Archive for July, 2008

Herbert W. Armstrong Would Have Been 116 Today

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Order of the Sacred Treasure


Herbert W. Armstrong would have been 116 today.  This morning, the anti-COG Ambassador Watchsite basically reminded everyone of Herbert Armstrong’s birth and mockingly referred to July 31 as a “sacred date”–which of course it is not.  The site then promoted something unflattering about Herbert W. Armstrong.

Even though we in the COGs generally do not celebrate birthdays (see also the article Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays?), I felt since HWA is once again being maligned, that it would again be a good time to remind people that although Herbert Armstrong was a fallible human being, that most of the accusations and charges that anti-COG types seem to like to relish about him are false.

Those interested in the truth about the oft repeated accusations against HWA on the internet can read the article 15 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert Armstrong.

But I do not want to focus on that.

The truth is that God used Herbert Armstrong to restore much truth to the true Church of God.  Over the decades that I have been associated with the Church of God, I have repeatedly found both biblical as well as historical proof that the truths that were restored were in fact true.  And in fact, the early church did teach them.

One day I may put together a single article showing that early professors of Christ did teach these truths.  For now, however, I would refer readers to the following two articles:

Did You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made?Some have said healing, others other subjects, but probably the first change had to do with eliminating being part of the Philadelphia era. This article documents what those changes were and compares the Tkach list of restored truths to HWA’s list of restored truths. It contains many quotes from HWA.
History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church?  This page has articles documenting many beliefs of the early Church–and all these are doctrines that HWA taught.

Furthermore, while Protestants like to point to leaders like Martin Luther and John Calvin, the truth is that unlike them, Herbert Armstrong was not involved in getting people killed–the true church does not do that (see Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare?).  The same is true about many Roman Catholic Popes who instituted persecutions in forms such as the Inquisition.  Some information on what those non-COG leaders have done to others throughout history may be found in the article Persecutions by Church and State.

Another difference between Martin Luther, John Calvin, Eastern Orthodox leaders, and Roman Catholic Popes vs. Herbert Armstrong is that HWA actually did teach sola Scriptura.  He clearly taught what the Bible taught, yet the other churches have all demonstrated their preference for tradition over what the Bible actually teaches.  Articles that document that would include:

Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert 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 COG is NOT Protestant.
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? This documented article answers those questions.
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?

Furthermore, HWA did more to get the truth of God to the world as a witness than any did since biblical times.  Two articles of related interest may include:

Do You Believe God Used Herbert Armstrong to Raise Up the Philadelphia Era of the Church of God? Nearly everyone while in WCG used to believe this, most do not seem to anymore.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and HWA expect from evangelists?

Anyway, Herbert Armstrong always taught:

Don’t believe me BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE BELIEVE GOD! I always say…check up! Listen without prejudice, with open mind, then check up–go to your BIBLE, and BELIEVE what you read there. (Armstrong HW. Personal from the Editor. Plain Truth. September 1963.)

This is what I encourage readers of this website to do.

To see some of what Herbert Armstrong wrote and why he believed a lot of what he did, please see the article:

Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains how he is and should be viewed today.

Ukraine Moving Away From Russia

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople

Born as Dimitrios Arhondonis, he has been known as the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople since 1991


The following news item was of interest:

International Herald Tribune – July 29, 2008
MOSCOW: For many Russians, it is bad enough that the president of Ukraine is pushing to join NATO and to eject the Russian Navy from its Black Sea port. But over the weekend, the confrontation over Ukraine’s attempts to shrug off Russian influence reached an even more painful emotional pitch – with a new tug of war over history, identity and power.President Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine chose the 1,020th anniversary of the advent of Christianity in the Slavic kingdom that predated both Ukraine and Russia – a date that each country claims as a founding event of its nationhood – to issue a public plea for Ukraine’s Orthodox Christians to gain independence from the Russian Orthodox Church.

With Orthodox church notables from around the world looking on, Yushchenko asked Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the titular spiritual leader of the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians, to bless the creation of an independent Ukrainian church – “a blessing,” he said, “for a dream, for the truth, for a hope, for our state, for Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian president – who claims that Russian agents tried to murder him with poison that left him with a pockmarked face – snubbed the Russian Orthodox Patriarch, Alexei II, giving him a businesslike handshake after warmly kissing Bartholomew on both cheeks.

During three days of solemn religious ceremonies, rock concerts and political brinksmanship in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, the power struggle was not resolved. Both sides declared victory as Bartholomew stopped short of supporting or rejecting the independence movement, saying only that divisions in the Ukrainian church would have “problematic consequences for Ukraine’s future.”

