Since the November 1998 takeover of the old GCG by the board in the U.S., those once with GCG went to many places. Most of the members and ministers ultimately went with the Living Church of God (LCG), 8-15% went with the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship (CGCF) and smaller percentages ended up with David Pack's Restored Church of God (RCG) (which was formed after the GCG board put him out), Harold Smith's Church of God Fellowship, Northwest (CGFnw), and other groups (at least one which is outside the U.S. uses the term Global Church of God). On July 1, 2001, eight ministers resigned from CGCF and formed the Church of the Eternal God (CEG), similar in name, but not related, to the Eternal Church of God (ECG--founded by a minister removed from the original GCG ministry for impropriety) about a month later CGCF (USA) dissolved and most still with it ended up in the United Church of God (UCG). One former GCG minister (Ronald Laughland) became pastor of the Wholeworld Church of God. In 2004, Raymond McNair, having been in GCG, CGCF, LCG, then went on his own and formed Church of God, 21st Century (COG21); later he became ill and died. Don Haney, once in GCG/LCG, formed the Church of God In Peace and Truth. In 2005, Ben Faulkner, who was in GCG and LCG, formed the Church of the Sovereign God (CotSG). In 2006, Charles Bryce who was in GCG and LCG left, and formed the Enduring Church of God (En COG). In 2010, several of the main leaders who went to UCG from CGCF left it and went to a group called COGWA. A couple of people, like Norman Edwards (Servants' News), left GCG well before the 1998 takeover (he has Port Austin Bible Campus). In 2013, Rod Reynolds left LCG and formed COG Messenger. On 12/15/11, a minister in good-standing with LCG anointed Bob Thiel with oil and prayed that God would grant him a double-portion of His Spirit (see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God): and things have not been the same since (Bob Thiel still, of course, supports the goals and biblical beliefs of Philadelphia era of the Church of God). Website links for most of those who were once part of GCG and that have websites can be found at the COGlinks page. In 2012, certain heresies were officially introduced and/or confirmed by LCG. After concluding that insufficient value was placed on the truth (and keeing their word) by certain leaders of LCG and that they no longer held to biblical church governance and could not as is be used to lead the final phase of the work (see also Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God), on 12/28/12 Bob Thiel was led to form and then announced the beginning of the Continuing Church of God. This page reports on those groups that somehow once had ties to the old GCG.
03/08/08 p.m. Brian Orchard, formerly of COGaIC, reported the following:
Many are already aware that Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Elliott and Mr. & Mrs. Bob Rodzaj are joining the Nathans in moving to Living Church of God. Mr. and Mrs. Ted Budge have opted to return to the United Church of God. This is a difficult development and admittedly it disappoints my expectations.
I had hoped to report something more directly from LCG about this, but it was not in their past couple of weekly updates. While because of several doctrinal and priority reasons I consider that LCG is probably less of a problem than COGaIC, I would have expected that the ministers once in COGaIC would have not jumped into an organization that officially has declared that it defined its organizational uniqueness by its odd falling away position (for details The Falling Away: The Bible, WCG, and LCG Teachings).
Of course, LCG has other issues (to me, character counts more than it seems to many), but apparently those were not sufficient to prevent the some from one non-Philadelphian organization from going to another non-Philadelphian organization.
I had made a post where I tried to warn Peter Nathan and others about this (see Peter Nathan on Thyatira and Sardis, but what about Laodicea?), but because past interactions (and their past behaviors and/or writings), I had little confidence that those who I had considered to likely have been Laodicean would have sufficiently changed.
Hopefully, they and others will do so before it is too late (Zephaniah 2:1-3; see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra). The same goes for those who went to UCG or stayed with COGaIC.
I continue to pray that those who truly wish to "contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3) and have the zeal to "let Philadelphia continue" (Hebrews 13:1, semi-literal translation) will be interested enough in fulfilling Matthew 24:14 that they will wish to support the Continuing Church of God. There are still some that were once part of COGaIC that may be moved by God, and may have the humility and courage to do so.
02/28/14 p.m. In its latest update, LCG had the following:
Cincinnati “Creation Weekend” Planned!
