View Full Version : Herbert W.Armstrong,Gerald Flurry & the Philadelphia Church of God

Gregory Perry Sr.
03-21-2006, 12:56 AM
Brothers and Sisters,In our area of upstate South Carolina there has recently been an upsurge of the appearance of the teachings of these men through the distribution of the very slick ,full color,glossy magazine known as "The Philadelphia Trumpet".I'd be very interested to hear everybodies opinions about this organization.I have always heard that they were a cult but I confess I've never looked into what they actually teach.I know their publications and their website is impressive.I'm personally praying that God will give me godly wisdom and discernment when I look at things such as this so that I wouldn't personally be sucked into any deception or false doctrine.I fear that many simple minded or carnal Christians and lost people will be deceived by such things.What say you......and is there anyone here who can give an accurate rundown of the doctrinal problems of this organization? Thanks.

God Bless....Greg Sr.

03-21-2006, 01:47 AM
All I know about that outfit is that a fellow I used to work with, A wonderful guy who had a nice wife and two daughters was caught up in that cult when he was younger.
He called it a cult anyway. Their teachings really messed with his head and his walk with the Lord. He is saved and so is his wife yet their time in that sect almost did them in.

03-21-2006, 01:48 AM
Wasn't Anderson the leader of the World Wide Church of God?

Gregory Perry Sr.
03-21-2006, 01:57 AM
Pastor...if you mean Armstrong...Yes.He is now deceased(1986 I think)They used to publish a magazine called the "Plain Truth"

I'm interested to find out if anybody can give a detailed rundown of what these groups teach doctrinally.I belief a half-truth is a whole-lie but I'd like to know where they get "off track".It seems we have a bunch of these people floating around our area circulating literature.

Greg Sr.

03-21-2006, 01:58 AM
Herbert W Armstrong was the leader of the Worldwide Church of God

03-21-2006, 02:00 AM
Armstrong, yeah that was who I meant..sorry. My best friend in high school was caught up in that cult. I heard that a big part of the group had a major turn around in their doctrine in the last couple years

03-21-2006, 02:01 AM
they do not believe in the trinity.
They do not believe in eternal torment in the lake of fire, but rather cling to the annihilation theory.
They are sabbatarians and believe one is saved by works.
They believe in soul sleep.

03-21-2006, 02:02 AM
Yes SFIC that is their traditionaly teachings, but I am almost certain that a major part of their group had a major turn around.

03-21-2006, 02:16 AM
For their sakes, SBC, I hope so. For here is one statement from a past publication concerning the salvation of mankind...

"Every human who ever lived will have an opportunity to receive salvation For most people that time will come after they have lived their entire lives, died and are brought back to life in a future resurrection" (What Is a Real Christian, p. 8).

Gold Dragon
03-21-2006, 11:03 AM
Originally posted by standingfirminChrist:
they do not believe in the trinity.
They do not believe in eternal torment in the lake of fire, but rather cling to the annihilation theory.
They are sabbatarians and believe one is saved by works.
They believe in soul sleep. After Armstrong's death in 1986 his successors changed these core doctrines and lead the World Wide Church of God towards doctrinal orthodoxy. It is currently an evangelical church.

However many splinter groups that still held Armstrongs unorthodox beliefs arose from this time period. The Philadelphia Church of God is one such splinter group.

Wikipedia : World Wide Church of God (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_wide_church_of_god)
Wikipedia : Philadelphia Church of God (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philadelphia_Church_of_God)

03-21-2006, 12:44 PM
Gold thanks, I knew it was something like that.

03-21-2006, 12:57 PM
Gregory Perry Sr. asked:

What say you......and is there anyone here who can give an accurate rundown of the doctrinal problems of this organization? Thanks.

There was an excellent little book published by Baker in the early 1970s by Roger R. Chambers, titled The Plain Truth About Armstrongism. It's a little paperback of less than 150 pages, in which he effectively debunks the core theologies of the Worldwide Church of God at that time. (Since the WCOG has repudiated the worst of what Herbert W. Armstrong taught, the book is still useful for answering the claims of the splinter groups, such as Flurry's, that still claim to be faithful to Armstrong's teachings.

