Vital knowledge for Gods Scattered Church

 

Hello to all of our dear brethren in Christ, who have been scattered by Satan and his wicked ministers, who love not the children of God in truth; but they seek their own glory and wealth in this world, and take advantage of God’s scattered flock. Brethren our Father in heaven cares deeply about all of us, and desires that we all can overcome the evils of our own human nature, as well as overcome the dependency of putting your trust, and faith in any man or organization. Brethren there are many ministers out there who seek their own glory, power, and wealth at the expense of God’s called and converted children.

Satan is very clever, and he knows that if he is to have any chance of deceiving you into relaxing, and putting your trust in a man that he can manipulate; then he must have that man teaching mostly the truth at first. After he has got you hooked into following him, and trusting in him, then he can manipulate that man into teaching more and more false teachings, and exalting his self, and giving himself more powers over the people. Such men will start out seeming humble at first; then somewhere along the way they will begin claiming their self to be a prophet, or an apostle, or some other powerful and flattering title. Brethren these men don’t do as God’s true Apostle to the end age did. Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong didn’t claim the title of apostle until after many years of hard and trying work in building the Philadelphian Church of God and restoring the true doctrines of God, and preaching the true gospel to this world. He was reluctant to accept that title, because he didn’t want to exalt himself, but his efforts was to exalt Jesus Christ and his father God. His desire was to turn the hearts of the people to the true God, and not just to himself.

The false prophets and false Apostles don’t waste much time in giving their self these flattering titles; for they seek their own glory out of vanity, and they also seek power over the people, so that they may control the people for their own selfish purposes. These type men preach the near coming of Christ, yet they seek to build their selves an empire in this world. Brethren of God understand this: If any man truly does love the brethren of God’s church, they will be giving them the truth, which is soundly founded in the Holy Bible, and they won’t feel the need to wear a flattering title. Any true servant of God will not be coveting to have your money, but will be freely serving God’s flock out of true love for you. The Apostle Paul set us a perfect example in this; he didn’t even require the church to pay tithes to him. It would not have been wrong for him to take tithes of the people; but his love for the brethren was to give the truth to them out of pure love.

Only after we are convinced that the work that a minister is doing, is a work that we, being led by the Spirit of God, willingly agree with, and decide that we want to join their efforts, should we send tithes to support that work. God’s tithe belongs to God, and we should be sure that we are spending it where God wants it to be spent. If we in this scattered Laodicean age are not convinced that any man is truly doing the work of God, then we should use God’s tithe to do what we can as individuals to promote the truth ourselves. The internet is a powerful media that is available to most all of us, at least until the great tribulation begins. The Apostle Paul taught the church that they had been taught the truth long enough that they should also be teachers, though many were still in need of being taught the elementary basic doctrines. (Heb. 5: 12) Brethren you can’t just relax and put your trust in any man, but prove all that you are taught, as to whether or not it is soundly founded upon the foundation of the Old Testament prophets, and the New Testament apostles. Even anything that Mr. Armstrong taught, if it were the truth; it also was founded in the Holy Bible. Mr. Armstrong was an apostle, but only to teach according to and in agreement with what the original Apostles and prophets taught, (and they were personally taught by Christ, the Word of God). I do need to acknowledge though that the original apostles did not completely understand everything that they were used to write about, especially the book of Revelation, and certain prophecy’s. God gave his end time apostle knowledge of the overview of the Bible, both old and new testaments which the original apostles and prophets did not fully understand: But any knowledge that Mr. Armstrong had of the Word of God was soundly founded in the Prophets and Apostles writings, and not just in his own imagination. Also the truth is not something that only the minister can understand; if it truly is the truth, then the minister will be able to show the rest of the body of Christ that information in the scriptures, and therefore they will also be able to see and know whether the scriptures truly do teach what the minister claims that they do. They should not have to take his word for it as if he has some special gift of understanding that the rest of the body can’t understand. Men who expect the brethren to just accept their personal interpretation of the scriptures, without real honest proof: those ministers are false ministers.

