Abiding in the Truth

Within the year or two, I have received messages from former members of the Worldwide Church of God [WCG] urging me to “move on” from the teachings we had been taught by the late founder and pastor-general of the WCG, Herbert W. Armstrong [often referred to as “HWA”] and had accepted as Bible truth – to something else different, in many cases the exact opposite of what HWA taught.

These people blame my failing to understand and accept their contrary beliefs on my not having “moved on” from HWA.

On behalf of those who have maintained respect and acceptance of what HWA had taught to be Bible truths, like I have, let me give the following assurance that we have been on the right track, and must not get off it or make some costly detour into spiritual error!

My Bible background

As I mention in my brief biography [see: About the Author and About Pool of Siloam], I grew up in a thoroughly Protestant family and had been much acquainted with the Holy Bible since youth. At least I knew most of the “Bible stories” – about the lives of the men and women of the Old and New Testaments. Like many church youth, I had committed to memory “the Ten Commandments,” the names of the “twelve tribes” of Israel and the “twelve apostles” of Christ, the titles of the “four gospels,” Psalm 23, and the “Lord’s Prayer.” I knew where to find, in my Bible, any verse mentioned in writing or in speech!

I also mention that I studied in a Protestant university, where I took up courses in A Survey of the Bible, The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ, and Christian Ethics and Moral Philosophy.

It was with this background that I encountered literature written by HWA [chiefly The PLAIN TRUTH Magazine] in the 1960s that my late father had been receiving. I had taken several copies of this magazine with me to my college lodging at the State University in Quezon City. After having read with astonishment HWA’s unconventional teachings, I was strongly challenged to prove him totally wrong! I had asked God to guide me with His Spirit in this pursuit.

At the end of my “investigation,” I concluded that HWA was right in his understanding of many Bible doctrines and truths, after all! I had to humbly admit that I had been wrong, and he had been right in his expositions of the Bible. In due time, I met with some WCG ministers and became baptized as a member, in 1966.

Fruit of my conversion

More important than mere accumulation of right Biblical knowledge, my fellowship with the WCG community over the years has resulted in a stable, mature Christian life. Whereas, before my conversion I had been in some deep emotional crisis that, at one point, drove me close to taking my own life, I have experienced spiritual healing and wellness in the WCG’s community of believers. God has worked enough Godly character in me as to enable me to marry a Christian wife, with whom I raised a beautiful and loving family of three lovely daughters. I also served diligently as an ordained minister and pastor in the WCG for many years, in addition to being a writer for the church.

What I may call perhaps my “crowning achievement” is being able to establish and maintain this present website – http://www.pool-of-siloam.com, launched in December 2013 — fully 19 years [or one time-cycle] since HWA’s successor proclaimed the “new covenant” changes in WCG beliefs and practices, in December 1994.

“Test/prove all things”

The one forceful challenge HWA posed to his readers and listeners was that commanded in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NKJV) – “Test [KJV, “Prove”] all things, hold fast what is good.” HWA urged his readers to not simply believe what he or other preachers taught, but to prove it from the Bible, believe what one finds written there, and hold on to it!

I believe that I had not “blindly” followed HWA – as a former WCG evangelist accused church members of having been “blind” and “theologically ignorant” in following HWA.

In the mid-1990s, after HWA’s death in early 1986, a movement rolled that sought to reverse just about everything that HWA taught as something that “cannot be fixed” and must be “dismantled brick by brick” – “demolished!”

In December 1994, Joseph Tkach Sr., who took over as WCG pastor-general after HWA’S death in January 1986, declared what were to be known as “the new covenant” doctrines that the WCG has now come to believe, teach and practice.

As a result, the WCG has turned fully into a Protestant or “evangelical” denomination or church. It has renamed itself “Grace Communion International” [GCI] and has become a member of the World Evangelical Fellowship [WEF]. Because of this change, some members have established or joined one of several splinter churches that seek to observe most of the old WCG doctrines. Others have felt free to join a Protestant or evangelical congregation of their choice. Still others have been, as the apostle Paul warned, “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14). They have been designated, aptly, as “floating” members, like some flotsam, tossed about in the sea– totally confused! – not knowing where to turn to. Some have, in fact, thrown God’s word out the window and have become out-and-out atheists — frustrated by the squabbles many have engaged in over the understanding of certain Bible doctrines!