The Ohio congregations are planning a “Creation Weekend” in Cincinnati over Memorial Day weekend, May 23-26. The event will include special Bible Studies, workshops, and activities related to creation, science, and the Bible, as well as a group trip to the world famous, Bible-based Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky. We are planning fellowship and educational activities that will be fun for all ages, from pre-teens and teens to adults and “seasoned citizens”! In an age when biblical teachings concerning man’s origins and the creation of the earth and the universe are mocked and ridiculed, we believe that it is all the more important to fortify ourselves and our children with the truth, and this weekend will be dedicated to doing just that. If you are interested in coming, please visit ohiolcg.org (not an official Church Web site), click on the “Creation Weekend” link, and let us know you are interested. Also, you can find more information on this site and even submit your own questions and suggestions! Your information will help us plan, and we will announce more information as the event develops. So pencil in Memorial Day weekend, and we’ll see you in Cincinnati!—Wallace Smith
It is my limited understanding that the "Creation Museum" teaches that the entire planet is about 6,000 years old and that it does not teach what has been referred to as the 'gap theory' of creation (see How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation?). It is because of 'creationists' who hold the 6000 year old earth view that some scientists tend to shy away from being considered as creationists. LCG, however, has held the gap theory, so that is not likely to change from this weekend Wallace Smith wrote of, despite his claim that the museum is "Bible-based."
Some items of related doctrinal interest may include the following:
Is God's Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God's Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what 'pseudo-scientists' refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
02/26/14 p.m. According to the PTG website, Peter Nathan, formerly with COGaIC and then for a short period with a breakaway group, is to be hired by LCG. LCG has been talking with Peter Nathan for years, and Dr. Meredith indicated to me years ago that he expected this to happen some time. LCG did not have this, however, in it latest weekly update.
02/23/14 a.m. Just uploaded Lesson 2 of the new Study the Bible Course. This course is highly based upon the original 58 lesson Bible Correspondence Course that began in the 1950s and was put out by the old Radio Church of God.
As Jesus commanded:
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; (Matthew 28:19-20)
The original 58 lesson Bible Correspondence Course is dated and uses language that many in the 21st century have difficulty with. It is our hope and prayer that our Study the Bible Course will not only be familiar to people who knew about the old course from the Radio Church of God, but will be of immense assistance to those who do not have a Church of God background.
We have the Study the Bible Course available in multiple languages and hope to get other languages as well. Here is a link to Lesson 2. Here is a link to Lesson 1.
02/15/14 a.m. Visited the website of Wholeworld COG today. Its home page has an update from yesterday by Ron Laughlin that states:
Upon baptism we were no longer hostile to God; we were turned into the lovers of God. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be." Rom 8:7. We now became follower of Jesus Christ by keeping His laws which is the way of love. We now, through the power of the Holy Spirit, are able to change and become a new being. We become the Sons of God being led into righteousness. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." Rom 8:14. We are then able to mature in the inner man as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. "Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature." 1 Cor 14:20.
Now, how can we evaluate our change from a carnal, self-centered individual to a true Son of the living God ready to serve Him in His Kingdom? The answer is that every year God has a time set aside for us to evaluate our growth from one year to the next. It is called the Passover season. We are commanded each year to study our selves, our lives, and how much we have grown to become like our Brother, and our Heavenly Father. "Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?--unless indeed you are disqualified. But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified. 2 Cor 13:5-6. Understand this scripture, as it is the key to having a profitable Passover.
Turning away form sin and properly repenting is something that Christians should do and that is the subject of the recommended CCOG sermon for today: Confess to God and truly repent.
As far as preparation for Passover, the following sermon can be helpful: Preparing for Passover.
02/14/14 p.m. Saw an article by former GCG board member Norman Edwards on the subject of 'sacred names' that I thought was interesting. This subject comes up from time to time and I thought he provided some useful information. Here is a link: Sacred Names: Appropriate or Required?
02/13/14 a.m. Because of travel plans, it might make sense if I make a stop in London on my way back from or on my way to Kenya (possibly as soon as March 29, 2014). There are some affiliated with the Continuing Church of God in the UK as well as some others who have expressed interest in the CCOG in that country. If you would like to possibly meet me and attend a possible Sabbath service in a hotel probably near Heathrow, please send me an email. My email address remains email@example.com
02/12/14 p.m. The Continuing Church of God (CCOG) is pleased to announce that it now has a page on Flipboard called Bible News Prophecy. Basically, Flipboard is like an online magazine that you flip pages to read, plus it also contains links to many of our YouTube videos.
To go to our Bible News Prophecy Profile page, simply click on that link, or go to: https://flipboard.com/profile/ProphecyNews
02/06/14 a.m. New data is in on COGwriter.com. This was the best January ever recorded according to AWstats.
