Archive for May, 2008

Myanmar Cyclone & China Quake

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Cyclone Nargis May 1, 2008


In its latest update, the Living Church of God reported the following regarding its members in Myanmar related to Cyclone Nargis:

News from Myanmar

On May 16, Mr. Thomas Tial Hoe, our elder in Myanmar, sent a message via e-mail to our elder in Malaysia, Mr. Rajan Moses, informing him that he had been able to call Mrs. Saw Lay Beh in Sakhangyi and “received good news from her. No damage by Cyclone. But they are very poor.” This was the first direct communication with one of our members in Myanmar since Cyclone Nargis. Mr. Bruce Tyler, during his visit to Charlotte, reported that a team of members from Thailand is being organized to travel to Myanmar to provide support to our brethren in the affected regions. Headquarters is also looking into ways to deliver aid from our Disaster Relief Fund. Your prayers for their success and safety are requested.

Also in its latest update, LCG mentioned the following about the earthquake in China earlier this month:

China Quake May Cause Global Economic Aftershock. Rescuers reaching the epicenter of China’s massive May 12 earthquake were met by horrific devastation. With bridges destroyed and roads cut by landslides, soldiers had to hike to the remote city of Yingxiu in Wenchuan province, where they found just 3,300 survivors—1,000 severely injured—of the town’s population of 10,000. The quake’s death toll has exceeded 80,000. Millions are sleeping in the open, even in the midst of heavy rain, afraid to reenter damaged structures because of the many aftershocks. Two thousand Chinese soldiers were deployed to repair “extremely dangerous” four-inch cracks in one major dam that provides hydroelectric power and irrigation for the region. Hundreds of dams, mines, bridges, roads, railway lines, hospitals, schools, factories, power and water treatment plants and other infrastructure were destroyed or damaged, along with millions of homes (Associated Press, May 14, 2008). As China works to recover, the world economy will feel an economic aftershock, as the already voracious Chinese appetite for fuel and building materials will increase greatly, adding to the increase of commodity prices. China will likely dip into its reserve of 1.4 trillion U.S. dollars to pay for its recovery, adding to U.S. inflation and further hurting the American economy. God warned, “Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder without price, because of all your sins” (Jeremiah 15:13).

Furthermore, perhaps I should add that it needs to be understood that the Bible does NOT indicate that China will dominate the 21st century.

China will have problems. These may be related to disease, pollution, weather, economic matters, and/or civil unrest. China still has hundreds of millions of peasants that instead of benefiting much from its economic growth, are suffering the effects of industrial pollution and other negative effects of China’s policies.

Here are several articles related to China and others in Asia that may be of interest:

China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters This article provides information showing that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God’s Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? And is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath?
Asia in Prophecy
What is Ahead for China? Is it a “King of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where?

Mark Armstrong, Al Qaeda, and Prophetic News

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Flags of the Arab League and the European Union


In his weekly report last night, ICG’s Mark Armstrong wrote:

In better news, the CIA reports that al Qaeda is seriously crippled and on the run. We still face the danger of some horrific attack that would attempt to make the terrorist entity relevant, but for all the hatred and disdain directed at the Bush Administration, at least we’ve had seven years without the repeat of a 9-11 type event. But there’s still a vast sea of radical Islamic hatred against Israel and the United States, and it appears that it is so well established that it will never be quelled short of divine intervention.

Similarly, notice the following news article from BBC:

Al-Qaeda in retreat – CIA chief

The head of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has said al-Qaeda is essentially defeated in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and on the defensive elsewhere.

Michael Hayden’s remarks, which correspondents describe as strikingly upbeat, come less than a year after the CIA warned of a resurgent al-Qaeda.

He told the Washington Post that US counter-terrorism successes extended to the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

However, the CIA chief warned against complacency, which he said could halt or reverse any progress against al-Qaeda…

Just two years ago, the CIA warned that the militant Islamic group was using the US-led war in Iraq as a successful propaganda and marketing tool.

But now, Mr Hayden said, al-Qaeda was losing the battle for hearts and minds in the Islamic world.

Iranian interference

He said there was a growing public resentment toward jihadism, and described the insurgency in Iraq as “more and more a war of al-Qaeda against Iraqis”.

“Despite this ’cause celebre’ phenomenon, fundamentally no one really liked al-Qaeda’s vision of the future,” said Mr Hayden…

But he warned that progress in Iraq was being undermined by growing Iranian interference. Source:

While peace is always a better than the alternative, the truth is that ultimately there will be a deal between Islamists (Middle Eastern and Northern African people who will support the coming King of the South) and European Catholics (who will support the coming King of the North) which will result in the destruction of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Such an occurance is foretold in the 83rd Psalm.

Yet after the Anglo-powers are destroyed, the book of Daniel (11:40) shows that these two powers will turn against one another. And perhaps I should add that both Islamic and Catholic prophecies expect this–both even look forward to it, and both believe it is their side that will win–while the Bible does reveal which side wins that confrontation, it also shows that the “winner” will be destroyed (for details please see Who is the King of the North?).

