Preparing for the 'Short Work' and The Famine of the Word

By COGwriter

The Bible refers to a 'short word' or a 'short work' that will be cut short in the Book of Romans. The Book of Amos discusses something commonly referred to as the famine of the word. Could they be connected in any way?

Have Church of God writers discused these matter? What could they mean? Is there any group trying to work on the preparation for this now? If so, who? And if so, what are they doing?

Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.

The Passage in the Book of Romans

When the term 'short work' is mentioned by Christians, it is generally some type of a reference to a passage in the Book of Romans. The Apostle Paul wrote (three translations are being shown):

27 Isaiah also cries out concerning Israel:

"Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea,
The remnant will be saved.
28 For He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness,
Because the Lord will make a short work upon the earth."

29 And as Isaiah said before:

"Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed,
We would have become like Sodom,
And we would have been made like Gomorrah." (Romans 9:27-29, NKJV)

27 And Isaiah doth cry concerning Israel, 'If the number of the sons of Israel may be as the sand of the sea, the remnant shall be saved;

28 for a matter He is finishing, and is cutting short in righteousness, because a matter cut short will the Lord do upon the land.

29 and according as Isaiah saith before, 'Except the Lord of Sabaoth did leave to us a seed, as Sodom we had become, and as Gomorrah we had been made like.' (Romans 9:27-29, YLT)

27 And Isaias crieth out concerning Israel: If the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.

28 For he shall finish his word, and cut it short in justice; because a short word shall the Lord make upon the earth.

29 And as Isaias foretold: Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been made as Sodom, and we had been like unto Gomorrha. (Romans 9:27-29, Douay-Rheims Challoner)

(Note: Lord of Saboath means "Lord of Hosts' or 'Lord of Armies.)

Notice that a short work/word will proceed a time of destruction. The message of God's word will go forth, and this will happen.

There are various views of this. Here are some comments from a Protestant source called Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:

For he will finish the work,.... This passage has some difficulty in it: some, instead of "work", read "account", and suppose it is an allusion to the balancing of accounts, when the remainder is cut off, which commonly is but little; and so regards the small number of the Jews that shall be called and saved, as before: others read it "the word",...others of the Gospel, bringing in and revealing a perfect righteousness, for the justification of sinners, which the law could not do; all foreign to the apostle's purpose. Those who think God's work, his strange work is meant, his work of punitive justice he will finish, and cut it short in righteousness, because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth, when he cut off and destroyed the greater part of the people of the Jews, and saved a remnant, seem to come nearer the mind of the prophet and the apostle's design, in citing this passage.

Catholic sources do not tend to view it that way. Here is part of one commentary from their saint Thomas Aquinas:

803. Secondly, he cites the cause of salvation: first, the efficacy of the word of the gospel, saying: A fulfilling and brief word. Note here a twofold efficacy of the evangelical word. The first is that the word is fulfilling, i.e., perfective: "The law made nothing perfect" (Heb 7:19); but the Lord says, "I have come not to abolish the law but to fulfill" (Mt 5:17), because He applied the truth to the figures of the Law, explained the moral precepts of the Law properly, removed occasions for transgressing them and even added counsels of perfection. Thus He said to the young man who had kept all the precepts of the Law: "One thing is lacking to you. If you would be perfect, go and sell what you possess and give to the poor" (Mt 19:21). For this reason He said to His disciples: "you must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mt 5:48). The second efficacy is that the word is shortening. This is suitably joined to the first efficacy, because the more perfect a word is the more profound it is and, as a consequence, simpler and briefer. Now the word of the Gospel shortens the words of the Law, because it included all the figurative sacrifices of the Law in one true sacrifice, in which Christ offered himself as a victim for us (Eph 5:2). ...

805. Or, in another way: For the Lord, i.e., God the Father, will execute his brief word, i.e., incarnate, because the Son of God emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave. He is called brief, not because anything was subtracted from the fullness or greatness of His divinity, but because He underwent our exile and smallness. (Aquinas T. Aquinas Bible Study, Romans Chapter 9. https://sites.google.com/site/aquinasstudybible/home/romans/st-thomas-aquinas-on-romans/chapter-1/chapter-2/chapter-3/chapter-4/chapter-5/chapter-6/chapter-7/chapter-8/chapter-9 viewed 01/17/15)

Catholics seem to understand that something is brief or short, but I have not run across anything that indicates they consider this to be a short work at the end times.

As far as a short word or short work, remember:

14 The sower sows the word. (Mark 4:14)

The short work has to do with sowing the word. It is a work that God has planned but will cut short.

While Isaiah wrote some of what is cited in Romans 9:27-29 (Isaiah 10:22-23), the New Testament seems to more closely follow the Septuagint on this as opposed the the original Hebrew (the Septuagint was a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures). Here are comments from some Protestant commentaries:

28. for he will finish, &c.] These words agree closely with the letter of the LXX., but not with that of the Heb. They convey the point of the Heb., however, quite enough for the purpose of the quotation; and St Paul thus adopts them.—In some important documents the quotation ends with “cut it short;” but the evidence is not conclusive. (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges)

St. Paul follows the LXX., with but slight deviation. The sense of the Hebrew appears to be somewhat different. (Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers)

This verse is also found in that forecited place, Isaiah 10:22,23. The apostle in this, and in the other citations, follows the Seventy, which was a received translation, and had been in request about three hundred years, though in this, and in other places, it is very different from the Hebrew text. That which God is said to finish, and cut short, is his work; the Greek is logov, which signifies his word, or the account, as some read it. (Matthew Poole's Commentary)

Apparently, the New Testament wanted to convey a concept differently than it was originally written in the Old Testament.

Matthew 24:14

Is there any shortness connected with a work in anywhere else in the New Testament?

Notice what Jesus said would happen:

12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 

14 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.

15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:14-21, NKJV)

Notice that the LOVE OF MANY WILL GROW COLD. Most will NOT be Philadelphians--they will not have the same zeal or love of the truth and proclaiming it that they should--although the Book of Hebrews teaches:

1 Let brotherly love (Philadelphia) continue (Hebrews 13:1).

Jesus noted that there were Laodiceans after the Philadelphians who could not see their problems and had the wrong work (Revelation 3:14-18).

Notice also that Matthew 24:14 ties the successful proclamation with the coming of the end. There is a certain shortness in passages of Matthew 24:14-21.

Currently, while many COGs, including the Continuing Church of God, have records to indicate that they have reached millions, there are none I am currently aware of that have reached billions. Billions, however, will be reached, directly and/or indirectly, and this will happen during the final phase of the work, but more specifically, likely particularly during the time of the short work.

