Following is a close scrutiny of what Joseph Tkach, Jr.
classified as his personal story.
This will be a critique of the gross distortions in Chapter two of Transformed by Truth, published by Worldwide Church of God, 1997. Let the reader be aware that the word “transformed” is a New Age term and that after the changes WCG went on to endorse New Age teachers and philosophies.
NOTE: In April 2009 Worldwide Church of God changed their name in the United States to Grace Communion International (GCI). (Some local church areas and countries may still carry the former name or a different one.)
Video Sermon by Tkach Sr. to WCG members, January 1995 (excerpts; delivered with confusion, double messages, shouting and blaming–known mind control tactics)
Transformed by Christ (a critical review of GCI’s booklet)
“Lies are most dangerous when they’re believed to be the truth.” ~Unknown
Prior to September 1995, Joe Tkach, Jr., Michael Feazell, Greg Albrecht, Bernard Schnippert, Tom Lapaka, and David Hulme, along with a several other co-controllers of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG), acted as a public relations team, meeting with ecumenical evangelicals such as Ruth Tucker. All PR maneuvers were kept in secret from the membership. The WCG leaders were carrying out a duplicitous agenda surrounding marketing, downsizing, and redistribution of the corporation’s multimillions in financial assets. Commencing with the death of Joseph Tkach, Sr., Tkach, Jr., Greg Albrecht, Michael Feazell and Tom Lapaka embarked on an accelerated Public Relations campaign. Of the approximate 35,000 members in the WCG in January 1995, over 20,000 followed various splinter groups with the bulk of members attaching their allegiance to United Church of God, the WCG extension group. The 12,000 to 15,000 members remaining in WCG were scattered, traumatized and uninformed of the massive hypocrisy that was occurring on various levels of the corporation. The WCG was highly reputed and documented as a totalitarian, dictatorial, aberrant, cult of secrecy. Its destructive behavior and corruption within the ranks of ministers was well publicized throughout the world media. The main absolute of the WCG teaching was its GOVERNMENT FROM THE TOP DOWN. A member would not challenge or confront any minister, let alone a “Pastor General” for dreadful fear of being disfellowshipped. To be ex-communicated meant the member would never receive salvation. Spiritual death was his destiny if he dare disagree with “God’s true ministers.”
You might be thinking, “Well anyone could have left such a group.” If that be the case, this writer suggests you study the mind set of the Third Reich. For members, confronting a minister or questioning authority was analogous to defying Hitler. The emotional result was the same.
The small and submissive membership that remained with the WCG after the death of Joseph Tkach, Sr. could not hold the WCG leaders accountable for their actions. Tkach, Jr. Albrecht, Feazell and Schnippert took advantage of their carefully contrived position as they began campaigning disinformation to the Christian evangelical arena. Carefully contrived news releases, radio talk shows and propaganda articles in ecumenical publications, such as, Christian Research Journal and Christianity Today, trumpeted distortion after distortion surrounding the “transformation” of the Worldwide Church of God. The domino of propaganda PR events served as diversion away from the real history of a horrific, destructive, secret organization that wrapped itself in the guise of the church. While Tkach, Jr. and Albrecht entertained listeners on the Hank Hanegraaff Hour (Bible Answer Man: January 4, 1996; January 12, 1996; November 19, 1997; November 28, 1997; February 7, 1997 and May 1, 1998), with the focus on Herbert W. Armstrong and “doctrinal reform,” the real WCG continued its affairs in secrecy, behind closed doors. The most overt propaganda tool was launched in August of 1997. Joseph Tkach, Jr. launched “his” story of the WCG transformation, that is billed more like “the official” story of the cult that turned to Christ by a miracle.
The ESN has received letters and calls refuting the gross distortions permeating every page of this propaganda publication. Many ask, “What can we do?” Tell your story to anyone who will listen, we say. Sadly, few care to listen to the real story behind one of the most deceptive con-jobs in this century’s history.
