Unraveling Armstrong's Doctrinal Errors - A Personal Journey

Unraveling Armstrong's Doctrinal Errors - A Personal Journey                                    
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I informed Dave Treybig, the former Tampa United Church of God pastor, by email July 2010 that I was taking a sabbatical to write a book on a biblical topic. The topic I did not disclose to him in the email. He asked to talk with me but I never felt any reason for a discussion of my goals with him, so that brought an end to my relationship with him and the UCG. He did likewise several months later by deserting his flock and went with another affiliation as many of you reading this letter realize now.

There were a number of church teachings that I had felt for many years needed investigation. The areas that concerned me were numerous and consisted of many Armstrong based practices, teachings, and doctrines that the UCG inherited from the Worldwide Church of God. Theology that blends Old Testament Laws including Annual Sabbaths, Levitical Practices, and  Tithing, with New Testament theology that can never be fully reconciled from scripture.  This area of WCG and UCG theology has always caused me, and many others I know, internal conflict because it obviously contradicts the new testament aspect of Salvation through Grace.  I tried for many years to pretend there was a logical explanation and tried to ignore the obvious conflict between clear  biblical truth and  Armstrongism. But sooner or later I knew I would be forced to face this seeming “paradox.” On what level I did not know until now.

The general membership of the UCG and other churches that adhere to Armstrongism  are taught that  observing all of the Old Testament "annual sabbaths" or holy days is a doctrinal requirement for church members. Further it is reasoned that is  the only way the church could fully understand God’s plan of salvation. However based upon the writings of the Apostle Paul, this doctrine is clearly anything but Christian and not supported by any New Testament scripture. The first era Church of God never observed these days. Not one instance of observing the Feast pf Tabernacles, or other Feast Day Observance is recorded after the first Pentecost where the Holy Spirit was given thus beginning the New Covenant Church of Christ.

One of several reasons we may easily discover in the New Testament is that the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit by faith, as Peter said,  by belief in Christ, accompanied by baptism, resulting in the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Salvation  is offered by God by Faith through Grace alone,  the Gentiles knew nothing about the Laws of Moses. They were never bound to observe the law of Moses by the apostles of Christ. 

There was a new covenant given and new commandments for the followers of Christ from then until now and into the future leading to salvation. There was no salvation, no eternal life obtainable under the Old Covenant.

The Apostle James, the head of the Jerusalem church,  verified this in writing to the Gentiles in Acts 15:24. They were being saved through faith just like the Jews were. By the Grace of God, through Faith in Christ Jesus.    While early converts were told not to go back to the Old Covenant Law in the letters of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians, Colossians, Romans, Ephesians, Philippians, and Hebrews. Why today we are taught  the opposite? Why are the writings of the Apostle Paul Blasphemed?      

The Apostle James made a critical decision on this matter in the famous Jerusalem Conference recorded Acts 15. 'The Yoke', the burden of the law was not to be placed on the disciples of Christ, the Apostle Peter said, as God had shown him from his personal experience with the conversion of the Gentiles. it was now FAITH that was purifying the hearts of the Gentiles as well as the Jews. God was no longer placing a distinction between them in terms of the Law. Read all of Acts chapter 15 for the full story. The Gentiles were not required to be circumcised or keep the law of Moses as some Jews had taught them previously.

This is a area that has weighed heavily on my mind for many years. So this much needed time away, this sabbatical, this time alone since July has been a time of spiritual purification for me, a time in the wilderness, so to speak. A time to meditate, fast, study, and pray. To be washed in the word of God.(Eph 5:26). I had to reconcile this among other areas before I could go forward in my faith.

I had spent  too little time ‘buried’ in the Bible over the past few years. So my plan for study was simple, to use ONLY the Bible. During the many hundreds of hours that I have spent since July scouring the scriptures and  researching the subject I wished to write of, the topic of my research became absolutely clear and taken directly from scripture. I firmly knew and realized that... 

According to All  New Testament Teachings          ..especially those of Paul...Herbert W. Armstrong taught a theology that CUT HIS DISCIPLES OFF FROM CHRIST and LEFT THEM FALLEN FROM GRACE! CUT OFF FROM SALVATION! 

(as Paul writes in Galatians 5)


I will give numerous scriptures later that absolutely prove this. More than you may have ever seen or knew existed in the New Testament and complied in one place for your study.





The Apostle Paul Taught the OPPOSITE of what Herbert W. Armstrong taught. THIS TRUTH  IS EASILY FOUND IN THE ‘OFF LIMITS VERSES’ OF YOUR NEW TESTAMENT!

I am writing in a series of articles because the deception of Armstrong was so extensive and cunning that there are many scriptures in the Old and New Testament that need to be examined carefully and completely so we can get past any unfounded or irrational fear of ‘Falling Away’, or being accused of ‘Heresy’, or being, ‘disfellowshpped’.  None of these things mean anything when you are actually attaining Christ and salvation as offered by God as Paul taught.



We practiced what Paul continually condemned in the first era Church. Herbert tried to go back to the law and thought righteousness could be found there, IT WAS ONLY HIS AND  OUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS WE SOUGHT THERE! GOD DID NOT RECOGNIZE ANY OF IT!

Before Paul’s calling by Christ, Paul was a Pharisee. That was a Jewish sect who were the strictest in observing the Law. Paul was zealous at attempting to eliminate the Church of God and the followers of Jesus Christ. He arrested them, imprisoned them, put many to death. Why? Because the Church of God did NOT observe the Law! If they had there would have been no problem in Paul’s mind. After Paul’s conversion much of His teaching opposed what He taught and practiced as a Pharisee. He taught against the “circumcision” and was persecuted by the Jews for that. The circumcision was an overarching term encompassing Judaism, observance of the Old Covenant Law of  Statutes and Ordinances.
Herbert Armstrong taught his disciples to worship God in a blend of Old Covenant and New Covenant theology. A Hybrid religion. Not Orthodox  Judaism and not New Covenant Grace. Somewhere in between.

The question is, “What is so bad about doing a little of both?” What is wrong with the tithing law? It brings in a lot of money to preach the gospel, pay ministers, publish, and festival money to go to the feast? What is so bad about keeping the Old Covenant Sabbaths or Feasts of God? It teaches us God’s plan of salvation doesn’t it? 
What did Paul and ALL of the Apostles say about this in the famous Jerusalem Conference found in Acts 15? All of the Apostles in Jerusalem agreed; Peter, James, Paul, Barnabas, the elders and brethren. Peter is quoted saying, “If  you put this burden on disciples you are TESTING GOD !” It was a burden neither their forefathers, nor they, could bear!  Paul  wrote that those who teach and do this after Christ’s Sacrifice are ESTRANGED FROM CHRIST AND FALLEN FROM GRACE in Galatians 5:4!

By keeping the Feast of Tabernacles, you and I are OBLIGATED to KEEP ALL OF THE ORDINANCES OF THE LAW. Did the church sacrifice the 199 animals that were required at Daytona, Florida? Then we are under the CURSE OF THE LAW AND CUT OFF FROM GOD! It is ALL OR NONE. Recall the new wine in old wine skins parable of Christ. This is exactly what Christ means. The Old must be completely discarded and replaced by ALL NEW. The Old and New if mixed will cause a total loss of the wine. And your salvation! Read it in Matthew 9:17 and Luke 5:37. Also read Luke 5:39, What is so bad with the old wine when it tastes pretty good, and then no one wants the new wine?  Old customs die hard.

