Let’s have a look at chapter one of Holdeman’s book, History of the Church of God.
In attempting to establish his claim of being the One and Only True Church of God John Holdeman lays an incredibly clever foundation. He starts out in chapter one of his book to plant the idea that when Satan fell from heaven he established the church of Satan, and that it has existed in opposition to the Church of God since that time. He makes it clear that there is God’s church and Satan’s church, and God’s church is very limited and distinctly identified. He claims that the Hebrew people were God’s true church before the advent of Christ. There is no doubt that God established the Jewish people and the land of Israel as his own particular people, but to begin to call them the true church is very deceptive. The Bible never refers to Satan as being over his church, the church of Satan. The Bible uses terms like Satan’s kingdom, God’s kingdom, God’s people, etc, but to presume to use the word “church” to replace these other terms is self serving in the extreme. He carefully lays the claim that God’s true church is a narrowly defined group of people and anyone who does not submit to the earthly leadership of this true church is part of the church of Satan. He says “God accepted the children of Israel as his organized church, and planted them as a vineyard and olive tree, until the time was fulfilled when he sent his son. When Jesus Christ the son of God came, this church had to be entirely changed to the spiritual sense of the gospel. Christ did not go outside of the organized church to choose his apostels, but chose them from the seed of Israel, and not from the Gentiles.”
This might not appear to be so serious at first glance, but Holdeman was building his foundation very carefully. As an unsuspecting reader advances through this book, the groundwork is being laid for Holdeman to make whatever bizarre claims for himself that he chooses. The claims he eventually made truly did flow out of this grandiose comparison of Israel as the first visible organized church on earth and the comparison of Satan’s church, into his final solution of the church of John Holdeman. One can see that he almost sets himself up on the same level as Christ.
On page 21 he says that baptism is an ordinance by which those who receive remission of sins and a good conscience make a covenant with God and his church. The Bible simply does not teach that baptism is a covenant, nor does it teach that it binds us to the church. It is a symbol of forgiveness of sins. It is commanded. He also claims that the baptism that he teaches somehow involves the minister who administers it. He says “This baptism binds with the ministers of God the Father, and with the Son, together with the Holy Spirit, in whose name they are baptized.”
What on earth? Where did he get that? My dear Holdeman friends, this is rank fallacy. It is not my burden to disprove it, it is your burden to prove it. Please friends step up and defend your founder.
Chapter one is very long and even though I intend to muddle through it in its entirety, it will take several posts. I think I have served a large enough portion to choke you for today.
In order to understand more clearly the falseness of Holdeman’s teachings, we will have to examine “replacement theology.” Stand by for this lesson my friends. Learn to think critically.
“If you want to insulate yourself from false thinking be a thinker. If you want to be ripe for deception and false teaching, refuse to think, debate or study.”
Let us all pursue truth justice mercy and love. Let us put off false religion, judging and shunning. Those things flow out of a bitter and offended heart. We invite you, dear friends, to come here and visit. Defend your faith.