Archive for the ‘WCG News’ Category

PCG misunderstands Habakkuk and oddly claims that a stone and a copyright suppression settlement are ‘wonders’ from God

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019


Philadelphia Trumpet, April 2019

COGwriter

A reader sent me a link today to the following from PCG’s Gerald Flurry which is in the April 2019 issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet:

A Sealed Book

The context of Isaiah 29:14 is about the great majority of God’s people going astray. “Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink” (verse 9). This is about God’s people, who were spiritually sober but have become “drunk” on false doctrines. They are in a terrible spiritual condition in these latter days. …

The copyright battle we fought for Mystery of the Ages was specifically prophesied in the book of Habakkuk, one of the minor prophets. This book is not just history—it is for our day! As it says in Habakkuk 2:3, “… at the end it shall speak.”

Habakkuk 2 most certainly is not related to the copyright battle that PCG had. PCG, without asking to buy/license certain materials of the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG), printed various materials. Now it has long been my view that PCG should have tried to work this out with WCG first (that could have saved it time and money).

Anyway, since PCG apparently had not asked before printing, WCG claimed copyright ownership and sued.

However, PCG pointed out that it felt its church needed those materials and that it believed that WCG was suppressing copyrights. In the USA, if you hold a copyright, that gives you the right to copy, sell, or license the work. Generally, it does not give you the right to suppress the work. Basically, if the copyright holder will not make the copyrighted materials reasonably available, then (depending on the circumstances) they can be considered to have lost or abandoned their copyright.

In the case of the WCG vs. PCG lawsuit, it is my understanding that WCG realized that it had some legal exposure here and instead of waiting to be told it could have lost its copyrights and gotten nothing, it decided to sell the copyrights of certain books and booklets to PCG.

That most certainly is not a ‘wonder.’

Since that time, WCG (who changed its name to Grace Communion International) has not reprinted nor made available much of the old publications that it originally had copyrights to. This is basically one reason why several groups and individuals have put them up online. It is my understanding that because of the length of time such materials have been out in the public realm, this could indicate an abandonment of copyright.

Now as far as Habakkuk 2:3 goes, let’s look at it and the verse that precedes it:

2 Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. 3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:2-3)

The context is clearly not got anything to do with a court battle related to copyrights. Furthermore, this battle did not make people run. Instead, various ones began to put more old WCG materials online (like COGwriter did with a few articles in the late 2012 after Grace Communion International told me in writing that they would not sell nor license certain old WCG materials when I asked them).

Anyway, this WCG vs. PCG battle was not a wonder from God.

Yet, in the article Gerald Flurry also wrote:

Habakkuk wrote, “The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see. O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save! Why dost thou shew me iniquity [lawlessness], and cause me to behold grievance [injustice]? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife [or, a lawsuit] and contention [a personal or legal contest]” (Habakkuk 1:1-3). The language in this passage is that of a legal battle—a lawsuit.For six years, we had to strive at the law with the organization that owned the copyrights to Mr. Armstrong’s works. Righteous men were being encompassed by unrighteous men, led by an evil man within God’s own Church (verse 4). That was a contentious battle! And for six years, justice was perverted just as Habakkuk prophesied.

Yet in the midst of that contention, God’s little flock, led by a man who was following God, did amazing wonders! The very next verse reads, “Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days, which ye will not believe, though it be told you” (verse 5). This verse is an important and inspiring verse. And remember, it is within the context of the legal battle over God’s truth.

No, Gerald Flurry the work discussed in Habakkuk 1:5 was not a court battle over copyright violation/suppression.

In the same article Gerald Flurry also wrote:

The Two Wonders, Explained

Another scripture expands on these wonders and helps you understand them more deeply. “For the stone shall cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber shall answer it” (Habakkuk 2:11). …

The story of how we received the copyright to that book is truly a wonder! (You can read about it in our free book Raising the Ruins.) In fact, that copyright victory is the second of the “double wonder” of Habakkuk 1:5.

The first part of that double wonder relates back to the “stone” of Habakkuk 2:11. Right at the end of our six-year court case we received a physical stone—a rock that Mr. Armstrong had used as a “prayer rock” at the beginning of the Philadelphia era of God’s Church. As I explain in my book The New Throne of David, that stone is a symbol of Jesus Christ. It is closely associated with the throne on which Christ will sit as King of kings, called “the throne of David” (Isaiah 9:7; Luke 1:32). That stone, and the vision it symbolizes, is truly a wonder!

… The new stone is a symbol of the very throne of David.

No, making a copyright settlement is not a wonder from Habakkuk 1:5. Nor is getting a stone/prayer rock related to Herbert W. Armstrong a wonder that fulfills Habakkuk 2:11 nor actually a symbol of the very throne of David.

I denounced Gerald Flurry’s new “stone of destiny” doctrine here last July (see PCG’s Gerald Flurry says he is the new king and the prayer rock replaces the ‘stone of destiny’).

Furthermore, we put together the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:


21:35

Stone of Destiny and Jesus’ Return

Do you realize that when Jesus returns, He will take up the throne of David? Could there be a throne, or part of that throne, on the earth today? What about the ‘Stone of Scone,’ also called the ‘Stone of Destiny’? What does the Bible teach about the throne of David? Where was it after 586 A.D.? Scripture cannot be broken.Does the Bible tell us anything about Jeremiah and the ‘kings daughters’? Are there ancient writings that give us clues? Were British kings anointed with oil like the ancient kings of Judah? Was a stone present for these coronations? What did the last King of England write? Will Jesus return as King of Kings to the throne of David? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues to provide comfort related to Jesus’ return.

Here is a link to our video: Stone of Destiny and Jesus’ Return.

PCG does not have the right priorities or the right work–nor are these two claimed ‘wonders’ scripturally wonders from God that fulfill prophecies in Habakkuk.

Its focus on physical objects (with the prayer rock only one of several) and misunderstanding of Habakkuk and other other scriptures demonstrates that PCG is NOT representing the remnant of the Philadelphia era of the Church of God.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God Simply calling oneself ‘Philadelphia’ does not make one so (see Revelation 3:7-9), nor does Gerald Flurry calling himself “that prophet” make it so. This article provides many quotes from this group which tries to look faithful.
Independent Members of the COG: Herbert W. Armstrong Comments, Plus Questions and Answers What did Herbert W. Armstrong teach about being independent of the organized Church? Should independents who claim to accept Herbert W. Armstrong’s teachings support the end time Philadelphian work? Watch also Zephaniah’s ‘Gather Together’ Prophecy.
The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings Who is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring to? Are there multiple falling aways? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: La Apostasía: Enseñanzas de la Biblia y de la WCG. There are also two YouTube videos on the subject that you can watch The Falling Away Part 1: From the Bible and Church History and The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others.
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: N;ÿ Œf/’Y’jNº’ÿ Here is a link to a related English sermon video titled: The Man of Sin will deceive most ‘Christians’.
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 lower level leaders? Two related sermons are available The Work per HWA and the Bible and Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Why is the Continuing Church of God a corporation sole? What is a ‘corporation sole’ and why is this a better organizational choice?
501(c)(3)? Why the Continuing Church of God chose a better option Churches in the USA do NOT have to register as 501(c)(3). Why would they? Why is what CCOG did better? A sermon of related interest is titled: CCOG, a corporation sole, not a 501(c)(3).
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
6. 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 the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.

Syria condemns Donald Trump’s Golan Heights position as ‘irresponsible.’ Is destruction there prophesied during the Day of the Lord?

Friday, March 22nd, 2019


Golan Heights (Wikipedia)

COGwriter

BBC reported the following:

22 March 2019

Syria has condemned as “irresponsible” US President Donald Trump’s comments that it was time to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights.

A statement published by the Syrian state news agency said it showed the “blind bias” of the US towards Israel.

It said Syria was determined to recover the area “through all available means”.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in 1967 and annexed it in 1981 in a move not recognised internationally.

Israel wants to contain the military presence of its arch-enemy Iran in Syria, which has grown stronger throughout eight years of conflict.

Mr Trump’s remarks on Thursday overturned decades of US policy on the issue. In a tweet, he said the plateau was of “critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and regional stability!”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked the US president in a phone call, telling him “you’ve made history”.

How did Syria respond?

The statement carried by the Sana news agency said Mr Trump’s comments had shown “contempt” for international law and that they would not change “the reality that the Golan was and will remain Syrian, Arab”.

“The Syrian nation is more determined to liberate this precious piece of Syrian national land through all available means,” the unnamed foreign ministry source added. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-47664529

Back in 2017, it was reported here that a “Golan Liberation Army” plans to takeover part of Israel:

Spokesman For Iran-Backed Iraqi Shi’ite Militia In Syria: ‘We Have Established The Golan Liberation Army’

Hashem Al-Mousawi, the spokesman for the Iran-backed Iraqi Shi’ite militia Al-Nujaba, gave an interview to the Iranian news agency Tasnim, highlighting the militia’s activities in Iraq and Syria. He accused Saudi Arabia and the U.S. of being responsible for ISIS’s actions, stressing that Iran is the only country that has helped his militia. He also said that Iraqi-Saudi relations were like “a failed marriage,” adding that “we do not want a separation between Iran and Iraq.”

Al-Mousawi said that his militia would not allow foreign forces to remain in Mosul, and revealed that the American administration had heavily pressured the Iraqi government to prevent the Shi’ite Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) militia from entering Sunni cities liberated from ISIS. He also said that the U.S. had demanded to appoint a civilian governer in Mosul, but that their demand had been rejected.

Al-Mousawi warned Turkey that if it did not withdraw from Bashiqa in northern Iraq his organization would take military action against it, adding that Al-Nujaba opposes the presence of former Iraqi prime minister Tariq Al-Hashimi – a Sunni currently living in exile – at conferences organized by Turkey to discuss Iraq’s fate.

He also stressed that his militia forces have been in Syria for four years and do not intend to withdraw until after “the terrorists” leave, and expressed fear of ethnic cleansing in the Shi’ite villages of Fu’ah and Kefraya in Syria.

