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.
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.
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.
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 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 apostles never required converts to give up property as a precondition for church membership. Rather, the members voluntarily gave, retaining ownership.
The primary focus at this time is the repair of the faith once delivered that has seriously deteriorated because of heresy, apostasy, and Laodiceanism.
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.
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.
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.
Jesus Christ perfectly fulfilled His spiritual responsibilities and can now aid us in fulfilling ours, which includes keeping God's commandments.
Considering the events and trends exhibited in the modern church of God, will it follow the disastrous example of early second-century Christianity?
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.
Many biblical prophecies have a type and an antitype, a former fulfillment and a latter one. If we really want to understand prophecy, we need to understand this concept.
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.
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.
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 pressures and conflicts that the church has undergone is part of the spirit of the time that has embroiled religious and political institutions worldwide.
The socio-cultural milieu before the writing of Hebrews created difficulties for the Jewish converts to the Gospel, who were deemed to be traitors.
Are we 'once-saved, always-saved'? Once God grants us His grace, are we assured eternal life? The fallacies of the doctrine of 'eternal security' are exposed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Herbert Armstrong, while not infallible or sinless, nevertheless served as the custodian of the truths of God, occupying the role of God's messenger.
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 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 …
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.
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.
Sin has tainted the most faithful leaders. Most (perhaps all) church leaders have skeletons in their closets, but we follow them as they follow Christ.
The frightful conditions during the 1st century are typical of the times ahead. To weather these circumstances, we need the encouragement of Hebrews.
Faith is difficult enough to maintain on its own, but greatly confused when the pastor dilutes correct doctrine with 'benign' false doctrine from the world.
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.
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.
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.
Richard Ritenbaugh continues the theme of the difficulty we have in this age to distinguish truth from error. Satan's biggest targets for disinformation are God's called-out ones. As the apostles turned the world upside down by the Gospel, Satan's implanted tares immediately began to spread disinformation—so much so that …
The book of Hebrews provides reasons to recapture flagging zeal, focusing on the reason for our hope and faith, establishing Christ's credentials.
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 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.
Persecution involves a wide spectrum, ranging from torture, physical beating, social excommunication, imprisonment and death. Our boldness should match Paul's.
Martin Collins, asking why Christians must endure such horrendous persecution and struggle, asserts that Paul warned in Acts 5 that the church would always be in danger of deception from within and opposition from without. "Opposition from without" in Peter's time came from the evil oppression incited by the Pharisees …
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.
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.
The Scriptures are largely silent about the exploits of the apostles other than Paul. We have only general comments concerning their spheres of activities.
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.
When we sing this popular hymn, are we singing a lie? No, this is a commision to apostles, and right now we are doing what God desires of us.
John Ritenbaugh explores the possibility that the book of Acts, in addition to its role in continuing and advancing the Gospel or Good News, could well have been assembled as an exculpatory trial document designed to vindicate the apostle Paul and the early church, demonstrating that Christianity was not a threat to the Roman …