Archive for March, 2008

Increase in Islam and Catholic Prophecy

Monday, March 31st, 2008


Flags of the Arab League and the European Union 


Yesterday, the Vatican admitted that there are now more Muslims than Catholics:


Islam surpasses Roman Catholicism as world’s largest religion


‘For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us,’ official who compiles the Vatican’s yearbook says

Associated Press – March 30, 2008

VATICAN CITY – Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the world’s largest religion, the Vatican newspaper said Sunday. “For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us,” Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. Formenti compiles the Vatican’s yearbook…

He said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population – a stable percentage – while Muslims were at 19.2 percent. Formenti said that the data refer to 2006. The figures on Muslims had been put together by Muslim countries and then provided to the United Nations, he said, adding that the Vatican could only vouch for its own data. When considering all Christians and not just Catholics, Christians make up 33 percent of the world population, Formenti said.,7340,L-3525503,00.html

But the Vatican neglected to mention the plans its private prophecies have for Islam.  And they tend to involve conflict.  First some type of civil unrest, and then that is ultimately prophesied to lead to the elimination of Islam:

Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (died 1837): “described to me the great ordeal ahead. Rome would be battered by revolutions…Millions of men would die by the sword in war and civil strife, other millions would perish in unforeseen death. Then entire nations would return to the unity of the Church, and many Turks, Pagans and Jews would be converted and their fervour cover with confusion the original Christians. In one word she told me that our Lord was intending to cleanse the world and His Church…” (Bessieres A. Wife, Mother and Mystic (Blessed Anna Maria Taigi). Nihil Obstat: Carlos Davis, S.T.L. Imprimatur: E Morrough Bernard, Westmonasteri, die Februari, 1952. Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1982, p. 166).

Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (died 1658):…”Are we not to fear, during this period, that the Mohammedans will come again, working out their sinister schemes against the Latin Church? (Dupont, Yves. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1973,p.39).

Old Saxon Prophecy. “The seven-headed city, now more admirable than Jerusalem, shall be a place more desolate than Jerusalem. The Dog shall enter Germany but shall afterwards forsake his master and choose for himself a new man, whereby Scripture shall be fulfilled. This Dog shall signify the Turk which shall forsake his Mohammed and choose unto him the name Christian…But after all these things the end of the world shall approach, and there shall be heavey and pitiful days.”  Comment: The seven-headed city is probably Rome…(the comment is from Dupont personally, Dupont, pp.23-24)

Brother Louis Rocco (19th century). “Terrible wars will rage all over Europe. God has long been patient with the corruption of morals; half of mankind He will destroy. Russia will witness many outrages. Great cities and small towns alike will be destroyed in a bloody revolution that will cause the death of half the population. In Istanbul (Constantinople) the Cross will replace the half-moon of Islamism, and Jerusalem will be the seat of a King. The southern Slavs will form a great Catholic Empire and drive out of Europe the Turks (Mohammedans), who will withdraw to North Africa and subsequently embrace the Catholic faith.” (Dupont, p.76)

(Note: The term “Turks” sometimes is only referring to followers of Islam as opposed to Turkish peoples.)

The reality is that the Bible shows that the King of the North will impose his religion (apparently a modification of Catholicism, see article Who is the King of the North?) on the world, but apparently the Muslim world (represented in a significant way by the coming King of the South) will rise up to oppose that religion.

However, both biblical (Daniel 11:40-42) and Catholic prophecies show that the Muslims will not win that battle.  Notice a fairly specific Catholic prophecy on that:

Rudolph Gekner (died 1675). “A great prince of the North with a most powerful army will traverse all Europe, uproot all republics, and exterminate all rebels. His sword moved by Divine power will most valiantly defend the Church of Jesus Christ. He will combat on behalf of the true orthodox faith, and shall subdue to his dominion the Mahometan Empire. A new pastor of the universal church will come from the shore (of Dalmatia) through a celestial prodigy, and in simplicity of heart adorned with the doctrines of Jesus Christ. Peace will come to the world.” (Cited in Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p.36).

The reality is that world events are moving towards this conflict as a prince of the North is expected (Daniel 9:25-27) who ultimately will be the King of the North and overwhelm the future King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43).

Articles of related interest may include:

Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”?
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? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin?
Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? What does the Bible say?
The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam?

Ronald Weinland Prophesied Millions & Is Spending to Accomplish That

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Which Book Do You Think Christians Should Rely On? 

 Ronald Weinland Says His Books Are What He Wants Potential Supporters to Closely Study.  The COGwriter Site Instead Urges Those Interested in Him and End-Time Prophecies to Spend More Time Checking His Writings with the Bible.


Last week, I noticed the following under FAQ at (bolding in second paragraph from me):

Questions and Answers

As God continues to open the minds of increasing numbers of people, we have come to a time when we are no longer able to handle the growing volume of e-mail and letters. We do not have the resources or manpower to continue answering all questions, therefore, we are compelled to respond by sending “Form Letters.” Those who are genuine about their calling will follow the instruction that is given and will receive the kind of help necessary to properly respond to God.

Over the weeks and few months that follow, God will begin drawing millions to His truth and to repentance. As God does this, it is not His will that people question what He is giving, but that people search out what He has so mercifully made available to them.

The primary thing each person needs to understand is that you must be willing to search out answers through your own efforts. For nearly all questions, you can receive answers if you will do more searching and digging on your own with the resources we have made available to you. This letter will help you to do this in the best manner possible.

By reading The Prophesied End-Time and 2008-God’s Final Witness, you will naturally have questions that you would like to have answered. Not all of your questions will be answered, and you will simply have to focus on the knowledge that God is granting to you. You have before you all that is needed in order to properly respond to God’s calling, if you are genuine about your desire to repent and change your life, so that you might have the opportunity to live into the new age that is now coming to this earth.

