Looking back, it is not difficult to see what took place in the Worldwide Church of God after the doctrinal changes in 1974-75. Today, no less than two hundred splinter groups exist as a result of the disintegration that took place following these changes. Some left because they did not get the changes they wanted fast enough. Others left because of the hypocritical lifestyles of some in high office. Still others left because they could not agree with the changes that were taking place. Regardless of the reasons, one fact is certain: God’s sheep have been scattered to the four winds and all of these groups believe they are the Church of God!
Is Christ Divided?
According to the Apostle Paul, the church that Jesus built is not divided. Paul wrote, “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor. 1:12-13). The true church is one body (Rom. 12:4-5, 1 Cor. 10:17; 12:12-13, 20, Eph. 2:16; 4:4, Col. 3:15). It is not a house divided with believers who disagree on doctrinal issues. Christians are called out of the world to be a part of the body of Christ and are striving to have the mind of Christ (Ph’p. 2:5). The same Spirit that inspired Christ to do the will of the Father motivates true Christians to do the same today (Rom. 8:9-10). They practice the same things Jesus did when He was on the earth some 1900 years ago. Jesus said, “. . . I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). So, while the true church is a spiritual organism, it is also a physical body that enjoys harmony. As Jesus Christ was complete in His physical body, so is His spiritual body today. While members may be scattered or physically separated, they are not divided doctrinally. True Christians will not be in conflicting physical organizations at odds with one another. This divisiveness is not of the Spirit of God.
The Church Jesus Built Has a Work to Do
In His final instruction to His disciples, Jesus commissioned them to preach the gospel to the world (Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15). That this commission was to extend to our time period today is seen by Jesus’ statement, “. . . lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:20). The Worldwide Church of God pursued this goal zealously. The result was that thousands were called by God and converted. The work that was done by the Worldwide Church of God before 1974 was the greatest Judaic-Christian movement to come on the world scene in 2000 years. But that great work came to an end after 1974. After the changes were made regarding the proper day to observe Pentecost, and the doctrine of divorce and remarriage, it was no longer the same church. Today, it has essentially accepted Protestant teachings which are taught by the majority of the professing Christian churches in America. The Worldwide Church of God has embraced the religions of the world and is no longer preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God.
The Identifying Signs
There are a number of characteristics that point out the identity of the true church. These signs are pointed out in the Bible. The question that needs to be asked is: Did the Worldwide Church of God possess these identifying signs? For those who understand the truth, one fact is certain. The myriad of denominations that make up what is called Christianity today cannot possibly represent what the Bible shows to be the church that Jesus built. Modern Christianity is in hopeless confusion with hundreds of competing organizations. But, this is also true with the Church of God today. So, to find these signs we must look at what took place before the disintegration of the Worldwide Church of God in 1974.
There have been, and still are, major evangelizing efforts going on around the world. But, it was the Worldwide Church of God alone that taught complete obedience to the Law of God. Without exception, all other evangelizing works have been lax with the fourth and seventh commandments. Only the Worldwide Church of God upheld the sanctity of the Sabbath day and God’s Law relative to divorce and remarriage. Some denominations uphold the sanctity of marriage within their own congregations, but the Worldwide Church of God upheld the sanctity of marriage as it applied to all mankind. Those denominations that upheld the Sabbath did not uphold the truth about divorce and remarriage. It was the Worldwide Church of God that upheld both.
Jesus told His true followers, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). These commandments are the Ten Commandments found in the Old Testament. It was Jesus who gave these commandments to ancient Israel, for He was the God of the Old Testament (1 Cor. 10:4). Jesus instructed, “. . . It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). The Ten Commandments proceeded out of the mouth of God (Ex. 20:1, Deut. 5:4-6). The church that Jesus built is a commandment-keeping church (Rev. 12:17). The true church-the bride of Christ-is arrayed in fine linen. Linen is the righteousness of the saints (Rev. 19:7-8). And what is righteousness? “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness” (Ps. 119:172).
