Exit and Support Network

Video Sermon by Tkach to Worldwide Church of God Members, January 1995

The transcript WCG posted on their website differed from this one, because they left out major statements of blame made by Joseph W. Tkach. Their transcript was from the January 10, 1995 (VOL. XXIII. NO 1) Worldwide News.1 In comparing the WN article with the audio portion of the video one can easily see the word changes they made and/or left out. This is just one more incident of their duplicity and history revision. The WCG has since removed from their website their transcript of this video after we made a notice of these discrepancies. This video has now been mysteriously "misplaced" from their church library. However, ESN retains a copy of the original 3-hour sermon.

It should be noted that when the changes were made, there were no tears of remorse from the leaders for all the exploitation and lies that had been perpetrated on members over the decades. The focus was simply on "doctrinal changes" which was merely a distraction.

The following transcript consists of excerpts from the three-hour sermon given by Joseph W. Tkach, Sr.2 to the members of the Worldwide Church of God to present "the changes." This is the sermon that Joseph W. Tkach, Jr. has called "the Christmas Eve sermon."3 The truth is that the video was delivered to all congregations on January 7, 1995. This transcript will show the manner in which the new changes were first delivered to the members, with confusion, double messages, shouting and blaming (which are mind control techniques). Also notice how many times the word "we" is used, instead of the leadership taking responsibility for what they had taught the members. There are many subtle messages in this sermon. (Note: Contradictory statements and inappropriate usage of grammar is the speaker's error. Bolding for emphasis is ours.)

More info is covered in:

Transformed by Truth or Transformed by Lies?? (covers the shock, trauma and confusion members were under after the changes)

I Tried to Speak Out About the WCG Duplicity and Paternalism (letter to ESN which covers more of what happened during the WCG changes)

The Day Joseph Tkach, Sr. Gave His New Covenant Sermon (What Really Happened?) (input from several former WCG members)

UPDATE: In April 2009 WCG changed their name in the United States to Grace Communion International. (Some local church areas and countries may still carry the former name or a different one.) They have since gone on to embrace New Age teachers and philosophies.

Part one of sermon:

Tkach, Sr. (reading):

God is granting us greater understanding to the Sabbath--we gain greater spiritual insight in this matter.

Greetings and a pleasant afternoon to everyone. Shabbat Shalom.

I'm sure most of you have heard about the recent trip to Atlanta Georgia [where Earl Williams was speaking], where I felt I was put between a rock and a hard place, because I have received, prior to going there a number of anonymous letters, now supposedly by people who consider themselves good Christians, solid Christians. I would like to have hoped they were, but by their actions something was considerably lacking, because they posed a threat to me. That is hardly the actions of someone who is deeply converted and who has internalized Jesus Christ in their character. Because they threatened that if I came to Atlanta Georgia and spoke about the Ten Commandments that they were going to stage a walk out. Then on the other hand I received other letters saying that if I spoke about grace the other 50% were going to walk out. So I was given a choice to take sides. I didn't take sides with either group. I took rather the choice of Jesus Christ. That is the side we should be on. These people got themselves all worked up emotionally due to a number of circumstances and it makes you wonder because God says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth does speak.

This is going to be a long afternoon...It's the Sabbath and contrary to any other rumor you might have heard about that we are going to do away with the Sabbath, pray tell what day are we here on today? Is this Monday? Friday? This is the Sabbath, the seventh day, the example that Christ established for us. We're not here to do away with the Sabbath, we're here to gain a better understanding of what God does require of us. Because today there is growing concern for many that want to know if we are an old covenant church or New Covenant church? Is our relationship with God based on the old covenant or the New Covenant? How long will we work in ignorance?

[Discusses ignorance and excuses]

Mr. Armstrong addressed it in 1978 in his article, "The Plain Truth About the Covenant." Much of what he wrote in that article was right. Mr. Armstrong wrote for example that the old covenant is ended. Finished! Mr. Armstrong wrote that Christians today, in that article, live according to the conditions of the New Covenant. Now we have often overlooked the implications of the New Covenant and that is what I wish to address today. Now some have said that is like reinventing the wheel all over again...