Additionally, Al-Mousawi announced that his militia has established the “Golan Liberation Army,” which he said “comprises special forces that have received training and equipment.” This force, he said, “has detailed plans” for action, but requires the authorization of the Syrian government to be present in the Golan. Al-Mousawi admitted that his militia is directly tied to the PMU and the Iranian resistance axis, and said that the militia was expanding its activity to combat Israel on the Golan Heights because “Israel is fundamentally [responsible for] the destruction of Iraq… and took steps to destroy our infrastructure.” He also warned the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen not to advance on Iran, because Iran is “a powerful country.” …

“We Will Not Allow Foreign Forces To Remain In Mosul..; We Do Not Want A Separation Between Iran And Iraq”

“Saudi-Iraqi ties are like a failed marriage. We hope [the Saudis] officially recognize the political process in Iraq and work with us from that angle. We will not allow foreign forces to remain in Mosul. …

“We Have Created The Golan Liberation Army… If The Syrian Regime Asks Us To, We Are Ready To Act To Liberate The Golan”

“After the recent victories, we created the Golan Liberation Army. This army has been trained and has detailed plans. If the Syria regime asks us to, we are ready to act to liberate the Golan [from Israel] along with our allies. We will not allow Arab and Islamic countries to be smaller in size than Israel…

“The Golan Army comprises special forces who have received training and equipment. They have not [yet] entered any war [against Israel] and have been busy only with ending regional wars. There is a need for authorization from the Syrian government so that the Golan Army can be present there [in the Golan]…

“Regarding the Golan Army, we are part of the PMU, and before that we were part of the resistance [axis]. So long as there is a threat in the region, we will not lay down our weapons.

“Israel is fundamentally [responsible for] Iraq’s destruction. That regime took steps to destroy our infrastructure and scientists. Whether Iraq is on Trump’s list or not, we consider [the U.S.] a supporter of regional terrorism…” 04/05/17 https://www.memri.org/reports/spokesman-iran-backed-iraqi-shiite-militia-syria-we-have-established-golan-liberation-army

Syria clearly wants the Golan Heights back. Officially, it is still at war with Israel.

It may be of interest to note that the Golan Heights basically covers the ancient land of the tribes of Reuben and Gad and part of the tribe of Manasseh.


Ancient Tribes of Israel (Wikipedia)

What about prophecy?

Notice something from a Protestant writer named Craig C. White (not to be confused with the COG Australian Craig M. White):

OK, here is something that you have never considered. The book of Nahum predicts the flooding and destruction of ancient Nineveh. That happened in 612 BC. Today Nineveh is called Mosul in northern Iraq. Mosul is the hometown and headquarters of ISIS. Nahum’s prophecy seems to also apply to Mosul today. A lot of Nahum’s prophecy has already been fulfilled in Mosul.

Now that isn’t even the most curious thing about the book of Nahum. Besides telling us about the destruction and flooding of ancient Nineveh; the book of Nahum also describes the coming in the air of Jesus Christ!!! Jesus comes in a whirlwind and he is HOT!

Nahum 1:3-8 The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet. 4 He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth. 5 The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. 6 Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. 7 The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. 8 But with an overrunning flood he will make an utter end of the place thereof, and darkness shall pursue his enemies.

The land around Jesus will melt and burn. In the verses above, Nahum identifies Bashan, Carmel, and Lebanon. These places all describe the Golan Heights that separate Israel from Syria and Lebanon. retrieved 03/22/19 https://hightimetoawake.com/jesus-will-fight-on-the-golan-heights/

A century ago, a COG leader named G.G. Rupert wrote that Isaiah 17:1-3 was still to be fulfilled–and that is correct.

The old Radio Church of God published the following:

Anciently the Assyrians conquered Egypt and Syria. It is going to happen again (Isaiah 17:3 and Daniel 11:42). …  The entire book of Nahum — one of the so-called Minor Prophets — is devoted to the final punishment of the German-dominated Church-State union yet to arise in Europe. The setting of the prophecy is the original fall of Nineveh about 612 B.C. What happened to Nineveh, the ancient capital of Assyria, was a type of what will happen in our day! Notice that the actual setting of this prophecy is the time of God’s “wrath” — the Day of the Lord (Nahum 1:2, 6). That day of God’s intervention is YET FUTURE. It has not happened yet! (Hoeh H. GERMANY in Prophecy! – Part 2. Plain Truth, January 1963)

The old Radio Church of God essentially believed that ultimately the Beast power would control territories including Syria and perhaps part of the Golan Heights and that Jesus would come and eliminate the Beast power in that area during the Day of the Lord (for when the Day of the Lord can be, see When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? When is the Day of the Lord?).

Plus there are also other prophecies that show that Syria’s capital Damascus will be destroyed (Isaiah 17:1; watch also Damascus and Syria in Prophecy)–though by who is not specified in the context, and various COG writers have speculated by whom.

Tensions are rising in the Golan Heights.

Some time this century, Syria’s capital will be destroyed.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Damascus and Syria in Prophecy Will Bashar al-Assad hold power as he has it? Does the Bible show that Damascus, the capital of Syria, will be destroyed? What will happen to Syria? Will the Syrians support the final King of the South that the Bible tells will rise up? Which scriptures discuss the rise and fall of an Arabic confederation? Does Islamic prophecy predict the destruction of Syria. This is a YouTube video.
Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy What does the Bible teach about Gaza and the fate of the Palestinians? Here is a link to a related video: Gaza and Palestine in Prophecy.
Iran in Prophecy Is Iran in Bible prophecy? If so, what does the Bible teach? What names, other than Persia, may be used to describe Iran? There is also a related YouTube video titled Iran In Prophecy.
Mystery Babylon USA, Mecca, or Rome? The Bible tells of an end-time Mystery Babylon the Great that sits on seven hills. While Catholic and Church of God scholars have identified this as Rome, others point to other cities. Some who profess Christ have pointed to the USA. Some Protestants, like Joel Richardson, have pointed to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Which of these places meets the biblical criteria for ‘Mystery Babylon’? Is there any item of religious importance near the Caelian Hill (Cælius, Celio)? Dr. Thiel answers these questions from the Bible as well as certain historical information. This is a video.
Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach? Here is a link to a video, also titled Is Russia the King of the North?
Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day? Is Ezekiel 38 about to be fulfilled? A related video is available titled Ezekiel 38: For Russia, Ukraine, & Iran Now? Another could be Russia, Iran, Syria, & the Bible (Code).
Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied? What does the Bible teach? Which nations may be affected? Here is a link to a related sermon: Terrorism, Christianity, and Islam.
Iraq, the King of the South, Armageddon, and Prophecy What will happen to Iraq? Is it the prophesied Mystery Babylon? What is Armageddon and how does that have to do with Iraq? Here is a related video Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy.
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
The Prophesied ‘Islamic’ Confederation Where is an Islamic caliphate prophesied? Will one happen? Should you be concerned about it? A related video is Will an Arabic Calphiphate Destroy the West?
Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia in Prophecy What is ahead for North Africa? What does the Bible teach?
How Will Middle East Peace be Brought About? Can humans bring peace to the Middle East? A related video is Middle East Peace? When?
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
The Arab and Islamic 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? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi.
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill? Is a Donald Trump presidency proving to be apocalyptic? Two related videos are available: Donald: ‘Trump of God’ or Apocalyptic? and Donald Trump’s Prophetic Presidency.
Trump Presidency Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy? BBC reported that one might as well use a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’ to try to predict what will happen in the remaining time of Donald Trump’s presidency. What is a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’? Dr. Thiel not only explains that, but also briefly goes over 10 biblically-based warnings he wrote would happen if Donald Trump were elected that have already began to come to pass. He also goes over something he wrote back in 2008 that the Trump presidency is also helping lead to fulfillment. Should you trust Bible prophecy or not? Dr. Thiel says that Bible prophecy can be trusted, despite the view of skeptics and others that either overlook or despise the Bible. This is a video.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse This 188 page book is for people truly interested in prophecies related to Donald Trump and the United States, including learning about several that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon for $12.99 from the following link: Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition This electronic version of the 188 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2019, 2020, or 2021? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Might the Great Tribulation start in 2019?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Other videos include: Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch?, Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy, Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome, Is China paving roads to Armageddon?, and Jordan, Petra, and Armageddon.

It’s International Happiness Day: 14 Biblical Keys to Happiness

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019


COGwriter

Today is International Happiness Day:

March 20. 2019

International Day of Happiness is an opportunity for business leaders to reflect on the connections between happiness, productivity, and growth—in their own lives, and the lives of their organizations. …

The U.N.’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network issues an annual World Happiness Report, using a variety of measures to gauge the overall happiness of nations around the world. Last year’s report found the U.S. ranking had fallen from third place in 2007 to 18th place. …

Start with gratitude

Leading researchers in health and positive psychology have found that simple gratitude practices can dramatically improve our sense of well-being and our physical health. Such practices can include keeping a gratitude journal and making a habit of thanking employees and colleagues for their efforts. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nazbeheshti/2019/03/20/why-is-the-u-s-losing-ground-in-happiness-what-we-can-do-today-on-international-day-of-happiness/#2e79aaa451cd

As far as gratitude goes, we have a sermon related to giving thanks that is available: Ingratitude and Giving Thanks.

As far as happiness goes, the old Worldwide Church of God had an article about happiness by Charles F. Vinson in the January 1973 edition of old the Plain Truth magazine:

How MANY times have you thought, I’d be happy , if only . … “? The daydream usually continues with ” If only I had more money,” or, “if only I had married someone else,” or, “if only I could change jobs,” or, “if only I had better health.”

Always “if only.”

Is happiness the impossible dream? Why does it always seem to be some- where around the corner , off in the vague future , but never really right now?

Certainly there are reasons enough for the world’s all-too-common victims of war, disease, hunger and poverty to be less than satisfied with living. But what makes most Americans, Britons, Japanese, Germans – peoples who, in the main, enjoy a higher degree of human comfort than most of the other peoples of the world – so often dissatisfied, unfulfilled, empty and discouraged? Why can’t these people be happy?

The answer is deceptively simple. No one has ever told them how to achieve happiness.

What’s Your Concept?

Most human beings have little difficulty conjuring up their own purple-hued vision of the ultimate in human existence – very often a pleasing combination of wealth, status and power, with freedom from frustration, both mentally and sexually. If this vaguely fits your concept of happiness, you really ought to consider whether or not this “vision of Valhalla ” is a truly worthwhile goal.

One way to find out is to ex amine the lives of men who have actually lived under such conditions – and to see where it got them. One of the best examples historically is King Solomon, a real-life figure widely noted throughout the ancient world for his fantastic wealth and wisdom.

Solomon had everything going for him. His father, King David, had at great effort and cost subdued the worst of the neighboring war-hungry tribes and had established a measure of peace in the Kingdom of Israel. After David’s death, Solomon stepped into a situation few men have ever had the opportunity to experience – limitless wealth at his personal disposal, a conditional promise of blessings from God and the gift of unparalleled wisdom, also given by God. Gossip undoubtedly circulated far and wide in that ancient world about Solomon’s fantastic kingdom.

Foreign royalty paid him state visits to see if what the y heard was really true.

It was. What they found in the City of David only served to reinforce the Solomonic legend, even though the truth needed no embellishment. According to the Biblical record published in Second Chronicles , chapters six through nine, Solomon possessed enough wealth and power to luxuriate in a life-style making notorious penthouse-dwellers of today seem poverty-stricken by comparison.

