December 28, 2022 marks, on the Roman calendar, the tenth-year anniversary of the official declaration of the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) as a separate entity, a corporation sole (see also Why is the Continuing of God a corporation sole? and 501(c)(3)? Why the Continuing Church of God chose a better option).
Is the CCOG just another COG that has popped up or could it be the Philadelphia remnant that it claims?
Has it been restoring things that were lost?
How is the CCOG unique.
Well, the CCOG has been unique in its start, prophetic ordination, connections 10 Acts 2:17-18, its growth, its literature, and its focus on the final phase of the work.
Here is a link to a related sermon: Continuing COG's 10 Unique Years.
Unique and Consistent Start
The old Radio Church of God (RCG) formed after a woman (Loma Armstrong) had a dream and a man (Herbert W. Armstrong) wanted to teach doctrinal truths that his then COG agree with, but decided not to teach.
That is consistent with the start of the CCOG.
A lady named Fesilafai Fiso Leaana of New Zealand had a dream after going to bed on December 8, 2012. Here is a report that Fesilafai Fiso Leaana wrote about her dream:
A few months before my dream, my husband and I noticed a contradiction in practice, regarding the sabbath commandment in LCG, from there we started to pray continuously for God to lead us to where the truth is. It seems God has answered our prayers through the dream.
The dream began with myself and approximately 70 New Zealand Living Church of God brethren, then suddenly LCG vanished (I was wondering where is LCG?) and I was left standing with approximately 10 people excluding myself, on a very high building. We were standing on the very top of the building, where I couldn’t see the bottom, there were no other buildings, just this building. I could not see the bottom of the building but just clouds below the building and clouds surrounding the building which led to a beautiful white mountain – a mountain that had no ends on either side. The building was pretty close to the mountain, I could see the top of the mountain. The mountain was all white and so beautiful. I remember that I began to be filled with joy and peace. But also wondering how we got up on this building and confused why there were no other buildings but the clouds seemed like it was hiding the building and I felt protected or it felt like a safe place. I looked around there were still only about ten people there, the only person I could clearly recognize was Shirley constantly working, the approximate ten others were just sitting and standing around. So I walked around the building looking for the large crowd from LCG, but all I kept returning to was that Shirley was working and doing different types of work alone while the others were still sitting and standing around the building with me. I wondered why she was working a lot. I could not find LCG.
Then suddenly a message came to my mind: “There is a secret in the mountain”. And I was so happy to know that, I was still feeling elated and could still see the beautiful white mountain and wondered about the secret. Then I asked: “What is the secret?” Then the message said, nobody knows the secret in the mountain but only you have received this message that there is a secret in the mountain. Then I asked ‘what is the secret in the mountain?’ I received a message to my mind that told me that “the secret in the mountain is the Ark of the Covenant”. Then the dream abruptly ended because I woke up. And immediately, I woke up my husband and recounted the dream to him, and I told my husband that it reminded me of when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on the mountain and that the mountain was also covered with clouds.
On the same day after my dream, at church service Mr Penman warned us to be careful what we read from Bob Thiel’s Obama book, because they do not support everything he wrote in it. At the time I kept your name in my mind as I did not know who you were then.
Then 3 weeks later Shirley contacted me regarding your Chronology – the exit from LCG. Shirley had all of the Chronology and gave us all a print out of it and went over it with my husband and I. Shirley kept stressing the integrity of the LCG leadership and administration was compromised as proven by your Chronology account. Then my husband and I had to make a decision whether we would continue with LCG or go with Bob Thiel (you) since Shirley, John and Kayla had already decided to be with you
We decided to go with Bob Thiel and then left the meeting but a letter from Mr. Penman and a visit from the new New Zealand minister Paul attempted to obstruct our departure and tried to dissuade us from leaving LCG and coming with you. This forced us to carefully rethink our decision.
My husband and I were alone, that’s when my husband said to me, “remember your dream? This is what your dream means, that we need to leave this church and go with Shirley”. That’s when we knew what to do. And this dream is the reason most of us in the kiwi CCOG knew that we are in the right Church, God told us to come to this Church. We reaffirmed with Shirley and others that we were going to go with Bob Thiel and my husband told them the dream for the first time and that the dream is the reason my husband and I decided to come.
Not having all the details of the dream, Shirley then prayed about the dream. She asked God for more understanding on the dream. Then the next day she was reading the book of Psalm and Psalm 25:14 JUMPED out at her: “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.” (email 9/29/13)
Within several weeks of the dream, ten people in New Zealand, including Shirley Gestro (the Shirley above) began to attend the newly formed Continuing Church of God. So that part of the dream was clearly confirmed.
Why did the CCOG form when it did?
Well, it was not because of knowledge of Fesilafai Fiso Leaana's dream as neither my wife or I were aware of it until September of 2013.
The formation time had to do with issues with my prior COG.
But before I get to that, let me relate a dream that probably happened in 2008 or 2009.
I was about 50 at the time (which essentially makes me an ‘old man’ per Numbers 8:25; cf. John 8:57). At first the dream made little sense. Yet, the Prophet Jeremiah at least once wondered about a message he received and later determined it was from God (Jeremiah 32:6-8), and the Apostle Peter at least once had a vision that he did not understand (Acts 10:9-17) until later as well (Acts 11:5-17). The same goes for Daniel (Daniel 8).