An item in the news this morning was also of interest. Here are some extracts from a rather lengthy article:

The day of judgment
End-time thinking – the belief in a world purified by catastrophe – could once be dismissed as a harmless remnant of a more superstitious age. But with the rise of religious fundamentalism, prophets of apocalypse have become a new and very real danger, argues Ian McEwan
Saturday May 31, 2008
The Guardian

Contemporary apocalyptic movements, Christian or Islamic, some violent, some not, all appear to share fantasies of a violent end, and they affect our politics profoundly…

In general, belief in end-time biblical prophecy, in a world purified by catastrophe and then redeemed and made entirely Christian and free of conflict by the return of Jesus in our lifetime, is stronger in the United States than anywhere on the planet and extends from marginal, ill-educated, economically deprived groups, to college-educated people in the millions, through to governing elites, to the very summits of power…

For centuries, within the Protestant tradition, the anti-Christ was identified with the Pope, or with the Catholic Church in general. In recent decades, the honour has been bestowed on the Soviet Union, the European Union, or secularism and atheists…

Even our notions of decadence contain the hopes of renewal; the religious minded, as well as the most secular, looked on the transition to the year 2000 as inescapably significant, even if all the atheists did was to party a little harder. It was inevitably a transition, the passing of an old age into the new – and who is to say now that Osama bin Laden did not disappoint, whether we mourned at the dawn of the new millennium with the bereaved among the ruins of lower Manhattan, or danced for joy, as some did, in the Gaza Strip.

Islamic eschatology from its very beginnings embraced the necessity of violently conquering the world and gathering up souls to the faith before the expected hour of judgment – a notion that has risen and fallen over the centuries, but in past decades has received new impetus from Islamist revivalist movements.

It is partly a mirror image of the Protestant Christian tradition (a world made entirely Islamic, with Jesus as Mohammed’s lieutenant), partly a fantasy of the inevitable return of “sacred space”, the Caliphate, that includes most of Spain, parts of France, the entire Middle East, right up to the borders of China. As with the Christian scheme, Islam foretells of the destruction or conversion of the Jews…

Thirty years ago, we might have been able to convince ourselves that contemporary religious apocalyptic thought was a harmless remnant of a more credulous, superstitious, pre-scientific age, now safely behind us. But today prophecy belief, particularly within the Christian and Islamic traditions, is a force in our contemporary history, a medieval engine driving our modern moral, geopolitical, and military concerns. The various jealous sky-gods – and they are certainly not one and the same god – who in the past directly addressed Abraham, Paul, or Mohammed, among others, now indirectly address us through the daily television news. These different gods have wound themselves inextricably around our politics and our political differences…

In Jamkaran, a village not far from the holy city of Qum, a small mosque is undergoing a $20m-expansion, driven forward by Ahmadinejad’s office. Within the Shi’ite apocalyptic tradition, the Twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, who disappeared in the ninth century, is expected to reappear in a well behind the mosque.

His re-emergence will signify the beginning of the end days. He will lead the battle against the Dajjal, the Islamic version of the anti-Christ, and with Jesus as his follower, will establish the global Dar el Salaam, the dominion of peace, under Islam. Ahmadinejad is extending the mosque to receive the Mahdi, and already pilgrims by the thousands are visiting the shrine, for the president has reportedly told his cabinet that he expects the visitation within two years…

According to tradition, and of particular interest to various controversial groups, including the Temple Institute, the Messiah, when he comes at last, will occupy the Third Temple. But that cannot be built, and therefore the Messiah will not come, without the sacrifice of a perfectly unblemished red calf.

For Muslims of course, the Mount is the site of the Dome of the Rock, built over the location of the two temples and enclosing the very spot from which Mohammed departed on his Night Journey to heaven – leaving as his horse stepped upwards a revered hoofprint in the rock. In the prophetic tradition, the Dajjal will be a Jew who leads a devastating war against Islam…

If we do destroy ourselves, we can assume that the general reaction will be terror, and grief at the pointlessness of it all, rather than rapture.

Source:,,2283072,00.html and,,2283101,00.html

So, even secular sources realize that both the Islamists and professing Christians have ideas about the end and various battles associated with it.

Interestingly, however, while it did mention the European Union, the Guardian article failed to mention anything about Catholic prophecies. And specifically failed to mention that many Catholics are looking forward to one we in the Living Church of God would call the Beast of Revelation, also known as the future King of the North. And that the one we in the Living Church of God call Jesus, they seem to feel will be the final Antichrist (see also Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus?).

As prophecy is starting to be in the news, knowing what really is happening is a very good idea. On several occasions, Jesus told His followers to watch. And many world events know do need to be watched–as well as understood.

Those interested in learning more, may wish to study the following articles:

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?
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet”. Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy.
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?
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? Does the Dresden codex show destruction of the earth by flood? Can the great tribulation start before 2012?
Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 This article explains how the LCG views this, and compares this to Ellen White.

Another Self-Appointed Prophet?

Friday, May 30th, 2008

6.7 Earthquake in Northridge California Destroyed the Above Building of Kaiser Permanente As Well as Various Freeway Overpasses and other Buildings on January 17, 1994.

Yesterday I received the following email from Tim Carpenter:

Dear COG Writer,
I am Pastor Tim of I Saw The Light Ministries.
I have admired many of your writings over the years.
I noticed today that you are in California.
I know you will not believe what I have to tell you and that is okay.
But when after you see a major earthquake occur in the California Region in the month of June or July this year, 2008 in JUNE or JULY., then you will have your confirmation. As soon as possible either now or after this earthquake, please move ASAP out of California because there is something much larger coming very very very soon there. God has revealed Cities of Refuge which I first denied but then God confirmed and has been re-confirming in MAJOR strong un-deniable ways now.

