution means restoring to a former condition, a former state or condition. Restoring what had been taken away, restoring what had been taken away. So now I ask you, what is Christ coming to restore that had been taken away? What had been taken away was the government of God, the government of God."

Restored Truths

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."

As far as restoring this truth, here is a link to an article explaining the scriptural and historical basis of this doctrine: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church. You can also see a YouTube video sermons Why Teach the Kingdom of God? and The Gospel of the Kingdom. .

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! ... 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."

While some have falsely called the above a 'cultic' doctrine, not only it is held by various Greco-Roman religions, it was held by early Christians. Here is a link to a documented article What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? Here is a link to a related video sermon What is Your Destiny?

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.

Here is some information related to the Holy Days:

Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God's Holy Days and popular holidays.
Is There "An Annual Worship Calendar" In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
What are Postponements? This is by the late evangelist Raymond McNair and explains a lot about postponements and calculations.
Hebrew Calendar and "Postponements" This late evangelist John Ogywn writing explains why the most faithful in the Church of God use the calendar that we do and answers such questions as "Did Jesus Observe the Postponements?"
How to Keep God's Festivals Many have heard of God's Holy Days and wonder how they are kept in the 21st century. This is an overview article. A related sermon is also available titled: How to Keep God's Feasts
How often should we partake of THE LORD'S SUPPER? Herbert Armstrong answers that question.
Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread How should Christians keep Passover, especially if they are by themselves. Why does the Church of God not require lambs for Passover? How does one keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? For a step-by-step video for Christians to keep it, check out CCOG Passover Service. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: Guardando la Pascua y los Días de los Panes sin Levadura.
Preparing for Passover The Apostle Paul taught that Christians should examine themselves prior to taking Passover. This YouTube video sermon gives suggestions on how to prepare.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito's Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito's Homily on the Passover.
The Night to Be Observed What is the night to be much observed? When is it? Why do Jews keep Passover twice and emphasize the wrong date? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled The Night to Be Observed.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here is a YouTube video intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread: Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2? Many "Christians" somewhat observe Pentecost. Do they know what it means? It is also called the Feast of Harvest, the Feast of Weeks, and the day of firstfruits. What about "speaking in tongues" and led by the Holy Spirit? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Pentecostés: ¿Es más que Hechos 2? plus one by Herbert Armstrong HWA sobre Pentecostés). Here is a YouTube sermon titled Pentecost: Feast of Firstfruits.
Pentecost is Part of God's Plan. This combines a couple of articles from the 1980s, plus additional scriptures and modern comments about Pentecost. Here is a related sermon: Pentecost Plan.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a draft that is planned to be expanded and made into a booklet.
Should you keep God's Holy Days or pagan holidays? A brief summary article about God's Holy Days and holidays that others keep.
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The 'Fall' Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should you keep the Fall Holy Days?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not? What does the Feast of Trumpets, which the Jews call Rosh Hashanah, help teach? A related sermon video would be Feast of Trumpets and the Book of Life as well as The Trumpet Release. The article has links to hear shofar blasts.
Feast of Trumpets: Why Should You Keep It? What does the Bible say? What does this festival picture? A related sermon is available: The Trumpet Warnings.
The Day of Atonement--Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians "The Day of Atonement." Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? Is fasting healthy? Here is a link to a sermon: Day of Atonement: How Jesus fulfilled His part for the Atonement. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: El Día de Expiación –Su significado cristiano.
The Atonement Plan How does the Day of Atonement tie into God's plan of salvation? A sermon of related interest is titled God's Atonement Plan.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today's Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach? A related sermon video is Feast of Tabernacles from Israel.
The Last Great Day: Shemini 'Azeret What is the 'eighth day' of the Feast? What does it help picture? A sermon on this topic is also available: Shemini Azaret: The Last Great Day.
Christians are to Be Strangers and Pilgrims? Should Christians sojourn? What does the Bible and Feast of Tabernacles teach? A related video sermon is titled Christian Pilgrims.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time to Learn the Law The Bible teaches that every seven years that the law should be read at the Feast of Tabernacles. This is what I did at the first Feast site were I gave an actual sermon (as opposed to a sermonette) in 2006.
Feast of Tabernacles' Sites for 2015 This is information on the planned Feast of Tabernacles' sites for the Continuing Church of God in 2015. The Feast in 2015 begins the evening of September 27th.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :) In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.

