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.
The easiest part of God's work is preaching the gospel to the world. Much more demanding is the feeding of the flock, producing life-changing faith.
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.
The primary focus at this time is the repair of the faith once delivered that has seriously deteriorated because of heresy, apostasy, and Laodiceanism.
The hardest part of God's work is the feeding of the flock the full counsel of God, to get the called-out ones ready to enter the Kingdom of God.
If we lose sight that Jesus is the head of the Church, we will forget that Christ is currently purifying His Church, sanctifying those called to be His family.
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 and a time to throw away; there is a time to embrace and a time to …
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?
A major responsibility for the fracturing of the WCG rested with the leadership, based on a philosophy of authoritarianism Christ warned against.
Prophecy shows God scattering His people for their sins. It appears He will scatter them into small fragments, perhaps even down to individuals alone.
The seven churches exist in the end time, but is there hope for a bright future? What will happen next? 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. To preach to the world and ignore a disintegrating flock is like a husband …
The largest portion of the great commission demands that the lion's share of time, money, or energy ought to be invested in feeding the flock.
John Ritenbaugh, acknowledging that our country is divided politically and culturally more than at any other time since the Civil War, points out that even though the abortion issue is one of the most divisive issues, the population as a whole has become more callused. The scattering of our previous fellowship was allowed by God …
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 which happened in the Worldwide Church of God could have been caused by …
The priorities in Matthew 6:33 indicates that the primary emphasis should be on repentance and overcoming rather than mastering a technicality.
God gave His approval for the destruction of the Worldwide Church of God into numerous groups, allowing heresies so He could see who really loves Him.
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 disintegration of the Worldwide Church of God, it became clear that God …
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 threatened to destroy the entire foundation. This earthquake has grounds of …
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.
Considering the events and trends exhibited in the modern church of God, will it follow the disastrous example of early second-century Christianity?
Israel turned the Temple into an idol, making it more significant than God. Similarly, we may esteem the church more than the God it should glorify.
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 rejection of the doctrines God's servant and Apostle Herbert Armstrong had …
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 splitting of the church has been the wholesale rejection of the doctrines Herbert …
Herbert Armstrong, while not infallible or sinless, nevertheless served as the custodian of the truths of God, occupying the role of God's messenger.
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 thought. Despite the uncertainties, if we keep on keeping on, we will fulfill …
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.
The scattering of the church was an act of love by God to wake us from our lethargic, faithless condition. The feeding of the flock is the priority now.
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.
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 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 of this earth. We need to seriously think of what we are now (His chosen …
The pressures and conflicts that the church has undergone is part of the spirit of the time that has embroiled religious and political institutions worldwide.
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. Likewise, the apostle Paul admonished the New Testament church to refrain …
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.
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 bride, vine, virgin, woman, mother, and body. Extrapolating from these …
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 novel diversion. Sin automatically separates us from God. The key to …
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?
The real issue in the calendar controversy is not astronomical, but faith in God's sovereignty, providence, and His right to assign responsibility.
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) and carnal nature (Romans 8:7) which attempts to substitute charm and …
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.
Satan has deliberately designed this world to burn up our precious time, creating an artificial sense of urgency and a perpetual state of discontent.
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 by their pompous self-righteousness, others absorbing the values of the …
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 preparation of self-examination before the Passover. Self-evaluation is foundational …
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, trying, and fraught with vanity. Nevertheless, his lifetime observations …
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.
The way back to unity is to embrace the vision that once kept us focused on the same goal, giving us active, kinetic, dynamic and explosive power.
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 promised to hear our prayers if we humble ourselves and turn from our sins. …
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.
God, following a pattern, routinely calls the lowly and weak to guard against pride. God will transform the weak of this world through His Holy Spirit.
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 conflict. Choosing between these two opposite poles is something we have to …
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 pattern that God's called-out ones are obligated to follow. Interestingly, …
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.