Hold Fast to "All things" (Herbert W Armstrong)

WHO was the End-Time Elijah?

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Has he come already? If so, WHEN did he come?

WHO was the End-Time Elijah?

By Daniel E. Cohran

 

 

The title or name of this website is “Hold Fast to All Things”.  What does this mean?  It is of course a composition of two scriptures, Matt. 17:11 and Rev.3:11.  Among many other things, these scriptures reveal that Elijah was to come DURING the Philadelphia era of God’s Church, NOT the Laodicean era as some have assumed. This will be explained in this article. The goal here is to make the plain truth PLAIN and just use some “spiritual common sense”.

 

As Mr. Armstrong taught us many times- John the Baptist was a forerunner to Jesus Christ. He came as the second Elijah to PREPARE THE WAY for Christ’s FIRST coming. But John did not restore anything. He preached a message of repentance and baptism and announcing the coming of the Messiah.

 

But Christ prophesied of an “Elijah to come” before His SECOND coming and return. This Elijah WOULD restore something. It was called “ALL THINGS”- Matt. 17:11, and it would be called “PREPARING THE WAY” for the return of Jesus Christ. So what does it mean to prepare the way? Well what is being, or has been prepared? THE WAY! It is THE WAY to the TRUE JESUS CHRIST! So the one who was called the “Elijah to come” was to restore the True Way to the True God.  WHO has done this in the end time? Only one man, and the fruits are there for all who have eyes to see. So someone was to prepare THE way for the second coming of Christ. And WHY was this? So some would RECOGNIZE the True Christ when He comes! This whole world is deceived and worships a false Christ. Someone would have to come and restore Christ’s WAY of life, Christ’s WAY of truth and doctrines. And there is only ONE “way”, not “many ways” as we see in this world today, indeed as we even see within the Laodicean churches.  

 

Before Mr. Armstrong came on the scene in the late 1920’s, Christ’s true WAY had been all but lost. The Sardis Church was holding on to only three fundamental truths of all the truth that the first century Church had. The Church was dying. It needed RESTORING.   

 

Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong was used in the end time to fulfill many prophetic scriptures. How do we know this? We now can look back at the recent HISTORY of God’s Church and see that the PROOF is in the FRUITS! It’s all right there as documented history. And many or most of us have lived to witness these things. So there is irrefutable proof  that Mr. Armstrong fulfilled the Elijah role, as well as several other offices or “types” as an end-time fulfillment.

 

However there are still some today that say that Mr. Armstrong couldn’t have fulfilled the role of the end-time Elijah because “too much time has passed” since his death. Some even say they are still waiting for Elijah to come. And some others have claimed to be the Elijah themselves recently during this Laodicean era. But as mentioned above referring to those two scriptures, when one meditates on what they really mean and WHO they refer to, it becomes clear that these two scriptures are very closely connected and intertwined, and they are speaking to us today!

 

So let’s briefly address the arguments in the above mentioned paragraph. First, has it really been “too much time” since Mr. Armstrong’s death, in order for him to have fulfilled the Elijah role? Well, it’s only been 20 years, going on 21 soon. How long is that to God? If we know the scriptures we should say, NOT LONG at all!  It’s not even time enough to “blink” according to God who is not limited by time and who inhabits eternity! Now there are many scriptures that should come to mind about how long a “day” is to God, or how long “a thousand years” is. This should begin to show something about how God views time, and how it differs from the way we humans view it. See, time “runs out” on us, but it NEVER runs out on God.

 

Now we should also consider what the purpose of the Laodicean time period is and also the prophesied “great falling away” from the truth.  The last command that Christ gives us during the Philadelphia era is to HOLD FAST TO WHAT YOU HAVE!  To hold fast IMPLIES that it will be at least a struggle and that perhaps some “time” would be involved in this process of what we were to hold fast to.

 

If the Philadelphia era was to just go right on into the Kingdom then WHY would Christ command them to hold fast?  So there had to be a time of TESTING or FINAL EXAMS to see (so Christ could see) who WOULD hold fast, and overcome and therefore qualify for God’s Kingdom. And as is mentioned in other places on this website, WHAT was it that we were to hold fast TO?  It is WHAT was RESTORED DURING the Philadelphia era! And what was restored?  Matt. 17:11- ALL THINGS! This is so fundamentally simple if we just think about it. This is why Christ is telling us in this Laodicean era to TURN BACK to something (repent). The MAJORITY of God’s Church, ALL of us, have fallen away from the truth AND doctrines restored through Mr. Armstrong. Some of us more than others, some in only perhaps a “few” areas of doctrine, but nevertheless that is WHY Christ says we are neither cold or hot, and He warns us that we are about to be spewed into the great tribulation if we don’t REPENT! 

 

So yes a little time has passed since Mr. Armstrong’s death, but that has NOTHING to do with whether he was the Elijah or not. Just look at the FRUITS born through him. The mighty worldwide work that God did through him for over 50 years!  And I ask you, has ANYONE ELSE done this? Absolutely not!  Certainly NOBODY during this Laodicean era! Those who are “still waiting” for Elijah to come are in for a LONG wait because it has ALREADY HAPPENED and in their lifetime!