If you follow the steps outlined below, you will have all that is needed, at this time, to properly equip you for the coming of Jesus Christ:

I The most important thing you must do is to repent of your false beliefs and practices, and wrong ways of living, and fully turn to God in obedience to His ways of life. The first step is to keep the Sabbath day holy. If you are not willing to set aside the Sabbath day as God commands, then there is no sense of you reading any farther because God will not work with you, nor receive you, unless you are willing to obey Him in this matter (Isaiah 57, 58 & 59)…

The second area of repentance/change is that which involves a person’s obedience to God in giving God His tithe (10 percent) of income. This is a tithe of one’s net income (after taxes). The taxes are not in our control, but belong to the government to which we are all subject. We have no power over that portion of our income that is taken as taxes, and Jesus Christ said to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. We are responsible for what is under our control and management.

Tithes are not collected locally as with so many churches in traditional Christianity, but are sent to the headquarters of God’s Church. It is God’s Church that will determine how God is leading the Church and use His tithes according to His work and His will. Many ask where to send God’s tithes. All tithes are sent to:

Church of God–PKG…

All funds should be made payable to: Church of God – PKG.

For those of you who have submitted to making the changes in your life that are described in this letter, if your desire is to be baptized and receive the impregnation of God’s spirit then you must make that desire clear to the Church.


Comments by COGWriter 

While God does expect people to repent, keep the Sabbath, and to tithe, I believe God expects that the ministry will make more personal efforts in responding to those who express interest than Ronald Weinland and his church appear to be willing to do. 

Of course, if thousands or millions actually do tithe to CGPFK then one would think that they would have enough money to at least hire additional staff to handle emails (millions of dollars should be soon appearing if he is growing like he claims)–but his financial focus seems different.  Additionally, it appears that baptism requests from tithe-payers will be honored if the last statement quoted above from his website is accurate.

At this time, probably hundreds of thousands (or more) have looked into Ronald Weinland, and I believe that he has gained many hundreds of “supporters” recently (I put supporters within quotation marks as I do not believe he will have as many three months from now as he now has and many of the “supporters” are not even attending any church service as he does not have them in many areas). 

While, I have never seen CGPFK financial statements, a report my son Michael ran for me yesterday shows that, apparently, Ronald Weinland is currently spending enough to reach millions.  This is from a site called Statistics

 The above statistics seem to be a bit high (though they may be quite accurate), but even IF they are several times too high, his group seems to be spending some serious money to reach people over the internet. 

But there is simply no way that millions are going to be actually in his church in three months with repentance–unless massive amounts of people decide to spiritualize away even more of his “prophecies”.  And that the one about nuclear weapons would seem sort of tough to do (for information on that, please see the news item Ronald Weinland: Nuclear Attack May be Mid-April 2008). 

This idea of millions coming to his church is another false prophecy from the improperly named “Church of God, Preparing for the Kingdom”.  I would prefer to call it the “Church of Ron, Unknowingly Preparing for the Disappointment”.

Instead of focusing on Ronald Weinland’s books, those interested in prophecy and him, should be checking out what he writes and compare it to what is written in the Bible.

As I have been warning people for a long time, because there is no King of the North or King of the South yet, the Great Tribulation CANNOT begin in 2008. 

And those who studied the Bible, and not overlooked it because of sermons and books from people such as Ronald Weinland, will realize that the Great Tribulation will not begin next month.

It will not be the Bible that will be disappointing the followers of Ronald Weinland next month.  However, ignoring what the Bible teaches, because of human perception of world events, will.

Recall that Christians are to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).  And part of that means, when one hears a new message that seems promising, to search “the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

IF the followers of Ronald Weinland will do that now, they will realize that since what should have already happened. 


BECAUSE THE EVENTS ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE that would happen at the 1335 and 1290 days (which supposedly were 2/02/08 and 3/18/08 respectively per Ronald Weinland’s teachings) DID NOT HAPPEN.  Hopefully, his followers will soon realize that he is also wrong about what will happen near or shortly after April 17, 2008 (the start of the 1260 according to HIM, not God).

A few articles of possibly 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.
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? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin?
End of Mayan Calendar 2012–Might 2012 Mean Something? There is a Mayan calendar prediction for change in 2012. 2012 changes were also centuries ago predicted by the Hopi Native Americans and the Hindu Indians (who were not even on the same continent). Do these Mayan/Hindu/Hopi prophecies have any value? Why might Satan have inspired this date? Can the great tribulation start before 2012?
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church?
Tithing Questions and Some Answers Addresses some non-biblical arguments against tithing. Should people tithe?
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.

UCG on Prophecy

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

European Union Tower of Babel Poster
There is a Lot of Prophetic Confusion Today


In the March-April 2008 edition of the United Church of God’s (UCG) World News & Prophecy magazine, its managing editor, Darris McNeely wrote:

God alone knows when events like Christ’s return will occur. Even Jesus said He did not know the day and hour (Mark 13:32). So who are we to try and surpass that knowledge?

With God in charge of the timing of the big events, our goal should be vigilance and understanding of the times and events of the world. With faith in God that a day of judgment is coming when God’s Kingdom will be restored, we have other things to do. Prophecy, world events and the signs of the end of the age will be a motivation to endure to the end…

A key to understanding Bible prophecy is to let the Bible interpret itself. Don’t try to read into passages meaning that is not there. Prophecy is not to be approached like a riddle that needs great mental gymnastics to solve. God’s Spirit moved men to speak certain prophetic words and God alone can interpret their meaning for us.