In my dream, there seemed to be two parallel lines. The then presiding evangelist of the Living Church of God (LCG) Roderick Meredith was on the top line and I was on the line much below. In the dream, I kept calling up to Dr. Meredith, but he never would respond. This lack of response made no sense to me during the dream. Then after what seemed to be a long time, the lines-crossed with his line dropping and my line going up.
One reason that I did not understand it at the time was that I was on relatively close speaking terms with Dr. Meredith then (he repeatedly told me he considered me to be his friend, plus he had appointed me an adviser to LCG on matters of doctrine and prophecy), so that aspect made of the dream made no sense. Also, since I had no intentions of leaving the Living Church of God then (and certainly no plans to start a separate church), it was not clear what the dream was saying. Over time, Dr. Meredith became more distant from me, would not keep various promises to me, and ultimately stopped speaking with me.
After watching a couple of inaccurate "must play" sermons from Charlotte--the last one I saw was December 15, 2012, it became apparent that LCG had to change its direction and keeps its promises to make corrections or I could not stay there as it was not the place for the Philadelphian mantle. Somewhere between December 15th and December 24th, the name Continuing Church of God was discussed and agreed upon to be adopted, if needed.
But I still held out hope that it would not be. Despite being promised a telephone call with Dr. Meredith on 12/28/12, he sent a nasty letter. After reading it was clear to me that there was no way that the Philadelphia mantle could be with him or any of his remaining leaders (see Roderick C. Meredith's Accusatory Letter to Bob Thiel). These subsequent events showed me that the dream was being fulfilled. This dream gave an outline of what would happen in the future and that has happened.
Anyway, let it be pointed out that the then three evangelists at LCG's Charlotte headquarters admitted I was right on a number of docrtinal and prophetic matters and that they would fix LCG literature to correct them in December 2011--but on 12-28-12, the top evangelist made it clear that they would not--and they have not seemingly made the corrections yet.
While these factors are consistent with the start of the old RCG, they are unique among the groups that formed after apostasy hit the old Worldwide Church of God.
Those two facts (preceded by a dream and the top leader admitting truths that he then decided not to teach) should help people to understand that the CCOG is unique among those groups as well as the one that would have the Philadelphia mantle to lead the final phase of the work as well as being the most faithful Philadelphia remnant.
The Bible teaches:
10 Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully, (Jeremiah 48:10)
And that is why I had to leave LCG as the Philadelphian mantle could not be with such a group.
Jesus prophesied the restoration of all things when He stated:
11 ... Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things. (Matthew 17:11)
In Matthew 17:11, the term translated “will restore” is the Greek term apokathistemi which means “to reconstitute” or “restore (again)” (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.) and is preceded by the Greek term men which means “truly” in the asseverative sense.
The final Elijah must be on the earth and restore "all things" prior to Jesus' return.
The CCOG may be the only COG that has ALL the 18 restored truths that Herbert W. Armstrong pointed to as restored to the Philadelphia portion of the COG in its official Statement of Beliefs--see Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God.
The CCOG has helped restore the following:
Why God Created Anything
Why God Created Human Beings
Teaching all things Jesus taught (Matthew 28:19-20; see also The Final Phase of the Work)
Church History--and how it supports the COG contending for the original faith.
Laying on of Hands Succession and List
Violent Sports (see also Is American Football Evil?)
Details and Ramifications of Being Non-Trinitarian (see also Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity?)
The Final Phase of the Work and Preparing for the 'Short Work' and The Famine of the Word
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God translated into over 200 languages--while working on more--and while distinguishing between the millennial and post-millennial phases of the Kingdom of God.
Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles
Prophecy (watch also 50+ Laodicean Prophetic Errors)
Habakkuk 2 and Debt (e.g., see Anglo - America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel)
Identity of the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2
Daniel 11:39 and the Start of the Great Tribulation
Mark of the Beast
Information on the Third Resurrection (see also Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation
The reason there was a Passover and Atonement sacrifice (see Should You Keep God's Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).
There will be a 21st century Elijah, and that individual would be expected to be part of the Continuing Church of God.
Details of those restored items are in the following article: Continuing Church of God, Elijah, and Restoring All Things.
The Fulness of the Gentiles Restored
The Apostle Paul wrote:
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. (Romans 11:25)
Here is what the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God taught about it:
Now study carefully beginning verse 25: "Blindness in part is happened to Israel [HOW LONG? Forever? No — note it], UNTIL the fulness of the Gentiles be come in" — the end of this age during which God is calling a people from among the gentiles to bear His name (Acts 15:14). And so, says Romans 11:26, "all Israel SHALL BE SAVED [how?]: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob." The Deliverer, Jesus Christ, is coming again!
When He comes, the gentile times will be over — the BLINDNESS will be removed from the Israelites — and their opportunity — their FIRST chance — of salvation will then come to those whom God had blinded! This is at the time when He comes to REIGN on HIS THRONE — the throne of David, with the saints made immortal reigning and ruling with Him — and the time is DURING THE THOUSAND YEARS!