Church of God Writers on the Short Work

Some with a Church of God background, as well as others, may be interested in seeing what the late Herbert W. Armstrong taught about this. Here is something he wrote about the 'short work' of Romans 9:28:

Just as Jesus said God will cut short the days of the Great Tribulation, so He tells us through the Apostle Paul He will CUT SHORT THIS WORK! Listen! Read it carefully! "For He will finish the Work, and CUT IT SHORT in righteousness: because a SHORT WORK will the Lord make upon the earth." (Romans 9:28.)...

Co-Workers, WE NEED TO WAKE UP! It is FAR later than we think! There is precious little time left! We need to be stirred — to be frightened just enough to realize the SERIOUSNESS of the TIME — and the SERIOUSNESS of THIS WORK! This is GOD'S DOING! — not mine! YOU are privileged, as well as I, to have A PART in it! We need to dedicate ourselves to it, as the MOST IMPORTANT THING IN OUR LIVES, by far! (Armstrong HW. Co-worker letter, July 29, 1968)

Here is something that he wrote in letters in 1979:

In Revelation 7 is the prophecy of God HOLDING UP -- DELAYING -- world events until the sealing of the 144,000 and the other innumerable multitude out of all nations. But God says also: "For He will FINISH THE WORK, and CUT IT SHORT in righteousness, because A SHORT WORK will the Lord make upon the earth" (Rom. 9:28). From now on, things may happen SUDDENLY, RAPIDLY, to finish the Work God has called us to do. (Armstrong HW. Co-worker Letter, August 20, 1979)

God was HOLDING UP world events in Satan's world, to give His Church more time to FINISH THE WORK, and be PREPARED ourselves for His coming. But now many evidences are appearing that prophesied world events are readying to move swiftly, bringing on the DAY OF THE LORD, and Christ's divine interference preparing for His coming. Jesus has said "...He will finish the Work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short Work will the Lord make upon the earth" Rom. 9:28).

How near finished is the Work NOW?

Remember this: Christ has not called us to reach every living person, even in the United States, which we know is the nation which sprang from Manasseh, jointly with Ephraim (the British people), who comprise together the Birthright tribes of ISRAEL.

God's Message for OUR day is: "And this Gospel OF THE KINGDOM shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the END come" (Matt. 24:14). (Armstrong HW. Co-worker Letter, October 26, 1979)

Almighty God has been HOLDING BACK the progress of prophesied world events. There is a time, foretold in Revelation 7, when He will do this again.

But then, again, "He will finish the Work, and cut it short in righteousness; because a SHORT WORK will the Lord make upon the earth"! (Armstrong HW. Co-worker Letter, November 9, 1979)

So, he felt then that a short and important work would later happen, but felt in 1979 that it was being held up.

He seemed to have a similar view in 1983 as the following transcription from one of his sermon's states:

God has delayed certain events, but He says that He will make a short work and cut it short suddenly. Jesus gave us the expression of how it will come when it is least expected. And like a rat getting caught in a trap that snaps, when it didn't even know it, until it is caught. And that's how suddenly things are going to happen very, very soon. How much longer God will delay before He does that, I don't know. (Armstrong HW. Success Based On God's Law Sermon Date: July 30, 1983 http://www.hwalibrary.com/cgi-bin/get/hwa.cgi?action=getsermon&InfoID=1330874371&SearchWhat=KeyWord&SearchFor=god%27s%20true%20church&page=97&return=search#.Ug-Q6T_NvXA)

Yes, there was a delay, and that delay continued for decades after he died. Jesus warned that many, including Christians, would not expect what is happening and warned that we need to pray to be counted worthy (Luke 21:34-36).

Here is something Herbert W. Armstrong wrote in a letter dated September 17, 1982:

It is written in Romans 9, concerning this very END TIME, "For he (Christ) will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth" (verse 28).

While we were not in the very end time then, we are much closer to it now. In a letter dated October 18, 1983 he wrote that he realized that the 'short work' was for the future:

I feel God will move swiftly soon to make a short work preparatory to Christ's coming.

The short work most definitely involves preparation now. This is part of why more materials, literature, articles, books, booklets, and websites are being developed and/or added to.

Here is what was in Herbert W. Armstrong's last letter:

The greatest work lies ahead...Never before in the history of the Church has it been possible to reap so great a harvest. It has only been made possible through modern technology, beginning with the printing press, radio, television...Each of you must commit yourself to support God's Work...God's work must push ahead as never before. God is opening up new doors in television (Letter, 1/10/86).

Presuming he was correct that the greatest work lies ahead, that is consistent that more needed to happen to fulfill Matthew 24:14. New doors, like YouTube television have been opened during the 21st century. And we in CCOG do use various forms of radio (see Does the CCOG go through the ‘door’ of radio to reach the world?).

Dale Schurter, a former WCG minister, reported that Herbert W. Armstrong stated the following in 1984/1985 (shortly before he died in January 1986). Here are two accounts of this:

“A few months before Mr. Armstrong’s death, my wife and I had the opportunity to spend several hours with Mr. Armstrong in his home in Pasadena. He spoke freely of the mighty work God had commissioned him to accomplish, and related certain heartfelt comments: ‘I can say that I have finished the work God has given me to do, and am at peace about it. I have preached and taken the Gospel of the Kingdom of God into all the world as a witness to all nations.’

“Mr. Armstrong went on to say, ‘I have come to realize there will be an even greater work to follow—to go again, to “prophesy again” to all nations tongues and peoples (Rev. 10:11) before the work of the two witnesses—but with more power and with a stronger warning message. But that will be for others to do.’ He continued, ‘It will be a short work (Rom. 9:27-29), compared with the longer time to complete the work I was given, and it will be cut short. That’s when the Great Tribulation will begin, as will the work of the two witnesses. These will last for three and one-half years, at the end of which Christ will return in glory.’” (“The Greatest Work Lies JUST Ahead…” as stated in RCG letter of May 31, 2013)

When Mr. Armstrong was age 91 --- about 1984 --- Mona and I had opportunity to spend several hours with him in his home in Pasadena to visit and further report on work he had commissioned us to do. We were to report directly back to him. He talked freely of the mighty work God had given him to accomplish. He went on to tell us there was yet a bigger work still to be done, to go again and repeat what has been done, but with more power and with a stronger warning, just before the work of the two witnesses would begin. He said it would be a “short work” (Rom. 9:27-29) compared with the longer time to complete the work he had been given, and that it would be “cut short.” That’s when the great tribulation would begin, as would the work of the two witnesses. These would last for three and one-half years. (January 7, 2012 Dale Schurter Speaks Out: UCG Resignation Letter http://www.rcgtruth.com/2012/01/dale-l-schurter-resignation-letter_06.html)

Herbert Armstrong's part of the work lasted over 50 years, and he seemingly felt that the "short work" would be much shorter than his work. And that is correct.