A Catalog of Wealth

On a yearly basis, Solomon received 666 talents of gold , or about 960,000 ounces . That amounts to something like $33,600,000 in gold per year at the old rate of $35 per ounce {$1,248,000,000 per year presuming a gold value of $1300 per ounce which it has been in the 21st century}.

There are … individuals today whose yearly assets … exceed that figure on paper, but this was the real thing – solid gold. It was reputedly so common, in fact, that Solomon didn’t bother to buy certain items for himself. He had them made from his gold. His throne was made of imported ivory overlaid with gold. None of his drinking vessels were made of silver. It was simply too common, assertedly as common as ordinary rock (I Kings 10:27).

Solomon imported finery from all parts of the world. His navy reported to him each year , bringing him more gold, silver, ivory and rare animals . In a triumph of understatement, I Kings 10:23 says that Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom. State visits involved extravagant exchanges of gifts. When the famous Queen of Sheba for instance, came to investigate the fabulous rumors she had heard about Solomon, she brought along 120 talents of gold, a “very great store” of spices and precious stones to boot. Nearby friendly King Hiram, who lived on the Mediterranean coast, used his ships to bring Solomon gold from Ophir, as well as large amounts of rare wood and precious stones.

However, money really wasn’t everything. The Bible says that Solomon loved “many strange women” (I Kings 11:1). That is another magnificent understatement. Solomon kept seven hundred bona-fide wives plus three hundred concubines. To impress these wives, he commanded a personal army of charioteers – 1,400 chariots, to be exact, and twelve thousand horsemen . He even built special cities for these men, and imported their horses from Egypt. To keep his wives happy, he also ordered the best of imported fabrics (I Kings 10:28- 29).

But Was He Happy?

In addition, Solomon, being king and all-powerful, could of course do anything he desired – which is precisely what he set about to do. Later on, he wrote a book about his exploits called Ecclesiastes.

In this book, Solomon relates how he experimented with nearly every- thing under the sun to see what might make him happy. Nonstop entertainment soon grew tiresome. “But I found that this, too, was futile. For it is silly to be laughing all the time; what good does it do?” (Eccl. 2:2, The Living Bible.) He mentions taking up drinking to see if happiness could be found in a bottle. Happiness wasn’t, but morning-after headaches probably were. He constructed monuments to himself in the form of immense and beautiful public works. They were impressive and undoubtedly provided a great ego-trip, but they seem to have made him no happier. He built elaborate houses for 14 himself and constructed temples for the gods of his favorite pagan wives. He raised vineyards and conducted experiments in his botanical gardens on all kinds of rare trees and plants. He constructed waterworks to irrigate the nearby arid land. Most of this is described in Ecclesiastes, chapter two.

He stated matter of factly, “I be- came greater than any of the kings in Jerusalem before me, and with it all I remained clear-eyed, so that I could eval uate all these things.” This, admittedly, sounds like shades of Muhammad Ali, the boastful American heavyweight boxer, but it was the literal truth. He also confessed that “anything I wanted, I took, and did not restrain myself from any joy” (Eccl. 2:9-10, The Living Bible).

In short, Solomon had fame, money, and wisdom – every physical blessing there was to have. He tried everything there was to try – at least, all he could think of – and he had whatever he wanted whenever he wanted it. It was all paid for. He lacked absolutely nothing in the way of human comfort.

Unfortunately, Solomon was miserable. He admitted it himself . “So now I hate life because it is all so irrational; all is foolishness, chasing the wind” (Eccl. 2:17, The Living Bible).

Why on earth would a man who had everything, including an unrestricted and enormously varied sex life, be so fed up with living that he felt like committing suicide?

The truth is that Solomon knew what would have made him happy – but he ignored it . Had he paid more attention to it, he could have lived a life more like the happier, fulfilled and rewarding existence of another man who lived almost a thousand years later.

From Persecutor to Persecuted

This man seemed to have every right to be miserable. He was Jewish and a member of the sect of the Pharisees. He hated the new sect which was called “Christian” after a certain Jesus Christ who had been publicly executed, but who the Christians claimed was still alive. He considered them an annoying threat to the Jewish religious establishment in which he held a high position. He persecuted the Christians with a vigor that astounded the liberal Romans in charge of that part of the Empire.

This man was forced to undergo conversion to the very “sect” which he had been so avidly persecuting. His former compatriots probably considered him slightly insane to take such a flip-flop in his thinking. The man’s name, of course, was Paul. He later became an apostle and one of the chief figures in the development of the New Testament church.

Far from having the magnificent wealth which Solomon had enjoyed, Paul was forced by circumstance to fall back on his childhood training of tentmaking in order to support him- self as he ministered to the Churches of God located around the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, he had to do much of his traveling on foot, or by ship. Devastating storms were common occurrences. Then, too, he was under constant danger from those in- tent upon persecuting the Church as he had once done himself. He didn’t always escape their wrath.

He catalogued his “misadventures” in the ministry in one of his pub- lished letters to the church located in the Greek city of Corinth:

“Five different times the Jews gave me their terrible thirty -nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I was in the open sea all night and the whole next day. I have traveled many weary miles and have been often in great danger from flooded rivers, and from robbers, and from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the hands of the Gentiles. I have faced grave dangers from mobs in the cities and from death in the deserts and in the stormy seas and from men who claim to be brothers in Christ but are not. I have lived with weariness and pain and sleepless nights. Often I have been hungry and thirsty and have gone without food; often I have shivered with cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.

“Then, besides all this, I have the to pay attention to his disastrous life constant worry of how the churches and to avoid the same mistake he are getting along” (The Living Bible, II Cor. 11:24-28).

That is quite a list of adventures, enough to make men of lesser fortitude to opt for a safe, comfortable office job. But external problems were not all Paul endured. He also had what he a “thorn in the flesh,” possibly a health problem, although he doesn’t refer to it specifically by name(II Cor. 12:7). He does imply, that his eyes gave him problems (Gal. 4:15).

In addition, he just wasn’t very impressive in person. He says little about this fact, but does mention that others had tried to denigrate him in the sight of his congregation by rather nastily alluding to the fact that he was powerful enough in his letters, but that his bodily presence was weak and his speech contemptible (II Cor. 10:10).

Yet Paul Was Happy

By now you can probably sense the obvious lesson about to hit you be- tween the eyes: Happiness doesn’t necessarily come from wealth, position, sexual freedom, or unlimited power and status. A man enduring the worst of living conditions, like Paul, can be happy in spite of the way things look or feel. ” . . . For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am , therewith to be content,” said Paul in Philippians 4: 11. “I know now how to live when things ~re difficult and I know how to live when things are prosperous. In general and in particular I have learned the secret of facing either plenty or poverty” (Philippians 4:12, Phillips translation).

What was his secret? What did Paul know that Solomon didn’t?

The answer is: NOTHING.

Solomon knew the same basic formula for happy living that Paul preached, but the fact that he ignored with- it literally ruined his life. As a bitter old man looking backward on years, Solomon advised younger men, made : “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth , while the, evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them … . Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter : Fear God, and keep his commandments : refers to as · for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl . 12:1,13).

“Fear God and keep his commandments.” That was the one thing though, which could have made Solomon happy – which would have made his fabulous wealth, not at all wrong in itself, a blessing rather than a frustration. And, obedience to the laws of God was the one ingredient in Paul’s life which enabled him to keep going – even to be happy – in spite of all obstacles in his path.

And these same principles, if you obey them, can make you happy–no matter what your situation in life if YOU choose not to ignore them.

But Are They Relevant Today?

“All right ,” you say, “but we are all living in the twentieth century, not two thousand years ago in a Middle Eastern kingdom noted for its mystical adherents and richly embellished history. How would following an ancient code like the Ten Commandments help anyone living in the city ghetto, or playing the freeway game each day, or struggling with un- paid bills, striving to patch up marital spats, worrying over visits to the hos- pital, breathing the polluted air? ” Isn’ t telling everyone to do so more than just a little absurd, a gross over- simplification as a solution to complicated human problems?

Not really. The Ten Commandments are timeless and apply no mat- ter which century you happen to have been born into. For instance, the seventh commandment says, in what sounds to many like foreboding tones, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” In other words, “Don’t cheat on your wife or husband. It’ll make you both unhappy.”

It goes without saying that all of mankind is not now obeying God – and probably won’t unless forced to. But think , for a moment, of the fantastic results which would occur if everyone on earth were to obey just that one commandment. No more broken homes. No more agonizing heartbreak which cannot be measured statistically. No more wretched childhoods spent first with one parent, then with the other , always with the tension and insecurity which accompanies such a childhood situation, and which very often produces deep problems in the adult years. If everyone were striving to obey JUST this ONE commandment, the very marriage covenant would not be entered into so blithely. Young couples would take marriage much more seriously if they realized they were marrying for life, and not simply until the next attractive body comes around. In short, obedience to that one commandment could save mankind from a whole host of premarital and marital problems, heartaches and tragedies.

But that is only one commandment out of ten, only one example of why Solomon’s advice to “fear God and keep his commandments” is an open invitation to a happier, fuller, more satisfying life – the kind of life God wants every human being to experience.

If you would like to have more information about the Ten Commandments , explaining how all of them are applicable to life in today’s world, check out our free online book, The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast.

The Continuing Church of God has the following sermon related to happiness on its ContinuingCOG channel:

Nearly everyone wants to be happy. An advertising campaign decades ago attempted to directly tell us “that’s what happiness is.” Is happiness material goods or physical experiences? Are Christians supposed to be happy? What does the Bible teach about being happy? Does the Bible approach happiness from a different way than the world does? How should a Christian view tests and trials? Are you supposed to rejoice at God’s Holy Days? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more, plus lists fourteen biblical keys to happiness.

Here is a link to the video sermon: 14 Biblical Keys to Happiness.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Biblical Keys to Happiness This is an article for those interested in biblical teachings about being happy. A related sermon is available and is titled: 14 Biblical Keys to Happiness.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

HWA’s 3rd law of success: Good health; Bloomberg List of Healthiest Countries

Monday, February 25th, 2019

COGwriter

In his booklet, The Seven Laws of Success, the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the following related to the third law of success:

The Basic Third Law

The all-important law coming next in time order is GOOD HEALTH.

We are physical beings. The mind and the body form the most wonderful physical mechanism we know. But man is made of matter. He is basically 16 elements of organic, chemically functioning existence.

He lives by the breath of air—which is the breath of LIFE itself. If the bellows we call lungs do not keep inhaling and exhaling the oxygen-containing air, man won’t live to achieve any goal. You are only one heartbeat away from death! As the lungs pump air in and out, so the heart pumps blood through and intricate system of veins and arteries. These must be supported by food and water.

And so man IS just what he eats. Some of the most famous physicians and surgeons have said that 90% to 95% of all sickness and disease comes from faulty diet!

Most people are in utter ignorance of the fact that it does make a difference what we eat! Most people, and the customs of society, have followed a regimen of eating whatever tastes good to the palate.