Notice verse 31. These blinded Israelites have not now, in this age, received mercy, that through the mercy of the gentiles saved in this age, they MAY, THEN, obtain mercy and salvation. How? Because these saved gentiles will then be kings and priests, assisting in this wonderful Work! (Armstrong HW. Where Will The MILLENNIUM Be Spent? Tomorrow's Word magazine, September 1971)
25: “Blindness in part is happened until Israel”-HOW LONG? Forever? No-note it-“UNTIL the fulness of the Gentiles be come in” -the end of this age during which God is calling a people from among the Gentiles to bear His name (Acts 15: 14). … These blinded Israelites have not now, in this age, received mercy, that thru the mercy of the Gentiles saved in this age, they MAY, THEN, obtain mercy and salvation. How? Because these saved Gentiles will then be kings and priests, assisting in this wonderful work! (Armstrong HW. Where Will The MILLENNIUM Be Spent? Plain Truth, February-March 1954 , pp. 4-5)
Now, the last one was written BEFORE I was part of WCG, the first one was sent only to pastors (I was not one then), nor do I recall ever hearing this taught in church.
This is a teaching that was restored in the CCOG--and we seem to be the main as well as largest, COG to teach it.
Then realized, that clearly, more of the Gentiles had to be called--and that is happening.
The end does NOT come until the 'gospel of the kingdom' reaches enough nations and the full number (as the NIV, NLT, BSB, CEV, GNT, HCSV, ISV, and NET Bible, put Romans 11:25) of Gentiles God wants in this age come in.
Unique Fruits of Growth
By the way, it should be mentioned that I did not go out and seek growth from Gentiles per se. Basically, what I did was to put out websites, articles, literature, sermons, and messages to reach around the world (Matthew 24:14, 28:19-20), and various ones contacted me.
Laodiceans, however, often refuse to accept the biblical need for the African Gentiles.
In the CCOG we have 8,000 who claim to be part of us.
And yes, the bulk of those are people in Africa.
And yes, many do not have the depth of doctrinal understanding that we want them to have--but we have been working on that.
Jesus taught that fruits will identify the true from the false:
15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)
So, fruits are the criteria Matthew recorded that Jesus set.
Good trees produce a lot of fruit.
Deuteronomy 7:13 also refers to people as the fruit of the womb.
If fruits can be defined as people in the Church of God, then CCOG has those.
Anyway, the only x-WCG group to add over 6,000 congregants in the past ten years is the Continuing Church of God which began with 5 people on December 28, 2012.
When my wife Joyce and I decided we had to separate from our former COG group, we had to walk out on faith.
We could have possibly lost our business and livelihood as running CCOG takes much time away from our business.
We considered the cost, but through God's grace our business has continued even as we have worked on an unpaid basis for CCOG.
We clearly are not hirelings (John 10:11-13)–ministering for a paycheck--as we do not take a salary from CCOG.
In hindsight, this has made availabe funds which the CCOG has used to go through various open doors as well as to provide physical and spiritual assistance to people in places like Africa and Haiti.
Consider also the following statements from the Apostle Paul:
33 I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. 35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.' (Acts 20:33-35)
Supporting the weak and poor (Galatians 2:10; Romans 12:13; cf. James 2:14-16; Hebrews 13:16; Isaiah 58:7; Proverbs 28:27) is something that Christian leaders are supposed to do. This is something restored in the CCOG beyond what many others have actually done.
We did not start out with the intention to spend as much as we do on the poor, but it has worked out that way.
And perhaps that is part of the reason we have, with 2020 hindsight, been blessed to be the fastest growing xWCG group in the 21st century.
We have had slightly faster growth than the old Radio Church of God did in its first 10 years.
The late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG), Herbert W. Armstrong, basically said so in a 1981 sermon (scripture is from the KJV):
All right, now there’s another prophecy for the people …
Joel 2:28-29 And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: (29) And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
So there is a time coming when God will start pouring out His spirit on human beings. … Day of Pentecost, 3000 were baptized. Peter preached a sermon. They were pricked in their hearts. God began to draw them. God was now… Remember He said, “I will pour out of my spirit on all flesh.” All right, there’s a duality of that. (Armstrong HW. Building The Temple. Sermon, February 14, 1981)
Herbert W. Armstrong was correct about the time coming when God would pour out His Spirit as well as the duality. There was a duality to what Peter preached in Acts 2–and that duality is for our current time!
The Apostle Peter taught:
14 … “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:14b-18)
This is a prophecy, according to the Bible, for the last days.
This is something that only God could restore!
Chart of Some CCOG-Related Dreams
K. Sani Mao
One dream was on the validity of the Sabbath, but the second showed what he later understood to be a ‘C’ meaning CCOG or COGwriter to align with.
Began following COGwriter, and later became part of the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) in November 2018.
c. December 2008
December 26, 2020
The dream showed evangelist Roderick Meredith, who had long called Bob Thiel a friend and who he was on regular speaking terms with, would stop speaking with him. He would drop down as Bob Thiel rose and their lines crossed–seemingly a mantle passing.
Because of airline connection issues, I was concerned whether or not I would be able to make the flight to Qatar.
Dr. Meredith stopped speaking with Bob Thiel in the Spring of 2012. CCOG formed December 28, 2012. The mantle seemingly passed sometime between 2009-2011.
As it turned out, there were two different people with two different, yet seemingly very serious, health issues on that first flight, which delayed it. It looked like one or both of them (they were not related) may need to be taken off the flight or even treated on the ground as some came aboard the flight related to each of them. While their situations appeared treatable, I was concerned that this may cause me to miss the connection to Qatar, so I began to make contingency plans (as one flight I was on years ago was delayed over 10 hours because of a health-concern of one passenger). Yet, although my first plane left late, I was able to make the connection. My COVID test was also negative, so all three parts of the dream were confirmed.