While I am glad that he likes my articles, I have been to his website in the past and simply do not believe that he has God-given prophetic abilities. Nor do I plan to move away from California in the next couple of months. He is correct that I do not believe he can predict earthquakes.

So far this year, I have pointed out (before their prophecies failed to come to pass) that CGPFK’s Ronald Weinland, Geoffrey Neilson (see Sep-Oct 2007 Journal Out) , “the True Bible Code” (see Europe to Launch Satellite for Galileo, But More False Witnesses), and the group of Russians who stated that the end would come in May 2008 (see Great Tribulation Will Not Begin in 2008) were going to be shown to be false prophets.

Additionally, I actually have warned about CGPFK’s Ronald Weinland for years, as well as years ago pointing out some of the prophetic (and other) errors of TPM’s William Dankenbring. Additionally, I warned against one prediction by James Malm that the tribulation will begin by the end of 2008 late last year (see At Least Two Wrongly Claim Great Tribulation Will Begin in 2008)–and that will not happen as the tribulation simply cannot occur before 2012.

Although I do expect that coincidentally something will happen when some false prophet states it (for example, pretty much every year someone says that the great tribulation will begin and one year it will, so those who stated it then will tend to think that they predicted it), none of those I have warned against are God’s prophets.

Those truly interested in end-time events need to pray and study their Bibles and may also wish to compare what the Bible teaches to what I have pointed out in the following articles:

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 ofthe 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?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? When does the six thousand years of human rule end?
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.
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?

Modern Scholars: Early Church Binitarian

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

History of Early Christianity


As regular readers of this page are aware, the early church was neither trinitarian nor unitarian. The early church was binitarian.

That is, early Christians considered that the Father and the Son were God and that the Holy Spirit was the power of God. And while some dispute this, historically it is a fact.

While there are many articles at the COGwriter website which document the binitarian beliefs of 2nd century Christians, I thought that a few quotes from modern theologians may be eye-opening for those who have had little exposure to the binitarian truth of the Godhead.

Modern scholars, like Larry Hurtado, have realized the Christians who claimed to be Nazarene including most considered to be proto-orthodox” held a binitarian view of the Godhead:

…”Nazarene” Christianity, had a view of Jesus fully compatible with the beliefs favored by the proto-orthodox (indeed, they could be considered part of the circles that made up proto-orthodox Christianity of the time). Pritz contended that this Nazarene Christianity was the dominant form of Christianity in the first and second centuries…the devotional stance toward Jesus that characterized most of the Jewish Christians of the first and second centuries seems to have been congruent with proto-orthodox devotion to Jesus…the proto-orthodox “binitarian” pattern of devotion…(Hurtado LW. Lord Jesus Christ, Devotion to Jesus in Earliest Christianity. William B. Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids, 2003, pp. 560-561,618).

Furthermore, it perhaps should be mentioned that the sacra nomina (generally two-letter abbreviations, perhaps intended to identify the documents as “Christian”) found on early documents associated Christianity is also believed to support the position that those that professed Christ in the second century were binitarian. Larry Hurtado also observed:

The Christian nomina sacra…differ in form from any Jewish scribal devices…Most significantly, the four earliest Christian nomina sacra are the two key words for God (Theos and Kyrios) and key designations for Jesus (Iēosus, Christos, and Kyrios). If therefore, as is usually believed, the nomina sacra practice represents an expression of piety and reverence, it is a striking departure from pre-Christian Jewish scribal practice to extend to these designations of Jesus the same scribal treatment given to key designations for God. That is, the four earliest Christian nomina sacra collectively manifest one noteworthy expression of what I have called the “binitarian shape” of earliest Christian piety and devotion (Hurtado LW. The Earliest Christian Artifacts. William B. Eerdmans Publishing, Grand Rapids (MI), 2006, pp. 105-106).

Dr. Harold Brown, a Protestant trinitarian scholar, has admitted:

The language of the New Testament permits the Holy Spirit to be understood as an impersonal force or influence more readily than it does the Son…those who saw the Holy Spirit as a Person, were often heretical, for example, the Montanists (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, p. 140).

Harold Brown also has admitted:

It is impossible to document what we now call orthodoxy in the first two centuries of Christianity (ibid, p.5).

And that is true. And he was specifically referring to doctrines like the trinity and other teachings that are contrary to what the Living Church of God holds.

What about Catholic scholars? The Catholic Encyclopedia teaches this about the 4th century binitarians, which it calls the Semi-Arians:

Semi-Arians…A name frequently given to the conservative majority in the East in the fourth century…showing that the very name of father implies a son of like substance…rejected the Divinity of the Holy Ghost (Chapman, John. Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter. Semiarians and Semiarianism. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XIII. Published 1912. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, D.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Thus it is clear that many held the binitarian view at that time (including no doubt, many who were not true Christians).

What about Orthodox scholars? Notice this frank admission from a bishop of the Orthodox Church about the late acceptance of the trinity:

…the councils defined once and for all the Church’s teaching upon the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith — the Trinity and the Incarnation. All Christians agree in regarding these things as ‘mysteries’ which lie beyond human understanding and language…the first two, held in the fourth century…formulated the doctrine of the Trinity…The work of Nicea was taken up by the second Ecumenical Council, held in Constantinople in 381. This council expanded and adapted the Nicene Creed, developing in particular that teaching upon the Holy Spirit, whom it affirmed to be God even as the Father and the Son are God…It was the supreme achievement of St. Athanasius of Alexandria to draw out the full implications of the key word in the Nicene Cred: homoousios, one in essence or substance, consubstantial. Complementary to his work was that of the three Cappadocian Fathers, Saints…(died 394). While Athanasius emphasized the unity of God — Father and Son are one in essence (ousia) – the Cappadocians stressed God’s threeness: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three persons (hypostasis) (Ware T. The Orthodox Church. Penguin Books, London, 1997, pp. 20-23).

