COG News: Emphasizing News of Interest to those Once in the Worldwide Church of God
"For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you" (I Corinthians 11:19).

* LCG News *  LCG 2006 Feast of Tabernacles' Information * Listing of Living Church of God Congregations *Sunset Times for the U.S. *  News of Those Once Affiliated with the Global COG * Prayer Requests * Official Living Church of God What's New? page.

Click Here for the COGwriter Home Page which has articles on various sabbatarian Churches of God (COGs) and articles supporting beliefs of the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God.

09/15/06 a.m. In his latest newsleterr, CBCG's Fred Coulter wrote:

As we mail this letter, we are only ten days from the Feast of Trumpets, which begins the fall holy days and feasts of God...

It is always amazing that these holy days—which mainstream, “pagan” Christianity vehemently despises and rejects—are the very days that would give them understanding of God’s plan and purpose for mankind. As a result of this rejection, nominal Christians simply don’t know what God is really doing, and neither do they understand the overview of biblical prophecy revealed through God’s weekly Sabbath, annual holy days and feasts.

The Feast of Trumpets is a week from tonight. Articles of related interest may be:

Holy Days
Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord? Most Protestant scholars say Sunday is the Lord's Day, but is that what the Bible teaches?
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath
observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church?
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformatted Good News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true?
Is There "An Annual Worship Calendar" In the Bible? This paper pro
vides a biblical and historical critique of several articles which state that this should be a local decision. Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach?
Melito's Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? This article supplies some biblical answers.
UCG and Its Unleavened Bread Study Paper What does the Bible say about eating unleavened bread for seven days? What has UCG officially said about it?
Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2? More Christians somewhat observe Pentecost. Do they know what it means?
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? Did they? Did Jesus?

The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not?
The Day of Atonement--Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians "The Day of Atonement". Does it have any relevance for Christians today?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today's Christians?
Last Great Day study paper Was Jesus speaking about the 7th or 8th day of the Feast in John 7:37? UCG says the 7th, but what does the Bible teach? This extensive paper reviews UCG's LGD study paper and includes comments as to where it erred.
Holy Days
This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2012, with their Roman calendar dates.

Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? Historical and biblical answers to this question.
Valentine's Day: Its Real Origins Christianity Today suggests that Valentine's Day is good for Christians to observe. Is this true?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen?
Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? This article provides some historical and biblical insight on this question.
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them?
Sunday and Christianity Was Sunday observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians? How clearly endorsed Sunday?

LCG announced the following news items:

Giving Over Their Power. Although the United Kingdom will likely not be among the nations loyal to the Beast power at the very end, actions in Britain are representative of what is occurring or will occur all across Europe. The British government recently signed a European Evidence Warrant agreement with the EU, giving European judges the ability to order British police to carry out EU-initiated investigations on British soil (Telegraph, June 2, 2006). This type of agreement will be entered into by other European nations in the future, as these nations give more of their power over to what will very likely become the Beast of Revelation. John was inspired to write about ten nations that would “receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind and they will give their power and authority to the beast” (Revelation 17:12-13). Nowhere else on earth do we see historically independent nations freely relinquishing so much of their sovereignty and power to a central authority, like we do in Europe today. We are witnessing the fulfillment of end-time prophecy before our very eyes.

Chinese-Russian Ties Continue to Strengthen. The Year of Russia is the banner in China in 2006. Some 206 different events spotlighting Russian culture and advances are scheduled to occur across China, including productions from the Bolshoi Theater. President Vladimir Putin visited China in March to assist Chinese President Hu Jintao in inaugurating the year’s events. 2007 will be celebrated as The Year of China in Russia and will spotlight similar Chinese cultural and technological events. These nation-wide events are designed to tie the nations of China and Russia more closely together (China Daily, March 18, 2006). God tells of a time, near the end of the tribulation, when nations from the north and east will overwhelm the King of the North (Daniel 11:44-45). Apparently an army of 200 million men will be used to complete this horrific task (Revelation 9:13-20). A combined force from Russia and China would relatively easily be able to muster an army of this magnitude, and will also have the financial and technological resources to back it.