Herbert Armstrong's wife Loma had a dream, which had two parts pertaining to the proclamation of the gospel. Herbert Armstrong believed that it was a dream from God and that he fulfilled the first part of that dream (see Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God). But that left the second part to be fulfilled after his death--and that is related to the short work.

Notice something else that Herbert Armstrong wrote in 1985:

In these last days, according to biblical prophecy, knowledge, spiritual as well as material, was to be increased. The true Church of God was to be set back on the track, restoring the glorious knowledge of the faith once delivered to the saints in the days of the original apostles. (Armstrong HW. Mystery of the Ages, 1985)

The above is precisely what the Continuing Church of God has done. Furthermore, we are unique in that not only have we restored more information about the history of the true Christian church and other doctrines, we are unique in our emphasis of how Satan plans to use signs and lying wonders and private Catholic prophecies to deceive (see Satan's Plan and Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies?). This last point was once well known in the old Radio Church of God (see Will You Be Deceived by Antichrist?), but seems to have been lost or de-emphasized by other groups.

The late evangelist John Ogwyn wrote (bolding in original):

The Final Phase of Church History...

The Church of Philadelphia is characterized by a zeal to do the Work... Satan has sown confusion and discouragement... the Gospel will be preached to the world in this end-time (Matthew 24:14), and there is a growing assembly of believers that is both zealous for the full Truth and zealous to finish God's Work. Just as God’s people have had to do from the first century onward, so His people today must "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). God states clearly: "He will finish the work and cut it short in righteousness" (Romans 9:28). Who will He use to do it? According to Daniel 11:32 it is "the people who know their God [that] shall be strong, and carry out great exploits." (Ogwyn J. God's Church through the Ages. pp. 55,57-58).

The faithful of the Philadelphia remnant are the ones that John Ogwyn was referring to in the end.  Satan does have a plan to confuse (see Satan's Plan). And of course since Philadelphian Christians are to contend for the faith once for all delivered, having more knowledge about what that original faith was makes such contending more effective. This is part of why knowledge of early church history will help finish the final phase of the work. 

Here is some of what I wrote years ago (I posted here to show that I did NOT get the idea from RCG as I had written about it years before the Dale Schurter letters):

I strongly believe that God will more powerfully use the remnant of the Philadelphia era of the Church of God to proclaim the good news of the The Gospel of the Kingdom of God and that the “short work” of Romans 9:28 will still happen–(Thiel B. The Great Tribulation Cannot Begin in 2009. December 27, 2008)

In the next decade, the small Nazarene “secret sect” will rise up more and more in effectiveness to fulfill the prophecy Jesus gave, as recorded in Matthew 24:14. Ultimately, the world will hear the message of the good news of the coming Kingdom of God on earth, under the rule of Jesus Christ and His saints (which is the ultimate rising up of “the secret sect”). (Thiel B. 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect. Nazarene Books, 2009, pp. 254-255)

By this time {Daniel 11:28}, the short work Paul mentioned in Romans 9:28 probably will have begun or be almost finished, as will the gospel preaching of Matthew 24:14 that Jesus spoke of.  This is the rising up of the “secret sect” that various prophets have foretold and hence seems to be consistent with various end-time prophetic scriptures. (Thiel B. 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect. Nazarene Books, 2009, p. 291; also cited in a post on August 19, 2012 titled Who is the Secret Sect and What is its Rise?)

And notice something that was posted within weeks of the formation of Continuing Church of God.

Warning the world that the King of the North is fulfilling Bible prophecy when he does this is likely to be part of the “short work” of Romans 9:28 that God will accomplish through His most faithful. (Thiel B. The King of the North will arise. January 12, 2013).

We in the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) are preparing for the 'short work' by establishing multiple websites in multiple languages, while researching and making available information on church history, doctrine, and prophecy, while also proclaiming Christ's Gospel of the Kingdom to the world as a witness.

We have put our beliefs online in many languages. Here is a link to the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God in the English language. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Declaración de las Doctrinas de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. Here is a related link in Tagalog: Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. Here is a related link in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明. Here is a related link in Kiswahili: KATIKA LUGHA YA KISWAHILI. Here is a related link in Dutch: Verklaring van geloofspunten van de Continuing Church of God. Here is a related link in Deutsche (German): Glaubenserklärung der Continuing Church of God. Here is a related link in Italiano: Dichiarazione del Credo della Continuing Church of God.

We have had the English edition of our Bible News Prophecy magazine translated in twelve languages so far and the magazine editions have basically come out in the following order:

  1. English
  2. Spanish
  3. Tagalog
  4. Mandarin Chinese
  5. Kiswahili
  6. German
  7. Dholuo
  8. Russian
  9. Hebrew
  10. Hindi
  11. Greek
  12. Arabic
  13. French

We also have other languages expected in the future (Japanese may be next). We must reach people all around the world (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20) and the vast majority do not understand English. But the majority do understand at least one of the 13 languages our magazine has thus far been translated into. We also have materials translated in, or in process of being translated in, over 100 languages! Let me add that when I gave a sermon in New Zealand in May of 2015 titled The Short Work, where I mentioned the need to build up a database of materials online in multiple languages, I had no idea that God would greatly start to open that 'door' (Revelation 3:7-8) in the Fall of that year and that in 2016 we would have had translations into over 100 languages. It appears that that the Continuing Church of God has literature in more languages than any known Church of God in history--and this seems to be necessary in order to fulfill Jesus' statements in Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20.

Building up and improving our online materials in multiple languages is part of how we are not preparing for the final phase of the work, including the short work.

CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. 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? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. 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.AFRICA This website is targeted towards Africa and contains materials in English and various African languages. It is not active yet because arguments in Africa is having a problem getting dot Africa going on the internet (it is not because of CCOG).
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.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards Canada.
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 towards Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, German, 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.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God and has articles in español/castellano.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy channel. These are sermonette YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel.
ContinuingCOG channel. YouTube video sermons.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, and Dholuo.

We are unique in our focus on the truth and willingness to stand up for it. People who have the most love for the truth will end up supporting us.

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 awaythough 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.

