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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Transition Period between the Sardis and Philadelphia period of the Church of God

The Transition Period between the 
Sardis and Philadelphia period of
 the Church of God

By Eric William King [Chief Elder and founder of COGSR/SOCT]

This is an important subject for true Worldwide Church of God members because it is foundational in understanding how far we have come and just where we stand today in time. Many who have studied with us here have learned a lot about the true history of the original Worldwide Church of God. Our history is extremely important. Sadly, the fallen offshoots have no real authority for their claims due to the fact that they do not understand the true history of God’s church. ~

Brief explanation of Church Era Succession

We must first understand that the book of Revelation is a progressive unfoldment and revealing of God's ultimate plan. It is the revealing of the Messiah, Jesus Christ and His ultimate mission. When we look at the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation they represent the Church of God through time. The historical Church of God has always taught that the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation progressively represent the state of God's Church throughout history. These progressions link God's people throughout time. The linkage begins in AD 31 on Pentecost when the church was first organized. The chain stretches through history down to the Day of the Lord [the second coming]. This means that the seven churches mentioned in the book of Revelation represent the consecutive and differing spiritual states of the Church throughout time. These seven are the Ephesus period, the Smyrna period, the Pergamos period, the Thyatira period, the Sardis period, the Philadelphia period and finally the Laodicea schism. ~

The 5th Sardis Period of the Church of God

Skipping much church history we wish to arrive at the time when Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong was called to appear on the prophetic scene. Another important fact that we must understand regarding the transitional periods of God’s church is the fact that God has always used “one man” to become the “chain link” between each period. In other words, God has always announced and began the organization of each new church era through a human being. ~

God used Mr. H.W. Armstrong to usher in the 6th Church era. He appeared right at the transitional stage between the 5th [Sardis] era and the newly birthed 6th [Philadelphia] era. Elder Scott Wilson of COGSR ministries has explained very simply how this all works in the following quotation: ~

“The Philadelphia church of God started in the early 1930’s. God had chosen a man of weak faith, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, to lead out. The Bible talks about Jesus Christ building His church. Jesus built His church in A.D.31. The book of Revelation informs us that the Church of God would go through seven stages of growth and development before the return of Jesus Christ.” ~

“The sixth church is listed as that of Philadelphia. Each church epoch or era began with the calling of one man to lead the way. These men are called “porters”, which is to say “gate keepers”. Long ago after the Saviour ascended into heaven certain men throughout the ages changed the ordinances and specific doctrines of the true Church of God. These incidents are referred to as “apostasies”. Usually an apostasy in one church era would get so bad that God would call forth a new porter to usher in the next church era. This way God has always protected His church.”  ~   
Also, I [E.W.King] have stated in previous articles the following: ~

“The Church of God has crossed over to each new era. From the Ephesus to the Smyrna, from the Smyrna to the Pergamos, from the Pergamos to the Thyatira, from the Thyatira to the Sardis, from the Sardis to the Philadelphia, and from the Philadelphia to the seventh and last…the Laodicean. Each church era had a faithful angel [messenger] which helped it cross into the next phase. Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong was the sixth messenger in the sixth church age.” ~

So let us look into some church history to find out much more about the interesting period of time between the Sardis and Philadelphia era of the Church. This was indeed a very exciting time for the Church of God. ~

God prepares His 6th Church Era Messenger

There was a young man walking down the street in the mid-1930s. His name was Herbert Armstrong. Imagine how the things were back then. Those times were very different from today in many ways, especially in regards to technology. ~

Mr. Armstrong was a simple man yet in many ways very complicated. Mr. Herbert Armstrong was born on July 31st, 1892 in Des Moines, Iowa. He had brothers and sisters. He was raised in the Quaker religion. He lived during the time of great technological advancements. As a youth he worked in grocery stores and delivered news papers. He liked to read and spent a lot of time at book sales and local libraries. He became very close to his uncle Frank Armstrong. It was during this time that he began to be trained in the art of advertisement. ~

