Excerpt from the Plain Truth about Matthew 24:14 booklet
Let us briefly and carefully examine the three main scriptures describing the Great Commission that Christ gave to The True Church.
1) Mat. 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach (margin = make disciples/students within) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
2) Luke 24:47, 49 “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. . . . but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high.”
3) Mark 16:15-16 “. . . Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel (RSV—In all nations) to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (judged).”
Here are scriptures providing the people of God, IN EVERY AGE, with instructions in regards to performing the Great Commission of the Church of God. In those three scriptures (just covered), describing the commission or work of the church, notice that nowhere is it given for Christ’s people to proselytize or take the message as a witness to the world. This may seem hard to believe, but it is true!
This is ESSENTIAL to understand! The original 12 apostles were to be witnesses of Christ’s resurrection (Acts 1:9– Acts 4:33), that is why 12 were chosen as it represented a unanimous complete verdict.
But one may be asking “Why haven’t you yet quoted Mat. 24:14 as the commission of the Church? Is that not the commission that Christ gave to all seven Church phases to fulfill?” It may be a surprise to you, but the answer to those questions is a resounding NO! Matthew 24:14 was; in fact, a “prophesied work” that was singled out to be placed on the shoulders of one that God would call for a special purpose.
Unfortunately, in this Laodicean age, confusion has been crowned king with regard to what the work of the Laodicean time phase should be. The predominant leaders in the differing groups have shown by their teaching and their work that they believe that Christ only fulfilled Mat. 24:14 in part . . . and now it is up to them to “finish” that commission which they still are mistakenly, calling “the work.”
Lacking the faith that the Mat. 24:14 prophecy occurred in its full; and was fulfilled only 80%-90% of the way, is a complete rejection of Christ as head of the Church!
THIS IS THE PRIMARY REASON CHRIST HAS TO STAND OUTSIDE LAODICEA’S DOOR . . . “KNOCKING”!
Many thousands, of people today, are being taught by their leaders that the Mat. 24:14 scripture is the present commission of the Church today. In our present age, most of the prominent COG groups teach that God has charged them to finish this special commission of taking the Gospel around the world again. Their reasoning is . . . Christ has not yet arrived; thus the END is running late; so they feel that the same commission that was given to HWA is now given to the Church today.
They are ALL IN ERROR!
The True Gospel has already gone out into all nations. This has been done; either Mat. 24:14 has been fulfilled or it has not been fulfilled. You cannot have it partly fulfilled!
The main causes for the division surrounding the scattered Church today has to do directly with
doctrinal issues, and CONFUSION OVER WHAT THE PRESENT COMMISSION/WORK SHOULD
BE! Why is there so much confusion over what the work should be? Christ can’t be divided: doing a work through all of those who claim that they are fulfilling this as the Great Commission.
Matthew 24:14 is NOT a scripture that Christ gave to describe the Church’s commission! IT IS A PROPHECY describing a prophetic milestone in recognizing the SEASON of the 2nd Coming of Christ!
Did Christ issue a special commission, to a chosen individual, with regard to a great prophetic milestone being fulfilled, JUST PRIOR to His 2nd coming?
Herbert W. Armstrong thought so. He understood it as such!
Notice in his own words . . . “And brethren, I have to say to you, NO ONE is going to succeed me. God has called me TO A JOB, TO A COMMISSION. I think that when God lets me die, the thing he has called me for, WILL HAVE BEEN COMPLETED, PREPARING THE WAY for the 2nd coming of Christ, CARRYING THAT GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM to the world for a witness TO ALL NATIONS. If I have been someone in THE POWER and SPIRIT OF ELIJAH . . . REMEMBER THERE IS NO PROPHECY THAT GOD WILL HAVE AN ELISHA FOLLOWING ELIJAH. . . . But the job God has called me to do IS A PROPHESIED JOB!”
(Worldwide News 3/6/81 Herbert W. Armstrong)
The Philadelphian phase of the work of God would mark the location, in relation to the 2nd coming, on the prophetic road map, and was intended by Christ to provide a miraculous beacon of light among all who lived at the end of the age, in the understanding of the seven Churches mentioned in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3; A miraculous SIGN fulfilled; and given by CHRIST, Himself! Whenever Christ provides a miraculous SIGN, He always does it with precise timing, as in the 3 days and 3 nights sign of His Messiah-ship; leaving evidence behind to remove all doubts (Mat.12:39-40). But as history has shown time and again, people often reject the evidence.
Do WE dare REJECT that sign before God?
The understanding and believing of what Christ actually DID through the Philadelphian work phase is THE MASTER KEY in avoiding: the confusion, doctrinal heresy, blindness, and great slumber that has covered the present time period known as Laodicea.
The Philadelphian phase would produce a work of the restoration of Truth that was lost through the past centuries, and would now have an open door to take the restored True Gospel of the Government of God out to the entire world as a witness to all nations, proclaiming that the 2nd Coming of Christ was now imminent!
Those alive, and supporting the work of the Philadelphian phase would understand that the work of the Church, in that period, was that of the special commission given to a leader that God would use in fulfilling Mat. 24:14. It was understood that this work was a part of a unique moment in the history for the true Church of God.
INDISPUTABLE FACTS ABOUT THE WORLDWIDE SCOPE AND IMPACT OF HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
It is a fact that the impact of the work accomplished through Herbert W. Armstrong, in terms of people and nations that were reached with the Truth, literally towers over all of the other six eras COMBINED!
Here are some facts:
- 12 to 15 million copies of the book/booklet (The U.S. and Britain in Prophecy) were mailed out to the English speaking world. Assuming that on average two persons read each booklet, this would mean that between 24 to 30 million people have read this important booklet.
- At its apex, The Plain Truth had a monthly circulation of over 8.5 million copies (with a readership of about 20 million)—more than either Time or Newsweek.
- The Church magazines, The Good News,— Worldwide News and Tomorrow’s World— were also mailed out by the millions!
- The World Tomorrow radio and TV programs were viewed by scores of millions, in many nations, across much of the globe. WCG’s telecast was one of the top religious programs in the U.S. Canada, Australia and numerous other nations. The weekly responses to the telecast averaged 20,000 to 80,000 per program.
- Truths on nearly every spiritual subject were expounded in hundreds of: well-written books, booklets, reprint articles, and letters which were printed and mailed out by the tens of millions.
Here is a snapshot of the impact of Christ’s work, under the physical leadership of Herbert W. Armstrong, just a little over one year before Mr. Armstrong’s death. Note that more than 100 million Church publications were sent out in the year 1984. In the following year (1985), God again, doing the “work” through Herbert W. Armstrong, surpassed the previous 1984 record of over 100,000,000 pieces of literature mailed out.
Stop and think about that! That’s over 200,000,000 (Two Hundred Million) pieces of literature produced and mailed out in only a short, two year period of 1984-1985! This doesn’t even include the 50 plus years prior. Incidentally, all of the many written works of Herbert W. Armstrong (books, booklets, magazines, articles, letters etc.) are now accessible on the Internet; And can be read by literally millions all over the world! Of course these works can be found and studied at www.Christs-Knock.com.[Editor’s Note we will be placing these materials on this site as the other is not available at this publishing date]
If the self appointed: apostles, evangelists, prophets, and pastors were honest, before God, they would give thanks; and stand in awe of a prophecy THAT HAS ALREADY OCCURRED in recent times past!