Provided for your research is an analysis of the foundational chapter in Transformed by Truth. If you question whether the WCG was really “Transformed by Truth,” take the time to read this report and request the actual documentation. The cover of Transformed by Truth boasts “THE TOP RELIGIOUS STORY OF THIS DECADE,” “The Inside Story!” By whose standards? This propaganda publication is forwarded by Hank Hanegraaff and endorsed by ecumenicals: Dr. John R. Holland, International Foursquare Gospel; Dr., D. James Kennedy1, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church; Ruth Tucker, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Dr. Gordon E. Kirk, Lake Avenue Congregation, Pasadena; Jack Hayford, The Church on the Way, Van Nuys, CA and Steve Brown, Reformed Theological Seminary. The WCG has had ecumenical allies for many years. All the above are significant architects of the New Age Ecumenical agenda and the National Association of Evangelicals. Each ecumenical listed benefited greatly by propagandizing for the multimillion-dollar empire. If you are unaware what New Age Ecumenical means, it would behoove the researcher to embrace a study on this topic along with increased education on Freemasonry. Refer to the end of Outsiders’ Inside Update Newsletters (OIUs) FIVE and SIX for many references.
On the back cover of “Transformed by Truth” the following is stated:
“For nearly seventy years the Worldwide Church of God, founded by Herbert W. Armstrong, preached a ‘different gospel.’ Then, in December 1994, eight years after Armstrong’s death, the church publicly renounced its unorthodox teachings, embracing historic Christianity. What happened? Toward the end of his life, Armstrong himself expressed the first doubts. Soon falsehood after falsehood fell away and the plain truth prevailed. In this fast-paced narrative, Joseph Tkach, son of Armstrong’s handpicked successor and head of the church, tells this remarkable account of the transforming power of the gospel.”
The author appears to protect himself by stating the “narrative” is “his” story, but the reader soon learns that the author is telling the story as if it is a factual account of the transition of the WCG cult. Joseph Tkach, Jr. boldly refashions real “historic” events around what he creates as: “The Christmas Eve Sermon.” It is most obvious that Tkach uses this “landmark” sermon as the foundation for his book in Chapter Two. While every chapter is comprised of blatant distortions of truth, we present an analysis of Chapter Two. The example of documentation provided here represents the plethora of available proof that substantiates the Tkach/Albrecht/Feazell/ Schnippert propaganda and cover-up. The real story behind the multimillion-dollar non-taxed enterprise exceeds far beyond a fast paced publication of double-speak. Every chapter in the book intentionally “transforms” the actual account into a glossed-over, simplified, distortion of truth. Before you accept this propaganda at face value, research the patterns of deception. The devil is in the details. Before you are tempted to make merry over the propagandized “miracle,” think hard about the thousands of lives that have been destroyed under the abuse and intentional deception of the very same men who are selling the “transformation” to the ecumenical evangelicals. The New Age architects of the WCG have implemented a business marketing strategy out of desperation and preparation for the coming decades. What the current WCG controllers have done to WCG supporters and ex-members through deception will result in destructive repercussions for generations to come.
We urge each and every person who considers themselves Christian to take the time to research and investigate “the reasons behind the event.”
Chapter Two of “Transformed by Truth,” by supposed author Joe Tkach, Jr., is entitled: Christmas Eve Sermon – 1994
COMMENT: The sermon that was entitled the “New Covenant/Old Covenant” sermon was not given to the membership until, January 7, 1995. It was announced that this three-hour sermon was to be played to all the churches on the same day. Why would the author construe the exact date this sermon was given? Why is Christmas Eve significant? Does the author want ecumenical evangelicals (to whom this book is targeted) to think the WCG was honoring Christmas Eve? Interestingly, it was suddenly announced on Christmas Eve 1996 that the Big Sandy Ambassador University would close in the coming year. Why is the author compelled to call this sermon, Christmas Eve Sermon? The sermon may have been video taped on Christmas Eve in Big Sandy, 1994, but it was not played to the main church locations until January 7th, 1995 and was never called Christmas Eve Sermon to the membership.
What do these days mean to the occult?
The Satanic Ritual Calendar:
December 24th Celebration – Demon Revel
Usage: High Grand Climas
Age/gender: Any age, male or female
January 7th Celebration – St. Winebald Day
Usage: Animal/human sacrifice
The actual title of the sermon was called “The Old and New Covenant.” It was never, never designated as the Christmas Eve Sermon to the members. Why is the author compelled to distort what actually happened? The members received it on January 7th, 1995.