Christ also taught this same lesson in parables in Matthew 9:16. and Luke 5:36, No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.”

One can not weave or sew the Old and New Covenants together or they will both be ruined and of no use. Throw OUT the OLD and start with ALL NEW  Fabric! Christ showed this by nailing the OLD LAW  to the cross to perish with Him (Colossians 2:14). He ended the LAW by being the “END OF THE LAW” (Romans 10:4). He ABOLISHED the Law by putting it to death with his own flesh (Ephesians 2:15). This was truly a stone of stumbling for the Jews as prophesied.
Here is where the problem began according to numerous historical church documents I researched for this book. As far back as 1927. Herbert W. Armstrong started out as a false prophet from the very beginning of his ministry before the Radio Church of God and the Plain Truth Magazine. I have listened to hours of his broadcasts and read many of the Plaint Truth Articles from 1934 on. They are REPLETE with FALSE PROPHECIES. Being a false prophet carries the death penalty under the Old Covenant Laws. We are commanded by God ‘not to fear a false prophet,’ they were put to death in old testament times as God instructed in Deuteronomy 18:20!
I know about Armstrong’s false prophecies first hand.  I was a young boy in attendance since early 1963, growing up in the World Wide Church of God and a member until leaving in 1993. During this time the WCG was continually assailed with the false doctrines and prophecies of Armstrong. The false prophecy began to diminish after his death in 1986.
During a recent visit to my parents home in Ohio I was exploring  the attic looking through some of my old childhood things and noticed the 100 plus pounds of  bulk Wheat stored in metal tins for the 1972, then 1975, then 1978 syndrome ( when the tribulation was to start and the work was to end, if you need to ask....) Many of the younger people born after this era and new members have no idea that this could have ever occurred in the church. IT DID!  

This is reminiscent of another false prophecy by William Miller that many may be familiar with. This was the October 21, 1844 date set for the Advent or second coming of Christ. A prophecy by Elder William Miller, leader of the Millerites originally founded around 1835 before forming the  Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church.  This false prophecy  branded the future church formed in 1860, becoming a part of it’s very name until this day. Many members left after 1844 but amazingly many stayed.  WHY?

The Church of God 7th Day (COG7D) was started in 1860 by former Millerite Church of God, Elder, Gilbert Cranmer and followers after a split with those who formed the Seventh Day Adventist Church.  He and his followers left over the name of the true church. James White and his wife Ellen chose the name “ Seventh Day Adventist” for their group. Many opposed this and believed the proper name for the church is the “Church of God.”  Also, Gilbert Cranmer, as an elder under the White’s leadership, was not willing to accept and teach Mrs. White’s visions, writings, and prophecies. He was no longer permitted to preach because acceptance of Ellen’s visions as truth was a requirement for fellowship in that group. The SDA members considered Ellen a prophetess while others familiar with her writings discarded her visions, writings, and prophecies as unbiblical, and time verified that she had  not been inspired by God.

Herbert W. Armstrong was first ordained as an elder in the COG7D in 1931. He preached there until He was DISFELLOWSHPPED and lost his ordained elder status for teaching heresy in 1937 and trying to force non-biblical teachings on that church. He was “de-credentialed” like several elders in the UCG recently. No longer having the authority to, anoint, lay-on-hands at baptism, or ordain others. But Herbert did it anyway, without Christ’s approval!

Armstrong started the Radio Church of God in the late 30's and began to preach and publish false prophecies and teach many non-biblical doctrines from then on. He and His wife, Loma, kept the Old Covenant Feasts by themselves for a number of years before He could get followers to adopt this practice, This is what He tried to get the COG7D church to accept but they saw it as a false doctrine that had been abolished in Christ and that had no purpose under the new covenant. They were and are correct to this day. Armstrong’s false prophecies can be read by anyone who wants to verify what I am claiming at http://www.herbert-armstrong.org/index2.html. Start with the Plain Truth articles from 1939 that are full of failed prophecies concerning the Beast, Armageddon, Hitler, and much more.

        Many who followed and supported Armstrong in the early years DISOBEYED THE  INSTRUCTIONS OF GOD AND THE APOSTLES found in Deuteronomy 18:20-22, I Cor.14:29, II Timothy 3:1-7, 13, and Titus 1:10-16. They supported Armstrong anyway. We today who remain, and the prior generations are responsible for the dilemma today as are all of the Ministry, especially those trained at Ambassador Colleges.

We thought God had opened our eyes to the truth but actually we had not accepted Christ’s sacrifice on God’s terms and were still like those in 2 Cor. 3:14.
2 Corinthians 3:14, (Two Translations, KJV and NLT)
   14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail  untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. (KJV)

   14 But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. (NLT)          
By the end of this study I pray that your minds can be completely opened as mine was if you accept exactly what the bible teaches and not a false prophets teachings.  Possibly God will give you a miraculous sign like he gave me when I finally accepted the truth. I will tell you about it later. All of my recent Biblical research has been from THE SAME HOLY BIBLE WE ALL USE.

I used several Bible Versions; King James Version (KJV), Amplified Bible (AB), New King James Version (NKJV), New International Version (NIV), and the English Standard Version (ESV). I read and re-read every word of the New Testament, wrote numerous study papers,  articles, study cards, and have notebooks filled with relevant notes, color coding and cross referencing every doctrinal major topic in my Bible.

Now I KNOW what Christ and the Apostles taught EXACTLY!

All of this I did with the hope of  PROVING what I had been taught was correct. Not to disprove, but obvious to the reader, Holy Scripture actually PROVED that Armstrong’s theology and the UCG’s) does not lead to salvation but cut his followers OFF from it!

My job requires me to read and comprehend highly technical manuals on high tech digital systems that I sell and service. When I study the Bible I read it like I am studying  a technical manual, digging for every shred of information that I can use. Some of you are like me in this way.  But some may not be and do not dig deeply into God’s word with prayerful intensity, hungering for truth, knocking on the door...(Lk. 11:9) ...I, as do you, want to learn everything possible for salvation. That was my passion,  my mission,  my duty as a disciple of Christ...(2TM. 2:15)  Since starting this project I hardly take time to eat or leave the house many days at a time. Christ has generously rewarded my efforts and has opened my eyes, removing the veil, that I thought had been removed by the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong. My ears now hear clearly, as King David said.  Christ’s voice now speaks clearly in the scriptures, I can hardly spend an hour in reading when I am not thinking or saying, “WOW, I never saw it like that...Thank you Lord!”

Using the Bible ONLY to interpret the Bible as I did (no outside material) I am now convinced more than ever that is all that is required when the Holy Spirit leads the way. It is about desire and knocking as Christ

taught in Matthew 7:7, then Christ will open the door to understanding his TRUTH. CHRIST  PROMISES TO ANSWER IF WE KNOCK!

