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), Harold Smith's Church of God Fellowship, Northwest (CGFnw), the Continuing Church of God (CCOG), 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 then 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 died and that group disbanded. Don Haney, once in GCG/LCG, formed the Church of God In Peace and Truth. In 2005, Ben Faulkner, who was in GCG/LCG, formed the Church of the Sovereign God (CotSG). In 2006, Charles Bryce who was in GCG/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/Shepherd's Voice), left GCG well before the 1998 takeover (he has 'Nashville Christian Media'). 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, accepted, and/or promoted 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 (CCOG). CCOG is the second largest group, in terms of members, of those groups whose leaders were once part of GCG (LCG is largest). This page reports on those groups that somehow once had ties to the old GCG.
01/13/19 a.m. Continuing Church of God elder Alexsandar ‘Sasha’ Veljic, who lives in Serbia, is currently in Manipur, India. He sent me several emails that he said to combined parts of them. So, I did and he enthusiastically approved the following for public distribution today:
As soon as I arrived, I met with 8 members of Church of God. I told them the purpose of my visit and why I came. I also told them that I could see with corresponding with Sani Mao that they are well established in the doctrines of the Bible, so that I will endeavor to give them messages that will corroborate their faith. That was met with thrill. If there is one word to describe that group of people, the first thought that comes to my mind is – ZEAL! And no wonder that they wanted to associate with us for the zeal is one of the characteristics of the Philadelphia church. As far as I could assess, their mutual relations are on the same level. It brings a great joy to my heart that those people fast twice a month and they get together on those occasions. They all confirmed to me that Sani Mao has been serving them faithfully for years and that they are all here due to what God has done through that man. On the other hand, they are responsive and helpful and they have been keeping the Feast in a very organized manner, so I would add that the government of God, such as should be administered in the proper way, has been present in this group all along.
The whole structure is there, but this group has been waiting, with a great discipline, to have an a ministerial approval. They were very worried that I might not come as they are expecting that help from me. Sani Mao talked to me on Friday evening about my ordination and his correspondence on that matter. Now we talked about it alive, so that I could better understand motives and reasonings on his part. As I have already established, he is man of one wife and he has never been divorced. His wife and him are both employed by the government, which speaks loudly of their reputation.
I feel that these people have been yearning for my visit to be approved as full-fledged part of the true community of the Philadelphia remnant. I live far away and so do you. But, they already have everything in place to operate as the Church of God and for that they do not seek, nor do they expect any financial support. I am, for example, deeply impressed at how faithfully and in an organized manner they kept the Feast for years, being cut off by their former Church organization, and enduring and waiting for my visit. At certain moments I even feel uncomfortable with the level of trust and respect they show me (I surely am not worthy of that). However, while I am here, I want to do my part and leave this community at peace and see it thrive with God’s merciful help here in the second populous nation in the world.
Now, I remembered that there was that accusation about them having Pentecostal spirit, or Pentecostal behavior. You can rest assured that I would not have hesitated to correct that and put things in order had that be true. Now that I have had a Sabbath services with them, I understand better the things. There is nothing Pentecostal in terms of “speaking in the tongues”, or a disorder at services. On the contrary, there is peace and order. Perhaps there is some intensity of emotions in the air, with which a Westerner might not be comfortable with. But, as for me, I am perfectly comfortable with that.
I want to assure you that I am well taken care of. To all my questions I get very detailed answers. I haven’t noticed any half truths. I am only afraid of mosquitoes. The weather is beautiful, so my windows were open, and then in the evening the room was full of them. Sani Mao and I killed most of them. One remained hidden. I managed to kill it later at night when I talked to the congregation in Serbia on Friday evening (Serbian time).
A few more things I need to bring to your attention.1. Sani Mao related to me how they had become spiritual orphans when they were abandoned by LCG. Other than the unfounded accusation about Pentecostalism, a LCG minister made derogatory comments about women. That their place is to wash the cups. He would not accept that a woman might have a dream coming from God, such as we know that has happened in our CCOG history. And so, when LCG announced that there was no LCG in India, that came out of the blue and has devastated these people.
2. Coercive hierarchical control. They were told not to get together for Bible studies, or when they fast with no Scriptural explanation whatsoever and contrary to what we are told in the Book of Hebrews.
3. I had another baptism counseling session after the Sabbath. A young man was present as an interpreter. After counseling, he told me that LCG always had short counseling and would dismiss people. I just don’t understand such an approach. When I counsel people, I try to bring up the important points for their salvation. I also asked questions. I let them talk to me. I need to see if they are repentant to be baptized. Sani Mao’s daughter, for example, asked me several questions from the Scriptures seeking help to defend her belief against here Protestant peers who mock her beliefs. I also read some scriptures related to baptism. I never limit counseling time. I let it continue until all relevant points have been exhausted. That is new to this group as well. But I would find it highly disrespectful to just have short counseling and then dismiss them.
Now, having said all this, I need to tell you that I prayed and thought about ordinations. After getting your approval, which I read on the Sabbath morning, I realized there is no more reason to wait and delay. The intensity of prayer and faith that these people had about me coming – and I came against all the odds – and them hanging in and enduring all that they have, made me convinced finally that I couldn’t leave them orphans in spiritual terms. Plus, on Friday, during a counseling session, one of the members here said he had a dream before my coming. A hand on which an oil was poured was there to anoint Sani Mao. And that member told others not to worry, that I would come against all odds. Also, after his dream, his Bible was opened to Romans 5:4. When I read that verse, I realized it aptly describes Sani Mao. Therefore, when he came to pick me up for the Sabbath, I asked him if he had any objections to being ordained on this Sabbath. He didn’t have any, even though he was surprised that I would do it during this visit. He said he thought it would take some time. I didn’t see any reason to take any more time.