Here is a news item a reader of the COGwriter site sent me:

The Ordering of a Superstate



(Own report) - The medieval, Europe-wide German Reich is a valid model for the union of European countries today. So says the Berlin State Minister for Culture, Bernd Neumann. According to him, the memory of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation reveals "an inner historical consistency" with the founding and steady expansion of the European Union. These remarks are a preparation for the festivities in Berlin for the fiftieth anniversary of the European Economic Community (EEC), to which the Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has invited the German Pope, Joseph Ratzinger. Ratzinger is a committed supporter of the "Imperial Ideal" (Reichsidee) and is to speak on the "spiritual foundations" of Europe in the German capital. This government offensive to revitalise the Imperial Ideal will underline the German leadership of the EU and confirm fears in France, Great Britain and almost all the states of eastern Europe.

An article of possible interest may be Europa and the Beast of Revelation.

09/14/06 a.m. In his latest newsletter, Legacy Institute's Leon Sexton reported:

Gloria and I are in California. Twice a year we return from Thailand to the US to travel on a speaking tour and attend a Legacy Institute board meeting. It is important and invigorating for us to come back and visit with our friends and fellow-laborers in God’s fields.

This trip we had the chance to see so many of our friends who already support the Work God does through Legacy, and meet new friends who are very interested in hearing what Legacy is doing.

While I admire the dedication of the Sextons, the following is some of what Legacy teaches as a Gentile focus which differs from that of the other COGs:

...I talked with you about the implications of Romans 11: 25-27, and how the Holy Spirit is becoming very active among the Gentile peoples scattered in remote parts of the world. Because of these passages in Romans, I foresee that the next “great effort” of God’s Work will be the calling of many thousands of Gentile people into His Church just before the return of Jesus. There are more out there who have not “bowed the knee to Baal” than we ever imagined! God has not been sleeping. Over the past 10 years, while, sadly, many have turned away from God and others have been busy re-organizing or involved in “church wars”, God is raising up servants among the Gentiles to carry on His Work around the globe. And Romans 9-11 tells us there is more to come!...Romans 11:26-27 is clear. Israel is now blind and will not be saved until the “full number of the Gentiles comes in (NIV translation)” and Jesus returns to establish His Government in Zion" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, November 2, 2001).

"Who are the “sheep” Jesus refers to time and again? And what is this “harvest” He keeps talking about? We will have to examine Jesus’ own words. He tells us who He considers HIS SHEEP to be! Please read JOHN 10:1-16. It seems probable Jesus was talking about Israel when He talks about the sheep of the first sheepfold. But who are the “OTHER SEEP WHO ARE NOT OF THIS FOLD” which He refers to? Why the Gentiles, of course! The Bible is filled with prophecies concerning the conversion of the Gentiles" (Sexton, L. Newsletter, December 22, 2002).

While I feel that we do need to reach Gentiles (which is part of why I wrote the articles: China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters, China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God's Witness in China, and Islands and Bible Prophecy), I do not believe with Leon Sexton's position that they are essentially to be the main focus of the church just prior to Christ's return.

Leon Sexton also wrote:

The Spiritual Church was founded by Jesus to be the primary instrument of His Work. We – members of the Body of Christ today – are to be pliable instruments in His Hands. There is so much to be done! And King Jesus will see that it is done. Either we get on board and help Jesus finish His Work, or He will get someone else. We could be left behind!

He is choosing out individuals in our various Church of God organizations to get the job done. It is NOT now – nor has it ever been – the sole responsibility of only one particular, humanly devised Church of God corporate organization.

Do you think for one minute that God cares anything about the corporate papers we filed with the various Secretaries of State offices in the various states of America and other countries?

The answer to that last question is actually yes, especially since Jesus taught that God notices when even a sparrow dies. The reality is that only one COG teaches all of the 18 truths that HWA claimed God used him to restore to the Philadelphia portion of the COG and that also puts its top priority on proclaiming the Gospel: more information can be found in the article There are Many COGS: Why the Living Church of God? There criteria are consistent with what Jesus told the church at Philadelphia.

Those interested in learning more about Leon Sexton's work may wish to read the article Teachings and Practices of Legacy Institute

P.S. I heard that my server was down a bit yesterday. As I have no intention of shutting the COGwriter site down, please always try later if there are server issues--I am not intending to go away for years.