December 8, 2012
Fesilafai Fiso Leaana
Approximately 10 people would separate from LCG, including Shirley Gestro and go to a group. A second part was related to the Ark of the Covenant.
The fulfillment related to departure from LCG and 1o people going to CCOG occurred within several weeks of the dream and included Shirley Gestro (CCOG did not form until 3 weeks after the dream). The part related to the Ark of the Covenant was partially fulfilled during September 2013.
c. November 2013
God wanted Frederick’s father Evans to join with Bob Thiel to do the work that would grow. Also, this work would have involvement from New Zealand.
The number of CCOG Africans went from a dozen to the almost three hundred (that had been with Evans) in 2014, to over 4,000 by 2019. Also, Frederick said he was unaware that CCOG had any New Zealand component before having that dream and New Zealand has played important roles (editing, literature and article promotion, online radio, etc.) in supporting CCOG.
c. November 2013
May 13, 2022
He saw a small white handkerchief. It was very white and in in it was written Continuing church of God. While looking it, it enlarged till become bigger.
The CCOG became the fastest growing COG in the 21st century since that dream.
Evans Ochieng went to Malawi on May 27, 2022 to try to lay more of the foundation for more baptisms there and in Mozambique. He took the “beloved man” comment as supernatural confirmation that Bob Thiel and the CCOG has God’s blessing.
c. March 1, 2014
Bob Thiel would be speaking to a large group that would all be black, with him the only white person.
Fulfilled March 17, 2014 when Bob Thiel spoke before church leaders and members in Nairobi, Kenya, he was the only white person.
c. January 2017
Bob Thiel would anoint him with oil.
Fulfilled on February 9, 2017. Nimrod did not have any reason to know that he would be ordained by Bob Thiel as a deacon as Bob Thiel did not do any ordinations in his previous trips to Africa. Also Bob Thiel did not learn of his dream until about two weeks after the ordination.
Aleksandar Veljic would get to Manipur, despite visa and travel issues that looked to prevent him, plus Sani Mao would be anointed with oil.
Aleksandar Veljic arrived in Manipur on January 10, 2019 and ended up anointing Sani Mao as a deacon on January 12, 2019 as Bob Thiel had tentatively authorized (but had not let Sani Mao or anyone in India know).
The above list has dreams that were given to different ones of different ages in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and the South Pacific.
True Prophet, False Prophet, No Prophet COGs
The only x-WCG group that claims to have a prophet, that has the substantial fruits of a prophet, is the CCOG.
On that note, the prophet situation in CCOG is different than all other groups we are aware of.
First, although God says He will pour out His Spirit and have prophets in the last days per Acts 2:17-18, most COG groups do not recognize any as true prophets.
Second, the claimed COG prophets we are aware of have all made demonstrably false prophecies, which eliminates them.
In the Old Testament, the Bible gives two fairly easy to understand passages about determining if someone is a false prophet. One is making specific predictions that do not come to pass:
21 And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?' — 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22; NKJV throughout unless otherwise noted)
So, the above eliminates PCG's Gerald Flurry (see PCG: Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God), RCG's David Pack (see RCG: Why Not the Restored Church of God?), and CGPKG's Ron Weinland (see CGPKG: Concerns About Ronald Weinland's Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God)--to name the ones who claim to be COG that had the most followings (there are lessor ones as well). This also eliminates certain Messianic and other claimed prophets.
Now, many play a "guilt by association" game and try to lump me in with the false prophets. Guilt by association has been used throughout history--the Pharisees used it related to Jesus and various ones have used it since.
Sadly, instead of concluding false prophets are false or cold, but that true prophets are right and true, most endtime Christians were prophesied to be lukewarm and feel that they are fine and do not need any prophet.
This has resulted in COG groups having major doctrinal errors. Many of which have been pointed out in documented and referenced articles including the following:
CBCG: Christian Biblical Church of God and its Teachings Fred Coulter's group--they tend to explain conspiracies, calendar issues, and have a "sea of glass" teaching. Plus they produce books on various subjects and have a unique Bible translation.
CCG: Teachings of the Christian Churches of God This group, led by Wade Cox, rejects the deity of Jesus and has other unusual teachings.
CG7-D: Church of God, (Seventh Day): History and Teachings Nearly all COG's I am aware of trace part of their history through some affiliation with this group. Loren Stacy is the president of the largest CG7 USA group (Denver). Do you know much about them?
CG7-S: Church of God 7th Day, Salem (West Virginia) This group formed by A.N. Dugger in 1933 when he split from the CG7 group he was once president of.
CGCF: Beware, Doctrinal Compromise is in the Air! Discusses some doctrines that CGCF may have had to change in order to merge with United.
CGI: Teachings of the Church of God, International This article focuses on where CGI differs from the old WCG.
CGG: Church of the Great God This group, led by John Ritenbaugh, says the bride must first be made ready (it de-emphasizes the priority of public proclamation of the gospel). Might this lead to a selfish bride? This group also seriously seems to misunderstand end-time prophecy.
CGPKG: Concerns About Ronald Weinland's Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God Ronald Weinland falsely claimed to be one of the two witnesses God is raising up, that the Great Tribulation began on December 14, 2008, Jesus would return late September 2011, that Jesus would return on May 27, 2012, and later that Jesus would return on May 19, 2013. Why else does the Bible show that Ron Weinland is a false prophet? He has other views which show he may not be part of the Church of God.?