The author leads his readers into Chapter Two with the following paragraph:
“No one would deny that the gospel, the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, is the center of Christianity. But it seems that Christians often get sidetracked. Unique doctrines, legalistic regulations, prophetic speculations, and personality cults seem to blur the central truths of the faith until some Christians act as if they are in a theological fog. God’s light doesn’t seem to be getting through the barriers they have erected.”
The author cleverly portrays the notion that the “transformed” WCG thoroughly embraces “the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.” However, if one were to research inside church literature, one would find out the inside gospel spells: “ADVANCING THE KINGDOM OF GOD.” To the remaining WCG members, that message triggers Armstrongism within the minds of those programmed for decades with the gospel of the “SOON COMING KINGDOM OF GOD.” Dialectics is repeatedly used to confuse the already spiritually abused members. Notice how the author refers to “they” as being in a theological fog, and “they” have erected the barriers preventing God’s light from getting through to them. The author, who credits himself as one of the main leaders who “refocused the church on Christ,” conveniently distances himself from having been one of the main perpetrators of grave theological deception while simultaneously implementing punishing emotional abuse on the members. Chronological documentation in writing, sermon tapes and other activities, displays the well-defined tactics used by the very same “leaders” who claim notoriety for the miraculous transformation.
He goes on to say:
“God graciously brings renewal among His people that refocuses them on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Faith in Christ should always be our focus. As the leaders of the WCG began to refocus the church on Christ, many members of our church doubted the changes. They thought all would soon return to the familiar ways of the past. The changes weren’t for real. Talk of change must be exaggerated. Things would get back to normal.”
Let’s take the first sentence. What does it mean? Are we to assume that God brings “renewal” to His people that causes “them” to be refocused on Jesus? Or, are we to assume that the leaders of the WCG began to refocus “them” (meaning the church) on Christ? This is very confusing. Who is doing the refocusing? Is it Christ, or, is it the leaders? Who gets the credit here? If it’s God, does the author mean God couldn’t have done it without the help of the leaders? If the author does credit God, why would the recipients of free renewal write a book about it and charge $15 to $20 to tell everyone? We would think the leaders would be inspired by “Christ,” who brings the renewal, to offer the book freely as good news for “advancing the kingdom of God.” Think of all the Public Relations and free Publicity these leaders received while charging for appearances and selling of Christian wares.
The author then says: “they” thought all would soon return to the familiar way of the past. Who are “they?” If he means the members in the WCG on January 7th, the author is gravely misleading readers into thinking “all” thought they would soon return to the familiar ways of past! Members were in such a state of shock, trauma and confusion that “they” didn’t know what to think. The Tkach sermon was shoved into members’ faces without preparation or sensitivity toward the previous years of intentional conflict and contradiction. The members were forced into cognitive dissonance [see OIU 4, Pt. 1] by the leaders planned implementation of confusion. Mind control was implemented with strategy.
The members were subjected to extreme emotional and spiritual abuse due to the multitude of contradictions and reversals put forth by headquarter leaders week after week starting around 1992. Members were constantly kept off balance through deceptive measures. Members were consistently told, “nothing is changing,” while the hypocritical leaders were pursuing a parallel agenda with ecumenical evangelicals unbeknownst to any members. Some of the most severe spiritual and emotional abuse was targeted to the members during this period.
The author alludes to the “ways of the past” as being “familiar.” What an odd word to describe the radical black and white system of LAWS repeatedly pounded into the manipulated members mind. What was the teaching that the author relates to as “familiar?” The LAWS were considered to be absolutes in achieving salvation. If broken, the punishment resulted in obliteration of “called out ones” in the LAKE OF FIRE. Yes, that was the coercive teaching carefully conditioned into the brain of “God-fearing” spiritually seeking Christians. Every week, fear induction-mind control [see OIU 4, Pt. 3] was delivered to all members who “were commanded to honor the holy convocation” Those who missed Sabbath without excuse were “breaking the laws of God,” and if you dared to break the LAWS, the LAWS would break you!! That just and fair God would spew you out of his mouth and cut you from the vine!!! Then, salvation would have been lost forever, and the “chosen one” would be as if he never existed! All those who did make it would be watching the obliteration of those who were to come up through the THIRD resurrection, only to view the Wonderful World Tomorrow, and then–obliterate.