09/13/06 a.m. In an ad in the latest edition of The Journal, Ministry Publications states:

The Beast! The feared, Fourth and final Beast Empire. People want to know what will be the Beast? From where will it come? Who will be the Beast? People worry about getting marked by the Beast.Why? Simple. To avoid it. To know when to run and hide...

The warnings in the Book of Revelation about the coming Fourth Beast center around worship of that Beast. For one to receive the Beast’s mark or number of its name will require a person to worship the Beast, worship its system of government or the False Prophet connected with the system (Revelation 14:9).

Two articles of related interest might be Europa, the Beast, and Revelation and SDA/COG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666.

I have noticed that there has been increased interest in my Early Christianity page this month. As well as much more interest from people from Papua New Guinea at the COGwriter site.

An article that may be of interest to those who dwell in PNG or other islands may be Islands and Bible Prophecy

09/12/06 a.m. Ambassador College is in the news:


National Book Auctions set to Liquidate Texas LibraryFinal epitaph for Herbert W. Armstrong: Worldwide Church of God's former Ambassador University campus library in Big Sandy, TX, will be liquidated through a revolutionary used book selling model.Big Sandy, TX (PRWEB) September 8, 2006 -- Beginning this month, a series of landmark book auctions will take place in Big Sandy, Texas, to liquidate the library contents at the now defunct Ambassador University Campus, the former academic jewel of the of The Worldwide Church of God late empire. This liquidation distinctly marks the decided end of Herbert W. Armstrong's once-powerful vision. CNY Book Auctions and National Book Auctions will be conducting the events that will occur over a 3-month period using a revolutionary Internet and live auction model.

The Worldwide Church of God, then named the Radio Church of God, originally founded Ambassador College around 1945. Over the next 50 years, the college programs grew to include three campuses in California, England, and Big Sandy, Texas. The church grew to immense power and prestige over the decades, only to suffer a dramatic downward tumble during the 1980's and 1990's, following the death of its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong. Scandal, internal conflict and mounting financial woe spurred and accelerated the church's fall from grace, necessitating the sale of most of its assets, including the celebrated Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena.

Ambassador College became Ambassador University and was granted accreditation in 1994 after folding its Pasadena, California, academic programs into the Big Sandy campus. Part of the accreditation process included amassing a full university library with complete Library of Congress categorization. The library has remained unused since the campus closed in 1997 (just three years after receiving accreditation) and approximately 90,000 books will be sold at the upcoming auctions along with the extensive inventory of periodicals and fixtures.

The auctions to be executed by CNY Book Auctions and National Book Auctions will be unprecedented in their nature. Combining live auction venues, internet bidding through eBay and an intensive cataloging process, this service represents a new sales model in the used book world. The internet has thoroughly transformed the used book marketplace and this systemized approach to liquidating such a massive volume of books to buyers worldwide, has never before been attempted. Further details including specific auction dates and catalogs are available at and

Today, the Ambassador University campus houses the alert training program, a branch of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, which now owns the property. For more information, contact Dave Hall at 607-279-1182.


The following item in Time magazine was of interest:

Though eyes are on his trip home, the Pope is (gradually) launching big changes back in the Roman Curia

Time magazine - Sept 11, 2006,8599,1533711,00.html

As Pope Benedict XVI spoke with reporters on his Alitalia jet just before take-off for his current trip to Germany, an imposing — and familiar — figure in black and red appeared just over the smaller shoulders of the German pontiff. He is Cardinal Angelo Sodano, and for the past 15 years, the husky Italian has served as Secretary of State, effectively the No. 2 post in the Vatican hierarchy.

But for the 78-year-old prelate, who'd accompanied John Paul abroad dozens of times, this week's trip with Benedict to Bavaria will be his final assignment in the powerful post. On Friday, the day after the papal entourage returns to Rome, Sodano's replacement — current Genoa Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone — will take over the running of day-to-day business of the mammoth Church bureaucracy.

So while the Pope enjoys his homecoming this week (Monday he traveled to the small Bavarian town of Marktl am Inn where he was born), Vatican insiders say the beginning of the Benedict era back at the Roman Curia begins in earnest this fall.

Some, in fact, predict that Bertone — a longtime trusted confidante of the former Cardinal Ratzinger — was handpicked to be Secretary of State in order to usher in a virtual revolution in the way Catholic Church headquarters operates. Through an effort that will be part downsizing, part priority overhaul, the theologian pontiff is said to want Church headquarters to be both a more holy and a more efficient entity.