But there was insulted pride and inflamed nationalism on both sides, and it was clear that it would be hard to resolve the dispute without causing a schism in the church, heating up ethnic tensions in Ukraine and deepening the division between Russia and the former Soviet republic.

The Ukraine continues to try to move away from Russia.

Some believe that the Ukraine will biblically share the same prophetic fate as Europe, while others believe it will go back to Russia.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation discusses the largest church since the second/third century, which in a real sense is the eighth church mentioned in the Book of Revelation (it also endorses “eighth day” worship).
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?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?

UCG Reports Bad Quarter

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Part of the Ruins of Laodicea (Taken May 2008)


The July edition of UCG’s United News arrived last night.  Its front page reported two sets of news indicating that UCG had a bad quarter for the period of April-June 2008.

Financially, UCG’s treasurer reported:

As reported earlier, the months of February (9.39 percent increase), March (8.78 percent increase) and April (6.8 percent increase) were all trending higher than the 2 percent increase in income that we were experiencing year to date. The last two months, however, have not been as encouraging. In the month of May regular mail income was down 4.9 percent compared to last year; and for the month of June (through June 25) income is down 2.8 percent compared to last year.

While just a month and a half ago, I was confident that we would close the fiscal year with income $23,500,000 or higher, we will most likely end the year slightly less than that—somewhere between $23,400,000 and $23,500,000. Even with the sluggish last two months of the year, we still expect to end the year with close to a 2 percent increase in income over last year, and we can be thankful for that.

The economy in the USA has been a bit rough this year and it would not surprise me if all COGs are impacted by it at some point.  However, as UCG and LCG seem to be the most open on reporting their finances publicly of the larger COGs, it is hard to precisely determine how the others are doing (although David Pack’s RCG and Ronald Weinland’s CGPFK seem to be having less internet impact, see Declines of the False Apostle and False Prophet).

Regarding responses to its Beyond Today telecast, UCG showed a chart that I will not attempt to replicate here.  However, that chart shows a drop in responses “via phone or Web site per quarter” from about 3200 to about 2400 for the entire April-June 2008 quarter.

While I do not believe that LCG is immune to having a bad quarter, its results do contrast UCG’s for the past six months.  LCG reported, for example, that its income is up 6.5% as it reported:

As we begin the second half of the calendar year of 2008, our income is running over 6.5% year-to-date. This is slightly below budget, but is holding up reasonably well considering the gloomy economic forecasts and the cascade of bad world news in the various media outlets.  This support shows that God’s people are focused and dedicated to supporting the Work.

A very positive trend is the increasing number of donors, defined as those who have contributed once, and co-workers, defined as those who have contributed multiple times, who are contributing to the support of spreading the Good News. For example, in the USA, as of June 2008 our donors numbered 3,503 and our co-workers numbered 3,766 for a total 7,269 non-member contributors.  It is only recently that the total number of donors and co-workers in the USA have totaled more than our worldwide membership of about 7,000. This represents a 12% increase in donors and a 13% increase in co-workers in the USA. We are very thankful for this fine growth.

Regarding reaching those outside the church, LCG’s Tomorrow’s World telecast, LCG’s RC Meredith reported:

Wayne Pyle recently reported to me that over the last several months we are now receiving more than 3,500 responses to the telecast each week here in the United States—plus hundreds more overseas! So we are very grateful for the impact we are beginning to have. Much more needs to be done—as I think we all realize.

Thus, per week LCG continues to reach more people than UCG does in a quarter.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7,11,17,29;3:6,13,22).

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

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

Pope and Patriarch Denied Divinity of the Holy Spirit

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Pope Liberius, Bishop of Rome
Liberius, Bishop of Rome from 352-366 A.D.


While the Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants like to act like every “Christian” long believed in the trinity, (even though that doctrine was not finalized for them until a council in 381 A.D.), the truth is that even the primary leaders of the Romans and Greeks denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit as late as the mid-4th century.

The Cathecism of the Catholic Church admits the doctrine was not finalized until 381:

245 The apostolic faith concerning the Spirit was announced by the second ecumenical council at Constantinople (381) (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 72).

At least one Protestant trinitarian scholar has admitted some facts about the Holy Spirit as well as the 381 date:

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…The attempt to develop an understanding of the Holy Spirit consistent with the trinitarian passages…came to fruition at Constantinople in 381. (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, p. 140).

And an Orthodox scholar teaches that its church from 381 onwards accepted the personhood/divinity of the Holy Spirit:

Since the Council of Constantinople (381), which condemned the Pneumatomachians (“fighters against the Spirit”), no one in the Orthodox East has ever denied that the Spirit is not only a “gift” but also the giver–i.e., that he is the third Person of the holy Trinity” (Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren. Basic Doctrines: Holy Spirit. 8/20/05).

