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God's Apostle Did Not Approve
Pastor's Report - July 10, 1978
Systematic Theology Project
by Herbert W. Armstrong
Recently I called a meeting of Messrs. McNair, Meredith, Apartian, and Luker. I was shown in that meeting, for the first time, a leather-bound copy of “Systematic Theology Project.” Which I understand is commonly referred to as the "STP.”
I have found it necessary recently to reveal that many major decisions, doctrinal alterations, and policy changes were being made WITHOUT AUTHORITY - in my absence - and the knowledge of which was kept deliberately from me. That is part of the reason making it imperative that I step back into CONTROL!
I now find for the first time that the "STP" was presented at the January Ministers' Conference. I addressed the conference on the opening morning. But I had not yet regained full strength from the heart failure of last August, and, BEING ASSURED BY MY SON THAT NO DOCTRINAL CHANGES WOULD BE DISCUSSED OR PRESENTED at the Conference, I returned to Tucson.
In my absence, utterly unknown to me, this "STP" was presented, and represented as having my approval. Some ministers assumed the very fact that I had addressed the opening session implied my approval.
I KNEW NOTHING WHATSOEVER ABOUT IT!
This "STP" is voluminous. My time these past weeks has been occupied in much writing, and other actions to SET THE WORK BACK ON THE TRACK of CHRISTS HEADSHIP!
This has simply not allowed time to study carefully the contents of this “STP.” I have been informed, by those soundly instructed since the earliest days of the college that, by and large, this “STP” is sound in its doctrinal expositions. Yet a number of ERRONEOUS and UNAUTHORIZED doctrines are altered or changed, and MUST BE, as I can find time, CORRECTED!
“However, in fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy of magnifying the law and making it honorable (Isa. 42:21) Christ instituted certain changes."
This is a flagrant mis-statement of fact and truth. The law Christ magnified was the Spiritual law (Rom. 7:14) of the TEN COMMANDMENTS. In this Christ MADE NO CHANGES WHATSOEVER - BUT HE DID MAGNIFY IT - that is expanded the intended MEANING and INTENT of the Law.
This “STP” continues: “Christ Himself specifically abrogated certain statements in the law, in relation to swearing and to marriage.” This is FALSE and is NOT Worldwide Church of God doctrine. Instead of abrogating the STATUTE law as to swearing, Jesus STRENGTHENED it, saying, “Swear not at all.” He DID NOT “specifically abrogate” God's spiritual law regarding marriage, but straightened out a special ruling Moses allowed carnal Israelites in the wilderness, because of the hardness of their hearts." It was this special allowance of MOSES - not the LAW OF GOD, spoken by His own voice to the entire congregation of Israel from Mt. Sinai – that Christ referred to, setting it as had God from the beginning. This unauthorized “STP” teaching is, in this instance, an effort to follow the teachings of Protestant "higher criticism" - something full of errors and false teaching and NOT accepted by this Church.
This is only an example of how the leaven of carnal “intellectualism and "higher education" has been slyly, subtly, by Satan, introduced into Ambassador College.
God Almighty brought me back from death, and has renewed my vital powers to CAST OUT THIS SATANIC LEAVEN, and PUT AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BACK ON THE TRACK ONCE AGAIN AS GOD'S COLLEGE!
Those of this world's “rationalism,” and “higher education," look on Jesus Christ as a backwoods ignorant simpleton, whose teachings were FOOLISHNESS, and YOUR BIBLE SAYS SO! But it also says that their erroneous "intellectualism" is FOOLISHNESS WITH GOD.
Jesus Christ, living HEAD of God's Church, used me as His instrument in founding Ambassador College. It was UNIQUE in the world among educational institutions - utterly unlike any other. It was GOD'S College!
But faculty members, educated and indoctrinated in the leaven of secular “higher education," fought a desperate but losing battle with me the first three years. They strove to make Ambassador a “rubber stamp" of the colleges of Satan's world. I fought, bled and died in this struggle to KEEP OUT this satanic leaven, and to make Ambassador truly GOD'S college! And I SUCCEEDED - with God's help!
But as the Work grew-after we had reasonably well reached the U.S., Canada, Britain, Western Europe, Australia and South Africa with the true Gospel OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, the living CHRIST opened the door to the Heads of State of many Gentile nations. Christ's Gospel had been barred from entering those nations. Now, by winning favour (which God gave me in the eyes of kings, presidents, emperors and prime ministers) at the very TOP of these nations, Christ OPENED THE DOOR to carry HIS GOSPEL MESSAGE for the first time into those populous nations!
But while I was gone from Pasadena from 200 to 300 days a year, WHERE CHRIST SENT ME, those I left in charge in Pasadena led those under them - and God's college - into forming and worshipping the intellectual golden calf. When Moses had been called to be with God up on Mt. Sinai, Moses left his brother Aaron in charge of the people. Aaron led the people into IDOLATRY (Ex. 32:1-6).