Consider also some of Jesus' words:

9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. (Matthew 24:9).

35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. (Mark 8:35)

29... Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, 30 who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time--houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions--and in the age to come, eternal life (Mark 10:29-30).

Partially because the message of the CCOG, 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, as not being able to truly bring peace, but instead will bring war and will be in league with the final Antichrist. 

We will also be warning that the idea of a human-led utopia is false and that it is only through Jesus' return and the gospel of the kingdom that such a utopian condition will happen (see also Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).

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 (cf. The Gospel of the Kingdom of God) and this may be associated with the “short work” of Romans 9:28.

Since the true Church of God 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).

Catholic Prophecies Against the Church of God

Many Catholic (including Eastern Orthodox) prophecies are directed against the Church of God in the end time (some are in the article Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies? and others in the article Who Are The Two Witnesses?).

Which Church of God group?

While many would cover most COG groups (see Persecutions by Church and State), some are more specific to a group like the Continuing Church of God.

Specifically, because of our depth and focus on church history and booklets related to that, we more than any other group are the one most specifically warned against. Here are a few that seem directed that way:

Anne Catherine Emmerich: May 13, 1820: "Again I saw in vision St. Peter's undermined according to a plan devised by the secret sect whilst, at the same time, it was damaged by storms; but it was delivered at the moment of greatest distress." (Schmöger, pp. 277,279-281).

Anne Catherine Emmerich: October, 1820: "I see new martyrs, not of the present but of the future, though even now they are oppressed. I saw the secret society undermining the great church (St. Peter's) and near them a horrible beast that arose out of the sea." (Schmöger, pp. 290-291)

Elizabeth Canori-Mora (died 1825): God will employ the powers of {Hades} for the extermination of these impious and heretical persons who desire to overthrow the Church and destroy it to its very foundation...God will allow the demons to strike with death those impious men because they gave themselves up to the infernal powers and had formed with them a compact against the Catholic Church. (Connor, pp.22-23)

Jane Le Royer, Sister of the Nativity, (died 1798): "When the time of the reign of Antichrist is near, a false religion will appear which be opposed to the unity of God and His Church. This will cause the greatest schism the world has ever known. The nearer the time of the end, the more darkness of Satan will spread on Earth, the greater will be the number of children of corruption, and the number of Just will correspondingly diminish. (Culligan, pp.127,128)

Nursing Nun of Bellay (died 1820): "All these things shall come to pass once the wicked have succeeded in circulating large numbers of bad books." (Dupont, p.51)

Trappistine Nun of Notre Dame des Gardes. "Chastisement will come when a very large number of bad books have been spread" (Dupont, p 114).

Venerable Bartholomew Holzhauser (died 1658):..."When everything has been ruined by war; when Catholics are hard pressed by traitorous co-religionists and heretics; when the Church and her servants are denied their rights, the monarchies have been abolished and their rulers murdered...then the hand of Almighty God will work a marvelous change, something apparently impossible according to human understanding. There will rise a valiant monarch anointed by God. He will be a Catholic, a descendant of Louis IX, (yet) a descendant of an ancient imperial German family, born in exile. He will rule supreme in temporal matters. The Pope will rule supreme in spiritual matters at the same time. Persecution will cease and justice shall reign. Religion seems to be oppressed, but by the changes of entire kingdoms it will be made more firm...The Great Monarch will have the special help of God and be unconquerable. (Connor, pp. 35-36)

St. Francis of Paola (Born in Italy, 15th century). "By the grace of the Almighty, the Great Monarch will annihilate heretics and unbelievers. He will have a great army, and angels will fight at his side. He will be like the sun among the stars. His influence will spread over the whole earth. All in all, there will be on earth twelve Kings, one Emperor, one Pope and a few Princes. They will all lead holy lives." (Dupont, p.38)

Bl. Hieronymus Agathaghelos (1279 A.D.): ...young man...now it is not the end; I see you are being duped...you are hoping in vain; Sabbatism is against the Divine Law...you promote the Hebrew Sabbath at the expense of Christian Sunday, and yet, you will not succeed...before you become an apostate on behalf of the Sabbath...And lo and behold, an evil assembly of the crafty evening leader, dressed in black mourning apparel, was measuring its strength...taking in a hypocritical manner the most holy name of Christ, by means of their flowering and dissembling speech; these were the men who were concealing their impiety under a mask of virtue; those were the most filthy citizens of Pentapolis...these are semi-godless men, they despise the Divine Law, they are rapacious wolves in sheep's clothing...they will have to pay the due price before the Public Executioner of the Sabbatians...you, the inventors of the distorted heresies...(Tzima Otto H. The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Scriptural Prophecies. The Verenika Press, Rock Hill (SC), 2000, pp. 127, 132-135, with a partial translation from page 240)

Elizabeth Canori-Mora (died 1825): God will use the powers of darkness in order to root out the followers of the Sects and godless who want to shake and destroy the foundation of the Church . . . They will be punished by the cruelty of demons and die a tragic death. Hereupon the grand triumph of the Catholic Church will follow (Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, p. 160).

St. Andrew the Fool-for-Christ (4th century): ...the remaining ones will be annihilated, they will be burned to death and they will die a cruel death. (Tzima Otto, p. 113)

Anne Catherine Emmerich (Purification day 1822) "I saw during the last few days marvelous things connected with the Church. St. Peter's was almost entirely destroyed by the sect, but their labors were, in turn, rendered fruitless and all that belonged to them, their aprons and tools, burned by the executioners on the public place of infamy. They were made of horse-leather, and the stench from them was so offensive that it made me quite sick..." (Schmöger Carl E. The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich, Volume 2. Approbation: Bishop of Limbourgh Peter Joseph. TAN Books, reprint 1976, p.292)

The first couple of Catholic prophecies seem to be directed against us in the Continuing Church of God leading the final phase of the work, specifically the 'short work' of Romans 9:28 and the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14.

Why?

We in the Continuing Church of God do have a plan to undermine false teachings about church history, doctrine, signs & wonders, and prophecy. We have been actively working on this since our formation, and I personally since prior to our official formation. The Bible warns that persecution will hit for doing this work, including being burnt (Daniel 11:30-35; see also Persecutions by Church and State).

What kind of group claiming Christianity denies the "unity of God"?

Well, presumably none.