The author makes light of and glosses over, what in reality was a unique mind-bending destructive obedient system, which, in the mind of any member, was a matter of life or death. Many members held to the obedient LAW abiding, coercive system for twenty to thirty years. Who, with any conscience would attempt to minimize the punishing system that they, themselves implemented. A system that will continue to damage generations to come. A system that fostered family destruction, poverty, illness, alcoholism, death, suicides, mental illness and deviant behavior of many kinds. Let’s go on before this writer is inspired to write a book based on this one word, “familiar”!!!
The next paragraph says:
“That all changed with a landmark sermon my dad gave on Christmas Eve 1994. This is often called “The New Covenant/Old Covenant” sermon, and it once and for all convinced the skeptics within our own church that the changes were for real and that they were permanent. In that sermon, my dad demonstrated such an obvious personal conviction about salvation by grace through faith that there could no longer be any question that he was behind the changes being made. He told the membership that we were no longer going to say that those who had to work on Saturday and couldn’t go to church that week were condemned to the lake of fire. He said that we were no longer going to teach triple tithing. He said so many astonishing things in his sermon that many of our older members–people who didn’t believe what was happening, who dismissed what was being written in The Plain Truth and in the member letters and in the ministerial letters, who turned a deaf ear to what my dad was saying on video tapes–could no longer maintain that the changes were part of a big conspiracy taking place behind my dad’s back. Now it was clear there was no conspiracy and that he was intimately involved.”
“….it once and for all convinced the skeptics within our own church that the changes were for real and that they were permanent.” Excuse me! What skeptics? Ecumenical evangelicals? Ruth Tucker? Hank Hanegraaff? If the author means the members were skeptics, then he makes another outright distortion and false statement, again misleading the reader to think the leaders were being open and honest and consistent. Any members who were advanced in their discernment of the massive duplicity that prevailed within the WCG year after year, were far more focused on clearing the confusion from contradictions and seeking answers to questions (for which many were disfellowshipped for asking) pertaining to the direction the “leaders” were taking the lives of church members.
Let’s look at this sentence, again.
“…people who didn’t believe what was happening, who dismissed what was being written in the Plain Truth and in the member letters and in the ministerial letters, who turned a deaf ear to what my dad was saying on video tapes-could no longer maintain that the changes were part of a big conspiracy taking place behind my dad’s back.”
Another gross distortion and untruth. The Plain Truth, The Worldwide News, the ministerial letters and all the letters to the members are archived and on file for any reputable researcher to view for himself. [Update: Archives of The Worldwide News before September 1995 are now unavailable on WCG’s website. Read selected quotes and ESN comments from these “unavailable” WN’s] Any individual who takes this statement as fact is a fool (Eccl.10) and a dupe! Sorry to be so blunt. The author repeatedly places blame on the members by indicating those who didn’t believe, dismissed the written proof and proceeded to turn a deaf ear. This is intentional deception! Any indications that changes were being made came through by double-speak leaving members baffled and yearning for explanation. Hundreds of members were disfellowshipped, shunned, ridiculed on the podium, slandered and thrown to the streets (separated from their families) because they merely questioned the confusion. Videotapes from all these leaders remained preciously protected and archived. All verify the intensity of the mind control tactics inflicted on the victims of deception.
The author is wise to counter the conspiracy charge just like any half-skilled, slick salesman would meet all his objections up front, leaving the buyer without doubt or question. The “transformation” is a Worldwide Church of God Cover-up that masks the actual agenda of the multimillion dollar, non-taxed, investment empire. The Cover-Up involves the main extension groups, such as Global Church of God and United Church of God-AIA. [Update: Roderick Meredith later went from Global to being founder of Living Church of God. Meredith died May 18, 2017 at age 86.]
In Chapter Two the author relays several excerpts from the “landmark” New Covenant / Old Covenant sermon. What the author does, is twist statements made in the actual sermon, leading the reader to think the sermon was totally grace-based and liberating.