History repeats. When our Lord Jesus Christ called me to carry HIS GOSPEL into Asia, South-east Asia, Africa, South America and parts of Europe, the one left in charge allowed the golden calf of intellectualism and of this world's “higher education” to filter into and leaven the entire college of the LIVING GOD!
Brethren, I have returned to SMASH THAT GOLDEN CALF - and root that satanic leaven OUT of Ambassador College! If any of you wish to LEAVE the Eternal Christ and HIS TRUTH and WAYS, and embrace this carnal and secular golden calf, feel free to GO - but GO OUT of God's Church and HIS College!!
I find reports of men and women students even living together, unmarried, off campus, while enrolled in Ambassador College. I hear reports that at least three unmarried girl students have left college due to pregnancy. Let me tell you, I AM FIGHTING MAD!! Jesus Christ is EMPOWERING ME to cast Satan OUT OF HIS COLLEGE AND HIS CHURCH!!
I am completely reorganizing Ambassador College. Some won't like it. They are welcome to dislike, and to LEAVE!
In the college catalog for years appeared the following, under caption: "The Missing Dimension in Education."
It is generally recognized by educators that dangerous evils have leavened the educational
system. Curricula, generally, have become wholly materialistic. Demands in scientific,
technological, industrial, commercial and professional fields have put the emphasis on the purely technical and intellectual, at sacrifice of spiritual, moral, and cultural development; on curriculum rather than on character, on earning a living, at the neglect of learning how to live!
Universities have grown so large, students lose their identity, moving along a huge, academic conveyor belt. Personality development is sacrificed. Personal contact between student and instructor becomes non-existent.
The most essential knowledge is the purpose and meaning of life – the true values as distinguished from the false – and THE WAY to peace, happiness, and abundant wellbeing. But this basic and most important Dimension in education is entirely missing from traditional curricula.
That missing dimension is being PUT BACK in Ambassador College. I will fight to the death for it! I'm sorry if some will take offense. But the time has come to STAND UP AND BE COUNTED.
If CHRIST is living HEAD of God's Church and College, then FOLLOW CHRIST WITH ME. If not, then GO Satan's way, but leave all pretense of being a member of God's Church or College!
In this "STP" under "Organization and Purposes," I find, to my incredulous amazement, the following, MADE BINDING ON GOD'S MINISTERS - (not by Christ or by me, but by those unauthorised.)
"...this recognition of need for refinement and the invitation for criticism” (Satan's intellectual poison) “should not be misinterpreted. It does NOT mean" (emphasis mine) "that the doctrinal statements, overviews and expositions included here can be followed or ignored by ministers and members as they see fit... these papers supercede individual opinions, out-of-print publications, articles and booklets" (including some containing VITAL truths inspired by Christ through His apostle), “and past teachings and earlier understandings."
This was a vicious and subtile attempt to nullify certain BASIC TRUTHS God had inspired through His apostle, and to substitute the UNAUTHORIZED academic leaven Satan managed to incorporate in this "STP,
It continued: “These papers are therefore authoritative in their present form” (referring to the contents of the "STP").
Brethren, BY AUTHORITY OF THE LIVING CHRIST I HEREBY OFFICIALLY MAKE THIS ENTIRE "STP" NULL AND VOID.
Ministers are now COMMANDED, by authority of Jesus Christ, to remain FIRM on the teachings and truths God inspired through His apostle.
While it may be that some or even most of this "STP” is in conformity to those original teachings, through God's apostle, some are not. Therefore I declare the entire "STP" null
nd void until up-dates or authorized corrections, approved by me, can be produced.
Much is said about "THE CHURCH” having power to bind and to loose. That argument is based on Matthew 16:18-19. Read it in your own Bible. To WHOM did Christ give power to bind and to loose? NOT THE CHURCH AS A COLLECTIVE VOTING BODY. God's government is from THE TOP DOWN – NOT democracy!
Note it: Jesus is speaking: “And I say unto thee, Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock (Christ) I will build my church and the gates of the grave shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee (PETER, chief apostle, not the Church), the keys of the Kingdom of heaven: whatsoever THOU (Peter, not the Church) shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever THOU (Peter) shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Brethren, I have not taken this responsibility lightly. The apostle is NOT authorized to alter, change, bind or loose whatever he personally desires – but ONLY that which, with His knowledge of GOD'S WORD, and the MIND of God, and God's attitudes and ways, WOULD BE bound in heaven.
In the 15th chapter of Acts, a disputed matter from the church at Antioch was brought to the headquarters Church (because PETER WAS THERE) for decision.
Notice: "And the apostles and elders (not the whole church) came together for to consider of the matter."
Now WHY did God vest this binding or loosing in the chief apostle (or today the only apostle)? Even though only the other apostles then in Jerusalem and the elders (ministers) were present, yet, "there had been much disputing." These others were not in harmony as one voice . GOD'S DECISIONS must come with a decisive and certain voice. Therefore, “Peter rose up, and rendered the decisive and BINDING decision. Because James was the Pastor of the Church at Jerusalem, as a matter of protocol, James gave the official "sentence" - which PETER had decided and bound.
