Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)
The final phase of the work is moving forward. More information is being put together, more people are being reached, and people are being reached in more languages.
What is the final phase of the work? How do biblical and non-biblical prophecies play a role? How will faithful Philadelphians be affected? And what is expected to be the Continuing Church of God’s (CCOG’s) part in it?
CCOG has a sermon titled The Final Phase of the Work and provides many details to help answer those questions. This post has some of the points of that sermon. Additionally, many details are in the article also titled The Final Phase of the Work.
It is the highly dedicated in the real Church of God (COG) that will finish the human part of the final phase of the work before (Matthew 24:14-15) and during (Revelation 11:3-14) the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord. Presuming no significant organizational changes, for many reasons, the final phase of the work will be led by the Continuing Church of God (throughout Church of God history there have been significant organizational changes, so one must be cautious as more can happen).
This final phase of the work seemingly will consist of identifying what is happening in the world (specifically also in Europe, the Middle East, and the Anglo-descended nations), finishing the proclamation of Christ’s gospel of the kingdom as a witness along with persecution (Matthew 24:9-14), the rise and work of the two witnesses (Revelation 11:2-12; which will likely overlap a few days with Matthew 24:14), the likely assistance to the two witnesses by the scattered flock (Revelation 20:4; cf. Luke 9:2-6), the three angel’s messages (Revelation 14:8-11; plus other angelic interventions), and the witness of those persecuted and martyred for Jesus (cf. Revelation 17:6). And then Jesus will return and establish the Kingdom of God.
It should be clear to those who truly understand the warnings in the Bible that the final phase of the work for God’s people will also specifically involve dealing with the ecumenical religion that will rise up (cf. Daniel 11:36-38; Revelation 13:4,8; 14:8-13; Matthew 24:14-15) with signs and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) fulfilling Satan’s plan, while enduring the Beast power who will take steps to eliminate the faithful (Revelation 13:7,13-17; 14:12-13; Daniel 7:21,25).
Being killed as the result of persecution is seemingly also part of the final phase of the work that some of God’s people will endure:
12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. 13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” (Revelation 14:12-13; cf. 6:11)
Even though other parts of the Book of Revelation show that persecution will come from a combination of church and state (i.e. 13:1-8), various verses (i.e. 12:13-17) show that it is truly Satan that is behind the persecutions. The old Radio Church of God taught this about Revelation 12:13:
Now turn to verse 13…this is the persecution that is yet in the future, a persecution that is being secretly planned…(Hoeh H. Are Christians Again to be Martyred? Plain Truth. November 1956, p. 21)
Having looked over a variety of Roman and Byzantine Catholic private prophecies, I would suggest that Satan’s planning has not always been completely in secret and that such private prophecies will be cited as “justification” for some of the coming persecutions (see also Persecutions by Church and State; there is also a YouTube video: The Coming Persecution of the Church).
About a decade ago, evangelist R.C. Meredith and I were talking and he agreed with various points I was raising about the end time work. And back then, I was able to help lead him to essentially state that in the end it would not mainly be the message of the COG vs. the Protestants, but it would be the COG basically vs. the ecumenical religion that will rise up in the end that will likely (for a while) refer to itself as “Catholic.” In 2005, during the Feast of Tabernacles in Clearwater Beach, after a private lunch, we and our wives met at his hotel room and I also discussed various aspects of the final phase of the work with him–and I had other meetings, discussions, and emails related to that with the other Charlotte evangelists through December 14, 2012. Yet, even though he and others in his church agreed to take many steps related to the final phase of the work, few, if any, of the promised steps were taken by his group–this is a major part of why the Continuing Church of God needed to form.
Interestingly, in December 2015, Dr. Meredith lamented the slow growth in his church. He said that 30% should be attained, but he hoped for at last 15% growth per year–something his church does not attain. Consider that the Continuing Church of God has been the fastest growing COG since its formation in late 2012. It has exceeded the 30% growth in both membership and income in each of the years since it formed that the late Herbert W. Armstrong often pointed to as a proof of a blessing from God. While our growth rate will fluctuate, the Continuing Church of God is the only one of the ten largest COGs whose leaders had origins in the old Worldwide Church of God to do so. And we are on track for this growth in 2016 as well.
During the final phase of the work, the faithful in God’s Church will take a stand against the views of those who will support the compromised persecuting religious power (cf. Revelation 17:1-6). And though aspects of this have occurred throughout history, in the end it will be a major testing of their patience (cf. Daniel 11:28-35; Revelation 14:8-12).
A bolder, yet truthful, willingness to “name names” and call out what is happening will need to happen than the official COG groups formed between 1986 and 2011 have done–and this would seem to have to be led by the Continuing Church of God. (I have emails from one or more LCG evangelists where they objected to doing parts of this themselves, as well as notes from a meeting where they told me, and one was Dr. Meredith, that they were afraid that I could become too bold and that they did not want to take bold proclamation steps that could trigger the persecution that they teach is biblically prophesied.)
Faithful Christians need to be “ready to give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15, KJV), “ready to give a defense” (1 Peter 3:15, NKJV) to those that will tend to support the power that God opposes. And they are not to be “ignorant” of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11) nor be deceived by “doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Part of the way that the more faithful will do this will be by better understanding the Bible, church history, prophecy, and Satan’s plans and tactics. Educating the membership about this is part of the final phase of the work. This is something that the Continuing Church of God realizes and is working to accomplish.
