What Is God’s College Like?
I am the chancellor of Herbert W. Armstrong College, which has its main campus at the Philadelphia Church of God headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma, and a branch in England. This isn’t my college; it is God’s college. Its purpose is twofold: to teach students how to become teachers in the wonderful World Tomorrow, and to hasten their spiritual education.
Your Bible foretold the existence of God’s colleges in this end time, during the last two Church eras. Anciently, three biblical prophets ran three colleges each. Before his death in 1986, our predecessor, Herbert W. Armstrong, operated colleges in California, Texas and England. Today, besides our two main college branches, there’s a partial third branch in Jerusalem. We have sent students to assist Jewish archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar with all seven of her excavations since 2006. The possibility remains of establishing a permanent college campus there.
God used Mr. Armstrong as an end-time type of Elijah to “restore all things” to the Church (Matthew 17:11)—including God’s colleges, which were modeled after the ancient Elijah’s.
Why is God so focused on education? It is only possible to restore all things if we also restore God’s college—the engine that makes the whole vehicle run.
The appearance of Mr. Armstrong on the scene in this end time fulfilled Bible prophecy. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6). Mr. Armstrong proclaimed a message of family unity. God wants unity in His Church. This man is a sign that Christ’s return is near—at the very door! I’m talking about a decade or less, almost certainly.
The end-time Elijah has already come and gone. (You can prove that Mr. Armstrong fulfilled this office by studying my book Malachi’s Message, the “little book” of Revelation 10. You can also study The Little Book.) Mr. Armstrong restored all things primarily through the colleges he raised up.
“It was the development of the college in Pasadena that made possible the growth of the whole gospel work!” Mr. Armstrong wrote in his autobiography. God did a great work through him: over 400 television stations, 8 million Plain Truth subscribers (more than Time and Newsweek combined), and a $200 million annual income.
The name Elijah means “My God is God.” We’re discussing the real God! Elijah corrected ancient Israel for following the traditions of King Jeroboam, just as the modern nations of Israel are doing in this end time (Amos 7). (Study my booklet Great Again to prove the identity of the end-time type of Jeroboam.) God charged Elijah with confronting King Ahab and telling him that God knew about the innocent people Ahab had killed. It often requires great courage to do God’s work, but the reward could just about make you faint!
The world today is terrifying, with nuclear bombs proliferating faster than the experts can track them. Hate and aggressive militarism are everywhere. How sobering, but we need not be afraid if we have faith in God’s plan. God’s college is preparing our students to teach and lead the whole world one day soon.
When Mr. Armstrong started Ambassador College, the work of God began to grow at a phenomenal pace of 30 percent every year for decades! This is unparalleled in the business world! He trained students to become ministers, administrators and assistants under him as the work grew continually.
Students at Elijah’s colleges were considered “sons of the prophets” (1 Kings 20:35; 2 Kings 2:3). Elisha followed Elijah around on various journeys—he wouldn’t leave Elijah alone! He considered Elijah his spiritual father. When we recognize God’s Elijah work, we should cling to it and shout, My father, my father! I will not leave these teachings!
When God decided to transport Elijah in a chariot of fire—not to heaven, but to a distant land—it was time for Elisha to take charge of God’s work. Elisha was determined to follow every detail of Elijah’s example, and he relied on God for help in accomplishing that goal: “And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so” (2 Kings 2:9-10). God did allow Elisha to see the invisible spiritual chariot of fire, proof that Elisha would be blessed with a double portion of the Holy Spirit.
There’s only one chariot of God. We all must jump on it to move God’s work forward! Only one chariot will ever move the nations of Israel back into close contact with the Creator God. One day, all humanity will be governed by the teachings of Elijah, which will be taught by the students of Elijah.
In Isaiah 28:9, the Prophet Isaiah asks, “Whom shall he teach knowledge?” He goes on to say that we can’t just unquestioningly accept whatever religion we grew up with. If we prove that we have been observing false religion, we must be prepared to rip it out of our minds. Replace lies with the truth of God! Most people refuse to do this. It is very hard to root out the tree of wrong ideas, but God won’t teach us unless we commit to lasting change.
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matthew 11:25). Go from deceived babe to nursing on the truth. Become teachable like a little child. Worldly intellectuals are too arrogant and self-willed to learn from God.
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4, quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3). Jesus Christ Himself kept every word of both the Old and New Testaments. We can’t cherry-pick which parts of the Bible to favor while disregarding the rest.
How will God respond to those who obey every word of the Bible? “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (Revelation 1:3, 6). By doing God’s will today before Christ’s return, we qualify to share Christ’s throne with Him and to rule from Jerusalem for all eternity, bringing peace and joy to this miserable world.
Before Elijah and Elisha, the Prophet Samuel also established three colleges. He ended the polluted priesthood and founded a pure one. The two books of Samuel are part of the former prophets, as are the two books of Kings in which the stories of Elijah and Elisha are told. These books are prophecy for this end time! Today, we possess the wonderful truths taught by these biblical heroes. God’s college is about to fill the world with His truth!