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 *  2006 Feast of Tabernacles Sites * 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.

06/24/06 a.m. CG7 announces that its ministerial training program now has an online course, which begins tomorrow:

MTS Launching First Online Course

Church Polity, one of the core MTS courses, will be offered on-line this summer!

This one-credit course, required for anyone seeking Lay Pastor Certification, was developed by Elder Robert Coulter and will be taught by Elders Max Morrow and Monico Muffley. It is designed to help students understand the organization and operation of the Church of God (Seventh Day) so they can take a more active role in the life of the Church at the local, district, national, and international levels. Since the Church is governed by its membership, this course will equip both members and pastors to participate in the work of their Church more effectively and to better understand their rights and responsibilities.

Dates: June 25 through August 26; nine (9) weeks.

This seems to be an unusual subject for the first course, though in several ways it does make sense for this to be first. Thoose interested in learning about how CG7 differs from the other COGs may wish to read the article Church of God, Seventh Day. Those interested in some of its background, history, and pre-history may wish to read the article The Sardis Church Era predominant circa 1585 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D.

G&S still has not announced its founder's death. Its home page, as of this morning, still states:

The Giving & Sharing Mail Order Bookstore, PO Box 100, Neck City, MO 64849, is closed until further notice.  Please do not send new orders. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. 

Richard C. Nickels, President of Giving & Sharing, is battling a life-threatening illness.  We appreciate your understanding and prayers. 

We plan to continue updating Giving & Sharing’s website...

Although we disagreed on subjects such as governance and proclamation of the gospel, I respected Richard Nickels efforts to attempt to document Church of God history. At this time, I do not know what will happen to his library of materials.

On an indirectly related note, perhaps I should add here that Raymond McNair is reportedly quite ill and that CG21's website was not functional this morning.

06/23/06 p.m.

Richard Nickels, Founder of Giving & Sharing, Dies

GILLETTE, Wyoming -- Richard Nickels, 58, founder of the popular Giving & Sharing non-profit bookstore, died peacefully on June 4, 2006 with his wife Shirley by his side. Richard was diagnosed with adrenal cancer in March of this year.

Richard was born on June 10, 1947 in Portland, Oregon and was a graduate of Linfield College (B.A., 1969, Summa Cum Laude). He became a World Tomorrow broadcast listener in 1961, was baptized in 1969, and was employed by the Worldwide Church of God from 1971-1973 in festival site construction and Church Administration. At the time of his passing, Richard worked for a major coal mining company as an accountant and computer consultant.

Richard wrote numerous articles and books after starting Giving & Sharing in 1978. These included History of the Seventh Day Church of God, Six Papers on the History of the Church of God, Biblical Holy Days, Biblical Law, Biblical Health and Healing, Biblical Marriage and Family and many more. He served as President of the Bible Sabbath Association from 1996-1999 and 2004-2006.

I did not learn of his death until yesterday.

06/22/06 a.m. The following shows the state of mainstream Protestantism to some degree:

Episcopal convention: Jesus not the only savior

COLUMBUS, June 21 (UPI) — Episcopal Church leaders, meeting in Ohio for their annual convention, refused to affirm Jesus as the only one who can save humanity.
The House of Deputies of the 75th General Convention of the 2.3-million church, a branch of the 77-million worldwide Anglican Communion, voted overwhelmingly against a resolution that affirmed Jesus Christ as the "only name by which any person may be saved," with some opponents comparing the notion of Christ's uniqueness as a prescription for genocide.
"This type of language was used in 1920s and 1930s to alienate the type of people who were executed. It was called the Holocaust. I understand the intent, but I ask you to allow the discharge to stay," said the Rev. Eugene C. McDowell, a graduate of Yale Divinity School and Canon Theologian for the Diocese of North Carolina, Virtue Online reported Wednesday.
The convention's Committee on Evangelism first heard the resolution and discharged it to the chagrin of that committee's chairman, the Rev. Colenzo Hubbard, a noted evangelist and director of Emmanuel Episcopal Center in the Diocese of West Tennessee. Hubbard motioned to lift the resolution from the discharge list, but after heated debate, more than seven-tenths of the House of Deputies rejected the motion.
Drafted by the Rev. Guido Verbeck, rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Western Louisiana, Resolution D058 declared the Episcopal Church's belief in an "unchanging commitment to Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the only name by which any person may be saved," and it acknowledged evangelism as "the solemn responsibility placed upon us to share Christ with all persons when we hear His words, 'I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me' (John 14:6)."