But what is also interesting is that many, if not most, in the mid-4th century (including the Patriarch of the Orthodox and the “Pope” of the Roman Catholics”) considered denying the divinity of the Holy Spirit to be sound doctrinally!

Did you know that?

Notice what The Catholic Encyclopedia states,

Semiarians and Semiarianism
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 J. 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).

Towards the middle of the fourth century, Macedonius, Bishop of Constantinople, and, after him a number of Semi-Arians, while apparently admitting the Divinity of the Word, denied that of the Holy Ghost (Forget J. Transcribed by W.S. French, Jr. Holy Ghost. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

The expression “the East” refers to the area also known as Asia Minor. It was always at least as important as Rome among those that professed Christ for the previous centuries (as well as for many later centuries)–and notice that MOST of those living there WERE Semi-Arian–including Macedonius, who is in the list of successors of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (the primary “see”, if you will, within the Eastern Orthodox faith). But the Orthodox (who like to claim that theirs is the original church and that it did not change) do not seem to realize that their leaders and members WERE NOT trinitarian until the late 4th century.

Although later Roman Catholic writers have had many definitions of those that they called Pneumatomachi or “Semi-Arians” (most of which disagree with the Church of God position), one that somewhat defines the view held in the early church would possibly be this one written by Epiphanius in the mid-4th Century,

Semi-Arians…hold the truly orthodox view of the Son, that he was forever with the Father…but has been begotten without beginning and not in time…But all of these blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and do not count him in the Godhead with the Father and the Son (Epiphanius. The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Books II and III (Sects 47-80), De Fide). Section VI, Verses 1,1 and 1,3. Translated by Frank Williams. EJ Brill, New York, 1994, pp.471-472).

According to The Catholic Encylopedia, at least one 4th century Pope acknowledged soundness of the faith of the Pneumatomachi:

Pneumatomachi…The majority of this sect were clearly orthodox on the Consubstantiality of the Son; they had sent a deputation from the Semi-Arian council of Lampsacus (364 A.D.) to Pope Liberius, who after some hesitation acknowledged the soundness of their faith; but with regard to the Third Person, both pope and bishops were satisfied with the phrase: “We believe in the Holy Ghost” (Arendzen, John. “Pneumatomachi.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 12. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 11 Jul. 2008 <>)

So, it should be abundantly clear that until the latter part of the 4th century, many (if not most) who professed Christ in Asia Minor and even Rome held to some type of a binitarian view and at least one Pope (Liberius) and one Patriarch (Macedonius) accepted that as sound. Have you been taught this before?

Here is more on “Pope” Liberius (the bishops of Rome did not actually take the title “Pope” until about 30 years after Liberius). It is also recorded:

Liberius (352-366)…the signing of a document that contained a formulation very close to the Arian thesis…he was criticized by many (Athanasius, Hilary of Poiters, Jerome) who saw this submission as a weakness due to fear of death (Lopes A. Translation by Charles Nopar. The Popes. Pontifical Administration, Rome, 1997, p. 12).

The Catholic Saint Jerome, while discussing Arian and anti-Arian writings wrote:

Fortunatianus, an African by birth, bishop of Aquilia during the reign of Constantius, composed brief Commentaries on the gospels arranged by chapters, written in a rustic style, and is held in detestation because, when Liberius bishop of Rome was driven into exile for the faith, he was induced by the urgency of Fortunatianus to subscribe to heresy. (Jerome. De Viris Illustribus (On Illustrious Men), Chapter 97).

So, it seems that while later Catholics believe that Liberius was pressured to appear to be Semi-Arian from imperial forces, that perhaps he was simply persuaded (or perhaps even was always Semi-Arian).  Would a true “apostolic successor” hold a position that is now condemned by his own church as heresy?

If not, then Liberius (as only one such example) disproves the notion of an unbroken succession of bishops from Peter–hence Liberius is one more example of why the Catholics truly do not have apostolic succession (Macedonius, Bishop of Constantinople, also is another that disproves the Orthodox claim to succession).

But the fact is that at least one bishop of Rome (Liberius), one bishop of Constantinople (Macedonius), and many other 4th century Greco-Roman bishops were still, at least partially, Semi-Arian–that is, they denied that the Holy Spirit was the third divine person in a trinity.

While we in the Living Church of God do believe in the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19), we do not believe that the Holy Spirit is the third divine person in a trinity as a council in 381 declared.

