News of Those Once Affiliated with the Global Church of God

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 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 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/Shepherd's Voice), 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.

10/25/14 a.m. RCG reports:

World Headquarters campus expands!

With the acquisition of 58 contiguous acres of forest and farmland, The Restored Church of God has expanded its magnificent World Headquarters in Wadsworth, Ohio, USA.

Reminiscent of the beautiful Pasadena, California, campus of the Worldwide Church of God, the sprawling 84-acre Headquarters campus provides a beautiful setting for the rapidly growing Work of God...

The new acreage provides space for the redevelopment of the biblical agricultural program established by Herbert W. Armstrong on the Ambassador College Big Sandy campus.

Having lived relatively near the old Pasadena campus of the old Worldwide Church of God for many years, the photos RCG has shown of its World Headquarters are NOT, in my view, reminiscent of it. Nor do I believe that RCG has the setting for doing the end time Philadelphia work of God. That being said, it is possible that RCG will implement some type of agricultural program similar to what the old campus in Big Sandy (Texas) had. RCG's focus, however, is more on outward show and less on truly doing God's work. More on RCG can be found in the article Why Not the Restored Church of God? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Por qué no la Iglesia de Dios Restaurada?

10/20/14 a.m. Received reports from all the official CCOG sites, other than one video site.

A highlight of the site in Orlando, Florida were the baptisms that took place there. When I was baptizing a man there, his head somewhat popped up and did not quite get immersed when I went to put him under the water, so I had to push his head specifically a second time. It seemed a little humorous at the time, but he at least was properly fully immersed. In the Continuing Church of God we, of course, practice baptism by immersion (see also Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church).

Here is information from the video site in Wichita, Kansas:

2014  Feast Attendance  for Wichita, Kansas video group was 3 adults and 2 children 2 teenagers. ...

We had no problems. We were able to see the sermons you uploaded from the day before and others you had from last year on Deut. Very Good!

Here is a report from John Hickey from New Zealand:

The Feast was great.  We enjoyed your sermons very much.  For sermonettes we had some of yours and I gave some, I didn't record them but I have thought that I could do that now I'm home again and send them to you.

We've just arrived home from our drive up from Wellington, all happy, safe and sound.  The weather was good for the whole feast (another answered prayer) and we enjoyed the sightseeing and the shopping etc.

To download your sermons we purchased extra gigabytes for my iPad and used that as a hotspot to download them to the laptop.  This worked extremely well.

On the negative side, most of the brethren from Tanzania were turned away at the Kenyan border, so they ended up having a Feast in Tanzania. Here is a report from Pastor Evans Ochieng:

2014 FEAST OF TABERNACLES REPORT.   

Greetings from Kenya. The Feast of Tabernacles in Kenya 2014 was a
wonderful feast I ever kept. And it is the first feast of CCOG in
Kenya which was perfectly done.  We had three feast sites in Kenya.
Ndhiwa, Kisii and Nairobi.  There was a problem with our brethren from
Tanzania who were blocked at the border when they were crossing the
border because they did not have passports. So they went back and keep
the feast in Tanzania. Only our brother Paul Makinda who was baptized
in in Nairobi during your visit in Kenya managed to reach at the camp
in Ndhiwa.  The feast in Ndhiwa was opened at the end of 8th when 9th
was arriving, and that night we got sermon from Bob Thiel.  It was a
wonderful sermon and was spiritually inspired.  In the morning I gave
sermon about the importance of Feast of Tabernacles and the reason why
it should be kept.

The feast site in Ndhiwa was the largest feast in Kenya with a
population of 236 people. Adults were 196 and 40 children.  There were
12 congregations who were in Ndhiwa site and one man from Tanzania.
The congregations were, Ndhiwa, Oriang, Mbani, kiseke, Oyugis, Rongo,
Nyakach, Mbita, Migori,  Eberege  Kisii Nyamaruma Kisii and Mgonga
Kisii. Also we had 2 people from Kisumu who wanted to attend  CCOG
feast of tabernacles site. This was a William and Nora. I gave them
church history and after four days they declared that  they are CCOG
members. They said that since they started to become members of CCOG.
Even today I received their calls that they reached well and wanted me
to go to Kisumu  to go and arrange how they can meet every Sabbath.
I stayed in ndhiwa for three days then I travelled to Kisii to meet
our brethren who were keeping feast in Kisii.

Regarding Kisii, here is a report from Evans Ochieng:

Pastor Bob, 

The Kisii site was hosting 200 people.

In Tanzania, a former Muslim expressed interest in becoming part of the Continuing Church of God. Here is a report from Evans Ochieng:

Pastor Dr. Bob,

I am happy to inform you that the the magazines have done a wonderful
work. I was informed by our brother Paul Makinda that the magazines
which I was sending to martin has made some big changes in Tanzania
and there are people in Arusha who received the Swahili translations
from Martin {Wanga} and have joined the CCOG. There is also one lady an Islamist who
decided to join CCOG in Arusha. Paul Makinda requested my visit in
Arusha to meet that lady and other brethren. So I told him that I will
make it to Arusha in November. I was very happy that a lady who is an
Islam can change her mind to join God's church. May you pray for this
lady. I am really praying for her.

The Sabbath after the Feast, Pastor Evans Ochieng and John Owak traveled to Oyugis:

Pastor Dr Bob,

I just arrive in the house now from Oyugis. I went to open a new
congregation there. They wanted a place where they can meet every
sabbath. ...

I was accompanied by John Owak when I was going to Oyugis he drove me
in his car to Oyugis.

We had four Feast of Tabernacles' sites in Africa (including a very limited one in Nairobi), two in North America (including one video site in Kansas), one in New Zealand, and one video site in the Philippines. Over 500 people part of the Continuing Church of God were able to attend in 2014. We had more than double the number of attendees in North America and Africa this year compared to 2013.

Additionally, many were unable to get to our sites who live in North America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Australia, and parts of Africa. But, some of them were able to watch the videos prepared for and during the Feast of Tabernacles this year (see Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014).

The over 500 people figure does not include those who were unable to attend, nor does it include two groups in Asia who held the Feast of Tabernacles at sites there, but who have a distant affiliation with CCOG. Nor does it include some in Africa who are currently looking at possible closer CCOG affiliation.

I have only heard limited reports from other groups once affiliated with GCG, but those few I heard were positive.

10/17/14 p.m. Just got back from the Feast of Tabernacles in Orlando, Florida today. The Feast of Tabernacles went well. Hopefully, all of you had a spiritually positive Feast of Tabernacles.

10/08/14 a.m. The Feast of Tabernacles begins tonight. All should learn and rejoice at the Feast (Deuteronomy 14:22-27).

For those of you who cannot physically attend a Feast of Tabernacles’ site, we put up a few new messages online that were made specifically for this 2014 Feast of Tabernacles:  One for opening night (Feast of Tabernacles Opening Night Message), one on the Feast of Tabernacles (Feast of Tabernacles from Israel), and the Behind the Work message (Behind the Work: Go Therefore and Make Disciples).  These, as well as messages given last year, are linked in the article Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014.

If we do not have technical or other problems, it is our intent to put up other sermons and sermonettes that are given during the Feast of Tabernacles in Orlando, Florida this year. You can check the ContinuingCOG channel as that is the first place they should appear.

10/03/14 p.m. Received an email today from someone in LCG, that perhaps portions of which should be shared here:

Thanks for your reply Bob but you did not answer my question about someone less then a Prophet anointing you a Prophet, I don't see that any where in the Bible, do you ?

I responded by telling him I did not intentionally avoid answering that portion of his earlier email. In response to the above I informed him that truly in the New Testament that example existed.

Notice the following:

1 Paul, an apostle (not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead) (Galatians 1:1)

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God (Ephesians 1:1)

17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." (Acts 9:17)

Paul was ordained an apostle and prophet by God and had hands laid on him by a man who apparently was a minister--there is NO indication that Ananias was an apostle or prophet himself. I was ordained a prophet by God and had hands laid upon me by a man, a minister, who specifically asked that God would grant me a 'double-portion' of His Spirit.

Since he was not an original apostle, a lot of Christians apparently had trouble with Paul being an apostle/prophet (2 Corinthians 11:22-29, Galatians 1:1, etc.), but the God viewed it otherwise. People doubted Paul even though hands were laid upon him a second time (Acts 13). People also doubted David, who also ended up having hands laid upon him twice.

There is also no evidence in the New Testament that apostles specifically ordained anyone a prophet (such as Timothy, who was ordained by elders 1 Timothy 4:14) or that this was a biblical requirement.

Those interested in the truth about prophets in New Testament times, should check out the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God and believe what the Bible actually teaches.

10/01/14 a.m. Today, someone tipped me off to the following post from LCG's Wallace Smith yesterday, which the reader correctly felt was highly directed towards me:

Plain truth about “Prophets” from Herbert W. Armstrong

I was just studying a topic and came across, once again, Mr. Armstrong’s plain and simple explanation of what it means to have the office of Prophet. Ironically, it is given in a statement he makes explaining that he, himself, was not a prophet. And given that Christ prophesied that there would be “many” false prophets in the world as the end approaches (Matt. 24:11) — including those aiming to deceive God’s own people, specifically (v.24) — I think the clarity of his words is terribly helpful.

In the February 1972 Tomorrow’s World (nice title!) magazine on page 1, He said (bolding mine):

“Emphatically I am NOT a prophet, in the sense of one to whom God speaks specially and directly, revealing personally a future event to happen or new truth, or new and special instruction direct from God — separate from, and apart from what is contained in the Bible. And I never have claimed to be.

There is no such human prophet living today!

“The Bible is the written Word of God — and, for our time now, it is COMPLETE! Never have I believed or claimed that God reveals to me new truths not contained in the Bible — in addition to, or apart from the Bible.”

That description of what it means to occupy the office of Prophet is both simple and completely consistent with the lives of those who held that office in Scripture. ...

Someone who holds the office of Prophet would be someone to whom God speaks directly, revealing to that person a future event, never-before-known truth or information, “separate from, and apart from what is contained in the Bible.” It is a necessary condition. This would be the necessary fruit that distinguishes his or office from other offices. ...

I’ve heard of one who claims that he dreamed God would exalt him above the leaders of the Church when he, supposedly, had no beef against them at that time. ... that the fellow apparently thought himself a prophet, many years before he left the Church and began claiming to be just that.  ...

There are other fruits that a Prophet will have, to be sure, but without this one a “Prophet’s” claim to the title is easily and quickly seen as a lie. 

Wallace Smith has repeatedly attacked me--and the above was intended as another attack against me.

So, let's address several of his points.

First, I spoke at least twice to Aaron Dean about Herbert Armstrong's position about prophets. Aaron Dean said it was Herbert Armstrong's belief that there were at least two alive when he wrote the Mystery of the Ages (with Aaron Dean's assistance) who God would later use as prophets. No one should imply that Herbert Armstrong did not believe God would raise up any prophets in the last days.

Second, Dr. Meredith, current head of LCG, decades ago wrote that the church was to have prophets (Meredith RC. How Church Government Really WORKS. Good News, March 1964, pp. 4-5). So, does it not make sense as we get closer to the end that there would be at least one?

Third, I did tell LCG's Davy Crockett in August of 2008 that I believe God revealed to me that a top leader in LCG would be struck if he would not implement certain corrections that he promised to implement, and that happened to Dr. Meredith the next month (details are in the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God). This was an 'outside of the Bible' prediction that came to pass.

Fourthly, I also tried to warn Dr. Meredith in December 2011 that his wife was to be struck health-wise and several weeks later it was reported by him that she was (details are in the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God). This was another 'outside of the Bible' prediction that came to pass.

Fifthly, it was the position of the old Worldwide Church of God that God would again use dreams (Personal Correspondence Letter). Yet, the old WCG never reported any, hence the belief was that this would happen in the future, and it has. God has used dreams several times for at least three now part of the Continuing Church of God. For details, please study the article Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God.

Sixthly, I do have the other fruits of a prophet Jesus spoke of. For details, please study the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God.

Seventhly, it was LCG's Dr. Meredith who called me up and told me that GOD may consider that I was a prophet in October 2008. Wallace Smith neglected to share that part of the truth in his post. I was NOT going around for years telling people that I was. Prior to my 'double-portion' anointing by LCG minister Gaylyn Bonjour, I never told any LCG leaders I was a prophet. I told them what Dr. Meredith said and told them that I felt that I must receive a further ordination to accept that.

It is Wallace Smith who is clearly reporting a lie. And he remains too cowardly to name me by name--yet he is being a false accuser of the brethren.

Sadly, many in LCG have chosen to believe false and misleading information.

So much so, unless LCG repents, it is not possible that those part of it will know when the Great Tribulation will begin. Some details, along with links, are included in the articles What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God? and Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God.

The plain truth is that the facts demonstrate that Wallace Smith's post contained false statements. Will you believe the real truth or do you prefer to believe the spin falsely claimed to be the truth?