[Talks about balancing the wheel and getting into perfect alignment]

We are Christ's ambassadors; hopefully we can all take that to heart.

[Talks about definition of covenant--formal agreement]

The simple terms, as Mr. Armstrong liked to bring down to its most common denominator, the simple term is a formal agreement, or like a contract which is binding on the people who agreed to keep it and all of us made that agreement with God at the time when He brought us to the cross-roads of life and He said, "I set before you life and death, therefore choose life," and we agreed with all the terms that we understood at that time.

We are concerned with the relationship with God and His people. Hopefully, we'll put to rest a lot of the nonsense that is flying around with all the rumors that are going on.

[Talks about types of covenants God made in the past with others]

Three types of covenants. The first is what God made with Abraham, second made with Israel at Mount Sinai, and thirdly the New Covenant that is mediated with Jesus Christ. That is the most important one we are concerned about.

[Talks about the unconditional promise with the covenant of Abraham]

...I'd like to digress here for a minute and go to an article that appeared in the publication that was put out by Global. I think we're all familiar with Global.

[Holds up the magazine for Global Church of God, founder Roderick C. Meredith, 1992]

Now if we would put a cover like that on our magazine, we would be criticized to the third heavens. The point I want to bring out is because of Abraham's faith it was imputed or accounted or accredited to him for righteousness. It didn't make him righteous he was not righteous; there was only one who was righteous.

[Reads the Global article--points out the contradicting parts to the article relating to the commandments.]

They [Global Church of God] like to take pot shots at us for the very things we are teaching.

Abraham was counted righteous on the basis of faith and nothing else. Romans 4 and Galatians 3

God made some dramatic promises to Abraham, which were unconditional promises. He believed God and therefore counted as righteousness.

[Reads Genesis 16 and 17]

Here we see that the circumcision was the everlasting covenant between God and Abraham and his descendants. The covenant was renewed and expanded. Cutting the foreskin was a reminder that God had cut a covenant with the children of Abraham.... let's skip now to the book of Exodus and see God's covenant with the twelve tribes of Israel...Exodus 19 vs.5

Moses became mediator of the covenant of Mt. Sinai. Read Chapters 22-23. Notice Exodus 24.

[Reads these chapters and explained the obedience of the people in relationship to the covenant]

Exodus 31--the Sabbath was the sign of the covenant. Leviticus 24--in the NIV, the bread of presence.

[Continues Lev.26 and Duet 28, the renewing of the covenants and disobedience.]

Hebrews 8 vs.5 [Hebrew 13] I will never leave you or forsake you. That's God's promise. Do we have faith in that? Do we believe it? I don't care what we do, unless you commit the unpardonable sin. We're not preaching once saved, always saved, but I am saved, and, as a result of being saved. I'm walking with God as perfectly as I can. I'm striving to be obedient to God and all of the Commandments of Jesus Christ. We either believe that or we don't. In all the errors that were not manifested deliberately, God did not forsake us. He saw that it was in our hearts and it was our desire to walk with God as accurately as we could. But humanly it was impossible. God continued to bless the work, financially and otherwise. We continued to grow as we applied the principals that were given to us individually and collectively. So the New Covenant is going to be different than the old one and as different as night and day. Under the old covenant you could not be made righteous. Impossible! God established that system for the purpose of making them know how to respond; hit them in the pocketbook. Because every time they sinned they had to sacrifice an animal. That became an expensive proposition. But it didn't make them righteous. It just reminded them of their sins and that's all they could do, and under the New Covenant He can.

[Jeremiah 31--read the chapter]

Each person will have his own relationship with God that Jeremiah predicted. Each person will want to obey God, not because of some list of rules that were written down somewhere, but because he or she has an obedient attitude. God first conditioned us before we said, yes Lord, your will be done, and not mine. And we submitted as we made that agreement and covenant with God at Baptism. God calls it the circumcision of the heart. Laws will be internalized; people will keep the spirit of the law which goes infinitely beyond the letter of the Law as I will explain in more detail later on. Not only that the ritualistic sacrifices of the old covenant will no longer be needed. We imposed burdens on people which we the ministry were not part of ourselves, and did not feel that burden. God will forgive His people without the need for sacrifices. All He needs to see is a repentant attitude and spirit as He said in Isaiah, a humble and contrite spirit and one who trembles and has reverence for my word and my laws.