But one that comes to mind as far as the Roman Catholic faith is concerned would be one that denies the 381 A.D. definition of the unity of God--one like the Continuing Church of God. As far as a large number of 'bad books' that could attack the Church of Rome at its very foundations, it would seem that books and booklets like Fatima Shock!, The Last Pope, 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect, Where is the True Christian Church Today?, and Continuing History of the Church of God would qualify as far as Satan's ministers would be concerned. As is an upcoming one tentatively titled Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?

Notice that the 'Chastisement' comes after the bad books have spread. The 'Chastisement' is a time of turmoil Catholic prophecy teaches will affect Europe, before the rise of the Great Monarch. Biblically, a leader who fits some of that description arises a little prior to the Great Tribulation, and is biblically known as the Beast of the sea and the final King of the North. As stated before, we in the Continuing Church of God expect to publicly identify this leader and expose some of his horrible plans--he will not like this.

This leader, according to Catholic and biblical prophecy will start a period of persecution. First, mainly involving the Philadelphian Christians who are leading what I have termed final phase of the work (Daniel 7:25a; 11:29-35) and then the rest of the Christians (Daniel 7:25b; Revelation 12:17). The Book of Daniel teaches:

33 And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. (Daniel 11:33)

This is consistent with the Catholic and Orthodox prophecies that their opponents will be burned. The persecution in Daniel 11:30-35 mainly affects Philadelphians like those in the Continuing Church of God.

Pentapolis means "five cities." The Continuing Church of God is currently based out of the Five Cities region of California, and its top leader (me) was a former Roman Catholic (see Who is COGwriter?), who that faith would define as an apostate (see Appendix B of the article Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies?).

Some of these 'prophecies' give further pause to consider how Satan will attempt to use them in the future to attempt to discredit those of us in the Continuing Church of God who expose and stand against his plans.

The Famine of the Word

Jesus said:

4 ... the night is coming when no one can work. (John 9:4, NKJV)

4... the night cometh, when no man can work (John 9:4 KJV)

In a October 23, 1980 co-worker letter, Herbert Armstrong wrote:

The Bible warns us the time is just ahead when NO MAN CAN WORK—in the Lord's Work. We must sacrifice now as never before for this Work that we may FINISH the Work that Christ has called us to do. Pray as never before, for this Work.

The Prophet Amos was inspired to record the following:

11 "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord God,
"That I will send a famine on the land,
Not a famine of bread,
Nor a thirst for water,
But of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea,
And from north to east;
They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord,
But shall not find it. (Amos 8:11-12)

Related to this, in a sermon on November 27, 1982 titled “U.S. of Europe is Coming,” Herbert Armstrong stated:

“Anyway this whole United States of Europe, when it goes together, is going to trigger nuclear World War III. Now let me tell you what else it's going to do. It's going to END OUR WORK! OUR WORK WILL BE THROUGH of getting the gospel to the world. That is, very shortly after it goes into force and effect; because they will move in such a way that it will end it. And then I'll tell you what will happen. As you read here in Amos, the 8th chapter and verse 11 of Amos. Amos 8:11Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread ... but of hearing the word of the LORD.’ ” (http://cog-ff.com/html/pcomments_07_04_08.html, viewed 10/03/13)

In a November 22, 1982 co-worker letter, Herbert Armstrong wrote:

... brethren and co-workers, the prophesied Great Tribulation (nuclear World War III) will start soon after the European unification. That means OUR WORK OF SPREADING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD WILL BE FINISHED! We have not now much more time. Soon shall come a FAMINE of hearing the Word of the Lord (Amos 8:11). God says, work while it is day, for the night is coming when no man can work – in the Work of God! Nothing else is important in our lives, now, but this all-important Work of God. (http://cog-ff.com/html/pcomments_07_04_08.html, viewed 10/03/13)

So, the Bible tells of a time that will come when the word of God will not be found. And that would seem to be because it will be taken off the internet. In the 21st century, the internet is accessed by people in every country, and thus some type of internet restriction/suspension/site removal is coming.

2014, 2015, and 2016 Personal 'Famine of words'

In 2014, I was prohibited from videoing in St. Peter's Basilica or Vatican City like I had done some many times before. Basically, the Vatican implemented a policy that they would not allow videoing with narration without its express permission. This basically meant that it would be more difficult to reach some people with the truth about certain matters there.

I did not tie it in with the 'famine of the word' until 2015. That year (2015), I ran into attempts to cause famines of hearing the words of the Lord.

A source that I once used to promote my old 2009 book, 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect, on the radio, returned by money and cancelled the contract to promote my 2015 book, Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States as the following email shows:

After reviewing full content of your subject, RTIR has decided to apply our "right to qualify all ads." An editorial decision was made that you wouldn't be a good fit for RTIR and wouldn't get a good response with your ad. We will refund you inmmediately (sic). (RTIR, April 15, 2015)

While commercial firms have certain rights, this was a shock and showed that this firm (RTIR) was no longer willing to promote certain ideas it did not embrace. This was a change in its past practices and is consistent with an idea that is growing that certain biblical ideas need to be suppressed.

Furthermore, when I sent out a press release related to that same book Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States, after agreeing to post it, I got the following response in an email:

Our editors have determined that some changes will need to be made to your press release in order to effectively distribute it on PRWeb. Your press release has been placed on editorial hold status in order to allow you to make the required reviews and edits.

Our editors have made the following notes regarding your editorial hold:...

The body of the release will need to focus on the announcement of the new book. All statements will need to be attributed back to the book, however, as per our legal guidelines, you cannot talk about how or suggest that Hillary Clinton is the antichrist or a sign of the apocalypse. Additionally, PRWeb does not publish releases that might incite fear or panic, which includes those that predict the end of the world or mass destruction of a country. (PRWeb Editorial Advisory 1265335, 4/15/15)

Why also mention this here?

Because a couple of years previous to this, I had submitted virtually the same release for my book: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States. The main difference was that I changed the names. That release was ran as I submitted it, with no type of hold, whatsoever.

Anyway, after submitting a couple of edited re-writes and responses, the following was received (bolding mine):

Despite the fact that you provide "The book does not incite fear about the imminent end of the earth, but explains prophetic writings that point to coming change," your claims are still too strong. Essentially, inciting fear that events surrounding the upcoming presidential election may result in the US's destruction is in violation of our intent to harm guideline. Since this book seems to be centered on these prophesies, it would be wise to either request a refund or choose a new topic. (PRWeb Editorial Advisory 1265335, 4/16/15)

Anyway, with persistence and reducing statements, the press release was finally published the next day.

We are seeing 'political correctness' hitting the media. This is leading to famines of the words of the Lord. How so?

First, I should add that in my book, I explain why Hillary Clinton is not the final antichrist. But if she could have been, it should be something one can say.