For over forty years the Worldwide Church of God taught obedience to and kept the Ten Commandments. Not until 1974, when the doctrinal changes took place, was obedience to the great spiritual Law of God repudiated. Since that time divorce and remarriage have been rampant in the church, and Sunday is now fully accepted as a day of worship!
The Sabbath and Holy Days
The Sabbath day itself is one of the most important identifying signs of God’s true people. It is a sign between God and His people forever! “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed” (Ex. 31:17). The physical nation of Israel was given this identifying sign, but today, in its spiritual application, it applies to the “Israel of God”-the Church of God (Gal. 6:16). In the broad sense, the Sabbath was intended for all of mankind. “. . . The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28). It was Jesus, the God of the Old Testament, who created the Sabbath (Gen. 2:2-3, John 1:1-3, 1 Cor. 8:9, Eph. 3:9).
Jesus set the perfect example (1 Pet. 2:21, Luke 4:16). He kept the Sabbath! The Apostle Paul also kept the Sabbath. Notice these examples in the book of Acts (Acts 13:14, 42, 44; 17:2; 18:4). He did not believe for one moment that the Sabbath was “done away.” The idea that Paul was the one who brought Christian liberty and freed New Testament believers from the Jewish cocoon is pure nonsense. It is obvious from the book of Acts and the Epistles of Paul that true believers kept the Sabbath. If we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, then we, too, should keep the Sabbath today! The Worldwide Church of God taught obedience to the Sabbath. While it is an important identifying sign, as other churches also recognize, it is not the only sign. One fact is certain: Wherever the true church of God is, it will be observing the weekly Sabbath faithfully.
Apart from the Jewish people, there was no major religious organization that kept the annual holy days, described in both the Old and New Testaments, except the Worldwide Church of God. The holy days were given to ancient Israel to rehearse God’s plan of salvation year by year. By keeping God’s Holy Days, Christians can come to understand and appreciate the plan God is working out here below. There is ample evidence that Christ, the apostles, and the New Testament church kept the annual holy days. See, for example, the following texts: Luke 2:41-42, Matthew 26:18, John 7:10, 37, Acts 2:1; 18:21; 20:6, 16, 1 Corinthians 5:8. Some of these texts show that the Apostle Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, kept the holy days. What is clear from the New Testament is that the holy days were not “done away” when the New Covenant was established.
The Correct Name
Twelve texts in the New Testament reveal the correct name for the true Church of God. The correct name is “the Church of God.” Appellations may be attached, such as “Worldwide,” but the basic name is always the same-the Church of God. In a few places it is called the “Church of Christ,” but, Christ is God, so the name the Church of God tells it all. Some Scriptures include the specific location of a Church of God, but the basic name-Church of God-is always found. One should not assume any other name than “the Church of God” is the inspired name of the church that Jesus built. See Acts 20:28, 1 Corinthians 1:2; 10:32; 11:22; 15:9; 2 Corinthians 1:1, Galatians 1:13, 1 Timothy 3:5.
Jesus prayed to the Father, “. . . keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11). God’s name is placed upon the true church. As noted, any appellation used in conjunction with that name is not important. What is important is that God’s name is always there. The Worldwide Church of God was the name given in 1969. Prior to that time it was known as the Radio Church of God. Due to the worldwide evangelizing effort that began to develop in the 1950’s, the name was changed to denote the worldwide effort. The evangelizing efforts of the Worldwide Church of God far surpassed any of the contemporary movements going on at the same time. While there are some churches who recognize the correct name for the church that Jesus built, the correct name is only one of the identifying signs. Those who have appropriated the correct name but do not have the remaining biblical signs are not the church that Jesus built regardless of their claims.