When God humbled Mr. Armstrong and made him willing to surrender to God and Christ; he still didn’t understand all Biblical truth in doctrine, or prophecy. He had to learn it one doctrine at a time; and that didn’t all happen in a few years; it took the rest of his life, to unlearn error, and to learn new truth. Most of the truth that we as individuals have, has come to us through Mr. Armstrong, yet for us to know that it is truth, we had to let God’s Holy Spirit work in us to prove out of the Bible, that it truly is what God’s word teaches. Many seem to have just proved some of it up front of their calling, then relaxed and trusted in the man Herbert W. Armstrong to always teach them the truth. By doing this, they didn’t have their foundation in Christ but in a Man. For us to have a solid foundation to stand on in times of trial and temptation, we must prove all things that we are taught, whether they are truly in agreement with the Word of God or not.

Now back to the way in which Mr. Armstrong learned the truth: Mr. Armstrong did make some mistakes in what he believed and taught. I hope that don’t offend anyone, but it is true. One very important thing that set him apart from all of the false ministers of this world: When Mr. Armstrong was converted he had to see and admit that he was wrong, and that he had been taught wrong in his religious upbringing as a child. Since the Spirit of God was leading him to repentance, he now came to the point of not blindly trusting in any man’s teaching, or in his own personal opinion, but to let his mind be swept clean of all his religious assumptions, and to dig into the Holy Bible, and search out the real bottom line truth on all doctrine and prophecy. Mr. Armstrong was not yet fully grown in the knowledge and character of Christ, so he did make some mistakes. I believe they were honest mistakes though. I don’t think that Mr. Armstrong taught anything wrong, out of selfish and unrighteous motives. He was truly converted to desiring the real truth, but he didn’t learn it all at once. We should also be like him in this; if we truly are converted we should not be satisfied with our own opinions, nor any other people’s opinions, or customs or traditions. Our hope in the true Gospel is too important to leave it to the ministers to tell us what to believe. We must prove it, if we really do care about what God has offered us. We should desire the real truth from God’s Word. If we truly do desire the truth, we shall be filled. One major characteristic that he had as a result of desiring the truth is; that he was willing to admit that he was wrong, when the real truth was discovered to his mind. On several different occasions he had to admit that he had been wrong on something that he had been teaching; and then change his teaching so it is in agreement with the Word of God. We should also be like this if we claim to be following in his footsteps and tradition.

I remember watching a “World Tomorrow” telecast back in the late 1980s, where Mr. Armstrong was showing the people a major difference between the false churches of this world and the real true Church of God. He explained how he had to learn the real truth one doctrine at a time, and at the same time acknowledge that he had been wrong, and change in order to be in agreement with God and his Word. He asked the audience if they had ever known any minister who had publicly admitted that he had been teaching the people wrong, and then changes his teaching to agree with God’s word. Of course not! They would be afraid of losing members and tithes, as well as being embarrassed to have to admit that they were wrong. Mr. Armstrong said that was one of the identifying signs that God’s true church and its ministers would have, for they want the truth more than self-glory or money or popularity with people. Yes Mr. Armstrong did make some mistakes in his teaching, but when the truth was revealed to him in his own studies, or by another person, he was willing to prove it by the Word of God, and If he could see that God’s word showed that he truly was wrong, then he was willing to admit it and change his belief, and change the whole church’s teaching on that subject. Brethren we should also be like that if we truly are converted to the truth.

I am convinced by the Word of God, in my own personal studies of the Holy Bible that Mr. Armstrong was right in most things that he taught at the end of his life in this world. He understood the bible better than any other man in this world, yet he did not understand everything written about in the bible. We can only understand what God gives us understanding about; and some things God chose not to reveal to him yet. Mr. Armstrong didn’t understand how and when the Laodicean church would come about. He didn’t understand the timing of when the Great tribulation would begin, yet not long before he died he said that it would not be more than ten years. He has been in his grave 27 years, and it hasn’t happened yet. Mr. Armstrong didn’t fully understand about the 144000, for God had not yet revealed it to him fully. Mr. Armstrong didn’t understand that the seven horns of Christ were the seven church organizations that Christ would raise up through one man at a time to carry on with his work and teaching. God left these things to be revealed during the Laodicean era.