Vanity and self-importance can lead us to assign meanings to passages before God is ready to reveal to His servants the true understanding. “Surely the Lord God does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7)…

Here is the ultimate reason we study Bible prophecy—so that it might shape our thinking and eventually our character to become like God. Because we know this world is passing away and a new one is coming, we prepare today for a role in that coming Kingdom. It is real to us and drives each day of our lives with passion and zeal. It is the only goal worth sacrificing for. For those who grasp that vision today and who pursue it diligently, there awaits a crown of righteousness that will not fade away.

Ever since its beginnings with David Hulme as it first president, UCG has been a bit soft on prophecy (please see the article In Their Own Words: Doctrinal Differences Between the old United Church of God and the old Global Church of God). [After losing its presidency, David Hulme left UCG and formed, Church of God, an International Community (COGaIC).] 

For one example, neither UCG nor David Hulme’s COGaIC teach the idea of “Church Eras” as the old WCG did and the current Living Church of God (LCG) does.

And both UCG and COGaIC essentially act like understanding many prophetic events is beyond comprehension (for COGaIC, please see my recent post COGaIC’s David Hulme and the Apocalypse, for just one example).

It is NOT that UCG and COGaIC do not believe in Bible prophecy.  They do believe that a European empire will form, that Bible prophecy involves the Middle East as well as the British descended peoples, and they do believe that Jesus will return.

It’s just that I do not believe that they feel that :
1) They can know much more about prophecy than they think they already know and
2) They do not want their followers to consider prophecy to be so possibly imminent that they should think that it is important.

And because of this, I do not believe that many in UCG or COGaIC will understand the fulfillment of certain end-time prophecies.

Before going into why some of Darris McNeely’s points were misleading, let us first compare one statement that he wrote with the statement on the webpage for UCG‘s World News & Prophecy magazine for its purpose.  Notice the stated purpose of World News & Prophecy:

The purpose of World News & Prophecy is to help readers discern the times and increase their awareness and understanding of current events in the light of Bible prophecy.  

Yet its editor, in its current issue, wrote:

Do we know more than Jesus?

Prophecy has always held a fascination for people. We want to understand what lies in the future. Whenever a major world event occurs, people scurry to those who profess knowledge of its prophetic significance to try and understand what it all means. Every time a crisis erupts in the Middle East, we see an increase in traffic to our Web sites. People are reading and downloading our prophecy material.

And that is fine. But to what end? Is it to be wiser and smarter in prophecy than someone else? Is there the hope of saving oneself through access to special “secret knowledge” of these ancient prophecies? Whatever our motivation might be, we should be sure it aligns with the purpose and plan of God.

In other words, he seems to be saying that UCG would prefer that many people who believe the purpose of its World News & Prophecy are perhaps misguided or unbalanced.

Darris McNeely implies that we cannot know more about prophecy, yet seemingly fails to understand what the Jesus and the Apostle Paul taught.

First from Jesus:

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:34-37). 

Then from Paul:

2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober (1 Thessalonians 5:2-6).

Thus, both Jesus and the Apostle Paul are telling Christians that we need to watch at the end AND we are NOT the of the darkness, so this means that there certainly are things that we can know.

Furthermore, while Darris McNeely implies that we cannot know things unless God reveals them through a prophet, the truth is that God HAS revealed much through “His servants the prophets”.

Additionally, notice what the prophet Daniel wrote:

9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand (Daniel 12:9-10).

Notice that at “the time of the end”, “the wise shall understand”.  And while God probably will raise up prophets at the end (and for sure the two witnesses), there does not need to be a prophet for the wise to understand many things already recorded in the Bible by God’s prophets.

Furthermore, there is a difference in Jesus not knowing the Date and Hour almost 2,000 years ago and His servants understanding the times, events, and the seasons later (see Luke 21:31).

Lest some feel that I have mischaracterized UCG’s position, let’s look at something that it published last summer:

When you look at the flow of events in the Bible, from creation forward to today, you see a lot of high points such as the time of Abraham, the Exodus, David and Solomon, and Christ and the apostles. But these events are separated by at times hundreds of years when not much seems to be happening.

But something is happening in those in-between years. Everyday life is taking place. People are “marrying and giving in marriage.” Babies are born and families grow. People rejoice and mourn within the normal cycles of life and death. Life goes on, and sometimes it is no more exciting than sitting on a front porch and watching the hours slip by.

But that’s okay. God did not determine that we would always be hyped up in alert mode. Prophecy is not to be used that way. Prophecy is a compass that helps us see our world for what it is, from God’s point of view. We can understand the high points of history and know that God is guiding the world to a point where He will completely take over with the appearance of His Kingdom.

…Enjoy the life you have and make the most of it within the framework of God’s way of life. Understand that at times life is experienced while sitting on a “front porch.” (McNeely D. Restoration: View From the Front Porch. World News & Prophecy. August 2007).

Thus, as far as I can tell, UCG’s World News & Prophecy editor seems to want to keep telling his readers that prophecy is not that important.  Thus, I feel that most UCG followers are likely not to understand certain prophetic events being fulfilled when they do get fulfilled.

I do not feel that the leadership of UCG (or COGaIC for that matter) is studying into biblical prophecy enough to attempt to actually and significantly improve upon what it thinks it already knows.  That is a mistake that I believe will result in it later distancing itself from LCG as it explains prophecy in more and more detail as we get closer to the end.

Of course, the other ditch is Ronald Weinland, a former UCG minister, who claims to know more than he does.  Ronald Weinland teaches that the 1335 days of Daniel 12 began on February 2, 2008, the 1290 days began on March 18, 2008, that the 1260 days begins on April 17, 2008, that a major nuclear attack may occur next month (see news item Ronald Weinland: Nuclear Attack May be Mid-April 2008) and that Jesus will return on September 29, 2011 (for more information, please see the article Concerns About Ronald Weinland’s Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God). 

So we see prophetic confusion in both ditches.  Other COGs have their own prophetic problems (for more information please see articles on the various COGs which are located at the COGwriter Home Page).

