About the Church of God, Beliefs, and the COGwriter Website
The Churches of God (COGs) are defined as groups holding to the basic teachings of the pre-1986 Worldwide Church of God (WCG). The Continuing Church of God traces its history (and beliefs) from the Book of Acts, throughout later history, and into the 21st century. The Continuing Church of God has held the beliefs of the original Nazarene” (Acts 24:5) Christians throughout history (see Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? ).
The term Church of God/COG is not intended to convey Sunday-observing or “Pentecostal” groups that sometimes have also used that term (nor the modern so-called “Church of the Nazarenes” which does not hold to original “Nazarene” Christian beliefs).
Many COG groups formed after the death of Herbert W. Armstrong in 1986 (information on various ones and some of their teachings can be found at the COGlinks page). And pretty much all of the existing COGs have had some tie to Herbert Armstrong (he was ordained a minister by the Church of God Seventh Day and later founded the old Worldwide Church of God). The that strives to be the most faithful is the Continuing Church of God.
What Are the COGs All About?
Love. Love to God (Matthew 22:37-38) and love to neighbor (Matthew 22:39). And that “the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (James 2:8) and that we help show love towards God and neighbor by obeying Jesus and trying to fulfill Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20.
Though most COGs have lost some of the emphasis of the true message, the Continuing Church of God has a different, but exciting, perspective on Christianity than what passes for mainstream Christianity.
While “mainstream Christianity” is relatively large and often highly involved in the world’s systems, the Continuing Church of God is not.
Of course, it was Jesus who taught that the true church would be a “little flock” (Luke 12:32), hated by the world (Matthew 10:22), and persecuted (Matthew 10:23). He also taught only a few would find the way to life in this age (Matthew 7:14; cf. Matthew 12:31-32).
We in the Continuing Church of God believe that the Bible teaches that God made everything and it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31) and that “this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3). And that God made humans upright (Ecclesiastes 7:29), but that humans felt that they could decide to disobey God’s commands (Genesis 3:6)–such disobedience is harmful to themselves as well as others and leads to death (Romans 6:23). Because of that disobedience, God stopped humans from having immediate access to the tree of life on their own (Genesis 3:22; John 6:44)–even though He had a plan of redemption from before “the foundation of the world” involving Jesus (Revelation 13:8, plus see the article Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).
The Bible clearly teaches:
“all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6).
We in the Continuing Church of God believe that God gave humans 6,000 years to live their own way (please see the article Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism and a 6000 Year Plan?). And that humans will mess things up so bad, “unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved” (Matthew 24:22). And that 6.000 years is close to being up–and probably will be in the next decade or so.
But because God has a plan for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 13:38) and a God of love (1 John 4:8,16; John 3:16), that He will intervene and send Jesus to establish a millennial kingdom on earth (Revelation 11:15; 20:4). During this 1000 year reign the world will become beautiful again (Isaiah 35:1-10; 58:12) (see also Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).
After this thousand year reign, all who ever lived will be resurrected (Revelation 20:5). The judgment will begin (Revelation 20:12) and God will plead His case (Isaiah 3:13; Jeremiah 25:31). When humans see how they started out with a very good and beautiful earth and messed up and nearly completely destroyed it in their 6,000 years, it appears that they will realize that humankind that distanced itself from the true God cannot properly govern itself. However, when they see how when starting with a messed up and nearly completely destroyed earth at the end of the 6,000 years (please see the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?), that it was restored to being very good again, like Eden (Isaiah 51:3), because people obeyed the King of Kings during the millennium (please see Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?), then apparently nearly all who ever lived will repent of their ways, accept Jesus as the Christ, and will live God’s way of life.
Since God is love (1 John 4:16), we in the Continuing Church of God believe that He has a plan that takes into account how human beings would have rebelled against Him (cf. 1 Peter 1:20-21). We also believe that God is smart enough to have developed a plan that does not result in the vast majority of humanity having to suffer endless torment. Thus we believe it is logical that His plan will result in nearly everyone who ever lived, no matter what their religion or background was, to be saved. And that there are hundreds of verses in the Bible that show this—and this is God’s will (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16-17). This plan is also consistent with writings about Christianity throughout history—though most in modern times seem to wish to overlook that fact. And a little known fact is that there are hundreds of verses in the Bible that show this (documentation is in the article Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).