09/28/14 p.m. The Continuing Church of God is pleased to report that there is a small group in Wichita, Kansas that is has offered to host a video Feast of Tabernacles' site. If you are interested, contact R.H. Brown, email rhbrown@live.com. The primary USA site is in Orlando, Florida, but the site in Wichita, Kansas may be more convenient for some.

The Continuing Church of God has several other Feast of Tabernacles' sites throughout the world. Here is a link that has them: Feast of Tabernacles' Sites for 2014.

09/26/14 p.m. Some have wondered if Elizabeth or Patrick Scarborough were the source for my 09/16/14 p.m. post related to Dibar Apartian as one or both of them were accused of being so.  While I have no intention to reveal my source, neither Elizabeth nor Patrick Scarborough nor any other Scarborough was the source.

09/16/14 p.m. Got a couple of emails from a former LCG member today related to the late evangelist Dibar Apartian:

I just wanted to write you about Mr. Apartian and what he REALLY felt about LCG and its leaders.

I know that Dibar Apartian expressed serious concern for the LCG brethren, as he made comments about the "true colors" of LCG's upper leadership would come out after his death-which is exactly what happened.

Mr. Apartian told several LCG members, whom he trusted, that LCG was no longer God's true Church, and was no longer even a Godly church.

Mr. Apartian was against the "falling away" doctrine, just as John Ogwyn was against it also.

Mr. Apartian also knew that Herbert W. Armstrong was vehemently against Rod Meredith being the human leader of the church. Mr. Apartian always felt uneasy about following Rod Meredith, since he knew HWA's feelings about that.

Mr. Apartian was also having private meetings, near the end of his life, with ministers of different Church of God groups-one of those ministers, whom Mr. Apartian met with, told me about their meetings in person. Those private meetings were about Mr. Apartian leaving LCG.

However, due to his rapidly failing health and a few other reasons, he stayed with LCG.

He did make it very clear though, that LCG was heading the wrong direction, in terms of doctrine and other major decisions as well.

Mr. Apartian was also very upset about Rod Meredith's lack of compassion and concern for him, while he was near his death.

Rod Meredith had heard about some of Mr. Apartian's revealing comments about LCG, and Meredith was not happy.

Therefore, Rod Meredith did not visit much with Mr. Apartian towards the end, and Meredith even discouraged other LCG members from visiting with Mr. Apartian-worried that more negative facts about LCG would "get out."

I hope this info is helpful-God's people need to know the truth about LCG and about Rod Meredith

. . .

Mr. Apartian actually said that LCG was no longer a Godly church!

He also said that we would all see LCG's "true colors" after he died.

He made these statements to several LCG members, but most of them are still working at HQ, so they just keep quiet and don't say a word.

It should be mentioned that I have spoken with this person about this and have long been aware that Dibar Apartian had issues with LCG.

Dibar and Shirley Apartian originally came to GCG for the same basic reasons that I did. We did not come because of our past relationships with Dr. Meredith. We came to GCG because we felt it was in a better doctrinal position and Philadelphia work-focused mindset than UCG (who we all spoke with).

Yet, prior to the GCG split, Dibar Apartian expressed his opinion about various actions and decisions that the then presiding evangelist Roderick C. Meredith made that he did not care for.  Dibar Apartian personally told me in late 1998, that he told Dr. Meredith if he ever did something like this again that he would not follow him into another organization.  This clarified, for me at least, some of his views of Dr. Meredith.

Dibar Apartian was disappointed with LCG's Tomorrow's World magazine.  He stated it lacked interest, depth, and relevance.  In 2007 and 2008, he pushed Dr. Meredith to agree to have articles in it from me as he told me that my articles were what LCG needed.  Dr. Meredith agreed at the time.  I agreed, but under the proviso that LCG would first fix errors in its booklet on church history as I did not want to have LCG publish more materials that contradicted others.  Although LCG leaders agreed to do that and told me on numerous times that they were working on it, it never happened as various ones promised.  The reality is that one of the top people did not want the magazine changed. He also prevented the booklet changes from being adopted as a reason to not have me submit articles.

Despite this, Dibar Apartian frequently used to urge me to try to get the other leaders in LCG to correct various historical, doctrinal, prophetic, and literature errors.  Although I tried to get him to do more of that himself, he always instructed me to not only do that, but to remind other leaders in Charlotte to keep their promises to fix errors, literature, etc. Which I did. He did what he did differently to try to affect change.

Dibar Apartian indicated to me, multiple times, over the years that he wanted me to lead needed changes in Charlotte and I tried for years.

In 2008, he told me that I may be "the one," meaning the one to lead the final Philadelphia work, and he confirmed that in 2009 and 2010.

In one of our last conversations, he concluded with the words, "I love you." I was emotionally touched.

But, until I heard from the former LCG member who sent me the emails, I was unaware Dibar Apartian actually said that "LCG was no longer a Godly church" and that all would see LCG's "true colors" after he died.

Most in LCG do not really know how Dibar Apartian viewed LCG in his last years.

Well, in my view, it became clear shortly after Dibar Apartian died that the leadership mantle was no longer in Charlotte (where LCG's HQ, headquarters, is based).

As far as information coming out for all to see after he died, the 'falling away' change and related logic should have been obvious to those willing to see the truth (details are in The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings). The insistence on the wrong identity of the 'man of sin' (details are in the article Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?) and the insistence on 10-11 nations for Revelation 17:12-13 (see Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?) should show all who are willing to live by every word of God, over traditions of men, that LCG had lost it.

But the bigger issues, and the ones that Dibar Apartian had the most objections to was the lack of Philadelphian love, the willingness to distribute error, and integrity problems of the leadership in Charlotte.

Since Dibar Apartian's death, some of this information has come out (see Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God and Response to a Letter from Dr. Roderick C. Meredith Dated December 28, 2012 and  October 2012 Emails Related to GCA Booklet and December 2011 Proposed changes to LCG's Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs), yet relatively few believe that makes enough difference. But it does. Character counts and that the final phase of the work of God must be done in truth (Psalm 33:4).

Charlotte lost the Philadelphia mantle some time ago, and LCG is now a Laodicean church with some Philadelphians in it. This result is consistent with certain views that Dibar Apartian had, though it would seem he felt more who were part of LCG would have accepted that by this time.

09/16/14 a.m. Someone suggested that I check out James Malm's page on Sunday. James Malm wrote the following:

Apparently Doug agrees with the false position of Bob Thiel and other COG groups that Islamic Extremism is, or could be, the king of the south, and that the Islamic State will rise up to fulfill that role. 

The above information related to me, and probably also Doug Winnail, is false. I specifically have taught that the Islamic State would not be the King of the South and that Islamic extremism could be a catalyst for the less extreme Islamic nations, like the Arabic ones, to form the King of the South. So Sunday, I wrote James Malm about this, although he did post what I sent him, he then improperly stated that I changed my position--which was also not true. All sources on the internet are not reliable and this is another example from James Malm.

09/13/14 p.m. Noticed the following in an ad from Don Billingsley of COGFF:

The Construction of the Third Temple: Similar to King David, who stockpiled materials for the First Temple (I Chronicles 28:2), so have the Jews stockpiled materials for the building of the third Temple. However, considering the entirety of the Arab nations ready to do an all-out battle with Israel at their first move, virtually anyone would say this is ludicrous to even believe such a thing could possibly take place! And it would be– except for God being in the picture!

The Scriptures are very clear! This will indeed take place—and sooner than one might care to think! Most do not realize that Jesus Christ has a Master Plan with a Timetable in place. And, realizing that He rules in the kingdoms and nations of mankind, all these nations put together will be unable to stop His Plan from going forward—according to God’s timing. And nothing escapes His attention that would stand in the way of these prophecies taking place.

The above shows that COGFF is not a group that properly understands the Bible or certain aspects of biblical prophecy. COGFF is also a group that claims it is faithful to what the late Herbert Armstrong taught, and in the same ad insists (contrary to HWA's own writings) that he was the Elijah to come (see also The Elijah Heresies).

As far as the third temple, it should be noted that Jews do NOT believe it must be built for sacrifices to resume (see Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?). Also, here is some of what Herbert Armstrong taught about that:

God made a prophecy in the third chapter of Malachy...Continuing, "...shall suddenly come to His temple..." What kind of temple is He coming to? Are the Jews going to tear down the Dome of the Rock and build a new temple? Oh, no!... A holy temple! Christ is coming to His church! Christ is coming to His temple! Do we see that? The church is the temple. "...in whom ye are also builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit." (Armstrong, Herbert W. Congress of Leading Ministers Hears Defined and Reemphasized Spiritual Organization of Church. Worldwide News, March 6, 1981, p. 10)

There has been much perplexity and discussion as to when the temple will be built to which Christ shall come. Malachi's prophecy speaks of Christ's second coming to His temple (Malachi 3:1-6). In Haggai's prophecy it is referred to prophetically. Zerubbabel has been sen ' t as governor of a colony to build the second temple 70 years after the destruction of Solomon's temple. He built the temple to which Jesus came, though it had been enlarged and embellished by the Roman Herod.

But speaking of this temple, as a type and forerunner of the temple to which Christ shall come at His second coming , it is written, "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the ' Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts" (Haggai 2:9). It is inconceivable that the Israelis, in the present international turmoil over their possession of old Jerusalem, could ever demolish the Arab Moslem Dome of the Rock - now on the site of Solomon ' s temple-and build a new one there of greater splendor and glory than Solomon's!

However, as the second temple Zerubbabel was building was a typical forerunner of the temple to which Christ shall come, even so Zerubbabel was the typical forerunner of one Christ would use in building the far more glorious temple to, which Christ shall come in His GLORY! Zechariah 4:9 : "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it . . .. " And as Zerubbabel's hands did finish that second temple, so shall the one Christ uses in building the temple to which He shall come in His GLORY! And the Church of God of the present day shall be a "building fitly framed together [and growing] unto an holy temple in the Lord" (Ephesians 2:21). (Armstrong HW. 7 Proofs of God's True Church. Plain Truth. August, 1979, p. 38)

Many of us are being tried and tested as NEVER BEFORE--and for our own good! But, verse 11, "from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away ....Consider this a moment. This does NOT imply a material temple to be built in our time in Jerusalem. It does seem to imply the Israelis may restore the daily (twice daily) sacrifice--possibly at the wailing wall. (Armstrong HW. The Time We Are In, Now. Pastor General's Report-Vol 1, No. 15, November 20, 1979, Page 2)

There has been a trend among various groups (e.g. CBCG and TPM ) to teach that a third temple is required (even one or more high level leaders in LCG seem to believe this).

And this simply is not biblically accurate. For details, check out Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?

09/09/14 p.m. There is now a new booklet available Where is the True Christian Church Today? Also, the latest CCOG sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church?

09/07/14 p.m. Just received the following links to articles translated into the Spanish language:

Iceland’s subglacial volcano erupting; any risk from Yellowstone?
Volcán subglacial de Islandia haciendo erupción, ¿Algún riesgo de Yellostone?
http://www.cdlidd.es/volcan-subglacial-de-islandia-haciendo-erupcion-algun-riesgo-de-yellowstone/
6.9 Earthquake Hits Peru; Chile also Hit by Earthquake
Terremoto de 6.9 golpea al Perú; Chile golpeado también por un terremoto
http://www.cdlidd.es/terremoto-de-6-9-golpea-al-peru-chile-golpeado-tambien-por-un-terremoto/
Napa hit by earthquake, scores injured
Napa golpeado por terremoto, líneas afectadas
http://www.cdlidd.es/napa-golpeado-por-terremoto-lineas-afectadas/
500 earthquakes hit Iceland, today
500 terremotos golpearon a Islandia, hoy
http://www.cdlidd.es/500-terremotos-golpearon-a-islandia-hoy/
Kiev says shells from Russian-side of border hit east Ukraine today, despite peace talks, and territory falls to pro-Russian separatists
Kiev dice que disparos desde el lado ruso de la frontera golpean a Ucrania oriental hoy, a pesar de conversaciones de paz, y territorio cae en poder de separatistas pro-rusos
http://www.cdlidd.es/kiev-dice-que-disparos-desde-el-lado-ruso-de-la-frontera-golpean-a-ucrania-oriental-hoy-a-pesar-de-conversaciones-de-paz-y-territorio-cae-en-poder-de-separatistas-pro-rusos/
US trying to figure out how to deal with Islamic State, Chicago threatened, and 'peace promoting' Pope Francis endorses intervention
EE.UU. tratanto de establecer cómo tratar con Estado Islámico, Chicago amenazado, y el Papa Francisco 'promotor de paz' aprueba intervención
http://www.cdlidd.es/ee-uu-tratando-de-establecer-como-tratar-con-estado-islamico-chicago-amenazado-y-el-papa-francisco-promotor-de-paz-aprueba-intervencion/
Stone-throwing Liberians protest Ebola travel limits, while some ministers blame Ebola on immorality
Liberianos arrojando piedras protestan contra limitaciones de viaje por Ébola, mientras algunos ministros culpan al Ébola de inmoralidad
http://www.cdlidd.es/liberianos-arrojando-piedras-protestan-contra-limitaciones-de-viaje-por-ebola-mientras-algunos-ministros-culpan-al-ebola-de-inmoralidad/
Iran, Armageddon, Israel, and WWIII
Irán, Armagedón, Israel, y la III Guerra Mundial
http://www.cdlidd.es/iran-armadegon-israel-y-la-iii-guerra-mundial/
Middle East war news and Temple Institute’s proposed solution
Noticias de guerra del Medio Oriente y solución propuesta por el Instituto del Templo
http://www.cdlidd.es/noticias-de-guerra-del-medio-oriente-y-solucion-propuesta-por-el-instituto-del-templo/
Islamic State slaughters more and threatens drones against Israel and USA
Estado Islámico asesina más y amenaza drones contra Israel y los EE.UU.
http://www.cdlidd.es/estado-islamico-asesina-mas-y-amenaza-drones-contra-israel-y-los-ee-uu/
Former Attorney General Warns that Faith is Being Limited in UK
Antiguo Fiscal General advierte que la Fe está siendo limitada en el Reino Unido
http://www.cdlidd.es/antiguo-fiscal-general-advierte-que-la-fe-esta-siendo-limitada-en-el-reino-unido/
VOA: USA defendless against treath of EMP from North Korea
VOA: EE.UU. sin defensa contra amenaza de EMP de Corea del Norte

http://www.cdlidd.es/voa-ee-uu-sin-defensa-contra-amenaza-de-emp-de-corea-del-norte/

 

Because of volunteer translators, Continuing Church of God is able to reach people around in the world in languages other than English.