Protestants do such things then wonder why Roman Catholicism is growing in many places (Note: The COG is NOT Protestant nor Roman Catholic, nor does it endorse either of those forms of religion). True Christians MUST stand by what the Bible says, even if some have twisted its intent.

Isaac Newton was perhaps the first leading scientist to challenge the notion of the Trinity. And he noticed that a spurious scripture was improperly ADDED to the Bible.

In 1690 Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) wrote a manuscript on the corruption of the text of the New Testament concerning I John 5:7 and Timothy 3:16...Newton states that this verse appeared for the first time in the third edition of Erasmus's New Testament.

Newton on I John 5:7

"When they got the Trinity; into his edition they threw by their manuscript, if they had one, as an almanac out of date. And can such shuffling dealings satisfy considering men?....It is rather a danger in religion than an advantage to make it now lean on a broken reed.

"In all the vehement universal and lasting controversy about the Trinity in Jerome's time and both before and long enough after it, this text of the "three in heaven" was never once thought of. It is now in everybody’s mouth and accounted the main text for the business and would assuredly have been so too with them, had it been in their books.

"Let them make good sense of it who are able. For my part, I can make none. If it be said that we are not to determine what is Scripture what not by our private judgments, I confess it in places not controverted, but in disputed places I love to take up with what I can best understand. It is the temper of the hot and superstitious art of mankind in matters of religion ever to be fond of mysteries, and for that reason to like best what they understand least. Such men may use the Apostle John as they please, but I have that honour for him as to believe that he wrote good sense and therefore take that to be his which is the best."

Most scholars today recognize that 1 John 5:7 was corrupted. The early church never held to the Trinity. The early church had a Binitarian View.

06/21/06 a.m. The current issue of Together: Worldwide Church of God News contains this front-page article by John Halford:

Our church headquarters finally moved from the location that had been home base for nearly 60 years. It is rather sad in some ways, although most of the people I know who work at HQ were ready to move. Those acres of California that used to be Ambassador College will always have a special significance—particularly to those of us who went to college there.

Some people felt it was terribly wrong to sell what they considered a “holy place.” Although the church campus may have a traditional and a nostalgic significance, it was not a “holy” place. Neither is the new church office building, or any building we may occupy temporarily.

We can dedicate such buildings to God, and ask him to use them for holy purposes. But that is not the same as making them holy. Only God can do that, and he’s made it quite plain what he considers “holy.”

What is God’s sign that a place is holy? In the Old Testament, God consecrated (or made holy) the Tabernacle in the wilderness and later the Temple in Jerusalem. In both cases, when they were dedicated, fire came down from heaven. It was a sign that God was “moving in” (Leviticus 14:19-20; 1 Kings 8:10-11).

But after Jesus’ death and resurrection, everything changed. It was time for a new holy place. So on the day of Pentecost, the fire bypassed the temple, and landed instead in the upper room of an ordinary house. But it did not stop there. The house was not to be the new holy place. The fire divided, and individual tongues of flame rested on the heads of the first church members gathered there.

The meaning was clear to those who understood. No longer was a building to be the holy place—people were. “Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?” wrote Paul to the church in Corinth (1 Cor. 3:16-17).

Buildings come and go, and eventually crumble. But God dwells in and with the people he has called to eternal life. “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit” (Eph 2:22).

Together replaces the old Worldwide News.

Together also reported:

Summer Festival at Lago Maggiore, Italy

The Italian church invites brethren and friends from all around the world to join them in this year’s Summer Festival. The location will again be Intra-Verbania, which is located on one of the most beautiful lakes in the world... 

Dates are August 20-27. There will be worship services, seminars, prayer meetings, entertainment, dance, youth activities and excursions...

Autumn Festival on Beautiful Majorca Island, Spain

The sermons will be in English; the festival will be Sept. 30 to Oct. 8...

Estoril, Portugal

The town of Estoril has been the chosen place for this year's Festival (Sept. 16-23).


