Archive for January, 2008

UCG on Immorality and Weather

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

It is currently winter in the Northern Hemisphere


In an email this afternoon, UCG reported:

God’s Response to Immorality

Notice what God says He will do to people who refuse to practice what He teaches them.

“But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.

“Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me” (Deuteronomy 28:15-20).

We are experiencing, in season after season and year after year, one major weather catastrophe after another. This is how God first began to punish ancient Israel. But several decades of increasing local disasters did not bring about any lasting repentance. Finally God began to allow their enemies to whittle away their military and economic power. He gradually reduced them from the region’s most prosperous nation to a vassal state of the ancient Assyrian Empire. But they still didn’t learn their lesson. Finally God allowed the Assyrians to conquer Israel and take them into exile.

Could such a punishment come upon a nation as great and powerful as the United States? We must remember that God shows no partiality in His response to people (Deuteronomy 10:17; Romans 2:11). Even though God is patient with individuals and nations, wanting them to recognize their sins and repent (2 Peter 3:9), He eventually calls us into account for our actions.

God blesses those who love Him and keep His commandments (Exodus 20:6). But He also punishes those who don’t (verse 5). The path we are following is the same path ancient Israel followed to its destruction. Those who think God will ignore America’s moral decline are kidding themselves. If we collectively do not change direction, we may soon see the day that God will respond to America’s moral decline in much the same way He did to ancient Israel’s.

The Hebrew prophet Zephaniah offers a warning all people would do well to heed: “Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have upheld His justice. Seek righteousness, seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger” (Zephaniah 2:3).

LCG has long had a booklet of possibly related interest titled “Who Controls the Weather? ” that is available for those interested in more on this subject.

Those interested in more information about what Zephaniah 2 teaches may wish to read the article There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra.

CG7 150th Anniversary Cruise Planned

Thursday, January 31st, 2008



Church of God (Seventh Day)-Denver has announced the following:

This cruise to the Bahamas is one of the ways we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Church of God (Seventh Day). Because this anniversary falls on a “non-convention” year, the cruise will provide a unique opportunity for members and friends of the General Conference to gather in an unhurried setting for fellowship, feasting and wholesome fun in the Lord.

Apart from a daily devotional time around scripture and worship, we will relax and enjoy each other’s company aboard Majesty of the Seas, one of Royal Caribbean’s fine vessels. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to get together with God’s wonderful people…

August 4-8, 2008 – 150th Anniversary Cruise

Officially CG7, like the new WCG, does not observe the biblical Feast of Tabernacles and it normally tends to have some type of gathering in the summer.

Articles of possibly related interest may include:

5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Church of God, Seventh Day: History and Teachings Nearly all COG’s I am aware of trace their history through this group. Whaid Rose is the president of the largest CG7 group (Denver). Do you know much about them?

CEM’s Ron Dart: “Jesus was tempted in all points like we are”

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008



In his latest commentary, CEM’s Ron Dart correctly posted:

The New Testament writers tell us that Jesus was tempted in all points like we are, and that he suffered every kind of pain that we suffer.

And that is what today’s post will focus on.

In the New Testament, John begins by making the divinity of Jesus clear when he wrote,

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made (John 1:1-3 NKJV unless otherwise specified).

Thus the Word was God and was with God. And the Word, Jesus, is a lot like the Father, notice

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).

An important point to notice is that this shows that Jesus was God and that He became flesh–scripture does not state that He remained fully God on the earth.

Some serious students of the Bible understand that Jesus was not “fully human and fully God”, which is a major position held by most trinitarians.

There are four major claims to support that position:

1. The Bible shows that Jesus emptied Himself of His Divinity while in the flesh. 2 Corinthians 8:9 teaches that Jesus became poor, yet God is rich (Haggai 2:8). Philippians 2:7 specifically teaches, “…Christ Jesus, who subsisting in (the) form of God thought (it) not robbery to be equal to God, but emptied Himself, taking (the) form of a slave, becoming in (the) likeness of men” (Literal translation. Green J.P. ed. Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, 3rd ed. Baker Books, Grand Rapids (MI), 1996, p. 607). Note that “emptied Himself” is the literal translation in the Greek. Thus Jesus was not fully God (though God in the flesh) when He became a human.

2. Since Jesus repeatedly taught that He of Himself “could do nothing” prior to His resurrection (John 5:19,30;8:28), that He claimed He had “[a]ll authority” after the resurrection (Matthew 28:18), He was not fully God when He could do nothing.

