J C d COG News: Emphasizing News of Interest to those Once in the Worldwide Church of God
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02/08/07 a.m. Last night, Norman Edwards (former WCG/GCG member) Servants' News letter reported:

In our efforts to represent ourselves in the Michigan court system, we now have a case pending in the Michigan Court of Appeals. This may well produce a landmark decision for non-incorporated churches and ministries in Michigan. The date of our Trial has been set back to June 14, 2007...

On January 8, 2007, our motion in court to allow our church trust to be represented without an attorney was denied. No Michigan law or case law was stated by either the opposing attorney or the judge as the reason for this. The opposing attorney simply said this was “basic law”. The judge asked if I had found a specific case where a trustee represented a trust in court. I told them I had not, but nor had I found any case where a trustee was prohibited from doing so. Had I raised the issue that the burden of proof is on the other side to prove that I cannot do it, he might have granted our motion...


While this case may seem academic and unimportant, I think it is very important for the future. We continue to receive requests from churches that want to get out from under their corporations and 501(c)(3) status that essentially make them subservient to the government...


Month by month, and day by day, one can see our freedoms slipping away and moving closer to the time described in the book of Revelation. Recent news items have shown that the President of the USA (which is a nice way of saying any agency he authorizes) is asserting the right to open anyone’s mail and tap anyone’s telephone. The President has claimed the need to hold prisoners in Guantanamo Bay without charges for indefinite (forever) periods of time, and to torture them to get information. All that is required is for them to be designated an “illegal combatant” or a “terrorist”. No court or trial determines that a person indeed is an “illegal combatant” or a “terrorist”. You could be one! This is a violation of the Geneva Convention our county has signed and a step backward from the Magna Carta of 1215 AD!

The legal systems in most countries function in odd ways. It remains to be seen how Norman Edward's case will turn out.

The following news item will affect those of us in the USA:

Washington Post - Feb 1, 2007

WASHINGTON - It seemed so simple and familiar: Spring forward, fall back. For 20 years, that's what Americans — and their technology — have done with their clocks on the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday in October.No longer. When few people were paying attention in August 2005, Congress lengthened daylight saving time by four weeks in the name of energy efficiency.The change takes effect this year — on March 11 — and it has angered airlines, delighted candy makers and sent thousands of technicians scrambling to make sure countless automated systems switch their clocks at the right moment. Unless changed by one method or another, many systems will remain programmed to read the calendar and start daylight saving time on its old date in April, not its new one in March.

It's one thing to arrive an hour late for church on the first day of daylight saving. It's another for a security system to log the wrong time of crucial events, for pilots to misunderstand their takeoff times or international communications components to stop synchronizing. But such scenarios are possible without the fix to vast numbers of the nation's technical systems...

But Microsoft cautions that some of its older products — including Windows XP SP1 and Windows NT4 — will require manual updates. The company's Web site provides detailed instructions on how to update various products, although it is pushing against the deadline in some cases. Updates and tools "are being developed and tested," the Web site says, and some will "be released through early March 2007."As a fallback, Microsoft urges customers to double-check meetings scheduled during the four weeks being added to daylight saving time this year.

"Users should view any appointments that fall into these date ranges as suspect until they communicate with all meeting invitees to make sure that the item shows up correctly on everyone's calendar both internally and externally," Microsoft says on its Web site.

The way I understand it, we go off daylight savings time in the winter so that it is not dark when children begin to go to school in the mornings. This is the second change in the daylight savings times dates that I recall.

The following news item was of interest:

Religion booming in 'atheist' China

UPI - February 7, 2007 

A new survey published in the state-run China Daily says China has three times as many religious believers as previously thought, suggesting that the "opium of the masses" is more popular than ever in this officially atheist nation. 
East China Normal University professors estimate about 300 million people - more than 30 percent of the adult population - follow Buddhist, Taoist, Christian, Muslim or other faiths, Britain's Guardian magazine reported Wednesday. 
The figures cast doubt on official statistics that claim China has only 100 million faithful as well as the communist government's assertion that religion will wither away under communist rule.

There has long been a witness to China. An article of related interest may be China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God's Witness in China.