08/30/14 a.m. In the Spring of 2013, David Pack announced that he interpreted certain biblical passages to mean that all COG members would come with him and certain 'obtructionist shepherds' would die by August 30, 2013. I denounced him as false on this prior to him being proven false.

About a week after he was proven wrong about his growth and death predictions for this date in 2013 (one source told me that I was one of three that was supposed to have died on 8/30/13), RCG's David Pack indicated that perhaps he was off by a year or less:

I will explain a week after the Feast EXACTLY what was misunderstood about the prophecy’s timing. It appears we will not be waiting a long time—not another year—for its fulfillment. (Pack D. How Long Will You Wait for God’s Prophecies? 09/06/13 http://rcg.org/sep/how-long-will-you-wait-for-gods-prophecies)

When he wrote that, I reported that David Pack was wrong. A year later, as I write this, he again is shown to be wrong. David Pack is NOT God's apostle as he has claimed. See also Why Not the Restored Church of God?

08/21/14 p.m. The following was part of today's Letter to the Brethren for the Continuing Church of God:

North Korea Reached!

In other internet news, I noticed that we have had visits from North Korea at the COGwriter.com website as verified by AWstats!

When I was with my former association, they stated that they had visitors to their websites from all nations except San Marino and North Korea.

I have not heard if they have since reached those nations, but will state that North Korea and San Marino are part of the 220 plus nations and territories that the CCOG and COGwriter.com websites have reached according to AWstats.

Years ago, I was speaking with someone who was once involved with media in the old Worldwide Church of God about reaching all nations.  He told me that North Korea was about the only country that never had any Plain Truth magazine subscribers.

This long concerned me, and was one of the reasons that the cover article of the Bible News Prophecy magazine for July-September 2014 was about Korea.

A little while after that was published, we had a supporter get an article I wrote titled "What is the Gospel?" into the Korean language and posted it online at COGwriter.com: 복음이란 무엇인가?

It was my hope and prayer that this would help us get at least some witness into North Korea (cf. Matthew 24:14).  Now, I have been able to verify that North Korea has been reached.

Does this mean that we are finished?

No, far from it as I believe that there will be a greater witness (Romans 9:28) just prior to the start of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:14-21).

But reaching North Korea shows that countries with more state-control of media can be witnessed to.  It also shows that by prayer, effort and God's Spirit (Zechariah 4:6-9), a little flock (Luke 12:32) with limited financial resources (cf. Acts 3:6) can go through doors that Jesus opens (cf. Revelation 3:7-8).

It is fantastic that North Korea has been reached. A greater work is still ahead and we in the Continuing Church of God are leading the final phase of the work.

08/19/14 a.m. At its website, RCG is still promoting the following:

God’s People Back Together—SOON!

Announced earlier, the most important and conclusive article I have written to the Worldwide Church of God splinters has been posted! I promise this will be the single most crucial one you will ever read. If you do not read it all, it will be the worst decision you have made since God called you. Believe this!

This came up as part of a rotating promotion by RCG. The article related article, by David Pack, included the following:

Mr. Armstrong taught:

(1) God has one, unified, organized Church, also called the Body of Christ. ...

All Will Come Here!...

History will record that The Restored Church of God gathered the flock, to be with Christ, rather than helped to scatter it—as UCG, LCG, PCG, COGwa, COGaic and so many others are doing! The distinction turns on which church has the full truth and much fruit to back up claims that God leads it, not to mention that this Church still must believe there IS only one Church.

Soon, all of God’s people will know what The Restored Church of God is. They will come to remember and recognize the Church that is the same as the one they used to know. They will return to it, or refuse and quench God’s Spirit forever. No one else is telling Christ’s brethren (YOU) this. This is in part because all other leaders have forgotten what God’s Church looks like. ...

You have been duly warned.

I state emphatically, on God’s authority, that every last person—member or minister—throughout the world who is determined not to lose God’s Spirit—certainly many thousands—is coming to The Restored Church of God.

Actually, the Bible does not teach that all true Christians will be in the same corporate organization in the end. Revelation 2 & 3 show that there will be Thyatirans, Sardisians, Philadelphians, and many Laodiceans in the end, and the implication is that the Laodiceans will be in different organizations.

Despite David Pack's appeals to writings from Herbert Armstrong, he never felt that those of Sardis were prophesied to come in the same organization and the Philadelphians, he believed the opposite.

It should be stated that people will NOT lose God's Spirit by not coming to RCG. Actually, since RCG is led by someone I doubt it truly in the Church of God, the risk of losing God's Spirit tends to increase for those who do support RCG.

For a reminder, last year, David Pack claimed that all of God's people would come to RCG by August 30, 2013, and that three obstructionist leaders would die on that date. Neither happened.

But David Pack, in my view, remains delusional, as do many who support him.

See also Why Not the Restored Church of God?

08/12/14 a.m. A translator from South America sent the following:

Islamic State’ takes oil field from Kurds and attacks Lebanon
'Estado Islámico' toma campo petrolero de los Kurdos y ataca a Líbano
http://www.cdlidd.es/estado-islamico-toma-campo-petrolero-de-los-kurdos-y-ataca-a-libano/
German general now commands the US Army in Europe
General alemán ahora manda al ejército de los EE.UU. en Europa
http://www.cdlidd.es/general-aleman-ahora-manda-al-ejercito-de-los-ee-uu-en-europa/
Israel intends to continue its military incursion, but accepts another ‘cease-fire’
Israel pretende continuar su incursión militar, pero acepta otro 'cese al fuego'
http://www.cdlidd.es/israel-pretende-continuar-su-incursion-militar-pero-acepta-otro-cese-al-fuego/
Benghazi declared an ‘Islamic emirate,’ while fighting continues in Libya
Benghazi declarado un 'Estado Islamico' mientras continúan los combates en Libia
http://www.cdlidd.es/benghazi-declarado-un-estado-islamico-mientras-continuan-los-combates-en-libia/
Solar destruction and the Apocalypse overdue?
Destrucción solar y el Apocalipsis atrasado?
http://www.cdlidd.es/destruccion-solar-y-el-apocalipsis-atrasado/
Is evolution scientifically logical?
¿Es la evolución científicamente lógica?
http://www.cdlidd.es/es-la-evolucion-cientificamente-logica
Nicodemus: A Pharisee who Knew Jesus
Nicodemus: Un fariseo que conocía a Jesús
http://www.cdlidd.es/nicodemus-un-fariseo-que-conocia-a-jesus/
Ukraine trying to take back east, Russia builds up troops, Russian economy affected, and Ukrainian matter allegedly causes USA stocks to drop
Ucrania tratando de recuperar el oriente, Rusia organiza tropas, economía rusa afectada, y asunto de Ucrania supuestamente hace que mercado de acciones de los EE.UU. caiga
http://www.cdlidd.es/ucrania-tratando-de-recuperar-el-oriente-rusia-organiza-tropas-economia-rusa-afectada-y-asunto-de-ucrania-supuestamente-hace-que-el-mercado-de-acciones-de-los-ee-uu-caiga/
Hiroshima bomb dropped 69 years ago
Bomba de Hiroshima lanzada hace 69 años
http://www.cdlidd.es/bomba-de-hiroshima-lanzada-hace-69-anos/
Social Security or Social Insecurity?
¿Seguridad social o inseguridad social?
http://www.cdlidd.es/seguridad-social-o-inseguridad-social/
Pope Francis visits Pentecostal church–a first, but part of a Babylonian plan
Papa Francisco visita iglesia Pentecostal --una primera, pero parte de un plan Babilónico
http://www.cdlidd.es/papa-francisco-visita-iglesia-pentecostal-una-primera-pero-parte-de-un-plan-babilonico/
Former Catholic on reaching Catholics
Antiguo Católico sobre alcanzar a los Católicos
http://www.cdlidd.es/antiguo-catolico-sobre-alcanzar-a-los-catolicos/
HWA’s third law of success: Good health
Tercera ley del éxito de HWA: Buena salud
http://www.cdlidd.es/tercera-ley-del-exito-de-hwa-buena-salud/
Large Hadron Collider, Strangelets, and Destruction
Gran Colisionador Hadron, Strangelets, y destrucción
http://www.cdlidd.es/gran-colisionador-hadron-strangelets-y-destruccion/
Russia requiring popular bloggers to register: A famine of the word is coming
Rusia requiriendo a bloggers populares registrarse: Un hambre de la palabra está próximo
http://www.cdlidd.es/rusia-requiriendo-a-bloggers-populares-a-registrarse-un-hambre-de-la-palabra-esta-proximo/
US Army in Europe to report to a German general!
Ejército de los EE.UU. a reportarse a un general alemán!
http://www.cdlidd.es/ejercito-de-los-ee-uu-a-reportarse-a-un-general-aleman/
Thyatira Church of God
Iglesia de Dios de Tiátira
http://www.cdlidd.es/iglesia-de-dios-de-tiatira/
PCG asks, ‘Will Russia Directly Intervene in Ukraine?’ Yet, PCG is still wrong on Europe
PCG pregunta, '¿Intervendrá Rusia directamente en Ucrania?' No obstante, PCG todavía está equivocada sobre Europa
http://www.cdlidd.es/pcg-pregunta-intervendra-rusia-directamente-en-ucrania-no-obstante-pcg-todavia-esta-equivocada-sobre-europa/
After Pope Francis calls for action, Barack Obama bombs Iraq
Después de que el Papa Francisco llama por acción, Barack Obama bombardea Irak
http://www.cdlidd.es/despues-de-que-el-papa-francisco-llama-por-accion-barack-obama-bombardea-irak/
US Congress and President hit record drops in polls; dollar risks?
Congreso y Presidente de los EE.UU. alcanzan bajas récord en las encuestas; ¿Riesgos para el dólar?
http://www.cdlidd.es/congreso-y-presidente-de-los-ee-uu-alcanzan-bajas-record-en-las-encuestas-riesgos-para-el-dolar/
China moving toward one world religion! Pope to conduct mass in South Korea.
China moviéndose hacia una religión mundial! El Papa va a celebrar una misa en Corea del Sur.
http://www.cdlidd.es/china-moviendose-hacia-una-religion-mundial-el-papa-va-a-celebrar-una-misa-en-corea-del-sur/
Kurds request US military weapons to fight ‘Islamic State’
Kurdos solicitan al ejército de los EE.UU. armas para combatir al 'Estado Islámico'
http://www.cdlidd.es/kurdos-solicitan-al-ejercito-de-los-ee-uu-armas-para-combatir-al-estado-islamico/
Rockets and responses resume in Gaza
Cohetes y respuestas se reanudan en Gaza
http://www.cdlidd.es/cohetes-y-respuests-se-reanudan-en-gaza/
Nagasaki 69 years ago
Nagasaki hace 69 años
http://www.cdlidd.es/nagasaki-hace-69-anos/
Ebola hits 4 continents as death toll rises in Africa
Ébola golpea en 4 continentes en tanto que la cifra de muertos sube en África
http://www.cdlidd.es/ebola-golpea-en-4-continentes-en-tanto-que-la-cifra-de-muertos-sube-en-africa/
Pope Francis on Violence, Jesus, and the Kingdom of God
Papa Francisco sobre violencia, Jesús, y el Reino de Dios
http://www.cdlidd.es/papa-francisco-sobre-violencia-jesus-y-el-reino-de-dios/
Obama says he will not allow Islamic State to carve out caliphate, Islamic State wants to take Washington, D.C. and destroy NYC.
Obama dice que él no permitirá que Estado Islámico labre califato, Estado Islámico desea tomarse a Washington, D.C. y destruir a la ciudad de New York
http://www.cdlidd.es/obama-dice-que-el-no-permitira-que-estado-islamico-labre-califato-estado-islamico-desea-tomarse-a-washington-d-c-y-destruir-a-la-ciudad-de-new-york/
151st anniversary of CGA’s, now CG7′s magazine
151avo. aniversario de la revista de CGA, ahora CG7
http://www.cdlidd.es/151avo-aniversario-de-la-revista-de-cga-ahora-cg7/

The English language versions for those news posts are at the Church of God News page.

