Would a God of unity scatter His own church? Or was it the work of Satan? The conclusion of many impugns God's sovereignty and exempts them from responsibility.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the easiest part of God's work is the preaching the Gospel to the world- a task mechanically carried out as the church deteriorated from within. Much more demanding is the feeding of the flock, producing the kind of faith an. . .
The church has Christ as the Chief Cornerstone. As long as there is a church, there will also be at least one living stone upon another.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that biblical history substantiates that God does not always have the church perform the same functions continually, but sometimes drastically alters the course according to needs and conditions. The perceived detours are necessa. . .
John Ritenbaugh provides the rationale of this phase of the church's work- what and why the Church of the Great God is doing what it is doing. In this time of scattering, God is testing our loyalty to Him, correcting deficiencies that will keep us out of H. . .
David Grabbe reminds us that, for the past 25 years, the highest priority of the Church of the Great God has not been the preaching of the Gospel to the world, but the feeding of the flock. If we lose sight that Jesus Christ is the head of the Church, we w. . .
God's hand was definitely involved in the scattering of the church. We should respond by growing and preparing ourselves for His Kingdom.
The church of the Laodiceans is today's prevalent attitude. Is there hope? Can a Laodicean be in God's Kingdom?
Revelation 10 contains the seven thunders and the little book. It serves as an inset, not following a linear time sequence of the book of Revelation.
David Grabbe, cuing in on Ecclesiastes 3:1-3, reminds us that God has designed sequential seasons in which various events occur as a part of a long-term plan. God plans the season; we only get to choose whether and how to respond. There is a time to gather. . .
The seven churches of Revelation 2-3 all existed simultaneously and the characteristics of five of them will apparently be extant at the return of Christ.
God's true church cannot be found without revelation nor can one join the organization; God calls and places each member in its appropriate place in the Body.
Many 'church of God' organizations claim to be part of—or even the only—church of God. The Bible reveals specific characteristics of God's church.
How involved in man's affairs is God? Is He merely reactive, or does He actively participate—even cause events and circumstances, particularly in the church?
Richard Ritenbaugh, reflecting that 30 years have passed since the death of Herbert W. Armstrong, and 24 years since the founding of the Church of the Great God, marvels that the greater church of God continues to scatter over 400 separate organizational s. . .
Biblical prophecy shows God scattering His people as a punishment for their sins against Him. During the end time, it appears He will scatter them into small fragments, perhaps even down to individuals alone. Charles Whitaker studies the primarily Hebrew w. . .
The seven churches exist in the end time, but is there hope for a bright future? What will happen next in the course of events? Will the church—now scattered—come back together?
In Revelation 10:3-4, John tells of seven thunders—seven distinct, sequential reverberations of God's message to mankind. The seventh thunder is sounding now.
Our relationship with God is the key to unity with the brethren. When we are all just like Christ, we will also all resemble each other—and there will be unity.
Ron Sellers, a religious trend watcher, sees great instability in world religion, and it is mirrored in God's church. Richard Ritenbaugh shows how this dovetails with Bible prophecy of the end time.
John Ritenbaugh admonishes the greater church of God that we make a conscious effort to feed the flock (devoting more effort, time, energy, and money than for preaching the Gospel as a witness for the world) until we get ourselves straightened out first. T. . .
John Ritenbaugh takes issue with the popularly held notion that preaching the Gospel to the world as a witness is the sole identifying mark of God's church. There is a vast difference between "preaching the Gospel to the world" and "making d. . .
John Ritenbaugh gives his perception of Herbert W. Armstrong, suggesting that Mr. Armstrong was single-minded about preaching the Gospel, sometimes without financial savvy. It is possible that for many Herbert Armstrong had become an icon. The scattering w. . .
John Ritenbaugh focuses upon the atmosphere of disorder which has emerged in the greater church of God, caused by individuals (ministry and lay members alike), obsessed with the urge to change doctrine, convinced that God was too weak to control Herbert W.. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting upon the breakup of our former fellowship into hundreds of pieces, examines the prospects for future unity. God gave His approval for the destruction of our prior fellowship into myriad splinter groups, allowing heresies to emer. . .