Mr. Herbert Armstrong developed the gift of “intuition” and he could almost always know what the minds of people were thinking in regards to ambition and drive. His uncle helped him to read books about the subject of human nature. He understood those around him and had the sense of knowing what peopled liked. This made him understand what people were looking for in their lives. Though he had other important jobs as a young man other than doing advertising he always seemed to somehow come back to the world of advertisement.  At the age of 23 he started his own advertising business for big banks. He became the publisher for nine leading national bankers. ~

Eventually God would use these gifts given to Herbert to proclaim the true Gospel of the coming Kingdom of GOD! ~

Mr. H.W.Armstrong learns family responsibility

In 1917 Mr. Herbert Armstrong met his future wife, Loma Dillon. They finally married on July 31, 1917 ~ his birthday. America was entering World War One. He and his wife Loma moved from apartment to apartment. They finally grew into a bigger family. Their first child, Beverly was born on May 1918. ~

He experienced hardships. Mr. Armstrong lost jobs and had a hard time raising his growing family. His wife started to study with a Saturday Sabbath keeping church. She challenged him with Bible questions and so did his atheist sister-in-law. He felt compelled to prove both of them wrong. Herbert found himself with a lot going on around him, a major transition period. It was then that God began to tug at him. ~

Through all of this he had to learn to deal with family social issues regarding his children and his wife. He also had to provide for his family and learn to get along with his sister-in-law. We can all relate to these types of family issues. Consider the times that Mr. Armstrong was living in. It was much harder back then…there was much more physical strain than there is in today’s world. He eventually had sons born to him. ~

His search for the True Church

Mr. Herbert Armstrong began an intense personal study of the Bible. His energy level was unbelievable when it came to looking deeper and deeper into Bible topics. He felt a force which was unexplainably pulling him into a greater understanding of himself, God, and his mission in life. He began to realize that all the so called denominations were teaching things so far off track from what God’s word really taught that he came to the conclusion that only three possible churches could contain most of the truth. These were the “Church of God, Seventh Day”, the “Seventh-Day Adventists” and or the “Seventh Day Baptists”. ~

Through prayer he chose the ‘Church of God, Seventh Day’. Mr. Armstrong stated early on in his search: “I began to ask where, then, is the real true Church which Christ founded?” Mr. Armstrong also wrote: “It was disillusioning to learn, on studying the Bible for the first time, that what I had been taught in Sunday School was, in so many basic instances, the very opposite of what the Bible plainly states. It was shocking to learn that “all these churches were wrong” after all!” ~

This type of awakening is still occurring in the minds of some who study with COGSR today. ~

Once he discovered the truth about Saturday Sabbath he stated: “That automatically ruled out all churches observing Sunday. So far as I could learn, it reduced the search to three small groups – the Seventh-Day Adventists, the Seventh-Day Baptists, and a little, almost unheard-of church called the Church of God, which maintained a small publishing-house headquarters at Stanberry, Missouri.” ~

He researched the Sabbath question at length. He discovered that the seventh-century revival of the seventh-day Sabbath was centered in England. Further research brought him to discover that an original remnant of Christians have always kept God’s seventh-day Sabbath since AD 31, since the start of the original Christian Church. ~

His Conclusions

After a long time of intense study Mr. Herbert Armstrong arrived at the following conclusions: ~

The original Christian Church founded by Jesus Christ began loosing its way as early as 69 AD. He also concluded the fact that God has always preserved a “remnant” of true believers. Sometimes that group has been extremely small, maybe at times only 50 people or less. Among those who formed God’s remnant people through time were Constantine of Mananali (650 AD), Sergius (750 AD), some of the Paulicians and Bogomils (1000 AD), Peter de Bruys (1100s AD), and some of the Cathars (1200 AD). Latter some of the Waldensians and Lollards. Finally the strong link of Stephen Mumford who took the true Gospel of the Kingdom from London to America in 1664. This was a Sabbatarian church set up in Newport, Rhode Island. ~