Even trinitarian scholars understand that the Holy Spirit is not biblically shown to be clearly a person. Notice the following written by a modern Orthodox scholar:

Roman Catholic and Orthodox theologians agree in recognizing a certain anonymity characterizes the Third Person of the Holy Trinity. While the names Father and Son denote very clear personal distinctions, are in no sense interchangeable, and cannot in any case refer to the common nature of the two hypostases, the name Holy Spirit does not have that advantage. Indeed, we say that God is Spirit, meaning by that the common nature as much as any one of the persons. We say that he is holy…Taken in itself, the term Holy Spirit thus might be applied, not to a personal distinction…In that sense, Thomas Aquinas was right in saying that…the name Holy Spirit has been given to him…we find an image of the economy of the Third Person rather than an image of his hypostatic character: we find the procession of a divine force or spirit which accomplishes sanctification. We reach a paradoxical conclusions: all that we know about the Holy Spirit refers to his economy; all that we do not know makes us venerate him as a person (Clendenin D.B. ed. Eastern Orthodox Theology, 2nd ed. Baker Academic, 2003, pp. 165-166).

The above is quite an astounding admission! The main trinitarian groups admit that the Holy Spirit is simply a procession of a divine force and that it is venerated as a person based upon what scripture does not say.

Did you know all of this? If not, perhaps you had better look into this further.

Articles of related interest may include:

Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
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 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.
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 claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?

May 31 Journal Out

Monday, July 28th, 2008


The latest issue (May 31, 2008) of The Journal is now out. It has information about the capture of the ten “lost tribes”, a World Net Daily article defending the Sabbath, various letters, a really bizarre ad claim, some Feast of Tabernacles sites, an opinions about how the old WCG became Protestant, and an announcement about Living University.

The ten tribe article in The Journal stated:

A remarkable new book on the “lost 10 tribes” has just become available to the public.  The Assyrian
Exile: Israel’s Legacy in Captivity
by Cam Rea (Wordclay, Wordclay. com, also available at and Barnes & Noble) contains new original research…

Author Rea, a COG member who lives in Kendallville, Ind., does not rehash or belabor the migrations of Israel, as many of us believe, from the Middle East to Northwestern Europe. That is well covered by other modern authors…What Mr. Rea does do is flesh out what happened to the northern 10 tribes (“lost Israel”) in the decades after the remnants of the house of Israel (house of Omri, or Beth Khumri) were finally subjugated about 721 B.C. and relocated to the frontiers of the Assyrian Empire.

(I plan to post something on the tribes at a later date.)

The WND article on the Sabbath included the following:

Christian facts, pagan Mithras

One of the Roman names for this “Invincible Sun” god in the days of the apostles was Mithras. There are striking similarities between the ancient worship of Mithras and today’s Christianity, leading some to think early Christians adopted Sunday worship from heathen customs.

For instance, Mithraism’s sacred day of Sunday was said to be called “the Lord’s Day.” Donald Morse, a retired professor at Temple University, wrote a 1999 essay comparing the tenets of Mithraism to modern Christianity, explaining Mithras was worshiped on Sunday; was born of a virgin known as the “mother of God” on Dec. 25; was part of a holy trinity…

Mithraists were also taught they had immortal souls that went to a celestial heaven or an infernal hell at death. “All of these religions intermingled in those days,” Dr. Morse, who is Jewish, told WND. “There’s no way to know who stole from whom.”

Well, since true Christians never taught Sunday (see Sunday and Christianity), Christmas (see What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? ), the trinity (see Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity?), the immortal soul (see Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality?), it should be clear that it was the Greco-Roman confederation adopted the practices of many pagan groups, including the followers of Mithras.

Here is the announcement concerning Living University:

Living University
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—The new online Living University sponsored by the Living Church of God, the latter founded by Roderick C. Meredith in 1998, kicks off this fall. LU’s Web site, at livinguniv. com, provides information such as courses of study, degrees available and faculty and staff curricula vitae.

Classes begin Aug. 13, 2008, with registration from mid-June through Aug. 12. Offered will be associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in theology, a diploma in biblical studies and a certificate in New Testament studies.

On the faculty and administration, besides Dr. Meredith, professor of theology, are Michael Germano, LU president (the only full-time faculty member); Richard Ames, speech and theology; Janth B. English, computer systems; Brenda Germano, admissions; David Maas, English; Sheldon Monson, physical education; Melodee Overton, family studies, Annette Triplett, nutrition; Douglas Winnail, biology and health; and Scott Winnail, health. Not everyone on the faculty is an LCG member.

For example, Dr. Maas and Mrs. Overton, both of whom live in the Big Sandy, Texas, area, are members of the Church of the Great God and Church of God Big Sandy, respectively.

For LU information write 2301 Crown Centre Dr., Suite A, Charlotte, N.C. 28227, U.S.A., or Or phone (704) 844-1966.