John Ritenbaugh, reminding us to take God's words seriously, cautions that all His words have great depth, having far more applications than appear on the surface. His word unfolds in layers, like the peeling back of an onion skin. After the upheaval and d. . .
John Reid, a veteran of the Korean war, knows the horrors of war. We are in a spiritual war right now, and it will only become hotter as we near the end!
John Ritenbaugh, cuing in on three scriptures, Psalm 11:3-5, Luke 12:7, and Philippians 4:19, reflects on a frightening earthquake in 1971, in which he realized that he was in no way in control of the alarming situation, a relentless shaking that threatene. . .
God initiated the scattering of the church for our ultimate good. When the revelation of God was replaced with the wisdom of this world, God intervened.
George Santayana's famous quotation—"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it"—applies equally well to the church of God. Richard Ritenbaugh compares the history of the early church with the events and trends being exhibite. . .
Over the last two decades, we have witnessed the scattering of the church of God from one corporate organization into hundreds. ...
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that God alone chooses the servants through whom He works His will. Sometimes the rationale God uses for selecting His vessels defies worldly wisdom. The major reason for the horrendous split of the greater church of God was the . . .
The preaching the gospel to the world is at best the beginning of a complex process of creating disciples through steady feeding and encouragement to overcome.
In this lead-off sermon of the 1999 Feast of Tabernacles, John Ritenbaugh draws an instructive though disturbing parallel between the warning given to Belshazzar and the warning given to the greater church of God. A major contributory cause in the splittin. . .
John Ritenbaugh shares the significance of Herbert W. Armstrong's role in the church. Increasingly, some fail to realize Herbert Armstrong's stabilizing role in God's church. The scattering we have experienced since his death has been a blessing from God, . . .
On this eleventh anniversary of the Church of the Great God, John Ritenbaugh reflects upon the expectations, the accomplishments, and the prospects for the future of our part of God's work, observing that things have not exactly turned out the way we thoug. . .
Our physical bodies have a defense system to keep out invaders. Spiritually, how well do we maintain our defenses against error and contamination?
God alone determines the course of history. His naming of people is significant, and the book of Ruth can be studied through the lens of the characters' names.
God is not the author of confusion, but throughout the scriptures has used a consistent pattern of appointing leaders over His called-out ones.
John Ritenbaugh, after a thorough analysis of the seven churches in Revelation 2 and 3, concludes that the seven conditions described (all having a common denominator an admonition to hold fast to something once given, but slipping away- namely the faith o. . .
John Ritenbaugh insists that we must be aware of our awesome status as a unique, called-out, chosen, royal priesthood—teachers of a way of life and builders of bridges between people and God. Because God owns us, we differ from the rest of the people. . .
The lessons of Abel, Enoch, and Noah in Hebrews 11 are sequential. The lesson of Abel's faith must be understood before Enoch's example can be followed.
On March 12, 2005, Terry Ratzmann entered a church meeting room and opened fire. After 22 rounds had been fired, four people were wounded, and eight lay dead.
The Sermon on the Mount is as vitally important today as when Christ preached it. It contains the way we are to live as God's representatives on this earth.
John Ritenbaugh asserts that the pressures and conflicts that the church has undergone is part of a larger Zeitgeist (spirit of the time) that has embroiled institutions religious and political institutions worldwide. The mindset reflects (and is a functio. . .
Success in spiritual things does not consist in growing large and powerful, but humbly living by faith, overcoming, and yielding to God's shaping power.
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that we are to follow Abraham and Sarah's example of relying on God's guidance, learning to trust in the wisdom of Almighty God rather than the world. In order to avoid strife, Abraham allowed his forward nephew Lot first choice.. . .
God has often used micro metaphors to illustrate macro events. For example, in Isaiah 1:4-6, God compares the whole nation of Israel to a sick patient with an incurable disease, signalling impending captivity. The church has been alternately compared to a . . .
Confusion and separation have been man's legacy since Eden. Christ is working to put an end to division, enabling us to be one with the Father and each other.