The summer and autumn festivals are apparently intended to replace the Feast of Tabernacles (the autumn one in Spain ends the day after the biblical Feast of Tabernacles begins (click here for a Holy Day Calendar). It may be of interest to note that this diversionary tactic was done in the Old Testament by a king who turned aside from the true God as well (I Kings 12:26-33).

WCG sent me an email last night with a link about its new location from Mike Morrison that stated:

Come with me on a tour of our Glendora offices. We’ll begin on Old Route 66, just east of Lone Hill Avenue in Glendora, a suburb of about 55,000 people. There’s a small group of office buildings here, and the Worldwide Church of God offices are at the west end of the group.

We enter a small landscaped courtyard, then put our electronic key near the gray pad at the side of the door. The glass doors unlock, and we swing one open to enter a vacant lobby...

President’s office

At the top of the main stairway, we’ll find  the executive offices. There is a waiting area on the left, with a sofa, chairs and coffee table and a few appropriate decorations. In the first office on the right we'll find Deborah Paz (right), executive assistant to the president, and past that, in the northeast corner of the building, is the president’s office.

President Joseph Tkach (left) oversees the spiritual and business affairs of the denomination, providing denomination-wide leadership and vision casting and fulfilling the many administrative duties required for national and international incorporation and registration. Dr. Tkach speaks regularly at church leadership conferences and meetings around the world, keeps current on theological and social issues, and represents the church at the various Christian organizations in which it holds membership, such as the National Association of Evangelicals, Evangelical Ministries to New Religions, Mission America and Standing Together. All headquarters department heads report to the president, who also chairs the U.S. board of directors, serves on several WCG non-U.S. national boards, and chairs the denominational council of elders, providing spiritual guidance to the church worldwide...

The article with photos is available at

Some may be more interested to read the article 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.

06/20/06 a.m. Christianity Today reported:

Episcopalians elected the bishop of Las Vegas, Katharine Jefferts Schori, as the church's top leader on Sunday, making her the first woman to lead a national church in the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Nevada bishop's election takes place nearly 30 years to the day after the Episcopal Church voted to ordain women. Only 3 of the 38 provinces within the Anglican Communion have ordained female bishops, though it is possible in 11 others.

Conservatives are already worried that Schori's election will elevate tensions between the American church and more conservative sister churches in the 77 million-member Anglican Communion.

Protestants do such things then wonder why Roman Catholicism is growing in many places (Note: The COG is NOT Protestant nor Roman Catholic, nor does it endorse either of those forms of religion). While the Bible does not endorse making women bishops, it does place them in a higher light, however, than many think it does. An article of related interest may be Women and the New Testament Church.

CBCG's Fred Coulter reports:

The Da Vinci Code: Last week Dolores and I went to see the movie The Da Vinci Code. Technically, it was well done and served its intended purpose, which primarily was to cause as many as possible to reject the Bible and Jesus Christ as the divine Son of God—as God manifested in the flesh. While the attacks against the Catholic Church were well founded, the movie attempted to reduce Jesus to a mere human—who, of all things, had married Mary Magadaline—making Him neither the Savior nor the Son of God. It promulgated the lie that after Jesus died on the cross, Mary Magadaline—pregnant with a child fathered by Jesus—escaped to what is now southern France where she had a baby girl. As also contained in the book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, the movie then follows with the claim that there exists within the royal bloodlines of Europe the physical descendents of Jesus. At the end of the movie the leading female star turned out to be one of the last descendants of this supposed line of Jesus.

In the final scenes, Langston (the leading male star) contemplates what he perceived was the reality of his new discovery—that he had been with the woman who was supposed to be the last descendant of Jesus’ physical line through Mary Magdalene. The movie concludes with Langston—after reading from a book titled The Feminine Divine—going to a shrine in Paris to worship over the supposed resting-place of Mary Magadaline.

In many ways, the movie promoted the idea that it doesn’t matter what the Bible says or what religions have previously taught. The only thing that matters is what you believe. And if you believe it in your heart, then it is true—which is classic, Satanic, post-modern deceptive thinking. Not one passage of Scripture was used in the entire movie. But it well serves Satan’s purpose in continuing to destroy the knowledge of Jesus Christ—and in causing people to believe in lies and to reject all forms of Christianity.