As far as Spanish goes, according to AWstats, our Spanish language website, CDLIDD.es, had one of its best months ever last month. The main Spanish language website for the  Continuing Church of God is CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios.

La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios (that is the translated title of CCOG) produces a lot of materials in the Spanish language.

Approximately 414 million people speak Spanish as a native language, making it second only to Mandarin Chinese in terms of its number of native speakers worldwide.  There are more than 500 million Spanish speakers as a first or second language, and 20 million students of Spanish as a foreign language. Spanish is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations, and it is used as an official language by the European Union and Mercosur.

Having materials translated into various languages helps us to go through all the ‘doors’ (cf.2 Corinthians 2:12; Revelation 3:7-13).

08/09/14 a.m. A reader from Canada, who was once part of GCG, sent the following to me today, and gave me permission to post this:

Considering the short time (two years) that the Continuing Church of God has existed, to have "a couple dozen congregations" is a fairly good achievement. You also mentioned having a few supporters scattered in [across] Canada. Recalling the history of the (original)  Radio/Worldwide Church of God in Canada, the number of Canadian supporters is more than that of the WCG for the first two years they had. Radio stations, in Mr. Armstrong's time were less powerful and were barely reaching the northwestern Canada/USA border. It took several years and many more stations added across the USA before Canadians were able to listen to the "World Tomorrow" broadcast. As more stations were added to the Pacific Northwestern states, more Canadians were able 'tune in' and started to write for literature.
 
 Finally, in the 50's (I cannot recall the exact date) Mr. Armstrong sent his son Garner Ted to Vancouver to obtain a post office mail box and and open a small office there. I believe Mr. Dean Wilson was sent there to operate it and later became the first Canadian director of the Work in Canada. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Wilson several times (during the 70's) both at the Feast of Tabernacles in Penticton, BC and Victoria, BC. He also held a Personal Appearance campaign at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton. A (then) young minister, Ronald Miller sang two solos during this event. During the early years, these two men (with possibly one or two others) took a 'baptizing tour across Canada. Soon afterwards, there were bible study groups, that later became congregations in every province across Canada. My wife and I started attending WCG Edmonton in the summer of 1972. In 1975, Ron Miller baptized my wife and his ministerial assistant Clyde Killough (now president of COGWA) baptized me while they were ministers here. I would say that in 1976, the WCG in Canada reached its peak in membership. At that time in Edmonton, there were four congregations in the city with an average of 210 attending in each congregation. Calgary had two. However, as bible studies were flourishing throughout the province, they quickly became church congregations and many people, who came into Edmonton for Sabbath, started attending a congregation closer to home. We then merged Edmonton North with Edmonton West for the north side of the river and merged Edmonton East with Edmonton South for the south side of the North Saskatchewan River, which runs right through the centre of the city. Calgary did the same and went back to having only one congregation. Both cities were 'field training centres' for many Ambassador College Graduates from Big Sandy and Pasadena, and even a few from Bricket Wood. We have had somewhere between 30 and 40 ministers that spent time In fact, I could list most of their names and I am sure you would remember many of their names from COG news articles you either read about in Dixon Cartwright's Journal or your own research (for COG News) as they have surfaced in many stories. These years in the 70s were indeed exciting times. I get carried away writing or talking about this era.
 
I will not write much more but feel it necessary to briefly mention when I left the WCG. When my sister died in 1992, I moved to Chilliwack, BC, 80 miles east of Vancouver to look after my elderly mother for seven years ... It was while I was there that the WCG started to fall apart and early in 1996, I left the WCG as did 70 percent of the Abbotsford congregation. While 'in transition' I met with others in various homes. Occasionally, I attended Global in that area, as did many of my friends who left WCG but then problems started occurring there as well. Finally, I started attending UCG in White Rock, just east of Vancouver and later a UCG congregation, although less than thirty people, was started in Abbotsford, which was closer to Chilliwack. ...
 
That briefly tells the story of the church situation in western Canada, and a little bit of my own COG experience.

The writer wanted me to add that this was the recollection of events to the best of his knowledge, but that he felt it accurately represented what happened with him and various others in Canada.

08/01/14 a.m. Harold Smith of CGFnw listed the following as "Signs of a Laodicean":

Sign #1: Negligence/Carelessness
Sign #2: Materialistic
Sign #3: Spiritually Stagnant
Sign #4: Lack of Humility
Sign #5: Unrepentant
Sign #6: Weak in Faith

He is basically right that those are signs of a Laodicean. But the problem is that those are signs that Laodiceans do not tend to even consider are issues, so they are not likely to change simply hearing them.

However, one area that Harold Smith neglected to mention is that Jesus condemned the Laodiceans for their lukewarm work. Notice what Jesus told the Laodiceans:

14 "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3:14-22)

Any with eyes to see and ears to hear can see that the bulk of those once part of the old GCG have not been effective reaching many people with their works.

Only three such groups that I am aware of have had any serious reach.

One, RCG, is led by someone that I have strong doubts about whether he is in the Church of God at all. Another, LCG, has made many Laodicean moves and taken many Laodicean positions. And the third, CCOG is reaching people with the work without those problems, yet most once part of GCG do not wish to accept the facts on that. Which goes back to Harold Smith's list.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.

07/25/14 p.m. CEG announced today that its next sermon is expected to be on faith. Interestingly, I would like to announce that CCOG now has translated its two booklets, one of which in on faith into the Spanish language.

Here is a link to the English version of the booklet Continuing History of the Church of God  and here now is a link to the Spanish version of the booklet: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Here is a link to the English version of the booklet Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen and here now is a link to the Spanish version of the booklet Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido.

Those interested in a sermon on faith may wish to watch the following: Faith for the Called and Chosen.

07/15/14 a.m. Spoke with a man who was recently part of RCG late yesterday.

He brought up his view that David Pack and RCG are highly focused on money. So much so, he stated that a disabled person had been told by an RCG representative that he had to get a job so he could have more tithes/offerings to give to RCG. He said this person was told that if he did not, although he would still be allowed to attend RCG services, that he would not be granted salvation.

The individual I spoke with was horrified by this, and then quoted Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast." He realized that RCG added a non-biblical requirement for salvation. He also mentioned other problems associated with David Pack and RCG.

While I knew that David Pack has long been obsessed with money, what I was told yesterday was even worse than I had heard before.

Years ago, in late 2007, David Pack basically told people to get into debt and cash out any retirement savings they had to give to him so he could build an impressive headquarters (see also David Pack of the Restored Church of God Declares: “Go get those assets and get them here”). David Pack indicated that this would be signal for all in the various COGs to come to him.

David Pack later (in the Spring and Summer of 2013) stated that would happen by August 30, 2013. Of course, that date was proven to have been in error. But the obsession with money has not let up within RCG. An article of related interest would be Why Not the Restored Church of God?

07/12/14 p.m. LCG had the following read in its anouncements today:

From the Presiding Evangelist

Dear Brethren,

I am very pleased to announce to you our plan to distribute an updated version of Mr. Ivor Fletcher’s thorough and well-written book on Church history. His book is titled, The Incredible History of God’s True Church, and some of you may remember this book from the 1980s...

Please note: This is not an “official” Living Church of God publication and we are very aware that there are some technical details in Church history over which sincere Christians may disagree. But we feel that this book is, overall, the most balanced and helpful book on the entire history of the true Church of God available. It describes much of our heritage as a Church. So you and I can be thankful to Mr. Ivor Fletcher for his conscientious effort in producing this history.

We plan to offer one hard-cover copy per household at the Feast of Tabernacles this year.

Once again, LCG is going to print and distribute a book on COG history that it knows contains errors (which are being excused as "technical details"). It does not wish to call it official, but does wish to pay to produce a book to give to all who attend its official Feast of Tabernacles' sites.

I told LCG for years that its other book on COG history contained major errors and perpetuated Catholic myths (see October 2012 Emails Related to GCA Booklet), so this new book probably will not have as many of those type of errors.

It should be noted that the many 'technical details' that LCG is wrong about prophetically (as shown in various of its publications) will prevent those who hold to them to know when the Great Tribulation will begin.

I do not believe that it is Philadelphian for a church to print and distribute books, basically intended to be about itself, that it knows contain errors (cf. 1 Timothy 3:15; Jeremiah 48:10). That is something that is not 'hot,' but appears, at best, to be lukewarm (cf. Revelation 3:14-22). God's work is supposed to be done in truth per Psalm 33:4.

The points I raised about LCG and its literature errors have long been correct. While LCG may be finally correcting some, it should try to correct them all and not intentionally produce literature that it knows contains error (see also Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God). The fact that it does not seem to be able to resolve the 'errors' internally suggests that it is not as unified as it tries to portray. Yet, whether or not it is unified, the reality is that I believe that LCG is a Laodicean COG and the announcement read in its services today is proof for any with eyes to see and ears to hear (cf. Matthew 11:15-16).

Here is a link to a booklet on Church history put out by the Continuing Church of God that does not contain any known historical errors: Continuing History of the Church of God.

07/11/14 a.m. LCG just sent out the following:

Bible prophecy reveals that the final leader of the end-time European Beast power will be an influential person who is both self-confident and arrogant (Daniel 11:36-39). This charismatic leader will lead ten nations who give their "power and authority" over to him (Revelation 17:12-13). (A Young Face Among Old European Leaders. TW News & Prophecy, July 11, 2014)

LCG continues to insist on its 'ten nations' position. Those who hold to that will not possibly know when the Great Tribulation will begin if the final European Beast power consists of more than 10 or 11 nations. Here is what it reported in May 2014:

In recent years, as the EU grew to 27 members, skeptics criticized the biblical idea that ten nations would form the nucleus of a final Beast power in Europe (Daniel 2:41-43). However, the Bible clearly states that at the time of the end, “ten kings… will give their power and authority to the beast” (Revelation 17:12-13). If this Beast is led by a particular nation (e.g., Germany), then the total number involved could well be 11! While it is not yet clear which nations will make up the final Beast power prophesied by Daniel and the Apostle John, world events indicate that a group of 10 or 11 nations coalescing to form the final Beast power is not far-fetched, fictional, or even a far-off idea-it is a soon-coming reality! (TW News & Prophecy, May 16, 2014).

The idea of ten currently existing nations is NOT a biblical idea. Neither Daniel 2:41-43 nor Revelation 17:12 use the Herbew or Greek terms for nations in conjunction with the words for ten. Although LCG is referring to Daniel, the number of toes in Daniel 2 is ten, not eleven. The European Union currently has 28 member nations.

FWIW, the idea that this final configuration was limited to ten nations was NOT the position of the old Worldwide Church of God:

These ten nations or groups of nations, comprising the modern revived Beast...

One of these was the formation of "Benelux" — a joint customs union formed by the three nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg — which actually began operation on January 1, 1948. The purpose of Benelux was to gradually reduce duties and tariffs on commerce between the three member nations to promote increased trade among themselves.

In 1951, the European Coal and Steel Community was set up which comprised six nations — the "Benelux" nations with the addition of West Germany, France, and Italy. In four years, combined steel production soared 36%, and next to the United States, they became the largest steel producer in the world!

Then, finally in 1957, these six nations signed "The Treaty of Rome," setting up the European "Common Market." OFFICIALLY IT IS CALLED EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY, or EEC. It went INTO FORCE on January 1, 1958.

The "Common Market" BINDS THESE NATIONS TOGETHER ECONOMICALLY. The ultimate aim of the plan is to create one solid economy between the present member nations.