LU had a successful first year and expects that its second year, that begins in the Fall of 2008, will be even more successful.

One of the letters to the editor in The Journal claimed:

The problems facing the UCG (and most other COGs) regarding its governmental policies were foretold long ago. You find their origins from the time of Adam and Eve, beginning with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

While that portion of the letter is true, having read the entire letter, I suspect that the writer of the above may not agree with what is in the article Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government.

Another writer in another letter to the editor in The Journal indicated that he wanted to know what LCG’s RC Meredith thought about Stanley Radar and J Tkach Sr.:

Perhaps Rod should lay out clearly for us what he thinks about the then recently baptized Stanley having been leapfrogged up to an evangelist rank minister, the highest office other than apostle… To this day the ministers are loath to admit their opinion regarding that malappointment, let alone his uninspired Tkach appointment just a few years later. Rod owes us a clear statement of his opinion on these matters. His negative relationship with Joe Tkach Sr. is well known.

Well, if RC Meredith made any statement on that today, some naysayers would likely ask what did RC Meredith feel about it or do about it at the time (the late 1970s/early 1980s). So, perhaps the best way to deal with that is to show what a non-LCG member, the late Richard Nickels wrote, about this over 20 years ago:

Tkach was elevated to an evangelist for his role during the receivership crisis in 1979, and headed the Ministerial Service’s Department from the dismissal of Rod Meredith, who was exiled in Hawaii in 1979″ (Nickels, Richard. Early Writings of Herbert W. Armstrong, 1996. p.219)

Meredith’s refusal to ordain Joseph Tkach and Stanley Radar as evangelists ultimately led to his departure in 1992″ (p. 217).

It is interesting to notice that Dr. Meredith himself headed up Ministerial Services until J. Tkach somehow got that job, that Dr. Meredith refused to ordain J. Tkach prior to that as an evangelist. Thus, the fact that it was Roderick C. Meredith who REFUSED to ordain both Stanley Radar and Joseph Tkach Sr. as evangelists when he was being pressured to do so, should demonstrate to any with eyes to see and ears to hear that Roderick C. Meredith’s opinion was that he did not believe that they qualified.

In a full-page ad, TPM’s William Dankenbring made the following bizarre claim:

Celebrate with us!

The 21st ANNIVERSARY of God’s ACTIVATION . . . of Triumph Prophetic Ministries as the replacement, “obedient” CHURCH OF GOD, Replacing the WCG as God’s True Work On January 17, 1987—one year exactly from the date Herbert W. Armstrong died! TRIUMPH PROPHETIC MINISTRIES CHURCH OF GOD is the ‘only’ remnant body in the World, of “Jesus Christ,” the Church He said He would “BUILD” which preaches what He, the twelve apostles, and the apostle Paul, all faithfully taught…


One year to the very Day! January, 17, 1987, after the death of Herbert Armstrong, God raised up William F. Dankenbring to “Cry aloud, spare NOT, and show My people their SINS” (Isa. 58:1-2).

I rarely cover TPM as I am not convinced that it is truly part of the COG at all. Hence, I do not believe that it is the replacement of the old WCG. The fact is that William Dankenbring has written much against Herbert W. Armstrong and was put out of old WCG. William Dankenbring, in addition to being what I consider a false prophet, has made some many doctrinal changes and prophetic errors that no one should consider his TPM to be a faithful church (please see Teachings of Triumph Prophetic Ministries). But, he like one or two others in ADVERTISEMENTS in The Journal, claims to be the true successor church. Sadly, some have been misled by him and others who also make such advertising claims in The Journal.

One of the many things that is bizarre about TPM’s ad is that William Dankenbring stated that TPM was not a church in 2004:

Triumph Prophetic Ministries, which God led me to begin in early 1987, is not a “church” as such…Triumph Prophetic Ministries is not a Church! It is merely a MINISTRY — a service OF the “church”! The actual name is “Triumph Prophetic Ministries (Church of God)” (Dankenbring WF. Which Church is God’s True Church? And Where Is God’s Real End-Time Work, Today?, January 10, 2004).

Thus based upon William Dankenbring’s own writings, it is not possible that it became the “replacement Church of God” from 1987 onwards. William Dankenbring, in my opinion, has a history of highly changing his positions after the fact. Nor do I consider him to be an apostle.

In his article in this month’s Journal about how the WCG became Protestant, CG7’s Alan Knight focused, not on WCG, but essentially where certain false doctrines came from. Here are a few quotes:

Evangelicalism is the dominant faction within American Protestantism. It includes the majority of conservative Protestant churches, with more than 100 million followers in North America alone.
The signature doctrine of Evangelicalism is what is called dispensationalism. This is a theory that separates biblical religion into several “dispensations”…

Dispensational theology is based on this extreme dualism of earthly vs. heavenly. As we demonstrate in our new book, dispensationalism is a repetition of a similar dualism first promoted in the 1st century by gnostic Christianity.