And so, after the Sabbath services and refreshments, I have ordained Sani Mao a deacon. I also called all baptized men to join me on the stage and follow me in laying hands on Sani Mao as a symbolic consent of the entire congregation to having now finally the government of God restored in India. After that act, Sani Mao addressed the congregation briefly and, as he admitted, for the first time he broke in tears in front of that group. I also announced that I want to bless the children after ordination ceremony, so that the ladies would be prepared for that. And I was about to that, but realizing what a great emotional thing Sani Mao’s ordination has been for both the congregation and me, I stepped in to make another announcement.
I said that we better prepare emotionally for something else and that I made a decision based on what I feel God led me to. And I said that I have decided to anoint Mary, Sani Mao’s wife as a deaconess next Sabbath. That announcement came a bolt from heaven. Sani Mao’s wife was shocked and then she broke into tears. Almost all the ladies in the congregation wept silently as I explained the reasons. I see that a strong presence of the ladies in the congregation. I could feel that their involvement has kept that congregation together and that such thing had to be recognized by God somehow. I asked God to show me what to do about it, and then Mary came to mind. I considered some other ladies as well, those that I met, however I felt that Mary was a strong example of the faith and that she should be ordained. That I didn’t make a mistake in that judgement it was confirmed when the anointing for illnesses came later and Mary related her health problems, but she also enumerated the cases when she was supernaturally healed without medical intervention. Besides her other illnesses, she was cured of a womb cancer.
So, after giving this message of preparation for the next Sabbath, all the children, small ones and even some bigger ones, encouraged by their mothers and aunts, came forward and knelt. I pronounced a blessing on them and asked the Eternal to protect them and be with them in this spiritually evil and dangerous society. Following that, I announced that those who may have ailments should ask to be anointed. A good portion of the congregation came forward. They all knelt spontaneously and so did I with them. First I anointed males so that they could be watching over children and do other needed things. Then I anointed all the ladies that came forward. With short breaks between prayers and anointing, I think it probably took about 45 minutes to one hour to complete all that.
We have videoed my sermon with translation to Manipuri language, so part of that can be used for Behind the Works Feast video.
January 12, 2019, goes down into history as an important date in the history of (Continuing) Church of God and in the history of God’s people in India.
With my best regards,
I personally have been in email communication with Sani Mao for years. We were pleased when they decided a couple of months ago to ask to become part of CCOG. Some details of that were reported a month ago in the CCOG: Letter to the Brethren: December 13, 2018.
Now, let me write more about the dream above, and add some background, to make it a bit clearer.
Because Alexsandar ‘Sasha’ Veljic was having travel and visa issues, some were concerned that he would not be able to make the trip to Manipur. Someone in Manipur had a dream that he would make it--and he did. But the more unusual part of that dream was that the person dreamed that Sani Mao was going to be anointed. Well, no one in Manipur was aware that Sasha and I discussed the idea of anointing Sani Mao as a deacon--presuming after Sasha arrived and reviewed the situation there, it seemed appropriate. Anyway, on January 12, 2019, Elder Veljic did anoint Sani Mao with oil and laid hands upon him to be a deacon.
So, another associated with CCOG had a dream that was confirmed by subsequent events.
God has been using dreams for several associated with CCOG (see Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God).
How many times does God need to intervene that way for Christian people to believe and support CCOG?
Hopefully, you have already decided that since the Bible prophesied that God would use dreams in the end times (e.g. Acts 2:14-18), and since several associated with CCOG have had dreams that have been confirmed, you accept that dreams are one way God has shown His favor on CCOG as the best representative of the Philadelphian portion of the Church of God in this Laodicean time.
We in CCOG are reaching and baptizing people all around the world (cf. Matthew 28:19-20). To read a new report (posted online today) on parts of Africa, for another example, see Radson Mulozoa’s report on Malawi. Mozambique, and Zambia.
01/11/19 a.m. In its newsletter today, CEG had the following from Brian Gale:
On the livescience.com website, we read the following: “Life on Earth first bloomed around 3.7 billion years ago, when chemical compounds in a ‘primordial soup’ somehow sparked into life, scientists suspect. But what turned sterile molecules into living, changing organisms? That’s the ultimate mystery.”
From the position of “scientists suspecting,” they then go on to guess what happened which is an “understanding” of sorts, which allows them to omit the possibility of an all-powerful Creator God. My thoughts turn to Romans 1:18-22 when I hear, see or read about man’s ridiculous postulations on this vital subject. It is a passage that is well worth reviewing again and again.
Although he referred to Romans 1:18-22, he did not quote it, so let's quote it below:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
Anyway, Brian Gale is correct that the 'postulations' of many considered scientists are ridiculous. For more details and proof, check out the following:
Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! Would you like Christian answers to give atheists? This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution.
Two animated videos of related interest are also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator? and A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?
Does it Make Physical Sense to believe in God? 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?
Click here for the previous news of those once affiliated with GCG
COGwriter, (c) 2019