The following article is not quite related, but was of interest:

Putin: It's religion and nuclear weapons that protect Russia

ENI - Feb 7, 2007

Moscow (ENI)  Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's internal and external security depends upon two things - its traditional religions and its nuclear forces. "These themes are closely connected because both the traditional faiths of the Russian Federation and Russia's nuclear shield are two things that strengthen Russian statehood and create the necessary conditions for ensuring the country's internal and external security," Putin said at a media conference. "And it is therefore possible to arrive at a clear conclusion as to what the state's attitude should be towards these two areas, both today and in the future." http://www.eni.ch/

The traditional religion in Russia is the Russian Orthodox faith which is part of the Eastern Orthodox. To better understand the traditional faith, please read the article Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Churches of God.

02/07/07 a.m. Last night I received a brochure from Legacy Institute. The only distant hint that Legacy had anything to do with religion was probably the following statement:

...students are free to maintain their own religious convictions.

The apparent reason for this, which is in an accompanying letter from its treasurer Anita Showers is that:

Legacy's project in Thailand qualifies as an educational outreach program and therefore is acceptable for matching funds.

In other words, if Legacy is not a religious organization, corporate gift-matching programs are applicable. Thus, that is how they are presenting themselves.

This morning, I noticed that the About the Church of God-PKG page still states:

This is a brief introduction to the Church of God-PKG (Preparing for the Kingdom of God) and the president of the organization and pastor of the church, Ron Weinland.

The organization of the Church of God-PKG was established to serve those scattered brethren of the Church of God who desired to hold fast to those truths restored to the Philadelphian era and revealed through God's end-time apostle, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.

Since Ron Weinland denies the deity of Christ, etc. he is NOT accomplishing the statement that he made above. An article of related interest may be Brief Article on Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God.

COGaic had the following Reuter's story:

AMMAN, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Jordan's King Abdullah said on Tuesday Israeli excavation works near the al-Aqsa mosque in the holy city of Jerusalem has led to a dangerous rise in Middle East tensions and could derail revival of Arab-Israeli peace talks.

"What Israel is doing in its practices and attacks against our sacred Muslim sites in Jerusalem and al-Aqsa is a blatant violation that is not acceptable under any pretext," the monarch was quoted by the state news agency Petra as saying.

These measures will only create an atmosphere that will not at all help in the success of efforts being undertaken to restore the peace process," the monarch said.

The world is getting ready to involve the Europeans more in the Middle East.

02/06/07 a.m. This morning, PCG's Gerald Flurry reported:

Suddenly the top Democratic candidates for the 2008 presidency are insisting that the United States pull out of Iraq very quickly. This is a far more radical idea than simply opposing the idea of sending more troops. The Democrats have only been in control of Congress for a month, and already they are making strong demands of the president in the war on terrorism. Polls show that a majority of Americans agree with them. It looks like the tide has shifted strongly in favor of the Democrats taking over the presidency in the next election.

This is a dangerous moment in American history—and world history. But many people have lost the big picture. They are focusing almost exclusively on wanting to end the loss of American soldiers, and ignoring the larger implications of this war...

Daniel 11:42 implies that Egypt will be allied with the king of the south, or Iran...

But Iran’s strategy in the region extends well beyond Iraq. The real power behind the Palestinians is Iran. No other nation finances and blatantly encourages terrorism in Israel like Iran does. It has even been caught publicly sending enormous amounts of weapons to the Palestinians...

Nations throughout the Middle East are already strongly influenced by Iran. If Iraq falls to this terrorist nation, which seems close to happening, then Iran could control an enormous area that contains a gigantic share of the world’s oil!

PCG remains convinced that Iran will be the king of the South. We in LCG teach otherwise. An article of related interest may be Is There A Future King of the South?

Crusade Church of God's Larry R. Lasiter wrote:

Many erroneously assume that the term "clean and unclean animal" came from Leviticus, the Israelite book of the Law. Leviticus 11 does give specific instructions on what the Israelites were allowed to eat, and what they were not. But God made distinctions between animals being clean and unclean long before Moses, or even Abraham. The first Biblical reference is found in the flood account in Genesis 7, where God instructed Noah to take one pair of unclean animals aboard the Ark, but seven pairs of clean animals.  

How do you suppose Noah knew how to do this? Isn't it obvious that he knew the difference between the clean and the unclean animals? It was either common knowledge of his day, or God directly taught him at this time in order to carry this health law over into the post-flood world Why do you suppose God commanded Noah to take seven pairs of clean animals? Isn't it logical to assume it was because they were given to man as food? Genesis 9 records God's blessing to Noah...