So it took councils of men to change the predominant view that the Godhead was basically binitarian to trinitarian. Yet, as recorded in the New Testament, Jude wrote:

…contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all delivered for the saints” (Jude 3).

The faith delivered once for all should not have been changed.

Such a doctrinal change to the trinity should never have been made and never has been adopted by the true Christian Church.

Regarding the New Testament, even a trinitarian scholar has admitted:

The binitarian formulas are found in Rom. 8:11, 2 Cor. 4:14, Gal. 1:1, Eph. 1:20, 1 Tim 1:2, 1 Pet. 1:21, and 2 John 1:13…No doctrine of the Trinity in the Nicene sense is present in the New Testament…There is no doctrine of the Trinity in the strict sense in the Apostolic Fathers…(Rusch W.G. The Trinitarian Controversy. Fortress Press, Phil., 1980, pp. 2-3).

Since modern scholars know that the early church was binitarian and not trinitarian, have you been taught this before?

If not, perhaps you had better look into this further.

Articles of related interest may include:

Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is 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?
Virgin Birth: Does the Bible Teach It? What does the Bible teach? 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?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a shorter article than the Binitarian View article, but has a little more information on binitarianism.

CGG: Why is this Year 5768 in the Jewish Calendar?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008



Those of us in the Living Church of God believe that God has a 7,000 year plan consisting of 6,000 years of human rule followed by a 1,000 year millennial reign of Christ on earth. We in the Living Church of God believe that the 6,000 years will be up fairly soon.

Many other Church of God groups, such as CGG, believe the same thing.

So, why then, do the Jews believe that this is year 5768?

This year (September 13, 2007, through September 29, 2008) is 5768 on the Jewish calendar because the Jews count their years from 3761/3760 BC instead of from the actual time of Adam’s creation.

Here is why according to what CGG teaches about this:

3761/3760 BC. That is the year of the commencement of the lunisolar calendar, not the year of Creation.

In the century following the fall of Jerusalem (AD 70), certain Jewish scholars took the date 3761/3760 BC and assigned it to the time described in Genesis 1 and 2. Thus, the Jews preserved the correct date for calendar calculation but mistakenly associated it with Creation week.

According to the best estimates, Creation occurred over two centuries prior to the beginning of the lunisolar calendar. The basic factor upon which the lunisolar calendar is based, the average length of the lunar month, would have taken more than two centuries of measurement and observation to determine.

The Jews celebrate their new year in the autumn on the first day of Tishri, the seventh month. The Bible refers to two different years, the civil and the sacred. In ancient Israel, the civil year began in the autumn, on Tishri 1. It is comparable to the fiscal year in the United States. It was more or less the legal year, which was used to reckon the reign of kings and other chronological events.

The true sacred year of the Bible begins with the first day of the month of Nisan (also called Abib), in the spring (Exodus 12:2). The sacred year portrays God’s great plan through the progression of Holy Days from Passover to the Last Great Day.

I should mention that according to the Bible, approximately 5,990 years (probably plus or minus 7) have passed since Adam was created (or possibly when he was put out of the Garden of Eden).  And strangely, because the Jewish reckoning is not counting from that time, it has a different year.

For more information on the 7,000 year plan of God, please read the following:

Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians?  How many years does the Bible show have passed? When does the six thousand years of human rule end?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it. Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? How do they reflect the plan of God for humankind?

Also, you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.

R. Ames: Are You Saved? Do You Love Jesus?

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Living Church of God Evangelist Richard Ames with a “Telly” Award for “Tomorrow’s World”


In the May-June 2008 edition of LCG’s Living Church News, Richard Ames asks and answers the questions, “Are you saved” and “Do you love Jesus”.  Notice what he wrote:

An Awkward Question?

Has anyone ever asked you, “Are you saved?” How did you respond? When I was in high school, one of my friends asked me, “Dick, are you saved?” I replied, “What do you mean?” He said, “Well, if you were to die tonight, do you believe you’ll go to heaven?”

I wanted to end the awkward conversation, so I said “yes” and my friend did not get an opportunity to “save” me. The problem was that I did not know the Truth at that time, and I was just oblivious. I thought everything was fine, until God called me several years later and showed me differently.

The truth is, we have been saved, we are being saved, and we shall be saved. We have been saved from the death penalty by accepting the shed blood of Christ (Titus 3:4–5). We are “among those who are being saved” (2 Corinthians 2:15). And we shall be saved by Christ’s life (Romans 5:10). Remember, “he that endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13).

Another common question is, “Do you love Jesus?” Many of us in God’s Church can sometimes feel offended by this question, because it can sound so “Protestant,” and can remind us of the apostasy in our former association. But in general it is a good idea to give the questioner the benefit of the doubt, and you can probably answer helpfully after you discern the questioner’s attitude and approach.

