My Testimony

Galatians 5:1 Christ having made us gloriously freeóstand fast and do not again be hampered with the yoke of slavery.

As a young person in high school I began listening to The World Tomorrow broadcast of the Worldwide Church of God. Herbert W. Armstrong and his son, Garner Ted Armstrong, said many things that made sense.

For example, they indicated that Jesus spoke in parables or stories to hide his meaning from the crowds. He did not want to make his meaning clear. They said that most of Christianity claimed just the opposite--that the stories he used helped make his meaning clear. The information they offered was knowledge that most people did not have.

Their style of presentation left me wanting to hear more. Just like being hooked on modern TV soap operas, I looked forward to hearing each broadcast.

I subscribed to their magazine, The Plain Truth, to get more of this "insider" information.

Eventually I became a baptized member of the church and began attending church on the Sabbath and took off work to attend "God's annual holy days".

Many of the "old" Worldwide Church of God's beliefs revolved around the Old Covenant and Jewish beliefs. Here are some of the "old" beliefs:

  • Godís 7,000 year plan accomplishes Godís purpose: God closed off redemption and salvation of mankind for 6,000 years (during which Satan deceived the world). In the final 1,000 years the second Adam, Jesus Christ, will return to the earth to unseat Satan.
  • Jesus came to qualify (by overcoming Satan and choosing the mind and government of God) to replace the former archangel Lucifer on the throne of the earth, thus ruling with the government of God.
  • The dual purpose of the church is to (1) proclaim the good news of the coming Kingdom of God, and (2) to feed the sheep.
  • The purpose of the church is to witness to the world that this age will soon close and Christ will return to establish the Kingdom of God.
  • That ďthe gospel of the kingdom should be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nationsĒ means that it should be preached to the heads of government in world capitals all over the world.
  • Giving of prayers, encouragement, and financial support was Godís assignment as the very means of developing in the lay members Godís holy righteous character--that lay members may qualify to rule with and under Christ in Godís Kingdom.
  • The church is not the instrumentality by which God is trying to save the world now.
  • God shut man off from the tree of life and has blinded the minds of men so they will not believe the Gospel.
  • The blood of Christ wipes the slate clean of past sins. Now Christians are responsible to develop holy righteous character and to endure to the end.
  • Most Christian ministers are "false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves unto apostles of Christ."
  • The 10 Commandments were in full force and effect before Moses.
  • Man must qualify to rule with God by doing what Adam failed to do: by rejecting and overcoming Satan and his way and voluntarily choosing Godís way.
  • Salvation is a process; no one is now saved. Only those who overcome and endure to the end will be saved.
  • Christians are commanded to keep Godís holy days including the Sabbath and Godís annual feast days.
  • It is God who makes days holy. Since these days are holy to God, then God must determine which days they are. This very fact that days in the annual festivals are holy to God is proof that man is not free for himself to determine which days they are.
  • Christians are required to keep Godís dietary laws of clean and unclean meats.
  • Once perfect and righteous character is instilled in man, he can be converted from mortal flesh to immortal spirit, being born into the divine family of God.
  • The New Covenant is not in full effect today, but awaits the return of Jesus Christ.

I enjoyed listening to short wave radio broadcasts from foreign countries. The propaganda of various government stations was interesting to hear, especially Radio Havana, Cuba during the Vietnam conflict.

After some time I began listening to Dr. Gene Scott on short wave. I enjoyed his scholarly and in depth presentation of Biblical topics. He presented a different message about the grace of God than I heard in the Worldwide Church of God under Herbert W. Armstrong. I began to embrace this understanding of grace.

In time, Herbert W. Armstrong died and Joseph W. Tkatch took over the reigns of the church. He came to see that Mr. Armstrong's teachings were not in keeping with the New Testament. A video of one of his sermons was shown to every congregation. He indicated that beliefs such as tithing, clean and unclean meats, and the holy days were specific to the Old Covenant and were not pertinent to the New Covenant.

After that video I literally felt a weight lift from my back. It was a refreshing, uplifting feeling to know that grace and freedom from Old Covenant laws was being discovered by ministers at the Pasadena "headquarters".

Others, however, were bewildered by this new, divergent teaching. It seemed to place a weight on their shoulders. I remember one person asking, "Well, what do you think of that?"

As additional teachings came out of the Pasadena headquarters that transitioned from "old" beliefs to more traditional Christian doctrines, the dissatisfaction of many members grew.

As the scope of this reformation grew so did the dissatisfaction of many old-time members. Slowly, over time unhappy members left to form splinter groups, then the splinter groups split again until there are now more than a hundred church organizations that are composed of former Worldwide Church of God members. Perhaps a third of the old Worldwide Church of God members remain.

Though I am no longer in the Worldwide Church of God, I remember with fondness the members struggling to learn about and adhere to more accurate teachings of Jesus.

I constructed this site as an effort to help others who are caught up in a non-Christian cult. I hope they can use some information on this site to help them embrace the grace of Jesus Christ and to realize the freedom he brought us.

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