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.

4. Government

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).

For more information on that, see the documented article The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government Here is a Spanish language version La Biblia, Policarpo, Herbert W. Armstrong, y Roderick C. Meredith sobre el gobierno de la Iglesia. Here is a link to a sermon titled Church Governance.

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."

Here are articles and sermons on the Godhead:

Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Is The Father God? What is the view of the Bible? What was the view of the early church?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Jesus is God, But Became Flesh Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what? Here is information in the Spanish language¿Es Jesucristo Dios?.
Virgin Birth: Does the Bible Teach It? What does the Bible teach? What is claimed in The Da Vinci Code?
Why Does Jesus Have Two Different Genealogies listed in Matthew 1 and Luke 3? Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38 seemingly list two different genealogies for Jesus. Why?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
What is the Holy Spirit? This is an article by Rod Reynolds.
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD.
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah's Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a longer article than the Binitarian View article, and has a little more information on binitarianism, and less about unitarianism. A related sermon is also available: Binitarian view of the Godhead.

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.

Here are some items of related interest:

Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?
Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? What does John 3:16, and other writings, tell us? Did a doctrine kept adopted from paganism? Here is a YouTube video titled Are humans immortal?

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" (1 Corinthians 2:11).

Herbert W. 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). Some of this is discussed in the article Why Does Man Suffer?

8. First-Fruits

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 in 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.)

Some information on this is found in the article Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Pentecostés: ¿Es más que Hechos 2? plus here is a YouTube sermon titled Pentecost: Feast of Firstfruits. Another article of potential interest is Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis .

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."

Here is a documented article which shows that the millennium is not just a scriptural belief, but was held by the early church: Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Two related sermons are also available Millennial Utopia and The Millennium.

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).

A documented article which shows that the COG teaching about the Holy Spirit is not just a scriptural belief, but was held by the early church is Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity?

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).

A documented article which shows that the COG teaching about being begotten now is not just a scriptural belief, but was held by the early church is Born Again: A Question of Semantics?

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)."

A documented article which shows that the COG teaching about being begotten now is not just a scriptural belief, but was held by the early church is Born Again: A Question of Semantics?

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."

An article of related interest is titled: Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel. Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People.

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."

An article of related interest is titled: Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel. Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People.

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). An article of scriptural and historical interest is titled: Is Second Tithe and Third Tithe Still Valid Today?

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."

Information about that is included in the article Do You Know That Babylon is Forming? Here is a link to a related written article In Vatican City: New Babylon more openly forming!

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."

An article possibly related interest may be The Day of Atonement--Its Christian Significance.

Another article of related interest may be Satan's Plan. Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan's Plan? and Satan's Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.

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.)

Three articles of related interest may include Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups that Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries?, Polycarp of Smyrna: The Heretic Fighter, and Overview: How Does the Church of God Agree and Disagree with Other Faiths Professing Christ?

Items of related interest could include the following:

Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
4. The Thyatira Church Era was predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1600 A.D. The Church during the Inquisition.
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.

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. Since the listing of the restored truths in the Worldwide News is so similar to those in this article, we cannot believe that those that composed the Tkach 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.

Comparison of the Two Lists

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:

HWA Sermon..............................................Number in WWN Article
1. True Gospel...............................................................2,8
2. Purpose of God..........................................................3
3. God's Plan through the Holy Days...............................16,17
4. Government................................................................1
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

Actually, in 1997 J. Tkach Jr. wrote an article where he specifically rejected all of the 18 truths listed in the 1985 Worldwide News article (he did not address the other four as his father's administration did not list them as 'restored truths'). In our opinion, this furthered the deceit in this matter.