Adults are babies grown up. Observe a nine-month-old baby. Everything that comes into his hands goes to his mouth!

My youngest brother may not like to read this in print, but I remember when he was about nine months old, and had managed to creep into the basement coal bin. We found him trying to eat little chunks of coal—his mouth and face well blackened!

You may laugh at babies trying to eat silver cups and chunks of coal. Or at people who dip small mice into a sauce, and, holding them by their tails, drop them as a delicious delicacy into their mouths.

If you do, they will laugh back at you. They will tell you that mice eat clean grain and clean foods, while you dip slimy, slithery oysters and other scavenger seafoods into cocktail sauces, and consider them a delicacy!

You think adults have actually LEARNED any better than nine-month-olds babies? Go to your fancy grocer’s and you’ll find on his shelves canned eel and canned rattlesnake.

WHY? As I said, humans know nothing at birth! We have to learn! But most of us do not know that! And, again, what we don’t know, we don’t know that we don’t know! And somehow, ever since babyhood, most humans seem to have grown up putting everything into the mouth. Most have grown up eating just whatever seemed to taste good—and whatever they saw others eating. There has been little education or even study about WHAT we ought—or ought NOT—to eat.

Most degenerative diseases are modern diseases—penalties for eating foods that have been demineralized in food factories—usually an excess of starch, sugar (the carbohydrates) and fats. Others are caused by a type of malnutrition—lack of needed minerals and vitamins in foods. Then people try to put the “vitamins” back into their systems by buying pills at the drugstore!

A famous director of a “Physical Fitness” program, lecturing at Ambassador College, reminded us that the medical profession has made great strides toward eliminating communicable diseases, yet is having little success coping with the increase of the non-communicable diseases,–such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, kidney diseases. These latter are affected by faulty diet.

Of course there are other laws of health—sufficient sleep, exercise, plenty of fresh air, cleanliness and proper elimination, right thinking, clean living.

Right now “jogging” has become the physical fitness fad. Even men in their late forties read a book by a self-professing “expert,” and suddenly are straining their hearts running two miles every day. “More and more exercise!” cry the faddists.

Why do humans tend to go to extremes? Exercise is good—it profits a little—but like most things, it can be carried past the law of diminishing returns. You can get an overdose that can cause harm. We are prone to forget the admonition of TEMPERANCE in all things.

What is the value of this excessive exertion in running two miles a day? It induces blood circulation. It gets circulation even to the extremities. And that is good. Stimulating blood circulation is good. Stimulating blood circulation is important. But we can also DESTROY HEALTH by going to unwise extremes. There is as much danger in overdoing exercise as in neglecting it.

Circulation can be induced without over-exertion or danger. I have never forgotten a lecture I heard as a young man in the days of the Chautauqua. The lecturer had been physical trainer to President Howard Taft. Immediately following the close of the Taft administration, this physical trainer managed to secure a list of all—or nearly all—of the centenarians in the United States. He personally visited every one. He asked to what they attributed their long life. One never used tobacco, and gave that as the reason. But another used tobacco all his life and still lived past a hundred years. One “tee-totaled”—but another drank beer and brandy all his life. And so it went. When he had interviewed them all, he analyzed his notes and was surprised to learn that ONLY ONE THING was common to them all. Yet not one gave it credit for his long life. Every one had taken a vigorous daily rub-down. Some with a bath towel, following a daily bath. Some with a brush But in one way or another, each had stimulated blood circulation even to the extremities of toes and fingers by daily rubbing or massaging.

Many ask how I (now in my nineties) keep up the energy, vigor and drive. I’m sure there is more than one reason—but I do not “jog” or go in for fads. I WALK—the best exercise for one of my age. But ever since I heard that lecture, perhaps 60 or more years ago, I have taken a daily RUB-DOWN. Method? A generous-size bath towel, following a daily shower. I try to get enough sleep. I watch elimination (very important). I try to be careful about my diet. And I have a tremendous INCENTIVE—a driving PURPOSE in life, because I have learned what is life’s PURPOSE. That spurs to action! I have a mission to accomplish that is more important than my life. There’s not much time left—and it MUST and WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED! Besides all this I draw on a greater and higher Power. I think that gives the answer.

The average person has never stopped to realize that it is not natural to be sick. Sickness and disease come only from violation of nature’s laws of body and mine—the physical LAWS of health. Most people have not learned that there are any such laws! They suppose that occasional illness or disease is natural in the course of life. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Sickness should not be taken for granted. Some authorities go so far as to say that we do not catch a cold—we eat our colds and fevers! They explain that a cold or fever is merely the unnatural and rapid elimination of toxins and poisons stored up in the glands, resulting from improper diet.

Now what about the great and the near-great of the world? They usually do not know all there is to know about the laws of good, vigorous health with clear, alert minds. But, compared to the average of the population, they know a great deal. They have, as a rule, enjoyed, shall we say, comparatively good health!

As an example, the President of the United States always has a White House physician who is constantly watchful over the President’s physical condition. A President is virtually required to get in certain exercise. President Eisenhower played golf frequently. President Kennedy took a daily swim. President Taft had a physical trainer who watched the overweight President daily.

Yet, there are many things that even these important people do not know about the causes of sickness, disease, debility.

One factor I think has worked universally in favor of such men. Mental attitude does have considerable influence on physical condition. Most “successful” men—as the world evaluates success—do think constructively, positively, in a mental attitude of confidence. They do not allow themselves to think negatively or assume an attitude of fear, worry, or discouragement. They do not allow themselves to get into uncontrolled moods of griping, complaining. They enforce on themselves emotional balance. And, mindful of the responsibilities on their shoulders, they probably put more restraint on dissipation than most people.

Without health one is direly handicapped, if not totally cut off from achievement. The fourth Law of Success is largely dependent on good health.

Many factors, including genetics and environment, affect health. But so do choices. (BTW, the fourth Law of Success in The Seven Laws of Success is “drive”).

Over a decade ago, I wrote a book related to natural health (which is still available) titled Combining Old and New : Naturopathy for the 21st Century. In addition to going over various views of health, causes of illness, and naturopathic modalities, it includes basically two chapters written by the late Herbert W. Armstrong (which were public domain and hence usable in a commercial book) on aspects of health.

People can influence and improve their health by making better choices.

ZeroHedge posted the following from Bloomberg:

According to Bloomberg’s 2019 World Health Rankings, …

See the full ranking below:

Ranking

Ranking

Ranking

Consider that although the US spends the most on health (primarily through medical, not natural, interventions), it is not the healthiest land.

Food and lifestyle choices do matter.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Does God Heal Today? This historical article is by Herbert Armstrong and provides his views on healing circa 1952, which he seemed to later modify, at least to some degree.
Faith for those God has Called and Chosen What is faith? Can faith be increased? Are you saved by faith? What about works? Do Christians need to keep the Ten Commandments? What is the ‘faith chapter’? How do the just live by faith? Is faith one of the weightier matters of the law? How does faith come? Here is a link to a pdf. booklet titled Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido.Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Faith for the Called and Chosen. Here is a link to shorter version of the written article in Mandarin Chinese 一篇关于信仰的小文章
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
Should Christians Smoke Tobacco or Marijuana? Is smoking a sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change? What about marijuana?
Marijuana: Should a Christian Get High? There is increasing acceptance of the use of marijuana. How should Christians view this? Here is a related video titled How Should a Christian View Marijuana?
Alcohol: Blessing or Curse? This is an article from the old Good News magazine that attempts to answer this question.
Binge Drinking, Health, and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach? A related video is also available: Binge Drinking and the Bible.
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods? A related video would be Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy.
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats.
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 who he was and how he should be viewed today.
The Seven Laws of Success Information that can help people become successful.
Combining Old and New : Naturopathy for the 21st Century. A book written by Dr. Thiel on natural health principles and modalities.

GCI putting together ‘Revised Common Lectionary’

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019


Logo of Grace Communion International

COGwriter

GCI (Grace Communion International, essentially the group that originally ran the new and changed Worldwide Church of God) posted the following today:

Dear GCI Family and friends,

Health is a relative term.  …

You are aware that I have been preaching and promoting healthy church, and we are just beginning to focus on what this means.  …

What is the diet of the church? Ultimately, we should be feeding on Jesus, the Bread of Life. This is why we have some of our best writers creating sermon outlines for the cycle of the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL). …

Working toward better health,
Greg Williams

https://update.gci.org/2019/02/healthy-church-2/

The idea of a “Revised Common Lectionary” caught my attention for a couple of reasons.

The first is that it reminds me of what Roman Catholics and many Protestants do, which is to essentially write and mandate what their clergies are to preach.

For those unfamiliar with the term, Wikipedia defines it as follows:

A lectionary (Latin: Lectionarium) is a book or listing that contains a collection of scripture readings appointed for Christian or Judaic worship on a given day or occasion.

Basically, lectionaries are sermon/topic outlines. So, the pastor does not need to come up with ideas and will also speak on what someone wants him/her to speak about.

And the second reason this caught my attention is that I was speaking with a former WCG minister yesterday who told me he had recently met with one who just left GCI.

Basically, he told me that the minister told him that despite claims to the contrary, GCI was a very controlling organization.

Adding the Revised Common Lectionary seems to be consistent with that.

Some items of related interest may include:

The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings Who is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring to? Are there multiple falling aways? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: La Apostasía: Enseñanzas de la Biblia y de la WCG. There are also two YouTube videos on the subject that you can watch The Falling Away Part 1: From the Bible and Church History and The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others.
The 18 Restored Truths: Do 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 Herbert W. Armstrong’s list of restored truths. It contains many quotes from Herbert W. Armstrong. Here are links to a related two-part sermon: The 18 Restored Truths: 1-8 and The 18 Restored Truths: 9-18.
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 who he was and how he should be viewed today.
17 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert W. Armstrong He, even after his death, keeps being improperly maligned–here is the truth on these matters.

Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia? A sermonette in English covers: Colossians, Galatians, and the Feasts of God.
Joyce’s Pictures of the Pasadena Campus of Ambassador College and the former Headquarters of the old Worldwide Church of God Here is some pictures of the old campus taken in 2016 for those interested in what it did look like and what remains.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compro

HWA warned that many COG members would not make it into the Kingdom of God–and many fell away

Friday, February 15th, 2019

GOTKOG Book Cover 2016 BOTH FINAL

COGwriter

Herbert W. Armstrong, the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, wrote the following article of warning:

Some of You May Not Make It Into God’s Kingdom – Does It Mean YOU?

MOST PEOPLE who follow this world’s traditional “Christianity” take it for granted that, if sometime in their life they “accept Christ,” they will go to heaven when they die. But in GOD’S Church we talk about “making it into God’s Kingdom.”