Where did Gnostic Christianity come from? Space is limited in this article, but consider this one curious fact. Gnostic Christians bitterly hated the Old Testament God of the Jews. They went so far as to condemn Him as the enemy of mankind for causing the Flood. Supposedly, they claimed, He was trying to wipe out an ancient religious truth that exposed Hebrew religion as a fraud. The people who survived in Noah’s Ark supposedly preserved that truth and passed it down to the 1st century A.D. when gnostic Christians once again preached freedom from the evil God of the Jews.

It was the Gnostic Marcion that perhaps was the first Protestant (for more information, please see the article Marcion: The First Protestant?) and apparently was the first associated with Christianity to attempt to do away with the Sabbath.

Anyway, the first and last pages of The Journal are available in pdf. format at

For other articles, a subscription is required. The editor of The Journal is Dixon Cartwright, a former member of WCG–The Journal is NOT a publication of the Living Church of God.

Ronald Weinland’s Reach Still Dropping

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

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.


Ronald Weinland spoke in San Jose, California today. He once again discouraged people for traveling much for the 2008 Feast of Tabernacles (see also Ronald Weinland Continues to Preach). He did say a couple of appropriate comments about the Apostle John.

Ronald Weinland then indicated that God is working through one person–meaning himself–he is delusional (see Ronald Weinland is Delusional). He continued to indicate that God directly is working through him.

Although he still has significant internet reach, the latest information from Alexa (an independent internet rating service) shows that he has a greatly reduced reach. The following is what Alexa reported today:

Traffic Rank for

Alexa traffic rank based on a combined measure of page views and users (reach)

Yesterday 1 wk. Avg. 3 mos. Avg. 3 mos. Change
N/A* 139,135 69,098 down 12,193

While Ronald Weinland is also reaching less according to Quantcast (another independent internet rating service), it only goes through the end of June. It shows that by the end of June he was reaching approximately 40% less people than he was in early May 2008.

Since many of his “prophecies” have proven to be false, it is good that he is reaching less people. Hopefully, he will either quickly repent or stop preaching like he promised to do many times once certain dates (first April 17th, then June 8th and then July 16th) past if there was no massive destruction due to nuclear bombs in the “port cities” of the United States–something that still has not come to pass.

Here is some of what he said in a radio interview of The Edge on December 15, 2007:

The proof is coming…

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

Beginning in April, its important that people believe it…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The abomination of desolation has already happened…

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

In that same interview, Ronald Weinland basically he also said that he would not follow Ellen White (SDA/LCG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 ) or others and recalculate an excuse or a different date, but that if it did not happen he when and how he said it, he would admit that he is a false prophet. Yet, he still has never admitted that he is a false prophet–and he has recalculated his dates.

The Bible teaches:

21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?’– 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).

Ronald Weinland has repeatedly spoken presumptuously. Since God’s prophet would not be so false, it is a good thing that Ronald Weinland’s internet reach is dropping.

Some articles of related interest may include:

Concerns About Ronald Weinland’s Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God Ronald Weinland falsely claims to be one of the two witnesses God is raising up and that the end will come in 2008. Is he a false prophet? He has at least one other view that suggests that he is not part of the COG.
Who 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?
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–and Ronald Weinland is one of them–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.

Deal Leading to Psalm 83?

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Union for the Mediterranean

Blue: Members of the European Union
Green: Other members (primarily from the African Union & Arab League)
Striped green: Libya is currently only an observer member in the Union for the Mediterranean


Is there anything that indicates that a deal leading to the fulfillment of Psalm 83 is happening in the 21st century like the old WCG used to teach?

Before looking at a recent news story, let’s first see a story from the past.

Back in December 1979, there was a Plain Truth article by Keith Stump titled The Arab World in Prophecy. It contained some insights into who may be the future king of the South as well as who may be involved in Psalm 83, perhaps in partial fulfillment of Daniel 11:27:

The prophecy of Daniel 11 details events…But who is the “king of the south”?…Just as there is yet to be a final “king of the north”–called in the Bible symbolism “the beast”–who will arise as superdictator over an end-time European confederation, there may very well emerge in the same manner a final “king of the south”–an overall leader of an Arab-Moslem confederation, possibly bearing the very title Mahdi. And these two individuals will eventually find themselves in a head-to-head confrontation–possibly over oil–which will ultimately lead to devastating war in the Middle East!

