The Church of God claims that Christ Ahnsahnghong is Jesus who came a second time because He restored the Passover. However, the Worldwide Church of God, which was established by Herbert W. Armstrong in the late 1930s, keeps all the festivals of the Old Testament as well as the Passover. Therefore, if we follow the logic of the Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong should be the Second Coming Jesus, not Ahnsahnghong.
1. The short history of Armstrong and his church
1892 Born in a Quaker family. Kept the Sunday service regularly.
1924 Moved to Eugene, Oregon. Later, his wife converted to one of branches of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which did not acknowledge the authority of Allen G.Also, Armstrong insisted that God the Father and God the Son are different just as Jehovah’s Witnesses’ claim, and that the Holy Spirit is not an entity with human characteristics. Similar to the Mormon doctrine which insists that the American Indian is one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, Armstrong argued that the people from England―the English people who crossed to the new continent, including Americans―are the direct lineal descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, which is White, and later she preached to him about the Sabbath and Sunday worship. From this time on, Armstrong started to study the Bible and had conviction that the Sabbath is true.
1927 Was Baptized (at the age of 35)
1931 Became a minister in the church
1934 Established the Radio Church of God through the radio broadcast
1968 Renamed the church into the Worldwide Church of God
1970s The church was divided into many small sects
1986 Died (He worked as a minister for 55 years, and worked for 59 years from the time of his baptism)
2. The idiosyncratic argument of Armstrong about the calculation of the date
Although Armstrong was not a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, his arguments about the sunset theory, the Sabbath, the doctrine on soul or food, etc. are similar to the teachings of the SDA. On the calculation of the date, he has some idiosyncratic and nonsensical arguments.
First, Armstrong claimed, “In the time of the Exodus they slaughtered the lambs in the evening of the 14th day, the disaster passed over at the night of the 14th day, and they left Ramses at the night of the 15th day after the daytime of the 15th day.” In other words, he claimed that they did not leave immediately on the night of the disaster, but spent one more day there. This is a mere speculation which cannot be found anywhere in the Bible.
Second, Armstrong literally interpreted Jesus’ words that He would be in the tomb for three days and nights, and he claimed that Jesus rose just before the sunset on the Sabbath exactly 72 hours after His burial which happened just before the sunset on Wednesday. He also insisted that “the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath” on which Jesus died on the cross was not the day before the seventh-day Sabbath, but the day before the Sabbath of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. He just suggested his conjecture without providing any evidence. In order to prove that his argument is true, shouldn’t he first find a record from the Bible which says that the Passover is the preparation day for the Feast of Unleavened Bread? However, we cannot find that kind of evidence neither in the Bible nor in Jewish customs. On the contrary, the Bible says that even when the religious leaders of that time tried to kill Jesus, they were reluctant to do it on the day of the Feast (of the Passover) (Mt 26:4-5; Mk 14:1-2), and also when Herod seized Peter to please the Jews, he decided to bring him out after the Passover (Ac 12:1-4). These incidents show that the Passover is not a preparation day for another feast, but the day itself is very important and great. Therefore, the claim of Armstrong is wrong.
Third, in order to explain Jn 18:28, Armstrong insisted that only Jesus and His disciples kept the Passover on the 14th day and all other Jews kept it on the 15th day, that is, they kept the Passover on two different days. However, this argument squarely contradicts with the testimony of the Bible which says that the time when Jesus’ disciples went to prepare the Passover was “the day when they sacrifice the Passover lamb (Mk 14:12, Lk 22:17).” It is because the Jews of that time sacrificed the Passover lamb according to the law of the Old Testament.
3. “The Mystery of God and the Spring of the Water of Life”
Christ Ahnsahnghong told us that not only the date but also the words of God are “life,” and He taught us that the faith to firmly believe the words promised in the Passover of the new covenant is the complete faith leading to salvation.
Chapter 35, The Spring of the Water of Life
Actually, it is not the bread and wine itself that brings us life. Life and death depend only on the words of God [Jesus]. What caused Adam and Eve to die in the Garden of Eden was not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil itself, but the words of God, “When you eat of it you will surely die” (Ge 2:17).
Likewise, the bread and wine itself cannot give life. Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn 6:54), and about His flesh and blood He said, “This [bread] is my body . . . This cup [wine] is the new covenant in my blood,” while celebrating the Passover. These words of God and the bread and wine come together to bring forth life.
Chapter 32, The Passover and the Last Supper
Therefore, the Passover is indeed a profound and amazing truth of life. When we celebrate the Passover of the new covenant, we are redeemed from this sinful world through the blood of Jesus, we come to keep the first commandment by worshiping only God because all the other gods are destroyed, and we have the right to the tree of life and to the holy city by the blood of the Passover Lamb. And finally it becomes a mark with which we can escape the seven last plagues (Ex 12:13-14; Eze 9:4-7; Rev 7:14; Rev 22:14).The New Covenant Purges Away Sin
. . . When we carefully study the words above, we can clearly see that salvation depends on faith, not on the deeds of the law. This faith is not what the general Christian churches believe, but the conviction that we have redemption through the blood of the new covenant which Jesus made with us. This faith becomes perfect when we believe and understand how Christ comes and what He teaches us in accordance with the prophecies of the Old Testament.