Cartwright’s Journal out: HWA New Moons, Future temple, LU, and why it is shutting down


The latest issue (says #200, print date November 2017) of The Journal: News of the Churches of God was just posted online.

There was information regarding Herbert W. Armstrong on New Moons, the calendar, & future sacrifices; Living University; and why The Journal is shutting down.

The Journal printed the following, which is part of a letter from the late Herbert W. Armstrong to a woman who inquired about New Moons, back in 1979:

God did use Judah (not Israel) to preserve both the OT Scriptures and the sacred calendar. These were preserved in writing. Israel, prior to rejecting King Rehoboam, and Judah after, did on occasions observe God’s weekly and annual Sabbaths, but not continually, and they disobeyed in just about everything—but they did preserve what was in writing.

Jerusalem time

All these days were observed on the same day everywhere that they were observed at Jerusalem, when that day reached them. Days are always calculated as of Jerusalem. If we live in a time zone that begins ten hours later than the same day does at Jerusalem, we observe that same day when that day comes to us, whether one or more hours before, or after. New Moons were not holy days, or days set apart from religious service, but for special sacrifices and offerings that ended at Jesus’ death. Colossians 2:16 does not set the new moons apart as being holy days or days for special religious service. Nor is there any example of such, although they did when they did) blow trumpets on the first day of each month, beside the special sacrificial offerings.

We did, at Pasadena, when the Church was still young, hold a special Bible study on the even of each new moon. But later we moved that at Pasadena to Friday nights. Some local churches hold Bible Study service on other nights of the week.

Called and chosen

There is no authority or teaching in the Bible to calculate any of these days differently than they did in Moses’ day—when the new moons were seen by the naked eye at Jerusalem. …

We calculate the beginning of months, even as did Jesus and the first apostles —not as a holy day or convocation—yet the spring and fall festivals are reckoned from the first days of their months, and it IS important that we calculate properly. NEVERTHELESS , even so, since these are CHURCH festivals, they must be calculated by the CHURCH , through Christ’s chosen apostle, as Christ leads. We follow Jesus Christ’s own example. He did not change or alter the calculating of these months, but observed them as Judah had calculated them ever since Moses.

The apostles made NO CHANGE in the calculations. Neither do I, or God’s Church of our day. We observe these days, as originally calculated as inspired by God, from Jerusalem, WHEN these same days come to us on a round earth. (Armstrong HW. Letter to female member, 1979 as shown on page titled: HWA explained new moons and more in letter to member. As cited in: The Journal: News of the Churches of God. Issue 200, November 2017, p. 4)

More information on the calendar can be found in the article: Calculated or observed calendar? More information on New Moons can be found in the article: New Moons.

As far as Colossians 1:16 goes, here is information about it in our free online booklet Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?:

Why do most who profess Jesus not keep the biblical Holy Days? In addition to anti-Judaic sentiment, compromise, ignorance, and misplaced ideas about ‘tradition,’ mistranslations are a reason many do not seem willing to accept that they need to observe God’s festivals.

There are usually a couple of mistranslated/misunderstood passages that people tend to point to as supposed ‘proof’ that the biblical holy days are done away with.

Colossians 2:16-17

Probably, the most common portion of the Bible that is often cited as “proof” that the Sabbath and the biblical Holy Days are done away is Colossians 2:16-17. So, let’s examine one slight mistranslation of it:

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ (Colossians 2:16-17, KJV).

The above translation is close, however, it added the word “is” (which is why the KJV translators put is in italics) that is not in the original Greek.

A truly literal translation would leave it out as it is not in there. Notice the Strong’s Concordance numbers and related words for verse 17 (Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright (c) 1994 by Biblesoft):

3739   2076  4639… 3588… 3195….
Which are a shadow of things to come;

3588 1161    4983   9999 3588    5547

the…. but…. body ………… of… Christ.

It should be noted that 9999 means that there was no word in the biblical text—the word “is” is not in this scripture.

Because the same three Strong’s words (#4983, 3588, & 5547) are used four other times in the New Testament and in those times the KJV translates them as “body of Christ” (Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 4:12)–as does the NKJV—so should have the KJV.