The True Gospel
The commission that Jesus gave His church was to preach the gospel to the world. He told His disciples, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy [Spirit]: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:19-20). Jesus intended that message to be preached right up to the time of His second coming. The word “gospel” is from the Old English word that means “good news.” Jesus commissioned His disciples to preach the same message He had preached during His ministry on Earth-the gospel of the Kingdom of God (Mark 1:14). This message was not about the person of Jesus. When on the Earth He did not go about relating His miracles and the good deeds He had done here and there. Rather, He preached about the coming Kingdom of God and what man must do to enter that kingdom.
Jesus’ message was also about repentance. He taught that man must stop breaking the Law of God, to turn around and go the other way, and to accept Him as personal Savior (Mark 1:15, Luke 13:5, John 6:29). Repentance means to fully understand the significance of breaking the Ten Commandments and to grasp the seriousness of the consequences, then to manifest true remorse and sorrow for doing so. It means to turn to God with one’s whole heart and mind-to stop sinning- and to accept the true way of salvation. Upon baptism, the believer receives the Holy Spirit which enables him to live up to the spiritual requirements of the Law of God. He is then able to live a life of righteousness and peace (Ps. 119:172, 165). He will be able to follow the example Jesus set (1 John 2:6).
The gospel of the Kingdom was the message preached by the Worldwide Church of God for many years. No other church preached the complete truth on this subject. Only after the middle 70’s, when the church began to water down the force and impact of God’s Law, was this message gradually abandoned. The Worldwide Church of God now teaches the same fundamental errors found in most of professing Christianity today.
Oneness of Doctrine
Jesus emphasized the importance of doctrinal unity among His disciples. He prayed to the Father, “. . . keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11). Jesus desired that His disciples be of one mind, united in belief and purpose. The Apostle Paul emphasized this same principle when he wrote, “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10).
The church that Jesus built is united in the Truth of God-the true doctrine. True Christians have one faith, or body of doctrine (Eph. 4:5). The modern Christian churches cannot possibly be the true church with their varying beliefs and differing denominations. Jesus promised to be with His church until the end of the world (Matt. 28:20). He never promised His church would be visible and large. Nor did he indicate it would be divided into many differing sects and divisions. The Apostle Paul said, in fact, that it could not be the Church of God if it was divided (1 Cor. 1:10-13).
The Worldwide Church of God possessed the true doctrine and was united in that doctrine for over forty years. Not until the prophetic failure of 1972, along with scandal in high places, did many begin to doubt the true doctrine and to seek avenues to change the Truth of God. Thousands no longer know what to believe. They lost faith in the calling God had initially given them. They are unable to think back to the time of harmony and happiness when the church was growing and accomplishing great works. Instead, they base their entire Christian experience on their shattered emotions generated by what happened after 1972. Only by evaluating the past without emotion can one truly grasp the significance of one’s calling and conversion.
The Truth Was Given
A major proof overlooked by many is the fact that for over forty years the Worldwide Church of God understood that spiritual understanding is given by means of divine revelation. See for example, John 6:44; 14:16-17, 26, 1 Thessalonians 2:13-14. When substantiation for the doctrinal changes of 1974-75 was being sought, “scholars” were brought into the picture. What is now taught, while called the truth, is totally the opposite of that which was taught for over forty years. So-called “alterations” of truth which contradict previous truth cannot be “new truth.” New truth does not contradict previous truth. It only adds to it. Therefore, what took place in the Worldwide Church of God beginning in 1974-75 was a departure from truth. It was turning to error and apostasy.
Truth is revealed by the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17, 26; 16:13). The Bible indicates no other way. Truth does not come by study and scholarship. These may assist in the quest for truth but are not the basis for it. This was the teaching of the Worldwide Church of God for many years. Not until a loss of confidence in the ministry, due to prophetic assumption and questionable lifestyles, was the stage set for repudiating divine revelation. Prior to that time, God’s way of life was exciting and meaningful. We should not judge the calling God gave us by the failure of men in high office. We must not blame God for what took place. We must view the disintegration and demise of the Worldwide Church of God as a prophesied event!