Notice, for example, the results for January 2013 for COGwriter.com:
Here are the results for January 2014 for COGwriter.com:
Note: The term "Pages" means number of articles. Almost none of the "pages" is only one page in length. Most articles are 15 or more pages long, and some are closer to 100 pages long.
Furthermore, COGwriter hit a milestone that has been a personal goal. The Alexa popularity of the COGwriter.com has increased to the point that it is the 99,997th most popular website in the world. Alexa is an independent company that attempts to rank the popularity of websites worldwide (unlike some other rankings that only focus on the USA and/or one-time visitors). Considering that there are about 634,000,000 websites on the internet, this is a major accomplishment. Alexa itself only ranks the top 30,000,000 or so sites, and tends to better track those that are in the top 100,000. It is fantastic that this has now happened. Alexa rankings are not just based on a single month, but basically cover the prior three months. While Alexa rankings will vary, this does show that we are reaching more people (cf. Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20).
One other statistic of interest is how long people visit the website. According to Alexa, the average visitor spent 6 1/2 minutes at COGwriter.com each time they visited. This is probably why Alexa ranks COGwriter as popular as it does--people spend more time viewing and reading articles at COGwriter than they do at the vast majority of other websites. This helps demonstrate that we are at least partially succeeding with the following admonition from Jesus:
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:19-20)
COGwriter.com has reached people in at least 220 countries and territories around the world, and since some of the other language sites and articles are linked to it, we also reach people in various tongues as is prophesied to happen (cf. Revelation 7:9).
02/05/14 a.m. Since my last post on this page, I noticed that LCG's Wallace Smith posted at least one other improper charge and judgment against me at his website. Also, an anonymous supporter of LCG who also has made improper judgments against me, emailed me a couple of times. The following are two quotes from Jesus that all should consider:
11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)
24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment. (John 7:24)
When I was part of GCG and then LCG, I had articles they published that stated:
The word "Laodicea" can be rendered "the people rule", "judgment of the people" or the "people decide." (Thiel B. What is a Philadelpian? Living Church News, July-August 2001)
Smith's Bible Dictionary defines Laodicea to mean "justice of the people." Might the term Laodicean convey that the predominant characteristic of this Church is that people rule, people judge--or even that the people are judgmental? (Thiel B. Philadelphia & Laodicea. Global Church News, July-August 1998, p. 12).
And sadly, the rendering of improper judgments has more and more become a problem with those in LCG. While I long thought that the majority with LCG were Laodicean, the percentage seems to be extremely high, and sadly seems to be growing.
Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:
Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God Several have speculated reasons, but here is the truth. (En el idioma español: ¿Por qué Bob Thiel dejó la Iglesia del Dios Viviente?)
Journal Report on Continuing Church of God Leader Bob Thiel Bob Thiel was interviewed by The Journal News of the Churches of God related to him being a prophet, the proclamation goals of the Continuing Church of God, and why he left LCG.
Response to a Letter from Dr. Roderick C. Meredith Dated December 28, 2012 In violation of Matthew 18, Dr. Meredith publicly sent out a letter that forced Dr. Thiel to conclude that the Continuing Church of God must be formed. Here is that letter and some of Bob Thiel's comments about it. Here is a version in the Spanish language Respuesta a una carta del Dr. Roderick C. Meredith fechada el 28 de diciembre, 2012.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God? This article explains some information and doctrines of the Living Church of God as led by Roderick C. Meredith and some concerns about them. (En el idioma español: ¿Qué hay acerca de la Iglesia de Dios Viviente? ¿Hay diferencias doctrinales con la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios?)
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
02/02/14 a.m. Is American tackle football inherently evil? Should Christians watch American professional football games such as the Super Bowl? Here are some comments from LCG's Wallace Smith:
One of the fun questions that I’ll focus on in this post was this: “Will there be football in the Millennium?” Actually, the conversation during table topics was more broad, asking about sports in the Millennium in general, but with tonight’s Super Bowl event on folks’ minds (which might be going on right now as I type this, come to think of it), football had a starring role in the discussion.
The question and conversation also reminded me of a question I received from an elderly widow lady in one of my congregations. She is a sweet lady who happens to enjoy football on television. She had read someone preaching something that unnecessarily troubled her and came up to me at services to ask for counsel, worried that watching football might be “evil” in some way. For such a sweet lady in my care to be so worried unnecessarily about something which was not a sin required a response.
At the heart of the question about any particular sport being played in the new society after Christ’s return is this: Is the sport inherently evil? If so, then: no, of course, it would not be played.