And although there is a lot of prophetic confusion in many of the COGs today, based upon many of its published positions, I continue to believe that UCG is soft on prophecy, and thus will distance itself from realizing what is happening while it is happening.

Articles of possibly related interest may include:

The Laodicean Church Era was predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. Non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
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.
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.

Philadelphia Trumpet Circulation Dropping

Saturday, March 29th, 2008


The Philadelphia Church of God recently produced the April 2008 edition of its Philadelphia Trumpet magazine.  And it, like other editions has the listed circulation. 

Unless otherwise noted, here is what the listed circulation for the March (sometimes a combined March-April issue) has been for the past several years:

  • 2004       344,530
  • 2005       315,435
  • 2006       326,702
  • 2007       295,000
  • March 2008       294,000
  • April 2008          266,301

The circulation trend is currently down.

While magazines were more of PCG’s focus earlier, it  appears to me at least that its building projects (here is one recent news item Philadelphia Church of God Announces “Armstrong Auditorium”) and probably the internet have become more of its focus.

Two articles of related interest may include:

Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God Simply trying to calling oneself ‘Philadelphia’ or making buildings does not make one Philadelphian (see Revelation 3:7-9), nor does Gerald Flurry calling himself “that prophet” make it so. This article provides many quotes from this group which claims to be faithful.

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.

CEM’s Ron Dart Mentions “Gather My Saints Together”

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Some Christians “Gathered Together” in Tobago 


In his latest online commentary this week, Christian Education Ministries’ Ronald Dart began with the following:

In reading through the 50th Psalm this morning I was struck by the short section that begins with verse 5: Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice. And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself.” I think the sense of v. 5 is “Those who have made a blood covenant with me,” and the Christian covenant is surely a blood covenant. The blood was not that of animals, but of the Lord himself. The concluding statement calls to mind an old controversy. Jesus said plainly that the father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son (John 5:22).

While his commentary focus was essentially on the blood of Christ and the revealing of the Father, I was struck by the “gather my saints together” concept as I first started to write about another aspect of that at least ten years ago.

In the NKJV, the English expression “gather together” appears 25 times.  And “gathered together” appears 96 times.

There are a couple of passages concerning be told to “gather together” that I would like to quote and comment on.

The first, as regular readers may recall, I have mentioned here before from Zephaniah:

1 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together,
O undesirable nation,
2 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!
3 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).

Comment: I believe that both Zephaniah 2 and Psalm 50 are telling the people of God that they need to gather together, BEFORE it is too late.  And if they do this properly that they may receive protection from the wrath to come.  More information on this is included in the article There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra .

Now notice another two verses that discuss being gathered together:

5 Declare in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem, and say:

“Blow the trumpet in the land;
Cry, ‘Gather together,’
And say, ‘Assemble yourselves,
And let us go into the fortified cities.’
6 Set up the standard toward Zion.
Take refuge! Do not delay!
For I will bring disaster from the north,
And great destruction
.” (Jeremiah 4:5-6)

Comment: The above passage is suggesting that there will be a time that will come that those in Judea and Jerusalem will have to flee into a place of defense–possibly Petra.  This is consistent with what Jesus told His followers to do in Matthew 24 :15-16 when they see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel.  And Jeremiah is basically warning that disaster will come from the north–in this case apparently the King of the North.

Jeremiah is apparently talking about the same events that are to occur around the 1290 days of Daniel 12:11;11:31.  Events that did not happen on March 18, 2008, which once again demonstrates why those associated with Ronald Weinland (who falsely prophesied that the 1290 days began on March 18, 2008, but then said that it was fulfilled that day by something spiritual, please see the news item Ronald Weinland: Nothing Happened March 18th Because What Happened Was Spiritual?).

Anyway, my point is to tell readers that God does expect His saints to “gather together” (Psalm 50:5) and that this needs to be done before the decree at the end is issued (Zephaniah 2:1-3) so that His people will be able to flee from the disaster that will come from the power from the north (Jeremiah 4:5-6).  And they should be “gathered together” with the actual Philadelphia remnant of the Church of God.

And although Ronald Weinland’s timing and prophetic interpretations are in error (he and his followers seem to have relied too much on him and not enough on what the Bible actually teaches) and CGPFK is not Philadelphian, the fact is that the end will be coming, and it will be sooner than most think.  

As far as I can tell, the Bible teaches that the true and most faithful Christians do need to be “gathered together” where the work of God is mainly getting done today, and not be out on their own or ineffective, non-Philadelphian, groups.

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?
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 evangelists?
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.
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.

Southern Baptist President Urges Voting

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Southern Baptist Convention Urges Voting–What Does the Bible Teach?


Yesterday, the so-called “Christian Post” ran the following story:

Southern Baptist Head: Christians Should Be Involved in Politics

Christian Post – March 26, 2008

The president of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination dismissed the idea that politics was too “dirty” for Christians and instead urged believers to be involved in the political process.

Dr. Frank Page, president of the 16 million-member Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), discussed politics and American society during an interview with Donald E. Wildmon, the founder and chairman of the American Family Association, in a video made available online Tuesday…

He also recalled how Christians are called to be the “salt and light” in the world, and that through political involvement believers can make an impact on the culture for Christ.In particular, Page urged Christians to vote this November for the next U.S. president whether their favorite candidate is on the ballot or not.

“Unfortunately, you’ve got a lot of foggy notions out there that electing the right person is going to change everything,” Page observed, according to OneNewsNow, the website of the American Family News Network (AFN). “The reality is we’re in a system of checks and balances, and not one person can do everything.”

He warned against the thinking of not voting in the presidential election because of problems perceived in the three major presidential contenders.

“There is no perfect candidate; you must vote – and particularly this fall,” Page urged.