A good number of former WCG members, however, have chosen to remain in the CGI, and have felt free to explore any and every doctrine there is on the religious/theological table. What used to be called “dissident” [anti-HWA/anti-WCG] material is now fare game for anyone who wants to vent his contrary views!

Needed: a spiritual “compass!”

Anyone who finds himself somehow lost in the woods is more likely to work his way back to where he should be, with the use of a trusty compass, to tell him where he is at, and where he should be going – to base camp or home.

Now, what is our spiritual “compass” to tell us whether we are going in the right direction with God’s word? As Paul mentioned, there are, out there, varying “winds of doctrine” that blow here and there, and whichever way – all based on mere human “crafting” and “plotting” with “deceit” and “cunning.” These could so rock one’s “boat” of faith that it would lose its way, fall into some terrible eddy and be shipwrecked, as happened to some in the New Testament Church of God (1 Timothy 1:19).

If we are to take it from the Master and perfect Teacher, Jesus Christ, here is the sure “compass” to tell us whether we are on the right track in understanding God’s word [the Bible], which He said is “truth” (John 17:17). He promised His true disciples that when the Holy Spirit is sent by God the Father to them, that Spirit would teach [them] all things” (John 14:26). That same Spirit would, in fact, “guide [them] into all truth” (John 16:13).

Without God giving us His Spirit as a gift, it is impossible for us to understand the “things of God.” With just our natural, unaided minds and spirits, we can only understand the “things of man.” The apostle Paul explains this quite clearly in his letter to the Christians at Corinth (1 Corinthians 2:6-16). [See also: The Trinity Doctrine Reconsidered, especially the section on “The spirit in man.”]

It is the same Spirit of God that inspired every word of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1Peter 1: 10-13; 2 Peter 1: 21; 3:15-16). As the LORD of the Old Testament before His human birth, Jesus dealt with Israel and gave her God’s law in commandments, statutes, judgments and ordinances preserved in that Testament. [See: The True Christ, Peter Knew “The Holy One,” Moses and Jesus – Are They Contraries? and The Law of Christ.] During His earthly ministry Jesus taught many things that are now a part of the New Testament. He taught His apostles what they preached and wrote in letters or “epistles,” now included in that Testament.

The apostle Paul explained that, as Head of the Church of God, Jesus has given various gifts of His Spirit that enable or empower His servants to faithfully preach and teach the truth of God (1 Corinthians 12:27-28; Ephesians 4:11-16), for the strengthening, stability, and unity of the Church. Paul also said that …”the church of the living God, [is] the pillar and ground of the truth” (1Timothy 3:15). It is to the Church, and those faithfully serving in it, that we should look for guidance in properly understanding Scripture.

Paul also wrote: “For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved” (Romans 10:13). In Acts 4: 8-12 the apostle Peter said that “…there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” but Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Paul added: “How then shall they [all men] call on Him [Christ] in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent” [by God] (Romans 10:13-15)?

The vital importance of those “sent”

Jesus Himself said that the very essence of the “work of God” is to “believe in Him whom He [God] has sent” (John 6:29). Jesus was here referring to Himself. But while He walked this earth, Jesus taught and trained disciples whom He later sent out to teach the things He had taught them — “As the Father has sent Me. I also send you” (John 20:21).

The trouble is that today there are many who claim to have been “sent” by God to teach His Word, but they in reality have not been truly sent by God! Jesus prophesied that in these our “end times” many false prophets will arise to deceive many (Matthew 24:3-5, 11). Peter echoed this: “But there were also false prophets among the people [of Old Testament times], even as there will be false teachers among you [in New Testament times and today!], who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber” (2 Peter 2:1-3). [See: Beware of False Prophets, Fake News, Leanings, and Looking to Men.]