[SHOUTS the following:] And yet we're being accused that we're doing away with God's Laws! We keep God's Laws because we are saved! We see that in vs. 12 for I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more. In vs. 13 it plainly tells us the old covenant is obsolete, or as Mr. Armstrong wrote it, is ended! It's history.....of course, not every law in the old covenant is done away. Here is where it requires some clarification. Many of the laws are repeated in the New Testament. The old covenant itself as a package is obsolete. The fault of the old covenant is with the people. The blood of bull and goats could not change their hearts. It could not improve their conscience to want to obey God; instead it made them bitter, because it cost them money. It took away from their livelihood, it took away from their profits; God knew how to deal with them. God knew what He was doing even if we don't. They had to keep sacrificing animals; they were never done. They could never do enough. So the profits predicted a New Covenant. Isaiah 42 vs. 6--Christ is the covenant that God makes to His people.

John 14 vs.6---the New Covenant involves the Holy Spirit. A down payment guaranteeing their future inheritance. The Holy Spirit changes their heart; they are transformed as the Apostle Paul makes reference to in Romans the 12th Chapter. [SHOUTS:] Be you not conformed to this world now that we have been enlightened and delivered from the bondage of sin but be you transformed by the renewing of the mind by a brainwashing program that God instituted in a spiritual sense, removing that ugly baggage that we carried around for years and years and then become more and more like Christ! Well are we? Are we striving to become more like Christ? The old saying I've emphasized, it's about time we stop emphasizing that we are followers of Christ. We are Christ-like individuals because He resides in us through His Spirit because we are a reflection of Him. We are an extension of Jesus Christ. Eph. 2vs.5--we all should have the same mind, in line, running true to form as what Christians are supposed to be, ambassadors of Christ. And so we are transformed and become more and more like Christ. The Messenger, the Mediator of the New Covenant. It is the spiritual relationship that we enjoy in Christ. The matter of the heart and conscious and faith. Jesus fulfilled all these prophecies, He brought the New Covenant. We are familiar with the words of the last supper. Some people would get all bent out of shape and their nose would be hooked off in the wrong direction if you use the word "Lord's supper." Lord's supper, the Passover, what is the difference? Christ died for our sins. He shed His blood for our remission of sin.

[Note: Joseph Tkach, Sr. also mentioned "brainwashing" at the 1993 FOT.]

The Lord's Supper is a reminder of that covenant... The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us.... Sets us aside for a holy purpose. We are called a kingdom of priests, doing God's Work in this world, that's part of the New Covenant and part of our relationship with God. How actively have we been involved in times past that would assuredly discourage God to the point that He would turn away from ancient Israel.

All that our Lord has said we ought to do. Baptize, make disciples, bring people to Christ. Teach others all things I taught you to observe. To bring people to Christ. Go make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Everything that Christ has commanded us is LAW. When we say Lord, Lord, we have duty to obey what the Lord says. We are going to want to obey Him, if we really believe. The promises we have are infinitely far greater then those given to Israel.

We will want to live for Him. Our conduct, our performance, our actions should be to His glory...

We are His people in His service willing to do His work. Before it was more or less, pray and pay. Don't worry about anything else. All you were required to do is send your tithes in, read the literature and shut up. It goes beyond that. Faith is also required. Belief entails action...

If we believe, it's because God has called us. God has called us because God has already begun to change our hearts. We are given the Holy Spirit and promise of eternal life in the Kingdom of God,. This is an eternal covenant guaranteed by Jesus Christ Himself... We do not believe once saved always saved. I believe that I am saved as long as I continue to strive to walk with God. We have confidence that He's interceding for us everyday...