The Da Vinci Code is only another step designed by Satan to deceive the world and prepare mankind for the acceptance the coming Antichrist and Satan’s occult world religion and government—all just before the true Jesus Christ returns to the earth in power and glory. This is why in recent years there has been so much that has come out concerning so-called Gnostic “gospels.” Satan is reviving such heretical teachings to completely undermine any belief in the true Jesus Christ.

Since I read the book, I decided against seeing the movie. Those interested in examining some of the biblical and historical truth about it will want to read the article The Da Vinci Code: Some Good, Lots Bad.

Fred Coulter also reported:

When we understand the true scope of the meaning regarding the holy days and feasts of God, we realize that God has used these days to reveal Himself to His people and to the world. In the Scriptures we find that each feast and holy day is either 1) a memorial or remembrance of activities and events that God has already completed and/or is continuing to fulfill, or 2) a prophecy of future events yet to be fulfilled.

And that is true. Those interested in learning more may find the following articles to be of interest:

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 was observed on Saturday by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church.
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.
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?
Holy Days
This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2012, with their Roman calendar dates.

06/19/06 a.m. The latest issues of UCG's United News arrived Saturday. It had this to say about crosses:

Question and Answer: Why Doesn’t Your Church Use the Symbol of the Cross?

Thank you for your interest. The Greek word translated as “cross” is stauros. It means the upright or stake portion of an instrument of execution that has been used in several cultures down through history. Sometimes executioners used a crosspiece at the top of or in different places on the stake; at other times, there was no crosspiece. It’s impossible to know exactly what type the Romans used in the crucifixion of Christ. It is clear, however, that the Romans attached a sign over His head (Matthew 27:37), which could have been upon a stake or a crosspiece. Because Christ’s death is of such monumental significance to the Christian, some have mistakenly thought that the cross should be a part of Christian worship. But we should remember that it was an instrument of torture. When we stop to realize that fact, it should be clear that it’s grossly inappropriate to wear it as religious jewelry or an object of worship. Some would argue that using a cross in this manner symbolizes the value of Christ’s death. We disagree.
It’s true that the apostle Paul referred to the cross in a symbolic way (1 Corinthians 1:17, 23). Paul also used the cup of wine from the Passover as a symbol (1 Corinthians 10:21). And John the Baptist referred to Christ as the “Lamb of God” (John 1:36). But this doesn’t mean that we should begin to use cups or figures of lambs as religious ornaments or as objects of worship. Furthermore, the second of God’s Ten Commandments strictly prohibits the use of objects in worship. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them” (Exodus 20:4-5)...

God wants us to direct our worship and prayers to Him, not to any physical object. Christ explained this principle in John 4:24: “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” Following the biblical instruction, the United Church of God does not use the figure or image of a cross in its worship services. Neither do UCGIA members wear crosses as symbols of devotion. We refer to the cross in the way that the Scripture refers to it—that is, as a figure of speech to explain Christ’s atoning death for us.

UCG is correct about the cross issue, as this is consistent with the historical COG position on them. It may be of interest to note that non-COG sources have confirmed that there have long been Christians who opposed the use of crosses.

The Catholic Encyclopedia calls the Paulicians heretics because they were basically against idolatry, crosses, and Roman Catholic ritualism:

The Paulicians, as part of their heresy held that all matter (especially the human body) is bad, that all external religious forms, sacraments, rites, especially material pictures and relics, should be abolished. To honour the Cross was especially reprehensible (Fortescue A. Iconoclasm. Transcribed by Michael C. Tinkler.The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

The following is from the Catholic Priest Basil Sarkisean's work Manichaean Paulician Heresy and is from a 987 A.D. letter written by Gregory of Narek against the Paulicians (note I have left out additions by the editor/translator F. Conybeare):

Then among the observances which we know to have been repudiated by them as neither apostolic or divine the mysterious prayers of genuflexion...

The Font is denied by them...

the communion of denied...

We know that they deny the adored sign, which God, made man, raised and carried on his shoulders (Conybeare F.C. Addend ix I in: The Key of Truth: A Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1898, p. 127).