It is through the preaching of those truly sent by God that a person who is being called by God to salvation at this time is given His Spirit to understand and believe God’s truth. That person is then led to repentance over his sins, and being baptized for the remission or forgiveness of sin, and having the hands of the church ministry laid on him, the person receives the “gift” of the Holy Spirit (Romans 2:4; Acts 2:38-39). The person then becomes a member of the Church of God, there to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:15), towards a mature person in the same measure of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13), and heirs with Him to everlasting life (Romans 8:16-23; Galatians 3:31; Titus 3:4-7).

It is that Spirit given to a genuine member of God’s Church that assures the person that he or she is indeed a child of God (Romans 8:16). [See: Are We All God’s Children?]

Established, grounded, rooted in the truth

As the “great Shepherd” of His “flock” [the Church of God] (1 Peter 5:4), Jesus is concerned lest any of His flock [“sheep”] be devoured by Satan, who is likened to a roaring lion (Verse 8). Peter exhorts the brethren to resist Satan, and remain “steadfast in the faith,” trusting in Jesus to “perfect, establish, strengthen and settle” them (Verses 9-10).

Peter also reminded the brethren so they would “be established in the present truth” (2 Peter 1:12). To be “established” is to not be removed or led away from the truth! Rather, it means being grounded, rooted and built up in the truth and love (Ephesians 3:17; Colossians 2:7)!

Jesus said: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you [stay in – not depart from – you], you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you [compare with 1 John 3:22]. By this My Father is glorified that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples” (John 15:7-8). Earlier Jesus had said: “Abide in Me, and [let Me abide] in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine [the “trunk”], neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a [fruitless] branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

Here is a dire warning about not abiding in Jesus’ words, and instead listening to and following the voice of “strangers” [compare with John 10:1-14] – those who teach different things than what Jesus teaches!

Paul wrote that “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times [such as we are in today!] some will depart [move away] from – leave – the faith [as taught by Christ and His apostles, those truly “sent” be Christ], giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons [as taught by false teachers – those not sent by Christ], speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:1-2).

Paul also warned …”the time will come [as it has now!] when they [God’s people and others] will not endure sound doctrine [again, as taught by Jesus’ ordained apostles], but according to their own desires [Paul also describes them as having “itching ears” – longing and more ready to hear the teachings of other, especially contrary teachers (Verse 3)], they will turn their ears away from [not remain or abide in] the truth, and be turned aside [led into] fables [untrue stories – lies!]” (Verse 4).

As I pointed out in my previous article The Universalism (“All Saved”) Issue, the sure and certain truth as declared by Christ is that not all human beings will be saved, but some – after having been given all the chance to accept the truth of God and live righteously – will willingly choose to remain in wickedness; as a result they will be destroyed forever in the “lake of fire” or the “second death” (Revelation 21:8).

Those, like the people described by Paul above, who reject Christ’s sure testimony [see the sequel article, More on the “All Saved” Issue and What Is This Thing Called “Will?”] have instead turned aside to a “fable” such as the made-up story [because not according to Christ’s prophecy in the Book of Revelation] that those wicked who are destroyed in the “lake of fire” would still be resurrected, in order that they would be given yet another chance to become righteous and thus be saved, and so that God’s desire and will that all men be saved (1 Timothy 2:4, etc.) will, supposedly, be fulfilled.

As mentioned above, Paul said that some members of God’s Church departedmoved away – from the true faith or belief and instead embraced “doctrines of demons.”

Someone accused me of writing “deceitful articles” on this website. On what basis did he throw this accusation at me? Was it because what I write happens to be contrary to his beliefs? How can declaring The Whole Counsel of God (Acts 20:27) on matters at issue, as I have done, be deceitful ?  [See:  The Dynamics of Deception.]

Jesus warned against judging others, for one will be judged also according to the measure or standard one uses in so judging others (Matthew 7:1-2). Jesus is the righteous and perfect Judge (2 Timothy 4:8).  He knows the intents and contents of every man’s heart and mind (Hebrews 4:12-13).  He knows who are His own, and who are serving Him faithfully (2 Timothy 2:19; Matthew 25:21, 23). He will reward people accordingly.

Heresies mentioned in the Bible

As the wise King Solomon observed, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). From the very beginning of human society, heresies [false teachings] have arisen and been passed on through generations of men.