3. The Bible states that Jesus was tempted in all points as humans are (Hebrews 4:15) and that “God cannot be tempted by evil” (James 1:13). “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren” (Hebrews 2:17). Since “scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35) He could not have been fully God while in the flesh.

4. Jesus was not called God in the flesh until after His resurrection (John 20:28).

Thus while Jesus was what God would be like in the flesh, He simply was not fully God then. Also, the idea of being both FULLY human and FULLY God at the same time is contradiction that a logically is not possible.

By being empty of His divinity, Jesus simply did not have the direct powers (John 14:10), the inability to somehow die (and the Father raised him, He did not raise Himself–Acts 13:30-34; Romans 10:9; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 2:12), the inability to be tempted (Matthew 4:1; Hebrews 4:15), and the glory that He had prior to His human birth and after His resurrection–thus Jesus was not “fully God and fully human” while in the flesh as the trinitarians tend to believe. The fact that Jesus actually died, and that one who is fully God cannot, also shows that Jesus was not “fully God” while on Earth.

Although I have heard some Protestant theologians improperly attempt to ignore what Paul taught in Philippians, perhaps the strangest one, was one who after admitting that kenosis (a word used in Philippians 2:7) means to empty, actually then stated that Jesus could not sin, and Jesus was God according to James 1:13. Let’s look at that passage from James to see what it actually states:

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone (James 1:13).

Notice that verse says that God cannot be tempted.  However, the Greek word for tempted (peirazo) is the same as the one used in Hebrews:

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

Thus, there is a contradiction in the Protestant theologian’s logic here.

By comparing James 1:13 to Hebrews 4:15 it is clear that since the Bible shows Jesus was tempted on earth (and this is repeated in many places in the New Testament) and that God cannot be tempted, that while on earth, Jesus was not fully God (though God in the flesh). Jesus was not God with all the godly attributes – but God in the flesh. God in the flesh is limited to the flesh. God in the flesh is subject to temptation to sin. The Word, prior to emptying Himself, was God Unlimited. While on earth He was limited, yet still God – but God in the flesh.

The main difference between He and us is that He had the Holy Spirit without measure, from birth.

Since we humans can sin, either Jesus was capable of sinning (which He was) or He was not tempted as we are.  This also demonstrates that while on earth, Jesus was not fully God. However, as scripture shows, Jesus now is God–and was prior to His incarnation. It is a clear biblical truth that Jesus emptied Himself of His divinity to become a man prior to the resurrection.

Perhaps it should be noted that even what is believed to be the most ancient Christian complete sermon ever found, teaches that Jesus was Spirit and became flesh:

If Christ, the Lord who saved us, became flesh (even though he was originally spirit) and in that state called us…(Holmes M.W. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 2nd ed, 9:5. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2004, p. 115).

This ancient sermon is saying that Jesus was originally spirit and became flesh like us! Thus, confirming the general binitarian position that Jesus, in fact, did fully empty Himself of His divinity while on Earth.

Many people, sadly, have been deceived about the nature of the Godhead.

Several articles of related interest may include:

Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the BeginningIs binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Is The Father God? What is the view of the Bible? What was the view of the early church?
Jesus is God, But Was Made Man Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what?
What is claimed in The Da Vinci Code?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it?
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?

LDS and Greek Orthododox Leaders Died

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008


The following news item was of interest:

Gordon B. Hinckley, the president and prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who led Mormonism through a period of global expansion, died Sunday at his home in Salt Lake City. He was 97…

In President Hinckley’s term, the church grew to count more than 12 million members worldwide — more than the largest Lutheran denomination. It is now believed to be the fourth-largest church in the United States. (But the Mormon church has acknowledged reports that a significant percentage of new converts, especially overseas, do not remain active members.)

CNN’s Glenn Beck could was teary-eyed when he discussed this.  Until last night I did not know that he was LDS.

A related news story stated:

As a counselor to the last three presidents of the LDS Church, President Thomas S. Monson’s intimate working knowledge of how the faith’s First Presidency functions puts him in a unique position at a time when the church has a higher public profile than ever before.

With the death of 97-year-old President Gordon B. Hinckley on Sunday, President Monson returns to his place as president of the Quorum of the Twelve, which is now functioning as the church’s governing body and will do so until a successor is named. That isn’t expected to occur until next week at the earliest, following tributes and funeral services for President Hinckley.