He says on page 25:
“In many ways an observer cannot grasp the importance of the sermon without reading it in its entirety. Yet how many readers would be willing to sift through sixty-two single-spaced pages of sermon transcripts? Allow me to reproduce just a few highlights from the message. I hope the reader appreciates that the excerpts that follow were spoken and are reproduced from the audio/video transcripts we have on file. These should be sufficient to gain an appreciation for the incalculable impact the sermon had on our church.”
The author proceeds to relay several choice excerpts (three pages) that are anything but sufficient. Instead, he pulls statements from the sermon and pieces them together to refashion a new message that would dazzle any D. James Kennedy type. In this case, the author pushes the “grace” theme, manipulating readers under a false pretense through diversion. That is the exact technique the WCG used for decades. The WCG controllers established their own “obedience to the Law” formula and proceeded to manipulate the Scriptures from the Bible to verify their commands. Scripture twisting was the chief method used on the unsuspecting members and as a tool for WCG mind control. We see here, that the author is obviously confident that his readers will not be able to critically verify what the author is saying. And why shouldn’t he be confident, has it not been a free ride for the publicity campaign thus far? Anyone who dares to accept the words of this author without requesting proof of things spoken has placed himself on the side of the deceivers. Being that this “landmark” sermon is credited for turning the horrific destructive decade old cult into the “Christian fold,” the least the reader should do is request the sixty-two-page transcript and read every word of it. The miracle worker leaders should be thrilled to share the entire sermon to the world–free of charge.
As you shall see below, the author’s statement of “sixty-two single-spaced transcript” is certainly stretching the truth. The ACTUAL TRANSCRIPT single-spaced typed, with font #10 amounts to less than 30 pages. Does the author use font size:
Here is another example of how the author twists the truth. (page 24)
“As a result of that sermon, the largest of three main splinter groups broke off from us and began its own organization, the United Church of God. Even though some of their leaders had been planning a breakaway in secret meetings, the sermon gave them the catalyst they needed to make their break.”
“Until that Christmas Eve, a lot of our own people didn’t believe that the changes were real. After the sermon, however, there could be no doubt. We would pay the price.
“On Christmas Eve 1994, my dad began the three-hour sermon by saying ‘This is going to be a long afternoon.’ His message would fundamentally change forever the Worldwide Church of God. As one writer later put it, my dad “had to show that it is not a sin to work on the Sabbath. This was the single most important decision in the history of the denomination.”
Now let’s read what “my dad” (Tkach, Sr.), really said. Read each word carefully as the following paragraphs serve as an excellent example of what how the “transformation” was managed and an eye view of what continues inside the WCG and extension groups this very day. See if you can find the double-speak and contradictions.
Now let’s read what “my dad” Tkach, Sr., really said. Read each word carefully as the following paragraphs serve as an excellent example of what how the “transformation” was managed and an eye view of what continues inside the WCG and extension groups this very day. See if you can find the double-speak and contradictions.
Here is the opening of “The Christmas Eve Sermon” by Joseph Tkach, Sr. to all churches Jan. 7, 1995
[excerpts are from one complete context–not twisted out of sequence]
“Greetings and a very pleasant afternoon everyone, Shabat Shalom –[the audience yells back – Shabat Shalom] Happy Sabbath to all of you.”
[Extends greetings to alumni]
“Well I’m sure many of you have heard quite a few rumors going around, flying left and right, and so hopefully I can put some of them to rest and explain the others that need not be put to rest. I’m sure most of you have heard about the recent trip to Atlanta, Georgia, 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 seriously lacking, because they posed a threat to me. That’s 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 choose to take sides with either group. I took rather the choice of Jesus Christ. That is the side we should be on. And, unfortunately, 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. And we need to be extremely careful about some of these things.
“But, anyway, this is going to be a long afternoon, so hopefully if you did happen to bring a lunch, it’s to your advantage. But, regardless, 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. So 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: are we an old covenant church or New Covenant church? A valid question. Is our relationship with God based on the old covenant or the New Covenant? And my question is, how long are we going to wander in the wilderness of ignorance and continue to be nursed on the milk of the word, rather than as the Apostle Paul said in 5:13, those who use milk are unskillful in the work of righteousness, and strongly belong to them who are of full age, or are more spiritually mature, who can deal with the issues at hand.