In fact, we come to some very interesting history of the Church of God in America in the 1600s. We could look at Richard Steere [1643-1721] who was a colonial poet from England. He studied under John Rogers from New London. They and others traveled to Rhode Island because of persecution in 1638. These Church of God Sabbatarians met up with some Seventh-Day Baptists. Many Sabbath keeping Christians had no where to go so they began to join up with the Seventh-Day Baptists. Please understand that the Church of God existed way before the Seventh-Day Baptists or Seventh-Day Adventist groups ever appeared in America. Mr. Herbert Armstrong continued on in his personal studies. ~

Many more truths he discovered which he latter RESTORED to the Church of God. One of these had to do with the true identity of ancient Israel. He later stated: “After exhaustive study and research, I had found it proved that the so-called “Lost Ten Tribes” of Israel had migrated to Western Europe.” ~

The Early Beginnings of a New Church Era

Mr. Herbert Armstrong became involved in the Church of God, Seventh Day. Mr. Herbert Armstrong was being called of God through and by the power of the Holy Spirit. He did not want to participate in the things of the world any longer ~ he felt a need for major change in lifestyle. Many who study with us here today at COGSR experience the same want and need to change as they too are being called through and by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~

Mr. Armstrong was baptized in the spring of 1927 by immersion. While living in Portland he and his wife visited the Church of God. Please understand, the continuing conversion process was a long process in Mr. Herbert Armstrong’s life. Some of his old beliefs he struggled with and even some of the older customs that he was raised in he struggled with for a long period of time. Please understand; true Christianity is a process. (Many COGSR students learn this very quickly.) ~

As he discovered more and more truth he began to share it with other leaders in the Church of God, Seventh Day. They began to exhibit prideful doubt with some of his findings. This of course was extremely frustrating for Mr. Armstrong. Here God was calling Herbert to expose many of the truths that had been covered up through previous years of apostasy yet church leaders were now trying to continue to suppress these most important truths. We find this even today when the fallen denominations continue to poke fun at COGSR and write books proclaiming us all to be, “cult members” while at the same time not even giving us an ear to hear what we truly have to say. ~

Mr. Herbert Armstrong was allowed for a short period of time to publish articles in the Church of God, Seventh-Day magazine, “The Bible Advocate”. But soon leaders rejected what God was showing him. He eventually left that faction of the Church of God and became involved with another group who wanted to hear what he had to say. It was in this Church of God group that he received pay for being a minister. Unfortunately, not too much longer and extreme rejection came his way again. He had been double-crossed. Please understand the important lessons that he was gaining through all of this disappointment. Those of us today in COGSR have experienced and continue to experience times of great discouragement but we too must learn to trust God and press on just as Mr. Herbert Armstrong was learning early in his life. ~

Mr. Herbert Armstrong knew that God was calling him for a great work. The problem was that he wanted to do things God’s way while others around him wanted to do things their way. God began to reveal to Herbert that the Church of God was getting ready to go through a transition phase. Herbert began to understand that the condition of the Church in which he found himself in was the Sardis condition. He did not yet understand the details of all of this but God would unfold and make clear what was happening very soon. ~

Church of God moves from Sardis to Philadelphia Era

As the Sardis period of the Church of God was coming to an end a new era was beginning. Eventually Mr. Herbert Armstrong was forced to leave the fallen Church of God, Seventh-Day. Church historian, Mr. Herman L. Hoeh explained what happened: ~

“Not long after his [Mr. Armstrong’s] ordination in 1931…a momentous juncture occurred. A movement was under foot to organize the local congregations of the Church of God under human government – a financial board of seven men. By 1933 certain leading ministers demanded that no more new truth be preached to the brethren. They were refusing to repent and allow the Holy Spirit to work through them to establish the truth that was ready to perish. Most of the congregations succumbed to spiritual DEATH. The age of the Church of Sardis was over. The Church period of Philadelphia was to begin!” ~

Mr. Herbert Armstrong himself stated: “From the year 1931, exactly 1,900 years (a century of time cycles) from the foundation of the Church, this small remnant of the original true Church of God began to take on new life as the Philadelphia era…..The Sardis era (Revelation 3:1-6) was by this time spiritually dying and had become impotent in spreading the true gospel of Christ. Indeed they had by this time lost knowledge of the true meaning of that gospel.” ~

The Worldwide Church of God begins!