Yet Latter-day Saints don’t remain silent about the future when leadership changes are pending, and if the church follows historical precedent, President Monson — as senior apostle — would be named and sustained by fellow apostles as president of the church.

Because of their belief to store food for emergencies, I suspect that once the USA is taken over that the few that survive and do not become slaves will partially exist on food that the  LDS have stored.

Though the article does not discuss food storage, an article of possible interest may be Five Dissimilarities Between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and the Living Church of God

In addition, notice that the leader of a different church also died:

ATHENS — Archbishop Christodoulos, the charismatic leader of the Greek Orthodox Church who worked to heal centuries-old grievances with the Roman Catholic Church but stirred controversy with his politically tinged statements and tireless interventions in state affairs, died on Monday at his home in the Athens suburb Psychiko. He was 69…

In his most momentous step as the church’s leader, he mended rifts with the Vatican, receiving Pope John Paul II in Athens in 2001, on the first visit to Greece by a pontiff in nearly 1,300 years. The divide between Rome-based and Eastern European Christianity dates from 1054, but it deepened in the 20th century.

The archbishop, who was schooled by Catholic monks in Athens, made a historic visit to the Vatican last year, meeting Pope Benedict XVI, despite widespread opposition to his visit from conservative adherents of the Orthodox faith.

Senior prelates will have 20 days to elect a new church leader in an election process shrouded in secrecy.

More than 90 percent of Greece’s 10.2 million people are baptized into the church, and at least 5 million more adherents live abroad. 

According to both biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies, the Orthodox are expected to gain increased unity with the Church of Rome.  However, as I have written before the Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics.

However, it appears likely that the next head of the Greek Orthodox Church will be inclined to follow the unity lead of Archbishop Christodoulos.

Two articles of related interest may include:

Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God  Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are? 
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Living Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.

Mayfair: Former Ambassador College Dormitory For Sale

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Mayfair “Mansion” 

The following item may be of interest to some:

“Mayfair Mansion was built in 1902 by the prominent Pasadena architect Frederick L. Roehrig and is on the market for the first time in 50 years as a single-family residence. This is a rare opportunity to own a Tudor Revival mansion located within the interior gardens of the former Ambassador College campus. Appears to be 6 gutted bathrooms. Living quarters: approximately 11,600 sq. ft.; Basement approximately 4,300 sq. ft.”

Listing at: 

The asking price is $2,950,000. 

Mayfair served as a women’s dormitory for  years at the old Ambassador College.

Ronald Weinland: Nuclear Attack May be Mid-April 2008

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Hiroshima After the Atomic Bomb Was Detonated

Will Chicago and New York Look Like This by May 2008?  


Ronald Weinland of the Church of God, Preparing for the Kingdom was interviewed last month on a radio program called The Edge by Daniel Ott.

I recently received a link to that two hour interview ( and listened to it.  Ronald Weinland calmly, and falsely, claims to be a prophet and one of the two witnesses.

Here is some of what Ron Weinland stated from my notes:

The proof is coming…

If it doesn’t come to pass…starting in April, then I’m nothing but a false prophet…

Beginning in April, its important that people believe it…

What we’re talking about happening in this country and around the world is a horrendous thing, it really is…

Things do start in 2008….It will be done by 2011…

There’s already been six seals opened up…and the world is ignorant of it…The seventh seal they will know though…

The destruction of the United States, we are the first to suffer…I wouldn’t want to be in Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York…

By the fall of 2011, that’s when Jesus Christ returns…

A little after April…a dollar bill won’t be worth anything…We’re going to be brought down the tubes, very quickly, starting in April…What happens when a nuclear weapon goes off in New York and Chicago?…

If we come to the point in time where what I’ve said doesn’t come to pass, the reality is that I’m just a false prophet.  That’s the bottom line…

The reality is if it doesn’t happen, then you’re just false…I’ll acknowledge my error, my wrong, if I’m wrong…

The primary things…for the world…actually begin after April 2008…

The abomination of desolation has already happened…

By January 2009, we (the United States) will be down the tubes…

Ronald Weinland basically also said that he would not follow Ellen White (SDA/LCG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 ) or others and recalculate an excuse or a different date, but that if it does not happen he when and how he says it, he will admit that he is a false prophet. 

The interviewer asked Ron Weinland about Wormwood hitting the earth and Ron Weinland actually said:

There’s not going to be any planet that will hit the earth.

The Bible teaches otherwise:

Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter (Revelation 8:10-11).