CGSC: Church of God, Southern California This article discusses some of how David Antion's group differs from the old WCG.
CEM: Teachings of Christian Educational Ministries The late Ron Dart's former confederation (not a church).
COGaIC: Church of God, an International CommunityThis is the group led by David Hulme. It has minimized parts of biblical prophecy and does not teach church eras.
COGIT: Church of God, In Truth This is what I'd call a calendar group. See also: Calculated or observed calendar?
COGOM: Church of God Outreach Ministries This was a CGI spin-off that says it is not a church.
COGWA: Concerns about Church of God, a Worldwide Association This is the largest group that came out of the United Church of God. Here is some history and concerns about it. UCG's former president Clyde Kilough and UK CEO Peter Hawkins are part of it.
CRMI: Christian Renewal Ministries International They teach Hebrew.
Independent/Unaffiliated: Independent Members of the COG: Herbert W. Armstrong Comments, Plus Questions and Answers What did Herbert W. Armstrong teach about being independent of the organized Church? Should independents who claim to accept Herbert W. Armstrong's teachings support the end time Philadelphian work? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Unity. Watch also Zephaniah's 'Gather Together' Prophecy.
GCG: In Their Own Words: Doctrinal Differences Between the old United Church of God and the old Global Church of God Older quotes from the leadership and some of the membership of these two organizations are included without added commentary (until the end and the 7/31/98 update) which highlighted some of the differences between them.
GCW: God's Church, Worldwide was another group to claim it was the most faithful, but like others had different priorities.
ICG: Intercontinental Church of God This was Garner Ted Armstrong's last group; it is now led by Mark Armstrong.
J7DCG: Jerusalem 7th Day Church of God A sacred name group claiming A.N. Dugger and a Jerusalem headquarters.
LCG: What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God? This article explains some information and doctrines of the Living Church of God, now led by Gerald Westin, and some concerns about them. (En el idioma español: ¿Qué hay acerca de la Iglesia de Dios Viviente? ¿Hay diferencias doctrinales con la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios?) See also Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God.
Legacy: Teachings and Practices of Legacy Institute Works mainly in Asia and is led by Leon Sexton. It has various misunderstandings.
MCGSD: Meridian Church of God Seventh Day A group that was a split from the old Stanberry COG.
PCG: Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God Simply calling oneself 'Philadelphia' does not make one so (see Revelation 3:7-9), nor does Gerald Flurry calling himself "that prophet" make it so. This article provides many quotes from this group which tries to look faithful.
RCG: Why Not the Restored Church of God? This group, led by David Pack, claims to be the most faithful. The information in this article suggests otherwise. Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Por qué no la Iglesia de Dios Restaurada?
SCG: It's Not Stedfast This group, was led by Arlen Berkey. It claimed it was the most faithful, but like others had different priorities.
Shining Light: Error-Ridden James Malm Not Doing an Elijah Work James Malm was one who misunderstood and improperly maligned.
TPM: Teachings of Triumph Prophetic Ministries William Dankenbring's former ministry--incorrectly speculated on various dates and held to some odd doctrines.
UCG: Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from two of the largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.
WAY: Worldwide Assembly of Yahweh This is what I'd call a sacred name group. See also The Bible, Church History, and Sacred Names.
WCG-claimed Adherents: Comments on the Teachings of Ron Wallen, Philip Neal, Kenneth W., GRUMPS, Jesse Arellano, and others who Profess(ed) that WCG has God's Authority Can one still believe what Herbert W. Armstrong used to teach and still be in WCG? This article addresses this important issue.
Jesus condemned that basic self-satisfied lukewarm attitude:
14 "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'" (Revelation 3:14-22) .
Most endtime Christians are lukewarm and will not except how God is working during this Laodicean age.
The Laodicean churches tend to have major errors in prophetic understandings.
Before going there, notice what Herbert Armstrong wrote:
I have definitely NOT been called to be a PROPHET ... Emphatically I am NOT a prophet, in the sense of one to whom God speaks specially and directly, revealing personally a future event to happen or new truth, or new and special instruction direct from God -- separate from, and apart from what is contained in the Bible. And I never have claimed to be. (Armstrong H. Personal from the Editor, The 19 Year Time Cycles. The Good News of Tomorrow's World. February, 1972, p. 1)
A man from one of the larger Laodicean groups said to me in December 2022, since HWA was not a prophet, why were they be any need for a prophet?
I mentioned that, well, the Bible said that there wouild be in Acts 2:17-18.
Furthermore, notice a list of prophetic errors that was covered in a sermon:
One video of related interest is 50+ Laodicean Prophetic Errors.
Unless the Laodiceans change in certain ways, they will not accept when the Great Tribulation will begin until it is too late and they will not flee when the bulk of the Philadelphians go to the place of protection in the wilderness (Revelation 12:14-16) as Jesus promised the Philadelphians such protection (Revelation 3:7-10), but not the Laodiceans (cf. Revelation 3:14-22; 12:17).
Of course, it is not just enough that the prophet be right not to be false. Notice also the following:
1"If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods' — which you have not known — 'and let us serve them,' 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. (Deuteronomy 13:1-4)
So, if the prophet does not keep and advocate keeping God's commandments, he is also false--so that eliminates the Protestant and Greco-Roman Catholic seers and prophets as being from God. (Additional items of interest are in the article Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders?).
Notice something that Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:
But the TRUE prophets of God have always put emphasis on the right CAUSE-on God's WAY to the desired blessings.
