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 …
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.
The primary focus at this time is the repair of the faith once delivered that has seriously deteriorated because of heresy, apostasy, and Laodiceanism.
A Christian's foremost responsibility is to love God wholeheartedly. A decline similar to the Ephesians' loss of their first love affected the first-century church.
Ups and downs, blessings and trials, have characterized every era of the church. God's people are always battling something negative between the brief highs.
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.
The book of Hebrews teaches that our relationship to Christ as our Savior, High Priest, and King is the key to salvation. He shows us the way to the Father.
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.
Outcome based religion exalts numerical growth and feeling good over the truth of God, promoting the use of modern psychology over 'divisive' biblical doctrine.
The apostles never required converts to give up property as a precondition for church membership. Rather, the members voluntarily gave, retaining ownership.
Although Peter was given responsibilities of leadership, as connoted from the rock imagery or symbolism, he was not granted the post of 'vicar of Christ.'
Like the Ephesians, the weary veterans in Hebrews were becoming apathetic through outside pressures, losing their former zeal and devotion to Christ.
The Ephesus church effectively battled various heresies, for which Christ commends it. However, the members lost sight of the reason, having left their first love.
Paul, realizing that the tiny flock was no match for the Roman Empire, did not crusade to abolish slavery, but instead taught the church how to deal with it.
Matthew, Mark, and Luke each seem to put Passover on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, but a closer look reveals the consistency of Scripture.
Passover takes place at twilight as the 14th of Abib begins. Unleavened Bread begins 24 hours later on the 15th of Abib. The Passover is a preparation day.
First love is the purest kind of spiritual love we as humans can demonstrate. It is a love that truly shows one's heart is completely given to God.
The New Testament contains numerous examples from Jesus Christ and His apostles regarding attending worship services on Sabbath whenever possible.
Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled His spiritual responsibilities and can now aid us in fulfilling ours, which includes keeping God's commandments.
The epistle of Hebrews is so vital to Christians in the first century and now because it explains the unique place and power of Christianity's High Priest.
Even as Hebrews prepared the first century church for persecution, so it is also relevant to today's church as it faces an increasing assault on God's law.
Some Jews among the early converts believed that Jesus Christ did not qualify to be the church's High Priest, considering angels to be greater and holier.
Considering the events and trends exhibited in the modern church of God, will it follow the disastrous example of early second-century Christianity?
Herbert Armstrong, while not infallible or sinless, nevertheless served as the custodian of the truths of God, occupying the role of God's messenger.
Hebrews was written to fulfill several needs of the first-century church. One of the most critical was to explain God's opening of eternal life to the Gentiles.
To understand Jesus' command, we need to examine what else He said to the same people. We should also determine just whom He commissioned to preach.
We tend to think of the early Church as a 'golden age' of unity and momentum. But early church members experienced problems similar to what we face today.
The socio-cultural milieu before the writing of Hebrews created difficulties for the Jewish converts to the Gospel, who were deemed to be traitors.
A major cause in the splitting of the church has been the wholesale rejection of the doctrines Herbert Armstrong, under God's inspiration, restored.
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.
God designed the sermon of Hebrews to motivate God's people, who are going through the same turmoil as those living in 65 AD, facing persecution from society.
When Hebrews was written, the newly converted Jew to the Way encountered persecution from the established religion and culture similar to what we experience.
A major clue for discerning false gospels is that any teaching attempting to change the nature of God or Christ or their doctrines is anti-Christ and false.
Hebrews emphasizes that spiritual growth and glorification depends on an individual's relationship with Christ, the centerpiece of the Book of Hebrews.
God inspired the book of Hebrews to answer the difficult questions church members were struggling with during the tumultuous first decades of the church.
We often spend so much time engaged in our present-day trials that we fail to understand and learn from the experiences of Christians of the past.
In the Day of the Lord, Christ stands in the midst of all seven churches. We are to learn from the lessons from all seven, not get sidetracked by eras.
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.
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.
God's people must immerse themselves daily in the Scriptures. While sinning Israelites consider God to be absent, He is nevertheless present with His saints.
Hebrews 1 delivers a knock-out punch to skeptics like many first-century Jews who claimed He falls short in qualifying as our High Priest and Savior.
Jesus Christ warns us to hold fast to true doctrine. Secular historians help us discover the identity of the small flock repeatedly rescued from apostasy.
The frightful conditions during the 1st century are typical of the times ahead. To weather these circumstances, we need the encouragement of Hebrews.
Satan's biggest targets for disinformation are God's called-out ones. How can the true disciples be identified?
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.
A Statement of Purpose and beliefs of the Church of the Great God.
The true church of God is an invisible, spiritual organism, of those people that have and are led by the Spirit of God, who hold fast to apostolic teaching.
The Book of Hebrews is a must-read for all members of God's church who seek the key for spiritual growth through a meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.
The book of Hebrews clarifies that the persecution on the early church did not come directly from God, but He did stir the pot that caused the persecution.
We can always expect new challenges, including persecution, and must never be content with standing still, but must press on to spiritual maturity.
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 …
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.
Many heresies have crept into the church over the past several years. Here is how Satan works to introduce heresy into the church, and what we can do about it.
Our historical and theological roots are advanced in a polished, chronological narrative (Acts), perhaps designed as a trial document authored by Luke.
We are on the threshold of the greatest period of testing ever to come upon mankind. We need a sense of hope and faith to stay focused on our calling.
The Scriptures are largely silent about the exploits of the apostles other than Paul. We have only general comments concerning their spheres of activities.
Persecution involves a wide spectrum, ranging from torture, physical beating, social excommunication, imprisonment and death. Our boldness should match Paul's.
All the signs point to Christ's imminent return, yet the Bible warns us not to let down. Hebrews 10 exhorts us to strive to please God and finish our course.
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.
Peter provides not only an effective antidote to corrosive heresies, apostasy, and false teachers, but also a practical formula for spiritual growth.
The book of Hebrews resonates for the church of God at this time due to the strong parallels between our circumstances and those of the first century church.
We must reorient our focus onto God's Word and His message of hope, never giving up our quest for righteousness and integrity in the midst of immorality.
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.
The book of Acts could have been an exculpatory trial document designed to vindicate Paul and the early church, showing that Christianity was not a threat.