Ronald Weinland, in that interview, as well as many of his other writings “spiritualizes” away many literal teachings of the Bible, specifically including statements in the Book of Revelation (more on Wormwood can be found in the news item Comet Coming: Is One Prophesied to Hit the Earth?). 

The interviewer asked Ron Weinland what made him different than the prophecy books in bookstores and his two word reply was “April 2008”.

The interviewer also asked who the second of the two witnesses is.  And Ronald Weinland stated:

I can’t tell until April 2008.

On page 16 of his book, 2008 – God’s Final Witness, he wrote:

I am to announce, through God’s direct revelation, that I am one of those two witnesses. The other witness will be revealed to the world during the time of the great tribulation… 

Thus, he is falsely claiming that the Great Tribulation will begin in April 2008–and that is not so (please see the article At Least Two Wrongly Claim Great Tribulation Will Begin in 2008). His book also inaccurately claims:

By the fall of 2008, the United States will have collapsed as a world power (2008 – God’s Final Witness, p. 244).

While my notes do not have precise quotes of everything stated in the interview, Ron Weinland indicated that he does not believe in a place of safety, that the nuclear attack on the USA might happen in mid-April 2008, and that no place of earth will be safe for long. He basically said that the only thing that people can do is study and repent–and while I do believe that people should study and repent, the Bible does show that some will be protected (please see the article There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra).

In the interview, Ronald Weinland essentially stated that no religious person predicted the 9/11 attack or the Sumatra-Andamon earthquake and related tsunami of December 26, 2004, yet they act like these were acts of God, but that somehow Ron Weinland is different as he has specific predictions in his books in advance–and some others only claimed that they were God’s punishment after they occurred.

There are two problems with that.  The first is that he claims that the seven thunders were revealed to him, that 9/11 was the first, and that earthquakes (and he specifically mentions the Sumatra-Andamon earthquake– see 2008 – God’s Final Witness pp. 96-97) were the second.  Yet, he did not predict them in advance–even though in his book he wrote:

The Seven Thunders have much to do with how God will reveal His two witnesses (2008 – God’s Final Witness, p. 91).

And what about his statement indicating that no other religious leader told of them before they occurred?

In his 8/04/01 sermon (five weeks before the World Trade Center attack and around 8 weeks before anthrax was detected), Roderick C. Meredith of the Living Church of God warned that terrorists may bomb the World Trade Center and that biological weapons, specifically including anthrax, could be released in the U.S. at any time (Prophetic Prophecies on the Edge, San Diego, August 4, 2001).

R.C. Meredith wrote in his Personal for the Jan-Feb 2005 issue of Tomorrow’s World magazine (which he wrote and had printed before the 12/26/04 tsunami), bolding mine,

Events prophesied in your Bible are now beginning to occur with increasing frequency. In this Work of the living God, we are able to warn you about what is going to happen soon. We are not talking about decades in the future. We are talking about Bible prophecies that will intensify within the next five to 15 years of your life! Please understand. We are not “scaremongers.” We love our fellow man. So it is our responsibility to warn our peoples—ahead of time—to prepare for the future. Most of our advice is spiritual in nature. However, in this editorial I want to give you some common sense advice involving your physical survival and your financial well-being…So we must each examine our own situation to determine what action we should take. Are we living in a low-lying coastal area where we may be in danger at a time of increasing hurricanes, tsunamis or similar natural disasters?

And a the largest tsunami in recent history occurred.  The fact is that Roderick C. Meredith of the Living Church of God warned of terrorist strikes less than two months of 9/11/01 and wrote warning about a tsunami in late 2004–hence it would seem that the Living Church of God, and not Ronald Weinland should have more credibility here. (I should perhaps emphasize the fact that R.C. Meredith does not claim to be a prophet–he simply wrote that these things would occur according to his understanding of the Bible and its prophecies–isn’t he, and not Ronald Weinland, the type of religious leader that people should pay attention to?)   

Thus if Ronald Weinland’s statement about the thunders is to be believed, it would seem that he is inadvertently teaching that the Living Church of God will be the group that will be able to identify the two witnesses as it, and not he, actually taught about terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center towers and a possible tsunami before those events occurred.

Yet Ronald Weinland has inaccurately claimed (bolding his):

All Seven Thunders are given as God’s proof that I am His end-time prophet (2008 – God’s Final Witness, p. 111).

In his radio interview, Ronald Weinland also indicated that although he believes Europe and the Pope will be involved in the attack against the USA, that he does not believe in a final Antichrist.  He stated that he will not go to Jerusalem in 2008 and that some reject him as one of the witnesses because of that. 