This differs greatly from much of what passes for mainstream Christianity as the Catholics and Protestants normally teach that most who ever lived are such horrible people that God will torture them for all eternity (even though the early Greco-Roman churches used to teach that God would offer salvation to all (see Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis). There have been many doctrinal changes in the Greco-Roman churches that we in the Continuing Church of God have not adopted as they differ from what the apostles and their successors throughout history taught (see also Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God, Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants, Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God, and What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History?).
We believe that the biblical Holy Days reveal God’s loving plan of salvation (see article Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible?), yet because most who profess Christ keep non-biblical days such as Christmas and Easter, they simply do not understand that God has a plan which will result in nearly everyone who ever lived to be saved.
We believe that since God is a God of love that He wanted to reproduce Himself and share His joy to all that He could and that His plan of salvation accomplishes this. This concept of God “reproducing Himself” for us to be truly part of His family is not totally foreign to what passes for mainstream “Christianity” as even the Catholic and Orthodox “Saint” Athanasius (fourth century) taught of Jesus, “For He was made man that we might be made God” (Athanasius. On the Incarnation of the Word, Chapter 54, Verse 3) (for additional details on this doctrine, please see Deification: Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God?).
The most faithful in the genuine Church of God are the 21st century remnant of the Philadelphia portion of the original apostolic church and that our doctrines and practices are those of the Bible and early post-apostolic church. But unlike others affiliated with Christianity, we believe that we can prove it (for some initial documentation, please read The History of Early Christianity).
Jesus expected His church to do the work of proclaiming the gospel and the Continuing Church of God is the little flock that is striving to do the worldwide work. It is the highly dedicated in the real Church of God that will finish the final phase of the work before (Matthew 24:14) and during (Revelation 11:3-14) the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord.
We in the Continuing Church of God strive to preach the true gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14) as Jesus taught. We have a much higher impact on reaching the world than the size of our flock would suggest is humanly possible–hence we believe that Jesus has blessed us in our gospel proclamation efforts.
We urge repentance in this age, explain the love of God, and warn the world of the results of its sins and God’s ultimate judgment. We believe that those called, chosen, AND converted in this age are being saved to serve in support of getting the message of God out as a witness in this age and in the age to come.
We believe that those called of God in this age to be faithful Philadelphia Christians will be moved to support that. The Bible shows that truly God is a God of love (John 3:16; 1 John 4:16) and has an exciting plan of salvation. And that we individually are called to give in a unique way (for more details, please read the article What is the Meaning of Life?).
Would YOU like to support that?
Please study your Bible and check out what we teach. For truly God is a God of love and has an exciting plan of salvation (some other articles of possibly related interest may include Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants and Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God?).
Note: We in the Continuing Church of God only accept as inspired the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New Testament and no other document. Therefore, although other current and historical documents/articles/books/booklet/posts by various Church of God leaders throughout history often have value, as they generally also tend to contain personal opinion, we do not consider that any of them are on the same level as sacred scripture, and hence believe that they can contain error.
About the COGwriter Site
The COGwriter website began in 1996/1997, but the term “COGwriter” was not used as part of the URL until early 1998 (cogwriter.com was not used until 2002). News related to a few of the Churches of God (COGs) began in late 1998, with news related to most of the COGs began in the summer of 1999.
On a technical note, in June 2007, a format change to the news page using WordPress occurred. While most readers seem to have liked the change, I did hear from one who said that the font size on this new format was difficult for him to read. So, I asked my son Michael to see what he could do. So as of July 1, 2007, you can click the word “Large” in the upper right of this page to increase the font size (you can also click on the word “Normal” to return to the standard size).
In April 2008, an add-on that allows for computer-generated translations into many other languages was added to the main news page and the other WordPress pages. Even though all translations can lose some information, it is hoped that you can share that information with those who are not as comfortable in English.
However, there are sometimes problems with Word Press and if a link does not work from the main News page, this is normally because of a Word Press quirk, and hence, please go to the main page (COGwriter Home Page) when that happens as the links there all have been tested.
This news page contains news intended to be of interest to those once affiliated with the Worldwide Church of God as well as those who are interested in learning what is happening in various groups who use the term “Church of God”. The New King James version, used by permission, is normally cited for scriptural references unless otherwise noted (Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.); the Douay-Rheims is also often used, and it too by permission (The Original And True Douay-Rheims Bible Of Anno Domini 1582. Prepared and Edited by Dr. William G. von Peters. Ph.D. 2004, copyright assigned to VSC Corp.).
COGwriter has reached millions since it began and reaches thousands daily.