King David of ancient Israel in a prophetic psalm (Psalm 83) provides additional insight into the Mideast picture. Germany (Assyria in Bible prophecy) and perhaps the rest of Europe will be in league in the future with a union of Arab nations–a vast confederacy bound together in an effort to crush out the name “Israel” from the face of the earth! This Arab-Moslem confederacy may very well be the previously mentioned “king of the south”–a sphere of power encompassing vast portions of the Islamic world.

“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom [Esau or modern-day Turkey, a non-Arab but Islamic nation], and the Ishmaelites [Saudi Arabia]; of Moab [part of Jordan[, and the Hagarenes [anciently these peoples dwelt in the area known as Syria today]; Gebal [Lebanon], and Ammon [modern Jordan], and Amalek [part of the Turks]; the Philistines [the modern Palestinians] with the inhabitants of Tyre [Lebanon]; Assur [whose descendants, the Assyrians, migrated to Germany] also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot [Jordan and Western Iraq]” (Psalm 83:4-8)…

But in the end, this European-Arab alliance will prove short-lived…And the king of the north shall come against him [the king of the south]…The Arab-Moslem Confederation will, of course, be thrown into chaotic disarray in the fact of invasion.

So, that was the position of the old WCG nearly 30 years ago.

While I was out of town last week, a major international deal was reported that may be related. Notice the following:

New York Times – July 14, 2008

PARIS — Leaders of 43 nations with nearly 800 million inhabitants inaugurated a “Union for the Mediterranean” on Sunday, meant to bring the northern and southern countries that ring the sea closer together through practical projects dealing with the environment, climate, transportation, immigration and policing.

But the meeting was also an opportunity for President Nicolas Sarkozy of France to exercise some highly public Middle East diplomacy...

The union has northern and southern co-presidents — to start, Mr. Sarkozy and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt…

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, who insisted that the Sarkozy project include all European Union members, called the session “a very, very good start for a new phase in the cooperation” between Europe and the south.

This is a HUGELY important step as it leads the way for future cooperation between the Europeans and those of Northern Africa. This group now essentially has a presidency of the North (currently represented by the French President) and the presidency of the South (currently represented by the Egyptian President).

And while the intentions of this “union” may be good, notice the following prophecies:

27 Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time (Daniel 11:27).

2 For behold, Your enemies make a tumult; And those who hate You have lifted up their head. 3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, And consulted together against Your sheltered ones. 4 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” 5 For they have consulted together with one consent; They form a confederacy against You: 6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab and the Hagrites; 7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Assyria also has joined with them; They have helped the children of Lot (Psalm 83:2-8).

The “kings” in Daniel 11:27 are the kings of the North and the South. In Psalm 83 we see that a predominantly Arab block of nations (thus I believe that more Arab nations will likely be added to this Union) will conspire to destroy the descendants of Israel (most likely the nation of Israel and the Anglo-American nations), yet Assyria (modern Germany) will get involved.

Thus, this Union for the Mediterranean may be an important first step in the fulfillment of these prophecies.

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

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?
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?
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? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States?
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”?

CG7 Calls Old WCG an “Exclusive Cult”

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Rebuilt Gymnasium in Sardis.

This is one of the most impressive buildings in the area of any of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. However, it has been recently and massively rebuilt as its original condition was in ruin. And while it and its size are impressive, it no longer functions as it once did.


In a departure from its normally tamer reporting of its version of its history, in a 2-page spread entitled “Division and Reunion: 1933-1963“, the July-August 2008 edition of the CG7’s BIble Advocate contains the following:

Around 1930 Herbert W. Armstrong, an advertiser by trade, began to preach for the Church and was granted a ministerial license… These were revoked in 1937 when he insisted on promoting Hebrew festival observance and Anglo-Israelism, teachings the Church never embraced. Mr. Armstrong later moved his work to Pasadena, California, where it became a prosperous and exclusive cult: the Worldwide Church of God.”

It is sad that CG7 wishes to pejoratively label the old WCG a cult, but as it has moved closer towards Protestantism, I suppose this is to be expected.

I would also like to add that the true Church did keep the Holy Days throughout history (and CG7 itself still keeps Passover). I am working on something related to the Anglo-biblical connection and expect to post something on that at a later date (and yes, I believe that the New Testament shows that the apostles did understand that there were also Israelites that were not of the tribe of Judah).

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

Church of God, Seventh Day: History and Teachings Nearly all COG’s I am aware of trace their history through this group. Whaid Rose is the president of the largest CG7 group (Denver). Do you know much about them?
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
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? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins?