There are several ways you could answer that question. One would be to ask your questioner, “Which Jesus are you talking about? Are you talking about the false ‘Jesus’ who is said to have done away with His Father’s commandments?” Most likely, though, you can hold that response in reserve. But it is a good exercise to ask yourself, “Do I love Jesus? What does it mean to love Jesus?”

We know that to love Jesus is to keep the commandments (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3). I hope you are showing your love for Jesus by keeping the commandments! And I hope you do love your Savior, who gave His life for you, and who sits today at the Father’s right hand as your High Priest and intercessor!…

We can also reflect on Dr. Meredith’s favorite verse: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, KJV). And we can be profoundly thankful for the love God showed by allowing His Son to die for us (John 3:16).

It is not unbiblical to express our deep emotional response to our Savior and His love for us. The Psalms express King David’s heartfelt love toward God. We should not be deceived by a false sentimental Jesus, but there is a right sentiment we should have for the true Jesus of the Bible, who will soon return as King of kings and Lord of lords. We should not let ourselves be pressured into some false or superficial declaration of “Praise the Lord” or that we “love Jesus.” But as you grow closer to God in your development as a Christian, I hope you can say, privately, to your Lord and Savior: “I love you” from a meaningful and genuine place in your heart.

Answer in Faith

When we answer someone, we must have an attitude of faith…

How would you answer the question, “Are you a Christian?” What, in fact, is a Christian? Most people in the world would simply say, “It is someone who accepts Christ.” But is that the Bible’s definition? Notice: “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His” (Romans 8:9). In other words, unless Christ is in us—unless we let Him guide us to live His way—we are not Christians. Remember Christ’s admonition, “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things I say?” (Luke 6:46). And: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

A true Christian, of course, will be found doing the Work that Christ commissioned the Church to accomplish. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20)…

If we are to be able to give an answer for what we believe, we need to believe the true Gospel. Contrary to what some critics have charged, the Living Church of God has not changed what we believe about the Gospel. It is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Christ preached that Gospel, and it is also called the Gospel of Christ—since He is the King of the coming Kingdom of God. Some brethren may think it is wrong if we sometimes choose to express the truth of the Gospel in our own words, but in fact this is something we each need to do. We need to internalize doctrines and make sure they are truly our beliefs—beliefs we can understand and express to others. Not that we change things to suit our own ideas, but that we express the “trunk of the tree” unchanging truths in ways that are meaningful to us.

To give an answer, we need to seek God’s wisdom. That wisdom is the wisdom from above (James 3:17).

(Ames R. Always Be Ready to Give an Answer.  Living Church News, May-June 2008, pp. 6-11).

While we in the Living Church of God are NOT Protestant, we do understand that the Bible teaches a lot about salvation and Jesus.  And when we speak about preaching the whole gospel, that mean that we teach the gospel of the kingdom of God, including salvation through the acceptance of the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

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.
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.
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.

Meeting with the Orthodox in Constantinople

Monday, May 26th, 2008

The Above Building is Where the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Meets with Dignitaries


A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I went to Istanbul and visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople–the leading “see” within the world of the Eastern Orthodox.

Unlike Vatican City, this place is not particularly impressive. After seeing the Church of St. George there, we privately met with a staff member who gave us a tour of the area where the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople (currently Bartholomew I) meets with dignitaries.

The staff member (who was a Greek-American who used to live in San Diego) told us that when Pope Benedict visited in November 2006, one of the Pope’s aides told one of the Patriarch’s aides that if the Orthodox would accept Roman supremacy, that the Catholics would accept pretty much all of the Orthodox doctrinal differences (such as the so-called filioque clause of the so-called Apostles Creed).

While the Orthodox officially accept the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, according to the staff member we met with, they are still adamant that they will not accept Roman supremacy and the related governmental ramifications. But the Bible and I disagree with the Orthodox on this point as we in the Living Church of God believe that unity with Rome is inevitable.

Perhaps I should add here that there is a fringe Catholic private prophecy warning against the Catholics making this deal with the Orthodox. Notice the following:

Priest Paul KramerThe errors of Orthodoxy and of Protestantism will be embraced by that false church, it will be an ecumenical church because the Anti-Pope will be recognized by the world — not by the faithful, but by the world — by the secular world and the secular governments. The Anti-Pope will be recognized as the legitimate Pope of the “church,” and the legitimate head of the Vatican State. That “church” will be united with all the false religions. They will be united together under the universality of the Masonic umbrella. In that motley ecumenical union will be the established religion of the so-called civilized world. This is how we will get into the time of great persecution such as the world has never seen (Kramer P. The Imminent Chastisement for Not Fulfilling Our Lady’s Request. An edited transcript of a speech given at the Ambassadors of Jesus and Mary Seminar in Glendale, California, September 24, 2004. THE FATIMA CRUSADER Issue 80, Summer 2005, pp. 32-45 viewed 4/06/08).

Not only am I convinced that the deal will occur, there are other Catholic prophecies in favor of this deal. Notice the following:

Abbott Joachim (died 1202)…A remarkable Pope will be seated on the pontifical throne, under special protection of the angels. Holy and full of gentleness, he shall undo all wrong, he shall recover the states of the Church, and reunite the exiled temporal powers. As the only Pastor, he shall reunite the Eastern to the Western Church…This holy Pope shall be both pastor and reformer. Through him the East and West shall be in ever lasting concord. The city of Babylon shall then be the head and guide of the world. Rome, weakened in temporal power, shall forever preserve her spiritual dominion, and shall enjoy great peace…At the beginning, in order to bring these happy results, having need of a powerful assistance, this holy Pontiff will ask the cooperation of the generous monarch of France (Great Monarch)… A man of remarkable sanctity will be his successor in the Pontifical chair. Through him God will work so many prodigies that all men shall revere him (Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, pp. 31-33).

Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (Born in the 17th century, in Germany) …God will bind Satan for a number of years until the days of the Son of Perdition…there will be an ecumenical council which will be the greatest of all councils. By the grace of God, by the power of the Great Monarch, and by the authority of the Holy Pontiff, and by the union of the most devout princes, atheism and every heresy will be banished from the earth. The Council will define the true sense of Holy Scripture, and this will be believed and accepted by everyone (Dupont, Yves. Catholic Prophecy: The Coming Chastisement. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 40).

I suspect that the Catholics will make some type of deal with the Orthodox resulting in an acceptance of certain Orthodox doctrines, while allowing the Orthodox to come in with a little more autonomy than other Catholics. However, when the false prophet (apparently the final pontiff) begins to do miracles, then the Orthodox will end up accepting full Vatican authority.

The Orthodox staff member and I also discussed the Ukraine. He told me that while the Patriarchate of Constantinople deferred to Russian administration of the Ukraine during the time of the Soviet Union, that Constantinople used to administer it and is having talks with the Ukraine to try to get this to occur. If this does occur, it may be one of the reasons that the Russian Orthodox may not enter into the type of unity with Rome that the bulk of the Orthodox will. (The Russian Orthodox walked out of one “unity” meeting last November, see Eastern Orthodox: Pope #1; But Russian Orthodox Unclear).

Anyway, I thought it was interesting that the way I have tended to see Greco-Roman unity with Rome and the Orthodox, other than the Russians, seems to be happening. And as this process continues, we are getting closer to the time of the end.

Those wishing to see some of the rest of Constantinople (including the Church of St, George and the Hagia Sophia) should click on Joyce’s Photos of Constantinople.

More on the Orthodox, Catholic, and Living Church, and Prophecy can be found in the following articles:

Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Churches 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 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.
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?
Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future Where do the Russians come from? What is prophesied for Russia? What will it do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? When does the six thousand years of human rule end?
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? Does the Dresden codex show destruction of the earth by flood? Can the great tribulation start before 2012?

Nuclear Attack in Two Weeks or Ronald Weinland Stops Preaching?

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Which Book Do You Think Christians Should Rely On?

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


Interestingly, CGPFK’s Ronald Weinland’s sermon yesterday, which he gave in Cincinnati was titled the Final 3/12 Years. It is amazing because he still keeps teaching that the final 3 1/2 years began on April 17, 2008.

Instead of the Bible, his sermon is focused on chapter 5 of his book 2008: God’s Final Witness. He said that “we obviously did not understand all of this” before. He meant that when he wrote the 2008 book that he said would prove that God appointed him a prophet and one of the two witnesses was not quite accurate.

He claimed that the 30 minutes silence in heaven (presumably he was referring to Revelation 8:1) “took us up to April 17th and the beginning of the 1260 days”.

He stated that the first trumpet was blown on April 17th. And essentially he said that God’s plan is to have had little happen. But that April 17th was the day that Satan’s influence began over the Pope. He indicated that “this period has not been enjoyable for the church”–by this I believe he means that nothing really has happened.

Instead he stated that the stage has been set for the end. He then, in yesterday’s sermon, said:

“It’s hard to understand…

It will come exactly the way God intends…and you will learn more from the process…I am in awe how prideful and haughty human beings are…

Amazing, amazing, amazing…

Many will not listen to the truth. Many will not act upon the truth…

The bottom-line is that mankind does not want the truth…but they do want signs…

Those who want to see a sign are evil and adulterous…it’s a matter of the truth…

You want a sign? You have already had a sign.”

His focus should have been the Bible. Because it is clear what should have happened by now. Specific signs that simply have not happened.

Notice some of what the Bible teaches about what precedes the tribulation:

3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” 4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. 9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matthew 24:3-21).

Notice that according to Jesus, there were to be signs. Several of these signs, specifically like those fleeing Jerusalem (which should have happened by April 17, 2008 according to Ronald Weinland’s teachings as it is to happen BEFORE the tribulation) simply did not happen.

Also, even though Ronald Weinland mentioned the Pope a few times in his May 24th sermon, if Pope Benedict XVI is fulfilling the role that Ronald Weinland indicated in this sermon and his prior teachings, the following should have began nearly 40 days ago:

He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time (Daniel 7:25).

The time, times, and half a time are the same 3 1/2 year period that Ronald Weinland states is the tribulation that began on April 17th. Yet, the saints were not given into the hand of the Pope or anyone else for that matter.

At the beginning of his sermon May 24th, Ronald Weinland mentioned that 6 were baptized into his church within the past week. He later stated in that sermon:

“The tree is known by the fruit…People don’t like to remember these things.”

Well, this is the same Ronald Weinland whose church posted the following in mid-March 2008:

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.

His “fruits” are not consistent with fulfilling his own prediction. 6 baptized in one week, two months after his church posted that there would be millions in the next weeks and few months is not much. Actually, to a large degree, he and his wife are self-appointed witnesses that are witnessing to relatively few–even at this stage.

If you attend with his church, are there multiple tens or hundreds of thousands actually with him?