But we must knock first.
Matthew 7:7   7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. (NLT)

Revelation 3:20:  20 “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. (NLT)
I have read many UCG (and other WCG Splinter) Booklets, Articles, and Papers containing  doctrines of Armstrongism that are flat out wrong in their conclusions! They  may seem biblical and contain wonderful sounding ideas but unless the TRUE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST is being taught nothing but destruction results!  When I read many of the UCG booklets and study papers and go to the supporting verses offered by the writer, at first they seem to support the issue. But after reading the entire chapter from scripture or several surrounding chapters where the verse has been extracted, the  verse often has nothing to do with it’s application. Too often the writer in the Bible was making a completely different point and the reference verse is used out of context. The UCG writers frequently contradict their own thesis in the same paragraph, often even in the same sentence as they write. (Example: The UCG “The Covenants of God” Doctrinal Paper, approved by the Council of EldersAugust 2002 that is replete with error, contradictions and misapplied verses)

Many times in the past I became upset and walked away from Bible Study and did not go back for a long time because frequently the verses used do not prove the topic of the church publication on major doctrines. The old WCG correspondence course was this way. The answers to the questions were a scripture given as the answer. Not an essay question that required personal research and in depth reading. I got to the point that I was afraid I just did not have the Holy Spirit. I believed I should be led into all understanding according to the Apostle John in I John 2:27. This is a promise!

Some of you may be uncomfortable at this point because you believe that the Church of God, UCG and others and their ministry are the sole avenue of salvation and any other doctrines are of Satan, heresy, and wrong. Many of you have known me for one, two, three decades or longer and know my conduct, and beliefs and actions and hopefully know I fight to live according to Biblical standards. However, like the Apostle Paul said of his struggles I am also just a man battling human nature, the same things all people battle. I KNOW I am nothing of myself.

You know that I will follow where ever I see God leading me in truth, no matter what the cost. I was among the first in the Tampa WCG to see the changes in doctrine and rejected them PUBLICALLY in 1993 and PERSONALLY CONFRONTED DON WATERHOUSE OVER HIS HERESY! AND HE KNEW AND ADMITTED I WAS RIGHT, LATER!

I have given up my family and my 34 year marriage to follow Christ ( I thought) while my wife and children decided not to. However,  I have been extremely blessed in many areas, and the gift of FAITH was a blessing that kept me going despite the adversities. A gift that comes from the hearing, the reading, the study, and the answered prayers from God. Not of my own works!

Some that know me may believe that I left the WCG over the changes in doctrine, which in part was true. The real reason was that the WCG PASTORS, ALL OF THEM,  FAILED TO PROTECT THEIR  FLOCKS! They hand fed the sheep in their flocks to the wolves while the false doctrines were being spread from the top down. Many were offended and left, many are lost now. The PASTORS lost 60-70-80% of their flocks and never went as they should to round up every single one and get them back into the fold! The blood is ON THEIR HEADS!
That is the main reason My wife Joyce is not with me to this day. The offense caused by the failure of ROY DEMERAST to keep the WOLVES AWAY FROM THE LAMBS. To this day I Call him, ROY the HERETIC!  I told him he should resign from the ministry...did any of you?? YOU SHOULD!  Of course this applies equally to the majority of the Pastors in the UCG and  the WCG, and splinters that now follow Armstrongism.

Christ warned His Sheep about this kind of shepherd in John 10:11-13:
John 10:11-13:   11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.  12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.
THE MOST PROFOUND things Christ taught me came by dissecting every chapter and verse in the New Testament, especially the Words of Christ recorded in the Gospels, those in Red Letters. And next the TRUE Doctrine of Christ taught by the Apostles, especially of Paul after his conversion.

After hundreds of  hours, days, weeks, and months prayerfully going over every word Paul wrote, struggling to get into Paul’s head (so to speak) as a Pharisee prior to his conversion. He was powerfully used as an Apostle of the New Covenant Church during the first church era. I shed a LOT of Tears asking God to show me THE TRUTH and am tearful right now as I type this to you knowing what I now know.

Many find Paul’s writings difficult to follow. I felt the same way.  Ever since I was a young boy reading from his writings. From Acts to Hebrews, Paul has written many things that are unclear and too few of us understand completely.

Finally I had come to a critical conclusion. A conclusion that was absolutely irrefutable. While doing my research the scriptures from the Old Testament and the New Testament became woven together in my mind, but were  two incompatible fabrics. I began to realize what Christ meant when He taught,  one can not put New Wine in Old Wine Skins. Likewise, you can not take a new fabric and patch an old garment with it, because the new will tear the old. The New Wine will burst the old wine skins and the valuable wine is destroyed.  What became clear was that The New Covenant can not be put into the Old Covenant. The Old must be discarded completely and replaced by the New, not woven together as one.

Luke 5:37-38,  37 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the new wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. 38 New wine must be stored in new wineskins. 39 But no one who drinks the old wine seems to want the new wine. ‘The old is just fine,’ they say.”
Matthew 9:16-17, 16No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. 17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.
The Doctrine of Christ as taught in the United Church of God is NOT What Paul Taught!

YES, That is correct. The Doctrine of Christ that Paul taught is not the doctrine that the former WCG or UCG preaches! That may be why the UCG ministry is very cautious about having Q&A Bible Studies. Herbert W. Armstrong’s ministry treat a large portion of the New Testament as off limits. A mine field for them!

Why?  Because Paul’s teachings and Armstrong’s teachings are AT ODDS! One of them is wrong, and so are a lot of  FALSE Teachers and Preachers!

Here is a challenging scenario to consider.  If the Apostle Paul came back to the UCG today and wanted to preach, HE would be turned away. If Christ sent Paul to the UCG to do a doctrinal check-up,  the Pastors and elders from the top down would be disfellowshpped and/or fired!  YES, that is exactly what PAUL wrote in his own words.  But you have never been taught that for obvious reasons,  or maybe not so obvious. Paul called those teaching Armstrongism; DOGS, EVIL WORKERS, THE MUTILATION! (Philippians 3:2) Read the whole chapter!

PROVE IT YOU SAY? Thanks for asking, I had planned to.  Many disciples left Christ when He used the analogy of His body as bread to be eaten and His Blood to be drunk in John chapter 6. I fear that most of you will throw this away when you hear the TRUTH for the first time. I am certainly NOT Christ or anything more (or less) than a disciple just like many of you. But that does not mean we can not do great works with God’s power when we rightly use His words!

What about keeping the Feast of Tabernacles, a true or false doctrine for Christians? Many of you are still relishing your memories from the 2010 Feast of Tabernacles. You probably had a lot of fun, eating out in great restaurants, hearing messages on the Millennium, the plan of salvation, the Great White ThroneJudgement, giving offerings, singing hymns, hearing beautiful music, seeing beautiful sights, and spending time with family. All wonderful and enjoyable activities.

But do you know what the Apostle Paul wrote about what you just did?  To answer this, I will not just quote a short verse or two from the Bible to convince you. You must read the entire chapter(s) that I offer so you can see for yourself. I have available on request an extensive study guide that lists dozens of Scriptures that documents everything I am writing to you.

How did God command the Feast of Tabernacles be kept under the Old Covenant and what was required? Was it showing by up for eight consecutive days of weekly sabbath type services, staying in lavish accommodations and dining in restaurants?  Is the New Covenant version of the Feast a version 2.0, "The Feast of Tabernacles lite”? 

