My understanding or belief in this prophetic topic has wandered back and forth a number of times over the years. But I have to say that this article or booklet from the Philadelphia Church of God has really brought me full circle. I present an excerpt from the booklet here with a link to the full booklet for your review.
I may not agree with everything Mr. Flurry does or some of the things he teaches yet there is a truth here that reaches me over the years and I felt obligated to share it with you folks who read my posts in this blog.
The Following is an Excerpt from that Booklet:
Who was Herbert W. Armstrong, and how did his life fulfill this prophecy?
As a young man, Mr. Armstrong was not interested in religion. But when he was challenged by a relative on evolution and the existence of God, and challenged by his wife on which day Christians should worship God, he intensively studied the Bible, commentaries and evolutionary texts. This study—which he conducted independently, on his own, and not in a theological school—produced an outcome he did not expect. He became not only convinced that the Bible was God’s Word, but also personally convicted by the scriptures he read, underwent an arduous repentance to turn away from his previous life, and then devoted himself to the God he was learning about.
From the pages of the Bible, Mr. Armstrong studied question after question. Was Bible prophecy already fulfilled? Was it for the future? Was it for the modern age? Is “the time of the end” happening now? Is prophecy fulfilled more than once? Who were the modern descendants of ancient Israel? What is the nature of God? Are angels and demons real? Which church is God’s Church? How did civilization begin? Does God still miraculously heal people? Why environmental disasters? Why does God allow suffering? Do humans have immortal souls? Is there a heaven and a hell? What is sin? Did Jesus Christ abolish the law? When was Jesus resurrected? Should Christians keep the holy days? How are Christians saved? Must they be baptized? Can Christians divorce? Should they tithe? Should they acquire wealth? Should they speak in tongues? Should they smoke? Is communism biblical? What is “Babylon”? Who or what is the prophesied “beast”? What are “the times of the Gentiles”? What is “Armageddon”? What is the gospel? What is the Kingdom of God? What is the purpose of human life?
And he found answers.
Mr. Armstrong wrote in his autobiography that he “had to examine every doctrinal tree in the religious forest.” He wrote that some of these proved to be dead and fell when examined against the Bible, and others came into sight for the first time.
“In this conversion process, Jesus put me through the wringer,” Mr. Armstrong wrote. “He squeezed out—cleared my mind—swept it clean of earlier false assumptions—such as going to heaven or hell—immortality of the soul—the false ‘trinity’ doctrine.
“I was started out knowing who and what God is—what, and why man is—the truth about Israel—what is Christ’s true gospel—the coming Kingdom of God” (Good News, April 1980).
Mr. Armstrong wrote that the whole forest of truth came into view only after years of study, prayer and experience. But from the very moment God had called him through a religious challenge by his wife, he began to learn truths that had been largely or completely lost, even to God’s Church.
“The important thing is that in this study Jesus Christ, through His written Word, opened my mind to the prime basic truths He wanted me to have in starting me out as His servant” (ibid).
Before devoting himself to God, Mr. Armstrong had enjoyed financial success. But during these years of learning and teaching the lost foundational truths of the Bible, he and his family suffered 28 years of serious poverty, which eased only after he had reached his mid-50s. Yet during this time, he said, he felt rich as he learned truths that had been lost to Christianity.
The work Mr. Armstrong led started in the early 1930s with sermons, Bible studies, lectures, a simple broadcast on one local radio station and a virtually handmade magazine that reached a small number of people in western Oregon. More than 50 years later, his sermons and Bible studies were heard by 120,000 members of the Worldwide Church of God in 57 countries. The Church was supported by another 210,000 regular contributors. The World Tomorrow program aired on 382 television stations and 36 radio outlets worldwide, and the Plain Truth magazine was publishing 8.4 million copies per month in seven languages, a larger circulation than Time magazine’s at the time. The Church had an annual operating budget of $163.7 million ($376.4 million, adjusted for inflation), larger than the operations of well-known televangelists Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell combined. Mr. Armstrong personally wrote hundreds of articles, letters, booklets and books: Six million copies of his most-requested book were distributed worldwide.
Mr. Armstrong established Ambassador College, where thousands of students were taught through the years on three campuses in the United States and Britain. He also established the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation, which contributed funding and laborers to biblical archaeology in Jerusalem and an acclaimed concert series at the Church headquarters campus in Pasadena, California. The foundation also supported cultural, charitable and humanitarian projects in the Bahamas, Belgium, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, England, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Monaco, Nepal, the Netherlands, New Guinea, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand and beyond.
Mr. Armstrong personally met dozens of heads of state: prime ministers, presidents, kings, emperors, princes and princesses, as well as legislators, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, first ladies, governors, mayors, generals, judges, chief executives, college presidents, musicians, artists, athletes, Nobel Prize winners and other leaders of government, industry and culture, as well as many everyday people and many who were in poverty.
The leaders he met included Britain’s Prince Charles and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, King Leopold iii of Belgium, First Lady of the United States Nancy Reagan, King Juan Carlos i of Spain, Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, King Hussein of Jordan, Egyptian presidents Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, Otto von Habsburg, Bavarian Premier Franz Josef Strauss, the emperor, crown prince and seven successive prime ministers of Japan, and six prime ministers and three presidents of Israel. He also met the presidents, prime ministers or kings of Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Nepal, the Netherlands, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as dozens of ambassadors, plus numerous cabinet ministers, legislators, judges and other representatives.
These leaders spoke with Mr. Armstrong in their government offices, some of them repeatedly. Some of these meetings were covered by national news media. Other leaders he met at banquets or formal meetings in which he was frequently the guest of honor and keynote speaker. Some legislators, mayors, professors, princesses and kings accompanied him on the corporate jet he used to convene with other world leaders or to visit Ambassador College, where some of them enrolled their children. Some of these leaders referred to Mr. Armstrong as an “ambassador without portfolio” whose commission was world peace.
This was a work that started from nothing and was led by a man with no government office, no royal title, no political party, no family fortune, no state funding, no corporate guarantor, no massive endowment. The Church’s publications and other materials were distributed free of charge or obligation. Yet for its first 35 years, the Church’s income grew at a rate of 30 percent per year.
The reason for this unusual growth and large impact for a comparatively small Church revolved around Herbert W. Armstrong and what he taught from the Bible. It was unlike any other church. Millions read, watched and listened to learn more about the Bible and its answers to life’s most important questions.
Few other respected religious leaders even claim to teach answers to some of these questions. Fewer still have had a similar nationwide and worldwide impact. Perhaps none understood Jesus’s prophecy of an end-time Elijah or said that their work fulfilled that prophecy. And most importantly, none restored or taught the same doctrines.
No one else “restored all things.”
A Pivotal Sign of the End Time
From the booklet A Pivotal Sign of the End Time
Copyright © 2018 Philadelphia Church of God
So what do you think? Does this ring true to you as it does to me?
Will there be yet another Elijah at the very end? I suppose it is possible and yet the church will have already been prepared for Christ. Mr. Armstrong certainly achieved that goal. He prepared a people to receive Christ in ways no one else has ever done.
As you read the booklet you will see many of the truths that were restored to God’s people. Truths that forever set us apart from the world and mainstream Christianity. It is well worth the read. I came away very uplifted and encouraged as I think you will as well.