But it has been made plain that the plan is NOT LIMITED only to the PRESENT SIX NATIONS. Now other nations want to join the European Economic Community. (Remember that there must be TEN NATIONS or groups of nations to comprise the final resurrection of the modern "Holy Roman Empire"!) (AMBASSADOR COLLEGE, BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE. LESSON 32 (1963, 1965, 1967, 1969)

No one knows yet just which nations will make up the final 10. The possibility always exists some nations could be considered one, such as Benelux (Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg), or two or more Balkan ' or Iberian states could be grouped together. After all, the modern borders of European nations greatly differ from the many different borders in historic times. (Kelly R. A United Europe Nearer Than You Think! Plain Truith, November-December 1985)

Now, there are also some that were personally written by Herbert W. Armstrong himself (details are in the article ).  Quotes from the 1960s until being published the month he died in January 1986.  He and his old church long realized that Revelation 17:12 was not restricted to ten currently existing nations.

Herbert Armstrong also taught that he felt that some currently existing nations, such as Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg might be grouped together.

I would also add that at the Feast of Tabernacles in 1979 in Tuscon, AZ, I heard the late Dr. Hoeh say that he and Herbert Armstrong were convinced that the two legs/feet of the Beast represented nations in both eastern and western Europe.   The nations that were referred to in that sermon exceeded 10 or 11 in number.

Since the Bible actually does not use the term for nations in Revelation 17:12, those who insist that the final Beast power must have ten or eleven (as LCG has indicated) currently existing nations are taking what appears to be a Laodicean position. Those who take improper Laodicean positions will not possibly know when the Great Tribulation will begin (see also When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?).

07/02/14 p.m. On October 11, 2013, RCG's David Pack posted the following:

Originally we took the “sixth month” to be the sixth month of God’s sacred calendar, which is Elul. This was wrong. Upon closer examination, it became clear that the reference to the “sixth month” is simply to the sixth month and second year of King Darius’ reign from when it started...A series of clues point to Haggai 1:1 being in the SPRING of the year, NOT the fall.

Haggai 1:1 records the third overall date—the first day of the sixth month. This would be early March our time.

The fourth date is in Haggai 1:15—the 24th day of the sixth month. It describes the people coming to work in God’s House. Again, this would be about April 1 in our calendar.

The fifth date is in Haggai 2:1—the 21st day of the seventh month—and would be late in April. We originally thought this was the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, but it would be more like right after Passover.

The sixth date is in Haggai 2:10—the 24th day of the ninth month—and continues through Haggai 2. This would be the equivalent of late July...

We should now at least ask: Will God’s people keep the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread together in 2014?—in 2015?—or later? The reader may draw his own conclusions... (Pack D. A Conclusion Everyone Should Read. October 11, 2013. http://rcg.org/sep/a-conclusion-everyone-should-read viewed 10/11/13)

Back on 10/11/13, related to the above, I posted:

The answer to the first and second question is, NO POSSIBLE WAY WILL ALL OF GOD'S PEOPLE BE UNIFIED IN 2014 OR 2015 AS DAVID PACK HAS INDICATED THAT MAY. I continue to conclude that David Pack is delusional and any who believe him are allowing themselves to be deceived in many ways.

I stand by that. Of course, the 2014 Passover reunification that David Pack hoped for did not happen. The 2015 Passover reunification that David Pack hopes for also will not happen as he has laid out. True Philadelphian Christians will not end up with RCG.

I have seen a couple of reports from people raising concerns that RCG is still having problems related to the fall-out of David Pack's wrong pronouncements (which he has partially tried to blame on others who he had earlier gotten to agree with him). At some point in time, RCG will more fully pay for its covetousness and deceptive words per 2 Peter 2:1-3.

06/27/14 p.m. LCG put out the following today:

Divisive decisions by the European elite appear to be further fracturing long-standing relationships within the EU, while Britain is taking actions that further alienate it from nations once seen as friends. This corresponds with ancient Bible prophecies that place Israelite-descended nations like Britain on the "outside" of the final Beast power that will emerge in Europe (see Ezekiel 23:9-10, 22-30; Hosea 5:1-9; 11:3-7). (A Divisive Head for Europe. TW News & Prophecy, June 27, 2014).

LCG is correct that Britain will be alienated from the final European Beast power.

However, perhaps it should be mentioned that the scriptures LCG has cited that seem to suggest that other Israelite-descended nations will be outside of that should be addressed.

First it should be noted that Ezekiel 23:9-10 is a reference to Samaria. Biblical prophecies related to Samaria tie it in with Manasseh, the USA (cf. Isaiah 9:8-12,21). Hence Ezekiel 23:9-10, which talks about being betrayed by those that are trusted, does not seem to be directly related to European-based Israelites. The USA has alliances with Assyria/Germany/Europe. such as NATO.

Second please understand that Hosea 5:1-9 tells of Ephraim (the UK and its Anglo-Saxon allies), while Hosea 11:3-7 tells of at least part of Ephraim not being able to get assistance from Assyria.

None of the scriptures LCG listed are necessarily directly applicable to any of the other Israelite-descended nations in Europe.

The reason I mention all of this is that LCG has been leaning towards a doctrinal change, which it has somewhat adopted, that the Israelite descended nations of Europe will not be part of the 'ten kings' of Revelation 17:12.

LCG has been insisting that the 'ten kings' in Revelation 17:12 are ten currently existing nations that will make up the final European Beast power of Revelation 17:12. This is not consistent with what the Bible actually teaches about the ten kings in Revelation 17:12, nor the historical position of the old Radio or old Worldwide Church of God. Those who insist on that configuration are subject to not knowing when the Great Tribulation will begin until it is too late.

For more details, see the articles Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? and When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?

06/24/14 p.m. Visited Enduring's website today. I have not reported much about them as they have very limited impact and do not seem to be reaching many. They do, however, list being on one radio station in Dallas. EnCOG is a small group, that started fairly small and has gotten smaller over time. In my view, it had the wrong focus from the beginning.

06/13/14 p.m. It has been nearly five months since RCG made posts to its news page. My guess is that RCG is still reeling with the realization that David Pack was totally wrong about his predictions, which he tried to pawn off as biblical interpretations, of what he claimed would happen on August 30, 2014. Oddly, just like when COGPFKG's Ron Weinland was so clearly wrong, RCG does not seem to have had a significant abandonment from its followers.

However after the second and third time Ron Weinland was so clearly wrong, COGPFKG did significantly suffer abandonment from many of its previous followers. David Pack probably realizes this and this may be a factor in him spending less time attempting to try gain attention as he was doing this time last year.

Here is something I posted last June:

06/08/13 a.m. In his letter he posted yesterday, RCG's David Pack had the following:

For over 14 years, The Restored Church of God has focused on leading those of like mind back to one group...the size of God’s Church will soon be much larger than the largest splinter—probably many thousands more...

This is a good place to add an inset explaining WHY the elements of this announcement can happen quickly—as advancements do now in God’s Church. Brethren will again be unified under one leader. The Government of God that Christ administers in His Church is more efficient and effective by far than the humanly contrived “junk” masquerading as “government” in the splinters. We also have God’s blessing in our efforts. They do not, but rather just think they do. Like so many other elements explained in this series, these governments will be miraculously CLOSED DOWN—and SOON!...

In two weeks—after one more important set up announcement—I will announce the year and very day that this reunification will happen. But I am not a prophet! Understand. I have NO AUTHORITY to make my own proclamations about anything regarding prophecy.

I would like to make three basic comments about the above.

First, it shows that fulfilling Matthew 24:14 is not, and has not been, the focus of RCG. It also shows that fulfilling Matthew 28:19-20 is not its focus. Hence, David Pack is telling any who think about it that he and his group has not and will not lead what I have called "The Final Phase of the Work" (here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work; the written article has also been translated into Spanish: La Fase Final de la Obra). The fact that his focus is on other groups closing down should explain to all with eyes to see and ears to hear that his focus remains wrong.

Second, RCG is not God's Church if that is supposed to mean that David Pack is God's top human leader (he is not) or that his Restored Church of God is actually Philadelphian (which it is not). Actually, Pharisaical is perhaps one of the best ways to describe that work (see also Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees?). Those who wonder should carefully study the article Why Not the Restored Church of God?; here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: ¿Por qué no la Iglesia de Dios Restaurada?

And thirdly, David Pack is correct that he is not a prophet and that he has "NO AUTHORITY to make" his "own proclamations about anything regarding prophecy." He has made wrong prophetic announcements, misunderstands prophecy, and has been misleading people prophetically (some of that is covered in the article Why Not the Restored Church of God?).

To learn more about the role and requirements to be a prophet please check out the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God (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?).

06/28/13 p.m. RCG's David Pack finally decided to partially keep his word the second time (after he did not the first) and formally announce the following today:

Haggai Fulfilled—When Reunification Occurs

Most are by now probably wondering: When will the events described in Haggai take place? Before which Feast of Tabernacles (remember, Haggai means “My Feast”) will brethren be reunified? The answer is found by returning to Haggai 1. Verses 14 and 15 state that “all the remnant of the people…came and did work in the House of the Lord of Hosts, their God, in the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.” We saw in an earlier announcement that this is the 24th day of the sixth month (Elul) in God’s sacred calendar.

For now, I will merely state that the prophecy applies to THIS SUMMER—August 30, 2013.

There will NOT be a reunification of Philadelphians involving David Pack unless he and his other followers repent and leave RCG.

06/29/13 a.m. There were a lot of improper and outrageous claims in the post by RCG's David Pack yesterday. Essentially, he has declared himself as an/the end time Joshua and that thousands will soon recognize this. Here are some of his exact words:

This TWENTIETH announcement reveals the identity of the modern Joshua. It shows how to know who is Mr. Armstrong’s true successor...

Mr. Armstrong in time came to realize that he would die, and without knowing Joshua’s identity (Hag. 1:2, 12, 14; 2:2, 4 and parts of Zech. 3 and 6). He of course knew that Joshua must follow Zerubbabel (himself) and be revealed in his time. As with learning that he was Zerubbabel, and then teaching this to the Church, Mr. Armstrong realized that Joshua would at some point similarly learn his own identity and also similarly teach it to the Church...

So, like Zerubbabel, Joshua is a human being—one man!—who lives just before and up to the time of Christ’s Return...

I was saved, but also helping save others (recall the names Joshua and Jeshua) through my early books and “90 Reasons to Follow the Truth” sermons that helped many thousands leave the WCG. I never looked to be the leader...

The one who was not looking for personal opportunity WAS chosen. Thousands will soon have to come to grips with this.

3:3: “Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.”

At first glance, this is NOT a flattering picture...

I certainly did remain in a spiritually filthy environment in the Global Church of God for years (this also describes the latter WCG years)...

But no one would understand Haggai’s message—GOD’S message (also Hag. 1:3)—if another messenger were not sent to explain it.

So obviously, that man would be Joshua, the figure found throughout Haggai!...

While the Bible seems to teach of an end time Joshua (see also Who Are The Two Witnesses?), this 'Joshua' is not David Pack. David Pack is delusional. Eventually the empire he is building for himself will fall. He seems have been claiming that thousands in various COGs will come to him by the end of August 2013. But I suspect when things do not go that way, he will instead claim that they are no longer part of the body and/or "I never knew you" (Matthew 7:23), and declare that he reached thousands, and all he really meant was that he had to give them a type of final warning/witness.

David Pack is one who is fulling the following prophecy:

1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (2 Peter 2:1-3).

Those that follow David Pack do not seem to realize that they have responded to his 'deceptive words,' but in fact that is how he speaks, and what they have done. Covetousness is embedded with RCG. This will not end well for those who are part of the improperly named Restored Church of God.

In July, David Pack became even bolder, and of course his hoped for reunification did not happen. David Pack, RCG, and most others misunderstand key aspects of biblical prophecy.

06/06/14 p.m. In its latest newsletter for the week ending 06/06/14, Church of the Eternal God has the following, with its leader writer being Norbert Link:

Are there any true prophets in God’s Church today?

It depends on what is meant by the term, “prophet.”

Smith's Bible Dictionary describes a biblical prophet as follows:

“The ordinary Hebrew word for prophet is nabi, derived from a verb signifying ‘to bubble forth’ like a fountain; hence the word means one who announces or pours forth the declarations of God. The English word comes from the Greek prophetes (profetes), which signifies in classical Greek one who speaks for another, especially one who speaks for a god, and so interprets his will to man; hence its essential meaning is ‘an interpreter.’”...

Wayne Blank defines a prophet in this way, in “Daily Bible Study” (on keyway.com):

“The English word ‘prophet’ originated from a Greek word which meant to tell before i.e. pro means before and phemi means to tell… The Hebrew word of the Old Testament that is translated as ‘prophet'  [nabi]… means an inspired speaker… The Greek term of the New Testament that is translated as ‘prophet’… also means an inspired speaker…

“The LORD's prophets are often regarded as having only been there to prophesy coming destruction, but they only did so within the context of preaching and teaching God's Truth - and what would happen to those who rebelled against it. The LORD's prophets, who were therefore also experts in God's Law, also prophesied great good that is coming upon those who obey God's Law.”

As can be seen from the foregoing, one of the responsibilities of a true biblical prophet is to foretell the future...