Gold of Egypt

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Gizah Pyramids of Egypt
Gizah Pyramids of Egypt

The 220 kg Gold brick displayed in Chinkuashi Gold Museum, Taiwan


The following news item was of interest:

Egypt to produce 8 tonnes of gold in ’09

Reuters – July 14, 2008

DUBAI (Reuters) – Egypt, which stopped gold production in 1958, will produce 8 tonnes of the metal from mines in the eastern desert in 2009, the chairman of the Egyptian Geological Survey and Mining Authority said on Monday.

The Arab world’s most populous country, which once considered gold the skin of the gods, is revisiting ancient gold deposits, some unworked for 2,000 years.

“We have been producing gold since last December and one of the mines that started production has a reserve of 13 million ounces of gold,” Hussein Hammouda said.

“Once this mine is fully operational, it won’t be only one of the biggest in Africa, but rather one of the biggest worldwide,” he told Reuters in a telephone interview from Cairo.

Egypt’s gold production stopped in the late 1950s as the volume mined was considered too small to be profitable. The country produced 7.4 tonnes from 1902 to 1958.

“We are planning to produce 8 tonnes of gold in 2009, which is more than what the country had produced in a century,” Hammouda said.

“This is only the beginning … and we are planning to become a major producer in the region as we explore other mines we have,” he said.

The country hopes this year’s output will reach at least 15,000 ounces of gold, Hammouda said…

Last year, Egypt offered eight gold mining concessions for various parts of the country. The 2007 round of concessions were awarded to five companies from Canada, Australia, Europe and the United Arab Emirates, Hammouda said.

As the news item indicates, until this mine was reopened, it was not believed that there was much gold in Egypt. Production levels this high, however, do demonstrate the value of this gold now, and in the near future.

As regular readers of the COGwriter page are aware, the Bible prophecies a time when the King of the North will invade Egpyt and will control its gold:

40 At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood. 41 He will also invade the Beautiful Land. Many countries will fall, but Edom, Moab and the leaders of Ammon will be delivered from his hand. 42 He will extend his power over many countries; Egypt will not escape. 43 He will gain control of the treasures of gold and silver and all the riches of Egypt (Daniel 11:40-43, NIV).

With financial instability facing the world, having the King of the North acquire gold stocks will help show the world that his European Empire is the economic powerhouse of the world at that time.

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

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?
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? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States?
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”?

Brownsville Texas May Flood

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Flooding in Iowa Affected More Than Urban Housing–Is Texas Next?


AOL had this news item:

Hurricane Dolly’s Edge Hits Texas


BROWNSVILLE, Texas (July 23) — Hurricane Dolly’s leading edge arrived on the Gulf Coast early Wednesday, packing heavy rain and powerful winds that could strengthen before the center of the storm hits towns straddling the Texas-Mexico border later in the day.

The Category 1 hurricane was expected to dump up to 15 inches of rain, threatening flooding that could breach levees in the heavily populated Rio Grande valley…

National Weather Service radar indicated a tornado 18 miles northeast of the Harlingen Valley Airport on Wednesday morning. A tornado watch was in effect for several counties in the area until 10 a.m. CDT Wednesday.

Cities and counties in the Rio Grande valley were preparing Tuesday night as officials feared heavy rains could cause massive flooding and levee breaks.

Texas officials urged residents to move away from the Rio Grande levees because if Dolly continues to follow the same path as 1967’s Hurricane Beulah, “the levees are not going to hold that much water,” said Cameron County Emergency Management Coordinator Johnny Cavazos.

There was intermittent light rain late Tuesday in Brownsville, and Cavazos said he expected outer bands to move over the area overnight. Charles Hoskins, deputy emergency management officer for Cameron County, said there were nearly 2,000 people in six shelters in the county.

In Hidalgo County, a little bit farther inland, six shelters holding about 900 people were open, said Cari Lambrecht, a county spokeswoman. She said people living in low-lying areas were encouraged to come to shelters.

A later story (near noon PDT today) stated:

Hurricane Dolly Lashes Texas Coast


BROWNSVILLE, Texas (July 23) — Forecasters say Hurricane Dolly has made landfall near South Padre Island in Texas. Dolly is a Category 2 storm with top sustained winds near 100 mph.

The storm has forced thousands of people on both sides of the Texas-Mexico border into shelters. Heavy rains and high winds from the storm have collapsed an apartment roof, blown over signs and cut power to thousands of customers…

Forecasters warned of up to 15 inches of rain that could produce flooding and breach levees in the heavily populated Rio Grande Valley. Thunderstorms were attributed to Dolly as far away as Houston, 400 miles up the Texas coastline.

The USA has had a lot of flooding and levy problems this year.

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

Now there is good news as ultimately, God’s kingdom will come.

Some 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.
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account?
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?
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?