Therefore, if those translators were simply consistent with themselves, they would have translated Colossians 2:16-17 to state (and included parentheses or commas):

16 Therefore let no man judge YOU in eating and drinking or in respect of a festival or of an observance of the new moon or of a sabbath 17 (for those things are a shadow of the things to come), but the body of Christ.

Or in other words, do not let those outside the ‘body of Christ’ (the church, Colossians 1:18) judge you regarding Holy Days, but only the true church itself. Colossians 2:16-17 is not saying that the Sabbath and Holy Days are done away.

Even the early Orthodox bishop Ambrose of Milan recognized that Colossians 2:17 was referring to the “body of Christ” as he wrote the following commenting on that verse:

Let us, then, seek the body of Christ…where the body of Christ is, there is the truth. (Ambrose of Milan. Book II. On the Belief in the Resurrection, section 107. A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church: Socrates, Sozomenus: Church histories. Schaff P, Wace H, editors. Christian literature Company, 1896, p. 192)

It is sad that modern translators of the Greek have often ignored what the expression really meant.

It is poor exegesis (biblical interpretation) to rely on a mistranslation to claim that the holy days are done away with. (Thiel B.Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? Nazarene Books, 2016)

More on God’s Holy Days can be found in our free online booklet Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?

Considering that Jerusalem has been in the news a lot this week, I thought I would also include something else that The Journal printed from Herbert W. Armstrong’s 1979 letter:

Beginning chapter 40 Ezekiel looks over into the NEXT AGE —in the World Tomorrow—the millennium ruled by the Kingdom of God.

From chapter 40 on, it is not speaking of ancient Israel, under Moses, or under Joshua, or the judges, Samuel, David or Solomon. Beginning chapter 40 are plans for building the millennial material temple. This will not be built until after Christ’s return to rule the earth, at Christ’s coming. He is coming to the SPIRITUAL Temple, the Church, His Bride. The Church will then be changed to spirit immortality, but all others still living will be mortal, with Israel the chief nation, once again living in the holy land.

Chapter 41 mentions the millennial temple. Read on, the temple is occasionally mentioned. 42:13 mentions the meat offering, the sin offering, the trespass offering, “for the place is holy.” This cannot be speaking of ancient Israel, for they were all—both Israel and Judah—in captivity when Ezekiel wrote, and he speaks of the future that has not yet occurred. Ch. 43:2, a time when the earth will shine with Christ’s GLORY . V. 7, Christ’s throne, dwelling in the midst of Israel for ever, and the House of Israel (British and American people) will defile no more. 43:18, ordinances, “in the day when” — FUTURE . 41, the priests and Levites, and a young bullock for a sin offering.

Why all this about the priests, the Levites and bloody offerings—when all that ended at Christ’s First coming? We do almost no preaching on Ezekiel 40 on, for it refers to the next age. Apparently descendants of ancient Israel shall be required “to do their first works” over again. I know of NO ONE in any church or synagogue who completely understands Ezekiel from chapter 40 on—and it is not Gospel teaching for our time, now. Notice vs. 23-24. Beginning 45:21, mortal Israel shall be observing the annual festivals.

That brings us to ch. 46, which you quoted. But it is not speaking of our time, now, but another age. They shall then have worship services on the new moons—but they also will sprinkle blood and under the Levites be offering animal sacrifices. WE DO NONE OF THOSE THINGS TODAY , EVEN AS THE CHURCH UNDER THE FIRST APOSTLES DID NONE OF THEM . (Armstrong HW. Letter to female member, 1979 as shown on page titled: HWA explained new moons and more in letter to member. As cited in: The Journal: News of the Churches of God. Issue 200, November 2017, p. 4)

Essentially, Herbert Armstrong was teaching that Ezekiel 40 does not begin until the millennium (see also Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?), Christians are currently the “Temple of God” in the church age (see also Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?), an actual temple will exist during the millennium, that the animal sacrifices mentioned in the latter chapters of Ezekiel will be used to help better teach people who were not called in the church age, and that the Worldwide Church of God does not do those type of sacrifices nor keep new moons now as they were not done by the original apostles, hence not part of the original Christian faith (Jude 3).