WHAT ABOUT ROMANS 14? The Apostle Paul's letter to the Church at Rome addresses this issue of food, but is primarily about tolerance. There were some saints in Rome that were "weak in faith" concerning what they could eat. Some believed in eating "all things", while the "weak" would eat vegetables only. This scripture is addressing the relationship of the meat eater with the vegetarian, with Paul instructing those strong in faith to bear with those who are weak 

Notice Verses 1-2 -"Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. One man has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only."  

This entire chapter is about helping the meat eater and the vegetarian get along within the assembly of the church. It is Paul's instruction toward being careful to not offend another in food or drink. For Example: The Bible does condemn drunkenness, but does not condemn drinking wine or other alcoholic beverages. (Deuteronomy 14:26) Now there are Christians that drink and those who do not. One who does, should be careful to not offend another by drinking in his presence. Even though the Bible does not teach against drinking, it does teach against offending your brother.   

Furthermore, I would like to add that according to the Roman Catholics, it was Bishop Eleutherius who dispensed of this biblical obligation. Those interested in the New Testament perspective may wish to read the article The New Testament and Unclean Meats.

02/05/07 p.m. Christianity Today suggests that it knows of Valentine's pagan connections:

Four centuries before Christ, Romans had a day called Lupercalia. Without going too much into it, I'll sum it up as a sexual lottery. Pull names out of a box at random and couple with a young member of the opposite sex. After a year, you get to pick another name. Supposedly, this went on for centuries until the Christians had to go and ruin it with their whole morality thing.

But apparently Christians didn't think the practice was all bad. They (Pope Gelasius, according to my source) liked the box idea, and so initiated a custom of drawing saints names out of a box.

Every year CT has ads related to this pagan holiday. True Christians have never observed it.

Not surprisingly, the most popular article on the COGwriter site for the month of February is still Valentine's Day: Its Real Origins

02/05/07 a.m. WCG has gotten around to ordaining its first woman according to its Jan 31 update:

Grace Fellowship of Pikeville, Kentucky, was witness to an historic event in our denomination. On January 21 Debby Bailey was ordained an elder, making her the first woman to hold such a position in the Worldwide Church of God. Bob Taylor, retired district superintendent, had the honor of officiating at the ordination along with the pastoral team members and their spouses...

Debby's first official duty after ordination was to take part in the baptism of the congregations newest two members, Johnny Worrix and Philip Nelson.

I have previously challenged WCG's position on ordaining women. No woman is shown taking part in baptisms in the New Testament. Those in WCG should re-read their Bibles as well as the article Women and the New Testament Church

Is the COG concept that most will be saved a new one? Not according to the Bible or even Roman Catholic related sources. Notice:

From The Catholic Encyclopedia:

The Catholic doctrine of purgatory supposes the fact that some die with smaller faults for which there was no true repentance, and also the fact that the temporal penalty due to sin is it times not wholly paid in this life...Some stress too has been laid upon the objection that the ancient Christians had no clear conception of purgatory, and that they thought that the souls departed remained in uncertainty of salvation to the last day...There are several passages in the New Testament that point to a process of purification after death. Thus, Jesus Christ declares (Matthew 12:32): "And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come"...(Hanna, Edward J. Transcribed by William G. Bilton, Ph.D. Purgatory. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XII. Published 1911. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York)..

The Roman Catholics have accepted some teachings from Origen, but not all (nor should they have). However, it may be of interest to read what noted historian K.S. Latourette observed about Origen as it is closer to the RC position on purgatory, but closer COG position on the what will happen to those not converted in this age:

Origen taught that ultimately all the spirits who have fallen away from God will be restored to full harmony with Him. This can come about only with their cooperation, for they have freedom to accept or reject the redemption wrought in Christ. Before full restoration they will suffer punishment, but that punishment is intended to be educative, to purge them from the imperfections brought by their sin. After the end of the present age and its world another age will come, so Origen believed, in which have been born again will continue to grow and the unrepentant will be given further opportunity for repentance (Latourette K.S. A History of Christianity, Volume 1, Beginnings to 1500. Harper Collins, San Francisco, 1975, p.151).