How Can Some Still in WCG Claim to Be Faithful?

All with ears to hear should realize that when WCG joined the Evangelical Association years ago, it declared that is was not separate, did not believe the professing Christian world was deceived, and declared itself Protestant--a clear repudiation of the last three truths that Herbert Armstrong said he restored.

Herbert Armstrong separated himself from the Church of God, Seventh Day (CG7) because one of their leaders stated that HWA was correct on parts of two of the restored truths (listed as numbers 3 and 13 above), but that CG7 would not teach them--he was not put out of CG7 until about a decade AFTER he left them (Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, 1973 ed.).

There is no way that HWA would have tolerated the repudiation of all these restored truths by J. Tkach, Jr. and remain part of WCG. How can one send tithes and offerings to such a group? Those who claim to be faithful to the teachings of Herbert Armstrong and who are still affiliated with WCG need to carefully (and prayerfully) study those last three restored truths and separate themselves. To do otherwise, is a clear contradiction--YOU CANNOT HONESTLY BE FAITHFUL TO THE TEACHINGS OF HERBERT ARMSTRONG AND POSSIBLY REMAIN IN WCG! TO DO SO WOULD BE TO IGNORE THREE OF THE TRUTHS HERBERT ARMSTRONG CLAIMED TO HAVE RESTORED TO THE CHURCH.

Carry Out the Work

Although Herbert Armstrong maintained cordial relations with those in Sardis, he separated himself from the Sardis era of the Church and refused to be part of any Church of God he considered to be of the Laodicean era. He warned about being an 'independent' Christian as well (Mystery of the Ages. p. 270), but wanted Philadelphians to be "A TEAM TOGETHER" to "carry out the work of God" (pp.266).

In the sermon, he then immediately continues with, "This gospel of the kingdom has been restored and shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations."

This statement shows that Herbert Armstrong believed that the Philadelphia era was to continue to preach the whole gospel as a witness including all that was restored. That statement is also consistent with his last letter, "Remember brethren, this is not the work of Herbert W. Armstrong...The greatest work lies ahead...Never before in the history of the Church has it been possible to reap so great a harvest. It has only been made possible through modern technology, beginning with the printing press, radio, television...Each of you must commit yourself to support God's Work...God's work must push ahead as never before. God is opening up new doors in television" (Letter, 1/10/86).

For information on the work, consider the following:

Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? A related sermon is available titled Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
Preparing for the 'Short Work' and The Famine of the Word What is the 'short work' of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come " will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing?  This is a sermonette length video.

Another Deception: The Changes to the 'Autobiography'

The elimination of some of the 18 truths was not the only possible deception. Perhaps the first deception was what was omitted from the title or description of the article. That these were the truths restored to the PHILADELPHIA ERA of God's Church. Not only is that what Herbert Armstrong said in the sermon previously cited, we recently discovered that all references to the 'Philadelphia' or 'Sardis' eras of the Church were edited out of the hardcover edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong that WCG put out in late 1986! This edition was edited by the Tkach administration after Herbert Armstrong's death.

We are not the only one to have noticed edits in that edition. The following comments were posted at amazon.com from a review concerning The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, "The most available edition of the Autobiography of HWA (1980's) is not, in fact, an Autobiography. It was edited after his death, and so should have been correctly called a Biography. That said, the edits and choice of photographs reflect a specific bias on the part of the editor(s) concerning how they saw HWA, as opposed to how he saw himself. The edition to find, if you can, is the one published by the WCG in 1973, while Armstrong was still alive. --This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition."