What we might call the first-ever “heresy” passed on to mankind concerns the lies promoted by Satan the Devil, in the guise of a wily serpent, to our first parents, Adam and Eve. Satan subtly told them that, even if they disobeyed God, they would not die as God had warned them, but that their eyes would be opened. This has given rise to such heresies as the supposed “immortality” of the human soul, and man’s supposed freedom and wisdom to decide for himself what is good and what is evil [For details, see: “Your Eyes Will Be Opened!” The Divine Prerogatives, and What Happens to Man After Death?].

Satan has since engendered and engineered every other lie that mankind has swallowed. Jesus calls Satan the “father” of lies and murders, and his willing followers his “children” (John 8:42-47). [See: Are We All God’s Children?]

  • Noah’s preaching rejected. God saw the rampant wickedness, corruption, and violence of mankind all over the world in the first thousand years since Creation (Genesis 6). Only Noah found grace in God’s eyes, walked in His righteous ways, and obeyed His command and instructions to build an ark in order to save him, his family of eight persons, and specified animals, from a worldwide flood that would destroy all human and other air-breathing creatures (Verses 8-22).

Hebrews 11:7 reveals that, in obeying God’s commands, Noah thus “condemned” the world of their wickedness. He may have told them to repent and mend their ways, but in all likelihood they just jeered at him and his “crazy project” of building an ark in the middle of no water. They thought that God would not destroy them through a flood, as Noah believed and preached.

After Noah and his family and the animals were safely loaded on board the ark, its water-tight doors sealed, and the foretold rains began to fall, many of the people may have thought that Noah had been right all along, but it was too late for them to do anything to save themselves. They and all air-breathing animals together drowned to death in that flood (Genesis 7:1-24).

  • The Tower of Babel a challenge to God’s command. Shortly after that flood, mankind began to multiply again, around the area where the ark landed. God blessed the new generation of mankind and charged them to “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1).

But the people rejected God’s charge to spread around the world and fill the earth. Under the apparent leadership of Nimrod, whose kingdom included Babel, the people agreed to build there a mighty tower that would reach heaven – apparently daring God to bring on another flood, contrary to His covenant (Genesis 9:8-17) – and so that they would not “be scattered abroad over the face of the earth” (Genesis 11:1-4), in apparent rebellion against God’s charge.

God stopped the project from getting anywhere by confounding their language, and they eventually scattered all over the earth (Verses 5-9). But that was not to be the end of their rejection of God’s ways.

Nimrod, “a mighty hunter before the LORD” (Genesis 10:8), was to expand his kingdom and sway over a good portion of mankind (Verse 11). Some have translated the Hebrew word here rendered as “before the LORD” to “in place of the LORD.” A number of scholars have studied into the religious system that Nimrod set up to glorify himself at the expense of the True Worship of God.

Notable among these scholars was the distinguished English Bishop Alexander Hisslop, who wrote the, to some, controversial book titled TheTwo Babylons . You may access this book through this link: http://www.herbert-armstrong.org, click ENTER HERE, select “Books & Booklets,” and scroll down to the book with that title, on the right hand margin of the link. [See also: Drunk With Strange Wine.]

The religion of Babylon has survived to this day, with its numerous heresies, which Herbert Armstrong confronted and countered in his writings. For example, on the same above-mentioned link, scroll down to HWA’S book titled Mystery of the Ages. [ See also: True Worship.]

  •  Israel and her often straying from God’s ways. The heresies that Israel fell into are too numerous to mention here. The bulk of the Old Testament writes about Israel’s often rebelling against God’s teachings while heeding their own inclinations and the suggestions of some of their leaders.

Perhaps we might mention here the “idea” of some in Israel that they too – not merely the descendants of Aaron, as God ordained (Exodus 28:1-4, 41; 29:8-9) – had the right to rule over the faith of Israel. Numbers 12 and 16 relate two similar stories of such rebellion, and how God dealt drastically with the people involved. [See: The Sin of Rebellion.]

We might also mention God’s condemnation of Israel’s priests who “have violated My law and profaned My holy things; they have not distinguished between the holy and unholy, nor have they made known the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they have hidden their eyes from [have not acknowledged] My Sabbaths, so that I am profaned among them.” Sadly, this has also happened to the leaders of the WCG after HWA’s death.