The following is apparently from the work History of Armenia by Chamich and is from a 1054-1058 A.D. letter written by Gregory Magistros against the Manichaean (note I have left out additions by the editor/translator F. Conybeare):

...they represent our worship of God as worship of idol. As if we, who honour the sign of the cross and the holy pictures, were still engaged in worshiping devils (Conybeare F.C. Addend ix III in: The Key of Truth: A Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1898, p. 149).

More on this portion of the Church of God can be found in the article The Pergamos Church Era.

The current issue of UCG's United News also had this to say:

UCGIA President Clyde Kilough gave the Council an update on the new hymnal project... He said it is not likely that the hymnal will be ready prior to this year’s Feast of Tabernacles, as hoped. He emphasized that the goal is to “get it right,” not to get it fast.

All the COGs that were once part of WCG have had to deal with the hymnal issue. LCG got its current one about two years ago.

Speaking of hymnals, one x-WCG member actually wrote in a paid ad that he felt that WCG's old hymnal is what doomed its destruction. Those interested in his comments, as well as the truth about hymns, will want to read the article Praises to Jesus Christ or Biblical Hymns: Which Should Christians Primarily Sing?

06/18/06 a.m. A viewer of this page reported that the links to nearly all the pictures on the page titled Joyce's Photos of Rome were not loaded. Thanks for the notice--this has been corrected.

Thus, the photos, including what J. Tkach Sr. once called Satan's throne, are now available at the Joyce's Photos of Rome page.

In his latest newsletter, Legacy Institute's Leon Sexton reported:

To complete the end-time Work of God will require sacrifice. All of us called by God to do the Work of His Church MUST sacrifice in order to get the job done! There is so much to do! Jesus said that the fields are ALREADY ripe for the harvest (John 4)! He also told us to go to ALL the nations (Mark 16)! Who are the harvesters? Who are those called, chosen and commissioned to make sure that the fields of this world are reaped? The church of God, of course! You and me!

Some continue to believe that the time of reaping will take place only after the return of Jesus. This is not true! Jesus said something entirely different:

JOHN 4:34-38

Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.' "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors." NKJV...

Is our food to do the Will of the Father and to finish His Work? It should be. This Great Commission should dominate and govern our daily lives and lead our hearts...

Today the job of spreading His Message belongs to the Church of God. That commission was not given ONLY to the apostles...It was NOT given ONLY to one man who lived in the 20th Century.

Two articles of related interest may be Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? and The Philadelphia Church Era.

LCG reported:

From Thailand, Mr. Mehm Pho Saw reports: Our Tomorrow’s World radio program (in English) for this past Sabbath was 2006 and Prophecy by Dr. Roderick C. Meredith. A retired Thai school teacher came to join us in person after a few minutes of airing the program. So we now have three new subscribers within one month of airing the program on this small station in this Thai, Burmese and Karen-speaking region of Thailand 

From Indonesia, Mr. Arius Nusantara reports: There are 250 million people living in Indonesia, from the western island of Sumatra to the eastern island of Papua. For the last two years, the number of our subscribers has increased to 200 people, and this number does not include those who actively access our Indonesian website ( to print our posted articles...  

Mr. Wayne Pyle reports, “This week we offered The Middle East in Prophecy (ME) in program #276, ‘Danger in the Middle East.’ In the previous seven programs that this booklet was offered in, ME averaged about 2,400 responses per program. The highest response received was 2,770 back in November 2004. Well, this week’s program has already brought in 2,787 phone calls, and we are expecting it to finish at 3,062 by the end of the week, which is a new record for the ME booklet. 

“Our new station in Phoenix, KAZT-TV, brought in 51 calls this Sunday. In the first two weeks a total of 142 calls were received, with a cost per response in the $13 range, which is mighty good for the size of a station, which reaches 1.4 million households.” 

I am pleased to see that LCG is now on a station in Thailand and that good results are also happening with our new Phoenix station.

The comment about the islands of Indonesia reminds me of the sermonette I gave fifteen days ago titled Islands and Bible Prophecy. The Bible teaches that there will be a great earthquake that will bring mountains down and affect islands--but it also offers hope.

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Volume 10, issue 11 COG writer B. Thiel (c) 2006