Here are some quotes directly by Origen:

...the good Father has not entirely deserted those who have fallen away from Him (Origen. Commentary on the Gospel of John (Book I). Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 9. Edited by Allan Menzies, D.D. American Edition, 1896 and 1897. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

It is to be borne in mind, however, that certain beings who fell away from that one beginning of which we have spoken, have sunk to such a depth of unworthiness and wickedness as to be deemed altogether undeserving of that training and instruction by which the human race, while in the flesh, are trained and instructed with the assistance of the heavenly powers; and continue, on the contrary, in a state of enmity and opposition to those who are receiving this instruction and teaching. And hence it is that the whole of this mortal life is full of struggles and trials, caused by the opposition and enmity of those who fell from a better condition without at all looking back, and who are called the devil and his angels, and the other orders of evil, which the apostle classed among the opposing powers. But whether any of these orders who act under the government of the devil, and obey his wicked commands, will in a future world be converted to righteousness because of their possessing the faculty of freedom of will, or whether persistent and inveterate wickedness may be changed by the power of habit into nature, is a result which you yourself, reader, may approve of, if neither in these present worlds which are seen and temporal, nor in those which are unseen and are eternal, that portion is to differ wholly from the final unity and fitness of things (Origen. De Principiis, Book I, Chapter 6, verse 3).

...and thus, through the numerous and uncounted orders of progressive beings who are being reconciled to God from a state of enmity, the last enemy is finally reached, who is called death, so that he also may be destroyed, and no longer be an enemy. When, therefore, all rational souls shall have been restored to a condition of this kind, then the nature of this body of ours will undergo a change into the glory of a spiritual body. For as we see it not to be the case with rational natures, that some of them have lived in a condition of degradation owing to their sins, while others have been called to a state of happiness on account of their merits; but as we see those same souls who had formerly been sinful, assisted, after their conversion and reconciliation to God, to a state of happiness (Origen. De Principiis, Book III, Chapter 6, verse 6).

While we in the COGs would not word it quite that way, these quotes do show that the idea that God has a plan that will give the unrepentant an opportunity after this present age is not a new concept

The following is also from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

Apocatastasis (Gr., apokatastasis; Lat. restitutio in pristinum statum, restoration to the original condition).

A name given in the history of theology to the doctrine which teaches that a time will come when all free creatures will share in the grace of salvation; in a special way, the devils and lost souls.

This doctrine was explicitly taught by St. Gregory of Nyssa, and in more than one passage. It first occurs in his "De animâ et resurrectione" (P.G., XLVI, cols. 100, 101)...A time, then, will come, when all evil shall cease to be since it has no existence of its own apart from the free will, in which it inheres; when every free will shall be turned to God, shall be in God, and evil shall have no more wherein to exist. Thus, St. Gregory of Nyssa continues, shall the word of St. Paul be fulfilled: Deus erit omnia in omnibus (1 Corinthians 15:28), which means that evil shall, ultimately, have an end, since, if God be all in all, there is no longer any place for evil (cols. 104, 105; cf. col. 152). St. Gregory recurs to the same thought of the final annihilation of evil, in his "Oratio catechetica", ch. xxvi; the same comparison of fire which purges gold of its impurities is to be found there; so also shall the power of God purge nature of that which is preternatural, namely, of evil...

The doctrine of the apokatastasis is not, indeed, peculiar to St. Gregory of Nyssa, but is taken from Origen, who seems at times reluctant to decide concerning the question of the eternity of punishment...Origen teaches the apokatastasis, the final restoration of all intelligent creatures to friendship with God...It must, however, always be accepted as a principle that God does not chasten except to amend, and that the sole end of His greatest anger is the amelioration of the guilty...All souls, all impenitent beings that have gone astray, shall, therefore, be restored sooner or later to God's friendship. The evolution will be long, incalculably long in some cases, but a time will come when God shall be all in all. Death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed, the body shall be made spiritual, the world of matter shall be transformed, and there shall be, in the universe, only peace and unity...All souls, all impenitent beings that have gone astray, shall, therefore, be restored sooner or later to God's friendship. The evolution will be long, incalculably long in some cases, but a time will come when God shall be all in all. Death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed, the body shall be made spiritual, the world of matter shall be transformed, and there shall be, in the universe, only peace and unity...It was through Origen that the Platonist doctrine of the apokatastasis passed to St. Gregory of Nyssa, and simultaneously to St. Jerome, at least during the time that St. Jerome was an Origenist...