This differs greatly from the official position of the Living Church of God:


The Bible teaches that Satan the devil has deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9), that God’s people need to be separate from the world’s systems (John 15:19; Revelation 18:4).

This separation means that those called of God live a different way of life and that we are in a real sense Ambassadors of God’s government (Ephesians 6:20; 1 Peter 2:9-10). Thus, historically, the Church of God has taught its members not to participate in secular juries or worldly politics.

We, thus, in the Living Church of God, do not vote in presidential elections.

Did you know that the only clear time the Bible records that anyone “voted”, it was the Apostle Paul (while he was still Saul), voting to have Christians put to death?

Indeed, I myself thought I must do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. This I also did in Jerusalem, and many of the saints I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them (Acts 26:9-10).

And while the above is not of itself a blanket condemnation of all voting, it is the only time the word “vote” or “voting” is in the Bible. And it does show that even religiously zealous/conservative individuals do not always vote correctly and can do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.

That and more from the Bible on this subject is included in the article Should a Christian Vote?

Christianity Todays’ “Person of the Week”

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

History of Early Christianity 


As regular readers of this page know, I have little respect for the publication falsely titled “Christianity Today”.

From its promoting pagan holidays, selling pagan trinkets, once or twice publishing inaccurate information about me, and endorsing false doctrine, it often errs.  But this morning, in my view, it hit a new low.

It’s home page this morning stated, “Person of the Week: John Chrysostom” which linked to the following article:

John Chrysostom
Early church’s greatest preacher…

Eloquent and uncompromising preaching was typical of John and earned him the name history would remember him by: Chrysostomos—”golden mouth.” But his preaching, though considered the best in the early church, was what got him into trouble and led to his untimely death…

His large bald head, deeply set eyes, and sunken cheeks reminded people of Elisha the prophet. Though his sermons (which lasted between 30 minutes and two hours) were well attended, he sometimes became discouraged: “My work is like that of a man who is trying to clean a piece of ground into which a muddy stream is constantly flowing.”…

His lack of tact and political skill made him too many enemies—in the imperial family and among fellow bishops. For reasons too complex to elaborate, Theophilus, the archbishop of Alexandria, was able to call a council outside of Constantinople and, trumping up charges of heresy, had John deposed from office. John was sent into exile by Empress Eudoxia and Emperor Arcadius…

On the eastern shore of the Black Sea, at the edges of the empire, his body gave out and he died.

Thirty-four years later, after John’s chief enemies had died, his relics were brought back in triumph to the capital. Emperor Theodosius II, son of Arcadius and Eudoxia, publicly asked forgiveness for the sins of his parents.

He was later given the title of “Doctor of the Church” because of the value of his writings (600 sermons and 200 letters survive). Along with Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Athanasius, he is considered one of the greatest of the early Eastern church fathers.

With all the current flack about statements about the long-time minister of presidential candidate Barack Obama, one would think that “Christianity Today” would have been more careful than to declare a racist preacher its “Person of the Week”.

Notice that the Roman and Byzantine saint John Chrysostom preached the following in 387 A.D.:

The festivals of the pitiful and miserable Jews are soon to march upon us one after the other and in quick succession: the feast of Trumpets, the feast of Tabernacles, the fasts. There are many in our ranks who say they think as we do. Yet some of these are going to watch the festivals and others will join the Jews in keeping their feasts and observing their fasts. I wish to drive this perverse custom from the Church right now…If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, our are lies…Does God hate their festivals and do you share in them? He did not say this or that festival, but all of them together. (John Chrysostom. Homily I Against the Jews I:5;VI:5;VII:2. Preached at Antioch, Syria in the Fall of 387 AD. Medieval Sourcebook: Saint John Chrysostom (c.347-407) : Eight Homilies Against the Jews. Fordham University. 12/10/05).

The wicked and unclean fast of the Jews is now at our doors. Thought it is a fast, do not wonder that I have called it unclean…But now that the devil summons your wives to the feast of the Trumpets and they turn a ready ear to this call, you do not restrain them. You let them entangle themselves in accusations of ungodliness, you let them be dragged off into licentious ways. (John Chrysostom. Homily II Against the Jews I:1; III:4. Preached at Antioch, Syria on Sunday, September 5, 387 A.D.).

So also the Law fixed the feast of Tabernacles (John Chrysostom. Homily IV Against the Jews IV:3. Catholic Christians of Antioch Turning to Sabbath and The New Moon Day and Other Holy Days. 387 A.D.).

John Chrysostom preached against the Fall holy days, because some who professed Christ were observing them. It is interesting to note that he must have realized that the second century church kept Passover the same time as the Jews did (this was even true in the early second century in Rome). And that the Catholic Church still kept Pentecost.

Thus by preaching what he did, John Chrysostom is preaching against his own church as the Roman and Orthodox Catholics claimed to keep both Passover (though on a different date, and with a different name) and Pentecost–as both of those festivals would be part of “all of them together”.

Furthermore, it should be noted that John Chrysostom had a tendency to be antisemitic and inaccurate. Here is more of what he publicly taught:

But do not be surprised that I called the Jews pitiable. They really are pitiable and miserable (I:II:1).

So the godlessness of the Jews and the pagans is on a par. But the Jews practice a deceit which is more dangerous (I:VI:4).

Do you see that demons dwell in their souls and that these demons are more dangerous than the ones of old? (I:VI:7).

Since it is against the Jews that I wish to draw up my battle line, let me extend my instruction further. Let me show that, by fasting now, the Jews dishonor the law and trample underfoot God’s commands because they are always doing everything contrary to his decrees. When God wished them to fast, they got fat and flabby (VI:IV:2).

Indeed, the fasting of the Jews, which is more disgraceful than any drunkenness, is over and gone (VIII:I:5).