Some brethren in the scattered Church of God seem to believe that we should hold fast to everything that Mr. Armstrong taught and refuse to accept anything that he didn’t teach. Is that what God meant when he told the Philadelphians to hold fast that you have, that no man take your crown? No, we should hold fast to the truth that we have, (the truth that we have, and can prove out of the bible to be the truth); and hold fast to the Philadelphian (brotherly love) attitude and character that God has revealed to us through Mr. Armstrong’s leadership. One other thing that Mr. Armstrong had that we also must hold fast to is the willingness to let God and his word teach us understanding of true biblical knowledge that Mr. Armstrong didn’t yet have. When we realize by the Word of God, that we have believed something wrong, then when God reveals the truth to us, we must be as Mr. Armstrong was, and admit that we were wrong and change to get in agreement with God. You had better be very careful in this area though, for Satan would like to use this as a means of deceiving you into turning away from the real truth. But by no means should we reject true revelation of knowledge from Gods word, if it is proved by the word of God, the Holy Bible, no matter who it is that first understands it. It is the truth that we should be converted to. But remember God will hold each of us accountable for what we believe and teach.

With no Mr. Armstrong around to lead the flock, God is allowing us to be tested as to whether we love the truth and our brethren, or not. We had better take extra care what we allow ourselves to accept into our minds as truth; and we had better be careful that we do not persecute any of God’s beloved children, by casting them out and speaking evil against them. God don’t just love you or me, he loves all of his children. Satan is deceiving many in this age into accepting false teachings as if they were truth. Many faithful brethren that loves God and his Word, and his way of life, and his true Gospel; have been cast out and accused of departing from Christ. You can’t trust in any man totally, but we must prove all that we accept into our minds by the Holy Word of God, and repent when we realize that we have accepted a false teaching, or if we realize that we have not been showing the same love for our brethren that we trust that God shows to us.

Sometimes we think we understand something only to find out later that we were wrong; but God judges us based on our attitude and conscience toward God, and how we react to the truth when it is revealed to our own personal mind. Like the Apostle Paul said: “Charity never fails: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” (1 Cor. 13: 8-10) My friends and brethren, when that perfect understanding does come, we must be willing to let go of our former errors in thinking, even as Mr. Armstrong did and as Paul teaches us.

I want to take this opportunity to publicly admit that I was wrong in part about what I taught and believed about the 144000. I am convinced that God did give me understanding of whom the 144000 are that are spoken about in Revelation Chapter 14. They are all of Gods faithful saints throughout all ages that will be redeemed from this earth at Christ’s second coming. They are the first fruits into the Kingdom of God. Now I realize that I was wrong about the 144000 that are sealed of all of the 12 tribes of Israel in the seventh Chapter of Revelation. I had read Mr. Armstrong’s booklet “The Book of Revelation unveiled at last”, and come to believe that they were 12000 of each of the Physical tribes of Israel who would be sealed during the great tribulation and would be allowed to live as physical people during the 1000 year rule of Christ. This also is one of the areas where Mr. Armstrong had been wrong. I now believe that they are also the same Christians that will make up the bride of Christ that are spoken of in Revelation Chapter 14. Mr. Armstrong also had changed his belief on this subject before his death, as he had mentioned in some of his taped messages to the church; also in some of his World Tomorrow broadcast. I was aware that Mr. Armstrong had changed his belief on the 144000 of Rev. 7, but I personally had not understood the proof of his new teaching. He never personally gave us any proof that I was aware of. Now I have understood how the church is considered the 12 tribes of Spiritual Israel; and I have pulled my booklet on the 144000 off of the internet until such a time that I can re-write it and explain the truth about this subject. I like Mr. Armstrong desire the real truth instead of just my own opinion or some other person’s opinion. I hope that we all can have that kind of love for truth.