Although I believe that David Pack of the Restored Church of God is busily fulfilling the following, it also, in my opinion, applies to Ronald Weinland:

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.  And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.  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).

Sadly, false prophets, false apostles, and other false teachers continue to arise and make it so people simply will blaspheme the way of truth that we in the Living Church of God teach. 

While it certainly is possible that nuclear devices may be detonated in the USA in the Spring of 2008, even if they are, the end will NOT come in 2008 and Jesus will NOT return in 2011.  The external signs are just not in place for these occurrences that soon (for some specific reasons, please see the article At Least Two Wrongly Claim Great Tribulation Will Begin in 2008).

Ron Weinland is in error in many points, including his assertion that the abomination of desolation has already recently been fulfilled (details of Daniel 11 prophecies, including the “abomination of the desolation” are included in the article Who is the King of the North?). 

His lack of mentioning Jesus in a direct question about salvation in the second half of the interview was disturbing–“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Instead he basically stated that Sabbath-keeping was the issue–and while people should keep the Sabbath (please see the article The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad)–it appears that Ronald Weinland’s focus is off regarding salvation.   I found his response outrageous and believe that it will cause the way of truth to be blasphemed.

Ronald Weinland is NOT one of the two witnesses, nor God’s prophet. 

Four articles of related interest may include:

Concerns About Ronald Weinland’s Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God Ronald Weinland falsely claims to be one of the two witnesses God is raising up and that the end will come in 2008. Is he a false prophet? He has at least one other view that suggests that he is not part of the COG.
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here?
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? What is prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples?

United Church of God News

Sunday, January 27th, 2008

The Above Map Show the Number of Internet Users By Country 


The January 2008 edition of UCG’s United News arrived yesterday.

Here are several items from it:

In 2007, at least 293 new members were baptized around the world.  This compares to 335 reported in the January issue last year…

U.S. baptisms 2006 through December 181.
U.S. baptisms 2007through December 173…

UCG also reported:

On Jan. 4, 2008, the United Church of God signed the closing documents on the new property in Texas.

This purchase is an important step in relocating the home office, a decision that was first discussed during the Council of Elders meeting in December 2006, brought forward as a proposal and approved by the Council in February 2007 and ratified by the General Conference of Elders in May 2007… 

At 81.5 acres, we now have more acreage than is presently needed on which to build a home office complex. This assures that the Church will have the capacity into the distant future to expand its facilities to accommodate future growth God may give even beyond ways we can envision at this time.

The development currently on the planning table includes a building for administrative offices, an educational center for ministerial training and Ambassador Bible Center, an outreach support building (warehouse, mailing and shipping) and limited housing for those using the training center. Any future development would come in separate stages as needed.

UCG also reported:

Ralph Helge was ordained an elder on Dec. 14, 2007, by Larry W. Greider, the pastor of the Los Angeles, California, congregation.

The Helges first moved to Pasadena, California, in 1957 to be a part of the Church. After graduation in 1963 Mr. Helge, an attorney, began working for the Church and continued as legal counselor during the next several decades. Mr. Helge is well known for his work with selective service issues, as well as many court battles, including the receivership in the late 1970s.

Mr. Helge and his wife, Ingrid, still live in Pasadena, and Ingrid often performs special music.

Ralph Helge and I worked together, via telephone, on a couple of matters when he was legal counsel to the old WCG.

UCG also reported:

The total print order for the January/February 2008 Good News magazine is 529,565, a new record. The previous high was 526,173 in September of 2002.

UCG dropped down to between 300,000-400,000 copies of its flagship magazine for quite a while.

UCG also reported:

For 2007, total mail received at the home office was 592,354 pieces (up 25.6 percent from 2006), and 584,880 pieces of literature were sent out (up 26.5 percent). The literature mailed out does not include The Good News, World News and Prophecy, United News and other periodicals that are not mailed from the home office.

…11,721 responses came from the Beyond Today TV and radio program and Web site. Of these, 4,961 came in by telephone, and the rest through the Beyond Today Web site (6,422), a Yahoo Internet ad (101) and a Google Internet ad (237).

Total Internet responses were 180,596, down 0.9 percent.

UCG also reported:

As of mid-December, 18,322 responses had been recorded from cable-access television, radio and the Internet since Beyond Today first aired in December 2005. The average response per week currently stands at 183. Beyond Today is now airing on 185 cable-access television channels and broadcasting on 19 commercial radio stations in the United States.