Numbers 29:12-20 gives the answer.
   12And on the fifteenth day of the seventh month ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work, and ye shall keep a feast unto the LORD seven days:
   13And ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD; thirteen young bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year; they shall be without blemish:
   14And their meat offering shall be of flour mingled with oil, three tenth deals unto every bullock of the thirteen bullocks, two tenth deals to each ram of the two rams,
 15And a several tenth deal to each lamb of the fourteen lambs:
   16And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.
   17And on the second day ye shall offer twelve young bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:
   18And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner:
   19And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and the meat offering thereof, and their drink offerings.
   20And on the third day eleven bullocks, two rams, fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish;
   21And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner:
   22And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual
   23And on the fourth day ten bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish:
   24Their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner:
   25And one kid of the goats for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.
   26And on the fifth day nine bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without spot:
   27And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner:
   28And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering.
   29And on the sixth day eight bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish:
   30And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shallbe according to their number, after the manner:
   31And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.
   32And on the seventh day seven bullocks, two rams, and fourteen lambs of the first year without blemish:
   33And their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullocks, for the rams, and for the lambs, shall be according to their number, after the manner:
  34And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, his meat offering, and his drink offering.
       35On the eighth day ye shall have a solemn assembly: ye shall do no servile work therein:
       36But ye shall offer a burnt offering, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD: one                     bullock, one ram, seven lambs of the first year without blemish:
      37Their meat offering and their drink offerings for the bullock, for the ram, and for the lambs, shall be                  according to their number, after the manner:
     38And one goat for a sin offering; beside the continual burnt offering, and his meat offering, and his drink offering.

Get the picture?
I counted  199 calves, rams, lambs, kid goats being slaughtered over an eight day period. Without  doubt, a smelly, bloody, slimy, slippery, noisy, smokey, sweaty scene, with the desperate bleating of terrified, kid goats and one year old lambs, the fearful bellowing of calves waiting to be killed. Levites sweating, groaning, huffing, puffing, heaving, hauling the animals up on the posts to bleed out. Some Levites catching blood in bowls for the Priest to sprinkle.

Levites carrying loads of wood to the altar for the fire. Levites hauling water for the washings, Levites butchering at least 25 animals a day on the butchering tables. Possibly hundreds a day. Levites hauling the stinking entrails and body parts away. Levites hauling away the burnt offering remains outside the gate to finish burning. Levites covered with blood, sweat, slime, dirt, fecal matter, ashes, soot, dirty water, feverishly working in the midst of lots of burning incense,  hopefully covering the nauseating smells. And it all had to be observed only at one place, in Jerusalem. See Deuteronomy 12:5–32. In verse 32, Armstrong was warned not to add to or take away from this law!

Aren’t you glad we are not under the Old Covenant so we do not have to go through that horrible ordeal? I have bad news...because you did not do all of those things this Feast of Tabernacles and all the previous ones you attended you violated the Old Covenant!


Paul writes to Christians on this very issue. Circumcision is a term Paul uses for the Law of Moses, the Old Covenant, which includes the Annual Sabbaths and their sacrifices.

For those who think Paul is only talking about circumcision, and I know many have taught that, but that is not the case. Paul is talking about the entire Law contained in Statutes and Ordinances. Circumcision is the initiation into Judaism which requires observance of the entire Law. Some may be confused about terminology, what is meant by “The Law.” The Law of Moses is what makes up the Law of Statutes and Ordinances of the Old Covenant that God made with Ancient Israel at Mt. Sinai when the 10 commandments were written on stone tablets and given to Moses (Exodus 20 & Deuteronomy 5).

The ten commandments were the covenant Israel agreed to obey, the statutes and ordinances were given as enforcement of the law, because of transgressions. God knew in advance that the Israelites lacked the heart, the faith to obey. (See: Deuteronomy 5:29, 29:4, 31-32) The song of Moses was a prophecy, a warning to Israel. It was certain that the Israelites could not obey the commandments and turning away from God was inevitable. In 32:20 God summaries the problem as a lack of faith that caused the problems for the Israelites. All of the Blessings Moses pronounced on the tribes of Israel in chapter 33 were physical.  There was no mention of spiritual salvation mentioned for following Moses’ Law.

If you consider the Acts 15 meeting in Jerusalem of the Apostles that concluded  the Law was not to be imposed and circumcision was no longer required for the Gentiles, why did Paul immediately after this conference leave and meet a disciple named Timothy in the town of Lystra and circumcise him, Timothy being the son of a Gentile father and Jewish mother. If the physical act of circumcision was all that was decided in Jerusalem and the decree that James wrote and all agreed to, then why did he circumcise Timothy? Keep in mind Paul already taught the Jews and the Gentiles against the circumcision, that is the reason for this meeting. In Acts 15:10 the yoke Peter referred to that was being placed on the disciples neck was referred to as “unbearable” for the Hebrew fathers and the Jews present at the meeting in Jerusalem as well. Was the unbearable burden, this yoke, merely the act of circumcising a baby boy on the eight day? Or even a grown man? HARDLY! This is an event no male ever remembers.

It is utterly ludicrous for anyone to teach the act of circumcision was all that was being decided. It was the Law of Moses that was the Yoke. Even when Paul circumcised Timothy in Acts 16 it would only take a few days to be back to normal. Joshua circumcised all of the males, young and old, of Israel before they went into the Promised Land. And that was with flint knives, not the modern surgical equipment we have today. Many of us have had far worse wounds that heal just fine and afterward we can’t remember the pain or discomfort, thankfully.

My point is both Jews and Gentiles were being purified by Faith, not by the law of Moses. In verse 9, Peter makes it clear that God placed no distinction between the Jews and Gentiles in the way each were receiving the Holy Spirit and being saved. The Jews were being saved in the same way as the Gentiles, through Grace. Later in Acts 21:21 we read that it was widely known that Paul taught the Jews and the Gentiles against the Law of circumcision and against keeping the law. Acts 18:13 is another passage that confirms Paul taught the Jews to forsake the law of Moses. The Jews knew and said, “This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.”

I just completed an exhaustive and detailed analysis of the UCG  “The Two Covenants of God”, Doctrinal Paper that was approved by the Council of Elders August 2002. It has taken me over twenty hours to evaluate every word and compare it directly with the Biblical references given. In one word - BLASPHEMY! This is the most Twisted, Deceitful, and self contradicting document imaginable. Clearly it is written and approved by men devoid of scriptural understanding. The writer choose to use  more that 35 different terms for the Law which is either an attempt to cover up or obfuscate what the new covenant is or just proof the prior statement is true. The UCG  does not understand the significance of Christ’s sacrifice. The topic is simple: Moses’ Law of Statutes and Ordinances verses the New Covenant- or- The Old Covenant verses The New Covenant.  Does this seem clear to you?

Here are a sampling of terms used in the official paper for LAW;
“God’s Law,  imperatives, social laws, every law, context, eternal law, spiritual law, covenant obligations, first covenant, covenant, law, book, tablets of the covenant, book of the law, book of the covenant, ten commandments, fleshly ordinances, these same sacrifices, law of God, Tablet of the Law, entire law, physical circumcision, law is done away, the law (nomos), a subset of all law, only a portion of the laws, other than the law, requirements of the law, fundamental law of God, subject to law, temporary laws.”