Let me explain that. Let me make that PLAIN! This magazine deals with making truth PLAIN--understandable!
You may search the Bible from beginning to end. You'll find the true prophets, apostles, ministers of God put first emphasis on the right CAUSE, not the effect. They proclaim THE WAY that leads to peace, happiness, security, and finally, eternal life. In Bible language, this means that God's Word, and God's true prophets and ministers put first emphasis on God's LAW...God sends HIS prophets and ministers to proclaim the RIGHT WAY, to sh ow people that they are going the WRONG WAY, to cause them to turn around and get back on the RIGHT WAY through Jesus Christ by God's free grace...
God's true servants are not OF this world nor of its ways. (Armstrong HW. Personal from the Editor. Plain Truth, May 1966, pp. 2, 44-45)
Of course, there are false prophets who claim to teach the commandments, but usually reason around some of them. But true prophets of God most certainly do teach God's law and way of life. We do that in many ways, including in ouur free online booklet: The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast.
Third, none of the claimed COG prophets we are aware of has hands laid on them in a manner consistent with the Bible for that office before they claimed the prophetic mantle.
The Bible teaches:
28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? (1 Corinthians 12:28-30).
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).
Despite what the Bible supports, most Church of God groups do not seemingly accept that there are any prophets today nor how God would anoint one that way.
Because some seemingly have selective memories of statements, and others have heard/read misinformation, I thought that perhaps the following could be helpful for some wanting information about what leaders in my former church stated about my prophetic role:
I have known Bob Thiel since 1986. He has always been honest, dedicated, and sincere.
And that includes what I have written about him and the prophet matter. My teaching about what happened is accurate and not false.
Of course, it is God who appoints prophets (1 Corinthians 12:28), but the reality is that the Charlotte-based evangelists supported telling me that God may consider me to be a prophet. Thus, those who suggest otherwise should ask themselves how many others in the history of the Radio/Worldwide/Global/Living Church of God have the top leaders told that God may consider them to be a prophet? I would suggest that the only one to be told this, at least multiple times over the course of years, was me, Bob Thiel. And that God led Gaylyn Bonjour to anoint and pray over me for a 'double-portion' of His Spirit as he did.
Since it is God who appoints prophets (1 Corinthians 12:28), it seems that perhaps because Dr. Meredith personally did not anoint me, God took steps to get that anointing done by a properly ordained member of the eldership. And this happened. And the anointing combined with events that happened in LCG since the anointing (such as the adoption of foreign doctrine) forced me to recognize that LCG could no longer have the Philadelphia mantle (see also Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God) and to go out on faith to establish the Continuing Church of God. I did not leave LCG because they rejected my prophetic role. I left LCG because I concluded that the top leadership did not have the biblical character to possibly hold the Philadelphia mantle (see also Roderick C. Meredith's Accusatory Letter to Bob Thiel), thus decided to accept that God no longer wanted one anointed as a prophet to stay with an organization that could not possibly lead the final phase of the work.
Here is something 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)
Would not spiritual and prophetic knowledge include making predictions inspired by God and having a better understanding of prophecy than the non-Philadelphian COGs?
Look also at the following chart:
Coincidences or Divine Intervention?
Category Event Fulfillment Prediction During late August 2008, Bob Thiel told LCG minister Davy Crocket that unless evangelists would implement certain matters that God was about to strike a top LCG leader with something. LCG’s top evangelist, Roderick C. Meredith, suffered a ministroke on September 19, 2008. Prayer On February 4, 2009, Dr. Meredith asked Bob Thiel to pray that he would live another 7 – 15 years, so Bob Thiel did. Dr. Meredith died on May 18, 2017–a little over 8 years after that prayer. Predictions In July 2009, Bob Thiel’s book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect went to press. By December 22, 2012, 32 predictions in that book were at least partially fulfilled. For details, go to https://www.cogwriter.com/Confirmed2012BookEvents.htm Possible Divine Intervention During the Feast of Tabernacles in October 2009, an odd feeling came over me that pointed to looking to see if the beginning of sorrows may have began. After researching and finding that events consistent with the ride of the 1st horseman occurred, I telephoned Dr. Roderick C. Meredith and told him. While his church had taught that the beginning of sorrows had not begun prior to that, it taught shortly after that telephone call that it had begun. Speculative
On June 24, 2010, Bob Thiel warned that “Certain biblical, Chinese, and other prophecies…discuss that how Australia itself may become taken over. By virtue of her timing, Julia Gillard may inadvertently pursue policies that will lead to the fulfillment of various end time prophecies.” On November 10, 2011, because an agreement with Julia Gillard, US troops were stationed in Darwin, Australia, and by November 18, 2011 China pointed to this as a reason to consider military action against Australia. Speculative