Notice what he prophesied in an interview on December 17, 2007:

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

Dollars are still worth a lot (more than I think that they should be, but that’s a subject for another article)–thus this prophecy of his has not come to pass–but instead of admitting that he is a false prophet, Ronald Weinland is hedging for more time. As I have been warning for years, Ronald Weinland is a false prophet.

Notice what Ronald Weinland taught in a sermon given March 29, 2008:

If by Pentecost I’m just going to make this real clear to everyone. If by Pentecost it is not powerfully and abundantly clear that there has been a great deal of destruction that will clearly encompass a third of all plant life in the US and at least the clear results of this mingled with blood the death of very much animal life and the beginning of large numbers of human life then I will stop preaching. Just so all the critics and everyone out there will understand. I am true to my word in these things. OK? And for all the critics if by the end of July and for most likely around Pentecost if nothing has clearly caused great destruction and death I will make it very clear that I was a false prophet. I will do exactly what I said I would do on all of those interviews that I have held; to do less, aah well, would be quite insane. To do less. Well. Would be quite insane (Weinland R. Three More Weeks–quote from near the 1 hour 28 minute point from the CGPFK website version. Sermon given March 29, 2008).

Since Pentecost in 2008 is June 8th, Ronald Weinland has to stop preaching in two weeks according to his own words unless massive destruction occurs within two weeks–which he indicated in other places was two include at least one nuclear attack on a port city (like New York or Los Angeles) in the USA.

But wait!

In the sermon yesterday (which I heard this morning), while Ronald Weinland admitted he stated earlier that he would stop preaching by Pentecost 2008 if there was no massive destruction, he then stated that he would stop preaching by the end of July if the nuclear destruction of a third of mankind does not occur by then.

Thus, by clearly contradicting what he said earlier in yesterday’s sermon, he is showing all interested in the truth that he was a false prophet. And he still is a false prophet.

He did state that when he was interviewed and said that the nuclear attacks would begin in 45 to 90 days that, “the 45 days ends on June 1st, the 90 days ends on Jul 16th…No matter what happens then, CGPFK will continue…Johnny and … will be very busy then”.

Hopefully none of those in CGPFK will remain after July 16th. It will be sad if any do. It is sad that those with him have not seen that the truth has shown CGPFK to be wrong.

Throughout his sermon, took some shots at his critics (which I presume includes me) and said that we should “have you fun while you can” because he indicated that many would be destroyed by the end of July 2008. He also called his critics “mockers” and “sick, sick, sick”.

He indicated that critics were “big fat liars”–I will state that I have never lied about him, but simply have pointed out what he said and what he wrote, and then compared them against world events, the Bible, and other things he said/wrote. That is not lying–that is pointing out the falseness of Ronald Weinland’s claims.

While I do not claim to know all details, I will clearly state that according to signs and warnings in the Bible, the great tribulation cannot occur before 2012 and there will NOT be massive destruction of 1/3rd of humanity by the end of July 2008.

Some articles that might help explain more of what the Bible teaches about prophecy well as to show why Ronald Weinland cannot be right include:

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 ofthe 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?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? When does the six thousand years of human rule end?
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?
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.
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.
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?

UCG “becoming more efficient”?

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

Has Winter Hit UCG in the Spring?


The May 2008 issue of UCG’s United News came to our house last night.

Because of what has happened to UCG this week, the first headline and article of its front page was of interest:

GCE Considers New Strategic Plan; Ballots May 18

The General Conference of Elders will ballot Sunday, May 18, on the new Strategic Plan developed by the Council of Elders through a series of special meetings this year. The ballot will also include the Operation Plan and budget developed by the administration and approved by the Council.

“It has been a dizzying six months going from concept to completion,” said Council Chairman Robert Dick. He explained how the new plans flow “in a logical manner from vision and mission to strategic action steps… We expect they will be the first step in becoming more efficient, productive and accountable—all qualities we believe are important to the God we serve.”

While voting to overturn a previous decision in a sense makes its leadership more accountable, I do not believe that it is more efficient, nor is this likely to make UCG more productive as its chairman hoped.

For example, the article continued with:

$24.5 Million Proposed Budget

The proposed budget for 2008-2009 is $24.5 million, “a modest percentage increase over the current year’s likely total income,” said Treasurer Jason Lovelady. While lower than the $25 million budgeted for 2007-2008, it still projects increases in actual amounts for both years.

The proposed budget includes $550,000 for financing and construction costs, funds for hiring additional media staff for the increased strategic focus on the Web, funding to hire three new field ministers, increased international subsidies to allow growth and offset the decline in the U.S. dollar and a 5 percent cost of living adjustment for U.S. personnel effective Jan. 1, 2009.

I presume that much of the financing and construction costs have to do with the buildings planned for the relocation to Texas which just has been rescinded. Thus, apparently some budget items will need to be frozen or projects may be began that UCG’s General Council of Elders have just voted against.

This would not seem to be good for UCG (although if it wakes them up from spending money on themselves so that they will change their first priority to proclaim the whole message of the gospel to the world as a witness, this would be a very good thing, please see 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?–of course, individual UCG members could simply support LCG if that is what they want).

The same article then stated:

Other ballot items include five proposed amendments to the bylaws, a resolution to rescind last year’s approval to relocate the home office and four Council positions. The U.S. nominees on the ballot for three Council positions are Aaron Dean, Jim Franks, Doug Horchak, Darris McNeely, Larry Salyer and Robin Webber. The international nominees are Paul Kieffer and Leon Walker.