In speaking about this feast of the Passover, the Law says to them something such as this: “You will not be able to keep the Passover in any of the cities which the Lord your God gives to you.” The Law bids them keep the feast on the fourteenth day of the first month and in the city of Jerusalem. The Law also narrowed down the time and place for the observance of Pentecost, when it commanded them to celebrate the feast after seven weeks, and again, when it stated: “In the place which the Lord your God chooses.” So also the Law fixed the feast of Tabernacles. (4) Now let us see which of the two, time or place, is more necessary, even though neither the one nor the other has the power to save. Must we scorn the place but observe the time? Or should we scorn the time and keep the place? What I mean is something such as this. The Law commanded that the Passover be held in the first month and in Jerusalem, at a prescribed time and in a prescribed place…But the Passover comes to an end on the twenty-first of that month. If they began the feast on the fourteenth day of the first month and then continued it for seven days, they then come to the twenty-first …the Law said they must not observe those rituals outside Jerusalem (John Chrysostom. Homily IV Against the Jews IV:3-4,V:4,5. Catholic Christians of Antioch. Turning to Sabbath and The New Moon Day and Other Holy Days. 387 A.D.).

Although he is correct that the Bible specifies the dates of the Holy Days, John Chrysostom is incorrect that Jerusalem is the only place.

That is never taught in the law.

To the contrary, the Jews were not even in Jerusalem when God listed the holy days in the books of Exodus and Leviticus (Jerusalem was not taken by the children of Israel until after the death of Joshua, see Judges 1:1-8).  Also, the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 16:8) and Polycarp, to name just two, sometimes kept the Holy Days in Asia Minor.

But the point is that mainstream “Christians” praise one who was antisemitic and did not understand the Bible.

Notice what the Roman Catholic Church says about John Chrysostom:

Chrysostom has deserved a place in ecclesiastical history, not simply as Bishop of Constantinople, but chiefly as a Doctor of the Church. Of none of the other Greek Fathers do we possess so many writings. We may divide them into three portions, the “opuscula”, the “homilies”, and the “letters”…eight “Against the Jews”…

As an exegete Chrysostom is of the highest importance…it would be a mistake to underrate the great theological treasures hidden in his writings. From the very first he was considered by the Greeks and Latins as a most important witness to the Faith. (St. John Chrysostom. The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910).

There are very few “Doctors of the Church” from a Roman Catholic perspective, but this hater of Jews and God’s Holy Days–John Chrysostom–was one of them.

Interestingly, Pope Benedict XVI brought up the subjects of John Chrysostom and the biblical Holy Days on apparently the same day.

According to a 9/20/07 article by Zenit, on Wednesday (September 19, 2007) the Pope’s “reflection at the general audience focused on St. John Chrysostom”–he praised him so much in that homily that he wants everyone to “pray that the Lord render us docile to the lessons of this great teacher of the faith”. 

And on the same day, it was announced that when the Pontiff praised one who hated Jews and God’s Holy Days, he also claimed that the Holy Days as observed by Jews can be a source of blessings from God. Notice this news item from Zenit (a Vatican-supporting news agency):

The Jewish calendar marks Rosh Hashana (New Year) Sept. 12-14; Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) Sept. 21-22; and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Sept. 27-Oct. 3.

“These festivities,” the Holy Father wrote, “can be occasions for many blessings from the Eternal and a source of immense joy, so that the will to promote the peace that the world so greatly needs will grow within each one of us. May God in his goodness protect your community and grant that the friendship between us deepen, in this city of Rome and everywhere.” (Benedict XVI Wishes Chief Rabbi a Happy New Year. 09/19/07)

Anyway, since the Holy Days provide blessings from God (blessings is a word similar in meaning to “venerable”), one would think that the Roman Catholic Church would observe them and not praise one (Chrysostom) who condemned them.

Furthermore, the New Testament calls one of the so-called “Jewish” holy days “great”. Notice the following from both a Protestant and a Catholic translation: 

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out (John 7:37, NKJV)

And in the last, the great day of the festivity JESUS stood, and cried (John 7:37, Rheims New Testament).

So who is right?

Those who follow Jesus’ practices or those who condemn them?

We in the Living Church of God follow Jesus’ practices. Those who are Catholic, Orthodox, and normally Protestant generally condemn them.

Recall that John Chrysostom once, somewhat correctly, stated,

If the Jewish ceremonies are venerable and great, ours are lies“.

So which days should be observed? Which days should be condemned?  The ones based on the Bible or those adopted from paganism?

Why do the Catholics/Protestants still like John Chrysostom? 

Well for one reason, John Chrysostom got the Orthodox in Constantinople to observe Christmas on December 25:

We may take it as certain that the feast of Christ’s Nativity was kept in Rome on 25 December…It was introduced by St. John Chrysostum into Constantinople and definitively adopted in 395 (Thurston. H. Transcribed by Rick McCarty. Christian Calendar. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III. Published 1908. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York ).

And as pretty much everyone who has looked into the history of Christmas knows, December 25th was selected because it was the birthday of the sun-god Mithras:

Notice the following from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

Mithraism A pagan religion consisting mainly of the cult of the ancient Indo-Iranian Sun-god Mithra…Sunday was kept holy in honour of Mithra, and the sixteenth of each month was sacred to him as mediator. The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigours of the season (Arendzen. J.P. Transcribed by John Looby. Mithraism. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume X. Published 1911. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York). 

(For more information on this, please see the article What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days?

Anyway, mainstream Christianity will continue to try to overlook the fact that it adopted pagan practices, condemned biblical ones, and still prefers traditions of men over the Bible.

Perhaps one day, publications like “Christianity Today” will examine what the Bible and the records of early church history show and condemn, instead of honor, those that preached against Jews and the practices of the true Christians.