This document seems written more to confuse the reader and does not answer what is done away in the New Covenant and what is still in effect. An “F” grade on this confused mess! Please be sure YOU read this paper carefully for yourself  it can be found on the UCG members web site at:  http://members.ucg.org/papers/covenants.pdf. I will be publishing an article discussing the many serious biblical errors in this document and give you exactly what the Bible teaches on the Covenants of God. The truth is FAR different! The True Doctrine of Christ web site (www.ttdocf.org) that will be on line later this month is where you will find many doctrinal papers that are exactly what the true apostles of Christ actually taught.  

In keeping the Feast of Tabernacles,  Herbert W. Armstrong attempted to seek a righteousness from works of the Law which is not possible. In Galatians Chapters 3,4, and 5 Paul is battling a false teacher that was teaching nearly the exact doctrine that HWA taught. Paul was a Pharisee before his conversion, a strict observer of the Law of Moses. All of the Statutes and Ordinances included, plus the traditions of men added on top. Paul was blameless under the law as he writes below in his letter to the Philippians (New King James and Amplified Versions.)
(Philippians 3 Amplified Bible Version)
    2Look out for those dogs [Judaizers, legalists], look out for those mischief-makers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.
    3For we [Christians] are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God and exult and glory and pride ourselves in Jesus Christ, and put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances--
    4Though for myself I have [at least grounds] to rely on the flesh. If any other man considers that he has or seems to have reason to rely on the flesh and his physical and outward advantages, I have still more!
    5Circumcised when I was eight days old, of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew [and the son] of Hebrews; as to the observance of the Law I was of [the party of] the Pharisees,
    6As to my zeal, I was a persecutor of the church, and by the Law's standard of righteousness (supposed justice, uprightness, and right standing with God) I was proven to be blameless and no fault was found with me.
    7But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [[a]one combined] loss for Christ's sake.
    8Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),Paul covers this topic throughout much of his writings as found in Galatians;
Galatians 2:16: 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

By keeping the Feast of Tabernacles,  Herbert W. Armstrong attempted to seek a righteousness from works of the Law. This is not possible.  As I just wrote above, In Galatians Chapters 3,4, and 5 Paul is battling a false doctrine that was nearly the exact doctrine that HWA taught.

Paul previously battled the Jews who taught Christians they must be circumcised and obey the Law of Moses for salvation. He fought this false doctrine promoted by Jewish believers even in the Church of God in Jerusalem. This is recorded in Acts 15:1-24, during a meeting with the other Apostles. During this crucial meeting of the Apostles, elders, and brethren in Jerusalem, Peter, Paul, and Barnabas tell their stories of the conversion of the Gentiles and Jews. The dispute was over whether the Gentiles should be required to be circumcised for salvation. The Pharisee believers said they should be circumcised and commanded to obey the Law of Moses.  Peter refuted this by his statement inspired by the Holy Spirit in verse 10, asking, Why do you try to test God by putting this unbearable yoke on the disciples? See below.

Acts 15:8-11,  8 And God, Who is acquainted with and understands the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit as He also did to us;   9 And He made no difference between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith ([d]by a strong and welcome conviction that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation in the kingdom of God).  10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting a yoke on the necks of the disciples, such as neither our forefathers nor we [ourselves] were able to endure?  11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace (the undeserved favor and mercy) of the Lord Jesus, just as they [are]. (Amplified Bible)   
(Philippians 3 Amplified Bible Version)
    2Look out for those dogs [Judaizers, legalists], look out for those mischief-makers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.
    3For we [Christians] are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God and exult and glory and pride ourselves in Jesus Christ, and put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances–
    4Though for myself I have [at least grounds] to rely on the flesh. If any other man considers that he has or seems to have reason to rely on the flesh and his physical and outward advantages, I have still more!
    5Circumcised when I was eight days old, of the race of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew [and the son] of Hebrews; as to the observance of the Law I was of [the party of] the Pharisees,
    6As to my zeal, I was a persecutor of the church, and by the Law's standard of righteousness (supposed justice, uprightness, and right standing with God) I was proven to be blameless and no fault was found with me.
    7But whatever former things I had that might have been gains to me, I have come to consider as [[a]one combined] loss for Christ's sake.
    8Yes, furthermore, I count everything as loss compared to the possession of the priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and of progressively becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him [of perceiving and recognizing and understanding Him more fully and clearly]. For His sake I have lost everything and consider it all to be mere rubbish (refuse, dregs), in order that I may win (gain) Christ (the Anointed One),

What is the solution? Believe exactly what your Holy Bible Says and not a man’s personal interpretation so He can get you to send him your money under the false pretense of tithes so he can live lavishly off of you while telling you he is doing “the work”. What I write is directly from the actual words recorded in the New Testament written by the Apostles of Jesus Christ. No commentaries, no academic theologians personal views. Just the simple truth as it is written.

Christ taught us in Matthew 11:29-30: 29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart ,and you will find rest for your souls. 30 “For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.” This is the burden that Paul writes of in Galatians 5:1 and the same that Peter spoke of and was recorded in Acts 15:10. Men have tried through the ages since Christ died to put burdens on men they do not need to bear.

Salvation is not through the deeds of the law. The law of Statutes and Ordinances ended at Christ. Now salvation is available to you and I  by accepting Christ Jesus as our savior, by Grace through Faith only. That is it, no requirements from the old covenant law, no feast days, no tithing, no sacrifices. Those all cut us off from Christ because He FULFILLED the Law.

Christ and the apostles taught that the fulfilling of the law under the new covenant that Christ instituted at his death and resurrection. Jesus explained this to a lawyer in Matthew 22:37-40; 37 “Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 “This is the first and great commandment. 39 “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 “On these two commandments hang all the Law and Prophets.”

And Christ fulfilled the Law and the Prophets portion at his death as He clearly explained to the Disciples in Luke 24:44. Here Christ  opened up understanding of the scriptures to them they had not previously had. Verse 45 “He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the scriptures.” He was referring to the Old Testament scriptures, which consisted of the Law and Prophets-that was the entirety of what was the basis for Judaism at that time.

I have fervently sought for a resolution to the conflict in the Armstrong following church groups. But now I realize that HWA and his theology was no better that the Pharisees or the Catholic Church. Neither offered a path to eternal life. Both ways cut the followers off from Christ. And God has answered my prayer twice, once in 1994 and again in 2010.  
God has shaken the false pastors out, the hirelings...AGAIN! They have been exposed again as the false shepherds and false ministers that they are. This time not over doctrinal matters. in their view, but CHILDISHNESS. Like I joked with Dave Treybig shortly after He was elected to the Council of Elders last year jesting "Boys, Play Nice". But they could not and I was not joking either. The Ambassador Grads, The "West Point" leadership have a proven track record...as ministers and pastors...ALL FAILURES, ALL THE TIME! It is high time to move on, to run, and leave these Ambassador children far behind, leave them to their milk, maybe God will wean them one day!
I John 3:23 23And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.