 

Sometimes it’s good to pause and ask ourselves HOW did we even come to believe the basic truth’s that we have. For example the Sabbath and Holy Days. But there is MUCH more if we think about it. All the truth and doctrines and directives or judgments that God gave us through Mr. Armstrong over the years.  We have an abundance of revealed truth today preserved in the writings and audio files of Mr. Armstrong. That VOICE still cries out today in the 21st century—do we fully realize that?

 

Now some will say that “Mr. Armstrong made many mistakes, etc.”.  Well guess what? Welcome to planet earth!  Haven’t we ALL made mistakes? I mean look at King David even. He murdered and lied and deceived. But God also says that David was a man after His own heart, and David WILL be in God’s Kingdom. And so will Mr. Armstrong!

 

The point is, we all make mistakes, we are all still human.  No human servant of God was ever perfect. They all made mistakes. But God is concerned about the HEART! God is concerned if we have the right attitude, intent and motive, even though we have weaknesses and faults and yes we still sin.

 

Mr. Armstrong changed only a few doctrines and one of those was done twice. Go back and read his coworker letters (available through the links on this site) and you will see that he was “mislead” on the makeup issue, and when he realized this, he made a FINAL judgment and decision on it. Then earlier in the early 1970’s, God revealed to him more understanding and truth concerning Pentecost. Mr. Armstrong corrected it. Same with divorce and remarriage. But it is also important to remember that the Church was still growing at that time. Doctrines and truth were still being revealed. The "Temple" was still being built. As Mr. Armstrong stated many times- The truth didn't come to the Church all at once, it took time, many years in fact. But now you have it all on a "silver platter".

 

Mr. Armstrong said many times that a sign of God’s True Church was that it was always willing to be corrected. Mr. Armstrong did this publicly before the whole Church. And this was good! It showed God that he was willing to be corrected and to lead the Church in the right direction. Mr. Armstrong said this was a sign of God’s True Church and that we don’t see churches of this world ever doing that. Well I’ll add to that and tell you that you don’t see churches of Laodicea doing it either! God’s own people refuse to be corrected!  Have you seen or heard of ANY church of the Laodicean groups doing this? Absolutely NOT!

 

So this is a poor argument for whether Mr. Armstrong was Elijah or not (that he made “mistakes”). In the New Testament, Jesus Christ gives authority to the APOSTLES to bind and loosen doctrine. ONLY the apostles have that authority!  And what does Christ say? He says that whatever you (apostles) bind on earth WILL BE BOUND IN HEAVEN, and whatever you (apostles) loosen on earth WILL BE LOOSED IN HEAVEN! 

 

So on the doctrinal changes mentioned above, Mr. Armstrong had the AUTHORITY to do it.  So it does NOT matter what that doctrine was, or whether it was wrong in “OUR EYES”, because Christ said He would BIND or LOOSEN in Heaven, whatever was bound or loosened on earth. But it was our job as LOYAL members of the Body of Christ, to HOLD to those beliefs. So it was a TEST for us to see if we would follow that GOVERNMENT that God Himself had restored into His Church! Many of course, as history shows, did not.

 

Well since the death of Mr. Armstrong, there are now NO APOSTLES to “change” doctrine one way or the other. Another reason WHY Christ said to the previous church era to HOLD FAST to what you have.  Christ knew there would be no apostle or loyal minister around during the Laodicean era. We were to hold fast to what He gave us through the last apostle- Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.

 

Now there are many today in the Laodicean churches who ARE and have been changing doctrine and truth, but they have NO SCRIPTURAL AUTHORITY to do so!  That is what your Bible says. This is WHY Christ adds something to the command to HOLD FAST. The reason for holding fast as Christ says: “So that NO MAN take your crown.”!

 

Some have asked the question: “How did Mr. Armstong fulfill Mal. 4:6, or did he?”.  That is referring to “turning the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers”.  Well just look at it physically first.  Through Mr. Armstrong was restored and taught, and through the ministry UNDER him, the true values of how a Christian family should operate or conduct themselves. Family government was restored as well as many fundamentals and principals of Christian living. All leading to physical blessings and an abundant life. These are beautiful truths and valuable tools to help us live successful and happy lives. They are priceless truths!

 

But now apply that verse “spiritually” and much more meaning comes out! It was through Mr. Armstrong and NO OTHER MAN, that we learned that God is a FAMILY! And it is this astounding and wonderful truth that we can begin to understand WHY we are here on earth! Remember, GOD IS REPRODUCING HIMSELF!. He is our FATHER, we are His Children. Christ our elder brother and High Priest will also be our Husband and we (the Church) shall be his Bride. It’s all about FAMILY.  A wonderful Father with many sons and daughters. And we did not know this until God revealed and restored it through Mr. Armstrong! Has ANYONE ELSE done this? Absolutely NOT.