So, is football inherently evil? No, it isn’t. Some might say that “No” is only the right answer for touch football or flag football, as if tackling is somehow the “inherently evil” quality.
I disagree with him about. American professional tackle football is inherently evil, because it violates the biblical admonition to "Do violence to no man" (Luke 3:14, KJV) and it results in damaging injuries. Encouraging people to be Superbowl fans is a sin.
However, to further justify the viewing of professional American tackle football, in a commentary last November, Wallace Smith also posted (bolding his):
Super Bowl seems to be discussed much on this blog...Not that it is inherently evil...
In an old Plain Truth magazine back in 1969, the Church once wrote:
“There is nothing necessarily wrong with good food, family reunions and football games on Thanksgiving Day. But all too many use these activities wrongly and forget the purpose for the holiday. Many glut themselves with far more food than they ought to eat; few, however, stop to give God thanks for this food — even on Thanksgiving Day.”
True then, true today.
Encouraging people to be Super Bowl fans is inherently evil. I believe Wallace Smith's position encouraging people to watch professional American tackle football was wrong and I did actually telephone Wallace Smith about this a couple of years ago (so I did go to him directly about it).
Now, to make the record clear, Herbert W. Armstrong did not write that he approved the watching of professional American tackle football. He denounced the sport. Fifteen years after the bolded quote was published, he personally wrote:
Competition and not cooperation, is the attitude which Satan inculcates human minds. But that does not mean that all sports are wrong or to be banned. The law of God is based on the way of righteousness…The basic law is love, out flowing toward God above all else, and secondarily, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
To harm the other fellow and to gain by doing so for self is a kind of competition that is wrong. Hostility toward the other is sin…
Wherever a game in sports involves antagonists–in hostile attitude to harm the other and/or to “get” from the other–to get the best of the other then a harmful, satanic and evil attitude enters in, and the sport is evil, not good…
Football (American football) is a violent body-contact sport. It is often played with an attitude of hostility and is dangerous and is fraught with physical injury…Soccer does not embody the same evils. (Plain Truth, July-August 1984)
Now Wallace Smith and those who prefer to follow him and his interpretation of Christianity and football will do as they please. But for those who are trying to be Philadelphia Christians, they will not be fans of professional American tackle football. Even the term Philadelphia means 'love of the brethren.'
Would Jesus want you to watch the Superbowl? What about the Apostle Paul who warned against approving violence? The same Apostle Paul who said to imitate him as he imitated Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Would Jesus or the Apostle Paul watch the Super Bowl as football fans routing for one team to crush the other team?
Perhaps, some might say. And some may ridicule and/or dismiss what I have written.
If Jesus Himself did watch the Superbowl, would He watch it and hope that one team would tackle and crash into members of the other team? Or might He watch it, if He did, so He could make social commentary against the violence and/or distorted priorities of the land?
More scriptures and documented quotes on violent sports can be found in the article Is American Football Evil?; there is also a YouTube video Should Christians watch American football? A sermon of related interest may be Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
I was not originally going to post anything on this page today about the Superbowl. However, because I ran across a link to something that Wallace Smith wrote about 'heathen prophecies' yesterday that was directed in specific parts against me, that reminded me of him and his past posts about American football. Hence the above post. I consider that LCG's position of fantasy and actual violence contradictory and seemingly hypocritical (see the posts on this page dated 01/14/14 a.m. and 01/23/14 a.m.).
LCG's hypocrisy related to me and my referencing to non-biblical prophecies has been extensive since late 2012, but it did not start out that way. First in 2007 or 2008, my paper on Catholic prophecies was distributed to the LCG Council of Elders, some of which made positive comments about the insights my paper on them provided. Then in 2009, LCG's presiding evangelist, Dr. R. Meredith, told me that he prayed for the success of my book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect which significantly quoted and explained non-biblical prophecies. Later LCG's presiding evangelist designee, Richard Ames, on December 16, 2011 prayed with 'amen' concurrence from the two other Charlotte-based evangelists that I would continue with the work I was doing including properly citing those type of prophecies--I had discussed another book with them the day before that I was working on that did that extensively as well titled Fatima Shock! The presiding evangelist then, a few months later, wrote something consistent with that book that Dr. Meredith seemed to have concluded from reading at least part of the draft of that book I had sent him (he actually went a step beyond what I did with Catholic prophecies and indicated he believed something from them that is not directly stated in the Bible). Then, later I was condemned by those in Charlotte (including him) for properly citing non-biblical prophecies--despite the fact that they do cite them themselves and may have crossed the line on one or more occasion. And then in 2014, one of their minister Wallace Smith who researched Mayan prophecies (and also wrote and spoke about them), has also attempted to condemn me for my references to non-biblical prophecies.