From 2010 to 2015, Bob Thiel made and/or posted speculative predictions related to Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. By late 2017, 7-11 predictions (depending on how they are included) related to Herr Guttenberg were at least partially fulfilled. For details, go to https://www.cogwriter.com/karl-theodor-zu-guttenberg-king-of-the-north.htm Prayer Although told by two LCG ministers (Dr. Jeff Fall and Gary Ehman) in the late Fall of 2011 that he did not need to have hands laid on him to be a prophet, Bob Thiel prayed that something would happen related to his ‘prophet’ situation in a planned December 2011 trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. On December 15, 2011, Gaylyn Bonjour anointed Bob Thiel and prayed that he be granted a double-portion of God’s Spirit. Gaylyn Bonjour said this was reminiscent of the passing of the mantle, that he realized what he may have unintentionally did, and that what he did could not be undone. This answered Bob Thiel’s prayer. Gaylyn Bonjour also confirmed on November 28, 2019 his belief that his prayer was answered. Prayer On December 16, 2011, Richard Ames prayed that Bob Thiel would continue his evangelical/prophetic efforts and LCG evangelists Dr. Meredith and Dr. D. Winnail gave Amen concurrence–as did Bob Thiel. Bob Thiel has continued evangelical/prophetic efforts and has been the human leader of the fastest growing COG group in the 21st century, known as the Continuing Church of God. These show the fruits of a true prophet, consistent with Jesus’ criteria in John 7:15-20. Prediction On December 19, 2011, Bob Thiel tried to meet with Dr. Meredith to tell him that it seemed God was telling him that his wife Sheryl was about to be struck with something serious. In Dr. Meredith’s letter dated 1/12/12, he reported that his wife Sheryl (who was much younger than he) was stricken with stage four cancer. She later died on November 29, 2013. Speculation On May 12, 2013, I warned in an online post about the threat of new coronaviruses and speculated that “novel” diseases could be a threat. In 2019, a “novel coronavirus,” later renamed COVID-19 emerged and devastated peace and normalcy around the world. In 2020, I tied that in with the possibly start of the ride of the 2nd horseman of the Apocalypse. Prediction On December 5, 2013, Bob Thiel posted that governments, particularly in Europe, would one day not allow cryptocurrencies like BitCoin to be private and unregulated. In late November 2021, the European Union released a paper called “Proposal for EU Regulation on Markets in Crypto-Assets.” On December 7, 2022, the EU passed rules to rules that are to “be extended to the entire crypto sector, obliging all crypto-asset service providers (CASPs) to” eliminate the possibility of privacy through various customer “due diligence” requirements. Predictions In a book published on January 19, 2017, Bob Thiel listed many predictions related to the upcoming Donald Trump presidency. Plus he published others at cogwriter.com
In a book published on January 20, 2021, Bob Thiel listed many predictions related to the upcoming Joe Biden presidency.
By mid 2019, events aligned with at least 19 predictions related to the Trump Administration. For details go to https://www.cogwriter.com/donald-trump-prophecy.htm
By the year after Joe Biden took office, his Administration had already fulfilled numerous predictive warnings in that book. Some detailed proof can be found in the following: Have published COGwriter warnings about Joe Biden come to pass?
Prediction In 2013, in an article about the future of Ukraine and Russia, Bob Thiel said that at least part of the territory in Ukraine would support Russia. On March 18, 2014, Russia officially annexed Crimea. Prediction On March 18, 2019, Bob Thiel posted: It remains my view that Crimea and at least parts of eastern Ukraine will ultimately align with Russia. International sanctions will not stop biblical prophecies from being fulfilled. Sanctions did not stop Russia. Prediction On February 22, 2022, two days before Russia’s ‘special military operation’ into Ukraine began, Bob Thiel posted: I expect that Donetsk and Luhansk will either be annexed by Russia and/or join its Eurasian Economic Union. On September 30, 2022, Russia formally annexed Donetsk and Luhansk.
Clearly the above are not all coincidental nor the only result of analytical news skills and biblical knowledge, particularly on those that were related to the health of Dr. Roderick and Sheryl Meredith.
Jesus said that fruits were the criteria to determine true vs. false prophets (John 7:15-20). The Continuing Church of God has the true fruits.
If only two of the confirmed dreams and/or prophetic fulfillments were the result of something from God (cf. Matthew 18:16), then this is Divine validation of Bob Thiel’s prophetic status. And since no other COG has God’s confirmation of a prophetic leader like this, this is something that any claiming to be true Church of God Christians should pay attention to. And, of course, anyone who accepts and truly understands biblical church governance realizes that prophets are only considered second to apostles (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11)–so if there are no accepted apostles today, those outside of CCOG should consider that they need to properly respond to Philadelphian biblical church governance (see also The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government and Herbert W. Armstrong, the Philadelphia Church, & the Mantle).
Speaking of dreams and governance, back in 1980 Herbert W. Armstrong had a dream and made a statement about governance:
I remember I had said to this man in the dream, ‘Well, the REAL QUESTION is whether this is GOD’S Church or the PEOPLE’S Church! If it is GOD’S Church, then GOD is running it, and revealing what we shall believe and teach. GOD has the ‘say so’. God runs it through Jesus Christ, who is the HEAD of the Church. And Jesus Christ runs it through His chosen apostle, whom HE, not men, chose, prepared and now guides and leads. Those men are getting your eyes off of GOD — you are leaving GOD out of the picture — out of the Church. You are looking only at people! (Armstrong HW. Shall We All Leave THE CHURCH OF GOD and Join ‘THE CHURCH OF PEOPLE’? Good News, September 1980)
Christians should accept biblical governance and look to the proofs and signs God provides as opposing to look to the approval of humans, which most tend to do.
Jesus also said:
40 "He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward. And he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward. (Matthew 10:40-41)
The Laodiceans refuse to accept true prophets in this age.
The factual reality is that the CCOG has been the fastest growing x-WCG group in the 21st century--and is the only COG with a prophet without making false prophetic pronouncements and was anointed for that role.