An article of related interest may be Europa, the Beast, and Revelation

09/11/06 a.m. The July 2006 edition of The Journal is finally out. It contains a listing of COG Feast of Tabernacles sites, plus a couple of articles about Legacy Institute. Here is a link to The Journal's first and last page

It devote a large amount of space to the recent trip of SDA Mark Kellner to the seven cities of Revelation 2 & 3, plus Patmos. Mark Kellner seems to prefer Patmos as he wrote:

In spite of the heavily touristy nature of Patmos, I’m glad I visited. The people are supremely friendly, really, really nice. The climate is pleasant, as island hoppers will attest. And, whatever you’re seeing there, Patmos does have a sense of history that grips. Unlike Turkey, though, it has had and retains a distinct Christian influence, and that, too, is refreshing.

Having been to several of the cities of Revelation 2 & 3, as well as Patmos, I found less true Christianity associated with Patmos. At least the Turkish guides try to tell mainly the truth about the cities, whereas in Patmos, they prefer to give Eastern Orthodox perspectives on matters (such as they do not believe that John actually wrote the Book of Revelation, but that he dictated it to someone else, which seems inconsistent with the biblical account).

Mark Kellner, like many once in WCG, does not seem to teach that the seven churches represent seven eras of the true Church. Those interested in church eras may wish to read the articles:

The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3
1. The Ephesus Church Era was predominant from 31 A.D. to circa 135 A.D.
2. The Smyrna Church Era was predominant circa 135 A.D. to circa 450 A.D.
3. The Pergamos Church Era was predominant circa 450 A.D. to circa 1050 A.D.
4. The Thyatira Church Era was predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1585 A.D.
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1585 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D.
7. The Laodicean Church Era was predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present

Those interested in photographs may wish to go to the following pages:

Ephesus The first of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. There is even a picture of the house Mary supposedly lived in.

Smyrna The second of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. The home town of Polycarp.

Pergamos The third of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3.

Patmos The island John was exiled to, and where he wrote the Book of Revelation.

Rhodes The Apostle Paul visited here. Also, there are photos of a castle of the Knight's Templar,

Athens, The town the Apostle Paul felt was too religious, due to temples and idols. After visiting there, I can see why.

Areopagus Rock This is where the Apostle Paul gave his famous Men of Athens speech.

Corinth The Apostle Paul wrote two letters to this church.

CGOM-UK's James McBride wrote against the Philadelphia era teaching of a place of safety as his article in The Journal stated:

LINCOLN, England—“I will keep you from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10)...

One scenario claims that, because of their faithfulness to specified teachings, certain Christians will escape the sufferings of those terrible years...

Any “escape” is individual, not collective, not an entire church group. Good things are reputed to come in small packages, but so does poison.

All the groups that descended from CGI seem to have this anti-place of safety view. Those interested in a different view may wish to read the articles There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra and Laodicean Warning for God's People

On other matters, I found the following news item to be of prophetic (Matthew 24) interest:

BALTIMORE (September 10, 2006)
A rare 6.0 earthquake rocked the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, and residents across the southeastern U.S. could feel the temblor, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).  

The quake occurred about 6.2 miles below the Gulf surface, and was centered about 260 miles southwest of Tampa. People in Florida, Louisiana, Georgia and Alabama reported that buildings shook for about 20 seconds.

Though no major damage was reported, USGS officials said minor damage was possible. The USGS received almost 2,000 reports from people who could detect the quake. Florida state emergency management also received calls from concerned residents.


09/10/06 a.m. In the current United News, UCG reported:

At the start of calendar year 2006, income started to increase steadily. The fiscal year ended on June 30 with income settling at 5 percent over what had been projected in the budget. Income in the first five weeks of the current fiscal year (July 2006) is 17 percent above the same period last year. As a result of the strong income levels, the Church has already met the reserve amount budgeted for 2006-2007, and has an income surplus on-hand.

Mr. Kilough summarized that his focus for the upcoming year will be to:

•Continue to stay in touch with members and ministers, doing what is possible to keep us collectively focused on our calling, mission, growth, unity and spiritual development.

•Develop an effective education program.

•Develop manpower to meet the future needs of the Church.