The true Church of God, the one church that Jesus Christ built while He was here on earth, is still here. It has moved throughout history, sometimes as a very small group of people. Sometimes not more than a couple of hundred or even less. We have learned that the True Church entered a special phase in the year 1931 AD. God called a special servant, a latter-day apostle to move the Church of God into a special position. To prepare it for these last days. Under the leadership of Mr. Herbert Armstrong God’s church spread the message of the Kingdom of God to every nation. ~

God continued to use Mr. Herbert Armstrong. Eventually Christian radio broadcasts, magazines and finally Christian colleges were set up all through the ministry of one man, Mr. Herbert Armstrong. ~

Because the true gospel of the Kingdom had gone to every nation the church became known as, The Worldwide Church of God. I [E.W.King] was called of God to continue speaking the Truth as taught in the original Worldwide Church of God on October 7th, 2011. ~

From 1934 to the late 80’s the original church, under leadership of Mr. H.W. Armstrong published The Plain Truth magazine which was read by more than 20 million each month. Then there was the syndicated television and radio program, “The World Tomorrow”. It aired on more than 380 television and radio stations around the world. ~

The church had spread and developed into more than 120 countries and territories. Its strong membership was over 100,000 in the 80’s. It was and still is the Remnant Church of God. The church set up colleges and had a headquarters in Pasadena California. ~

It is really unbelievable what God can accomplish through one man. The true history of the Worldwide Church of God must be published and understood. Today the original Worldwide Church of God is still here in the last-day ministry of Church of God ~ Speaking to the Remnant [COGSR]. If you have read this you have found us! ~

The Great Apostasy

Sadly, after the death of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong the “Great Apostasy” [the rebellion] occurred and all of the restored truths were tampered with. The only remnant of the True Church still holding fast to the “faith once delivered” is Church of God ~ Speaking to the Remnant. Please understand that the Great Apostasy and the preservation of the true Remnant had all been prophesied to occur in the Bible. ~

Those who study with us here at COGSR will come to the most accurate knowledge of Church History. None of the false offshoot groups are teaching the true history of the original Worldwide Church of God. It should not surprise us that at the end of one church era another apostasy would happen. There have been numerous apostasies in church history. What made this one different? This one is the “Great Apostasy” because it grows into the most aggressive apostasy ever! It leads the entire world and fallen apostate Christendom into the final Great Tribulation. ~

Only those that know the true history of the original Worldwide Church of God and only those who truly know and understand the original teachings in depth with help of the Holy Spirit will be saved in the Church Age we are now experiencing. This information is so vitally important yet no other so called “Church of God” is teaching it. Why? Because they are not the True Remnant of God’s Holy People! ~

We are now in the Laodicean Era

We are in the Laodicean era. Since the death of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong we have entered the Seventh and Final Church Era. Here we have some figuring out. This Laodicea era represents those who at one time were involved with Christ's church but for some reason chose to forget some of its very important teachings. During the Laodicea era the “great apostasy” came. Even fallen apostate Christendom agrees with this interpretation. But what was the war against? It was against the TRUTH and God's One true Church. Isn't this what all wars are truly about? If there is a “god”, and there is, what and where is this “god's” church? Where are His people? All religious wars are regarding this question. ~