Second, it is appropriate to explain how the actions/policies/statements of someone may pertain to the apocalyse. Apocalyse means revealing, and to have a policy that does not allow tying people to biblical events is atrocious. This has been repeatedly allowed throughout modern history, but is now being blocked by at least this one media outlet.

Third, the fact that this book twice had problems with firms I have already worked with in the past indicates that there are even bigger problems looming ahead.

Did you know that the Bible warns about this?

Notice:

8 Now go, write it before them on a tablet, And note it on a scroll, That it may be for time to come, Forever and ever: 9 That this is a rebellious people, Lying children, Children who will not hear the law of the Lord; 10 Who say to the seers, "Do not see,"And to the prophets, "Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits. 11 Get out of the way, Turn aside from the path, Cause the Holy One of Israel To cease from before us."

12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:

"Because you despise this word,And trust in oppression and perversity, And rely on them, 13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you Like a breach ready to fall, A bulge in a high wall ,Whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant. 14 And He shall break it like the breaking of the potter's vessel, Which is broken in pieces; He shall not spare. So there shall not be found among its fragments A shard to take fire from the hearth, Or to take water from the cistern." (Isaiah 30:8-14)

So, while what happened is not yet the famine of the word, it is consistent with what is prophesied to happen. They want 'smooth things.'

Consider also something that happened later.

In 2016, I received the following in a ‘do not respond’ email from YouTube:

Hi ContinuingCoG,

The YouTube community flagged one or more of your videos as inappropriate. After reviewing the content, we’ve determined that the videos violate our Community Guidelines. As a result, we removed the following videos from YouTube:

Are we saved by faith? Or are we saved by works?

Please note that this removal has not resulted in a strike.

- The YouTube Team

This email and the related removal are outrageous. Because YouTube did not count this censorship as a ‘strike,’ so far, we have not found a way to appeal this. Nor did they tell us what they considered wrong–all we got was the above.

The sermon that YouTube censored was by Steve Dupuie and was given at the Feast of Tabernacles in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada in in 2015. He sent me his notes before and after the sermon, and I see nothing in it that warranted it being pulled by YouTube.

It appears to have been pulled because someone (likely from a Protestant faith) claimed that doctrinal differences were offensive.

By the criteria that we suspect that YouTube used, it should have to pull not only a CCOG sermon, but most messages by Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists, and Muslims as someone is bound to be offended by some of the theology of those of other faiths.

I have been warning for some time that since the Bible tells of a coming ‘famine of the word’ (Amos 8:11-12), that we should expect YouTube censorship to be part of this.

Because of that, before this censorship, I asked Bill Wedekind to back-up every sermon and sermonette we had on YouTube, and last month he did.  So, we have copies of everything, including the video sermon that YouTube censored.

I have spoken to Bill Wedekind, Steve Dupuie, and two of our sons about how to proceed.  At this moment, because YouTube is free, YouTube is available in multiple formats, and YouTube sometimes helps us get viewers, we plan to remain on YouTube. However, we are continuing to look into alternatives in case YouTube ultimately pulls us completely off.

YouTube has NOT threatened to remove us. But since we have what they would consider to be more ‘controversial’ videos up than the one that Steve Dupuie was in, it remains a concern that some day we may be forced to abandon YouTube.

As far as the prophesied 'famine of the word,' I expect to see government agencies pressuring private companies to assist them in that. Policies of various internet firms have allowed this in the past.

In 2016, US President Barack Obama indicated that his definition of 'conspiracy theories' should not be protected speech (see ‘Obama Enters Media Wars: Why His Recent Attack On Free Speech Is So Dangerous & Radical’). The Bible teaches that a leader, called the Beast of Revelation and the King of the North will arise and mislead people:

23 "And in the latter time of their kingdom,
When the transgressors have reached their fullness,
A king shall arise,
Having fierce features,
Who understands sinister schemes.
24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power;
He shall destroy fearfully,
And shall prosper and thrive;
He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people.

25 "Through his cunning
He shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule;
And he shall exalt himself in his heart.
He shall destroy many in their prosperity.
He shall even rise against the Prince of princes;
But he shall be broken without human means. (Daniel 8:23-25).

Teaching what the Bible says about this Beast of Revelation and the King of the North leader will likely be considered as a 'conspiracy theory.' Teaching the truths about what will be happening would seem to trigger the prophesied famine of the word.

World Events Leading to This

Amos 8:12 will apparently happen after Daniel 11:33 and Matthew 24:14 are fulfilled, but portions may begin as early as Daniel 11:28. With FCC "net neutrality" rules (they were approved in late 2010), we are getting close to that time when governments will be too offended by the truth of the Gospel of the Kingdom so that some will take steps to stop it from being proclaimed. Perhaps under the guise of "neutrality," perhaps under the guise of "The Patriot Act," perhaps under the guise of "public welfare" or national security, something will be done to stop perhaps all of the organized media efforts to proclaim biblical truths.

Furthermore, on August 11, 2011, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom stated that he wanted Scotland Yard to consider stopping suspected rioters from having the ability to utilize "social media" that involved the internet (see UK’s Cameron May Call Out the Troops and Restrict Social Media)--thus the idea of interference with the ability to proclaim the gospel that way may fulfill what the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong understood, just prior to the start of the Great Tribulation.

Since then, the amount of governmental surveillance seems to have increased and this will assist the rising Beast power (see also Will USA Spying Help the Beast Power?).

Even Pope Francis seems to be on the side of limiting speech of those who disagree with other's religions. Notice something from 2015:

January 15, 2015

The pope, speaking to reporters as he flew from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, made the comments in relation to an attack by Islamists on the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, known for its satirical attacks on Islam and other religions, that killed 12 people.

Francis has defended freedom of expression, but he said it was wrong to provoke others by insulting their religion and that one could “expect” a reaction to such abuse.

“You can’t provoke, you can’t insult the faith of others, you can’t make fun of faith,” he told reporters Thursday.

‘You cannot provoke’

By way of example, he referred to Alberto Gasparri, who organizes papal trips and was standing by his side. Francis said: “If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s normal. … You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others. … In freedom of expression there are limits.” …

“Everyone has not only the freedom and the right, but the obligation to say what he thinks for the common good. … We have the right to have this freedom openly without offending,” he said, according to Reuters. http://www.voanews.com/content/pope-francis-speaks-against-insulting-others-religions/2599338.html

The Pope's words go against the Bible. Limits on freedom of expression should NOT be limits on truth. People who are believing lies may well be offended at the truth, but the truth still needs to be told.