Armstrongism can be roughly summarized like this: The Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, and Germanic peoples are the descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel who migrated to northern Europe following the Babylonian captivity. (Corollary: Queen Elizabeth is the physical descendent of King David.) British-Israelism is the fundamental doctrine of the Armstrongist groups, as it is the "key" by which prophetic Scripture is to be interpreted. Flurry's group still makes Armstrong's booklet The United States and British Commonwealth in Prophecy available upon request. Since they still exist as a visible nation, the Mosaic covenant is still in effect, and the people of God are still bound to keep the Law: worshiping on Saturday, refraining from pork and shellfish, and so forth. Armstrong himself was the only apostle of the present age, and the primary duty of the Church is to proclaim the coming of a literal, political Kingdom with Christ on the throne of David and his saints ruling over the rest of the world. Following the Millennium comes the Great White Throne judgment, at which time all men will be given a final opportunity to submit to God. Those who do not are thrown into the Lake of Fire and annihilated. Those who remain faithful are made part of the "God Family," and absorbed into the Godhead, which consisted previously only of the Father and the Son.

03-21-2006, 01:20 PM
Does anybody remember when Garner Ted Armstrong took over the church when his father got sick? I remember him preaching that he would one day lead the world in a one-world christian government.

His dad finally got tired of him and booted him out and Garner Ted started his own TV show and continued preaching weird stuff. I don't think he and his dad ever completely made up; at least they didn't go back together running the World-Wide CoG.

I do remember watching him when I was in High-school and he was even more charismatic than his father was.

Does anybody know where Garner Ted is now?

03-21-2006, 02:26 PM
Hell. He died in 2003.

03-22-2006, 12:06 AM
Originally posted by PastorSBC1303:
Wasn't Anderson the leader of the World Wide Church of God? Yes he was, and they were legalists who required works for salvation.

The Worldwide Church of God finally saw their error though and Armstrong and his followers left the church. But thanks be to God, most stayed and received the real plain truth of the Gospel. The membership majority got to keep the church assets I believe.

This is the only cult church that I know of that is now believing the one true Gospel thanks to a former leader of the church, Joseph W. Tkach Sr. He died in 1995, but his son took over the church leadership and Garner Ted had to leave with the still deceived followers of his.


I got saved in 1994, and I remember getting the Plain Truth not knowing yet that it was a cult until a friend told me. And then I got a copy with Mr. Tkach's editorial saying that salvation comes by faith alone through Christ alone and that they were previously wrong. I thought, that sounds right to me. And then latter I found out that they repented and embraced the one true Gospel.

03-22-2006, 01:12 AM
I'm not looking them up right now, but a number [a 'slim minority' I think] from the original World Wide Church of God who still cling to most of Armstrong's teachings left and formed the Church of God, International. They still claim worship assembly on Sunday is the mark of the beast, a plurality of universes each with a god like the god for this one, salvation by works; as far as I could tell, they do believe in either eternal life for their faithful followers, and eternal death in the lake of fire for the 'unfaithful' (to their organization). Not "annihilation" exactly, but those 'outside' will be thrown into the lake of fire and will die [not be tormented] for all eternity.

I used to post on a site with a man heavily involved in the CoGI, and... well, some know I 'debate,' and he was about the same way; no changing of minds, definitely.

As for Garner Ted Armstrong, he was kicked out of his dad's WWCoG once, was readmitted years later, then kicked out again permanently after H.W.A. resumed full control. Then G.T.A. began a similar cult based in Tyler, TX; but I don't remember the name of it, and don't know what has happened within it since he died. H.W.A. would not answer or even acknowledge any questions about his son after he was kicked out permanently, and left no mention of him in his will or other posthumus promulgations.

Gregory Perry Sr.
03-23-2006, 12:03 AM
Bump....! Keep it up ya'll...I'm learning all I can!

Greg Sr.

03-23-2006, 12:52 AM
I saw a panel discussion at a conference in the 90's with who I think was the son of the leader who helped turn the Worldwide Church of God towards orthodox biblical beliefs. This is the only known case, I think, of a cult turning away from heresy towards biblical doctrine. Of course, some did not like it and split, forming their own groups, so many heretical split off groups exist that did not want to go into orthodoxy.

This link lists articles on the WW Ch of God and some on the Philadelphia church that remains in heresy:

If the link doesn't work, just go to www.watchman.org (http://www.watchman.org)
and type 'worldwide church of god' in the search box and this page will come up. This ministry with this page has solid info and believers - I know many of the people personally.

03-23-2006, 12:56 AM
I just tried the link and for some reason it doesn't work that way, so go to www.watchman.org (http://www.watchman.org)
and type in worldwide church of god in the search box. There are articles on the history of Armstrong, doctrines, the change the WCG made, the Philadelphia Church, etc.