This proof of the true church has been grossly overlooked by the vast majority of former members of the Worldwide Church of God. Look what the Apostle Paul warned in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3:
Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.
Notice the time setting. It is very near the Second Coming of Christ. And what was to precede this event? An apostasy! The Greek word for “falling away” is apostasia which means “an abandonment” of the truth. This is exactly what happened to the Worldwide Church of God beginning in 1974. If what happened in the Worldwide Church of God was not the fulfillment of that text, then there is to arise another great Work of God that will eventually fulfill that prophecy. Either the Worldwide Church of God was that church or we have no idea of the time period in which we live. Remember, one cannot turn from the truth if one did not first have the truth. Apostasy means to turn away from the truth. The doctrinal departure that began in 1974 was that apostasy.
Jesus warned of religious deception just prior to His Second Coming (Matt. 24:4-5, 11, 24). Let us understand. Jesus was not just warning about the First Century AD. He foretold a religious deception just prior to His return. The Apostle Paul said the same thing, as we have seen in 2 Thessalonians 2. Apostasy occurs when an individual or an organization changes doctrine, if that doctrine came as a result of divine revelation. Those who refuse to believe doctrine is revealed by God have no basis for what they believed in the past, or for what they presently believe. Their religion is not the result of faith in God, but in their own intellect or that of scholars. In either case they are the victims of deception. The Worldwide Church of God alone possessed the proofs of the true Church of God. It was the church Jesus said He would be with until the end of the age, and the one that was destined to turn from the truth given to it.
Consider the following:
If there is no true church extant in the world today, the truth of God has not been proclaimed at all in modern times as Jesus prophesied, and we must wait for some future church to accomplish this. If there was no work in modern times that proclaimed the truth to the world, then Jesus has not kept His promise, and either He failed, or we must wait for the promise to be fulfilled. In either case we have no idea of the time period in which we live. If the Worldwide Church of God did not fulfill the commission Jesus gave, then a work will appear in the future that will fail for the same reasons the Worldwide Church of God failed. Yet, salvation hinges on the truth of Jesus’ statement, “. . . I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). In spite of the apostasy that took place beginning in 1974-75, the Bible foretold that a remnant would be faithful to the truth and would be keeping the commandments of God (Rev. 12:17, Matt. 24:46). Jesus has always been, and will always be, with those who have faith in God and keep His commandments!
How the Apostasy Occurred
Bible prophesy has a tremendous attraction for many. The prophetic binge of the past was what enamored thousands. Prophecy was the catalyst employed to generate interest in the Bible and to incite fear in the minds of many. A hierarchical form of church government was also employed to hold the membership in subjection. But it was the prophetic failure of 1972 that was primarily responsible for destroying confidence in the ministry. This lack of confidence was soon directed at doctrine.
Jesus warned that iniquity (Greek: lawlessness) would also be a primary factor in turning many away from the truth. He said, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matt. 24:12). When scandal in high places came to light in the early 1970s, many became completely disillusioned with the church leadership. People reasoned that if those preaching the truth refused to live up to it, why should they. They saw that if leading ministers did not practice what they preached, then they really didn’t believe it, and if they didn’t believe it, there was no validity to any of it. Their love, which the Bible defines as obedience to the Law of God (1 John 5:3), waxed cold.
Rather than repent of wrong, those in high places began to look to “scholars” for the proof they needed in order to substantiate their lifestyles. The solution was to change doctrine. Pentecost was chosen first because it seemed the most vulnerable to attack. What they were really after was the church teaching about divorce and remarriage. A number of New Testament passages point out the ways and means men have chosen to repudiate the truth. The natural human proclivity is for man to want his own way. He often lacks the will or desire to be faithful to the truth God has given him. Paul warned, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Tim. 4:3-4).