From the moment, however, that anti-Origenism prevailed, the doctrine of the apokatastasis was definitely abandoned...It was destined, nevertheless, to be revived in the works of ecclesiastical writers...The doctrine of apokatastasis viewed as a belief in a universal salvation is found among the Anabaptists...(Batiffel, Pierre. Transcribed by Elizabeth T. Knuth. Apocatastasis. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

The Catholic scholar F.A. Sullivan observed:

Controversy arose during the third century about some of Origen's opinions...a synod of Constantinople in 543 condemned nine propositions attributed to him, notably concerning...the final restoration of all...As a result, most of his works in the original Greek were destroyed...While the Church later rejected some of his opinions, there can be no doubt about Origen's intentions to remain faithful to the apostolic tradition (Sullivan F.A. From Apostles to Bishops: The Development of the Episcopacy in the Early Church. Newman Press. New York, 2001, p. 187).

Protestants tend to put people in only two categories, the saved and the condemned. Yet, both the RCs and COGs believe that there is something different for those that are not incorrigibly wicked. We in the COGs believe that the Bible teaches the idea that God has a plan that will give the unrepentant an opportunity for salvation after this present age. It should be noted that the Catholic Saint Irenaeus taught that Adam and others still had a chance for eternal life--more information, including biblical passages, can be found in the article Hope of Salvation: How the COGs Differ from Protestantism.

02/04/07 a.m. The following news item was of interest:

B.C. enters window of increased quake risk

CTV, Canada - Feb 2, 2007
Experts warn that British Columbia's south coast has entered a two-week window of increased probability in which a major earthquake could occur.

While the chances of that happening are still very slim, such an event could trigger a tsunami equal to the size and the strength of what hit the Sumatra-Andaman Islands in 2004.

Seismologists with B.C.'s Geological Survey of Canada made the announcement after measuring a series of minor tremors deep below the Earth's surface and along the Cascadia Subduction Zone -- a long, sloping fault that stretches from northern California to Vancouver Island.

The zone, which separates the Juan de Fuca Plate and the North American Plate, has a very large fault area which can produce large earthquakes with a magnitude of 9.0 or greater if a rupture were to occur...

The seismologists started detecting strong ETS movement last Friday.

If a major quake should occur, said seismologist Garry Rogers: "You're looking at a big tsunami happening at the same time. The west coast of Vancouver Island, the Washington and Oregon coasts, are all vulnerable to a force powerful enough to certainly bring down buildings.

Rogers told CTV.ca that the area of the Cascadia Subduction Zone is comparable in size to the rupture zone of the Dec. 26, 2004 earthquake in the Pacific Ocean that triggered a devastating tsunami in the Sumatra-Andaman Islands.

Another comparable scenario, said Roberts, is the 1964 earthquake that struck Alaska...

Should B.C. escape the big one this time, the next window of higher earthquake risk will occur around April 2008. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070202/bc_quake_070202/20070202?hub=TopStories

Rarely do we hear of specific short term reports of increased earthquake risk. FWIW, I have been to Alaska twice (last time in 1999) and damage from the 1964 quake is still apparent.

In the UK there is another problem:

UK races to halt killer bird flu

CNN - Feb 3, 2007

HOLTON, England (Reuters) -- Britain scrambled to contain its first outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain of bird flu in domestic poultry on Saturday after the virus was found at a farm run by Europe's biggest turkey producer...

In May, 50,000 chickens at three farms in Norfolk, also in eastern England and home to some of Europe's biggest poultry farms, were culled after another strain, H7N3, was detected.

A wild swan found dead in Scotland in March had the H5N1 version of the virus. It was thought to have caught the disease elsewhere, died at sea and been washed ashore in Scotland.


Bob Kuhne reported the first item some time ago, but since it leads into the list, I thought I would include both now:

The Liberty Bell Park children's playground was a gift in 1978 to the children of Jerusalem paid for by the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation which was founded by Herbert W. Armstrong.  Upon discovering in 1997 that the original plaque commemorating the park's donation was missing, Gerald Flurry offered the city a replacement plaque.  The new plaque states that the playground was a gift from the Philadelphia Foundation, Herbert W. Armstrong founder and Gerald R. Flurry president, which is a two-fold lie:  The playground was not donated by the Philadelphia Foundation which was not founded by Herbert W. Armstrong.  This is just a lying "sign," written up in the July/Aug. 2001 Royal Vision, pg. 1.