  1. You said early in your article that you used only the "Bible" in your research. "Bible" is a term that can encompass a great many publications. What one or ones did you use? And how did you determine that you have the 'purest' or more reliable actual translation (as opposed to a 'version' which is just some guys or gals paraphrasing what they 'think' the scriptures mean in the language of the time it was re-written) of the scriptures, both old and new testament? You named a few versions you used (and a couple of translations) but never told us which ones you relied on for each particular view. Rather than tell us what you believe you came to understand, would appreciate step by step recounting of individual scriptures (with pedigrees) and tying them together to get the result you did. I've been a lay Bible scholar for just as long as you have and can't justify a good deal of what you say. Not saying you are wrong and definitely not saying you are right: just saying you should back up what you say with scriptures of pedigree and not paraphrased "bibles" and "versions" produced from other bastardized "versions". I'm sure you understand what I'm saying.

  2. Well said.In a manner similar to you God has recently opened my mind to understanding the truth of the scriptures,and I see how misled we have been...those of us who followed Armstrong's teachings.I hope others will find the courage to accept what is clearly the truth of God as you present your Biblical research to readers.
    However as far back as the 2970's Dr Earnest Martin who had been in the WCG left and has been teaching correct Biblical understanding.Seems as though periodically God makes a stir and some become convicted of the error they have been unwittingly embracing.Great is our God!

  3. Anonymous said...

    You said early in your article that you used only the "Bible" in your research. "Bible" is a term that can encompass a great many publications. What one or ones did you use?

    I used the King James Version, New King James Version, and New International Version. Whatever my target audience would understand best is what I choose. I have a specific group of people I am writing to as you can see from my blog and I know their bias toward different versions.

    What I have discovered is when a fundamentalist chooses a Bible translation they look for one thing. When a believer in Grace and Faith for salvation and not a legalist makes a choice they feel comfortable with most translations.

    The reason to me is that the new covenant is very simple and easy to understand and accept because it is based upon unmerited pardon from God as opposed to Earning or Qualifying for salvation.


  4. Michael: You start out well, pointing out predictions by HWA that did not come to pass. But then it seems you throw the baby out with the bath water. My comments are not to defend "Armstrongism," but merely to point out where I think you still err -- from a strictly Biblical point of view.

    You need to make a serious in-depth study of what Judaism REALLY is! It is not the Old Testament or the "Law of Moses," as you keep calling it. It is based on their FICTIONAL "oral law," (which centuries later was written down as the Talmud). Christ condemned Judaism in Mark 7:9 (calling it their tradition). It is the false religion of Judaism Paul is speaking against, NOT the law of God, which he calls "holy, just and good."

    Christ told His disciples NOT to think He came to do away with the Law (Matt. 5:17), but you insist that He did do away with it. He was the Lord God of Israel who gave the law in the first place, and said to His disciples "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

    If you truly believe in the New Covenant (and you should), please note that in both Hebrews 8 and Hebrews 10, Paul says that covenant consists of God writing His law into our minds and hearts. I'm sorry, but that's the exact OPPOSITE of "doing away" with it!

    As far as having to do all the killing of animals at the Feast of Tabernacles (or any other time), we are not told of one instance where Christ (our example) ever killed an animal sacrifice--yet we are told in John that He kept the Feast of Tabernacles. Paul also taught Gentiles to keep the feasts and Holy Days.

    I'll stop there, before this gets too long.

  5. Duncan,

    No place in the New Testament AFTER Christ's death and resurrection were any of the Old Testament Feast Days observed by true Christians. I refer you to my extensive list of New Covenant scriptures in my study paper in this blog:


    After a thorough study of this paper you will see that the Old Covenant ended at Christ's death, as prophesied, and an entirely New Covenant began. Christ kept ALL of the law during His life because He was(Gal 4:4) born under the law for the purpose of Fulfilling it and (Rom 10:4) became the End of the Law.

    In Luke 24:44 Christ explained all of what He had done to His disciples after He was resurrected.

    Christ said that the New Covenant worship was beginning when He was in Samaria, at the well of Jacob, where the old covenants began. Christ said no longer would worship be in physical Temples, but in SPIRIT AND TRUTH, because God is Spirit. He said that new form of worship began "at that very hour." (John 4:4-43).

    The True Doctrine of Christ does not offer salvation through deeds of the law as Herbert Armstrong taught us but through the Grace of God by our faith in Christ. The law of Christ is what we are obligated to and not the Law of Moses. Paul explains this in great depth in Galatians chs. 3-5 and many other places.

    Please read the entire New Testament, word for word,for yourself and please do not listen to those who want you to just believe what they tell you it says.

    TTDOCF Writer

  6. Michael:

    I have been reading the WHOLE BIBLE for myself, always praying for God's guidance, for over 50 years; and I try not to believe selectively. Not only do I read it, I am degreed in Theology and teach the Bible.

    The true "doctrine of Christ" is EVERY word He said and/or inspired the writers of the WHOLE Bible to write (Matt. 4:4: I Pet. 1:11). You can't just pick what seems to support your chosen belief and ignore the passages that debunk your idea. Selective believing will not get you salvation.

    You say, "No place in the New Testament after Christ's death and resurrection were any of the Old Testament Feast Days observed by true Christians." I'm sorry, but the last I knew, I Cor. 5:6-8 was still in the New Testament. Or do you think the Corinthian church, to whom Paul clearly said, "Let us keep the Feast, not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" were not "true Christians"? Or maybe the Corinthians just ignored Paul's admonition to observe the Days of Unleavened Bread?

    God's whole purpose in creating and calling true Christians is to build "Christ in you" (Col. 1:27; Gal. 4:19) and develop the "measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" in us (Eph. 4:13). That happens only if we FOLLOW His example, as both Peter and John tell us in no uncertain terms (I Pet. 2:21: I John 2:6).

    We're not going to become like Christ or "perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect" (Matt. 5:48) by refusing to follow His example and breaking His commandments (John 14:15; I John 2:3-6). Sorry, ain't gonna happen!

    Believe what you want to, but it doesn't change reality.

  7. Duncan,

    Most of what you are writing in response I agree with. Let me be clear in that I DO believe that the commandments that Christ gave us right before his death are binding on new covenant Christians. The fulfilling of the “Whole” law under the new covenant is to love your neighbor as yourself. This was the intention of what the Law and Prophets that “Hung” on the commandments (Matt. 22:37-40) were to achieve but failed to in ancient Israel, which God Him self foretold. (Deut.31:16, “...and they WILL forsake Me and break My covenant with them).

    You correctly state, “The true doctrine of Christ is every word He said and/or inspired ...” with that I completely agree. That is mission of the TTDOCF. To write and promote only what Christ and the Apostles said and taught as recorded in Holy Scripture. I have no personal agenda or religious leaning. My personal mission is to find the center of the road, the middle point on that “straight and narrow path” to the Kingdom of God and move forward thereon. I have been a part of a religion, that I thought was the “Only” true Church of God. I was wrong when my in-depth study of the new covenant showed me there was NO support for the doctrines of that church...so I left to follow Christ where ever He would lead.

