In days gone by in the Worldwide Church of God (wcg), I always loved reading A True History of the True Church, by Herman Hoeh. It is a very inspiring booklet.
However, that booklet was discontinued. I am certain that Herbert W. Armstrong, pastor general of the wcg until his death in 1986, was behind that decision, and I always wondered why he did that. During Mr. Armstrong’s lifetime, the history of God’s true Church was always well reported—but there must have been something he didn’t like about that booklet. I recently decided to read it again to see if I could determine what it was.
I believe of all the writers in the wcg after Mr. Armstrong, the man who wrote the most stirring, effective and helpful articles was Dr. Hoeh. He came to college as a young man. Mr. Armstrong taught him how to write and to teach, and he became one of the outstanding scholars in the Work. Mr. Armstrong really nurtured him and helped him grow into the evangelist he became. Dr. Hoeh wrote profusely. He gave excellent classes, and at Ambassador College, I took every class he taught that I could because I felt they were so valuable. Few people were given more opportunities in the Worldwide Church of God than Dr. Hoeh.
But in A True History of the True Church, I discovered that Dr. Hoeh made one deadly error that led to other mistakes in his booklet. Other writers committed the same error.
For this reason, I have come to realize that the full story of the Church’s history has never been properly told.
The book you are reading corrects that error.
The mindset that led to those mistakes in the Church history booklet ended up being fully exposed after Mr. Armstrong died. When you understand the prophecies about God’s true Church in this end time, you can understand why that would be the case.
Mr. Armstrong did a masterful job of explaining Church history, especially the first era. He gave the overview that helps us understand all Church history. However, Dr. Hoeh and other writers failed to value the instruction Mr. Armstrong gave on the subject! That is because they were harboring spiritually lukewarm traits and tendencies—even while Mr. Armstrong was alive. That was the main problem with what they wrote.
This book contains a lot of material on the first era of the Church, Ephesus, in an effort to fully document the outstanding truth Mr. Armstrong taught about it. If you fail to deeply understand that first era as he taught it, you cannot see the whole picture.
And as this book will also show, if you understand what those other writers did by neglecting what Mr. Armstrong taught about Church history, you get a clear picture of the spiritual problems within the Church that produced the last era of the Church—the Laodicean era.
It wasn’t until that Laodicean era unfolded that we could have a complete understanding of Church history.
When you recognize what has happened to God’s Church in this end time, it makes the importance and relevance of the history contained in this book many times greater for us today! It is my hope and prayer that you will take much instruction, correction and inspiration from this, the true history of two millennia of the Spirit-begotten saints of God.