These are some of God’s “holy things” that Herbert Armstrong upheld, and which I have resonated on this website you are right now logged on to. [See: Did Christ Cleanse All Meats? What If the Sabbath Is Still Holy? God’s Feasts in the Book of Acts: Mere “Time-Markers” – or to Be Observed? and “Be Holy for I Am Holy”.]

  • New Testament heresies. Here, too, we find many mentions of heresies people – including Church of God members – succumbed to.

John 21:20-23 — Jesus told Peter in answer to his question about what was to happen the other disciple [apparently John the “evangelist” who wrote the gospel of John and his three epistles plus the Book of Revelation], “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” Verse 24 says that the brethren wrongly assumed that Christ meant that John would not die until Christ’s return. [Church tradition says that John did die a martyr – reportedly by boiling in a pot of oil.]

This heresy, often combined with a misunderstanding of Christ’s declaration that “…there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom” (Matthew 16:26), has survived in the fable about a certain “Samuel Bilibeth” supposedly roaming this earth somewhere, since the time of Christ until His return.

Christ was here referring to His three closest disciples [Peter, James and John], who later did “see” – in a vision — Christ transfigured as He would look in His kingdom. This is described in Matthew 17:1-9, and parallel accounts in the “synoptic” gospels of Mark and Luke.

2 Timothy 2: 16-18. Here Paul warns against “profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.” He then cites the “cancer-like” message of Hymenaeus and Philetus, “who have strayed [‘moved on!’] from the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.” It is indeed a wild heresy to say that there is no more resurrection to look forward to at Christ’s return.

The Bible affirms that there will be the resurrection of all true Christians to immortality, at Christ’s return (1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17; etc.). Revelation 20:5 also declares that the “rest of the dead” – all those who have died not having been saved – will be resurrected to a physical life, for their time of judgment. [See: Predestination and This Is not the Only Day of Salvation.]

Colossians 2:20-22. Here Paul deals with a heresy based on “principles of the world… according to the commandments and doctrines of men” – not of God. This was the heresy that one could overcome the “indulgence of the flesh” through the ascetic practices of self-denial and “will worship.” [See: What Is This Thing Called “Will?”]

Mere human effort cannot overcome sin. One needs the Holy Spirit in order to obey and please God. [See: God’s Spirit and Obedience, The Higher Law of the Spirit, Saved For Good Works, Being and Doing, and “Be Holy, for I Am Holy.”]

1 Timothy 4:1-4. As quoted earlier, Paul here warned about some in God’s Church departing from the faith and heeding deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. Some such doctrines concern “forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth [referring to vegetarianism or veganism, which considers it “sinful” to eat meat or flesh food, even the ones God set apart as “clean” meats], etc.” [See: Did Christ Cleanse All Meats?]

Those who practice non-marriage or “celibacy” as a religious vow, attribute their belief to Paul, who remained unmarried [probably after having been widowed, as some scholars suppose, from Verse 8]. He even suggested [not commanded!] that remaining as such was preferable to marriage (1 Corinthians 7:6-8, 29-34), given the condition of their time then [“present distress” (Verse 26)]. Paul, however, did not forbid marriage.

He clarified to the unmarried and widows: “It is good for them if they remain even as I am [(Verse 7) – unmarried or widowed]; but if they cannot exercise self-control, let them marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion” (Verses 8-9). In Verse 36 Paul said: “If any man thinks he is behaving improperly toward his [betrothed] virgin, if she is past the flower of youth, and thus it must be, let him do as he wishes. He does not sin; let them marry.”

The Two Babylons, referred to above, reveals that the doctrine and practice of celibacy had been followed by the ancient Babylonian mystery religion. As this spiritual “Babylon” is Satan’s chief religious bastion in the world, its practices are based on “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1), not God’s truth.

1 John 4:1-3. Here the apostle John talks about “false prophets” denying that “Jesus has come in the flesh.” They believed and taught so by “the spirit of the Antichrist” already in the world then. [See: The True Christ and Peter Knew “the Holy One.”]