    I found I had been trudging along, slogging along in the right ditch of legalistic, fundamentalist, pseudo-JUDAISM, far off the path. Then that organization changed and leapt out of the right ditch and into the left ditch of PROTESTANTISM/Catholicism/Paganism. They never even touched down on the “straight and narrow” just leapt right over it. From one ditch to another.

    In reference to keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread and the passage (I Cor.5:6-8) you cite as your proof that Paul was teaching the Corinthians to keep this feast commanded Exodus 12, Exodus 23, Leviticus 23, Deuteronomy 16, and finally kept for the first time in the promised land recorded in Joshua 5:10. Many theologians overlook the fact that in Deuteronomy 16 God was VERY clear about where the feast WAS and was NOT to be observed. It was only observable in the promised land and in the place God would choose to place his name. That was first in Samaria on Mt. Ebal which was the center of religious worship until David moved it to Jerusalem.

    Moses instructed in Deut. 12 the conditions for observing the Statutes and Judgments that included “in THE land,” “seek THE place,” “THERE you shall go,” “THERE you shall eat,”
    “YOU shall not at all do,” But WHEN,” “in THE land.” “THE place,” “Do NOT Offer,”
    “But in THE place,” “on THE Altar.”

    God was very very specific about the observance of those Annual Sabbaths He gave to Israel. That they Were NOT to observe them UNTIL they came across the Jordan into the Promised land and ONLY at the place where God would choose from among one of THE tribes to place His name and there to dwell. So does it make sense on any level that if God forbade Israel from keeping His Sabbaths anywhere but Samaria at the altar that Joshua was commanded by Moses to build, and then at the Temple and altar in Jerusalem that we can just thumb or noses at that SAME God and tell Him we will keep these Sabbaths anywhere we please. Not in my book.


  8. These instructions were so important to God concerning THE place that Moses repeats them in Deut. 14:23-25. “... in THE place where He chooses.” Not where WE choose(ignoring the fact that these sabbaths were a part of an abolished covenant).

    Would it not be rather bizarre that Paul, who opposed the circumcision, would write telling the Corinthians (Gentiles) that they must keep the Days of Unleavened Bread and Passover when He had already gone to Jerusalem to meet with the original Apostles, Peter and James and the elders and brethren there to discuss this very matter as recorded in Acts 15:1-32. Peter called this law of Moses in verse 10, A yoke on the neck of the disciples and to do so was to “test God.”
    Should the Gentiles be required to be circumcised and keep the laws of Moses as some men from Judea had been teaching Christians throughout Asia when the Apostles had decided against this practice and had sent messengers with letters from James back to the various affected churches confirming that the Gentiles were NOT obligated to be either circumcised or observe the Law of Moses. They were given specific laws that applied to them that kept them away from their past idolatrous practices.

    Some teach that they were only making a decision concerning the physical act of circumcision and that was all. It was Paul’s own teachings, which caused the Jerusalem conference to be convened to begin with. And if indeed circumcision was the only issue. And it was decided and published that circumcision was no longer a requirement for Jews or Gentiles (Acts 15:9, “...no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith,”). And that Peter and Paul knew first hand God had given the Holy Spirit to the uncircumcised Gentiles just as He had to the circumcised Jews.

    After all this, why would Paul leave Jerusalem go pick up the disciple Timothy (Acts 16:3) and circumcise him in direct opposition of the ruling that he sought and obtained from the chief apostles. Makes no sense, does it, when it is placed in those terms? This would be especially bizarre when Paul and Timothy were delivering and explaining the decrees to keep issued by Jerusalem (vs. 4) which did NOT include a circumcision requirement, assuming it was only about circumcision. A little humorous, Timothy walking with Paul a little contorted with pain and having to explain to the churches he had just been circumcised by Paul in light of the message they were delivering. I don’t think if this wee the case the verse 5 would have followed noting the strengthening of faith and increase in numbers daily. It would have been more like the people fled from these confused Nut cases!

    Paul was well known for teaching against the Law of Moses that was not to be observed by Christians. The devout or observant Jews from Asia where he preached in their Synagogues on the Sabbath knew this is what he taught, it was not secret. Read Acts 21:21, “...they have been informed about you that you teach ALL THE JEWS who are among the gentiles to forsake Moses.” The Jews from Asia when they saw Paul in the Temple in Jerusalem in verse 28, “...crying out, Men of Israel, help, This is the man who teaches ALL MEN everywhere against the people, the LAW, and this place...”

  9. continued...Clearly Paul was NOT telling the Corinthians to observe the days of ULB but was using the analogy of sin and leaven in reference to a morality issue. He was discussing the sexual immorality among them that they were tolerating but should put out, like leaven in the old testament example of unleavened bread. He explains in verse 7, “ Therefore purge out the old leaven that YOU may be a new lump. since YOU TRULY ARE the unleavened. 8 “Therefore let us keep the feast (an allegorical reference to) Paul regularly used symbolism to teach truth or morals, this is an example.

    After Christ became the believers sacrifice we are cleansed in His blood and we have become that unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, Jesus taught in John 4:23, the time had come for true worshipers to worshipers the Father in spirit and truth...” Vs 24, “ God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. Jesus had already explained in verse 21, no longer would physical ritualistic worship in physical Temples like on Mt. Gerizim and in Jerusalem be acceptable to God.

    There is no way under the New Covenant of Life to justify observing any physical rituals like the accompanying annual sabbaths under the Old Covenant of Death when the following facts exist:

    1) God did not allow them to be observed UNTIL the Israelites were in THE promised land.
    Likewise could not be observed after they were cast out of the promised land.
    2) It could only be observed in THE place where God chose which ended up at Jerusalem.
    3) Jesus ended Temple worship and the old covenant system of worship where it all began at the well of Jacob in Samaria and instituted a new form of spiritual worship.
    4) The Apostle Paul taught MEN EVERYWHERE to forsake Moses.
    5) The Jerusalem conference confirmed the teaching of Paul in writing to the Asian Churches, including Corinth.
    6) Paul circumcised Timothy AFTER the Jerusalem conference confirming it was about the Law of Moses and not merely circumcision.
    7) Jesus said in Matthew 11:13, All of the Law and Prophets Prophesied UNTIL John the Baptist, the prophesied Elijah to introduce the Messiah.
    8) Jesus came to fulfill the Law, and not destroy, Matt 5:17-18, and magnified the Commandments.
    9) Jesus explained to the disciples in Luke 24:44 hat He had, in his death and resurrection, fulfilled the Law and Prophets, and Psalms, all was completed.
    10) Christ was now the new High Priest, and mediator of a NEW better covenant NOT like the old.

    Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:15, “ Having abolished in His flesh the ENMITY, that is, THE LAW of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross thereby putting to death THE ENMITY.”

    Thanks for your comments.

    TTDOCF Writer

  10. Michael, I see you as sincere, and I think there's hope for you, but I feel you still have some serious misunderstandings.

    Regarding the issue of where God "places His name:" Christ said, "Wherever two or three (obviously meaning converted Christians with His Holy Spirit) are gathered in my name I AM IN THE MIDST OF THEM" (Matt. 18:20). In this day when true believers are so scattered geographically and transportation is getting more expensive, it's not a matter of going "just anywhere we feel like," but a matter of where we can logistically, realistically, get to in order to meet with converted Christians.