Until then, I, and others interested in the truth, will have to remain skeptical about the publication falsely titled “Christianity Today”.

Several articles of related interest may include:

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?
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the Living Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example?
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.
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?

COGwriter and Quantcast

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

The Above Map Show the Number of Internet Users Around the World By Country 


On Sunday, March 23, 2008, I thought I would do an experiment and place the Quantcast tag on three of the COGwriter web pages. 

I then noticed this evening (March 26, 2008) that one at the AW site posted Quantcast statistics.

Well, apparently to be counted by Quantcast, one either needs to have no Quantcast tags or a tag on all pages.  As there are about 800 pages at COGwriter, I did an experiment with only placing it on three.

And instead of my Quancast rating being over 20,000 (it was something like 23,000 before I added the tags on Sunday), it dropped mightily in three days.  And since the visits to the site have stayed high, I have concluded that putting the tags on was not a good move, so I just removed them a few minutes ago.

That is why Quantcast has the odd report on this site that states:

  • Global Reach: 5,290

  • US Reach: 4,112

  • Rank: 286409
  • Monthly Page Views: 21,330
  • Monthly Uniques: 5,290

Because the truth is that the COGwriter site has around 24,000 US unique visitors per month. 

And the COGwriter site has over 100,000 page views per month, and nearly one million hits so far this year.

So, now that I took the tags off, perhaps Quantcast will correct itself.  And if so, we will see how long it takes as I suspect they change their statistics faster when you add their tags than when you remove them.

(Normally they seem to take a month before they change stats.)

COGaIC’s David Hulme and the Apocalypse

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

“Orthodox” 16th Century Representation of the “Apocalypse” 

In the latest edition of its Vision magazine, COGaIC’s David Hulme wrote an article titled Apocalypse Now, Later or Never?  In it he states:

Of what value is the book of Revelation? Does it foretell the cataclysmic end of the world? Is it a historical record of events long past, or perhaps a call to moral responsibility? Or should it be read merely as first-century literature aimed at a first-century audience? 

The Apocalypse, or book of Revelation, is a puzzle to most people who take the time to read it. Filled with strange visions, blood and smoke, terrifying warfare, fearsome beasts, and evil rulers, it reads like a nightmare of the worst kind. It was set down by a man named John as a result of his extraordinary experiences on the Roman prison island of Patmos, near the coast of what is today western Turkey.

The Greek term apokalypsis, from which the book’s titles come, means “the revealing” or “the unveiling”—in this case, of things to come. Yet most people’s reactions suggest that, far from uncovering the future, the book’s contents remain little understood. The one exception concerns the massive confrontation between God and unrepentant humanity near the close of “the present age.” Thus apocalypse has developed the variant meanings of “overwhelming catastrophe,” “cataclysm,” or even “Armageddon.”

Perhaps there’s a good reason for this general lack of clarity—something to discuss as we proceed.

In the preface to early editions of Martin Luther’s New Testament translation, the reformer famously said of Revelation, “Let everyone think of it as his own spirit leads him.” He judged the record of John’s visions to be “neither apostolic nor prophetic” (though over time he came to a different view). English Bible scholar J.B. Phillips expressed similar misgivings…

Not everyone has felt that way…

Harry Maier is a Canadian scholar of German extraction, whose Lutheran parents fled Soviet-occupied Eastern Europe following the Second World War…

Maier eschews the gloom and doom approach of fundamentalists who focus only on the catastrophic end of human society. He takes the second of Kovacs’ and Rowland’s approaches and emphasizes concerned action in the present.

A similar view comes from New Testament scholar Craig Evans, for whom the Apocalypse is primarily a call to Christian responsibility and responsiveness…

Like Maier, Evans is not enamored of the “end-time” approach. He told Vision, “People get into the type of interpretation that I don’t like. It involves taking Bible passages and comparing them to newspaper headlines and trying to draw inferences about eschatology. I find it reckless and irresponsible. And though it seems to meet a lot of needs for a lot of Christians, especially in the West, I find it frankly deplorable.”

David Frankfurter is a scholar who represents the third approach. He is interested in Revelation from a different perspective: “I think this is very important as historical literature, and I think it has had a tremendous impact on the history of art, the history of literature, the history of culture—and I think it should be studied for that. I would be afraid of talking about this as having a helpful message, either for people who are in difficult straits in this world or for people who are hoping for a better world, because the violence that is committed—against, not oppressors, but those who are unclean in this text—is quite extreme.”

Yet a complete reading of the Apocalypse cannot avoid the conclusion that while there is certainly the call to moral responsibility, there is also a clearly defined cataclysmic end to human evil. What Kovacs and Rowland have defined as either/or approaches in Revelation’s reception history are not the only way to read the book. Nor is Frankfurter’s purely historical view the only alternative. We can have all three, without the pitfalls of fundamentalism…

As the book’s opening verse clearly states, Revelation’s initial audience was limited to the servants of God. It was not a public message. Today, of course, it is public in the sense that it appears in millions of Bibles in hundreds of languages and dialects. But that does not necessarily mean that it is understood by a wider group than originally. In fact, as we have seen, its reception throughout history tells us otherwise. Despite its ready availability, it is poorly understood by the majority.

The reason is bound up in a seldom-grasped biblical truth: most people will not understand God’s purpose and plan and respond positively to Him in this lifetime. In fact, the very negative reaction of most of humanity is itself part of the story as the book of Revelation unfolds…

It is clear that so many parts of the Bible are interconnected and consistent with each other. When we connect the dots, it becomes obvious that one day God will intervene to resolve human problems. Earlier we saw that, broadly speaking, readers have adopted one of two perspectives on the book. Harry Maier is one who takes the view that action in the present is the appropriate response to the book’s themes, rather than belief that the end of the world is in sight…

While we cannot know exactly when the present age of human self-government will end, nor the precise moment of Jesus Christ’s return, the Apocalypse does unveil the kind of world that will precede His coming. It also teaches those who have ears to hear, how they must distance themselves from the way of man—the “government of Caesar”—and anticipate, by their way of living, the coming sovereignty of God and His Son.