“There is an ignorance that comes from a neglect of knowledge, and ignorance can often be used as an excuse, or a defense. But deliberate neglect of knowledge can never be used as an excuse. Because, my friends, that is sheer stupidity, and I don’t think God called any stupid people.
“Anyway, this is a very basic subject that I plan to cover here today. Yet one we have rarely discussed because we assumed that we fully understood everything there was about the old covenant, verses the New Covenant.
“Mr. Armstrong addressed it in 1978 in his article, ‘The Plain Truth About the Covenants.’ Much of what he wrote in that article was right. Mr. Armstrong wrote for example that the old covenant is ended. In French, finné, I guess. It’s over, it’s done with, it’s history. But, nevertheless, as the Apostle Paul said in Romans 15:4, that whatsoever was written a foretime was written for our learning. And that through patience and comfort in the Scriptures we can evolve in this life. And these things serves a purpose for all of us today. And, 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 this New Covenant and this is what I wish to address today.”
[end of excerpt] [all grammar errors are the speaker’s]
There you have it. The entire opening of the “landmark” sermon given to all “skeptics.” While reading it, did you feel that it was Jesus Christ performing His miracle on the Worldwide Church of God? You should hear the sermon yourself, with all its inflections. It certainly was a long day. That very day, at least 30,000 members were traumatized through double-speak, contradiction and mass confusion. It is unclear if subliminal or speech reversal techniques were used, but these techniques are being investigated). If you are tempted to accept the propaganda of historic cult leaders, you should at least reassure yourself you are making the right move. This “landmark” sermon starts right in with double-speak about “the Sabbath Christ commanded” and proceeded to credit Herbert W. Armstrong for proper teachings on the covenant. The researcher must request the full sermon [from ESN] to verify how the author of Transformed by Truth distorted the entire “narrative” of the WCG transformation. The WCG apostasy continues this very day!!
Let’s review another example of how the author’s twists the abusive words made by Tkach, Sr. in the “landmark” sermon to sound like words of Christ: (page 26)
“We are justified by faith. We are declared right with God by faith. We are saved on the basis of faith. Not on law-keeping….
“And he [Herbert Armstrong] brought up another interesting point. Especially, the comment when he said that there are Christian elsewhere in the world. ‘Oh, but if they don’t have the Sabbath as a sign, how can they be Christians?’ Well, we don’t have the Sabbath as a sign either. Does that mean I am minimizing the importance of the Sabbath? Absolutely not. Our sign is faith in Jesus Christ, and, as a result, we are baptized and receive the Holy Spirit…
“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!‘ I hope we don’t do that, because the Judge could easily point out laws we haven’t [kept], where we have failed and sins that we have committed, and, in some cases, not even repented of. We can’t say that we’re good enough to keep the Law. All we can do is plead for mercy. I want that, I want that. We have faith in Christ that He died to redeem us from all sins. He died to rescue us from the penalty of the Law, and that’s our only basis for salvation.”
Read the real context of what was screamed at the unsuspecting brethren; notice how the author twisted the actual context to serve the authors propaganda.
[taken in full context from the audio:]
“We think that since we send our tithes in that makes us perfect with God. I’ll show you God expects more than a tithe. 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 based on our natural talents and gifts we have received and how we have exercised those gifts to the edification and glory of God of what we do with them. That is what separates the men from the boys.
“Anyway even circumcision which was given to Abraham as sign of his covenant cannot change original promise based on faith in Roman 4. Paul points out that Abraham was declared righteous and therefore acceptable to God. And that was while he was yet uncircumcised.
“So you see the Law cannot give us salvation. The Law can point to us where we’re falling short. It can help us to see what our needs are. The Law points to Christ. It does so many things. [Tkach SCREAMS:] But one thing the Law cannot do, it cannot emancipate us from sin! All it can do is condemn us as we all break the Law! God knew in advance that nobody can keep the Law as we read in Galatians 3:24!