The Bible teaches:

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)

Many are offended to be told that they are sinning, but the Bible says to tell them anyway.

Is Pope Francis also trying to say that one cannot give one’s opinion about religions that one feels is false?

Whether he is or not, his comments are helping to set the stage for censorship.

Notice what Jesus taught:

31… If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)

43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word.  44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.  45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.  46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?  47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God. (John 8:43-47)

Many were offended by Jesus’ words.  Notice:

56 … Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him.

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” (Matthew 13:56-57)

Does Pope Francis not grasp that Jesus offended people who would not accept the true religion He was teaching?

The Apostles offended others when they preached as well:

12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. …

17 Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19 But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”

21 And when they heard that, they entered the temple early in the morning and taught. But the high priest and those with him came and called the council together, with all the elders of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. (Acts 5:17-21)

Notice that the high priest and the Sadducees were so offended that they became indignant and imprisoned the apostles for teaching the truth.  Surely, Pope Francis should not consider this imprisonment a proper reaction to becoming offended, yet his words suggest that he is supportive.

Notice also the following from US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton: Religious Beliefs Must Be Changed to Achieve Social Justice

April 24, 2015

In a fiery speech Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton argues that deep seated religious beliefs must be changed so that everyone can enjoy full participation in every aspect of society.

Clinton, speaking in Manhattan on Thursday at the sixth annual Women in The World Summit, declared that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases” must be changed both in the U.S. and around the world in order to achieve social justice.

Clinton, after discussing the pressing social justice issues of domestic violence and women’s reproductive health, said:

Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.

As I have said and as I believe, the advancement of the full participation of women and girls in every aspect of their societies is the great unfinished business of the 21st century and not just for women but for everyone — and not just in far away countries but right here in the United States.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2015/04/hillary-clinton-religious-beliefs-must-be-changed-to-achieve-social-justice/#sthash.u8Q6OrVv.dpuf

She wants religious views changed so that people will embrace abortion, homosexuality, and other immoral positions that Christians should condemn. Since she wants religous beliefs changed, essentially in violation of the first amendment to the US Constitution, it is not a far stretch to stifle religious speech.

The work (in the Amos 8:12 sense) may very well be stopped by government officials (like on the internet, radio, etc.) and persecutions began because people of the holy covenant are warning the world of the results of their sins (which they will not want pointed out), falsehoods about other religions, preaching the millennial gospel of the kingdom, and teaching that the King of the North is fulfilling these prophecies in Daniel 11.

Teaching Certain Biblical Truths Will Be Condemned

Teaching any version the millennium is the ONLY doctrine that the current Catechism of the Catholic Church ties to the Antichrist (#675 Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 194; quoted in the article Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).

Explaining that the Bible teaches that a Babylonian religion with daughters who oppose biblical doctrine should be warned against (Revelation 17-18) is something that the most faithful should be doing now (cf. Isaiah 58:1; Matthew 24:14)–this is not the time to hold back out of fear of offense or being called names. Pope Francis has called it the "devil's work" to oppose his interfaith plans, whereas the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew has stated that those who oppose ecumenical dialogue are “unacceptably fanatical” (see Pope Francis misunderstands the devil’s unity).

The faithful will be saying things that are not “politically correct” to the point that one or more governments will take action. This is especially the case, if we are saying, and I expect to help do this, that a certain individual is the King of the North and that he will invade and destroy the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, etc., and then the Middle East/North Africa. Many will hear that message.

This would have to affect media such as the internet. Currently people from hundreds of countries and territories routinely visit CCOG-related websites, such as this one. In case any of this sounds far-fetched, notice something that happened in Turkey:

January 26, 2015

ANKARA (Reuters) - A Turkish court has ordered Facebook to block a number of pages deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammad, threatening to stop access to the whole social networking site if it does not comply, local media reported. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/26/facebook-block-turkey_n_6544760.html

Governments will take action against us for going against the King of the North.

The King of the North will talk of peace and safety, but will bring destruction. This is prophesied:

3 For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:3-4)

21 And in his place shall arise a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue. 22 With the force of a flood they shall be swept away from before him and be broken, and also the prince of the covenant. 23 And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. 24 He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time. ...

29 "At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter. 30 For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage.

"So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. 31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. 32 Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. 33 And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. 34 Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. 35 And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time. ...

39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.

40 "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. (Daniel 11:20-24; 29-35; 39-40)

Yet, God’s work still will be accomplished and the final phase of the work completed. Even lay Christians will be involved in this short work. Notice again, verse 33:

33 And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering.

This is most definitely a reference to a SHORT WORK. The word "many" is not in the original Hebrew, but was improperly added by the NKJV translators. Notice it is "the people who understand shall instruct many" for days. These people are doing part of the short work--many of them are simply members of the true Church that volunteeer to do what Jesus would have them do--they are Philadelphians who will not deny Him:

7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,

'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. (Revelation 3:7-8)

32 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33).

The work will get done--though many who claim to be Christian, including the Laodiceans, will not support it as they should (cf. Revelation 3:14-22).

Who Will Be Doing This Work?

The Bible teaches:

40 Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you: 41 'Behold, you despisers, Marvel and perish! For I work a work in your days, A work which you will by no means believe, Though one were to declare it to you.'" (Acts 13:40-41)

5 Look among the nations and watch —
Be utterly astounded!
For I will work a work in your days
Which you would not believe, though it were told you. (Habakkuk 1:5)

How will it be done:

6 This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,'
Says the Lord of hosts. (Zechariah 4:6)

7 For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Much of the work is being done by unpaid volunteers around the world who do the translations, editing, Bible News Prophecy online radio, Bible News Prophecy Flipboard page, and conduct services. Furthermore, although I write most of the articles and booklets, I too am a volunteer. This does not mean that ministers and workers should not be paid (they are entitled to be), but notice also the following warning:

1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: "Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them."

7 'Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 8 "As I live," says the Lord God, "surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock" — 9 therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! 10 Thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them." (Ezekiel 34:1-10)

The Continuing Church of God is the only USA-headquartered COG in the top ten groups, in terms of global attendees, who somewhat came from the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God that does not have a paid USA ministry.

Was that because I had a plan to do that to fulfill Ezekiel 34:1-10?

No, but that is how it has worked out. Even if we do later have a paid USA ministry, I believe our formation and practices since 2012 demonstrate that we are NOT amongst those that Ezekiel 34 condemned (a significant amount of our income goes to support the poor in Africa physically, and to feed people around the world spiritually.