The author adds that “from this standpoint, a pastor who preaches, in full and accurate accord with God’s Bible, is functioning as a prophet.” ...

We stated:

“We do not claim that there are presently any ministers in our organizations who have been ordained by God to the rank and function of apostle or prophet; nor do we believe that God has given anyone else outside our organizations such ranks and functions. When God chooses to set aside some of His ministers for such responsibilities (as He will, for instance, in regard to the two witnesses), the fruit of such persons will make this fact abundantly clear to those in God’s Church. For instance, God manifested and revealed without doubt the apostleship of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, the late human leader of the former Worldwide Church of God, who died in 1986. Today, even though some claim godly approval for stating that they are apostles and/or prophets, it is our judgment that their claims are false, as in our opinion, they have not manifested the signs of an apostle or prophet in their lives.”

To summarize, there are most certainly “prophets” in God’s Church today who preach with godly inspiration and who speak on prophecies which are recorded in the Bible. God might also give some of His servants special insight today into prophetic events and details, which might not be specifically mentioned in Scripture, but which would be in line with prophecies contained in the Bible (compare Amos 3:7-8; Isaiah 44:26; Revelation 19:10). But at this point, there are no ordained prophets in God’s Church anywhere, and we do not believe that those who claim otherwise are telling the truth. We do find, however, that in the future, the Church of God will have again ordained apostles and prophets, in accordance with the directions of Jesus Christ, the living Head of the Church (Ephesians 4:11-16).

The above comes on the heels of LCG recently publishing something about this (see LCG on Prophets: Rare, But Look for the Fruits). The problem that CEG should consider is that since it is claiming that there are no prophets ordained by God today, yet it also claims that there are those who explain prophecies today with godly inspiration, why do all the COG groups I am aware of, other than the Continuing Church of God (including CEG, see, for example, Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?) have major errors of prophetic misunderstanding?

Unless they all change to the relevant positions taught by the Continuing Church of God none of them will know when the Great Tribulation will begin. Of course, if groups like LCG or CEG actually admitted that God had one or more ordained and anointed prophets today, they would be forced to listen. But as the Laodiceans will not listen to Jesus (Revelation 3:14-22), it is not unexpected that they would not listen to any end time prophets of God (cf. John 15:20).

Please understand that leaders in the Living Church of God and/or the United Church of God confirmed to me personally that I was biblically correct on many prophetic points that are now somewhat unique to the Continuing Church of God, despite the fact that their respective churches hold to several prophetic errors (LCG had agreed with me on many points when I was with them but they did not change as they promised--some of which are in the news post LCG on Prophets: Rare, But Look for the Fruits).  Those who rely too much on a compromised ministry (Ezekiel 34:7-10) to teach them prophecy, that is not truly in accordance with scripture, need to realize that according to Jesus' words in Revelation 2 & 3 and Luke 21, only relatively few Christians will be protected from the hour of trial that will come upon the whole world. The Laodiceans have so much prophetic misunderstanding that they will not possibly understand when the Great Tribulation will begin unless they repent and hold to certain prophetic positions that the Continuing Church of God holds (see also The Laodicean Church Era).

It perhaps should be pointed out that most of the quotes in the entire article in the CEG newsletter were from the Old Testament (and seemed to rely heavily on several Protestant sources) and ignored much of the teaching in the New Testament on the prophet matter. Those who want a more complete understanding from a Christian perspective should check out the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God. The CEG article also left out God's use of dreams for prophets. Those who wish to see more supernatural proof about the validity of the Continuing Church of God also may wish to check out the fairly new (finished a couple of days ago) article Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God.

05/31/14 a.m. Received an email from someone who wondered where LCG's literature contradicted itself regarding the invasions of the King of the North against the USA and the King of the South.

Basically, the contradiction is in something that the late evangelist John Ogwyn wrote that LCG published as The Beast of Revelation Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality? and the Fourteen Signs booklet from Dr. Meredith as well as LCG's Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs. I spoke to John Ogwyn about this when he was alive and he assured me that his position was what Herbert Armstrong believed and he agreed with me that certain scriptures that I felt should be added to his booklet were appropriate.

Those interested in what I sent to the LCG evangelists on this back in 2007, which was later approved in a meeting with them in January of 2008, but never implemented is shown in the following link: Daniel 11’s End-Time Prophetic Sequence.

The bottom line is that because LCG did not do what I was told it would do, those in LCG who rely on its literature (including its Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs) will not possibly realize when the Great Tribulation will begin until it is too late. Sadly, unless LCG will change, most will ignore these warnings to their peril.

05/30/14 a.m. Received an email from someone who stated that LCG's just put out a message titled Preparing for Armageddon. Because those in LCG have prophetic misunderstandings on when the Great Tribulation can possibly start, those who survive it will personally need to prepare in a sense for Armageddon.

Notice some prophetic teachings, and ramifications of some teachings that LCG holds that differ from the Continuing Church of God:

  1. The Great Tribulation begins with or after the King of the North invades the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43) (see PCG and LCG do not understand the end-time King of the South sequence–do you?).  This is not the order that Daniel 11 teaches (see Who is the King of the North?).  LCG’s position is out of biblical sequence, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  2. The abomination of desolation of Daniel 11:31 occurs after the King of the North invades the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43; see PCG and LCG do not understand the end-time King of the South sequence–do you?).  Since this will not happen, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  3. The ‘Falling Away’ warned about in 2 Thessalonians 2 has mainly to do with the world and Protestants and not the Church of God (see The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings ).  LCG is thus not teaching its members many things that they need to know so that they will not be subject to falling away in the future.  And while there will be COG supporters (in various groups, including likely CCOG) who will fall away (Daniel 11:30-35), LCG, in my view, is not properly preparing members for this.
  4. The man of sin who sits in the temple of God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) is the Antichrist, not the Beast.  Yet, this is the Beast (see Who is the Man of Sin?).  So, when this happens, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand its prophetic ramifications.
  5. A Jerusalem temple will be rebuilt before Jesus returns.  While this is remotely possible (and not all in LCG insist on this), it is not required (the “temple of God” in the New Testament has to do with a Christian, not Jewish, location; see Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?).  Since this will not happen as LCG sometimes seems to teach, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  6. The Beast power will consist of 10 or 11 current nations in the European Union (see Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?).  The European Union has 28 nation members with others hoping to join it.  And while it may lose nations, the reality is that if the Beast power rises up when there are more than 11 nations in it, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.  Under Herbert Armstrong, the old WCG taught in at least a dozen documents (Plain Truth, Good News, Tomorrow’s World, booklets, Co-worker letter, Bible Correspondence Course) that this passage referred to 10 nations or GROUPS OF NATIONS.  LCG should not have insisted on this as it recently did.
  7. The first verse in the Daniel 11 sequence relating to the beginning of the Great Tribulation is Daniel 11:40 (per LCG’s Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs; see also December 2011 Proposed changes to LCG’s Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs).  LCG should teach that it begins with Daniel 11:39, which is shortly after Daniel 11:31, which is also consistent with the start of the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; see also Who is the King of the North?).  Those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.

Some will come up with their preferred rational as why not to agree with CCOG.  Yet, on most of those points, the old WCG taught what I believe that the Bible teaches on them (on the one or two that it did not, one is consistent with a November 1979 HWA writing and on the other an advisor to HWA told me that HWA would have agreed with me on that as well).

Additionally, at least one LCG evangelist, and normally multiple LCG ministers, told me that I was correct on each of those points.  Instead of correcting its errors, LCG has instead insisted on positions that are in conflict with the Bible.  LCG also has other doctrinal and character issues which are not appropriate fruits (see, for example, What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God?).  LCG also has backed off of teaching that Habakkuk 2:6-8 is an end time prophecy (which Habakkuk 2:3 teaches it is “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak”). There are also other prophetic misunderstandings that LCG holds which I may address in the future.

Because of its prophetic misunderstandings, LCG WILL NOT KNOW WHEN THE GREAT TRIBULATION WILL BEGIN AND THOSE THAT PREFER TO SUPPORT LCG WILL NOT FLEE TO BE PROTECTED WHEN IT IS TIME. Those in LCG may then truly wish to "prepare for Armageddon" or better yet, repent prior to that.

05/18/14 a.m. The latest Study the Bible Course (Lesson 3) has been uploaded. The course is highly based on the original Bible Correspondence Course of the old Radio Church of God.

Here is a link to Lesson 1.
Here is a link to Lesson 2.
Here is a link to Lesson 3.

05/17/14 a.m. In its announcements read today at services (but dated 5/15/14), LCG had the following:

Greetings from Charlotte,

One of the unintended after-effects of the Ministerial Conference was that a number of those attending came down with an influenza virus...

Ministerial Moves

Mr. and Mrs. Rod King will be moving back to Australia from the UK to become the Pastor of the Melbourne congregation. Mr. Gerald Weston will become the new Regional Director of the UK and Europe. Mr. Weston will continue as the Regional Director of Canada and make several trips to the UK and Europe during the year. Africa will be administered from Charlotte for the immediate future. Mr. and Mrs. Bob Rodzaj will be moving from Phoenix, Arizona to Albuquerque where Mr. Rodzaj will be the Associate Pastor of congregations in New Mexico and El Paso, Texas.

Moves were expected for many reasons, including the death of Glen Gilchrist, who died April 27, 2014.

Speaking of its announcements, earlier this month LCG said it would "be working with Ronald McDonald House to prepare and serve a large dinner for parents and families of children who are hospitalized with serious medical conditions."

While working with the sick is encourged, I do not believe that promoting some of the public relations' objectives of a company in the fast-food industry, such as McDonalds, is the proper way to do that.

Please carefully notice the following prophetic doctrinal item from LCG's announcements read today:

In recent years, as the EU grew to 27 members, skeptics criticized the biblical idea that ten nations would form the nucleus of a final Beast power in Europe (Daniel 2:41-43). However, the Bible clearly states that at the time of the end, “ten kings… will give their power and authority to the beast” (Revelation 17:12-13). If this Beast is led by a particular nation (e.g., Germany), then the total number involved could well be 11! While it is not yet clear which nations will make up the final Beast power prophesied by Daniel and the Apostle John, world events indicate that a group of 10 or 11 nations coalescing to form the final Beast power is not far-fetched, fictional, or even a far-off idea—it is a soon-coming reality! For more on this vital topic, be sure to read our informative booklet, The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality?

The bolded part is in error. This was addressed in a post at the COG News page yesterday: LCG and PCG insisting on 10 or 11 ‘nations’ for the Beast? What does the Bible teach? Those who rely on that are subject to NOT knowing when the Beast power will have risen up.

Now this morning, someone asked me a question about the following article in the current TW magazine by LCG's Roderick C. Meredith titled Will You Be Left Behind?:

God describes the way of life of His most faithful people: “Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12). Just as His true Church is described in Revelation 12:17 as a commandment-keeping Church...

Rather, as Scripture makes clear, our Creator will guide His most faithful people to know when and where to flee just before the Great Tribulation begins.

Will LCG know or not know?

It needs to be pointed out that the Bible shows that the people who are "left behind" are the Christians described in Revelation 12:17 as keeping the commandments of God and having the testimony of Jesus Christ who did not flee when they should have. I tried to point this out to LCG in the past.

Furthermore, LCG erroneously has the Great Tribulation beginning when the King of the North invades the King of the South per its Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs (which I also tried to get LCG to correct, see December 2011 Proposed changes to LCG's Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs).

Also in Dr. Meredith's Fourteen Signs booklet, LCG teaches the biblically wrong sequence that Daniel 11:40 will be fulfilled before Daniel 11:31 will be fulfilled (this is quoted and discussed in the article PCG and LCG do not understand the end-time King of the South sequence–do you?). This is also something I tried to get LCG to correct as not only did it contradict the sequence in Daniel 11, it also contradicted the teaching and order in the booklet being promoted in the announcements read today The Beast of Revelation: Myth, Metaphor or Soon-Coming Reality? Sadly, most in LCG do not see the contradictons nor realize that LCG's teachings will prevent them from knowing when the Great Tribulation will start.

In terms of the Great Tribulation, LCG's Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs teaches:

The Bible speaks of a time of great catastrophe, called the “Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24:21-22; Daniel 11:40-45; 12:1; Luke 21:19-36) (viewed 05/14/14)

LCG is teaching that Daniel 11:40 is the first item in the sequence in Daniel 11 to start the Great Tribulation.  And this is a FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF, which is in error. The Great Tribulation starts in verse 39 when the King of the North invades the USA and UK.