The Journal reported the following related to Living University (LU) of the Living Church of God:

The presiding evangelist of the Living Church of God, based in Charlotte, N.C., has announced that the church’s institution of higher learning, Living University, will end its effort to gain accreditation.

Gerald Weston said in a letter to church members dated Nov. 9, 2017, that “changing state laws” are making it difficult to pursue licensing that would allow students to take university courses via the Internet.

“It is apparent that its [the school’s] existing structure is not able to meet the educational needs of the youth and members of the Living Church of God.”

Therefore, he said, the church’s council of elders “has advised that accreditation efforts be dropped” in favor of a less-general curriculum “to support the development of future ministers, to serve our youth, and to serve our general membership.”

In the short term, classes as “currently configured” will continue.

More info on website

The Living Church of God’s web- site ( announced more details, as follows:

“The Spring 2018 semester at Living University will be the last for its curricular programs. As we push further into the 21st century and the laws of the land become more restrictive, it is becoming more difficult for LU to function, especially in the United States . . .

“We plan to offer the courses listed in the Spring 2018 Schedule of Classes as normal. Through the Open Learning Program individuals can enroll in one or more courses for the Spring 2018 Semester. “

Admissions to degree, diploma and certificate programs are now closed. Students already admitted to these programs may contact the Dean of Faculty (Dr. Scott Winnail) for advisement and counseling . . .

Open learning

“Through the Open Learning Program individuals can enroll in one or more courses without pursuing a certificate, diploma or degree. Who is eligible to enroll? Anyone 18 years of age or older as nonmatriculated students in lower-division courses . . . and selected . . . online courses . . .

“Those seeking to enroll in these courses may register online in a simple procedure by completing the online Application for Admission.

I reported about this earlier at the News of those once affiliated with the Global Church of God when I posted the following:

From the Presiding Evangelist

Dear Brethren,

We concluded a very encouraging series of Council of Elders meetings this past week in which we affirmed the need to hold onto the biblically based traditions of the Church. However, regarding Living University, we recognize that we are at a crossroads. The current situation is that individuals in at least 20 states are not able to take online courses in Living University due to changing state laws. It is apparent that its existing structure is not able to meet the educational needs of the youth and members of the Living Church of God.

The Council of Elders has reviewed the situation, and in keeping with the clearly stated wishes of Dr. Meredith, the Council has advised that accreditation efforts be dropped, in favor of developing a more flexible, less restrictive, and more effective program to support the development of future ministers, to serve our youth, and to serve our general membership.

This has not been an easy decision as much effort has been put into Living University. Many of you have supported these efforts through your prayers and financial donations. For this we are ever grateful. However, as evidenced by the recent limitations placed on licensed universities, restrictions on conducting online classes in an increasing number of states limit our ability to serve our ministers and members.

I believe there are exciting opportunities before us regarding a variety of educational programs and I will be forming a committee next week to begin restructuring our Living Church of God educational programs to serve our ministry, our youth, and our general membership. In the meantime, classes as currently configured will continue to operate for the time being. The decision as to how we restructure will be announced in the near future. I am looking forward to explaining more about this in the weeks ahead.


In Christ’s service,

Gerald E. Weston

Furthermore, I also posted the following at the News of those once affiliated with the Global Church of God page which Living University’s website reported shortly after Gerald Weston’s announcement:

The Spring 2018 semester at Living University will be the last for its curricular programs. As we push further into the 21st century and the laws of the land become more restrictive, it is becoming more difficult for LU to function, especially in the United States. Twenty states currently prohibit us from educating their citizens and we anticipate that number will grow in the future. In this light, we have been directed to begin to wind down the efforts of Living University with the goal of concluding formal operations by the end of the Spring 2018 semester (May 2018).

  • We plan to offer the courses listed in the Spring 2018 Schedule of Classes as normal.

So, Living University is not only not going to pursue accreditation, it is shutting down. This must be disappointing to those who trusted that LU would attain accreditation and continue as LCG had indicated to them. In my case, integrity issues, including broken promises from LCG leadership, were a major part of why I had to leave LCG (see also Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God).