Why is the CCOG leading the final phase of the work? Well other than the fact that volunteers like me have not compromised for money, notice the following:

4 For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth. (Psalms 33:4)

We are accumulating truths about Christian doctrine, church history, and prophecy. The work is being done in truth. The church is organized for that purpose:

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)

The Philadelphian members of God's Church believe, and when needed verify, the truth, which they love. We differ from those who do not have the same love for the truth.

3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me. (Psalms 101:3)

18 The wicked man does deceptive work,
But he who sows righteousness will have a sure reward.
19 As righteousness leads to life,
So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.
20 Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord,
But the blameless in their ways are His delight.
21 Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished;
But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered. (Proverbs 11:18-21)

10 Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully, (Jeremiah 48:10)

There is a time to do the 'short work':

17 I said in my heart,

"God shall judge the righteous and the wicked,
For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work." (Ecclesiastes 3:17)

13 Therefore the Lord said:

"Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths
And honor Me with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
14 Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work
Among this people,
A marvelous work and a wonder;
For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden." (Isaiah 29:13-14)

6 But you shall be named the priests of the Lord,
They shall call you the servants of our God.
You shall eat the riches of the Gentiles,
And in their glory you shall boast.
7 Instead of your shame you shall have double honor,
And instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion.
Therefore in their land they shall possess double;
Everlasting joy shall be theirs.

8 "For I, the Lord, love justice;
I hate robbery for burnt offering;
I will direct their work in truth,
And will make with them an everlasting covenant.
9 Their descendants shall be known among the Gentiles,
And their offspring among the people.
All who see them shall acknowledge them,
That they are the posterity whom the Lord has blessed." (Isaiah 61:6-9)

10 The Lord has revealed our righteousness.
Come and let us declare in Zion the work of the Lord our God. (Jeremiah 51:10)

4 Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,' says the Lord; 'and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,' says the Lord, 'and work; for I am with you,' says the Lord of hosts. 5 'According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!'

6 "For thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,' says the Lord of hosts. (Haggai 2:4-7)

28 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." (John 6:28-29)

17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. (John 17:17)

The truth is not simply 'technical details' that the non-Christians and Laodiceans wish to ignore or discount.

The Apostle John wrote:

10 Then I took the little book out of the angel's hand and ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. But when I had eaten it, my stomach became bitter. 11 And he said to me, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings." (Revelation 10:10-11)

There are a variety of views of what this may mean. Some suggest it means that John gave messages in Ephesus or elsewhere later that were not recorded in the Bible.s Here are some Protestant comments about part of that:

Moreover, this may not so much design John's prophesying in person, as the prophesying: of the witnesses or ministers of the word in the several periods of time, whom John personated and represented; (Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible viewed 01/18/15)

The direct address is to John himself; but it is evidently not to be understood of him personally. ...

Again - πάλιν palin. This had been done before. That is, supposing this to refer to the time of the Reformation, it could be said:

(a) that this had been done before - that the gospel had been in former times proclaimed in its purity before "many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings"; and,

(b) that it would be done "again"; that is, though the Word of God had been hidden, and a mass of corrupt traditions had taken its place, yet the time would come when those pure truths would be made known again to all lands. This will explain the word "again" in this place - not meaning that John would do this personally, but that this would be in fact the result of the restoration of the Bible to the church. (Barnes' Notes on the Bible viewed 01/18/15)

The late Herbert W. Armstrong seemed to share the view that it was not a message for the Apostle John to fulfill personally. Perhaps, someone is to come in the spirit and power of John, like John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah (cf. Luke 1:17).

Many rejected Jesus:

42 Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the Scriptures:

'The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief cornerstone.
This was the Lord's doing,
And it is marvelous in our eyes'?

43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. 44 And whoever falls on this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will grind him to powder." (Matthew 21:42-44)

Many reject true Philadelphians and their leadership today. This is why the Continuing Church of God had to form.

Furthermore, will the short work be supported by the elite? Well, not many of them. Notice:

26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption — 31 that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the Lord." (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

Furthermore, consider that God can raise up stones to cry out. Notice what John the Baptist and Jesus taught:

8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. (Luke 3:8)

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples."

40 But He answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out." (Luke 19:39-40)

Although Jesus was not lifeless, stones are lifeless. Many with us were essentially lifeless. Some left the Church of God for years. Others followed heretical leaders. Relatively few had much involvement in truly being part of the work of Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20 for years. Some seem 'odd' or otherwise do not fit in. Anyway, if you support the 'short work' do not be offended by the stone analogy as Jesus even used it about Himself.

Short Work Takes Preparation

God warned Noah of the great flood and told him to prepare (Genesis 6:13-21) and Noah did (Genesis 6:22). It took much time as he acquired materials, made plans, and constructed the Ark. But the rain itself only last 40 days (Genesis 7:4,12). The total time he and his family were in the Ark was just under 11 months (cf. Genesis 7:11; 8:13). But if Noah and his family had not prepared for the short work of surviving the flood, humanity would have died (unless God devised another way).

For thousands of years, God has been waiting for the world to get the witness of the gospel of the kingdom. It will happen, and then the end will come.

What does God's word teach about who will reach many? Who will instruct many?

The most faithful.

Recall what the Bible teaches:

32... the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. 33 And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; (Daniel 11:32-33)

This is part of why you need Bible study, you need to learn from sermons and sermonettes, you need to know more about doctrine, prophecy, and church history, and why you should try to attend the Feast of Tabernacles. We in the Continuing Church of God are leading what I have termed the final phase of the work--and the most faithful need to have their part in supporting it.

We Christians are to preach “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations” (Matthew 24:14) and “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19).

This involves being able to reach people in multiple languages.

The Bible shows that this ultimately results in followers from all over and in all languages:

9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation 7:9-11)

14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:14). 

Thus, it makes sense to get materials into whatever languages God will open up to us (cf. Revelation 3:7-8; 1 Corinthians 16:9; 2 Corinthians 2:12).

Translators and editors are helping us prepare for the short work.

We are getting our websites ready in preparation, not only to reach those we can now (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20), but also to reach out to all that we can in the short work. We will reach billions, directly and/or indirectly.

Will you support the short work?

Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

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?
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 Temple and the Work This article discusses the two temples of the Old Testament and gives insight as to their possible relevance to the situation which has impacted the Church during this past decade or so.
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.
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?
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 c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Thiel B. The Short Work. COGwriter (c) http://www.cogwriter.com/short-work.htm 2015/2016 1205

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