UCG is certainly improving in this area.  And I do expect its responses to increase in the future (which will make it harder for people to realize that UCG’s priorities on the work are not hot)–as it announced increases in its budget for such purposes.

To put the above responses into perspective, perhaps I should report that although it has between 2 1/2 – 3.0 times the income and attendance of the Living Church of God, the Living Church of God has thus far been far more effective with television and radio.

LCG is on 219 television stations (Meredith RC. Member and Co-Worker Letter, October 15, 2007). For 2007, LCG was been averaging about 3,800 responses per week to its Tomorrow’s World program.  Furthermore, As of 11/09/07, our member files now show more than 2,600 baptisms from all sources in our U.S. and international Living Church of God congregations since January 1999.

Two articles of possibly related interest may include:

There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God?This is an article for those who wish to easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from the two largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.

Church of God Big Sandy Reports Board Problem

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

Downtown Big Sandy, Texas 


In its January 26, 2008 announcements, the Church of God Big Sandy, Texas reported the following:

The following synopsis of the special board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22, was submitted by secretary Neil McIver.

This special meeting was originally scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 10. The meeting was postponed due to an alleged technicality in the procedure for calling the meeting. Even though I as secretary “caused” the meeting to occur, other board members suggested that we go above and beyond in rescheduling the meeting.

The agenda item remained the same for the new meeting. The agenda item was the potential removal of a trustee. John Warren contacted the board members and instructed us that he would be out of town during the rescheduled time period. Mr.Warren informed President Monsalvo that he had asked Arlon Tomes to make a statement on his behalf.

According to the bylaws, a trustee in such a situation has a right to be heard by the board before the vote. On behalf of President Monsalvo, I, as secretary, informed Mr.Warren that the board would not be accepting any statements from Mr. Tomes. I also informed Mr. Warren that we would have a telephone in the room awaiting his call. I reminded him of the start time of 7:30 p.m. and gave him the telephone number to call.

When President Monsalvo began addressing the audience at 7:30 p.m., he read a lengthy statement. At 7:54 p.m., Mr. Monsalvo called the meeting to order. He asked Mr. Havir to give the opening prayer. (During the prayer, many of the guests who have stopped attending our congregation and who have begun attending a new church service in Mineola/Lindale, chose not to bow their heads during Mr. Havir’s prayer.)

Mr. Monsalvo then read a motion to call for the removal of Mr. Warren as a trustee. The motion was seconded.

President Monsalvo asked if there was any discussion. Karl Wilson questioned me as secretary whether the procedure for calling this meeting was correct. After I gave him the paperwork, he thanked me for the information. Karl Wilson also made some comments from books discussing Robert’s Rules of Order.

The board was prepared and willing to hear any statement from Mr.Warren over the telephone, as per the bylaw that says the trustee has a right to be heard. He chose not to call.

The motion passed 4-2. Voting for the motion were myself, Don Mischnick, Bernie Monsalvo and Jim Wilkins. Voting against the motion were Ron Avey and Karl Wilson.

Sadly, board splits and other problems often happen in various churches.

The AW site reported the following:

Things have not been going smoothly of late for members of the Church of God, Big Sandy.

If any independent COG congregation … Minister Dave Havir is well respected. If the Worldwide Church of God is to have an enduring legacy, it will be among people like these rather than the Glendora-based organization that has inherited the name…

All that is now at risk. One local has described the situation, perhaps with a feel for the dramatic, as “war.” Some 30 – 40 brethren are now meeting separately, and a board member has been dumped. Details of the story are likely to appear in the upcoming issue of The Journal.

I did contact Dixon Cartwright, editor of The Journal who also attends (and plays the piano at) the Church of God Big Sandy, about the AW claim.  Dixon stated:

The “30-40 meeting” separately is a little misleading because, as is the practice with a lot of people in Big Sandy, at least some of those folks are meeting in both locations.

David Havir, perhaps it should be noted, has long had a tendency to take shots against hierarchical governance in articles that he writes for The Journal–hence in that area he has not had my respect.

However, church splits are sad and they do happen.  Even in organizations that teach against hierarchical church governance.  Church of God Big Sandy was once, itself, affiliated with the United Church of God, but split from it several years back.