•Develop the most-effective media program we can possibly have.

UCG has historically set a relatively high budget for its reserves. But I suspect that for many reasons, it will eventually find that it must use them.

UCG also reported:

Leon Walker, chairman of the Doctrine Committee, presented three proposed amendments to the Fundamental Beliefs section of the UCG Constitution for Council consideration.

In this case, the Doctrine Committee recommended against support of any of the three proposed amendments. After discussion, the Council voted unanimously to not support any of the proposals.

Leon Walker has in the past expressed frustation with UCG's doctrinal process (essentially that he has trouble ever getting it to work). This report is consistent with that.

Last Thursday, both LCG and UCG provided media reports.

LCG's Wayne Pyle reported:

Three-day weekends usually take a toll on our response, but not so this weekend.  Even though we repeated a program aired earlier this year, the Labor Day three-day weekend produced a nine-percent higher response than the first airing. We aired program #271, “Prepare for Christ’s Second Coming,” which offered the Fourteen Signs (FS) booklet.  We received a total of 2,913 responses for the entire week.  The first airing happened to be on the Mother’s Day weekend back in May, which produced 2,682 responses.  So, a nine-percent increase for a repeat-airing is excellent. The call-count this weekend is the highest for a Labor Day weekend.  The previous high was two years ago, when program #201, “Secrets of Revelation,” offering the Revelation (RU) booklet, brought in 2,883 replies. 

In addition to reporting increases in UCG's internet responses, UCG's Peter Eddington reported:

Record-breaking Month for Beyond Today

We're very thankful for a record-breaking month for responses to the Church's Beyond Today video program—1,215 in all from telephone calls and the Internet! This is a 63 percent increase over July, and a 38 percent increase over June (our previous record month).

Both LCG and UCG are having record responses this year, though UCG's responses for its record month are about 1/4th of LCG's responses for its record week (and about 1/3rd of LCG's normal weeks). The focus on television for getting the gospel out has been one of the many Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God.

Speaking of LCG, it reported the following news item:

Europe Enters Middle EastSoldiers of the UN force that will attempt to keep peace between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon will come primarily from EU nations.  Italy will send 3,000, France will contribute 2,000 and Germany will send the third-largest contingent of 1,200 (Deutsche Welle, August 28, 2006).  Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D’Alema, relishing “Italy’s newly assertive role in Europe” said, “We showed we have some weight in Europe” (The New York Times, August 27, 2006).  While European public opinion has generally been critical of Israel’s military operations in the Middle East, German political scientist Matthias Kuntzel acknowledged, “Israel is fighting genocidal Islamism as the proxy for the Western world” (Der Spiegel, July 24, 2006).  European soldiers will now be on the “frontline” of what has been called, by Iranian president Ahmadinejad, a “historical war… between the Islamic world and the world of arrogance”—meaning the West—which includes the USA and the “crusaders” of Europe (Ibid).  Bible prophecy indicates that at the end of the age European forces will move into the Middle East in response to militant threats in that region (Daniel 11:40-43).  The activities of this UN (EU) force bear watching. 

09/09/06 a.m. UCG's president Clyde Kilough reported the following:

Our time with the members in Johannesburg on the Sabbath was delightful, and they served a delicious curry and rice dinner. We only regret not being able to visit the congregations in East London, Durban and Cape Town, but maybe that will come at another time. Below is a chart, taken from the August report, of the Sabbath attendances in the congregations in southern Africa:



Average attendance

High attendance

Cape Town

Stan Botha



East London

Neil Becker




Bill Jahns




André van Belkum




Kambani Banda




Gladstone Chonde




Kambani Banda



Another report also stated that UCG now has a summer camp in Nigeria and that 31 attended it.

Speaking of Africa, it is my understanding that COGaic probably is the COG with the most members there (LCG is probably third).

Yesterday, PCG reported the following:

China’s Hutchison Whampoa is wheeling and dealing America out of its own backyard.

Hutchison Whampoa plans to build and operate a new container terminal in Ecuador, dealing a blow to America’s prestige and economic expansion. The Hong Kong-based global company, which operates five core businesses including port services and telecommunications, will invest $523 million in hopes of profiting from Latin America’s economic growth...