The 1986 version eliminates certain points which we believe were done to make it easier for WCG to join with outside churches (some of its earliest cooperation after HWA's death, was for example with CG7). It also seems have deliberately been done so that WCG members would not remember that HWA felt they were called to be part of the Philadelphia era of God's Church.

Quotes Removed in the 1986 Autobiography

While in most places the two editions are identical, here are some prominent quotes from the 1973 edition that have been edited out of the 1986 edition:

"This is a photographic reproduction of Elder A. N. Dugger's letter of July 28, 1929, endorsing truth of the United States and Britain identity as 20th Century Manasseh and Ephraim, Birthright tribes of 'Lost' Ten Tribes of Kingdom of Israel. Underscoring words 'You surely are right' is ours." (1973 ed., page 372; missing from page 377, 1986 ed.)

Note: The entire letter is also missing. Here are some other edits/alterations:

"Events of the 38 years since that time have revealed that this was the transition from the 'Sardis era' (Rev. 3:1-5) into the beginning of the 'Philadelphia era.' " (1973 ed., page 448; missing from page 526, 1986 ed.)

"Now the living Christ began opening DOORS! Later research into church history identified where we stood, at the moment, in the prophecy concerning the seven stages, or eras of God's Church from the time of the original apostles, up to Christ's return to earth and establishment of the Kingdom of God. I had been fellowshipping with, working with, the latter part of the Sardis era, as described in Christ's own words in Revelation 3:1-5. The time had come for the Philadelphia era to begin. It did begin a week later, with the ending of the Firbutte meetings, and establishment of a new local Church of God starting out with 19 members! It is to the Philadelphia era that Christ said He would OPEN DOORS that His Gospel might be worldwide, into all nations, in power. This could not have started as long as I was being employed by MEN, ruled by MEN, not free to serve God FULLY, His way!" (1973 ed., page 450; missing from page 528, 1986 ed.)

"Actually, although we did not know it then, Christ Himself had started the 'Philadelphia' era or phase of His Church with the organization of that little Church of God now meeting at Jeans school, following the meetings in the Firbutte school, and following the rejection of the salary and authority of men resulting from the 'All-Day Wrangle.'" (1973 ed., page 473; missing from page 561, 1986 ed.)

[after the word 'ministers'] "in the two branches of the 'Sardis' phase of the Church." (1973 ed., page 474; missing from page 562, 1986 ed.)

Partially because of these changes, most once part of the old Worldwide Church of God lost site of Church Eras and the ramifications of being part of the remnant of Philadelphian portion of the true Church of God.

Conclusion

So it seems that WWN "18 Truths" article was NOT a "last gasp" of doctrinal orthodoxy to which the Philadelphians should adhere. It can be seen (thanks to the absence of Philadelphia reference) as the "first shot" in WCG's apparent campaign to take the Church out of the Philadelphia era (which also suggests that WCG was intending on making changes when it said it was not).

The REAL "restored truths" are a SUPERSET of the Tkach sanctioned article, which through careful omissions helped set the stage for what came next.

Modifying an autobiography (which is not supposed to happen as by definition an 'autobiography' is what one writes about ones' self) and changing things while claiming to be faithful misled many.

Sadly, it is not astounding that with the apparently planned actions by WCG to obscure the 18 truths and to attempt to re-write history, that most in the COGs do not seem to realize that Herbert Armstrong did not teach that he was simply part of the COG, but that he was used to lead the Philadelphia era of the Church of God. In this area, we believe most have been deceived.

This has contriuted also to other deceptions and is one of the reasons that we do not see unity today--though egos probably play the biggest role in that.

Anyway, the original list of 18 truths was taught once by Herbert W. Armstrong and it was not the list that the Tkach Administration published.

Here are links to a related two-part sermon: The 18 Restored Truths: 1-8 and The 18 Restored Truths: 9-18.

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COGwriter 2005/2010/2011/2012/2015/2016 0625 (The above article, prior to later edits, was originally published in The Journal: News of the Churches of God in 2005)