Notice that the old WCG taught what I am showing as the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the following in 1979:

What is this abomination? This refers to Daniel 11:31 and Matthew 24:15…That will be a time when the UNITED Europe shall appear–the revival of the medieval “Holy Roman Empire.” We shall then be warned, and readied to be taken to a place of refuge and safety from the Great Tribulation. Forty-five days later “the beasts armies” will surround Jerusalem. Thirty days later the Great Tribulation will probably start with a nuclear attack on London and Britain–and possibly the same day or immediately after, on the United States and Canadian cities. The GREAT TRIBULATION, we shall fully then realize, is the time of “Jacob’s Trouble,” spoken of in Jeremiah 30:7. And Jacob’s name was named on Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen. 48:16). At that time a third of the people in our nations will die, or shall have died, by famine and disease epidemics; another third will dies of the war–our cities being destroyed (Ezek. 6:6), and the remaining third will be carried to the land of our enemies as slaves (Ezek. 5:12). Armstrong HW. The Time We Are In, Now. Pastor General’s Report-Vol 1, No. 15, November 20, 1979, Page 2).

Notice that Herbert Armstrong has Daniel 11:31 first, then the USA and UK getting attacked (Daniel 11:39). Because LCG's Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs teaches Daniel 11:40, those in LCG will NOT know when the Great Tribulation is about to begin.

More details about this are in the article PCG and LCG do not understand the end-time King of the South sequence–do you? LCG has joined PCG in insisting on various prophetic errors. Because of that, anyone who relies their erroneous prophetic teachings will themselves be "left behind."

While I was in LCG, its leaders had agreed to correct/modify the prophetic errors I have pointed out in today's post, yet did not. Instead, LCG now is insisting that they are correct on points that they are in biblical error. Those who believe LCG's teachings on those matters instead of what we teach in the Continuing Church of God will not possibly know when the Great Tribulation will begin until it is too late for most of them to flee. Yes, the literature errors I tried to work with LCG on over the years were that significant. Please, be like the Bereans of old and read your Bibles to see if what I am saying is so (cf. Acts 17:10-11).

05/15/14 p.m. As some have misrepresented the situation with the Continuing Church of God regards to our membership in East Africa, I thought I would post a letter from Kenya-based Regional Pastor Evans Ochieng:

Greetings from Kenya.

It was a busy and successful sabbath yesterday when we met different congregations in Kisii.

The first meeting was at Eberege where we baptized 6 people.

Our representative here is Ezekiel Oanda. Oanda was among the leaders who were in Nairobi ...

What I wondered about was how come this congregation is growing very fast. I found that the number is very much larger than before. Most of the people around this region are SDAs and I think this is the major reason why they are getting the truth very fast. Every time I do a Bible study with this group when I come back I do get good growth.

I was accompanied by Simon Okeyo who did the sermonette. He covered a topic about the importance of baptism and why baptism is very important in our life.

After that I was introducing the subject, from our booklet, on the CONTINUING HISTORY OF THE CHURCH OF GOD. It took a very long sermon because I wanted to explain about why CCOG is on the front line to finish the work at this age. Since people were many and it was late, it forced me to provide lunch for the day.

The number of attendees was 57 adults and 18 children. After the services we went to the river where we were going for baptism. It was a very happy day and the whole congregation was happy. I gave them booklets on the Continuing History of the Church of God, Bible News Prophecy magazines, and few bibles. When we left the group, there was a full joy.

After that baptism ceremony we rushed to go and meet Elijah Osiemo and the three congregations. We took a very long time when discussing church matters with these congregations because I wanted them to see the differences between CCOG and other COGs. we met people who were formerly under {other groups}. After a long and thorough discussion, they confirmed to us that they are fully members of CCOG…

We also talked about the translation of our Statement of Beliefs and Continuing History of the Church of God booklet into the Ekegusii language. We agreed on this point that is going to shoot straight away. We agreed that after translations, they will be edited and taken for printing. The Statement of Beliefs in Luo is also going on which is being translated by my son Felix who is in university. The Continuing History of the Church of God booklet is also going on being translated in Luo.

I met Charles Mokoro…and he confirmed that he is now fully CCOG member. Our trip of yesterday was very much fruitful and added more strength to CONTINUING CHURCH OF GOD which also shifted the CCOG number from 17 to 21 congregations.. We also talked about giving Ekegusii bibles to members of the church in kisii who are lacking bibles. One bible is costing kshs 850/-. We agreed that after printing the BNP magazine into Kiswahili, we will buy the Bibles for all congregations in Kisii. Elijah told me that he has already translated hymnal book into kiswahili so the only thing that I will do is to talk with a musician who can edit it and after that it can be taken for printing. Now concerning the work in Kenya, it needs a proper support.I was trying to provide church history and the magazines. Many missed to get them because the number is higher than what we had in stock as our total number of members are over 500. So serving this people needs a proper management in Kenya, financially and with literature because the door is open for work. I will travel to Nairobi tomorrow for printing the magazines…

We are planning to have a leaders’ meeting after my trip from Tanzania before I travel to Uganda. May God bless you, your family and the work you are doing.

Evans

Evans Ochieng plans to go to Tanzania next week. Our financial needs to support the work in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda are great, and we are doing the best we can with what God encourages our supporters to provide.

More information on what is happening in the Continuing Church of God is found in the weekly Letter to Brethren. Here is a link to the one that was sent out today: Letter to the Brethren: May 15, 2014.

05/08/14 p.m. Did another radio interview today. For information about that as well as what has been happening in the the Continuing Church of God click on the following link: Letter to the Brethren: May 8, 2014.

05/01/14 p.m. A reader sent me the following:

Glen Gilchrist

August 16, 1954 - April 27, 2014



Glen Robert Gilchrist
Diane Grede Gilchrist

Daughters:
Laurel E. Kemp
Allison Gilchrist

(Son: Kyle Gilchrist - died August 2012)

05/01/14 a.m. Another reader wanted to inform me that one of the Gilchrist daughters is named Allison, not Heather.

04/30/14 a.m. Just got the following email from Reg Killingley regarding Glen Gilchrist:

A friend called last night and told my wife Glen had died this past Sunday (April 27) of a massive heart attack. He was a pastor in the Living Church of God.

Glen was the best man at my wedding as I had been at his.

My heart goes out to Diane and ​their surviving children, ​Laurel and Heather.

Reg

I knew Glen Gilchrist personally and we agreed on certain church/LCG areas. LCG sent him out to see me for me to assist him in a matter about 10 years ago.

04/28/14 a.m. The Winter 2014 edition of Shepherd's Voice arrived today. It reported that Norman Edward's PABC has provided 20,421 bed-nights to people who would have apparently otherwise been without shelter.

04/24/14 p.m. Today I learned that James Malm wrote many inaccurate and improper things about me and my recent visit to Kenya.

I went to him privately and he got all upset and denied he made inaccurate statements. He then made more of them in an email back to me. Instead of putting all of that here, I thought I would show a small portion of what he posted on his website on 4/23/14:

COG EAST AFRICA NEWS:...There are several independent groups involved in the meetings and Thiel’s claim that  CCOG currently has over 20 congregations in East Africa, with more expected soon.” is purely in his own imagination; unless he is attempting a takeover of these other groups.

This would be a good time to address some of his points as well as the situation with the Continuing Church of God in East Africa.

In East Africa, while various ones have contacted us, our Regional Pastor for that area is Evans Ochieng. He works with other leaders, deacons, and hosts, as well as members in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Sudan. Here is a link to an offertory that he recently did: Offertory: 7ULB from Africa.

Despite James Malm's implications, it should be noted that the number of our congregations in East Africa did not originate with me, it came from our Regional Pastor, Evans Ochieng. Evans Ochieng even sent the following email to me April 7, 2014:

You know that we have 20 congregations in Kenya and one in Tanzania. we have more than 300 members.

It should also be mentioned that there were over 30 Church of God leaders who attended our conference in Nairobi, Kenya.  We reached many, including several leaders that were not part of CCOG.

Because of the people we have on the ground, plus literature, website plans, and translation projects, our main leaders in both Kenya and Tanzania informed me that they felt that we should expect more congregations to come with us.  That was their assessment and that is what I reported--and while numbers can change, it obviously was not from my imagination.

Jesus said:

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 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 5:10-12)

We in CCOG stand for the truth and strive to report the truth and proclaim Christ's gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14).

We in the Continuing Church of God are leading the final phase of the work. Apparently some do not want others to realize this.

04/19/14 a.m. Found out that the Pabco site reported on yesterday moved, so it still exists. The site has now some information from various ones once part of COGaIC including some that are in now LCG (before they switched) as well those that are not (like Brian Orchard).

On other matters, the latest Bible News Prophecy magazine, is now also available online in the language of Kiswahili: HABARI ZA UNABII WA BIBLIA: Ni nini kilizuka kule Fatima? Kiswahili originated as the language of the Swahili people and later became used by other tribes throughout Africa. It is the primary language for millions, but a secondary language for millions more in Africa. And although some Westerners refer to it as Swahili, Kiswahili is the proper name of the language according to African and other sources I consulted with.

04/18/14 p.m. Noticed one website that is defunct and another that lost most of its content.

There was a page with old HWA literature by one called Pabco. It had been around for years, yet when I tried to go it yesterday (twice) the site was no more. Pabco seemed to be affiliated with COGaIC. Perhaps now that many of its top leaders are in LCG, he decided to close the site.

The other was that of the Lousisiana LCG pastor. The site still exists, but now that Rod Reynolds left LCG, much of the content has been removed. There have been many changes is websites and affiliations.

04/12/14 a.m. LCG announced the following in services today:

As a clarification to a previous announcement, Mr. Stephen Elliott will become the Associate Pastor, under Dr. Jeffrey Fall, of congregations in southern California as well as Las Vegas. Mr. Bob Rodzaj will become the Associate Pastor, under Mr. Rodger Bardo, of congregations in Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas.

The two "associate pastors" came to LCG from COGaIC. Apparently it is the "associate" part that LCG wished to clarify.

04/11/14 p.m. Although I have not seen anything in writing, I have been directly told that Bill Goff (once of GCG and now heading VWCG) and Peter Nathan (once of COGaIC and now LCG) have gone to Kenya in an effort to see if those that were once associated with them personally will support them at this time.

In writing, I have seen evidence that John Elliot of UCG is in Kenya, in order to try to prevent some there from leaving UCG over some longstanding concerns.

I have, in the past, spoken to all of those leaders personally, though it has been a very long time since I spoke with Peter Nathan (and he may not even recall it). I had cordial relations with all of them the last time we spoke and hopefully that will remain the case with them.

The situation in Kenya is somewhat 'fluid' at this time and I pray that all the Philadelphians there who truly value the truth will prayfully study and then support the Continuing Church of God.

04/06/14 a.m. Although the latest CCOG Letter to the Brethren and a post at the COGwriter news page titled CCOG Letter and Nairobi Conference covered some of this, I thought I would post some of that along with additional information related to the conference in Nairobi, Kenya here.

Here is a draft of an article that I was just working on related to it:

The Final Phase of the Work: Reaching Africa

Jesus taught:

"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  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 28:18-20)

He also taught:

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

So, what does that have to do with Africa?

Well, quite a bit as that is one of the places where Jesus has a lot of disciples.  Unlike places such as Europe and North America, internet access is much more limited in Africa, so to better fulfil Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20, a conference for Church of God leaders in East Africa was held, after a brief stop in the United Kingdom.

I was able to baptize a man from Mozambique in London on a Friday (March 29, 2014) and then conduct Sabbath services for the first time for the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) in the United Kingdom on Saturday.  On Sunday morning I flew from the London airport to Nairobi, Kenya.

Late Sunday night, Regional Pastor Evans Ochieng, and his wife Rose (who is a deaconess) met me at the Nairobi airport.  We went into Nairobi together.  

Leadership Conference in Nairobi

Monday, Pastor Evans Ochieng and I met on a variety of matters pertaining to the work in Kenya and East Africa.  A printer from Nairobi met with us and we discussed our literature needs and negotiated prices for magazines and booklets.

Later, church leaders from all around Kenya began to arrive Monday evening, and we met with some of them then.  Tuesday, two men came to join us from Tanzania.

Although most leaders had some affiliation with the Continuing Church of God, none had met me prior to the conference.  Leaders from groups not affiliated with the Continuing Church of God were also invited and attended.

The conference took place in the Karibu Hotel in Nairobi Kenya.  Karibu is a Kiswahili word meaning “welcome,” and we welcomed leaders from all over Kenya as well as from Tanzania.  Nearly all attendees had to travel great distances via buses to attend.
Elders, deacons, deaconesses, and local hosts attended the conference.  There were a total of 34 leaders in attendance.  These leaders represented over 400 congregants, not all of which were part of the Continuing Church of God.

In Kenya, in accordance with Jesus' words for "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you," many subjects were covered from explaining it is all about love to church history to the Godhead to the date & time for Passover to marriage & divorce to baptism to tithing to prophecy to the final phase of the work.  There are many physical needs in Kenya, and we also attempted to address some of them.

The conference was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, with after conference meetings lasting to almost midnight.  The conference itself was a major success.
 
Many left Thursday morning to take the long (up to ten hour) bus rides back to their homes.  Some stayed later, and I have had meetings all day and into the evening with them.  Because of airline issues and mechanical problems, it took me five jet planes, four vehicles, and 50 hours to travel as directly home as the airlines would allow.