Do we believe.... sometimes our actions belie us. Your faith, our faith can be computed as righteousness, just as Abraham was. Salvation is a gift and it means you cannot earn it in any way, shape or form. And that was one of the major discussions that came from Mr. Armstrong. When I began to share with him, and I don't know why God inspired those conversations going back into the fifties and how circumstances were and what was being taught, he said that didn't come from him. When I began to explain what a new convert would go through before he was invited to attend church for the first time. It was like an inquisition. Given the third degree and, you know, maybe it was sincere on the part of the ministry but also they were doing what they were informed to do from headquarters. Mr. Armstrong said, that is not his. He went on to prove to me that I [HWA] went on to baptize people that were still smoking, drunkards and everything you can think of, even teenagers. In other words you're saying that we were expecting people to perform and act like Christians before they could become a Christian. I said I guess that's it. He says, that the reason I baptized these people so that they will receive God's Spirit so that with it they will have the conviction, the desire and inspiration to accomplish and overcome the physical handicaps that we had. He says, I never espoused that. If you will read Acts 5 vs.32, you'll see in context that it's not talking about God giving His Spirit to those who obey Him. HOW DUMB CAN WE BE?!! God gives His Spirit to those who obey Him. Without that you cannot be a Christian, you cannot obey God. You can walk in the letter of the Law and that's about the extent of it. Mr. Armstrong made that very plain. I believe God inspired some of our conversations when I told him what was required or imposed, and to add insult to injury, after waiting a year, six months, I said, now when they requested to be baptized they had to wait for an already ordained evangelist.

Terms of the New Covenant. Romans 8-- Old covenant--It's history. What do you think I'm doing away with the Law? I'm trying to help us understand the covenant.

Hebrews 10 vs. 8---vs. 9.

We had been made holy by the body of Jesus Christ, once and for all. We have been sanctified and made holy. Now I'd like to notice some of the laws of the old covenant that are still enforced. Some are changed and some are obsolete, some continuity and some discontinuity.

[Talks about adultery.]

Do not take advantage of a widow or and orphan...[????]

Luke 12th Chapter. Parable of the fool....

Exodus 22 vs. 19-- Another law we can apply in a different way. Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal must be put to death. The principal of the Law is still enforced. The principal of the Law. We do not enforce the penalty that the Old Testament required, but what do we do today, pray tell. We disfellowship someone! We would remove such a person from our fellowship until there was real repentance. Or if the individual came to us on his own, strictly voluntarily, because no one else knew about the sin except he and God. And he came to us, in tears and in a repentant frame of mind and attitude, I have this weakness, this obsession, I don't know why, I need your help! Then maybe in that case we wouldn't disfellowship him. But we would work with him, we would be patient, we would extend love toward that individual. Boy, in times past we were--woo--quick to put people out of the church. And Mr. Armstrong said the main reasons only were for division and secondly for untold sex acts. But we put people out for every kind of thing imaginable under the heavens. It wasn't right. That's why I have been emphasizing for years that we become shepherds and not sheriffs. Too many were very fast, quick on the draw with their spiritual guns to shoot people down, instead of offering a helping hand. No we'd remove anyone like that, because anyone who does such a thing is obviously not in the right relationship with God. And sometimes it might have to be done to wake them up. They are violating the New Covenant. Now lets notice some laws that are completely obsolete.

Exodus 20 vs.20, for example [altar of the Earth] If God told us to do it, we'd do it. You know just like when I made reference to what the importance of personal evangelism, a lot of people got upset, because in their minds that meant to many this crazy Russian wants them to walk around with a placard. You know, we've seen them. "Are you saved? Accept Christ! Repent!" I always like to think, now if God required us to carry placards, would we do it? [This same statement was made by JWT at Feast of Tabernacles `94] You have to be the judge of that. We do not keep that law in any way, shape, or form. How about Ex. 29 vs.30, you must give me the first born of your sons...

[Talks about this verse being obsolete]

So you see that some of the laws are still good, and others are changed and others are done away with. We just need to have the spiritual sense and discernment and understanding to know how to apply all of these principals. The old covenant has a package of laws between God and His people that is obsolete. We can't assume that any part of the Law of the old covenant is binding on us simply on the basis of it being the old package of laws. We need additional biblical reasons. You see we inherit the promises of Aaron on the basis of faith. The laws given to Moses simply cannot take away those promises. Galatians 3 vs. 17. Legalistic heresy.

