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Armstrongism


No lie is of the Truth’

The teachings of  Herbert W. Armstrong has been around for quite a while and has influenced the minds of millions. I have grown up watching his broadcasts on Television and was deeply influenced by the dynamic presentation and exposition of the Prophecies of the Bible. In my ignorance, the Bible seemed to come alive as I viewed his charismatic presentation, I was impressed. I never actually became a member of  his World Wide Church of God though ,but, I had accepted many of his false doctrines as did many others like me.

The Gospel in no uncertain terms gives us many warnings concerning false prophets. In fact it was Christ who when asked by his disciples concerning the sign of his coming who replied, “ take heed that no man deceive you” this warning was not merely for those who asked, but also (especially) for the people who would live in this time — the end times. Christ went on to say “many shall come in my name saying” that he (ie. Christ ) is “the Christ, and shall deceive many” Matt 24:4,5. These statements are prophetic in nature and finds it’s fulfillment in the person of H.W. Armstrong and his World Wide Church of God ministry, among many other false religions.

The claims above may seem somewhat strong but I can assure you that they are well founded. Scripture is the test of all claims to divine revelation and hence doctrines. This track seeks to remain true to this claim so that many scriptures would be used to support my exposing of the fallacies of Armstrong. The scriptures says “the word of God is quick (living) and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword….and is the discerner of the thoughts and intent of the heart.” This being the case, we will rely heavily on the Word of God for guidance in this matter.

Why is this track necessary? We as Christians have a mandate from God and we are required to obey his word. The scriptures puts it this way, “son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou halt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” This is the duty of the people of God and we are required to obey, for the very scripture shows that “the sword”, retribution is eminent, making it necessary that a warning of mercy be given. God is love and it is the nature of love that before retribution falls an a opportunity be given for men to hear the truth and be undeceive, so that they may flee for refuge in the arms of Christ our Lord. May the God of heaven, the Creator, Almighty YaHWeH, free the minds of men from the deceptions of Armstrongism. Amen

1. It is now time to begin the examination of the doctrines of Herbert W. Armstrong using quotations from his own publications to bring the verdict of guilty. These are the topics we shall touch, but just briefly, for this refutation is not intended to be exhaustive but to act as a stimulus for further research by the reader. We shall look at his doctrine of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the fall of man, salvation, the ultimate destiny of man and his teaching of the ten tribes of Israel. Finally we shall briefly look at a few of his failed prophecies which today seems to be almost forgotten or overlooked. In the end, what was hidden shall be brought to light “for what so ever makes manifest is light”.

God:

Armstrong’s (The world Wide Church of God) doctrine on God is very confusing and contradicting to say the least. He strays from what is the clear meaning of the scriptures to establish his own shallow and false ideas. Here is what he says

  • “man is created in the shape and form of the real, living creator God…God from eternity has possessed hands, ears, eyes, arms– and feelings, emotions, reason, will. Therefore God, when he began His plan of reproducing Himself, created Adam and Eve with His body shape, and with a mind of creative thought like God’s! of course, man is now physical while God is Spirit. God made man in the physical form and shape of God (Gen.2:7), to look like God. But he made man out of totally different material! God is Spirit, said Christ (Joh.4:24). “Don’t let life happen” Tomorrow’s world (Mar.1970), pg. 10, Garner Ted Armstrong.

It Clear from this statement the what is being taught here is that first God is a shape and form, though being spirit. This explains the fact that man was created in ‘the image of God’. So image to them is only applicable to physical shape and form. The truth is that in this scripture, image represents in a spiritual sense character, i.e. man was created in the character, to reflect the character of God (being created Holy as his creator is Holy). Christ is the “the express image” (Heb.1:3 Col.3:10; 1:15; 2Cor.4:4-6) of the invisible God. These scriptures prove that the interpretation given above by Armstrongism is totally wrong and lacking in exegetical merit. This term was not in these scriptures used to simply show that Christ was the physical outward form of God (Image), but was intended to show something more profound and Salvational in nature, expressing moral qualities— his nature as Righteousness. God is Spirit, and one cannot see a spirit, nor does a spirit possess any shape and form. (Deu.4:15,16,12 ; Isa.40:18).

Another false idea that is taught by Armstrongism about God is the “God family” theory. This absurd, and again unscriptural teaching asserts that since the word for God in Hebrew is plural in nature then it means that the word is not limited to the God in the proper sense being numerically one and revealed in the person offices, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but includes other beings who themselves are divine and part of the “God family”— Godhead. Here’s what he says

  • “The word Elohim is a uni-plural noun. It is a word like “Church” or “family”. There is one Church —but many members. Thus there is one God— but more than one member in the Godhead , or God family!….This Father– son relationship shows that God is a FAMILY. And the way the word Elohim is used in these early passages in Genesis and elsewhere certainly indicates that God is the creating Kingdom or family. Ten Commandments. Pg.48, Meredith.

Statements of this nature are reflective of the lie of Satan made to our first parents there in the garden. The lie of man being or becoming God and hence being part of “the Godhead” is Pantheistic in nature; “you shall be as god’s”. The New age movement along with many other false religions promote doctrines that mirrors Armstrong false doctrines. Does scripture support this interpretation as exegesis ( to draw out, unfold) or is it rather Armstrong’s  eisegesis (to put into, to add to). Remember God said that if any man add to the words of the Holy Scripture he would add to him the plagues? (Rev22: 18,19).  It is clearly evident though, that Armstrong reads into scripture his own ideas not allowing the scriptures to be unfolded to him. The answer to this plural word Elohim is understood in connecting scripture with other scriptures. In 1Joh5:7 it states “there are three that bare record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one”. Matt.28:19 states “….baptizing them in the name in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,…” ( see also. Joh.10:30). Note in the last quotation the word “name” is used instead of the plural— names. This is so done deliberately to show that the three are indeed one, possessing one name— God, YHWH. The Father is called God, the Holy Spirit is called God ( Act5:3,4) and the Son (Christ) also is called God (1Joh.520,21; Joh.1:1,3,14– 20:28). All three are called God because of one Divine nature ( God, Love ) functioning in each as an office of revelation, i.e., order of revelation ( father & Son-Joh.1:18; 5:19; 12:49,50; Holy Spirit-Tit.3:5). These few scriptures above show the limitation of the word (God, Elohim) when applied to the one creator YHWH, who alone is God. There is no room then for adding any other beings to make up any fictitious “God family” as has been done by Armstrong. The lie of the devil is to make creation God as he sought to do in heaven and in the garden (Isa.14:12-14; Gen.3:1-4).

TO BE CONTINUED

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