One of the many problems with how David Hulme writes is that while he brings up subjects and worldly perspectives, he rarely provides clear answers as to what he is teaching (COGaIC is light on prophetic understanding as far as I have been able to tell, more information is in the article on the teachings of the Church of God, an International Community (COG aic)).  Of course, this may be intentional to not offend those inside or outside his church.

But he is correct that Martin Luther did not care for the Book of Revelation–he also did not care for 17 other books of the Bible either(please see the article Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible?).

The Roman Catholics tend to minimize the prophecies of the book (and oppose its teachings on the millennium).  And the Apocalypse is the only book of the Bible that the Eastern Orthodox never read in their church services.

And most Protestants either discount it because Martin Luther and many of the early “reformers” did, or they misunderstand it and teach a rapture concept that allows them to ignore what it shows (although there are a minority of people who consider themselves Protestant that have not fallen into either of those ditches and some few of them are seeking to understand it).

The truth is that the end is coming, the Book of Revelation itself gives a variety of details on it, and David Hulme is correct that by connecting the dots a fuller picture of end-time events can be understood.

And, although he did not mention it, many current world news events are occurring that show that the prophecies of the Bible, including those in the Apocalypse are soon coming to pass.

A couple of articles of possibly related interest may include:

The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 Do they matter? Most say they must, but act like they do not. This article contains some history about the Church of God (sometimes referred to as the continuation of Primitive Christianity) over the past 2000 years.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism and a 6000 Year Plan?Was a 6,000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth (often called the millennium or sometimes chiliasm) taught by the early Christians? Is this time near?
Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Catholic writings indicate this, but what does the Bible show?
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?
Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Who really is left behind?

Legacy’s Leon Sexton, “Seek first the Kingdom of God”

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008

Northern Thailand Tribal Girls
Northern Thailand Tribal Girls


Last night I received the latest newsletter from Legacy Institute’s Leon Sexton (who is in northern Thailand) that stated:

The pursuit of the Kingdom of God brings contentment. But it takes FAITH that God will take care of us and provide all our needs – and even sometimes a few of our WANTS!

God does not want us to worry about the physical necessities of life and what we need to take care of our families. Instead, He wants us to trust HIM – have faith in HIM and PURSUE THE TRUE RICHES of the Kingdom of God.

Matt 6:28-33

“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

It took me being over 50 years old and going through a lot of heartache before I finally learned this extremely important spiritual lesson. And I still have a lot more to learn about pursuing God’s Kingdom. But I have to say that my life has changed since God finally got this lesson through my thick skull!

Now there is nothing intrinsically wrong with having wealth. Father Abraham was a very wealthy man. But what comes first? Is it the Kingdom of God or is it the pursuit of that wealth?…

As things get tougher and the price of oil and other necessities of our modern society keep climbing, may Almighty God continue to supply your every need until that blessed day when Our Lord and King returns.

And while it is true that economic troubles will worsen, until recently nearly all who professed Christ in the more prosperous countries probably had more trouble dealing with too much than too little.

Jesus warned:

22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Matthew 13:22-23).

And until some have too little, they will not seek first the kingdom of God.  And will not support the work that God wants done in this age–many seem to be too satisfied and focused on themselves to have the type of work God expects.

Jesus also warned:

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 (Revelation 3:14-19).

And sadly, even though Jesus gave these warnings, many still have trouble being faithful.  Many do not have a personal zeal for the work.

But they need to repent and gather together before the end (Zephaniah 2:1-3) if they would like to possibly be protected during the tribulation.

People who hope that they do not have to gather together now and hope to join in at the end for personal protection will not be protected (Luke 17:33).

Those once part of the old WCG need to remember that the Church correctly used to teach:

Philadelphia has little strength to do this great work that God has given it to do. God has opened the door, and yet look how insignificant, how weak, how little strength we as a Church have to do that work…Revelation 3:7-13: “And to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia write these things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that OPENETH, and no man SHUTTETH; and SHUTTETH and no man openeth.” The great door that God has opened to this work is the facility to go into all the world and preach the gospel; the door of radio, the door of the printing press, plus many other such doors. God has set before us an open door and no MAN can shut it. God can shut it, and He will when the work is finished and the Philadelphia Church goes to a place of safety. …The Laodicean Church is not going to he worthy to escape to a place of safety. When it is too late, they will find that the Church of Philadelphia has gone to safety (What Is the “LAODICEAN CHURCH”? Good News August 1959 Vol. VIII, Number 8).

Notice what Herbert W. Armstrong taught:

Next, when our Great Commission is in God’s sight completed, we are to be taken–symbolically flown on the two wings of a great eagle–we shall be taken to a place of protection from the Great Tribulation (Armstrong HW. Looking…PASTOR GENERAL’S REPORT – VOL.3, NO.4 January 23, 1981).

And that still is true today.  We who think that we part of the true Church need to support the Living Church of God as it seeks to fulfill that Great Commission of proclaiming the true gospel and to teach people in all nations to obey the teachings of Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20).

Anything less is not seeking first the kingdom (Matthew 6:33).

Several articles of related interest may include:

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 basically the Living Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era was predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. Non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
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? True religion should be based upon the true gospel.
Getting the Gospel Out is More than a Local Job Discusses Biblical rationale for doing an international, and not just a local, work.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be PetraThis 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. But the Bible shows that Christians must be gathered together BEFORE it is time to go IF they may be protected.
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 evangelists?