Here is an instructive insight into this Bible passage as found in a comment in the Life Application Study Bible [New King James Version, as well as KJV and NIV], titled “Heresies”:

       Most of the eyewitnesses to Jesus’ ministry had died by the time John composed this letter. Some of the second- or third-generation Christians began to have doubts about what they had been taught about Jesus. Some Christians with a Greek background had a hard time believing that Jesus was human as well as divine, because in Platonic thought [the teaching of the Greek philosopher Plato] the spirit was all-important. The body was only a prison from which one desired to escape. Heresies developed from a uniting of this kind of Platonic thought and Christianity.
      A particular widespread false teaching later called Docetism (from a Greek word meaning “to seem”), held that Jesus was actually a spirit who only appeared to have a body. In reality he cast no shadow and left no footprints; he was God, but not man. Another heretical teaching, related to Gnosticism (from a Greek word meaning “knowledge”), held that all physical matter was evil, the spirit was good, and only the intellectually enlightened could enjoy the benefits of religion. Both groups found it hard to believe in a Savior who was fully human.
      John answers these false teachers as an eyewitness to Jesus’ life on earth. He saw Jesus, talked with him, touched him – he knew that Jesus was more than a mere spirit. In the very first sentence of his letter, John establishes that Jesus had been alive before the world began and also lived as a man among men and women. In other words, he was both divine and human.
      Through the centuries, many heretics have denied that Jesus was both God and man. In John’s day people had trouble believing he was human; today more people have problems seeing him as God. But Jesus’ divine-human nature is the pivotal issue of Christianity. Before you accept what religious teachers say about any topic, listen carefully to what they believe about Jesus. To deny either his divinity or humanity is to consider him less than Christ, the Savior. [Emphases provided.]

“Gnosticism” was a kind of “mystery” religion, where “esoteric” knowledge was given to only a select few who were “initiated” to it by the spirit of the Greek gods, perhaps Hermes, the “god” of wisdom. [For more on this topic, see: https://www.learnreligions.com/what-is-gnosticism–700683.] The word “hermeneutics” – the skill in interpreting profound precepts – is derived from Hermes.

Is it a mere coincidence that one of my detractors told me I could not fathom his understanding of universal salvation because I have not been “pre-chosen” [by whom?] to have this understanding and knowledge?

Jesus prophesied that in these our end-times many false prophets will arise who will teach deceits and lies (Matthew 24:4, 24). Both apostles Peter and Paul said that false teachers were already around in their time, and would continue in later times (1 Timothy 1:19; 2 Timothy 2:16-18; 3:1-9, 13;’ Acts 20:29-30; 2 Peter 2:1-3, 12-19).

Jude 1:4 says that such purveyors of false teachings “long ago were marked out [Greek, prographo, meaning “previously written about;”  the KJV renders it “ordained” —  “pre-chosen?!”] for this condemnation, ungodly men who turn the grace of God into lewdness [licentiousness or lawlessness] and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

My God-given role

In the face of all the false teachings abounding among us today, God has not left us without a witness on behalf of His truth. Christ is forever alive and is fully in charge of His Church today, despite its troubles.

Christ has ordained servants who will faithfully teach His true word. He has graciously given them the spiritual gifts of “the word of wisdom… the word of knowledge”(1 Corinthians 12: 4-7), as well as the spiritual gifts of service as “first apostles, second prophets, third teachers…” (Verse 28; see also Ephesians 4:11-16).

I believe that God has given me one or more of such gifts. Hopefully God’s grace is evident in the contents of this website. I feel it a burden or task to “contend earnestly for [defend] the faith which was once delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Paul did an excellent job defending the faith of Christ through his letters and personal preaching. I strive, with Christ’s help, to follow Paul’s example.

That “faith once delivered” is not embodied in the writings of some modern day preacher or theologian, but the faith taught by the prophets and apostles of the Bible, on whom the Church of God is founded — Chief of whom is Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:19-22).

May my ministry through this website help bring God’s Church, now scattered like so much sheep without a shepherd, into the unity of the faith and knowledge of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).

John wrote: For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 1:3-4).

It is my great joy, as I am sure it is God’s joy also, to see all the children of God walking in truth, not away from the truth – but abiding in the truth!

Pedro R. Meléndez, Jr.