Greetings friends! I have a simple but unending question for those reading this commentary—but still simple. How long have you known the truth and are you holding fast to it?
We live in a world with so many counterfeit churches claiming to be “Christian” organizations today. Many have been proven wrong by the preaching of the true Gospel, along with the Bible, for over 80 years in recent times and still they are preaching errors. It is as if the bulk of humanity is just not listening! It has been nearly 1990 years since 31 AD and the founding of the true COG. Christ did not build a whole bunch of differing churches, as some seem to believe—only one! (Matt.16:18-John 17:21-23-1Cor.12:12) HWA taught this, after he learned it from the Bible, along with many other pieces of material he produced in his nearly 60 years in the ministry, which has been over 30 years now, since his death. (Jan.16,1986) Of course the COG before him was about to die out (Rev.3:1-6) and that is why God used him to restore truth (Matt.17:11) and preach the truth of the Gospel.
Let us step back a little bit and think about the main reason there is so much literal confusion among religious organizations of the day? The Bible says in1 Cor. 14:33, “For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.” NKJV Answer; the devil is steadily trying to deceive mankind and steer them away from all truth, by twisting and perverting the Bible—just a little or a lot, whatever it takes in many cases—and that is the direct answer. He has been doing that for nearly 6000 years. But there is more to it. Satan the devil does not want God to be successful in reproducing after His own kind (Gen.1:26-28) and fulfilling His plan, so he is a liar (John 8:44) and the deceiver of mankind in every generation! This will continue into the near future and get worse until Christ comes, but it is also affecting the COG again in our time.
There are several of these organizations who now claim to even be the COG, as well. Can they all be a part of the same true church, with just a little different approach to some doctrines and even the gospel that HWA preached? WE SHOULD KNOW BETTER, if we have been around very long, even though we should still be learning and growing spiritually, which is to added to what we have already learned from the Bible! So, are we holding fast to the truth we have learned? Of course, most of you regular readers and listeners already know the answer to at least most of the reason for so much confusion. 2 Cor.4:3-4 reveals that Satan is the god of this world and wants to blind people to the truth of the Gospel—he has deceived the whole world, as Rev.12:9 reveals and actually has taken the vast majority captive (2 Tim.2:26) from the time of Gen.3 even to this time. Those who want to have the truth and go God’s way, no matter when they begin learning it are told to separate themselves from the world and its ways (2Cor.6:17) and cling to what the Bible reveals. But of course we have to search that out and prove it for ourselves, then hold it fast (Rev.3:11) and many are letting down in this area. There are now so many of man’s versions of what the Bible reveals, and this has even gotten into the COG once again, through subtle compromise and lukewarm-ness. There is a little bit of it everywhere, even in these COG organizations because we are all in Laodicea, in dis-regard to the claims of some.
I know I have written about this before, and there are other articles, bible studies and commentaries about the Church, COG and “Christianity”, where it is and why it is, its very purpose and so forth, right here on this web-site. (This commentary is free of links, so browse the various sections and see for yourself) However, there is always a different angle and new questions and the truthful answers just never seems to stick in peoples mind for very long until Satan manages to get people to forget the biblical explanation and begin to focus on the confusion all around them once more. And that is what Satan is after—to keep us confused and off guard—not knowing exactly where we should be and what each one should believe! He would rather us believe one of his ministers! (2Cor.11:13-15) It has begun to work once again, even to a degree in the COG groups, but there was a time when anyone searching for the truth was able to find it, mostly coming out of one COG organization—but that was back in the 20th century and under the leadership of HWA. Sure, he made some mistakes and had to make some corrections from time to time—he was also just a human, but being led by the Holy Spirit, which has happened all down through time! Even the original apostles, then Paul, after receiving the Holy Spirit, thought Christ would come in their own time frame, as witnessed by many statements.
Speaking of the COG through time; there were only two of the seven letters (Christ chose to reveal-Rev.2&3) to the churches that did not get a reprimand from Christ, and one of those was Philadelphia, under HWA. However, the “synagogue of Satan” is only found mentioned in those two letters, showing the devil was working even then. Is any of this registering?? God & Christ, through HWA brought back or restored truth that had previously been lost. This included the Sabbaths of yearly observance (Holy day festivals) along with the true Gospel being proclaimed and many other things. That very quickly began to become lukewarm when the Tkach administration took over after HWA’s death. The COG started back into lukewarm-ness (Liberalism in the 70s) and then went off the rails completely and into apostasy in less than ten years! For those that tried to hold onto truth found themselves being scattered in virtually every direction, simply because they were not sure who to trust—someone that would still stay in line with what the Bible reveals or just follow their present minister. As it turned out, there were actually several in the ministry already, who wanted to take over and make some changes before Herbert died, which came to light after his death. He even revealed this in some of his letters to the brethren before his death. Satan was intently waiting to get in and corrupt the whole COG, if he could.