“The Law points us to Christ, the Law cannot give us salvation, it cannot emancipate from sin as I said, but it can help us see our need for salvation. And it helps us see that righteousness must be a gift and not something we have earned.
“Our course of 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 hearts, our time 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 the Sermon on the Mount–the greatest sermon that was ever preached by anybody. He says they [laws] must be kept in the spirit and not just superficially. He says if a man looks on a women with lust in his eyes, he’s already guilty [Tkach SCREAMS:] There’s not a man in here that can say he’s not guilty of one of those laws; that we’ve kept them and observed them perfectly. Yes, He’s made them more demanding since they have to kept in the spirit and not just superficially. You must look to Jesus’ teachings and His inspired Apostles to see the way that Christian faith is expected to work in our lives and in the New Covenant. Christ died for us so we might live for him.
“We have about another hour so hopefully your backside will endure.
“Anyway we are saved from the slavery of sin, so that we might become the slaves of righteousness. That’s what he expects from us, not just paying and praying. Christ demands everything we have, everything we are. We are expected to obey, but we are also saved by grace.”
Again, without actually hearing the scolding inflection and scorning intonation of the WCG Pastor General, the reader misses the overt abuse inflicted in this “landmark” sermon. Professionals term contradictions such as what is manifested in this sermon, SPIN CONTROL. Are you picking up the double-speak? Do you find yourself reading the paragraphs over and over again? Imagine what a meek, obedient, 30 percent tithe paying, sacrificing member must have felt like when he/she was getting screamed at for being so wrong. Yes, the blame was shifted to the innocent member.
Another example of twisting and distorting the real truth is found on, page 27, the author states the following: “James, like Paul, warns us about so-called faith that does not lead to obeying God. Paul is talking about real faith. The kind that includes repentance, total allegiance to Christ. A wholehearted willingness to obey Him. But even then he says, it is the faith that saves us and not the works. But we have works because we are saved….”
“That’s the spirit and the attitude of a real Christian. Not those that want to dig in their heels and say, ‘I don’t agree with it!’ Well, you can do that with the Global Church of God if you want. [See OIU 2, Pt. 2 “Speaking of Global”] If you want to go back to legalism, fine! I would wish that you wouldn’t. But if that’s the only way you need to learn-get your nose really rubbed into it-and you’ve not learned enough about legalism that you want to put it out of your life, well then, go ahead….”
Let’s look at what Tkach, Sr. actually did say and in what context it was stated:
[taken again, from the actual audio sermon]
“We should draw near to him knowing that he accepts us as righteous; we are the children of Abraham and the heirs of promise given to him. In the New Covenant, each of us can know God in a personal and in an intimate way. We can have a good relationship with Him; we can also have a better relationship with one another.
“Now let’s continue in Vs. 24. ‘Now let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.’ Vs. 25: ‘Let us not give up meeting together as some of us are in the habit of doing.’ Does that sound like I’m trying to discourage anyone from attending Sabbath Services? ‘But let us rather encourage one another and so much more as we see the day approaching as we see the circumstances of this world and especially our society. And all the more as you see that day approaching.’ We are to encourage one another in faith; we are to encourage one another in works of service. We are called to worship and glorify God in Jesus Christ. I think I used the example of the women in Pasadena whose husband died, and, if someone hadn’t talked to her, she would have grieved herself to an early death. And because she was talked to, she caught the vision; she forgot about herself. And it’s natural to grieve for a loved one and especially if you’ve been married to him for 50 years, or whatever it was. Since it happened, it happened. Now the only way is to get her mind off of herself, offer her loving service into the community. So I’ve been saying….
[Tkach starts to SHOUT abrasively to the audience in a scolding manner, as if the membership were the disobedient apostates]:
“And so I’ve been saying it’s high time we took Christ out of the Church. It isn’t where He belongs, He resides in our hearts and wherever we go, into the community, in our place of employment, in our schools. And we boasted about how Christ was so glorious that, you know, it just illuminated the halls that we met. We are to encourage one another in faith and works of service, We are called to worship and glorify God and Jesus Christ. Nothing could be more important. We are to support and encourage one another in that and we can’t do it when we’re all accusing and backbiting on another. Paul said in 1 Cor. 1:10. Brethren, we should all be at the same mind, speaking the same things, and there should be no division among us. 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 form the influence of Satan. [Tkach SHOUTS loudly] Because you want to dig your heals in, and ‘I don’t agree with it, and that’s it’.. That’s a wrong attitude and spirit and doesn’t belong in here. And it won’t last in here.