[Talks about Abraham and faith]

You see all we're doing is getting rid of unnecessary burdens but increasing the responsibility and placing it on the shoulders where it belongs, on each one of us. The responsibility is greater and if we're in it for personal salvation as Mr. Armstrong used to thunder out, it's not acceptable. It's a selfish motivation because it is a change that takes place in us through God and Christ residing in us by His Spirit. But if we rely on keeping the Law we will be condemned because we fall short every day of our lives. But Christ saves us from that, He died for us. Notice vs. 14. He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the gentiles from Jesus Christ. So that by faith we might receive the promises through the Spirit.

[Vs.15-16 is read. The point the Paul is making here is that the Galatians and Christians do also and we do today, if we have faith in Christ we are Abraham's children we inherit the promises through Jesus Christ who is the seed.

Vs. 17, the Law introduced 430 years later does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and do away with the promise. The Law given at Mount Sinai cannot set aside the Abraham covenant based on the faith in God's promise. That's the point that Paul is making that's the confidence we can have in the promise. Christians have a relationship with God, based on faith and not on Law. Because of the faith, our desire is to obey the Law, that's putting the cart before the horse otherwise. Paul explains that we have to be obedient in Chat 5 and 6. That's our desire. We are obedient because we are saved. It's our desire. We want to be obedient. His point here is that the Law of Moses, his old covenant was temporary. It was added only until Christ came. What was the purpose of the Law Paul says? It was added because of transgressions until the seed until the promise referred to had come. And Jesus Christ is the seed and the old covenant is now obsolete. The New Covenant has a new set of laws, we're no longer under those burdens, that doesn't allow out to sin in any shape, or form. Garbage! The New Covenant has a new set of laws, though many or the same and our relationship with God is on a different foundation now based on a different agreement. Vs. 24, the Law was put in charge to lead us to Christ....

These scriptures are very clear; I hope they are to you. We are not under the old covenant except of course those that are also a part of the New Covenant. Is that clear, is that plain. vs. 29 If you belong to Christ then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. The point is that Christians are giving the Holy Spirit on the basis of faith that comes from God in the first place. We are justified by faith, we are declared right by faith, we are saved by faith. Not on law-keeping and on the bases of the old covenant.

If we believe God's promise through Jesus Christ, we have a right relationship with God, and if we have a right relationship with God our walk will be more accurate with God. That's the whole purpose for our growing in grace and in knowledge and why Mr. Armstrong emphasized the importance. I hope that the church does not stop growing upon my death like the Methodist church did when John Wesley died. And he brought up another interesting point, especially when we had the comment when we said there are Christians elsewhere in this world. Oh---but if they don't have the Sabbath as a sign how could they be Christians? Well we don't have the Sabbath as a sign either. Does that mean I'm minimizing the importance of the Sabbath? Absolutely not! Our sign is faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 8. [contradictory statement]

[Reviews the above]

All the Jews have the Sabbath for a sign. They are none of His, not yet. They will be, when they eat crow and are willing to accept Christ as their personal Savior.

Romans 4, physical circumcision is not required for Christians today. Paul said that circumcision is now a matter of the heart in Roman 2 vs.29. Getting back to the statement made that there are Christians out in this world, Mr. Armstrong didn't agree with that. You know he went on to tell a story...there is a moral to this whole thing. Talking about this very point, he was saying at the time, he used John Wesley as the whole moral of the issue. When he died, God allowed him to first go down to hell so that he could observe to see what was going down there. He was shocked.

[tells a joke about other denominations]

Part two of sermon:

The moral of the story is "Christians" means those who have accepted Christ through faith as their personal Savior. But oh, we're so quick to condemn anyone that breathes. Yet God said we shouldn't be judging one another. How do we know what's in their hearts? Most cases they are better Christians then we are. That's a travesty. We think that since we send our tithes in it makes us perfect with God. I'll show you that God expects more than a tithe, and if you think you've been doing so good, and that's what God expects of all of us as Christians based on what He has blessed us with and our natural talents and gifts we have received...

Romans 4: The Law cannot give us salvation. It can help us to see what our needs are. It cannot emancipate us from sin. All it can do is condemn us. Helps us to see our righteousness must be a gift and not something we have earned.