Brethren, Satan is far more clever and subtile than any of us, and he has DECEIVED ALL NATIONS. God speaks with a decisive and certain voice through the one HE has chosen, and used these many years as His instrument.
I do not ask your permission - I TELL YOU, as Christ leads me.
In Christ's name,
(Article from The Bible Advocate Sep.28 1928)
The Sabbath A Perpetual Covenant
by Herbert W. Armstrong
Do we not define a covenant as a mutual agreement between two parties? Is that not the description by which we recognize a covenant in the Bible?
Now let us consider Ex. 31:12-18, “And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel. (the children of Israel here have the meaning of the blood-descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, the twelve tribes, literally), “saying, verily my Sabbaths shall ye keep: FOR IT IS A SIGN BETWEEN ME AND YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR GENERATIONS…” Between God and whom? The twelve tribes, or descendants of Jacob-Israel, God’s chosen earthly race. Now WHY? “that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” Sanctify-set apart. The Sabbath then is their national sign, setting them apart from other nations and peoples, identifying them as God’s chosen race. Now does Sabbath-keeping set one apart You and I know that it does. The rest of the world sets us apart mighty quick when we begin to keep it. “Ye shall keep the Sabbath, therefore; for it is holy unto you: everyone that defileth it shall surely be put to death.” Now death ordinarily means “cut off”, generally from God. Note, however, that the following words seem to define the meaning here. “For whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off FROM AMONG HIS PEOPLE.” Cut off from God? No, it says cut off from his people-Israel. Cut off from being considered one of God’s chosen earthly race of people. So, then, consider an Israelite. And, as you know, there is ample Scriptural evidence that an outsider can be GRAFTED IN, and considered an ADOPTED child of Israel. And its passage I am discussing tells what cut one off, and what the national sign is. Why does violation of the Sabbath cut one off from Israel? “To observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, FOR A PERPETUAL COVENANT.” Get that word COVENANT. The Sabbath, then, is a covenant, all by itself. And THIS covenant is given as a PERPETUAL covenant. A WHOLLY SEPARATE AND DISTINCT COVENANT IN ITSELF. Entirely apart from the Ten Commandments. That is, God here takes ONE of those Ten Commandments, and makes a separate and distinct and perpetual covenant out of it. God the party of the first part agrees to be their God that doth set them apart, His chosen people, provided the children of Israel, party of the second part keep His Sabbath command. Failure on the part of the party of the second part to perform their side of the covenant agreement annuls God’s promise to keep His part of the agreement of setting them apart as His chosen people. Thus, failure to keep the Sabbath breaks the covenant and cuts one off from being of Israel. The passage continues: “It is a sign between me and the children of Israel FOREVER.”
The Sabbath here is presented as the SIGN which God gave to Israel between Him and them. It formed a new and separate covenant. THIS covenant is a perpetual covenant, to be a sign FOREVER.
I fully aware of the fact that this passage has been used time and again by both the Church of God and the Adventists. But has it been used as a SEPARATE COVENANT by itself? Has it been considered in the light here analyzed?
Let us analyze it further. It is a SIGN between them—pointing to Him as their God, and to them as His chosen people. So such a sign should point to Him AS GOD, and to them AS HIS PEOPLE. Does this Sabbath sign do that? Yes, in a way nothing else could. The proof that He is God is the fact of Creation. By pointing to Creation—by being a memorial of Creation, it points to Him as the true God. Now how does it point to them as His people? If you will notice whenever God has chosen anyone for special office, He has put them to the test of OBEDIENCE. The test is always on of obedience, and if one can pass that test, they qualify for the office of being an Israelite, one of God’s chosen.
Now consider Isaiah 56:3-7, and see that by keeping the Sabbath the national sign of Israel, an outsider may become grafted in. I know Paul in the New Testament has quite a little to say about Gentiles becoming adopted Israelites, but Paul gives other qualifications. Suppose now, the whole law, the Ten Commandments and all, were abolished, as the vast majority of churches contend. Will any contend that this separate Sabbath Covenant, this everlasting, perpetual covenant, was PART OF THE LAW OF MOSES? I think they cannot. It is distinctly separate, here. A separate covenant by itself. The national sign of Israel. This covenant, surely is still binding today.
Of course that involves the question of who, today are Israel? Just the Jews? The Jews who are the remnant of the House of Judah, plus the Ten Lost Tribes, who were a separate nation called the House of Israel. Shall we say that Israel today is the saved people who keep the Sabbath, the national sign? Paul appears to specify salvation and acceptance of Jesus Christ and His teachings as the requisite to becoming one of Israel. According to this. Jew Sabbath-keepers who do not accept Jesus are cut off. Further, according to Ex. 31:12 to 18, converted people who are not Jews, and who keep Sunday and not the Sabbath, are not of Israel, because they have been cut off from Israel by rejecting Israel’s national sign. According to this, then, the body of Israel today becomes those who accept Jesus, observe His teachings and keep the Sabbath. When we consider Israel in this light, ONLY Israel can be saved.