What was foretold to occur was a “great falling away”. This happened after the death of the first latter day Apostle. Most left the church not knowing where they stood in prophetic history. They fell for the fallen Protestant idea that the church was now just anybody who believed and that there was really no true church as a “visible” organization. Thus they deny the first latter day Apostle and part of his mission which was to restore true church government and usher in the Philadelphia era. So these so called “splinter groups” left the true church-body and became Laodicean. ~

So, we come to a conclusion. Do you believe in the Bible and what it says? Or do you believe in your own interpretation which leads you to disobey the word of God? If you are part of God's elect you will hear this truth and be drawn into His fold. If you reject, you still answer to Him. ~

False Laodicean Organizations

All the fallen denominations make up the Laodicean schism. They have formed their own organizations and have given the church fake names. They, along with all the WCG offshoot groups, have denied the Seven Church Eras. Many that claim to teach the Seven Church Eras deny the true Philadelphian era church by giving it a “new” fake name! ~

They also have either completely rejected the Holy Feast Days or they have changed the date of true Pentecost and rejected the true doctrine of Christian Marriage. [Only one offshoot group teaches correctly regarding Pentecost & Christian Marriage and that is, “Church of God, The
Eternal” but even they have rejected the Seven Church Era’s doctrine] ~

Only those who have remained completely faithful to the True teachings of the original Worldwide Church of God have joined up with COGSR ministries. This ministry [COGSR] is the last true remaining faithful ministry of the authentic Worldwide Church of God. Those who have left are sitting in other organizations going by a fake name and distorted doctrine. ~

Where we stand today!

Today many are seeking for the original teachings of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong. There are some websites which have made available many (if not almost all) of the original books and booklets put together by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong and the Original Worldwide Church of God. While this is a good thing there is something very bad that has occurred. After Mr. H.W. Armstrong died on January 16th 1986 many of his students ran away with his teachings and began to corrupt them. This happens with many teachers after they die. History and archeology can document this fact. ~

As Christians we need to understand something very important here. We [as true Christians] believe that Jesus Christ [founder of Christianity] built His church [body of believers] and just as He promised the true church would never be destroyed so it has not. What do we understand by this? As Christians we believe this means that though many apostates [false teachers] have come and gone and even though there are now many offshoot and splinter groups of the one true church, we still believe that God has preserved Pure Doctrine and a small remnant of true believers throughout time. ~

Because we believe this we cannot accept the Roman Catholic or Orthodox Greek church as being the “true church” because history proves that both of these false churches ignored pure Biblical doctrine and accepted forms of paganism. Nor can we accept the so called “protestant” groups which broke away from these because when they left they took many pagan ideas and teachings from their “mother church” with them. The so called Protestant Churches come from a time many hundreds of years after Jesus Christ walked this earth in the flesh. Protestants come from what is known as the “reformed period”, a time when theology was going through reformation. Theology did not need reformation…it needed restoration! ~

Sadly many turned away from very clear Biblical teachings even in the Protestant era and accepted aspects and doctrines of the “Harlot Mother”, Roman Catholicism. If one truly studies the movement of the True Church since the time of Jesus Christ they can begin to see clearly that though there have been apostasies there has always been preserved a small band of people, a small remnant that tried their hardest to stay true to the Pure Teachings and have in fact succeeded. ~

Please take time out when ever you can to study with us here at COGSR/SOCT. We believe that God is still calling into His church His true people. ~

Please understand: This earth has been given a book which contains a basic story of this planet and a basic history of human interaction and development. This book is the Holy Bible. This book has become the basis of many religious movements. All the stories found in it can even be found in earlier records of religious development.-

The Bible can be used as a spiritual text book and can be understood at many levels. We can look at it as an historical record, a moral record, a cultural record, a religious record; we can find its mystical messages, its numerological messages, its secret coded messages, etc. But most of all it is simply a HUMAN RECORD.-