When the judgment day comes and the judge asks us why He should let us into His kingdom, how do you thing we're going to answer? "Oh, I have a perfect Sabbath attendance record. I have kept all of the laws flawlessly." You say that, you made one big blunder, because you didn't. And He will be quick to point it our to you. "I've interceded for you every day, you DUMMY!!" ...

We can't say we are good enough to keep the Law. All we can do is plead for mercy. We have faith in Christ that He died to redeem us from all sin. He died to rescue us from the penalty of the Law and that's our only basis for salvation. Our course our faith does not do away with obedience. Faith leads us to obedience. The New Covenant has many laws of its own. Jesus made many demands on our time, our hearts, and our money. We know that Jesus did away with many laws but He also reaffirmed many laws and made them more demanding. Just as we read in His Sermon on the Mount, the greatest sermon that was preached by anybody.

If a man looks at a women with lust in his eyes, he's already guilty. There's not a man in here that can say he's not guilty of one of those laws, that we've kept and observed them perfectly. He's made them more demanding since they have to be kept in the spirit and not just superficially. You must look to Jesus' teaching and His entire apostles to see the way Christian faith is expected to work in our lives in the New Covenant. Christ died for us so we might live for Him.

We probably have another hour, so hopefully your backside will endure!

Anyway, we are saved from the slavery of sin so we might become the slaves of righteousness. That's what He expects from us. Not just praying and paying. Christ demands everything we have--everything we are. We are expected to obey, but we are also saved by faith. Romans 3--Paul points out the plan of salvation. vs.20 No man will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law. Is that plain enough? Through the Law we become conscious of sin.

[Reads vs.22--23--24]

Because Christ died for us we can be declared righteous and because of that, our desire is to walk with God. It's to draw closer to God--to get inside Him if we could. vs. 28.

[talks about Paul's word on faith]

We have works because we are saved. [Reads vs.22.] We are the friends of God, not enemies...

Romans 8.

[Reviews the above about faith in Jesus Christ.]

We are going to gain the victory. Christ is the one to give us the victory.

2nd Cor.3 vs.6-7 [reads]

The old covenant was good but the New Covenant is so much better. The old one doesn't compare. We are privileged to have a relationship with God based on the New Covenant. Hebrews 8.

Hebrew 9-10, 14.... So all those rituals were temporary works, not the new order, now that the new order has come the old one is obsolete. The rituals could make people outwardly clean, we are told but the New Covenant is better. vs. 14 How much more then will the blood of Christ who through the Spirit offered Himself unblemished before God. Cleanses our conscious from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God--So that we may serve the living God--So that we may serve the living God! That doesn't entail just having a perfect Sabbath attendance record. Our desire should be to be here. Our desire should be to have fellowship with one another, fellowship with God on the Sabbath. WE should be that way everyday of our lives with emphasis on the Sabbath.

Chapter 10 vs. 1-14 Because one sacrifice He has made perfect forever are those who are being made holy. This is already being to us out of the New Covenant. To those who have responded, this is already being done.. We have been declared righteous. We are being made perfect and being made holy. We have been forgiven. Does it make any difference in how we live? You bet it does. It ought to; we have an obligation to serve our Lord and master. We were called to serve and not to be served. We have an obligation toward Him and toward one another. We are no longer the servants of sin. We have a new master and are to give all of out allegiance to Him. vs.19-23. Because we were forgiven we should have a better relationship with God. We should draw near to Him knowing that He accepts us as righteous because we are the children of Abraham and the heirs of promise given to Him.

Vs. 24 Let us consider how we can spur one another on toward love and good deeds. vs. 25 Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing. Does it sound like I'm trying to discourage anyone from attending Sabbath services? Rather let us encourage one another, as we see the day approaching, as we see the circumstances of this word and our society. We are to encourage one another in faith--in works of service.

It's high time we took Christ out of the Church, into the community, our place of employment, our schools. We are called to worship and glorify God and Jesus Christ. Nothing could be more important and we can't do it when we're all accusing and back biting one another. One Spirit, one attitude and that is the Spirit of Christ. Even if we don't see or understand these things, there's a positive attitude and negative attitude. That negative comes from the influence of Satan.


[SHOUTS about what a real Christian is regarding a positive attitude:]



Pt. 1 | Pt. 2

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