“And it won’t last either. It will not remain in that spirit or that attitude, I’m telling you that on the authority of Jesus Christ. [still SCREAMING at members] There can be a positive attitude, ‘I don’t see it but this so revolutionizes our thinking, our former way, I don’t understand it, but God help me to absorb it and internalize it and to understand it and, as a result, there is going to be fruit produced as a result.’ That’s the attitude with a real Christian Not those who want to dig in their heals and say, ‘I don’t agree with it.’ Well you can do that with the Global [Church of God] if you want. Want to go back to legalism? Fine! I would wish that you didn’t. But if that’s the only way you need to learn and get your nose really rubbed into it and you’ve not really learned about legalism, that you want to put it out of your lives, well then–go ahead!” [Tkach holds up The World Ahead (Global Church of God) magazine and waves it in the air.] ”
Tkach goes on to say:
“What about the old covenant practices like tithing, avoiding unclean meets, keeping the Sabbath and the Holy Days–people you know? Global is constantly accusing we’re going to do away with the Sabbath, we’re going to do away with the holy days, we’re going to start observing Easter and everything else! Have I said anything about no longer meeting on the Sabbath? [SCREAMS LOUDER:] Our desire ought to greater to meet on the Sabbath because Christ set the example and we shouldn’t condemn the Sunday keepers, because we’re not the judge!! Yet, in all reality, they may be better Christians than some of us, because that day doesn’t make any difference!!”
This abusive sermon continues in a severe and scolding manner. One must hear how this “landmark” sermon was delivered, through their own ears. The written words do not fully depict the abuse inflicted on the WCG membership January 7th, 1995.
This is just one more example of how the current leaders inflicted a traumatized, cognitive dissonant state onto a group of God-fearing, obedient striving Christians.
If you have read Transformed by Truth, know that you have been a victim of twisted quotes and distorted history revision. If what the author says in this book is his actual account of the “transformation,” it should create a shocking alarm to anyone who supports the deception of this secretive destructive organization with a trail of horrific, corruptive and destructive history. This same author is the front man of a multimillion dollar, non-taxed, investment corporation. It is he (and his handlers) who control the millions of dollars and assets, investments, and attached corporations. It is he, and his collaborators that must be held accountable for their manipulative and deceptive behavior.
Do yourself a favor and listen to the audio tapes of Tkach, Sr.’s sermon for your education, discernment, and verification of what you have been led to believe. The deceived deserve the truth!! The real truth!!
“Old Covenant/New Covenant.” [the “Christmas Eve” Sermon]
“Sabbath and Tithing.” (This sermon was Part Two of the “Christmas Eve Sermon” and was given in February 1995 by Tkach, Sr. as a follow-up to January 7th.)
The researcher will blatantly hear the spiritual abuse inflicted on members as the WCG leader contradicts much of the “landmark” sermon. Notice how the author of “Transformed by Truth” didn’t include this hideous representation of leadership.
By L. A. Stuhlman, founder of Exit & Support Network™; editor of OIU Newsletters
January 6, 2001
NOTE: In November 2004, the Worldwide Church of God moved its headquarters from Pasadena to Glendora, California. (Pasadena Star-News, October 25, 2004) By May 2006 all their offices were moved to Glendora. (Together, May-June 2006). In April 2009 Worldwide Church of God 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. UPDATE: In April 2018, GCI relocated its headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina. Joseph Tkach, Jr. retired at the end of 2018 and Greg Williams replaced him as GCI’s President. (GCI Update, March 14, 2018)
1 D. James Kennedy died September 5, 2007 at the age of 76. Few are aware that Kennedy was a member of the CNP (Council for National Policy). Much more on the Council for National Policy (founded in 1981), plus a list of members, can be found in this report and in the expose` Let’s Focus in on “Focus on the Family” by former FOTF employee Randy Shafer.