In addition, the Philadelphia Church of God has many other signs & wonders which supposedly "prove," for anyone who really wants to believe, that it is the one-and-only church organization doing the work of God today.  Below is a partial list of PCG copycats.  Note: After spending over $100,000 to purchase HWA's piano and two candelabras (see below), a $100,000 tithe check was "miraculously" received to cover the cost (we think we know who sent it in).


HWA Original GRF Counterfeit

Ambassador College (called A.C.)




Imperial School

(elementary & high school)


Ambassador International

Cultural Foundation (AICF)



Auditorium (house of God)


Plain Truth magazine (PT)


Good News magazine


Worldwide News

newspaper for members




TV Program


Copyrighted literature



HWA purchased Steinway piano in



Two candelabras in auditorium



Black ebony table and 10-12 chairs from

Mr. Armstrong's conference room at

Bricket Wood


Young Ambassadors (singing group)


Imperial College - now renamed

Herbert W. Armstrong College, and

shortened to Armstrong College (AC)


Ambassador Academy

(elementary & high school)


Philadelphia Foundation - now renamed

Armstrong International

Cultural Foundation (AICF)


Auditorium (house of God)


Philadelphia Trumpet magazine (PT)


Royal Vision magazine


Philadelphia News

newspaper for members


Booklets (same size and format)


TV Program (same format)


Purchased 19 HWA copyrights

($3,000,000 + $2,000,000 court costs)


Purchased WCG's 1983 Steinway piano

($52,500) - they got the wrong one


Purchased HWA's two candelabras



Purchased this table and chairs ($27,000)




Young Ambassadors (singing group)

...Comment:  PCG members get a warm and fuzzy feeling and are made to feel right at home with all the many  WCG/PCG similarities. 

PCG, who has changed the message, governance, and so many teachings that HWA's WCG had, seems to focus a lot on the above type of outward appearances to try to persuade themselves and others that they are more similar than they are. It may be a good time to remind everyone that Hezekiah destroyed the bronze serpent that God had Moses make in Numbers 21:8-9 because of how it was revered later (2 Kings 18:4).

Jesus Himself taught:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous (Matthew 23:27-29).

Two articles of related interest may be:

Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees?
Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God

02/03/07 a.m. This morning I received the following from Pam Dewey:

You noted in your entry, "Pam Dewey often seems to "push the envelope" as far as being a female leader in any COG-related group. An article of
possibly related interest may be Women and the New Testament Church."

It might be useful to note that I have no position as a "leader" ... if by that one means one with authority and/or "power over" ... in any fellowship group of brethren. I have no interest at all in the issue of ordination of women to role of elder or pastor. So if by "female leader" you mean the kind of "leadership of service" whereby someone has influence because their efforts are respected and appreciated, I will accept that designation. If you mean something else having to do with church hierarchical issues, that is a mistaken notion. There are indeed a number of men in leadership positions in various Church of God ministries and groups who have appreciated my service within their ministries, including Jim O'Brien and Ron Dart. But I am certainly not in any sense in competition for"leadership roles" with them in the sense that the word usually means in COG circles. And of course, I am not in any sense in competition with my husband, who is a former CGI pastor and fully supports and encourages me in all my outreach efforts... 

If you'll send me your snailmail address, I'd be pleased to send you a free DVD of a few of my seminars (which are NOT presented during church services
anywhere, but are "educational" offerings at separate meetings), including one entitled "History is HerStory too: The Role of Women Throughout History in the Plan of God." That way if you find yourself reporting on my activities in the future, you will have first-hand experience and information from which to knowledgeably comment.  And at the same time, you can judge for yourself if my use of my spiritual gifts is in line with the will of God for the role of women... 

Thanks for the service you provide of allowing people to keep up with the activities in the scattered COG world.
My response was:

Thanks for the email.  Nice to hear from you... 