 

So what did Mr. Armstrong say himself about fulfilling the end time Elijah role? Will we believe him?  He DID say many many times that there was an Elijah to come to restore truth back into the Church. He understood fully that it was the “ALL THINGS” of Matt. 17:11 referring to the Elijah to come before the second coming of Christ.  I will be posting a 1983 sermon entitled “Mission of the Philadelphia Church era”, in which Mr. Armstrong, while listing out some of the 18 truths, pauses and says: “ Brethren these ARE ALL THINGS!”. And he says this in the context of an “Elijah to come”, as he is naming or listing these restored truths!

 

Listen again to the soundbyte on the homepage of this website. Mr. Armstrong referring to the Elijah to come said: “This HAS HAPPENED!”. Do we believe that?  If not, we had better think deeply about it and ask ourselves WHY?  And equally as well, if we DO believe it, ask ourselves WHY? Because time is running out on this Laodicean era and we need to be GROUNDED in the PRESENT TRUTH that God revealed to us DURING the Philadelphia era, WHILE His apostle was here.

 

There are many sermons that Mr. Armstrong mentions that he fulfilled the Elijah role. I will eventually post as many as I can of them on this website . But will that help those who don’t believe? Probably not. But the PROOF is there. The truth does NOT change and neither does God. He IS truth!

 

There are many different ideas and beliefs in the world today, and unfortunately that is the state of God’s Church in this Laodicean era. Many “strange” ideas and speculations and beliefs. But if they are not grounded in the apostle’s teachings, and ALL of the apostles, the apostles of the Bible as well as God’s end time apostle, then we are indeed on dangerous ground!

 

Some will say we “worship” Mr. Amstrong. Quite the contrary. We worship God, the TRUE God, and we could have not known that true God if it were not for Mr. Armstrong. So we do hold in high esteem his office, just as we do God’s other apostles. Remember God said that the Church is built upon the foundation of the prophets and APOSTLES, Christ being the chief cornerstone.

 

In Malachi 4:5 God says He will send Elijah the prophet BEFORE the Day of the Lord. Well it does NOT say when. It does NOT say DURING the Laodicean era. And we should now be able to see why. Laodicea is a time of testing for God to see who would hold fast to His truth, and it is the prophesied time of the great falling away from the truth.

 

This time of testing OR the falling away could NOT happen, UNLESS we had something to fall away FROM first. So in other words, ALL THINGS or the TRUTH would have to be RESTORED FIRST in order for a time of testing or a falling away to occur.

 

So it should be evident that as Christ says in Revelation 3:11, we should HOLD FAST to something that was given to us DURING Philadelphia and that WHAT we should hold fast TO, would qualify us to receive crowns or God’s Kingdom.

 

And WHAT WAS IT?  Matt.17:11 says:  “Indeed Elijah is coming first and will restore ALL THINGS.”  So it was the “ALL THINGS” that Elijah restored that we were commanded to HOLD FAST to, in order to receive our crowns!  How beautiful, how simple, how plain!

 

Mr. Armstrong spent the last nine years of his life getting the Church back on track. He had to continually fight the attacks of liberals who wanted to water down the truth or change doctrines. But Mr. Armstrong would NOT compromise. He said shortly before he died that the Church was back on track. This should tell us something!

 

Do you think Mr. Armstrong qualified for God’s Kingdom and will be in the first resurrection? I would say, OF COURSE! If then, what he believed and taught the Church at the time of his death was inspired by God, and I think most of us believe it was. Do you suppose that if WE believe the same thing and remain obedient to Christ, then shouldn’t it qualify US as well for God’s Kingdom? Something to think about!

 

When Mr. Armstrong died and the Laodicean era began, we all pretty much started off on the same foot as far as the spiritual knowledge and truth we had. Now we can look back on 20 years of Laodicean history and see the result of what happens when the Laodicean attitude of “let the people decide” takes over the Church. What do we see? Do we see mass confusion and hypocacy and a people gone astray? This is putting it mildly. Think about it from Christ’s point of view if we can. What must He think and how does He see us? Is He happy with us? How would you like it if your fiance' went whoring around while you were still engaged to her? Would you still want to marry her? It’s a sad state we find ourselves in. Yet many today are “content” with what they “believe” in this group or that group. It’s time to EXAMINE EXACTLY WHAT WE BELIEVE AND WHY! Remember, God says through His Word that judgment is NOW (not later) on the House of God.

 

Soon this Laodicean era will be over. It will not continue on. If that were to happen there would be nothing left of God’s Church but a hundred and something thousand people EACH believing something DIFFERENT. We are not too far from that stage right now. Either God sent an Elijah here in the end time to show us THE WAY, or He didn’t and we’re all doomed anyway.  In the last verse of the Old Testament God says if He didn’t send this Elijah, there would be UTTER DESTRUCTION on this earth.

 

Yes Elijah DID COME and God used him to show us THE way to the True God. That way of life that brings peace. That way of life which yields to the government of God and produces fruit that will ultimately lead to eternal life.

 

But for now the majority are fulfilling this prophecy in Matt. 17:12 which states: “But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

DC 

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