Notice what the late evangelist C. Paul Meredith wrote about where have many Catholic (and Protestant) traditions, including certain prophetic understandings, come:
PROTESTANT REFORMERS found the people unwilling to change their doctrines. The reformers quickly took the popular road, rejected the faith once delivered for all time to the saints, and began to FOLLOW tradition-CATHOLIC TRADITION which has its roots in pagan philosophy and doctrines of demons! (Meredith C, Paul. Lesson 14, What is Man? Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course. 1958,.p. 3)
Part of the way that the more faithful will be able to resist these “traditions” will be by better understanding the Bible, church history, prophecy, and Satan’s plans and tactics. And it part of what we in the Continuing Church of God are working on educating people about.
The gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed more powerfully to the world as a witness and the end will come (Matthew 24:14). We in the CCOG are reaching people in over 220 countries and territories and expect to continue to lead the humanly-involved portion of that, and certain other aspects, of the final phase of the work.
It is possible that this short work will temporarily swell the ranks of the Church of God (including some Philadelphians, but perhaps with many Laodiceans and many others not truly faithful—many may well fall away—though some of the first will be last and the last first, cf. Mark 10:31). Some will be faithful and bear fruit, while many others may leave (cf. Matthew 13:18 -23; 2 Thessalonians 2:3) once the persecuting tribulation that seems prophesied to occur prior to the Great Tribulation hits (cf. Matthew 24:9-10;21). Then the end will come.
Partially because the message of the COG, the people of the holy covenant will enrage the upcoming prince/king of the North (Daniel 11:28-30). One or more associated with the Continuing Church of God will be identifying that the European “prince” (Daniel 9:26-27) who is rising up to become a king, will not be able to truly bring peace, but instead will bring war and will be in league with the final Antichrist. This will likely trigger major media coverage. Scrutiny of real, as well as claimed, COG literature will likely happen and various aspects of real and incorrect COG doctrines will likely be ridiculed.
Media coverage would then be expected to cover more of the COG message and this may be associated with the “short work” of Romans 9:28. Since the true COG is so small, it is highly likely that it getting significant media coverage will help fulfill Matthew 24:14. Some of the Philadelphia remnant will be explaining that it is Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God and not the rise of a militaristic leader that the world needs. According to Daniel 11:32 it is “the people who know their God [that] shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” Hundreds of millions, if not billions, will receive at least a partial witness.
All of that will likely trigger the King of the North to take actions that lead to the end–this includes the persecutions, pre- (Daniel 7:25a, 11:29-36) and post-tribulation (Daniel 7:25b).
Since “Catholic” leaders have renounced the millennial portion of the gospel message, some of them will not want it to be broadcast into all the world in the 21st century (for some details, please see Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?). They will support the King of the North’s efforts to stifle the message, probably in the name of “tolerance” and/or calling parts of the message “hate speech.” A famine of the word is coming (Amos 8:11-12; cf. Romans 10:14-15). The Bible tells of a time, which to a degree we are now in, when a certain amount of self-censorship will be needed:
2 For I know your manifold transgressions
And your mighty sins:
Afflicting the just and taking bribes;
Diverting the poor from justice at the gate.
13 Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time,
For it is an evil time. (Amos 5:12-13)
And while some COG groups overly “keep silent,” hence pull-punches in proclamation, the reality is that there is not truly full freedom of truthful speech in countries like the USA without consequences.
However, the work will be done and it will trigger persecution. Until the work is done the most faithful will:
1 Cry aloud, spare not;
Lift up your voice like a trumpet;
Tell My people their transgression,
And the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1)
Of course, no matter what some Laodiceans insist upon, the end has not yet come–the final phase of the work is not over. Jesus also does not want us to give up early:
44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing (Matthew 24:44-46).
I should add that one person argued with me that since Jesus does not return until after the “place of safety,” that this verse does not mean we need to proclaim the Gospel now. Since it is likely that many of God’s people will die before then, for them, the Master could come anytime.
Remember that James wrote, “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?,” James 2:18-20.
Thus it would seem more logical that the work should continue to be done now. Perhaps this would be a good time to mention that the Continuing Church of God has already reached millions and millions of people in over 220 countries and territories through the internet, radio, personal contact, and the written word.
We are reaching people in the English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Kiswahli, German, Korean, Dholuo, and Tagalog (Philippines) languages, and have our Bible News Prophecy magazine in thirteen languages now, with other languages expected in the future. We also recently had one of our booklets translated into 52 languages (see Letter to the Brethren: June 16, 2016) and are in the process of getting another booklet translated into at least 54 languages. People of all tongues will be reached according to the Bible (cf. Revelation 7:9).
Will you support the final phase of the work?
Satan and the Laodiceans simply do not wish to properly support God’s work. Of course, many Laodiceans do not know that they are in that condition, and for many reasons will not understand the final phase of the work or who is leading it.
Some items of possibly related interest may include:
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.
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?
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. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?
Just What Do You Mean the Kingdom of God? A booklet that was written by Herbert Armstrong answers questions about the Kingdom.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like the beliefs held of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
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.
Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God Several have speculated reasons, but here is the truth. (En el idioma español: ¿Por qué Bob Thiel dejó la Iglesia del Dios Viviente?)
Journal Report on Continuing Church of God Leader Bob Thiel Bob Thiel was interviewed by The Journal News of the Churches of God related to him being a prophet, the proclamation goals of the Continuing Church of God, and why he left LCG.
What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God? This article explains some information and doctrines of the Living Church of God as led by Roderick C. Meredith and some concerns about them. (En el idioma español: ¿Qué hay acerca de la Iglesia de Dios Viviente? ¿Hay diferencias doctrinales con la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios?)
Church History Book This is a URL with some information on Church History.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced several YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel.
Bible News Prophecy magazine This is the official magazine of the Continuing Church of God and it has articles on a wide variety of subjects of Christian interest. It is produced in multiple languages including English, Spanish, Tagalog, Kiswahili, and Mandarin Chinese. The language of Telugu is in-process.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.
Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
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。
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.
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.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.