When analyzing the recent apostasy in the Worldwide Church of God after Herbert Armstrong’s death, why was Satan’s first attack on the Church directed towards the true teaching about “being born again”?
Satan is not stupid and his agenda and desires are and were to be worshipped as god and to replace the one true God as the supreme Commander of the universe. Satan is very subtle and an expert in deception and lying.
The commission of the end-time Church is to preach and publish the gospel of the Kingdom of God to the world as a witness, and to feed the flock and baptize those whom God is calling and to help the Body of Christ, collectively and individually, to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
At the very core of this gospel is the correct knowledge and understanding about “being born again” and that God is reproducing Himself through mankind. When we receive the Holy Spirit at the time of our true baptism as adults, we become “begotten” members of God’s Family, but we are not yet born. Once we are born again, at the time of Christ’s return, we will be God and enter the Kingdom and Family of God as immortal Spirit beings.
The dismantling and/or changing of this understanding was crucial in Satan’s eyes to corrupt the Church, since that knowledge also includes the fact that Christ will come to establish God’s rule on this earth and to replace the rule of Satan and the demons over this present evil world, and that we, as God’s immortal sons and daughters, will be ruling mankind under Christ in the world tomorrow.
Corrupting this understanding was similar to placing a virus in a computer. Christ is the Head of the Church and if we think of the Church as a body, it stands on two legs. Applying this spiritual analogy to two legs of important doctrines, Satan proceeded in attempting to cut off one leg–that being in our case the doctrine of “born again.” Those who adopted this false understanding became inhibited, but they were still able to “stand” to an extent. To completely make them fall, Satan had to cut off both legs. And so, Satan proceeded in trying to cut off the other leg—again, in our analogy, this second leg being the doctrine about the nature of God.
The knowledge that God is a ruling Kingdom and Family, currently consisting of two members, is crucial to the true gospel, since it also helps us to understand our ultimate destiny.
Slowly turning that correct understanding to the pagan and unbiblical doctrine of the Trinity was like cutting the second leg from the body which caused the body to fall, and our former Church organization and its “obedient” members have never recovered from that fall.
These two doctrines are crucial for us to stand as a Church, and they are also crucial for the gospel message to be properly understood. In order to survive spiritually, we must never let go or compromise in any godly teaching, and that is especially true in regard to these and other foundational doctrines.
Our former Church association once had the knowledge of God’s truth, but they forsook virtually all of it through compromise and deception, and unfortunately, many members followed that corrupted path of their deceived and deceiving leadership, and much confusion and splintering have been the consequence ever since. This must serve as a warning for all of us, not to fall again for Satan’s evil devices.