As far as 'heathen prophecies' go, if Wallace Smith ever has the courage to want to publicly discuss this with me on the record, I would be happy to do so to address some of the insinuations/accusations he makes about me without actually mentioning my name (which is sadly consistent with improper accusations he has done related to me in the past). Wallace Smith is in my prayers. Those who want to better understand how to properly refer to 'heathen prophecies' may wish to watch the YouTube video Do Prophets Cite False Prophecies? or the article Satan's Plan. I would also be happy to publicly, on the record, discuss about whether it is appropriate for Christians to be fans of American tackle football with Wallace Smith.
01/31/14 p.m. On January 29, 2014, at the Church of God News page, I announced that the Bible News Prophecy magazine for the Continuing Church of God had now been printed into the language of Kiswahili, also known as Swahili (see Bible News Prophecy Magazine: Blood Moons: Will Jesus Return in 2014? Now also in Kiswahili!). It has been printed both in the USA and in Kenya.
This evening I noticed that RCG announced on Wednesday that it now has a website in Swahili. Hopefully, people who read that language will not fall for the misinformation that RCG puts out (for details its positions, please check out Why Not the Restored Church of God?).
01/30/14 a.m. LCG's commentary today was by Paul Kendall. It was titled Violence is Not the Answer. Here are some statements from it:
God is called “the God of Peace” in 1 Thessalonians 5:23. The Bible shows us that God rejects violence, war and brutality...
Beyond the actual violent events that we learn about, extraordinary violence entertains us. Our society takes pleasure in cruelty and savagery. Today, we love violence as much as, or more than, Roman society did in the days of the gladiators! Now, these fictional depictions of violence are not enough; “Reality television” has taken the inevitable shift to exhibitions of people really getting hurt, maimed or even killed. The human tendency is to push to a new level of “extreme.” Today’s “extreme” will soon become tomorrow’s mainstream. How far will we push it? What will be the new shocker that sells big?
Comparable to the surge of violent fictional and reality TV, is the dominance of top-selling video games that focus on killing and warfare. With titles like, “Assassin’s Creed,” “S.T.A.L.K.E.R.,” “Warhammer,” “Left For Dead” and the new game “Dante’s Inferno” (which uses “collected souls” as game currency), video games are becoming more and more outrageous...
We should never wish pain on anyone.
Fictional violence does not result in physical pain or damage to video game characters or actors. It also does not have to result in character loss, though it can be inappropriate and can affect the mind.
That being said, I agree with Paul Kendall that God is called the God of peace. I agree that Christians, "should never wish pain on anyone." This weekend, however, many in Paul Kendall's church will encourage violence and pain on others as they watch the major USA football sporting event of the year known as the Superbowl. American football is real violence and does cause pain and actual damage to the players.
The commentary by Paul Kendall is the second from LCG in about a week to deplore fictional violence for entertainment, but not mention the actual violence caused by American football. This may be because certain top leaders in LCG understand that encouraging actual violence is wrong for Christians, but since some of them are also football fans, LCG commentators will not actually condemn being fans of that sport. As shown in the 01/23/14 a.m. post on this page, my own submitted commentary to LCG related to American football was rejected, despite it containing biblical and COG quotes.
Those in LCG who really agree with Paul Kendall's statement, "We should never wish pain on anyone" would not watch the Superbowl as football fans. American tackle football fans WANT their preferred team to cause violence, which often results in pain and long-term damage, to happen to the player on the opposing team. This is something all who are fans of American football should consider.
More scriptures and documented quotes on violent sports can be found in the article Is American Football Evil?; there is also a YouTube video Should Christians watch American football? A sermon of related interest may be Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
01/24/14 a.m. Shepherd's Voice magazine arrived a couple of days ago, and Norman Edwards sent me, at my request two files, the last one that I received today. The two items of interest were Sacred Names: Appropriate or Required? and Shepherd’s Voice: COG needs more prophets. Some might wish to take a look one or more of them. Here is a link to the second article in the Spanish language: La Voz del Pastor: La Iglesia de Dios necesita más profetas.
Norman Edwards was once on the Board of Directors for the old Global Church of God.