This appeal to scholars led to altering church doctrine on the basis of the meaning of a single Hebrew or Greek word or phrase. Massive doctrinal changes were made, for example, in the doctrine of divorce and remarriage-based on the meaning of a single word. This apostasy came about as a result of “official” doctrinal changes made at the top. The apostasy was instigated by leading ministers in the church and not by the lay members. The hierarchical form of church government employed was ideal for this to happen. Members were taught never to question the ministry. Their decisions were “inspired” and were not to be questioned. Thousands of members blindly went along with this, never realizing what was happening to them and to the church. Many ministers were idolized by the church membership, so what they said took precedence over the Word of God. Thousands of members simply did not really love the truth; they professed it, but did not really want to live up to it. The sinful lifestyle of some in high office provided all the excuse needed to do what they longed to do (2 Thess. 2:10-12).
There is no way the ungodly doctrinal changes that took place in 1974-75 could have been accepted had they not been done under official guise. The apostasy spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 came about as a result of heresy in high places. The church membership had little to do with it, except to obey what they were told. Those who refused to do so were viewed as rebels, and there was no forum provided for those who sincerely felt these changes were wrong. The new approach to truth-appealing to scholars-left many unanswered questions, many which remain unanswered to this day. The credibility gap between the ministry and the laity continues in the minds of many. Those who were oriented to the organization simply went along without question, having no sense of reality as to what was taking place and where it would lead. Many others, however, could not bring themselves to accept this “new revelation” which was completely contrary to what had been formerly declared as revelation. They simply threw in the towel and abandoned what truth they had been initially given. Or, they went with ministers who were organizing churches of their own. The result today is that there are now over two hundred groups which were once a part of the Worldwide Church of God. Among these groups are faithful ministers who have not compromised the truth given to them. Jesus said He would be with His church until the end of the world. Where are these faithful ministers? That is the challenge for every one who at one time understood the truth.
Many who lost faith in their calling and in the true doctrine have repudiated everything they ever believed. They now question the time period in which they live. But, this of itself is a proof of the last days, for Peter tells us, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (2 Pet. 3:3-4). In renouncing the time period in which they live, they have rejected the true gospel, obedience to the commandments of God, and any attempt to live a godly life. Many of them have gone off into abominations of one kind or another.
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire (2 Pet. 2:20-22).
Because of the prophetic failure of 1972, the “work” took a new slant. Revelation 10:11 was quoted to justify expensive junkets overseas to “witness to the kings of the earth.” But, the gospel of Jesus Christ was not preached to these kings. Rather, they were told about a gospel of “give and get.” The name of Jesus Christ would never be mentioned. Members were told that Jesus Christ had delayed His coming and that the church was now coming out of a spiritual wilderness.
What members were not told is that God’s Spirit is the Spirit of truth. Jesus said God does not lead those He calls into error. To say the church was wrong for over forty years in the matter of Pentecost, and divorce and remarriage, is to say that Christ was derelict, or is a liar! To believe this is to admit the church did not have the truth as it claimed. Therefore, it was a false church. If this is true, then the Worldwide Church of God, as well as the various splinter groups, who accepted the ungodly doctrinal changes of 1974-75, have no foundation for their beliefs other than what this or that scholar says is truth. If you believe that, then you have repudiated the words of Jesus and have chosen to follow men rather than Christ! Hard words indeed, but they are the truth.
The new “thrust” in the “work” demanded a watering down of the seriousness and force of God’s Law. When it was decided never to mention the name of Jesus Christ to the kings of the Earth and to let the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation take the place of the church, it was a small matter to water down the Law of God. The failure on the part of the top leadership in the church to fearlessly preach the Law of God will have serious repercussions some day. Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work [lawlessness]” (Matt. 7:22-23).