We can learn many important Truths from this book we call the Bible. At SOCT research centers we have found scientific knowledge coded in the book along with a more precise understanding of the seven day “recreation” of the surface of our planet after the last ice-age [read SOCT document: “The Story of Our Planet”]. By the time Jesus Christ appeared and began to teach he himself began to use the knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures as a foundation to teach even more advanced moral truths.-

After Jesus Christ died and left his teachings with his students we find a spread in the knowledge which latter became known as “the Christian faith”. Written records started to appear claimed to have been written by some of the original students of Jesus.-

SOCT students have been able to compartmentalize sections of time, blocks of human history, which have helped track the development of the Jesus message. We have found that there have been six major divisions of the time in regards to the original message and its development. We now believe that as of October 7th 2011 we have entered the last stage and higher development of the Christian message. It culminated in the founding of the “Church of God ~ Speaking to the Remnant” [aka COGSR]. The ministry reached around the globe in a matter of two and ½ years. Ridiculed and attacked along the way.-

New Phase of COGSR as of July 14th 2014

During the first year of the founding of COGSR I started an additional study group called the “Science of Christian Thought”. This small group of Christians who also studied science began to understand God’s laws of science in unity with the Bible and COGSR theology. I myself began to write with intensity new revelations that came to me regarding a greater and deeper understanding of my Christian faith. SOCT grew right along side of COGSR.-

Finally on July 14th 2014 we came out of prayer with new insight and we now begin this new phase of Church of God ~ Speaking to the Remnant. We have decided to put all our attention on the SOCT studies. We have become what we call Space Age Christians. We have been given this new commission to help the current human race understand just where we all stand in regards to prophetic history and human development. Our theology has not changed but it has certainly been “upgraded”. We have always been teachable and this is how Divine Intelligence wants us to be.-

The original COGSR & SOCT websites were taken down on June 23rd 2014. Both are now replaced with this, our new SOCT site.-

We still believe in only one way!

Please understand; We have not become some strange New Age group or religion!  Our theological teachings have not changed! We still believe that Jesus Christ built his ONE CHURCH and that this one church is receiving the ONE WAY MESSAGE of TRUE CHRSITIANITY. We believe that all true SOCT students make up the Christian body called “Church of God ~ Speaking to the Remnant”. We believe that the true Jesus Christ is the second person of the God Family that visited this planet some 2000 years ago. We believe and practice the Ten Commandments and we keep the Seven Holy Feast times as we have always done since the time of Jesus Christ himself. We keep the original Seventh Day Sabbath [Saturday]. These special times are the gateway into God’s time zone and the keeping of them opens up the spiritual portal to pure Christian Reality.-

We still believe that we are in the “seventh church time” which is the Laodicean period, the 7th. We believe that we are in the beginning portion of the seventh time and we thus call it the “typical Laodicean era”. We believe that we are keeping up with the current revelatory Truths of God’s people and God’s one true Church. Those who become SOCT students join us in becoming “new creatures” in Christ.-

One Last Chance for True & Stable Peace!

SOCT students have been informed by Divine Intelligence that if enough people were to accept pure reality, the SOCT teachings, then this planet would enter a great time of peace and stability. This window is open between the typical & antitypical Laodicean period. We are currently in the beginning of the typical Laodicean era. We entered this 7th era of time on October 7th 2011. The window is now open. Will we heed the message? Are we prepared to deal with REALITY? So far we have been proven not to be.-

The human ‘collective’ subconscious mind has begun to address the great fear of self-destruction as witnessed and seen in the “Dooms Day Prepper” movements.  If enough hybrids come forth we may be able to bring stabilization to this planet. However, prophecies seem to indicate that humans will destroy this planet and only a small remnant, “the elect”, will survive to live on the New Earth within the New Heavens.-

If a modern politician was to stand up and truly accept the higher moral principles of our message and accept the reality of Divine Intelligence, Extraterrestrials & the saving of our planet then he/she would most certainly get our vote!-

Study  SOCT Papers

*Paper 42: The Identity Seed
*Paper 44: The KT Event

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