    Wherever people with His Holy Sprit are gathered for the purpose of OBEYING Him by keeping His Sabbaths (weekly or annual), His Presence is just as much there as it ever was in the temple.

    Are heaven and earth "passed away," yet? Still here the last time I checked. Then the law is not "done away" either. If it were, we would not be guilty of sin (Rom. 4:15; 5:13) and would not need a savior. We're not talking about rituals, but the law of GOD -- that tells us how to live our lives -- the law of love.

    You continue to mistake Christ's and Paul's teachings against the false religion of Judaism for teachings against keeping GOD'S law. It was Judaism that required proselytes to get circumcised in order to join. Paul showed that the kind of "circumcision" God wants is of the heart -- repentance (Rom. 2:28, 29). The conference WAS mainly about physical circumcision, not about whether to continue following Christ's example by obeying the law of GOD or not.

    Christianity is NOT an outgrowth of, nor ever has had anything whatsoever to do with, the false religion of Judaism. Nor were the teachings of God through Moses ever to be confused with Judaism. The Pharisees CLAIMED to be disciples of Moses, but Christ clearly said they did NOT actually believe Moses in John 5:45-47.

    The law of God by which we're to LIVE OUR LIVES is all based on LOVE -- for God and for fellow man. The Sabbath and Holy Days are God's tools for spiritually bonding with His people, spiritual course correction, and the weekly spiritual "refueling" we all need. The Holy Days, in addition, reveal His plan for mankind. Okay, HWA taught that, but it was one thing he had right. (He was not totally wrong about everything.)

    I'll leave it at that.

  11. I meant to say about your comment that WCG went from ditch to the other--I couldn't agree more. I commend you for looking for the right path to the Kingdom. So am I.

  12. Duncan,
    In response to your May 18 comments:
    I have full faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and am FULLY convinced of the hope that lies within me. So what you think in terms of hope for me I am glad to report you are correct!
    In your comments there is an element that is troubling to me which makes me cautious in my response as to not be offensive or disrespectful.
    The vast majority of the supporting scriptures you offer are taken out of context. I have carefully based my responses to your challenges of my beliefs with contextually accurate references many with full quotes so that my response could not possibly be misconstrued. My beliefs are taken directly from the words of Christ Himself. But you seem to ignore the scripture I offer and continue on with one of your own that is out of context. That, at least in my view, is not an effective approach if you wish to sell me on your ideas.
    Many years ago, probably in 1998, I was visiting with different COG groups and chose to keep the Days of Unleavened Bread with the Global Church of God (Now Defunct) that year because they were renting a hall near my home. Mr. Richard Ames, an evangelist and teacher with the former World Wide Church of was speaking. He was then a minister in that group.
    When he began his sermon that day he gave a title. He introduced the topic as “Memory Verses.” He began by stating the importance of Christians being ready to give an answer concerning their faith should anyone ask. He stressed how important it is that we are able to quickly defend or doctrines and beliefs if challenged. As he moved from one verse to another and discussed the relevance of each one I was reading, as usual, the verses above and below his selected passage finding that the majority of the verses in his sermon DID NOT represent the context of the chapter or chapters from which it had been extracted.
    This was an experience I had all too regularly growing up in the WWCOG. Your responses have the same disturbing problem for me. Like me, who lived in a proof texted religion, you now live in one. This is the very reason that I started TTDOCF, to present the Bible contents without bias or agenda. If it is there, repeat it unfiltered, unadulterated, without additives, all organic so to speak. I believe that is what I do.
    Having said that, if someone shows me where I am wrong I will go directly to the passages(s) in doubt and scour them for accuracy, which I have done with your offerings.
    I respectfully suggest that you might review some of your verses and read the entire chapter(s) word for word. I am sure upon closer scrutiny you will not use the verses again in the same way in the future. And I am a little emphatic here because you pointed out to me in an earlier comment that the true

  13. continued...
    doctrine of Christ consists of every word He spoke, a statement we share 100% agreement on.
    For example:
    The verse you offered from Romans 4:15 has nothing to do with what Paul is teaching in this chapter. The preceding chapter in verses 20-24 already sets the stage for the understanding of what is written in 4:15, and it is the exact opposite of what your comment implies.

    Here is Rom. 3:20-24;
    20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. 21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

    We have all sinned but are justified FREELY by His grace.
    In actuality, verse 16 of Chapter 4, tells us we are not made just by the law but by faith through grace alone. Abraham was not justified by works, lest he could boast.

    Your next reference from Rom. 5:13 causes the same concernn terms of proof of your belief. If you read all of chapter 4 and 5 up to verse 13 you will see Paul is teaching that it is grace not the law that brings salvation. He summarizes in 6:14, “for sin shall not have dominion over you, for you ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW but under grace.”

    This is a spiritually discerned concept and can only be understood on a spiritual level not according to the old but the new covenant terms and conditions with Christ as the mediator through the Holy Spirit.

    As far as your assertion of Judaism being a false religion; In Christ’s time it was the ONLY accepted religion of the Jews at Jerusalem. After His death and resurrection you are correct, it became a false, or rather a defunct religion. Christianity became the only true religion. To teach that Judaism in Christ’s day was a false religion may push up against the boundary of blaspheming the very words of our Lord.

    See what Jesus stated about the priesthood in Matthew 23:17;
    1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. 5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
    Jesus said the priesthood sat in the seat of Moses, represented Moses and the Law of God. The problem was they did not obey the Law of God, they were hypocrites. Jesus went into the Temple in Jerusalem two times calling it His Father’s House of Prayer and drove the money changers out that were desecrating it.

    You state the Jerusalem Conference WAS mainly about physical circumcision which misses the point of what Christ’s example actually meant to that conference. Christ had lived sinless under the Law of Moses and died without sin as our Passover thus ending the Law of Statutes and Ordinances (Romans 10:4, Col. 2:14, Eph. 15, Heb. 7:11, 18. Heb. 8:9-13, Heb. 9(Entire Chapter), Heb. 10:1, 4, 9, 11, 17-18, 28-29 (especially 29!).

    If the Acts 15 conference only concluded that physical circumcision was not required for salvation, why did Paul circumcise Timothy in Acts 16? Timothy would have been considered a gentile with a gentile father.

    Your comments are always welcome.

    TTDOCF Writer

  14. Shalom Michael, you have made a very severe mistake in how you looked at Acts 21. Paul was accused/reported to be teaching JEWS which lived amoung the Gentiles, certain things. You don't make that distinction in your flawed argument. Paul submits to a sacrificial ritual to "prove" there is NOTHING (no truth) to those accuations/reports (Acts 21:25). You also fail to mention how the Believing Jews were Zealous in KEEPING THE LAW (Acts 21:20). And then, obviously, you failed to mention what happened later in Acts 28:17, where Paul reaffirms that he did not do as you and those who spread the false reports think he did, for he was not teaching the JEWS which lived amoung the Gentiles to forsake Moses, the circumcising of their children, or the customs. You need to re-write and re-think everything you have written about the Law of Moses and Paul. ImAHebrew

  15. ImAHebrew,
    In response to your interesting comment I have published my response as a blog post titled:


    Thanks for visiting,