Chapter 11

A Final Warning

From the booklet Australia—Where to Now?
By Ron Fraser

Back in the mid-1950s, at the time when the transistor radio was beginning to enable the portability of radio broadcasts in a manner before unknown, just before television began to come into its own in Australia, Herbert W. Armstrong flew to the island continent with his international advertising agent from New York to arrange for his radio broadcast, The World Tomorrow, to begin airing in the land Down Under. Plans were made to launch the program on a number of Australian radio stations, chief of which at the time was radio 2ky in the city of Sydney. Mr. Armstrong’s rich voice began to ring out across the airwaves throughout the eastern seaboard of Australia, and by relay inland to many country stations west of the Divide.

History was being created. For the first time in Australia’s short life as a nation, the plain unadulterated truth of the gospel message of Jesus Christ was being delivered right into Australian homes.

At first stoutly resisted by established mainstream churches, the message of The World Tomorrow was so arresting, and so refreshingly different to the sanctimoniousness of established Christianity that Mr. Armstrong’s Australian radio audience grew rapidly.

By 1959 it became apparent to Mr. Armstrong that the increasing volume of mail and requests for visits from the ministry of the Radio Church of God being received at the church’s Pasadena headquarters from Australia necessitated the establishment of a regional office in that country. In the same year an office was opened in what was, at the time, the most dominant new building on the North Sydney skyline, the amp building in Miller Street, North Sydney.

The church in Australia started to grow, attracting further opposition from mainstream religion. I quote here from a letter written to the church in Australia by Mr. Armstrong, dated September 13, 1980, which describes that opposition and the real reason for it: “We had opposition. The newspapers opposed. The churches opposed. It has always been in Australia, not a matter of Australia against us in the United States—but Satan who is in every country against Christ! Satan battles us in Pasadena—throughout America—in England—in Africa, Germany—everywhere!

“It is not a matter of nationality! It is not a matter of color, race or country. Satan fights us in black Africa—in all countries. But in God’s CHURCH we are neither Jew nor Greek, black, yellow or white, Australian or American—we are all one family—brethren in the same family as begotten children of God!”

So it was, despite all opposition, that throughout the following decades, right up to the time of Mr. Armstrong’s death on January 16, 1986, the Church of God continued to grow in all states and territories within Australia, across to New Zealand, New Guinea, Fiji and the Pacific Islands, with further expansion from the Australian regional office to Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Singapore, India and Sri Lanka. The World Tomorrow program and the Plain Truth magazine became well known throughout the entire region of Australasia and the Pacific for their hard‑hitting analyses of current events in the light of Bible prophecy.

Yet opposition to the truth was not restricted to those who attacked the church from outside. For years, Mr. Armstrong battled a fifth column within the church, intent on destroying the global work that God had built through him. Again, he realized that this resistance to the truth was of Satan, not directly of man.

When Mr. Armstrong died, the fifth column quickly rose to power in the church, seized its assets, set about dismantling its God‑given doctrines piece by piece and booting out any minister or member who resisted the changes in doctrine. Within a decade, that which remained of the original corporate body of the church didn’t even resemble that which God had originally raised up from its mustard‑seed beginnings in the 1930s to become a globe-girdling, multi-million-dollar work of such significance by the mid-1980s that Herbert Armstrong was able to bring his personal ministry to most world leaders of his day.

Following Mr. Armstrong’s death, the church appeared to drift in a four-year hiatus, as the fifth columnists set about their work of destruction. Then God moved on December 7, 1989, to split the church and establish a small remnant of loyal members, dedicated to the love of the truth and the continuing distribution of the true gospel message. That remnant was registered as the Philadelphia Church of God, under the leadership of Gerald Flurry, who had trained at Ambassador College and ministered to the church under Mr. Armstrong’s administration. He was supported by his associate pastor, John Amos. They, together with 10 loyal brethren, began meeting for regular Sabbath services in the church’s reviving configuration in December 1989. Since then, this remnant church has expanded internationally to embrace loyal servants of God on all continents.

The history of this church split is told in Stephen Flurry’s book Raising the Ruins. Gerald Flurry’s book Malachi’s Message tells of the manner in which God had prophesied that such a great falling away from the truth would be one of the greatest signs of the imminence of His divine and urgent intervention in world affairs. It expounds on the prophecies that are even now being fulfilled in an effort to arrest the attention of the whole world, ultimately, to the imminence of Christ’s return to set up the government of God on Earth. Both these books are, in essence, sequels to Herbert Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages, which is a summation of all that has occurred on Earth since the creation of man, and a portrayal of the incredible God-given potential that all human beings possess.

These books are all available, free of charge, upon request from the office address that is closest to you as shown in the list of addresses at the end of this book. They expound the biblical prophecies that explain the meaning of both world and church events for the unprecedented times that we are living through today.

Since Jesus Christ first launched the true remnant Church of God way back in a.d. 31 there has always been a remnant of that original true Church continuing on doing the Work of God. Jesus Christ Himself prophesied that the gates of the grave would never close over His true Church (Matthew 16:18). Prophesied to never be huge by comparison with mainstream religion, ever embattled and persecuted, especially by the religionists of the day, the true Church of God has battled on to continue delivering the true gospel message down through the ages to this very day. Today, as prophesied, it remains small in number but powerful in the means at its disposal to do the work that Christ raised it up to complete in preparation for His return to govern this Earth.

Yet, since December 7, 1989, one thing has changed in relation to the commission with which Christ had originally charged His true Church. The original commission was declared by Christ to be “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy [Spirit]” (Matthew 28:19). Christ declared the fulfillment of that commission to be a great sign that would immediately precede His imminent return to this world: “And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).

With great confidence, following his dedicated, tenacious and faith-filled ministry over a 57‑year span, Herbert Armstrong was able to declare that original commission completed just before he died in 1986.

The fulfillment of that great commission was the immediate precursor to a latter commission reserved for the loyal remnant of the true Church. This commission has been taken up by the human leader, under the direction of Jesus Christ, of the Philadelphia Church of God. It has since been pursued with all vigor, in faith, and will continue to be so till the moment of Jesus Christ’s return, as promised, to the city of Jerusalem to launch the Kingdom of God on Earth.

That present-day commission of the Church is contained in Revelation 10:11 and Ezekiel 3:17. It retains the commission to continue to preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God to this world, but with the added responsibility to WARN! To warn of the imminence of the intervention of Almighty God in the affairs of this world and to install His Son as its supreme Governor (Isaiah 9:6-8). That warning is to be declared to the church that has fallen away from the truth, labeled Laodicean in God’s Word (Revelation 3:14-20), to the rebellious nations of Israel—substantially represented by the Anglo-Saxon nations, including Australia—and ultimately to all nations on Earth!

There is a man on the scene today, a prophet of God, selected by Him to receive the revelation of the end-time warning of God to the nations, and charged with the specific responsibility to deliver that warning message to its threefold audience. If you read and study the literature we have mentioned in this booklet, it will lead you to readily identify just who that watchman of God is.

Australia is in process of receiving that warning. Many will hear it. Few will respond to it positively until the Almighty starts to step up the removal of His God-given blessings from the nation. When He does, the people of Australia will know that a prophet of God has been in their midst (Ezekiel 33:33). Many will then respond, but not without having to endure the great heartache of heavy correction for rebellion against their God in the interim. You and your loved ones could be saved that heartache and suffering. It would simply take a clear resolution in your mind that you will begin to obey God and His law, the only way to true peace of mind and a real state of blessedness.

It’s a decision not worth delaying.

Your eternal future may depend on it!