The Church Flees to the Wilderness

During the first three centuries of its existence, the Church of God faced intermittent periods of harsh persecution. However, during those times, they were not singled out, but were generally lumped in with the Jews and a wide range of Christ-professing sects. Those persecutions were of limited duration and local in scope. The Roman Emperor Diocletian, from 303 to 313ad, unleashed the worst of these pre-Council of Nicea persecutions. These are the ten days referred to in Revelation 2 10. When...

Another Gospel

Christ spent His ministry preaching the Good News of a coming divine government that would replace the oppressive human governments Jesus' listeners knew all too well. The disciples asked Him for signs showing when that time would be near (Matthew 24 3). The last question they asked, as He was preparing to ascend into heaven, concerned whether it was yet time for the Kingdom to be established (Acts 1 6). In the last stage of Paul's ministry of which we have any record, we find that Paul was...

Open Doors and Dramatic Growth

In 1946, God started positioning the Radio Church of God, and the Work being done through Mr. Armstrong, for dramatic growth. Faced with the pressures of daily radio broadcasting (for which Hollywood was well-equipped to provide technical support), and recognizing the need for a college to train an educated and faithful ministry, Mr. Armstrong looked into moving to Southern California. He located an appropriate property in Pasadena, and entered into negotiations to purchase it. At this time,...

The Adventist Movement

In the 1830s a movement arose among Protestant churches in western New York that focused on the return of Jesus Christ to this earth, and the establishment of a literal Kingdom. This message, which first began to be forcefully proclaimed by William Miller, was totally different from accepted Protestant doctrine. His teachings on prophecy attracted much interest and stirred increasing attention as his predicted 1844 date for the return of Christ drew near. After what was termed the great...

The Immortal Soul

The doctrine of the immortality of the soul, virtually universal in paganism, is not taught in either the Old or the New Testaments. Notice the admission of the Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible in this regard In the KJV of the OT the clue is partly obliterated in modern translations 'soul' represents almost exclusively the Hebrew nephesh. The word 'soul' in English. frequently carries with it overtones, ultimately coming from philosophical Greek (Platonism) and from Orphism and Gnosticism,...

The 1930s and 1940sA New Beginning

The late twenties and early thirties saw the Church of God become virtually paralyzed by political infighting and doctrinal strife. The Church's Conference in 1929 was marked by considerable confusion and dissension. Issues of controversy revolved around born again, clean and unclean meats, the use of tobacco, the date of the Passover (Nisan 14 or 15), and the work of the Holy Spirit (Pentecostalism). The number of conversions dwindled and the Work of the Church was virtually at a standstill....

The Trinity

There was not simply one heresy regarding the nature of God, but many different contradictory ones. There seem to have been almost as many different ideas as there were philosophical schools and teachers. Mainstream Catholic thought, from which orthodox Protestant teaching on the subject sprang, merely represents the particular brand of heresy that won out over its competitors. Since it is this teaching that has survived, with some modification, until our time, it is the one that we will...

Religious Art In Worship

One of the most drastic changes to affect the church after the first century was the introduction of religious art into worship. This innovation so obviously smacked of the idolatry prohibited by the second commandment that it was slow to catch on. Notice Both Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria regarded this prohibition as absolute and binding on Christians. Images and cultic statues belonged to the demonic world of paganism. In fact, the only second-century Christians known to have had...

The Final Phase of Church History

In Revelation 3, we read of the two final phases of the history of the Church of God. The Church of Philadelphia is characterized by a zeal to do the Work. God promised to set before them an open door to preach the Gospel (v. 8) as well as to protect them from the future Great Tribulation (v. 10). However, there is a final, seventh stage of the Church described, the Church at Laodicea. This Church is characterized by spiritual lukewarmness and lethargy (vv. 15-17). Though Mr. Armstrong put the...

Simon and Another Gospel

In Acts 8, we are introduced to a man who was used by Satan to infiltrate and subvert God's Church. This man was Simon, the sorcerer from Samaria, better known in secular history as Simon Magus. Simon was considered by the Samaritans to be God's divinely chosen representative (Acts 8 9-10). Eduard Lohse, writing in The New Testament Environment, states that the expression, the great power of God, represents Simon's claim to be the bearer of divine revelation (p. 269). Simon was baptized and...

The Church in Early America

Upon arriving in Rhode Island, the only American colony founded upon the principle of religious liberty, the Mumfords began to fellowship with Baptists in Newport. They were not quiet, however, about their belief in the Sabbath. In 1665, within the first year of the Mumfords' arrival, Tacy Hubbard started keeping the Sabbath with them, becoming the first convert in America. Shortly afterward, her husband Samuel joined her. In 1671 the first Sabbath-keeping church in America officially began...

Where Was the Church That Jesus Built

What had happened to the Church that was established through an outpouring of God's Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in 31ad Where was Christ and what was He doing during this time In the second and third chapters of the book of Revelation, we find messages that Jesus Christ recorded for the seven churches of Asia Minor. In chapter one, the Apostle John saw a vision of the glorified Christ standing in the midst of seven golden lampstands. These seven lampstands represent the Church of God in...