The Journal had the following from its editor, Dixon Cartwright, about why it is shutting down:

Plans are for publication for two more issues of THE JOURNAL after the one you’re reading at this very moment.

We announced last month that in January 2018, after a run of 21 years, THE JOURNAL will come to an end.

Our last planned issue will be dated Jan. 31, 2018, and mailed out in early February.

As a result of that announcement, we have received letters from readers, mostly E-mails and mostly saying they’re sorry to see us go.

Among the correspondence some have asked for more information as to why we have decided to call it a day, so to speak.

As time goes by

One reason we’re shutting down our publishing operation is that we’re getting along in years. The same month THE JOURNAL turns 21,

I will turn 71. I had a heart attack in 2011 and haven’t had the same level of energy since then that I used to have.

And, perhaps more significantly, I no longer have exactly the same reasons for publishing THE JOURNAL that I used to have.

I started THE JOURNAL because my good friend John Robinson shut down his paper called In Transition. As a staff member of that publication, I tried to get John to keep it going by giving or selling it to me or someone else.

Our negotiations in that regard fell apart and we could come to no agreement. So when he stopped publishing his paper in January 1997 I started THE JOURNAL in February 1997.

My original in tent for my news paper was to help people maintain contact with other Church of God Christians across the boundaries of the various COG groups and also to provide a forum.

We were kind of like a blog before there were blogs.

We were different from In Transition in that John’s aim was to have two of his trusted friends check out articles before they were published in In Transition for correctness of doctrine.

The friends were Ron Dart and Leon Walker.

Doctrinal opinions welcomed

I did not share the view with John that that was an appropriate consideration for my newspaper. Rather, from the beginning I welcomed creative essays, even those advocating unorthodox versions of doctrines, and did not feel the need to make sure they were correct or for me to agree with them.

As a result, we printed many such opinion pieces—editorials, letters, essays—with many of them disagreeing with each other, frequently in the same issue of THE JOURNAL.

My main consideration was that writers deal politely with each other in their doctrinal and political discussions, especially since people with different interpretations of Scripture can all reasonably prove their varying doctrines from the Bible.

In the beginning I believed my publication, at least my reason for publishing, was almost a necessity: if not a necessity then something that I thought would be a worthy service to the brethren.

I still think that it is a worthy service, but not a necessity.

Thinking THE JOURNAL was almost a necessity was presumptuous and naive.

I reported previously about Dixon Cartwright’s plans to shut down The Journal (Cartwright’s Journal out and he’s leaving, also Feast of Tabernacles, leaving an organization vs. leaving the COG, CEM, back page items, and Calendar ads and Dixon Cartwright on The Journal and his departure from it; plus COGwriter comments).

One of my criticisms of The Journal has been its tolerance of heresy and willingness to publish heresy. Of course, paid advertisements from non-Philadelphians helped finance the paper. The printing of heresy (whether paid for or not), in my view, helped convince various Laodiceans and other non-Philadelphians, that their views had a type of validity that they really do not have. Philadelphian Christians are to “hold fast” and all Christians should “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3)–The Journal did not do that as I had hoped.

Now, this does not mean that I felt that there should be no opportunity to explore existing teachings–as Christians should grow in grace and knowledge–but clear heresy simply should not be tolerated.

Although we had very different views on aspects of doctrine and the work, Dixon Cartwright and I always got along reasonably well. I would sometimes ask him for information on matters, such as how to contact various ones once part of the old Worldwide Church of God for research purposes. He would sometimes do the same with me, though I surely asked him for this type of assistance more than he asked me.

This edition of The Journal also had various letters to the editor, advertisements, and various opinion articles. The advertisements mainly seem to be from possibly Laodicean groups and/or individuals (not all seem to be COG) who seem to think that the ads are somehow doing the work of God. More of the real work that the COGs should be doing are in the article The Final Phase of the Work.

The Journal itself has been available by paid subscription (though Dixon Cartwright says some subscriptions were sent free to those who could not afford it). It has tended to have a non-Philadelphian approach to many, but not all, matters.

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