The new terminal will give China another opening to capitalize on Latin America’s growing economy, especially with global trade set to expand 7.6 percent from last year. Hutchison Whampoa, the largest port operator in the world, already operates in Panama, Argentina, Mexico and the Bahamas. The addition of Manta to this growing list of ports will further extend China’s growing influence in Latin America.

At the same time, U.S. influence in that area is waning. Relations with the Latin America have cooled as the U.S. expends its money and energy on other foreign commitments, such as Iraq. Anti-Americanism is rearing up in countries throughout South America.

Thus, China is taking this opportunity to increase its economic ties with fellow developing nations while chipping away at U.S. hegemony. The port in Manta represents another step in a strategy China began in 1999, when it started a long-term lease to operate the exit and entry ports of the
Panama Canal after America relinquished its rights to it.

Hutchison Whampoa’s new port in Ecuador is another chapter in what is becoming an increasingly
familiar story: As U.S. power and influence shrink, other nations rush in to fill the gap.

Actually, I believe it is more than trying to "fill the gap". There was an annoucement a couple of days ago that China made a major trade deal with Chile. I suspect that the Chinese have decided that since ultimately they will disrupt the US economy (and could do serious damage to it any time they wish to cash in their $200,000,000,000 in US treasury bills), that Latin America offers it better long-term prospects. Also, since by US standards Latin America is quite inexpensive, the Chinese certainly perceive that they will get a better value for their investments there.

Last night, ICG's Mark Armstrong stated:

The deeper we look into current news, the more discouraging the world situation looks.  We see European armies moving into the Middle East, purporting to act as “peacekeepers.”  And according to some analysts, this is just the beginning.  How can anyone expect the Europeans to protect Israel’s security?  After all, Europe has a history of opposing Israel at every turn...

And European warships are moving in to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, ostensibly to patrol against weapons shipments or al Qaeda vessels.   Some see this as a pretext for Europe to become a major military player in the Middle East, possibly to intervene or interfere in the event the U.S. and Israel should end up at war with Iran and Syria.  The U.S. won’t just be hampered by blather at the UN in the future, the Europeans are cluttering the eastern Mediterranean with aircraft carriers and destroyers!  It is billed as the largest European deployment of warships since World War II. 

            Does any of this sound like a recipe for peace?  Hardly!  Europe has finally found a way to become militarily entrenched in the Middle East, and it is by invitation of the United Nations with full agreement from the U.S. and Israel.  It is just astonishing to see these developments in apparent alignment with Bible prophecy.  Europe is preparing for a military role in the Mid East, and all parties are in favor of the move.

            This thing could drag out with skirmishes and ceasefires, or it may continue to develop rapidly.  It is playing out on a timetable that is in God’s hands

Actually, European warships are prophesied to be in this area (see Daniel 11). One of these days, I plan to post details about how Daniel 11 shows what will happen to the US, Europe, the Moslems, the Chinese, and the Russians.

09/08/06 a.m. In a rather lengthy letter, PABC's Norman Edwards makes the following statements about his views of some of the troubles he has been facing:

We still have not produced another Servant's News issue since the Jan/Feb, though much original research has been done and several articles are all ready to go. We had hoped that the next issue would be our next communication to you. But something even more pressing has come to the forefront here.

In previous communications, we have only briefly mentioned our court cases and the fire in our dormitory building which easily could have resulted in deaths in the Edwards family or young women staying upstairs...

Moving on to other subjects, the local tax assessor denied our request to be exempt from property taxes. This was partly because the local tax assessor was unfamiliar with religious trusts (they are familiar with 501(c)(3) corporations), and partly because of false accusations asserting that we were not doing any religious work, but that we were a sham trying to evade taxes. Therefore, we ended up with two court cases that are still in progress, that will ultimately determine our
property tax status.

After several months of having Williams refuse to negotiate how we could reimburse him for all or some of the $85,140 that he voluntarily gave to make land payments, we wrote him and told him that we would unilaterally begin a repayment plan if he did not respond. He ultimately did respond through an attorney and negotiations with the attorney continued into the summer of 2005. Through his attorney, Williams asked to be reimbursed for numerous expenses as well, many of
which appeared to have nothing to do with this project. Finally, in November of 2005, he filed lawsuit against us. Even now, we have yet to receive any copies of receipts or checks documenting items for which he wants compensation.