Why The Church? WCG’s J. Tkach Gets A Couple of Points Right

Friday, January 25th, 2008

 TRANSFORMED FROM TRUTHWorldwide Church of God Transformed from Truth to Fairy Tales


This morning, WCG sent out an email that linked the following written by its J. Tkach.  Instead of quoting where he gets the specifics wrong, here are some selective quotes of what he got at least partially correct:

Not long ago I was sitting in an airport lounge...

The couple seated next to me…told me they believed in Jesus, but that they just did not want to be part of organized religion.

I could not resist asking if they preferred to be part of disorganized religion. We all laughed, but their interest was piqued, and one of them asked me: “Why should I be part of a church?”

I told them that being in relationship with God includes being in relationship with other Christians. I shared our church motto with them – “Living and Sharing the Gospel.” And I went on to explain that our motto doesn’t mean we knock on people’s doors or interrupt them on the street to force our views down their throats. Rather, “Living and Sharing the Gospel” reminds us that Jesus lives in us and that our lives are to be a reflection to others of God’s love…

Sin certainly needs to be addressed…

Ephesians 5:1-2 says: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  (NIV).

Of course, he left various things out and specifically indicated that one did not actually have to live according to God’s rules–even though “sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4).  Also if  if one actually were to love God and imitate God, one would keep the commandments according to what Jesus taught:

If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15). 

But the main reason for bringing this up is to remind people that the Bible shows that you really are not supposed to be “independent Christians”.

Notice what the Book of Hebrews teaches:

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25).

Those who understand biblical prophecy realize that Zephaniah warns people in the last days not to be “independent”.  Notice:

Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together,
O undesirable nation, 
Before the decree is issued,
Or the day passes like chaff,
Before the LORD’s fierce anger comes upon you,
Before the day of the LORD’s anger comes upon you! 
Seek the LORD, all you meek of the earth,
Who have upheld His justice.
Seek righteousness, seek humility.
It may be that you will be hidden
In the day of the LORD’s anger (Zephaniah 2:1-3).

Thus, those who hope to be protected from a variety of negative end-time events are being told NOT TO BE INDEPENDENT, but to GATHER TOGETHER BEFORE the decree is issued–which means those who think that they will simply get protection at the last minute without being gathered together would seem to not be among those who “will be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger”.  More about protection can be found in the article There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra.

Furthermore, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote that the first “purpose of the Church” was to proclaim:

…the coming kingdom of God to the world… The ‘loner’-the individual Christian’ who wants to climb up into the kingdom some other way than by Christ and His way through His Church-is not being trained in Christ’s manner of training, to rule and reign with Christ in his kingdom!… The person who says, ‘I will get my salvation alone, outside of the Church’ is totally deceived (Mystery of the Ages. 1985, p. 270).

Herbert W. Armstrong asked,

Is the Church of God merely a scattered, isolated, number of professing Christians, each going his own way to get out the Gospel – or, as many believe, to get his personal salvation and eternal life? (The Incredible Human Potential. 1978. p.123).

Sadly, a lot of people today seem to think so. Of course, since we seem to be living in the time of the Laodicean Church era, this was expected.

Here is how Herbert W. Armstrong answered the question he asked:

“The Church…It is not only a spiritual organism – it is a well-organized physical organization! Notice I Corinthians 12: …brethren I would not have you ignorant (I Cor. 12:1). But now are they many members, yet but one body (verse 20.)

And it is a well-organized body (verses 4-6, 11-12): Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all… But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For the body is one–united, organized into cooperative team-work – not scattered individuals, each claiming to serve God in his own way!

Continuing: For… the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body… That there should be no schism [division] in the body; but that the members should have the same care [that is, outgoing concern and love] one for another (verses 12-13, 25).

Continuing: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

Now back to Ephesians. What about the member who goes out of the Church, to have his own relationship with Christ – to GET his own salvation? He is outside the body of Christ!

Notice, again, the “household of God” – the Church – is built upon a foundation. Would one build a building on a foundation of shifting sand? God’s Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles [the New Testament], and prophets [Old Testament, whose prophecies are for us today (I Cor. 1O:11)], Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone(Eph. 2:19-20).

How well organized?

In whom all the building [the Church]fitly framed together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord.” (verse 21.)

Further: From the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love(Eph. 4:16).

Yes, Christ organized His Church.

And his gifts were, that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers(Eph.4:11, RSV) [continuing in KJV:] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ(Eph. 4:12-13).