When our lives change, we do not have to fear that things are out of control. As the Good Shepherd, Christ changes our circumstances for our benefit.
John Ritenbaugh, reflecting on Jesus Christ's prayer for unity in John 17, insists that unity with our brethren is impossible without unity with God first. Adam and Eve severed this unity by yielding to Satan's influence, stimulating their minds with a nov. . .
Members, co-workers, and subscribers can all be tallied, yet who save God can track the increase of faith or the building of character of members of a church?
John Ritenbaugh reiterates that the real issue in the calendar controversy is not mathematical or astronomical computations, but faith in God's sovereignty, His providence, His right to assign responsibility, and His capability of maintaining an oversight . . .
Using the analogy of the A-Team, Richard Ritenbaugh asserts that when everybody works together to reach a common goal, the chances of success skyrocket. When the vision or unity of purpose is removed, chaos or disintegration is the inevitable result (Prove. . .
John Ritenbaugh stresses that unless the splinters of the greater church of God repair their mangled relationships with the Almighty, recoupling will be impossible. A major contributory factor in the scattering is the deceitful heart of man (Jeremiah 17:9). . .
We must realize we are walking on a razor's edge, with the Kingdom of God on one side and the world with all its sensual magnetic charms on the other side.
John Ritenbaugh emphasizes that we ought to be devoting considerable time getting to know our prospective bridegroom, like the Apostle Paul desiring to conform to Christ in every way before the marriage. This challenge becomes extremely complicated because. . .
Like the four groups of seeds exposed to various qualities of soil, many have heard the true gospel, but few have remained faithful after the onslaught of hardship.
Austin Del Castillo expresses alarm that the moral fabric of our society is rapidly unravelling, with all institutions yielding to corruption and immorality. Like society, the Church of God has splintered into a diverse assortment of groups, some blinded b. . .
David Grabbe, examining the saying, "ignorance is bliss," implying that a measure of peace may come to us if we do not know something that might be disturbing, cautions us that this ignorance is dangerous when it comes to the spiritual preparatio. . .
John Ritenbaugh, claiming that one major reason people find Ecclesiastes to be pessimistic is that much of life also contains negativity, suggests that Solomon, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, found much of life discouraging, disappointing, . . .
After the Flood, the people grew suspicious of God. Their natural inclination was to defend against another act of God rather than make peace with Him.
People who try to supplement their spiritual diet with lawlessness or other heresies risk losing their identity, and ultimately their spiritual life.
John Ritenbaugh examines the problem of empty externalism (accompanied by no inward change) extant in the greater church of God- a problem which led to its scattering. All of us, individually and collectively were responsible for its demise. God has promis. . .
An individual can teach and admonish only if he is in fellowship with others. God's intention that we be connected to the rest of the Body is seen everywhere.
Solomon reveals that God is solidly in control of time. Knowing that God is sovereign over time should fill us with faith in God's workmanship.
John Ritenbaugh reflects that God, through His sovereignty, has personally placed each of us in the organization in which we can grow the most. We have a solemn responsibility to exercise our free moral agency, having authority and dominion over animals, a. . .
John Ritenbaugh observes that although each of God's festivals depicts increasingly larger numbers of people being drawn to God, the counter pulls emanating from sinful carnal human nature war against the prompts of God's Holy Spirit, producing continual c. . .
In this keynote address of the 2007 Feast of Tabernacles, John Ritenbaugh, focusing on Abraham's pattern of life, answers the question, 'Why is the Church of the Great God doing what it is doing at this time?' Abraham and Sarah's life of faith is the patte. . .
Though the nations of this world are pushing for global economics and government, God's Word shows that mankind will not succeed. Charles Whitaker makes the case that only Jesus Christ will be able to make world government work.
The group that one fellowships with is less important than the understanding that there is one true church, bound by a spiritual, not a physical unity.
A Statement of Purpose and Beliefs of the Church of the Great God
As our culture deteriorates, there is a deep-seated distrust, not just of government but of all kinds of institutions that people once had confidence in.
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