Laborers for the Harvest

Brethren, I have repeatedly asked for you to follow Jesus' admonition to:

38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.  (Matthew 9:38)

Well, at this conference in Nairobi, I met many current and potential laborers for the harvest.  The conference provided additional training to them so that they can assist the work.

As far as leaders new to the CCOG, after the conference, one of the attendees who asked for a meeting with myself and Pastor Ochieng, became one.  This was John Owak.  For the past ten years he had been a minister in the United Church of God (UCG). John Owak explained that he had been studying CCOG literature for some time (he had also contacted me in the past), and the conference convinced him he wanted to be part of CCOG.  We discussed also differences in the governance, prophetic understandings, and the work between CCOG and UCG. He then asked if we would accept him as a volunteer (unpaid, and he did not ask for a salary) pastor of the CCOG in his geographic area, working under the direction of our Regional Pastor Evans Ochieng, myself, and ultimately Jesus Christ.  Pastor Ochieng and I agreed and welcomed him into the CCOG.

Leaders once part of GCG, LCG, WCG, COGaIC, COGIT, COGTE, CG7, SDA, and/or VWCG, but now part of CCOG also attended.  This was the first time I had been able to meet any of them in person (some had email contacts with me prior).  CCOG has over 20 congregations in East Africa.

CCOG leaders at the conference showed a tremendous appreciation for the depth of the doctrines, church history, prophetic, and other topics covered.  Their discernment of various details related to CCOG and the final phase of the work was impressive.  Many in Africa seem to have much more insight into spiritual matters than others elsewhere and my hope and prayer is that those outside of Africa will be like them, search the scriptures to see that what we teach is so (cf. Acts 17:10-11), and have the proper zeal to support the final phase of the work. Many there also noted that a certain boldness in proclamation was needed, that they did not see this in other groups claiming to be COG, but did see it in the Continuing Church of God.

Pastor Evans Ochieng commented that proper unity of the COG in Kenya has been restored because of CCOG. He also said that CCOG restored more doctrinal, historical, and prophetic detail than any other group, and since this is the time of the end, all should realize that all things needed to be restored (cf. Matthew 17:11). He said it should be clear to those interested in the truth that CCOG was the group doing this and the group that had the consummate truth (cf. 1 Timothy 3:15), and thus had the Philadelphia mantle (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-14; Revelation 3:7-13). 

I personally was impressed at how many of the leaders at the conference explained the depth that they had studied CCOG literature and why they concluded that only CCOG could be leading the final phase of the work.

Plans for the Work in Africa

On this trip, I carried as many Bibles, Bible News Prophecy magazines, and new church history booklets as the standard weight limits allowed into Kenya.  So much so, that both suitcases seem to have sustained some damage from the weight on them.  I intentionally brought light-weight luggage in order to maximize the amount of literature I could bring with me.  The new church history booklet was a hit at the conference.

I also brought a new laptop for Pastor Evans Ochieng as well as two CCOG festival banners that can be used to the Feast of Tabernacles.  Having a computer should aid in his managing various aspects of the work in Africa, including literature production.

Because of the tremendous needs in this region, we also sent many Bibles, songbooks, prophetic, books, magazines, and history booklets to arrive after the conference to Pastor Ochieng and others in Africa.   There is tremendous poverty in this part of the world, and many lack their own Bibles or electronic access to scripture, that us sending Bible and other literature can help remedy.

Our members there face great adversities from their extended families and society when they leave the religions of their families to embrace the truth of the Bible and live as a real Christian.  Their willingness to suffer persecution and sacrifice for the truth and the work should be an example to all who wish to believe that they are Philadelphia (Revelation 3:7-13) Christians. 

George Lemi, a CCOG group leader in Tanzania, and our primary translator of literature into Kiswahili, was able to attend the conference in Nairobi, Kenya.  We discussed with him and others plans to greatly increase CCOG congregants in Tanzania.  We also discussed plans to do so in Uganda and elsewhere.

At the conference, I noted that many of the leaders spoke two or three languages (normally English, Kiswahili, and/or their tribal language).

Nearly all in Kenya are comfortable with the English language.  Most of those in Kenya and Tanzania are also comfortable in Kiswahili.  Yet, in those areas, as well as Uganda, many are more comfortable in their native tribal languages.  As the bulk of those with the CCOG are comfortable with the Lua language, I proposed to the leaders that we begin to translate the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God into Lua, produce a songbook in the Lua language, our Continuing History of the Church of God booklet into Lua, and ultimately, our Bible News Prophecy magazine into Lua.

We currently produce our Bible News Prophecy magazine in the English, Kiswahili, Mandarin Chinese, Tagalog, and Spanish languages.  Although our songbook, The Bible Hymnal, was originally just produced in English, prior to the conference we had begun a project to start to produce an edition in Kiswahili.  A songbook in the Lua language is now in progress and hopefully something will be ready before the Feast of Tabernacles in 2014.

During the conference, I laid out plans for reaching Africa.  This included going over how our current internet sites, field ministry, and radio interviews cover this region of the world.  I also revealed our plans for an Africa specific website, which is expected to have our materials online in at least three languages, with other languages probable in the future.  I laid out that we should have congregation locations, leaders emails, and even photographs of meeting sites so that it would be easier for interested individuals to attend with CCOG.

The leaders from Kenya and Tanzania were supportive of the plans and seemed impressed that the CCOG was truly interested in Africa and its part in the work.

A Door That is in the Process of Opening Even Further

Although at this time, relatively few in Kenya and Tanzania have direct access to the internet without going to an internet café (which few can afford), I noticed that nearly all had cellular telephones. 

Once “smart phones” become popular in Kenya (I had not noticed any while there), we should be able to reach many, many more than we have been able to over the internet.  Our plans for the internet and congregations should be ready by the time many of those in East Africa will have additional abilities to access them.  This “door” is opened for Philadelphians (Revelation 3:7-8) to proclaim the gospel (cf. Acts 14:28, 1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12) of the kingdom (Matthew 24:14) is being opened more for us and we expect to go through it to reach even more.  Please pray that God will more fully open this door for us (cf. Colossians 4:3).

Many aspects of the final phase of the work are right now going on behind the scenes, and like the situation in Kenya, be ready when the time is right for others to hear the message of the Kingdom of God,

Africa is somewhat functioning as another “proving ground” that the way this work is being led is the way that Jesus Christ wants us to.  We in CCOG also expect to lead what the Bible refers to as the “short work” in Romans 9:28 and many steps are being taken related to that as well.

Additionally, from a physical perspective, there are tremendous needs in Africa and we are always trying to figure out how to best serve the needs of our brethren, including widows and orphans, there.

Despite physical poverty, Africa is a significant part of the final phase of the work.  It is my hope and prayer that the comments, perceptions, and support there may serve as motivations to those in other parts of the world to better follow their Philadelphian example and support CCOG as we lead the final phase of the work.

The work of God through the Continuing Church of God is bearing fruit (cf. Matthew 7:15-20) around the world (Matthew 28:19-20) and Africa is showing that this is so. Can you be like many in Africa and support the CCOG as it leads the final phase of the work?

03/29/14 p.m. Greetings from London! Stopped here Friday afternoon on my way to a leadership conference that Continuing Church of God is putting on in Nairobi, Kenya next week. I was able to counsel and baptize a man in the UK, as I had told him via email some time ago I would try to do that if there was an opportunity.

In CCOG, the latest recommended sermon was titled Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. This coincides with a new booklet that we have available and that I am bringing with me to give COG leaders in Kenya. It is also available online via pdf: Continuing History of the Church of God.

03/26/14 p.m. Today, someone in CCOG told me that an LCG minister attempted to discourage her from coming with the Continuing Church of God by casting aspersions on the fact that the Continuing Church of God is more popular on the internet according to Alexa rankings that LCG is.

The woman, however, knew better.

And actually, anyone who wants can look up Alexa rankings independently to see that this claim is true. I also told the woman that despite false information that one or more other LCG ministers have passed as reasons, we in CCOG do not have 'Alexa toolbars' nor have we done any 'tricks' to improve our ranking. We just provide information and content that people are interested in.

Many do not really have as much 'love of the truth' as they should. But the COG with the mantle should be (and is) "the pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15).

As far as Alexa rankings, here is what they were late this afternoon. The lower the number, the better the ranking:

106,123 COGwriter.com
272,668 LCG.org
288,946 Tomorrowsworld.org
837,230 CCOG.org

The above basically shows that COGwriter.com is more popular than the two most popular LCG (LCG & TW) sites combined.

There are various reasons that COGwriter ranks higher and has more popularity on the internet according to Alexa than LCG's site have. Basically, in toto, people come to COGwriter stay longer, read more, and return more often than those who go to the LCG sites. Content and character matter, though those are not factors that Alexa looks at.

Now, I have never claimed that CCOG that has greater YouTube views than LCG does. However, based upon the fact that the production, promotion, and distribution costs associated with LCG's programs greatly exceed those of CCOG, our total results are better than respectable there as well.

That being said, LCG should focus more on believing and teaching more of the truth and not put out misinformation about what CCOG is doing.

CCOG is leading the final phase of the work and we encourage all, with us or otherwise, to hold fast to the truth and preach the gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14) and to teach all things that Jesus commanded (Matthew 28:19-20).

03/21/14 p.m. LCG announced the following changes in its latest Weekly Update:

Moves and Changes for 2014: We plan to make the following changes in assignments for the U.S. Field Ministry during the summer of 2014.
Ken Frank – move from Richmond/Norfolk, Virginia to Charlotte to join LU faculty
Jason Fritts – move from Michigan to Richmond/Norfolk/Winchester as pastor
Bill Long – becomes Associate Pastor in Michigan and northern Indiana
Peter Nathan – joins the LU faculty in Charlotte
Dan Hall – moves from Dallas, Texas to Atlanta as Regional Pastor for southeastern USA
Gary Stein – becomes Pastor of Dallas, Texas
Rodger Bardo – becomes Regional Pastor for Arizona, New Mexico and Texas
Phil Sena – move from Austin to pastor congregations in western New York state
Rick Stafford – Pastor for Houston, Austin, Temple and Corpus Christi and Regional Pastor for Caribbean
Glen Gilchrist – move from Seattle to Austin, Temple and Corpus Christi as Associate Pastor
Brandon Fall – move from Sacramento, California to Seattle/Tacoma, Washington as Associate Pastor
Richard Franz – move from Atlanta to pastor St. Louis, Rolla and Columbia, Missouri
James Sweat – move from Chattanooga to pastor Asheboro, Raleigh and Jacksonville, North Carolina
Darrell Lovelady – move from Los Angeles to pastor Nashville and Chattanooga
Stephen Elliott – to pastor southern California congregations
Wilner Pierre – move from Charlotte to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida as Associate Pastor and also to pastor congregations in the French Caribbean

Steve Elliot and Peter Nathan were part of COGaIC since its inception in 1998 until late 2013.

03/15/14 p.m. It its announcements, read at Sabbath services today, LCG's Dr. Meredith confirmed much of the report made here last week about various ones formerly of COGaIC, now becoming part of LCG:

Mr. and Mrs. Peter Nathan, from the Pasadena, CA area are coming full-time...Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Elliott are coming with us from the Chattanooga, TN area...Mr. and Mrs. Bob Rodzaj from the Phoenix, AZ area are also coming full-time...

As I mentioned here before, 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).

I had been told by a minister at LCG several years ago that the Elliots would never come to LCG as long as Dr. Meredith was in charge of it--but obviously something changed.

On other matters, someone told me last night that LCG's Wallace Smith continues to take shots at me on his blog related to a dream. I decided not to bother reading it as he has shown a great tendency to overlook facts and put out improper misinformation about me (including CCOG's reach on the internet).

Those actually interested in what the Bible says about dreams and how CCOG has been affected by them Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God. Those less interested in the truth may prefer Wallace Smith's blog.

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 cogwriter@aol.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:

Summary  
Reported period Month Jan 2013
First visit 01 Jan 2013 - 00:00
Last visit 31 Jan 2013 - 23:59
  Unique visitors Number of visits Pages Hits Bandwidth
Viewed traffic 100,403 173,010
(1.72 visits/visitor)
353,889
(2.04 Pages/Visit)
1,532,964
(8.86 Hits/Visit)
36.71 GB
(222.46 KB/Visit)

Here are the results for January 2014 for COGwriter.com:

Summary  
Reported period Month Jan 2014
First visit 01 Jan 2014 - 00:00
Last visit 31 Jan 2014 - 23:59
  Unique visitors Number of visits Pages Hits Bandwidth
Viewed traffic 121,598 189,393
(1.55 visits/visitor)
378,672
(1.99 Pages/Visit)
1,363,919
(7.2 Hits/Visit)
34.92 GB
(193.31 KB/Visit)

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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