Church of God Message
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Church of God
Christianity has well over 2000 major denominations, all having different fundamental beliefs, with different ideas on what salvation is. The true Church of God is known by its biblical name, mentioned 12 times in the Bible as the Church of God. The practice of adding descriptive phrases to the name such as 'Worldwide Church of God', 'United Church of God', 'Philadelphia Church of God' etc is based on the Bible. For example, 1 Corinthians 1:2 mentions "church of God which is at Corinth", and "the churches of Galatia" (Galatians 1:2).
In addition to its biblical name, the true Church has to live by every word of God (meaning the entire Bible) and uphold fundamental beliefs provable from the Bible. Some other Christian denominations call themselves the Church of God, but do not get all their fundamental beliefs and ideas of salvation from the Bible but based on their Church traditions.
The true Church of God started on the Day of Pentecost in 31 A.D. after the ascension of Jesus Christ when God poured out His holy spirit on the disciples assembled at Jerusalem. Since the ascension of Jesus Christ to the time of His return to earth, the Church was prophesied to continue to exist through 7 successive eras, mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3 as the Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea eras.
God founded the modern era of His Church, named the Worldwide Church of God, through the preaching of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, beginning in 1928. The true Church of God recognizes Mr. Armstrong as the prophesied end-time Elijah. The coming of one in the spirit and power of Elijah before the return of Jesus Christ to establish God's Kingdom on earth was prophesied by Malachi the prophet and by Jesus Christ Himself:
Malachi 4:5: "5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."
Matthew 17:10-11: "10 And his [Jesus'] disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias [Elijah] must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things."
Jesus told His disciples that one in the spirit and power of Elijah will come before the Day of the Lord, meaning the last one year of the three-and-a-half-year long Great Tribulation, and restore all things. Restoring all things means restoring all the fundamental truths or doctrines of the true Christian faith that were lost through the centuries. Herbert W. Armstrong was sent by God in the spirit and power of Elijah the prophet to restore all the fundamental truths to the Church and fulfill this prophecy.
Mr. Armstrong passed away on January 16, 1986. After his death, the man he appointed to succeed him discarded all the truths God had restored to His true Church. But many members stayed loyal to the truths restored by God through Mr. Armstrong. To keep the true faith and hold on to the truths they had no alternative but to separate from the Worldwide Church of God and form their own organizations.
Unfortunately, because loyal members separated from the former Worldwide Church of God at different times, different true Church of God organizations have formed. Based on my study of the publications of various organizations that have formed after the splits from the Worldwide Church of God, I have identified the following organizations as the true Churches of God: The United Church of God (UCG) and the Church of God, A Worldwide Association (COGWA). [PLEASE READ THE SUBSECTION TITLED "MY RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD'S CHURCH" UNDER THE SECTION "ABOUT US" TO UNDERSTAND MY PAST RELATIONSHIP WITH UCG]
All the true Churches of God have a great deal of literature available explaining the true Church's beliefs and God's way of life as well as answers to life's fundamental questions. For the seeker after the truth, I recommend the booklets, articles and other literature published by the United Church of God (UCG) for further research in answering these questions. For understanding prophecy and the sequence of coming world events I recommend my own eBooks available free at this web site. All literature is offered completely free of charge by all the true Churches of God. To become a member of the true Church of God one may contact the United Church of God or Church of God, A Worldwide Association to counsel with a true minister of God.
Church of God, A Worldwide Association
P.O. Box 3490,
McKinney, TX 75070-8189·
United Church of God
P.O. Box 541027
Cincinnati, OH 45254-1027
Phone (Toll free in the USA): 1-888-886-8632
(From anywhere else in the world): 1-513-576-9796
Web site: www.ucg.org