Another major point that I want to make here in this letter: is that understanding everything in the bible is not as important as it is for us to believe the true Gospel and be led by the Holy Spirit to have the Love that will keep the Commandments of God. God is more concerned about how you live in your relationship with your fellow man, and especially with your brethren than he is with how much you know. God does expect us to study to understand and grow in true knowledge of his way of life, and also to understand his purpose and plans; that is to the degree that he is willing to reveal it to us; but he knows that he has not intended for all of his saints to understand everything in the Holy Bible, in their first lifetime. Many brethren and even the prophets desired to understand things that we now have been given understanding of. Does that make us better qualified to rule in the family and Kingdom of God than them? No! Many of them will be above us in the Kingdom of God. We are judged based on our attitude and actions of how we do with what we are given. If our hearts are filled with faith in Christ and the true Gospel, and if we are filled with love for God and all that we understand about him and his purpose, and if we truly love our fellow man and especially our brethren as Christ loves us; then God could teach us perfect knowledge about the Bible in a short while. God is more concerned with how we live toward him and toward our brethren than he is with what we know.

The Apostle Paul said that having knowledge tends to cause our vanity to get puffed up, but real love edifies the body of Christ. (1Cor. 8:1) Paul also taught that we could have the gift of prophecy, understand all mysteries, have all knowledge and even have great faith to be able to move mountains, yet if we don’t have charity (which is brotherly love) then we are still nothing. (1 Cor. 13: 1-3) He continues on to let us know of the valuable virtues of this Charity. How you obey and love God and how you treat your brethren, as well as all people is the most important thing that God judges us about, not how much you know. Brethren Jesus and God know if we love him by whether we love his other children. You should read slowly and meditate on each thought, and read the entire book of I John. John was an apostle, which seems to have a perfect understanding of the Love of God, and Christ. The Love of God in us by the Holy Spirit is the greatest of all of the fruits of the Spirit. It takes love to have peace and unity; and Gods family and Kingdom must have peace and unity. If we can’t live in peace and unity with each other, then those who refuse the truth, and cause division and strife won’t be given eternal life. Vanity and pride repels others away, humility and love attracts us to each other.

Brethren I have seen much fighting with sharp words and condemning one another among the ministers that are seeking a following after their own selves. I’m sure you have also. These ministers covet to build their flock up by tearing down one another. This evil is not from God. Those of us who do love God and his children have been hated and pushed out of these organizations; and many have had to flee just to be free to believe and teach their families the truth. Brethren we are family, if the Spirit of God dwells in us, we should love one another, not judge and condemn one another just because some may not have as much knowledge or faith as we think we have. In this scattered church age, God may have given understanding to some that others don’t yet have, but as I said we are judged by how we live in relation to one another, not by what we know or don’t know; though God does expect us to hunger and thirst for his word enough to feed on it, and learn it. God wants us all to have Holy Righteous Character and brotherly love formed in our inter hearts, so that we all can fit into that Holy Kingdom of God; and all work together in love for one another to accomplish the will of our Head Jesus Christ. Without brotherly love that is impossible. Those evil days are near when we may be called on to lay down our life in this world to protect our brethren: Could, and would you do that? To fulfill the New Commandment of Christ we would need to do so. Pray that God will help us all to have more love and forgiveness for one another instead of this condemning attitude against one another. Pray for those ministers that they may learn to humble themselves and stop viewing themselves as the heir to the throne. We have one Lord and master that we all have to answer to; Jesus Christ. Be honest, but don’t let any man “horn-swaggle” you into accepting any teaching that you can honestly see that is not in complete agreement with the word of God. If we must remain scattered to be free to believe and teach the truth, then so be it. Christ will gather us all who are faithful to God’s word, and keep the Commandments of God and Christ into his Kingdom, and we will be qualified for the office that he has prepared for us. We and all of our brethren from past ages will fit perfectly into the one body of Christ, whether we all knew the same prophetic knowledge or not. Think not that we have it made; take heed to surrender completely to Christ in every detail of our lives, and let humility and brotherly love reign, lest we are disallowed. If we truly love God and his word this should not be a problem.

Satan the devil has many ways of trying to deceive us. He will use other ministers, as we all know; he also will use our own imagination if we let him. Brethren, be careful what you accept as fact. Guard your mind against being deceived by your own vanity or lust. There is no area where we can relax and think we are safe from deception. Satan is as a roaring lion, going about seeking whom he can devour with deception, lust, vanity, selfishness, covetousness, bitterness lack of brotherly love, and even our own imagination. Let us all consider our brethren that are scattered around this world and pray for each other that we may not fail in the trying times that lies ahead of us.

Your brother in Christ,

Gary Stowers