I wonder if YOU really do understand the difference! This world is SATAN’S world — not God’s. Satan is a DECEIVER! This world is DECEIVED! But often I wonder, dear brethren, how many of YOU have really come to see the difference! How many of OUR brethren just substitute “the Kingdom” for going to heaven, and think we “get into the Kingdom” the same way they think they shall go to heaven — just by having somehow professed to have “accepted Christ”!

This deceived world lives the way of “GET.” And “GET” is the way that TRANSGRESSES God’s LAW! They want to “GET” salvation. They “RECEIVE” Christ — they profess to “ACCEPT” Christ. And they think that’s ALL THERE IS TO IT. Once they have declared they “accept” — that is, “GET” Christ — there is nothing more to do. It is all settled. They go to church once in a while and sing that old hymn, “It Was All Settled Long Ago.” They were THEN “saved.” They are never told to REPENT. They are not instructed on what REPENTANCE really is. Instead they are taught that if they obey God’s law they will be “LOST.” Obeying God’s spiritual LAW, they are taught, is “works,” and their preachers quote Ephesians 2:8-9:

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.” But the preachers NEVER read right on the next words, verse 10, which says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
They MISS God’s whole PURPOSE in saving us. Do NOT SOME OF YOU, ALSO? Just WHAT is this important matter of salvation all about?

The first created man, Adam, disobeyed God. He followed his wife Eve in choosing SATAN’S “GET” way of life, rejecting God’s spiritual LAW, which is God’s WAY OF LIFE love to God and outflowing LOVE to other people!

God had, long before creating Adam, set the super archangel LUCIFER on the THRONE with power to RULE over all the earth. When Lucifer rejected God’s LAW — God’s WAY OF LIFE — he abrogated the GOVERNMENT OF GOD on earth, and he became SATAN THE DEVIL. But it is the law of God’s government over the universe that SATAN must remain on that throne, with SUPERNATURAL POWER OVER ALL THE EARTH, UNTIL the government of God is restored, and CHRIST is sitting on that throne with supreme POWER to rule all the earth — when Satan shall be banished from the earth.

So Satan was still there to deceive Eve and lead Adam into SIN. After the beginning of the New Testament Church, SATAN was still there. The apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted” (II Cor. 11:3). Satan is still on that throne today, deceiving, misleading the world. And I have to often wonder, as Paul did in writing the church at Corinth, if Satan is deceiving some of YOU dear brethren? So I appeal earnestly to you to listen and to THINK ABOUT THIS!

Adam cut himself and HIS FAMILY off from God — from God’s LAW — from God’s GOVERNMENT! Now WHAT IS GOD’S PURPOSE? WHY did He create humans and put us humans here on earth? LISTEN! UNDERSTAND THIS! God is reproducing Himself! He is begetting human PEOPLE as HIS very own CHILDREN. His children together with Him and with Christ will become the GOD FAMILY! There will be, in His Kingdom, God the FATHER, Christ the SON and we of the Church as Christ’s WIFE — married to Christ at the time of the resurrection at His Second Coming to earth — at the final making of the NEW COVENANT, which is the NEW Covenant! It will make us of the Church — then made immortal GOD BEINGS composed of immortal spirit — both the children of God and the Wife of Christ — the GOD FAMILY — and called also THE KINGDOM OF GOD!

Now we talk about “making it into the Kingdom.” What do we mean? We mean making it into God’s own FAMILY! We shall be a FAMILY — the GOD FAMILY!

Now to train us to be a part of that divine FAMILY, God made us male and female. God ordained the marriage union and the human FAMILY. God intended us to LEARN HIS KIND OF FAMILY RELATIONSHIP in our own FAMILY LIFE here in this present life! Now keep that in mind. I’m coming back to it. But keep also in mind something else.

Since Adam failed to resist Satan and to restore the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, none of Adam’s children could overcome Satan and qualify to replace Satan on that throne over all the earth and to RESTORE the government of God. So finally God sent His OWN Son, His only-begotten Son, to become human as well as divine. Jesus was GOD in human flesh — God as well as MAN. He was the ONLY human ever able to obey God’s great spiritual LAW perfectly, resist and conquer Satan and QUALIFY to RESTORE the GOVERNMENT OF GOD on earth!

More than that, He was able to set us an example of living THE WAY of God’s spiritual LAW, to die for us, paying for us the penalty of our sins, and to be resurrected by the FATHER, thus making our resurrection and immortal life possible — so that WE may become God’s CHILDREN in GOD’S FAMILY, and born GOD BEINGS.

We together with God and with Christ shall form THE. KINGDOM OF GOD, RULING ALL THE EARTH WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD. Satan then shall be banished.

Now Adam cut himself and HIS family OFF from God and from receiving God’s Holy Spirit. God made Adam’s decision BINDING on Adam’s FAMILY who form the whole world — UNTIL the GOVERNMENT OF GOD is RESTORED and Satan is banished, so Satan cannot lead humanity any longer AWAY FROM GOD! And that means UNTIL the Second Coming of CHRIST and restoration of GOD’S GOVERNMENT by the Kingdom of God.

Meanwhile God made an exception in cutting Adam’s FAMILY off from God. God called Abraham out of Satan’s world, and 430 years later Abraham’s children to become God’s NATION. To them He gave the OLD Covenant — a marriage covenant that made them the wife of Yahweh who was to be born as Jesus later. God gave them His spiritual law but they, like the first Adam, refused to obey it. Only the prophets of Israel obeyed, and only they shall be in Goo’s KINGDOM WITH GOD’S CHURCH!

Then when Jesus came and QUALIFIED to depose Satan and RESTORE the GOVERNMENT OF GOD and for Himself to sit on that THRONE with power to rule the whole earth, God the Father called certain ones HE chose. He called them to come OUT OF THIS WORLD — out of SATAN’S world — to receive His Holy Spirit. This begat them as His CHILDREN, in His BEGOTTEN FAMILY.

He called us out of the world, to be SEPARATE FROM the world. To Live a FAMILY LIFE to prepare us for the FAMILY LIFE that shall be HIS KINGDOM!

Now UNDERSTAND THIS! I’m afraid many of you have NOT understood it!

The KINGDOM is the divine FAMILY of God. If we cannot live as a FAMILY should live, according to God’s SPIRITUAL LAW, now, while in God’s Church, WE SIMPLY WON’T MAKE IT INTO God’s KINGDOM (which is His divine FAMILY!).
Now PLEASE! PLEASE, dear brethren, HEED THIS! Many of you are NOT living the kind of FAMILY

LIFE that is preparing you for God’s Kingdom. And if you DON’T repent, and reorder your whole FAMILY life,
YOU SIMPLY WON’T MAKE IT INTO THE KINGDOM! I MEAN THAT! It is LIFE AND DEATH for ALL ETERNITY!
We found at the summer SEP camp at Orr, Minn., that in many cases the children DO NOT EAT WITH THEIR PARENTS AT HOME!

It is reported to me that many of you are LAX in child training and in teaching your little children! You ARE NEGLECTING YOUR FAMILY LIFE. And you may be NEGLECTING SO GREAT SALVATION.
Listen to what God SAYS! “How shall we [we’ in the Church] escape, if we NEGLECT so great salvation?” (Heb. 2:3).

… many of you are NEGLECTING your very salvation!

God says to YOU: “For the time IS COME that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if… the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” (l Pet. 4:17-18). (Good News, January 1981)

Five years after the above was published Herbert W. Armstrong died.

In the radio broadcast he did titled End Time Falling Away,  Herbert Armstrong taught, that the New Testament shows there will be falling away related to the Church of God in Acts 20:28-29, as well as a massive turning aside towards fables for the world in 2 Timothy 4:3 (note, all oral quotes in this document are from my notes and may not always be verbatim):

Men to turn away from the truth…Acts 20:29 and 30…Paul…wanted to meet with the leaders of the church… What church?  The Church of God!… “For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.  Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.  Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.”

See what the prophecy was?  Falling away.  Departing from the truth! 

And then go to second Corinthians eleventh chapter and the 13th, 14th, and 15th verses.

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. “And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light… Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”  Many false prophets will deceive many…Second Timothy fourth chapter third verse…

For the time will come when they will not endure—THAT’S the PEOPLE the Western world—sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables”  the world will fall away after fables.   (Armstrong HW. End Time Falling Away,  HA103A.MP3)

His successor was NOT faithful and led what was perhaps one of the largest ‘falling aways’ in the history of the Church of God (see The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).

Thus, Herbert W. Armstrong was correct to warn people who thought they were Christians that they may not make it into the Kingdom of God.

There is a prophecy in Zechariah that may be relevant here. Notice:

7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd,
Against the Man who is My Companion,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
“Strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep will be scattered;
Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.
8 And it shall come to pass in all the land,”
Says the Lord,
“That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,
But one-third shall be left in it:
9 I will bring the one-third through the fire,
Will refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will answer them.
I will say, ‘This is My people’;
And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.'” (Zechariah 13:7-9)

While the above seems to have other applications, the fact is that two-thirds of those in the old WCG accepted total apostasy after the death of Herbert W. Amrstrong, and about one-third did not, makes the possible application of the Tkach apostasy seem to fit.

Nowadays, most remaining Christians do not accept proper church governance–even though Herbert W. Armstrong emphasized that a lot in his final years on Earth for Philadephian Christians.

He also taught about those who would not fully fall away, but would be Laodicean:

…the final generation of the Church shall be LUKEWARM — not less emotional, but more ‘liberal,’ more secular and less spiritual — less strictly biblical –” “Speaking of the present ‘Philadelphia’ era, it says…because we have kept God’s Word faithfully, not liberalizing nor watering down, God will keep us from the ‘hour of temptation, which shall come upon all them that dwell on the earth’ to try and test them. (Armstrong HW. Personal from Herbert W. Armstrong. Plain Truth, August 1980).

But, the BAD NEWS, as it appears today, my dear brethren, is that we, undoubtedly of the Philadelphian era…are in serious danger of BECOMING also the Laodicean era. I am personally much concerned about that. If YOU are NOT concerned, then indeed we are in mortal DANGER. (Armstrong HW. Personal from Herbert W. Armstrong. Good News, August 1979).