As far as you "pushing the envelope", I really do not know a huge amount about what you do (though I have read some things you wrote) and felt that that was the best way to word it.   As you may have noticed, I did not condemn you as I did WCG for its female ordination position--nor does my article on Women in the NT.  Actually, my article on Women in the NT shows that women were to have more public roles than the then Jewish society seemed to allow. 

And yes, I will provide you with an address to send the DVD.  I have written a couple of articles about women in Church history, and would prefer to have more.  Maybe I will get some ideas for additional articles from your presentation.  Thanks for the offer.
My article Women and the New Testament Church is positive towards women having roles in the COG.  There are a variety of articles on church history at the History of the Early Christianity page.

Last night, ICG's Mark Armstrong reported:

And there is growing concern, in the American Congress and among western Europeans that the U.S. may be contemplating military action against Iran, despite denials this week by our new Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates.  Still, the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency confirms that Iran is prepared to complete the installation of three thousand uranium enrichment centrifuges by February that will place them ever closer to the ability to build nuclear weapons.  Additionally, the Debkafile reports that the Iranians are preparing to launch a spy satellite using a converted ballistic missile as a space launcher.  “If this claim is correct, then Iran has a launcher able to put 300 kg into earth orbit – and by the same definition, an ICBM that could drop more than 300 kg anywhere in the world, including Washington DC.  Some of the pundits are beginning to predict that President Bush will have to take action against Iran prior to the expiration of his term, rather than leaving such a monumental threat to his successor, whoever he or she may be.

The world is getting more dangerous. FWIW, I suspect that something will be done about Iran, but I also suspect (loosely based upon two biblical passages) that it will be less than its total destruction.

The following news item was of interest:

US commission links religious freedom in China to Olympics

ENI - Feb 2, 2007

Oxford (ENI). Using the 2008 Olympics in Beijing as a platform, a US commission on religious freedom has called for increased international pressure on China to end its intolerance of religious expression. Felice Gaer, chairperson of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, asked the US Congress to give the subject of religious freedom the same priority as trade and security when dealing with China.          http://www.eni.ch/

It may be that there will only be time for a "short work" in China, and perhaps the US pressure will help. Some articles of related interest may be:

China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters This article provides information showing that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God's Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? And is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath?
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 3: China in Prophecy What is Ahead for China? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese?

02/02/07 a.m. In the Feb-Mar 2007 edition of Christian Odyssey WCG's John Halford wrote:

We want Christian Odyssey to reflect the bright new “face” that God has given our church since he showed us the way out of legalism. We would like to increase Christian Odyssey’s circulation...

Our current circulation costs are just about covered from our denominational budget. But that budget is stretched to the limit. So if we are to significantly increase our circulation, we need your help.

Not counting the cost for advertising, it costs about seven dollars to add a new reader to the list and cover the subscription costs for one year. Will you help us keep those presses running?

John Halford is the editor on Christian Odyssey, and used to believe in keeping the law, instead of condemning it now. Of course, if WCG taught tithing they would not have the same financial concerns as portions of it now have. As far as being legalists is concerned, Jesus and the early Christian church did keep the ten commandments and other parts of the law. Three articles of related interest may be:

What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church

Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome

Dennis DeJarnette, who is affiliated with "Faith Networks" reported:

If you are within driving distance of Springfield, Missouri, and don’t already have plans for the last weekend of the Feast of Unleavened Bread 2007, you are invited to be part of three days of fellowship, worship, education, inspiration, and fun in Springfield. All activities will be held at the Springfield Lamplighter Inn & Suites.

The weekend will officially begin at 10:30 AM on Sabbath, April 7 with a seminar by Oasis Ministries speaker Pam Dewey. A worship service will follow, with the featured message by George Dewey, and then a potluck luncheon. Fun, fellowship, games, and music will continue with a Saturday evening mixer from 7-10 PM.

Sunday morning will feature another seminar by Pam at 10:30 AM, followed by a worship service, with the featured message by Event Coordinator Dennis DeJarnette.

Pam Dewey often seems to "push the envelope" as far as being a female leader in any COG-related group. An article of possibly related interest may be Women and the New Testament Church.

Yesterday, I add something to the following section of an article about what Roman Catholic scholars know:

Was the Headquarters of the True Church To Remain in the Same City?

While there is no support in the Bible itself about Rome being the headquarters of Christendom, the real question is: Was the headquarters of the true church to remain in one city such as Rome?