01/23/14 a.m. LCG's commentary today was by Scott Winnail. Here are some statements from it:
In the movie, Hunger Games is a futuristic reality show modeled after the Roman gladiatorial games in the Coliseum...What criteria should Christians use to judge whether a movie, TV show, or video game is acceptable to God? The answer can clearly be found in the pages of the Bible!
The book of Isaiah was God’s warning to the physical Jewish nation. He directed them to change their pagan and violent ways lest He be forced to destroy them. Isaiah’s warnings are also for us today. God clearly tells His people: “He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly… Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil,” will be blessed by Him (Isaiah 33:15). Although movies and violent video games are “not real,” if we imbibe in them are we really stopping our ears from hearing bloodshed and our eyes from seeing evil? We are commanded not to “see” or even “think” evil (Ezekiel 20:7; Zechariah 8:17)...
True Christians who love God will hate evil, and keep their eyes, ears, and minds far from it (Psalm 97:10). They will “love good” (Amos 5:15) and seek to fill their lives with things that are “true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, if virtuous and praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8).
Dr. Winnail is seemingly claiming that make-believe violence is not proper to view, but what about encouraging actual violence? American Football players are considered by many to be modern gladiators and do cause actual violence and real human injury.
It is interesting that LCG has again posted a commentary warning against viewing fantasy violence with fantasy gladiators, but before it would not post one warning against viewing and encouraging actual violence. After I consulted with two or three members of LCG's Council of Elders members, here is what was submitted by me to Richard Ames as a potential commentary in August 2011:
Football: A Season for Christians?
The National Football League recently made a deal with its players so that NFL football would be able to be played this year. Probably not coincidentally, there have also been a variety of news reports about permanent injury from playing that sport lately.
Should Christians support violent, harmful, sports like American football?
Regarding violent sports, the late Herbert W. Armstrong taught:
To harm the other fellow and to gain by doing so for self is a kind of competition that is wrong. Hostility toward the other is sin...
Boxing at Ambassador College is definitely banned. God did not create the human brain and head to be pummeled and knocked senseless by an antagonist.
Wherever a game in sports involves antagonists--in hostile attitude to harm the other and/or to "get" from the other--to get the best of the other then a harmful, satanic and evil attitude enters in, and the sport is evil, not good...
Football (American football) is a violent body-contact sport. It is often played with an attitude of hostility and is dangerous and is fraught with physical injury...Soccer does not embody the same evils. (Plain Truth, July-August 1984)
Jesus reminded people that the Bible taught, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39, NKJV, unless otherwise indicated), while the Apostle Paul added that “no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it” (Ephesians 5:29).
After seeing the injuries that some of my high school football-playing colleagues suffered, I could not reconcile the scriptures with encouraging American football. There are better ways for Christians to learn principles like teamwork from other sports or activities than watching actual violence.
John the Baptist taught, “Do violence to no man” (Luke 3:14, KJV), so what about violent sports? The New Testament also warns Christians against being violent or approving of those that are (Romans 1:28-32). Interestingly, as far back as the second century A.D., history records that early Christians would not watch violent sports (e.g. Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus).
Years ago, Dr. Roderick C. Meredith wrote that avoiding bodily harm was an important health law (Seven Laws of Radiant Health, 1955).
Since it is best to avoid bodily injury, should Christians encourage others to put themselves intentionally in harm’s way?
That would not seem to show love toward neighbor.
Other competitive sports are not necessarily in the same category as American tackle football or boxing. In golf, one plays against one's own self and score and, although winning is a competition, winning involves doing better than, but not in any way harming, an opponent.
The Apostle Paul seemed to endorse individual sports like track and field (1 Corinthians 9:24-25), which (when properly played) do not involve harming an opponent.
Baseball, softball, volleyball, touch football, and many other team sports do not have to involve hostility nor harm to opponents. Herbert Armstrong felt that when they were played in God's attitude towards others that these were examples of acceptable sports for Christians to watch or participate in. And yes, some people do sin watching and/or playing various team sports. But many team sports, such as soccer (which most of the world calls football) or volleyball, do not have to be played in a hostile manner that is evil.
While “love does no harm to a neighbor” (Romans 13:9), what do sports like American football or boxing do? This is something that Christians should think about...For more insight into the ways Satan deceives God’s people, be sure to view our powerful sermon entitled “Connecting the Dots.”