Now, here we find, while it’s pictured as seven churches, it’s really seven stages of the one True Church.., in seven successive times. Also, you’ll find every one of the seven conditions in the church at all times but, in the early years, the Ephesus condition dominated and the tail end of it the Laodicean condition is to dominate on the earth and there you are. (Armstrong HW. History of the True Church – Part 4. Radio broadcast, transcript)

Well, now then, I have said that the Laodicean condition will dominate at the tail end. But I have said that all of those conditions—all the way from Ephesus up to Laodicea, all seven—are present at all the time in the Church; but that now, in the Philadelphian Era, we have the Laodicean condition. That’s what I am talking about today. It’s here. (Armstrong HW. Warning To The Church. Sermon, July 1, 1978)

These seven messages DO apply to seven successive church eras. BUT they also apply to the WHOLE CHURCH through ALL eras. In other words, the Ephesus characteristics DOMINATED in the first era, and the Laodicean will dominate in the last, but SOME of these characteristics are found in EVERY era. (Armstrong HW. Human Nature, Did God Create It? 1976)

You may have to give your present life in order to make the Kingdom of God. Are you going to try to live on and save it? Or are you willing…? There is one place in the 12th chapter of Revelation where, after Satan has had the battle in heaven once again and has been sent back down to earth, where the “saints loved not their lives unto death.” And that’s speaking of our time, and our people, and those of the Laodicean Church to follow us almost immediately. And the Laodicean Era of the Church has not yet come, but it will; and I think that we are doing a whole lot to raise it up. (Armstrong HW. Mark of the Beast. Sermon, December 11, 1982)

The Apostle Peter wrote:

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:10-11)

After Herbert W. Armstrong’s death, not only was there a falling away (see The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings), it has become clear that the Laodicean era has been upon us.

Sadly, most who did not fall away from Christianity have drifted into Laodiceanism.

Jesus told those Christians to repent:

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”‘” (Revelation 3:14-22)

In the end times, MOST true Christians will be Laodicean. It is not that the Laodiceans cannot enter the Kingdom of God, but they have issues that they need to change–and risk severe chastisement in this life if they do not repent.

Do not remain Laodicean.

Support the remnant of the Philadephian era and God’s work today.

Do not delay (cf. Zephaniah 2:1-3).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings Who is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring to? Are there multiple falling aways? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: La Apostasía: Enseñanzas de la Biblia y de la WCG. There are also two YouTube videos on the subject that you can watch The Falling Away Part 1: From the Bible and Church History and The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others.
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 lower level leaders? A related sermon is available titled Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “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 ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had? What are some of the scriptural limits on ecclesiastical authority? Do some commit organizational idolatry? Here is a Spanish language version La Biblia, Policarpo, Herbert W. Armstrong, y Roderick C. Meredith sobre el gobierno de la Iglesia. Here is a link to a sermon titled Church Governance.
CCOG’s 6 Years and Scriptures Laodiceans Miss CCOG has the fruits Jesus talked about. But many onlookers have not properly understood various scriptures. CCOG 6 years: Philadelphians understand scriptures others miss.
CCOG’s Five Years of Listening to God Jesus warned Christians to hear the messages to the churches. CCOG is doing so. A related sermon is also available: CCOG’s Five Years of Listening to God.
CCOG’s Four Years and God Revealing Philadelphia? Has God been revealing Philadelphia since CCOG formed? What has been happening? Can you see the hand of God in this? A related sermon is titled CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia?
6. 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 the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

HWA’s Second law of success, in time sequence, is EDUCATION

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

COGwriter

In his booklet, The Seven Laws of Success, the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the following related to the second law of success:

The Vital Second Law

And so, if you are to arrive at SUCCESS in LIFE, you must first set the right goal, and then comes the PREPARATION to achieve that goal.

So, the SECOND law of success in time sequence, is EDUCATION, or PREPARATION.

How can one expect to accomplish his purpose unless he acquires the know-how?

One thing we need to know about life—and many do not—is that humans do not come equipped with instinct.

To this extent, the dumb animals have a certain advantage over us. They do not have to learn. They never need weary their brains with book learning.

The new born calf does not have to be taught how to walk. It starts immediately to get up on its somewhat infirm and uncertain legs. It may fall down on the first or second attempt, but in a matter of a few moments it stands, even if a little unsteady at first. It does not require a year or two—not even an hour or two—the little calf starts walking in a few minutes! It does not need to reason out any goals. It requires no textbooks, nor teaching. It instinctively knows its goal—dinner! And it knows, also instinctively, the way. On its own four legs it proceeds immediately to the first meal!

I have repeated so many times: birds build nests—by instinct. No one teaches them how. Five generations of weaver birds, isolated from nests or nest-building materials, never saw a nest. When nest-building materials were made accessible, the sixth generation, without any instruction, proceeded to build nests! They were not crows’ nests or eagles’ nests. They were the same kind of nests weaver birds have built since creation. They had no minds to think out, imagine, design, and construct a different kind of nest.

Of course dogs, horses, elephants, dolphins, and some other animals can be taught and trained to do certain tricks. But they cannot reason, imagine, think, plan, design and construct new and different things. They do not acquire knowledge, perceive truth from error, make decisions, and employ WILL to exercise self-discipline according to their own reasoned wisdom and decisions. THEY CANNOT DEVELOP MORAL AND SPIRITUAL CHARACTER.

But humans have it not quite so easy. Humans have to learn, or be taught. Humans have to learn to walk, to talk, to eat or drink.

We don’t come to these basic accomplishments instinctively and immediately like the dumb animals. It may take a little more time. It may come a little harder. But we can go on to learn reading, writing, and “rithmetic”!

Then we can go further, and learn to appreciate literature, music, art. We can learn to think and reason, to conceive a new idea, to plan, design, construct.

We can investigate, experiment, invent telescopes and learn something about outer space and far-off planets, stars, and galaxies. We invent microscopes and learn about infinitesimal particles of matter.

We learn about electricity, laws of physics and chemistry. We learn to use the wheel, construct highways, and roll over ground faster than any animal. We learn to fly higher, farther and faster than any bird. We learn how to take nature apart and make it work for us. We discover and utilize nuclear energy.

But we have to LEARN—to STUDY—to be EDUCATED—to be PREPARED for what we propose to do.

One if the first things we need to learn is –that we need to learn!

Once you have learned enough to CHOOSE A GOAL, the second step toward successfully accomplishing that goal is to LEARN THE WAY—to acquire the additional education, training, experience, to give you the know-how to achieve your goal.

Most people fail to set any definite goals. Having no specific aims, they neglect the specialized EDUCATION to make possible the attainment of their purpose.

Now all these men whose case histories I have recounted had goals. They had the overall purpose of acquiring possessions, attaining status, and enjoying the passing moments. As a means to this objective, they had the specialized goals of succeeding in banking, industry, politics, acting, writing, or whatever. They all EDUCATED THEMSELVES for their particular profession or calling.

They were broad enough to realize that education included not only book learning, but personality development, leadership, experience, knowledge form contacts and associations, and from observation.

Yet these “successful” people were not really successful. They not only chose an overall goal that led them in the way of false values, they also failed to equip themselves with the RIGHT education to make possible that REAL LASTING success—fulfilling the PURPOSE of life.

There is, then, a right and a false education.

These successful people were not lastingly successful. Their education failed to teach them the TRUE VALUES. They chose goals that led them in the way of false values that didn’t last.

The entire system of education in this world neglects to recapture the true values. Even the scholarly educators themselves too often devote themselves to arduous years of research into non-essential and useless channels.

The basic and most essential knowledge—the true values, the meaning and purpose of life, the WAY to peace, to happiness and abundant well-being—these basics are never taught. Because I was given to see this decadence in modern education—to recognize this tragic knowledge gap—I was led to found a college that fills this need.

Right education must teach that all things are a matter of cause and effect—that for every result, whether good or evil, there is a cause. True education will teach the CAUSE of this world’s evils—of personal or collective troubles—so that they may be avoided. Also it much instruct in the CAUSE of this world’s evils—of personal or collective troubles—so that they may be avoided. Also it must instruct in the CAUSE of the GOOD results, that we may know how to win them instead of the troubles. Right education must not stop at teaching TO LIVE! It must know, and teach, the PURPOSE of human life, and how to fulfill it.

Decadent education has spawned student revolt, which has, on occasion, plunged many colleges and universities into states of violence and chaos!

It’s another significant tragedy of our time!

This world is dissemination false education that has come down to us from the thinking, philosophizing, yet misguided pagans who lacked a knowledge of the true values and purposes of life! The true history of education is an eye-opening story in itself!

Despite media reports in the last year or so questioning the monetary value of education (and probably much of it should be questioned), becoming educated or otherwise prepared is important. Not only can the right education “open doors,” it helps many people become more productive. It helps people live up to more of their potential.

With so many world events happening that are aligning with end time prophecy, isn’t this the time to be sure that you have the right goal and understand the meaning of life so that your education can support that?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? What is your ultimate destiny? What does the Bible teach? Is deification only a weird or cultic idea? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
The Seven Laws of Success Information by Herbert W. Armstrong and I that can help people become successful.

BBC: Global insect decline may see ‘plague of pests’

Monday, February 11th, 2019


Insects  (Photo Credit: Pixabay)

COGwriter

The BBC reported the following:

Global insect decline may see ‘plague of pests’

11 February 2019

A scientific review of insect numbers suggests that 40% of species are undergoing “dramatic rates of decline” around the world.

The study says that bees, ants and beetles are disappearing eight times faster than mammals, birds or reptiles.

But researchers say that some species, such as houseflies and cockroaches, are likely to boom. …

Published in the journal Biological Conservation, it reviews 73 existing studies from around the world published over the past13 years.

The researchers found that declines in almost all regions may lead to the extinction of 40% of insects over the next few decades. One-third of insect species are classed as Endangered.

“The main factor is the loss of habitat, due to agricultural practices, urbanisation and deforestation,” lead author Dr Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, from the University of Sydney, told BBC News.

“Second is the increasing use of fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture worldwide and contamination with chemical pollutants of all kinds. Thirdly, we have biological factors, such as invasive species and pathogens; and fourthly, we have climate change, particularly in tropical areas where it is known to have a big impact.” …

“Fast-breeding pest insects will probably thrive because of the warmer conditions, because many of their natural enemies, which breed more slowly, will disappear, ” said Prof Dave Goulson from the University of Sussex who was not involved in the review.

“It’s quite plausible that we might end up with plagues of small numbers of pest insects, but we will lose all the wonderful ones that we want, like bees and hoverflies and butterflies and dung beetles that do a great job of disposing of animal waste.” https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-47198576

As regular readers of this Church of God News page are aware, I have covered the decline and potential impact of the loss of bees for many years (e.g. ‘Bee Apocalypse Now’).

Furthermore, the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) warned of humans destroying beneficial insects and other life decades ago through chemicals:

Modern man also uses poisonous insecticides, which not only exterminate insects, but also many helpful forms of life in the soil and air. Insecticides also enter the ecological web of life and threaten the extinction of birds and mammals. Even man himself is potentially in danger! (Lesson 2 – World Peace – Coming In Our Time! 1983)

That being said, Jesus Himself warned that the “signs” of the end of the age would include pestilences:

7…And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:6-8)

11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:11)

While the above will likely include human-engineered pests, natural pests are also expected to be an issue.

In the sixth chapter of the Book of Revelation, the ride of four horsemen are described. The passages about the fourth horseman are as follows:

7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)

So, the opening of the fourth seal is the time that the pale horse of death is apparently increasing death by war, hunger, and pestilences (the beasts of the earth).