The judge in this case allowed Norman Edwards to respond on behalf of himself and the trust in both the initial pleadings and in the pretrial conference. At that conference, the judge said that he did not know if Edwards could legally represent the trust and asked Williams' attorney to file a motion if he wanted to challenge it. No motion was filed. At the pretrial conference, no chance for discussion was permitted, no laws or cases were cited, but the judge simply stated that Edwards could not proceed on behalf of the trust because"it is the law"...

As if this were all not enough, we had a largely frivolous case filed against us this spring by a party who had paid $10 to the county clerk for an "assumed name" certificate with a name similar to ours, who then later claimed that all of our property should be awarded to them by the court because of this. We were able to have this case dismissed with a motion for summary judgment, which only cost us $20. Recognize, if we used an attorney, this probably would have cost thousands of dollars.

I take no sides in Norman Edwards prolonged legal problems. For a while some years ago, his Servant's News seemed to be the main newspaper for 'independents', now that "honor' seems to be more the case for Dixon Cartwright's publication The Journal: News of the Churches of God.

Here are two news items of potential prophetic importance:

ABC News (Australia) - Sept 7, 2006

The Western Australian Farmers Federation says the state's wheat growers are almost certain to record their worst season ever.

Independent commodity manager the Emerald Group has predicted the dry spell across most of the country will push wheat production in Australia down to as low as 13 million tonnes this year.

Production in Western Australia could be as low as four million tonnes, less than half of last year's bumper harvest.


A minor earthquake rattled homes and businesses in Lake County, Tenn., this morning, but no injuries were reported.

The quake, registering a magnitude of 3.3, occurred at 8:51 a.m., said Gary Patterson, information services director at the Center for Earthquake Research and Information at the University of Memphis.  It was centered about a mile northwest of Ridgely, nearly 100 miles north of Memphis...

The quake occurred along one of the major fault segments of the New Madrid seismic zone, which extends from near Cairo, Ill., to Marked Tree, Ark. The seismic zone produces hundreds of minor temblors annually. Last year, the region recorded four quakes of at least 3.9 in magnitude in a four-month period. The New Madrid zone is best known for a series of quakes believed to be at least 7.0 in magnitude between December 1811 and February 1812. Researchers have estimated that during any 50-year period, there's a 7-10 percent chance of an 1811-12 type quake occurring in the region. The risks of a magnitude-6 temblor have been put at at 25-40 percent for a 50-year period.


On other matters, I have noticed that more and more people are finding the site by searching for the phrase "Roman Church History" (that is the number two search, the word "cogwriter" is first).

Because of this interest, I decided to make a few updates to the article What Does Rome Actually Teach About Early Church History?

The above article quotes Roman Catholic sources, including the Rheims' translation of the New Testament, to show that the position most generally understood by Roman Catholics about its earliest leadership is not consistent with the facts.

09/07/06 a.m. Christianity Today posted this interesting comment about The Da Vinci Code:

Dan Brown's false claims about Christianity have caused even atheist magazine The Skeptic to say, 'In matters of historical analysis, it is not possible to be more wrong than this.' So what identity did Jesus claim for himself? How did his closest friends see him, and what has the church taught about him?

It is interesting that even atheists recognize some of the extent of Dan Brown's writings. Those interested in knowing the truth about it may wish to read The Da Vinci Code: Some Good, Most Bad

Notice what a Protestant group in Europe reports:

"Almost all Protestant churches in Europe are member churches of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe. Its basic document is the Leuenberg Agreement of 1973 which marks the end of the over 450 years of the church division between the Lutheran and Reformed churches.  Up to now 104 Churches across Europe belong to the CPCE.  Well aware of its limits, the CPCE has the whole ecumenical scene in view and considers itself as a step on the way towards the unity of the universal Church of Jesus Christ in a reconciled diversity".   Source:  

The reader who sent me the above commented:

"unity of the universal Church" is a subtle way of stating "unity of the Catholic Church" , because the word "Catholic" means "Universal"  (see any dictionary). 

An article of possibly related interest might be Europa, the Beast, and Revelation

China is the most populous nation on Earth. Do you know much about God's witnesses to China? An article of related interest may be:

China, Its Biblical Past and Future: The Sabbath and Some of God's Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? And is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath?

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Volume 10, issue 20 COG writer B. Thiel (c) 2006