What about a single member, “a joint, or part,” going off by itself – or following a man instead of the Church of God that is in direct continuous succession from the apostolic Church founded by Christ, in A.D.31? He is like a joint or a piece of wood or stone, entirely outside of, and therefore no part of the body of Christ that shall marry Christ! (The Incredible Human Potential. 1978. pp.123,124-125). “

Thus it is clear that Herbert W. Armstrong did not believe members should be independent or part of small groups.

Please do not be “transformed FROM truth” yourself.  Please study into to this to see that these things are so.

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

Independent Members of the COG: Herbert W. Armstrong Comments, Plus Questions and Answers What did Herbert W. Armstrong teach about being independent of the organized Church? Should independents who claim to accept Herbert W. Armstrong’s teachings be part of LCG?
Being Separate: What Did Herbert W. Armstrong and the Bible Teach About Where Not to Fellowship? Some believe that it is acceptable to attend groups called COG, but who are not actually. What did Herbert W. Armstrong and the Bible teach about this.
Getting the Gospel Out is More than a Local Job Discusses Biblical rationale for doing an international, and not just a local, work.
How Much Did You Cost? Some have complained that the total costs spent to proclaim the gospel as a witness is too high since it does not (in their opinion) result in enough conversions. Is that how God sees it?
The Temple and the Work This article discusses the two temples of the Old Testament and gives insight as to their possible relevance to the situation which has impacted the Church during this past decade or so.
Attending the Church of Choice This article discusses whose choice is important to worship God; should you attend the church of your choice or the church of God’s choice?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God?This is an article for those who wish to easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

Who is “Left Behind”?

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Hiroshima After the Atomic Bomb Was Detonated

Who will be “left behind” for events like atomic devastation? 


Recently I read what is apparently supposed to be the major “nonfiction” book by Timothy LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, the authors of the popular fiction series Left Behind.

This book is titled Are We Living in the End Times? (Tyndale House, Wheaton (IL), 1999). In many ways it is similar to a book titled by John Walvoord titled The Prophecy Handbook (Victor Books, Wheaton (IL), 1990).

Additionally it may come as surprise to people who have actually studied the Book of Revelation, but both of these books falsely claim that the church is NOT mentioned in Revelation from chapter 4 through chapter 18 and that this somehow proves that the “pre-tribulation rapture” is the only viable explanation (see LaHaye & Jenkins, p. 112 and Walvoord, p. 544).

But this position is in extreme biblical error. The Book of Revelation most certainly does mention saints (which are those who make up the true Church, see 1 Corinthians 1:2) in these chapters. So perhaps it would make sense to quote and comment on some of them.


18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come,
And the time of the dead, that they should be judged,
And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints,
And those who fear Your name, small and great,
And should destroy those who destroy the earth (Rev 11:18).

The above passage clearly shows that the nations will be angry when Christ returns and that they and the dead should be judged. It also shows that this is when the saints receive their reward.

Further notice:

14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent…17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelation 12:14,17).

7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints (Revelation 13:7-10).

12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Revelation 14:11-12).

6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (Revelation 17:6).

Notice that the above verses show that the dragon (identified as Satan in Revelation 20:2), causes the saints to suffer and some to be killed. One of the reasons that certain Protestant authors (like LaHaye and Walvoord) seem to wish to ignore these verses is that they show that the true saints are keeping the commandments—a concept that is not acceptable to many Protestant theologians. 

However, since these verses clearly are referring to true Christians, it should be clear to any with “eyes to see” that Christians (who are those who compose the Church) will be around throughout the entire 3 ½ years of the tribulation (shown as the time, times, and half a time in Revelation).

Sadly, many millions seemingly have been deceived by this false “pre-tribulation rapture” hypothesis. And partially because of this, they will not understand the final events of the end-times until it is too late. 

Since the Bible shows physical protection only for the remnant of the Philadelphia portion of the Church during “the hour of trial” (c.f. Revelation 3:7.10; 12:14), those who accept the false “pre-tribulation rapture” hypothesis will themselves be “Left Behind”. 

(Perhaps it should be mentioned here that other professing Christians, like the Roman Catholics and others, are also confused about end-time events–details are in the articles Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus?Similarities and Differences Between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Living Churches of God, and SDA/LCG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666).

Also it should be pointed out that the Bible shows that true Christians who are not “gathered together” (Zephaniah 2:1a) with the Philadelphians “[b]efore the decree is issued” (Zephaniah 2:1b) will themselves be left behind (Revelation 12:17) as only those gathered together may “be hidden in the day of the LORD’s anger” (Zephaniah 2:3).

Articles of possibly related interest include:

Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach?
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory.
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a COG background.