Notice something the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) cited decades ago:

a quotation from a former Harvard Professor who gave this report to ‘The Plain Truth’. He is now President of the Physicians for Social Responsibility; and this is the quote.

“Survival is the only issue that matters now. The other issues pale into total insignificance if we don’t do anything about it, that is the nuclear war threat, within 10 – 20 years we’ll all be killed anyhow.”

  “In the first milliseconds after detonation, gamma radiation would kill everything within six miles [just in milliseconds]. An electromagnetic pulse created by the nuclear blast would fuse all unprotected circuitry within several hundred miles, knocking out communication. A fireball would consume everything within 280 square miles [now this is only one bomb — 280 square miles], in ten seconds. Followed by a blast wave that would flatten remaining structures within four and one half miles, and severely damage other buildings dozens of miles away.”
“If the device exploded near the ground, hundreds of tons of debris now highly radioactive, would be thrown into the air; returning and settling for days afterward as fine deadly ash. And the long term effects are as devastating as the initial blast. If the device exploded on the ground, the surrounding area would be uninhabitable for decades.”  …
“The high radiation would kill most, if not all, of the local bird population, allowing the exponential growth of radiation-resistant insects. Radioactive particles would cause ‘beta burns’ and kill plant life. Radioactive fallout would be carried into water supplies and aquifers through streams and lakes, rendering drinking water unfit in many areas.”(Armstrong HW. The Unthinkable Will Happen. Sermon: June 19, 1982)

Notice that the idea that certain insects would grow exponentially has been a concern from some time. Insects are also a threat as various ones, like mosquitoes, carry various diseases.

How serious of a threat are pestilences? Notice also the following from an old WCG sermon:

In Chapter five, of the prophecy of Ezekiel, and verse twelve, “A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with the famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee:” That means one third of our people are going to die in this famine, this terrible drought — it’s going to be, it surely will be virtually nationwide. I don’t know that this scripture tells us how many states it’s going to cover but it’s going to be the greatest thing that has ever hit this earth and the most terrible thing, the most devastating thing and disease epidemics are going to follow as they naturally would, in the wake of a thing like that. And one-third of our people are going to be killed by it.

When, if God doesn’t step in and supernaturally and intervene — which He will — that no flesh could be saved alive. That humanity would be blasted off of this continent.
Now, what does Ezekiel says about that? And the third part, after a third of our people die in the famine, and the disease epidemic, “…a third part fall by the sword round about thee” (Ezekiel 5:12) and the remaining third are to be scattered into the land of our enemies unless we repent and turn to God. You’re getting that warning, my friends … You’d better repent while there’s time.  (Armstrong HW. Radio broadcast titled: Man’s Last Chance )

And, yes, the old WCG was right that repentance in needed. And yes, the solution will be God’s intervention, and the establishment of the coming Kingdom of God.

That is good news.

However, before then, more pestilences are coming (Revelation 6:7-8).

Is God Calling You?

If so, properly respond to that calling.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse What is the pale horse of death and pestilences? What will it bring and when? Spanish: El cuarto jinete de Apocalipsis, el caballo pálido de muerte y pestilencia.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
GMOs and Bible Prophecy What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras? Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues? A video of related interest is Half human, half pig: What’s the difference?
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2019, 2020, or 2021? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Might the Great Tribulation start in 2019?

WCG, History, and Tithing

Monday, January 28th, 2019

COGwriter

A while back, the anti-COG site, calling itself Banned by HWA, ran an old letter purportedly written by former WCG member Harry Eisenberg opposed to tithing. Here are some extracts:

I was a paid researcher on the staff of Ambassador College for over four years. Generally speaking, my work involved providing “proofs” for the pet concepts and theories held by Mr. Herbert Armstrong and/or his son, Garner Ted. …

In January 1973, I was asked by my supervisor, Brian Knowles, to research the subject of tithing. In particular, Mr. Knowles was interested in learning who paid what to whom and how in ancient Israel.

And so I began a systematic study of the tithing doctrine by listing each Biblical verse which in any way refers to tithing. What followed was a study of commentaries, encyclopedias arid various historical sources. The result was inevitable! I came to see that the tithing concept as promulgated by Ambassador College and the Worldwide Church of God was contrary to both the Old and the New Testaments.

Scripture makes it plain that the right to collect tithes was given to the Levitical priesthood in exchange for their service in the Temple. There is no evidence that this right was ever passed on to the New Testament Church. …

Harry Eisenberg

But are all the claims in that letter accurate?

No.

For those unfamiliar, let me state that the old WCG (Worldwide Church of God) taught three tithes.

That was what the Bible taught as well.

What about historical evidence?

Well, it exists–historical evidence supports the idea of three tithes like the old WCG taught.

It does not matter that Harry Eisenberg purportedly claimed otherwise.

Notice something that the Jewish historian Josephus wrote 1800 years before Herbert Armstrong’s birth:

“Besides those two tithes, which I have already said you are to pay every year, the one for the Levites, the other for the festivals, you are to bring every third year, a third tithe to be distributed to those that want” (Antiquities of the Jews. Book IV, Chapter VIII, Paragraph 22).

Another secular writer confirmed this even earlier in Tobit 1:6-8:

“Taking the first fruits and the tithes of my produce and the first shearings, I would give these to the priests, the sons of Aaron, at the altar. Of all my produce I would give a tenth to the sons of Levi who ministered at Jerusalem; a second tenth I would sell, and I would go and spend the proceeds each year at Jerusalem; the third tenth I would give to those to whom it was my duty”.

Thus, multiple tithes were not an invention of Herbert Armstrong and were understood to exist around the time of Jesus.

The concept of second and third tithe was something that Herbert Armstrong claimed in his 12/17/83 sermon was one of the truths he restored to the Philadelphia era of the Church of God. He claimed that this was one of the truths that the Sardis era did not have, but that at least one of the earlier eras of the Church of God had.

Here is a quote explaining why WCG used to believe that at least part of the Thyatira era of the Church paid multiple tithes:

“The three-part division of tithes paid the Waldensian Church is significant. Even in the 1500’s the same division continued. “The money given us by the people is carried to the aforesaid general council, and is delivered in the presence of all, and there it is received by the most ancients (the elders), and part thereof is given to those that are wayfaring men, according to their necessities, and part unto the poor” (George Morel, Waldensian elder, quoted by Lennard, “History of the Waldenses”). 1. Compare this practice with Num. 18:21 and Deut. 14:22-25, 28-29. Isn’t it exactly what the Bible commands?… Most authors have ASSUMED the “wayfaring men” were the traveling “barbel.” But THEIR expenses would have been paid from the money given the elders, at EVERY time of year, for the direct conduct of the Work — “first” tithe and offerings. Notice that in Numbers 18:21. What Morel then mentions is a “second” tithe, for those traveling to and from the festivals — wayfaring men; and following it, the “third” to the poor. See the explanation in Deut. 14. Feast goers who had more “second tithe” than they needed shared their excess with those who had need, even as they do today! (LESSON 51 (1968) AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place …” Rev. 12:6).

Hence, even if one argues that multiple tithing is not necessarily a specific command in the New Testament (anti-Sabbatarians make similar arguments), one should recognize that multiple tithes have been a practice and tradition of the true Church of God for some time. We in the Continuing Church of God do teach first, second, and third tithe. More details on this subject are included in the article Is Second Tithe and Third Tithe Still Valid Today?

The idea of tithing was not foreign to those who originally professed Christ.

Jude, who was based in Jerusalem (his brother James was the bishop there), wrote to “contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). And this delivered faith would have included tithing.

The Greco-Roman historian Eusebius reported that the first fifteen bishops/pastors of Jerusalem (until c. 135 A.D.) were circumsized Jews who kept the law, etc. (Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book III, Chapter V, Verses 2,3.& Book IV, Chapter 5, Verses 2-4, pp. 45, 71). This means that they also would have tithed and gave offerings similar to how the Jews did (for a short time, c. 67-71, some of the faithful Christians in Jerusalem fled to Pella and then returned).

In the second century, the Jewish authorities in the Tosefta condemned the Judeo-Christians and their tithes (Tofseta Hullin 2:20, as cited in Kessler E. An Introduction to Jewish-Christian Relations. Cambridge University Press, 2010, p. 79), thus signalling that tithing was being done.

Some of the tithe money was apparently used to finance gospel-proclaiming missionaries. Related to the first one or two centuries A.D., notice the following:

The type of Christianity which first was favored, then raised to leadership by Constantine was that of the Roman Papacy. But this was not the type of Christianity that first penetrated Syria, northern Italy, southern France, and Great Britain. The ancient records of the first believers in Christ in those parts, disclose a Christianity which is not Roman but apostolic. These lands were first penetrated by missionaries, not from Rome, but from Palestine and Asia Minor. (Moore, D.V. The Culdee Church, chapters 3 and 4, and Wilkinson, Our Authorized Bible Vindicated, pp. 25, 26 (As cited in Dugger, A History of True Religion, pp. 90-91)

In Palestine, Syria and Asia Minor the churches organized in the apostolic age continued for a long time to be great centres for the propagation of the New Way. (Sell HT. Studies in early church history. F. H. Revell company, 1906. Original from Harvard University, Digitized Mar 24, 2008, p. 52)

The missionaries, most likely, were paid for via tithes from where they originated. It is not likely that many would listen to them if they always arrived in locations broke and had to plead to eat, etc. Some system of tithes and offerings was in place. Notice that the above account shows that the missionaries were sent forth, funded, by those in Palestine and Asia Minor. Up until 135 A.D., the Church of God in Jerusalem of Judea/Palestine was led by those who would have continued with tithes and offerings–and this would have been the case in Asia Minor until around the middle of the third century.

Furthermore, the Apostle John moved to Asia Minor–the Bible specifically tells that he spent time in Patmos (Revelation 1:9). The records of history indicate that John was sent to Patmos by Emperor Domitian, and Eusebius recorded that: “after the tyrant’s death, he returned from the isle of Patmos to Ephesus” (Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book III, Chapter XXIII, Verse 6, p. 56)–Ephesus is in Asia Minor. According to various sources, the Apostle John kept the same practices that the bishops in Jerusalem did, hence he tithed. The Apostle John also warned that those who were truly Christians would keep the same practices he kept (1 John 2:19).

History records that Polycarp of Smyrna passed on to his successors “the canons which he had learned from his youth from John the apostle” (Weidman, Frederick W. Polycarp and John: The Harris Fragments and Their Challenge to Literary Traditions. University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame (IL), 1999, p. 444). History also records that Polycarp and his successors kept “Judeao-Christian” practices (Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book V, Chapter XXIV, Verses 2-7, p. 114) as well. This true form of Christianity dominated Asia Minor until the middle of the third century (cf. Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book VII, Chapter V, Verse I, p. 147).