Now we have all these “Splinter groups” as some call them and the ideas from several different men, which tend to go off in different directions; one teaches this and another teaches that. This one has a different kind of governing structure and another has that—not exactly biblically based—a kind of blending the world and its ways with how to govern God’s church and His people, deviating with this and that and throwing in a few of their own ideas or interpretations! They seem to have forgotten many things the Holy Spirit inspire HWA to put in place. It is not a problem for most of the ministry today, to add to or take from the word of God and what it reveals, (Duet.4:2 & ch.12:32) so it is no wonder that this era of Laodicea is so heavily criticized by Christ Himself.
I want to read this from the American Standard Version; Rev 3:17 “Because thou sayest, (The church in Laodicea—V.14—the majority of our time frame say) “I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing; and knowest not (This is what we all should be picking up on) that thou art the wretched one and miserable and poor and blind and naked:” ASV (This letter is a reference to the last era and the church of its time who are the lukewarm. Some few will still be found holding fast!)
My thoughts or comment on this are; “The wretched one”- of all seven-??- according to the way that translation put it—and I do not doubt this being correct! Why could or would this be, now that the truth has largely been restored?? However, that is us today, in these various “splinter groups”! (I know many claim they are still the Philadelphians, but that just shows the fulfilment of these passages for Laodicea—“I am rich and in need of nothing” (NKJ) way of thinking—I am the best of all the rest! These eras do not run together or side by side, as HWA was led to understand. This IS the last era before Christ’s return!)
So why is this happening and where is the true COG today? The short answer is, it is now scattered, as the spiritual organism—not all in one group today—but the spiritual organism should be still of the same mind and striving to put on the mind of Christ, through the Holy Spirit, letting it lead (Phil. 2:5—John16:13—Rom.8:14—Gal.5:18) instead of men and/or organizational structures of men. The truth COG is truly scattered today, some being in many of these organizations where some truth is being taught.
HWA, after the many years of proving the world and its religions, with their gospels and various false teaching are NOT the church or the kingdom now; rather they are on a “Collison Course” with God and destruction, death & then judgement, (Rom.6:23, first part—2Thess.2:7-12—Heb.9:27—1John 3:4) and while preaching the true Gospel of the coming Kingdom (Christ’s true Gospel) that is soon to be set up on this earth, God allowed this time of testing we now see to come for those living on the earth and in the COG, shortly before Christ is to return. We must continue to prove ourselves and build more Godly Character, while living! This is the last era of the COG. The Philadelphians (older and long-time brethren) have been steadily dying and going to their graves for the last 30 years, along with everyone else! They are being kept from the final hour of trial; the great tribulation, (Rev.3:10) just ahead. This era of the COG, while the majority are going further into lukewarm compromises, the loyal and faithful (Those who might still be considered of a “Philadelphian” attitude and frame of mind, even though in Laodicea) still alive will be taken to a place of safety (Rev.12:14) while the rest go through the tribulation. This can be likened to the parable of the 10 virgins; (Matt.25:1-13) half are shut out from being protected, in the wedding ceremony and becoming Spirit beings in the first resurrection. Christ says He never knew them! Are we among the five wise or the five foolish? The five wise, even though they all slumbered and slept, are still holding fast and had enough oil!
However, we must also hold fast and never forget the knowledge of how clever Satan the devil is and the subtle strategies he uses to deceive the unsuspecting. This started with Eve and God allowed him to take the world into captivity, thus Christ was set to come. (Rev.13:8) Satan is trying to destroy what God has determined for mankind’s outcome. He tried to destroy Christ as a child (Rev.12:4-5) and when that did not work he sought to destroy the COG by the Roman government. When that did not work, he immediately and subtly began confusing the world as to where the true church is; what is real Christianity and what its message is. That began to work for the majority and has worked well for nearly two thousand years! The majority (99.9%) of humanity has been confused; think false religion is true Christianity. However, those who were truly called and chosen, who also held fast to the truth they were given, began to increase the number to become the Bride of Christ, as Christ was steadily adding to the first fruits. Time is just about up and Satan has become wrathful because he now knows he is about out of time. Satan will eventually turn the whole world against God’s true servants (and Christ) in one last attempt to destroy the remaining faithful and the two witnesses, (Rev.11) who continue to preach the Gospel while the church itself (Spiritual organism) is in safety. By getting the world/beast power to destroy the two witness and martyr some few who repent in the tribulation—the devil is actually finishing the number of first fruits to be in the first resurrection! (Rev.6:11)
Satan is out to try and destroy as many as is possible and does not seem to understand that all of his efforts is playing into God’s hands to finish the Bride for Christ and the plan of God. Will at least half of the membership of the existing COG wake up from being lukewarm and compromising in time to repent, fully rejecting Satan and this world and be made ready? (Rev.19:7) Most of the first fruits already have died and are just waiting for the resurrection, while the few as the elect still alive have a ways to go. It is my hope that we who are still alive can and will repent (God grants this-2Tim.2:25 & Rev.3:19) before the tribulation begins or we will have to go through martyrdom in the tribulation to be a first fruit. However, with the mind of Christ working in us, whatever the Fathers will is—that be done! (Matt.26:42) Where are you in all of this? Letting your guard down and become more lukewarm—or are you holding fast to the truth of your Bible, regardless of what your minister or organization teaches?
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