Richard Ames did not respond to my submission of this back then. And when I later followed up with Scott Winnail's father (who I used to speak to fairly often back then), Dr. Douglas Winnail provided no answer or response about it. Four months later, Richard Ames revealed to me that he was a football fan. Presumably Richard Ames' department approved Scott Winnail's commentary, but still has not publicly denounced intentionally violent sports like American football, as presumably Richard Ames remains a viewer and encourager of American tackle football. LCG's Wallace Smith has taken this a step further by putting out one or more posts defending watching violent sports such as American tackle football. Some in LCG may wish to 'connect the dots' on LCG's apparent hypocrisy on this--which is something that Scott Winnail's commentary seems to be encouraging. To this day, I believe that my opposition to encouraging American tackle football was a factor in the production of two improper letters that were put out against me by LCG with the assistance of two influential football fans in Charlotte.
More scriptures and documented quotes on violent sports can be found in the article Is American Football Evil?; there is also a YouTube video Should Christians watch American football?
01/17/14 p.m. RCG's David Pack posted the following:
An Open Letter to All WCG Splinters
The Restored Church of God: Fruit Found Nowhere Else!
BY DAVID C. PACK
For five years, starting after 2009, I have written an Open Letter about The Restored Church of God to all of God’s people. This will be the longest and most inspiring of the five. You will want to read every paragraph—each one is loaded!
As 2014 arrived, 2013 had brought one proof after another that humanity is utterly failing—in EVERYTHING!...
The FRUITS of this world—SATAN’S world—are ALL BAD!...
Jesus taught, “You shall know them by their FRUITS” (Matt. 7:16, 20)...
But The Restored Church of God DOES have the fruit—TREMENDOUS fruit!—that the other organizations lack...
Our income crossed well into the eight-figure mark, and, for instance, significantly exceeded COGwa’s announced 2013 income of $10.3 million, despite its being several times our size...
The Hall of Administration was completed in 2013 and gives us almost 42,000 sq. ft. of beautiful office space...
Make no mistake. The Haggai/Zechariah prophecy will be fulfilled.
The above posting also basically spent time going over various measures and programs that RCG has been engaged in that I do not feel are particularly relevant as I consider that David Pack is a false apostle (2 Corinthians 11:13). He also claimed since RCG's income is not down that this is proof of his fruits/blessings--I consider that they are further indication of his bullying tactics (see also Why Not the Restored Church of God?). Eventually, I believe that RCG will have problems in the financial area, as well, however (cf. 2 Peter 2:1-3).
Let me comment that by the time 2014 arrived, it proved that much of what David Pack claimed would happen with others coming to his church in 2013 was false.
Probably no other claimed COG group (I do not consider that David Pack is truly converted, but he might have been and could now simply be delusional), made as many publicized prophetic blunders and proof of being false as RCG did. Despite failing so badly with his false predictions and prophetic interpretations in 2013, David Pack is calling 2013 a big success. Napoleon tried the same stunt regarding his failure in Egypt, but because of limited of communications centuries ago, he got away with it. In the 21st century, those in RCG are really without excuse. RCG failed terribly in 2013 and ABSOLUTELY PROVEN THAT DAVID PACK WAS FALSE.
David Pack has long indicated that having fancy buildings was his goal--and he seems to consider that as an important fruit, which I do not consider to be a fruit--years ago he indicated that this would get those in the 'splinters' (his term) to want to support RCG--but that has not happened to any significant degree (there are often changes in affiliations). As far as the Haggai/Zechariah prophecies, those will NOT be fulfilled as David Pack has claimed. I said that earlier in 2013 and was proven right, while David Pack's insistence on that and his original August 30, 2013 date were proven wrong.
Now, since David Pack referred to Matthew 7 and fruits, let's specifically read what Jesus taught:
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)
Notice that Jesus' statements were in reference to prophetic fruits. Do people in RCG care about what Jesus actually taught about this? David Pack had the false prophetic fruits that Jesus warned about. Other groups like Ronald Weinland's Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God had similar fruits, but they were less dramatic in 2013 than some other years. RCG seems to have made the boldest, most reported, prophetic ones that were proven false in 2013.
One more point to consider is that David Pack wrote last Spring/Summer:
All of God’s people wish they were back together. This is heard everywhere. But these many thousands have come to believe it is “just not time” to be in one organization. If you feel this way, you are about to see why this is wrong. God not only wants His people together again, but is planning to bring it about...If you are in the United Church of God (UCG), Living Church of God (LCG), Philadelphia Church of God (PCG), Church of God, a Worldwide Association (COGwa), or any other splinter or sliver that came out of the WCG, this will be the single most important article you will ever read...the Work of The Restored Church of God is mushrooming and exploding—think of just our media efforts going up like a rocket all over the world! Thousands of letters are arriving each week at our Headquarters, and we now project it cannot be long before this number will be over 10,000...