Since we have seen that missionaries were sent from Palestine and Asia Minor; that those in Jerusalem until 135 A.D., Syria until the early third century, and Asia Minor until at least the third century A.D., had what are called “Judeao-Christian” practices, therefore tithing existed in the Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7) and Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11) eras of the Church of God.

Notice also the following was written in the early 200s by Origen of Alexandria (who was not Church of God):

That people which was called of old the people of God was divided into twelve tribes, and over and above the other tribes it had the levitical order, which itself again carried on the service of God in various priestly and levitical suborders. In the same manner, it appears to me that the whole people of Christ, when we regard it in the aspect of the hidden man of the heart, Romans 2:29 that people which is called “Jew inwardly,” and is circumcised in the spirit, has in a more mystic way the characteristics of the tribes. This may be more plainly gathered from John in his Apocalyse, though the other prophets also…

Those of the tribes offer to God, through the levites and priests, tithes and first fruits; not everything which they possess do they regard as tithe or first fruit. The levites and priests, on the other hand, have no possessions but tithes and first fruits; yet they also in turn offer tithes to God through the high-priests, and, I believe, first fruits too. The same is the case with those who approach Christian studies. (Origen. Commentary on the Gospel of John, Book I, Chapters 1,3)

In the mid-late 200s, the apocryphal Apostolic Constitution claims that the Apostle Matthias (Acts 1:26) endorsed the payment of first-fruit offerings and tithes ( Apostolic Constitutions (Book VIII, Section IV, Chapter XXX) Translated by James Donaldson. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886. The 13th chapter of the Didache (a first or second century document) also seems to support this.

Collier’s Encyclopedia stated:

“TITHE [taith] {O.E. teotha, a tenth}, generally defined as the tenth part of fruits and profits justly acquired, owed to God in recognition of his supreme dominion, and paid to the ministers of region. It is an institution of undetermined antiquity, common to be the Israelitic and many pagan religions. Adopted in principle by the Christian Church from apostolic times … (Collier’s Encyclopedia: With Bibliography and Index, Bernard Johnston (M.A.). 1993, ISBN 0029425484, p.336)

The Catholic Encyclopedia claims:

The payment of tithes was adopted from the Old Law, and early writers speak of it as a divine ordinance and an obligation of conscience (Fanning, William. Tithes. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 14. Nihil Obstat. July 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York. Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 1 Nov. 2012 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14741b.htm>).

The Catholic bishop and saint Cyprian of the third century wrote about tithing as an obligation (Plowden, Francis. The Principles and Law of Tithing. C. and R. Baldwin, London, 1806, p. 60.):

As this is said of all men, how much rather ought those not to be bound by worldly anxieties and involvements, who, being busied with divine and spiritual things, are not able to withdraw from the Church, and to have leisure for earthly and secular doings! The form of which ordination and engagement the Levites formerly observed under the law, so that when the eleven tribes divided the land and shared the possessions, the Levitical tribe, which was left free for the temple and the altar, and for the divine ministries, received nothing from that portion of the division; but while others cultivated the soil, that portion only cultivated the favour of God, and received the tithes from the eleven tribes, for their food and maintenance, from the fruits which grew. All which was done by divine authority and arrangement, so that they who waited on divine services might in no respect be called away, nor be compelled to consider or to transact secular business. Which plan and rule is now maintained in respect of the clergy, that they who are promoted by clerical ordination in the Church of the Lord may be called off in no respect from the divine administration, nor be tied down by worldly anxieties and matters; but in the honour of the brethren who contribute, receiving as it were tenths of the fruits, they may not withdraw from the altars and sacrifices, but may serve day and might in heavenly and spiritual things. (Cyprian. Epistle 65, Chapter 1. Translated by Robert Ernest Wallis. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/050665.htm>.

Later Catholic writers such as Augustine in the fourth/fifth century wrote that tithing was obligatory:

Augustine [Append. Serm. cclxxcii], whose words are quoted 16, qu. i [Can. Decimae], says: “It is a duty to pay tithes, and whoever refuses to pay them takes what belongs to another.” (Aquinas T. The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas Second and Revised Edition, 1920. Question 87-Tithes. Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province Online Edition Copyright © 2008 by Kevin Knight Nihil Obstat. F. Innocentius Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor. Theol. Imprimatur. Edus. Canonicus Surmont, Vicarius Generalis. Westmonasterii. APPROBATIO ORDINIS Nihil Obstat. F. Raphael Moss, O.P., S.T.L. and F. Leo Moore, O.P., S.T.L. Imprimatur. F. Beda Jarrett, O.P., S.T.L., A.M., Prior Provincialis Angliae)

It is not that these Catholic sources should be relied on for doctrine that contradicts scripture, but their support suggests that tithing was understood and not a foreign concept among those that professed Christ in the early centuries after Jesus’ resurrection.

Getting back to the Church of God, Jerome recorded that there were people who claimed descent from the Church of God who had fled to Pella from Jerusalem, kept the ‘old law’ and had the “Judeao-Christian” practices of the Sabbath, Holy Days, millenarianism, etc. (Pritz t. Nazarene Jewish Christianity. Magnas, Jerusalem, 1988, pp. 58,62,63. Bagatti, Bellarmino. Translated by Eugene Hoade. The Church from the Circumcision. Nihil obstat: Marcus Adinolfi. Imprimi potest: Herminius Roncari. Imprimatur: +Albertus Gori, die 26 Junii 1970. Franciscan Printing Press, Jerusalem, p. 202). Thus, they too would have tithed. This indicates tithing was still in place towards the end of the Smyra era of the Church of God.

To suggest that this was mainly a pet doctrine of Armstrong’s without historical precedent is in error.

Here is information about a related sermon on tithing which also includes numerous scriptures:

1:17:20

Should Christians tithe? Historically, did Christians tithe? Was biblical tithing limited to agricultural produce? What exactly is a tithe? How does one calculate a tithe? In modern times, should one tithe on their gross or net income? How should salaried people calculate tithes? How should self-employed people calculate tithes? What about retired people? Are there different tithes for different purposes? Did the Jews practice first, second, and third tithe? Does the New Testament discuss tithing? What are the different tithes actually used for? To whom should faithful Christians tithe?

Here is a link to the sermon: Tithes and Tithing.

Some other items of related interest may include:

Tithing Questions and Some Answers Answers questions about tithing and also addresses some non-biblical arguments against tithing. Should people tithe? Here is a link to a related sermon: Tithes and Tithing. Here is a link to an older sermon: Tithing Answers from the Bible.
Ending Your FINANCIAL WORRIES How can people help themselves and others financially? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. A video of related interest would be: Dealing With Financial Worries.
Is Second Tithe and Third Tithe Still Valid Today? Should you save and use second tithe? Some in the COGs no longer teach payment of third tithe, is this biblically correct?
Banned by HWA and Ambassador Watch There are various ones that oppose the Church of God, but they will not prevail (Matthew 16:18). This is an article about some anti-Church of God tactics.
Gambling and Sin: Is it a Sin for Christians to Gamble? What does the Bible reveal? A related video is Gambling: A Covetous Sin?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. There are links to literature is about 100 different languages there. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? an CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia? Here is a written link to a version of that first sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

GCI announces new structure

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019

COGwriter

Today, I received an email from GCI (Grace Communion International, essentially the group that originally ran the new Worldwide Church of God).

Here is some of what it states:

The following chart is the best way to present the new GCI organizational structure. It is not 100% uniform as each region and country has its own set of nuances, but the alignment is close, and it provides me a meaningful way to communicate and serve our pastors and churches around the globe. The biggest upside for me is when I visit one of the six areas around the world, I will meet with 3-4 leaders at one time and it reduces my travel and hopefully amplifies my effectiveness.

This is a brave new undertaking and several of the leaders are new to the mix, so please join me in your prayerful support of each name on the chart. Even as I more fully step into the shoes of the GCI presidency, several others are stepping into bigger shoes as well, and I truly believe Jesus has raised up the right leaders for such a time as this.

I will work closely with the media team to keep you abreast of what is happening around the world of GCI. “We are GCI” and we are in this together!

Greg Williams

Now while this is a major change for Greg Williams, and the move of GCI’s main office to Charlotte, NC from California, you will note that the higher power at GCI is still the board of directors.

Joe Tkach (former Joe Jr.) was president of GCI and chairman of the board. According to an announcement from him last month (see J. Tkach (Jr.) sends out his last letter as a GCI employee), he remains chairman of the board.

In that announcement he claimed the triune god helped him. Yet. whatever triune god that supposedly was blessing Tkach’s efforts, most certainly was not the God of the Bible.

Joseph Tkach opposed various of the Ten Commandments and other Church of God doctrines.

The Bible denounces the type of lawlessness, etc. that Joseph Tkach promotes.

So, with him as chairman, I believe that he will help ensure that GCI will continue to push sinful, unbiblical, and anti-Church of God doctrines.

GCI is a group that includes many elements of Mithraism (see also Do You Practice Mithraism?) and other non-biblically based religions.

Some items 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: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the Messiah, Prophecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and death, Jesus’ prophesied divinity, 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made, Why Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?, Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus. Plus the links to two sermonettes: Luke’s census: Any historical evidence? and Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah, but … These videos cover nearly all of the book, plus have some information not in the book.
Jesus is God, But Became Flesh Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what? Here is information in the Spanish language¿Es Jesucristo Dios?.
Virgin Birth: Does the Bible Teach It? What does the Bible teach? What is claimed in The Da Vinci Code?
Why Does Jesus Have Two Different Genealogies listed in Matthew 1 and Luke 3? Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38 seemingly list two different genealogies for Jesus. Why? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Por qué Jesús tiene dos genealogías diferentes las cuales aparecen en Mateo 1 y Lucas 3?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view? A related sermon is available: Truth about the Holy Spirit: What THEY do not want you to know!
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD. A related sermon is available: Trinity: Fundamental to Christianity or Something Else? A brief video is also available: Three trinitarian scriptures?
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus? The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach this, and SDA Ellen White did, but does the Bible allow for this?
How Many Creators? Did the ancient Mayans know the truth about the Godhead at creation?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a longer article than the Binitarian View article, and has a little more information on binitarianism, and less about unitarianism. A related sermon is also available: Binitarian view of the Godhead.
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations? A related sermon video is available and is titled: Birthdays, Christians, and December 25th.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Was Jesus Born in the Grotto of the Nativity? Was Jesus born in a below ground cave? Was Jesus born below the “Church of the Nativity”? Were the wise men there?
Is Keeping Christmas a Sin? Is keeping Christmas acceptable for true Christians? What are some scriptures to consider?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach 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.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui? Here is a link to a short animation: Which Church would Jesus Choose?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: N;ÿ Œf/’Y’jNº’ÿ Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?