According to the Apostle Paul, no that was impossible, as he wrote:

For we have not here a permanent city: but we seek that which is to come (Hebrews 13:14, Rheims NT).

Clearly Paul is teaching that there would not be a permanent city for Christians, until the city which is to come (New Jerusalem, Revelation 21:2). Thus Paul is teaching that no human city, including Rome, could be a permanent headquarter's city for believers.

Let us look at what Jesus taught the future leadership of the church on this matter:

and you shall be odious to all men for my name, but he that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved. And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another. Amen I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel till the Son of man come (Matthew 10:22-23, Rheims).

Jesus has not yet come and whatever Christians there have been in Palestine have been chased through all the cities in that geographic region since Jesus stated this ( the Crusades helped insure this). Thus Jesus is obviously referring to more cities than are in the area of Palestine (and hence is including cities of the other tribes of Israel or simply areas of "spiritual Israel").

Jesus, thus, seems to be prophesying that it would not be possible that the headquarters of the true church could permanently remain in any one city for hundreds or nearly two thousand years. These statements from Jesus and Paul would suggest that only a church whose headquarters moved relatively often could possibly be the true church.

Thus, even the Catholic Rheims New Testament effectively helps prove that no single city, including Rome, could have remained the headquarters of Christendom for nearly 2000 years!

An article of related interest may be What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History?

The following, non-COG public domain animations were recently added to the COGwriter home page:

The Good Samaritan A public domain claymation for younger people.
Paul in Damascus Not a quiz, but a Lego-animation.
John 21 A biblical story (other than a Lego suggesting a long-haired Jesus) for young people.

There are a variety of Bible-based quizzes and games at the COGwriter home page.

02/01/07 a.m. In January 2007, the COGwriter site received twice the number of hits as were recorded in January 2006. The following were the top fifteen articles for January 2007 (ignores home page, news pages, quizzes):

  1. COGlinks, links to websites of groups somehow once related to the Worldwide Church of God.
  2. Why Not the Restored Church of God? This group, led by David Pack, claims to be the most faithful. The information in this article suggests otherwise.
  3. Brief Article on Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God This is Ronald Weinland's group. He claims to be one of the two witnesses.
  4. History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church?
  5. Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God Simply calling oneself 'Philadelphia' does not make one so (see Revelation 3:7-9). This article provides quotes from this group which claims to be faithful.
  6. Church of God, Seventh Day: History and Teachings Nearly all COG's I am aware of trace their history through this group. Do you know much about them?
  7. Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from the two largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.
  8. Polycarp of Smyrna Polycarp was the successor of the Apostle John and a major leader in Asia Minor. Do you know much about what he taught?
  9. 15 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert Armstrong He, even after his death, keeps being improperly maligned--here is the truth on these matters.
  10. SDA/COG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The COG is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, and differences in approaching doctrine.
  11. Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
  12. Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Churches of God Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
  13. The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3.
  14. What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
  15. Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?

This is the first time that the COGlinks article has ever been number 1 (though since it is not much of an article, I may not list it in the top articles in the future). This month is probably the first that so many articles on different Sabbatarian groups made the top ten. There were a lot of additions to the Location article, and if you have not read it in a while, you may wish to do so again.

However, the doctrinal and historical articles were also viewed in January as many of them were in the top 20.

FWIW, the most popular article so far this month is Valentine's Day: Its Real Origins.

This morning I received an email from a reader of this page that stated:

I have the December Issue of Faith Networks in front of me and the deadline for material for the next issue was yesterday.

He sent that as I posted yesterday that the latest issue at its website was dated February 2006--there are several groups that have major website delays. That newsletter is titled Faith Networks—A Newsletter of Cooperation in the Churches of God.

On a somewhat related note, I visited the website of Rolland D. Wile's Remnant Church of God this morning and noticed that its last posted newsletter is dated January 2001.

I would suggest that independents and those in non-Philadelphian groups, read the article There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God?

Click here for previous COG news (includes comments on the China, differences in how two in UCG/LCG view the future, prophecy, antichrists, Valentine's day, Catholic Cardinal's denial of "apostolic succession" etc.)

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Click here for the Early Christianity page

Volume 10, issue 36 COG writer B. Thiel (c) 2007