All Will Come Here! ...
A towering question faces YOU—and you must confront it: Must every person with God’s Spirit—regardless of where they now attend—come to The Restored Church of God or lose the Holy Spirit? Yes, absolutely! If not, the Scripture would be broken (John 10:35)—and in many places!...You have been duly warned.(Pack D. Back Together Soon, http://rcg.org/sep/gods-people-back-together-soon.html)
So, either David Pack was correct that everyone not with RCG lost God's Spirit (which he was not), so there is no point in him reaching out to them now (as it is specifically those in the COG that he regularly attempts to target with his paid Google ads) or he was wrong about them losing God's Spirit. And since he was wrong, why would he brag about how great his fruits for 2013 were?
Anyway, those actually interested in learning about Philadelphian organizational fruits for 2013, may wish to watch the online sermon: Sermon: Continuing Church of God first year anniversary: What has been accomplished?
Those interested in learning about prophetic fruits and where they are at should consider studying the article: How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God.
01/14/14 p.m. A reader who attends with LCG in Canada emailed me and wrote:
I read that LCG’s numbers are up to nearly 10,000, and yet Gerald Weston complained a few weeks ago that number are down in Toronto as is their income. So if they’re down in Ontario to the point where it is preached on, and now even letters and cards are automatically sent to those who haven’t been seen in LCG services for three weeks or more, then have numbers so drastically increased in the U.S. and around the world? Also, the other stats presented in percentages do not reflect a gain of 3,000; they are contradictory. So, how is this explained by a number cruncher?
Essentially, this person seems to be concerned that LCG seems to tell people that it is growing, but his information is that in Canada it seems to be shrinking.
Also, I asked someone else who attends with LCG about this. Specifically, I asked where LCG is having the growth and he said did not know. FWIW, I believe LCG is increasing numbers in some areas, stable as far as numbers attending goes in most areas, and losing attendees in some places.
Irrespective of its numbers, I do not believe that LCG's leadership has the character needed to carry the Philadelphia mantle or lead the final phase of the work. We will see what happens to LCG in Canada and elsewhere.
01/13/14 p.m. Just got back from Europe. We did research, etc. in Southern Europe. While Rome seems the same, there has been a change in Vatican City. On three occasions, we were told to stop videotaping while we were there. First, we were told that the use of tripods in St. Peter’s Square, was not allowed. But we were done there, so that was not a problem. Then we were told we could not use one inside of St. Peter’s Basilica–and that was a problem. Then we were told that while we could video, if too much of the video camera time was pointed at me, that was also not allowed. Anyway, since they had none of those restrictions on us last June, it makes me wonder if someone there was less than pleased with the videos we put up at our YouTube channels about the Vatican.
01/01/14 a.m. Visited Don Haney's website. He seems to have gone a bit towards what is known as Messianic Judaism as his website uses a lot of Hebrew terms in a manner similar to Messianic Jews. The site reports "Weekly Shabbat Service" for 1/04/14, "Weekly Torah," refers to the Feast with the Hebrew term "Festival of Sukkot," uses the term "Rosh Codosh" for new moons, and its featured video is titled "Hebrew Roots of Our Faith."
While the first early Christians were Jews, nearly all first and second century Christian writings (including all or nearly all of the New Testament) were written in Greek, not Hebrew. It seems like Don Haney's website is going more towards Hebrew. I got along with Don Haney in the past when we used to sometimes communicate, and I have long wish he would be a bit more focused on public proclamation of Christ's gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14), but he seems to chosen a different direction.
As far as early Christianity and its history goes, the following might be helpful:
The History of Early Christianity
Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened
to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was
based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
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. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? 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. There is also a YouTube sermon on the subject titled Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians "Nazarenes"? .
12/28/13 a.m. Today marks the 1st anniversary of the official declaration of the beginning of the Continuing Church of God (CCOG). CCOG needed to form once it was determined that there was clearly insufficient integrity and concern about the truth in LCG, and that its remaining leadership could not possibly hold the 'Philadelphia mantle"--this was demonstrated conclusively to me at least by a letter that was sent that day (for details, see Response to a Letter from Dr. Roderick C. Meredith Dated December 28, 2012).
For details about some of what has been accomplished by CCOG in its first year, please check out Continuing Church of God first year anniversary: What is being accomplished?
Click here for the previous news of those once affiliated with GCG
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