And, as previously reported here, UCG announced the results of those ballots (please see UCG Reports on Its COE Meeting). And Aaron Dean, Robin Weber, Darris McNeely, and Paul Kieffer were selected for the board seats. Thus Jim Franks, Doug Horchak, Larry Salyer, and Leon Walker were not.

On July 25, 2007, Joel Meeker resigned his seat on UCG’s 12-man Council of Elders board. Leon Walker of Big Sandy, Texas, who in May 2007 had lost his bid for reelection to the council was given that spot as he had the most votes of those who were not voted in during the May 2007 vote (see The August 2007 Journal Is Out). But he, lost again this May.

Darris McNeely is the editor of UCG’s so-called World News & Prophecy publication. I state so-called, because Darris McNeely does not want UCG members to be too concerned about prophecy as he himself has written (for quotes, please see Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God). So he now is part of UCG’s 12-man Council.

Anyway, in various ways, matters simply have not gone quite as UCG’s top Council wanted. But, UCG will take steps to try to deal with its current voted in changes.

From censuring Aaron Dean (see United Church of God Council Censures Elder Aaron Dean) yet him being re-elected anyway (see UCG Reports on Its COE Meeting), to voting to move to Texas and then rescinding that vote (see UCG Reports on Its COE Meeting), to Joel Meeker’s posted comments this week (see UCG Having More Dissent), UCG seems to be confused.

The Bible teaches:

…God is not the author of confusion… (1 Cor 14:33).

BTW, while UCG is opposed to voting in national elections, but runs itself is basically a presbyterian form of democracy.

Herbert W. Armstrong taught which form of governance was from God and which he felt was from Satan:

The government of God has been restored to the Church, and the government of God has been placed in the Church. You read that in Ephesians 4 and I Corinthians 12. Christ is the head of the Church and under Christ in the administration of the government are an apostle or apostles, then evangelists, then pastors, then all are called elders, all ministers all the way up clear down to the lowest. So then there are teachers and elders both speaking elders and preaching elders, deacons and deaconesses. And the Church is restored in that form of government. The Sardis Church even didn’t have the right form of government (Armstrong HW. Sermon. Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era by Herbert W. Armstrong given on December 17, 1983).

The government of God is of necessity government from the top down. It cannot be ‘government by the consent of the governed’ …

The Presbyterian Church is organized with the presbyters or ministers in control. The Congregational Church delegates top authority to the congregation–“government by the consent of the governed.”

And so it goes. The churches of this world of Satan are organized according to humanly devised patterns. But the Bible gives explicit directions in regard to Church government. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. God’s form of government is, indeed, hierarchical. God the Father is head over Christ–the sole Lawgiver and supreme authority (Armstrong HW. (Mystery of the Ages, Dodd & Mead, 1985, pp.49, 242).

Those in UCG should wake up. Hopefully the events of this week will encourage some to do so.

Three articles of related interest may include:

Should a Christian Vote? This article gives some of the Biblical rationale on this subject. This is a subject Christians need to understand.
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.
Herbert W. Armstrong and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, presbyterian, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?

ICG’s Mark Armstrong Comments on $12 Gasoline Predictions & Israeli Issues

Friday, May 23rd, 2008



In his newsletter earlier today, ICG’s Mark Armstrong wrote:

You may have seen the same sick prediction I came across today.  It was aired during an interview with a respected energy analyst who suggested that we may see $12 – $15 dollar per gallon gas in the next five years, with a strong possibility of shortages thereafter.  It would be much too depressing to buy into such a prediction.  There are many oil executives and other experts who say that there is plenty of oil yet to be produced, and the only thing promoting expectations of higher prices and shortages is government environmental regulations…
Just yesterday a massive truck bomb (4.5 tons of explosives) was detonated near a border crossing with Gaza, blowing a major hole in the border wall, presumably allowing infiltrators to gain entry into Israel. Rockets continue to be launched out of Gaza into southern Israel, occasionally resulting in more casualties.  Meanwhile, Abbas declares that Israel must give up East Jerusalem as part of any settlement.  This is where the situation stands, after forty years of constant U.S. directed diplomacy.
As I mentioned in last week’s update, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert is facing some financial scandals that may well bring down his coalition government.  Still, he is pressing ahead with newly announced negotiations with Syria that are causing serious concern in Israel.  Benjamin Netanyahu has been extremely critical of Olmert, even suggesting that his willingness to begin negotiations with Syria is an attempt to deflect investigations that might force a resignation.  Netanyahu is quoted in today’s Jerusalem Post saying, “Ceding the Golan would make it a frontline post for Iran that will threaten the entire country.”  Syria has announced that it has no intention of severing its close ties to Iran.
Israel’s posture over recent years (under constant pressure from the U.S. State Dept.) has been to make concession after concession while Iran arms its enemies in Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.  Netanyahu has taken strong positions against many of the concessions, and he is particularly hawkish in his insistence that Iran must be stopped from acquiring nuclear weapons.  Will the next President of the United States be prepared to accept Iran as a nuclear power?  What a horrible thought.
What are we to do? Throw our hands up in despair, trusting that the “worst case” prognosticators are right?  Or realize that God has it within His power to answer our prayers, and that He will determine how these events play out.  This is no time to lose heart or give up our faith in Him, regardless.

Problems are brewing and we may be near the time that Jesus referred to as “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8).