Because of the hierarchical approach in church government and the many abuses that accompanied it, many members had endured enough. Rather than to admit where the fault lay, members were told that the reason they were treated badly in the past was due to faulty doctrine. Nothing could be farther from the truth. This passing of the buck was a blatant failure on the part of those in high places to admit the fault was not with doctrine, but with their view of church government. Members were never told that the problem was not doctrine but administration. Doctrine became the scapegoat and members were now told they could do almost anything they cared to do. They were promised “liberty.” The Bible tells us, “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (2 Pet.2:19). The end result has been that many want to be called Christian but do not want to be Christian. They want the best of both worlds-the Christian world and the secular world. But the Bible says we cannot have it both ways. We are warned, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).
The quest for pleasure became the emphasis for this new liberty. At least one leading minister had been involved in adultery over a protracted period of time. What was not realized was that the justification for this manner of life was what was behind the doctrinal change on divorce and remarriage. Therefore, this new liberty was touted as the panacea for the problems in the church. In reality it was a cover for a deep personal problem, but the church was led to believe the ministry was trying to help the members. The Apostle Peter warned of this conduct and the consequences when he wrote that they “. . . shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children” (2 Pet. 2:13-14).
Heresies of one kind or another began to creep into the church, and soon factions formed. Liberals against conservatives, moderates against both liberals and conservatives, etc. Lists were compiled at Headquarters as to which ministers were in which group. Contempt and disrespect among the ministers, as well as lay members, began to manifest itself. Members became pitted against members as various individuals chose sides. The whole situation had become a stench in the nostrils of God. Few took a look at Jesus’ prophecy when He said there would be betrayals, offenses, and hatred manifested among the people of God (Matt. 24:10). The most vehement criticism heaped upon those members who refused to go along with the doctrinal changes came from the very ones who had for many years believed what these members were now holding onto.
Most of the ministers went along with the changes since they had been taught to dutifully accept whatever Headquarters told them to do. There were some who knew better and compromised. Their convictions had been corroded and they knew it. Today many of these men are mere shells of what they once were. They lost the ability to appreciate the importance of God’s Truth. What had been truly meaningful lost its significance, and they readily accepted doctrinal change after doctrinal change.
Condition of the Church Today
What Jesus said in Luke 18:8 can now be fully grasped. He said “. . . when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” In the original text the definite article “the” precedes the word “faith” in this verse. Faith in this context refers to the embodiment of beliefs. What this text tells us is that in the time of the end few would be faithful to the revealed truth given to the church. There are a number of warnings regarding apostasy in the last days.
Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote:
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1 Tim. 4:1).
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Tim 3:1).
One of the reasons, Paul said, in the texts that follow, was that they would have a form of godliness, but would deny the power thereof (2 Tim. 3:5). They would appear to be religious all right, but would deny the power of God’s Spirit as a source of truth and motivation in their lives. The above texts are referring to those who once held the truth because one cannot depart from what one never had. They rejected the Holy Spirit which had led God’s church into the truth and began to speak evil of the very doctrines they once believed. And, what was the end result to be? “And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (2 Pet. 2:2)
The condition of the church today is pathetic. The sheep are scattered. Confusion and chaos reigns. While most of the groups who left the Worldwide Church of God are in agreement doctrinally, having accepted the 1974-75 doctrinal changes on Pentecost and divorce, most of their leaders refuse to cooperate with other group leaders. Each refuses to accept the dominance of others. Those who hope to bring about a united Church of God are daydreaming. It will not happen until Christ returns (Jer. 23:2, Ezek. 34:12). In the meantime, it is the absolute duty of everyone who understands the truth to seriously look at himself in order to see what he has done with that truth. Jesus said He would build His church and that it would never die. The Worldwide Church of God had all the identifying signs. Either it was that church or Jesus failed to keep His promise. Today His true sheep are in a scattered condition, but there are those among them who remain faithful to that which God revealed to His church, and they have not denied His name. They have not rejected the Holy Spirit as the source of truth, and they are the ones truly living up to the calling God has given them. Where do you fit in?