That is unique and somewhat consistent with many of the growth years of the old Radio Church of God.
We also possess the Philadelphia mantle (for details, check out Herbert W. Armstrong, the Philadelphia Church, & the Mantle).
Short Work and Final Phase of the Work
The Apostle Paul wrote:
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." (Romans 9:28)
Unlike Paul's statement about the fulness of the Gentiles, we see that only a remnant of Israel will be saved in this age.
But we also see hints that there will be a 'short work.'
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.
We in the CCOG have been working on that. This is part of why more materials, literature, articles, books, booklets, and websites are being developed and/or added to. That is basically the purpose of our literature as well as getting literature translated into over 200 languages--we seem to have been the only COG to do that.
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.
And other than RCG who said they would do the short work, but did not, we are unaware of any COG that has been pubicly stating that they have been doing this--other than CCOG. Yet, Herbert Armstrong said it should be done.
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 internet television and a station in Ghana have been opened during the 21st century.
And we in CCOG do use various forms of radio. In addition to Am/FM stations in Europe, Africa, and the Philippines, we are on shortwave on European Gospel Radio and WRMI Miami.
For information on our radio stations and video platforms, etc., check out the CCOG Multimedia page.
Between our websites and radio presence and literature in hundreds of languages, we are covering most of the world as we continue to prepare for the short work, which is part of the final phase of the work.
Final Phase of the Work
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, God's Church through the Ages, pp. 55,57-58)
The faithful of the Philadelphia remnant who are truly leading the work are the ones that John Ogwyn was referring to in the end. And of course 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.
God said He would use dreams and prophets in the end time (Joel 2:28-31; Acts 2:17-20; see also Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?) and that He would finish the work (Romans 9:28).
The late WCG evangelist Dean Blackwell taught that the work would need to be revived and cited the following scripture:
2 O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2)
Here is some of what he wrote:
Why do you think in Habakkuk, God said that He’d “revive His work in the midst of the years”? Would this be said if they were doing the work in all the time of the New Testament Church? ...
Habakkuk ... said that God would make known what is happening and what's going to happen in man's last years, in the day of His wrath. He requested that God remember mercy and hide His people in a place of safety. Notice that he mentions this will be in the last years — in the midst of the last years.
What did we just read there in Habakkuk 3? Did He say, of the Sardis Church, that He gave them an open door; that they were small in number, and that yet He opened the doors that no man could close? He didn't say that at all about them. He didn't open a door getting the work done until the Philadelphia church. That's what your Bible says! No one knew the key of prophecy. No one even knew about Israel. Why, the Sardis church never could have preached the gospel around the world as a witness.
(e.g. Blackwell D. A HANDBOOK OF CHURCH HISTORY. A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Ambassador College Graduate School of Theology, April 1973, p. 17)
Presuming that explanation is correct, that place of safety comment would be sooner from now!
In the CCOG we have revived the work by restoring more details to doctrine (see Is God’s Existence Logical? and Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach?), prophecy (see Proof Jesus is the Messiah, The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast, and Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation), history (see Continuing History of the Church of God and 18 Truths Restored to the Churches of God: Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era), exposing Protestant errors (see Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism) and the purpose of God's creation (check out: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?). Notice that God also prophesied more would be made known after years (cf. Daniel 12:9-10). Having details to back up assertions, such as restoring (see
18 Truths Restored to the Churches of God: Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era) or continuing (see Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church) early Christian doctrine is essential to deal with those who believe otherwise in the time of the end. See also: Continuing Church of God, Elijah, and Restoring All Things .
Now as far as Herbert Armstrong's beliefs go, understand that he felt that the organized proclamation and witness phase would continue until the Philadelphian Church went to a place of safety. Notice:
Philadelphia has little strength to do this great work that God has given it to do. God has opened the door, and yet look how insignificant, how weak, how little strength we as a Church have to do that work ... Revelation 3:7-13: "And to the angel of the Church in Philadelphia write these things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that OPENETH, and no man SHUTTETH; and SHUTTETH and no man openeth." The great door that God has opened to this work is the facility to go into all the world and preach the gospel; the door of radio, the door of the printing press, plus many other such doors. God has set before us an open door and no MAN can shut it. God can shut it, and He will when the work is finished and the Philadelphia Church goes to a place of safety. ... The Laodicean Church is not going to be worthy to escape to a place of safety. When it is too late, they will find that the Church of Philadelphia has gone to safety (What Is the "LAODICEAN CHURCH"? Good News August 1959 Vol. VIII, Number 8).
Next, when our Great Commission is in God's sight completed, we are to be taken--symbolically flown on the two wings of a great eagle--we shall be taken to a place of protection from the Great Tribulation (Armstrong HW. Looking...PASTOR GENERAL'S REPORT - VOL.3, NO.4 January 23, 1981).
Since the Philadelphians have not yet fled, that portion of the work is not done.
Unique start: consistent with the separation of Philadelphia from Sardis. In CCOG's case a separation of Philadelphia from what had became Laodicean.
Restoration: We have restored much--my previous COG almost nothing--and seems to be losing that (having to do with Daniel 9:26-27)--and it lost Habakkuk 2:6-8 and some other matters I helped them restore.
The bringing in of Gentiles has resulted in unique growth--faster and more than any other xWCG group. And we restored the teaching on the fulness of the Gentiles.
God restored dreams--as His word promised in the last days.
God restored a prophet--as His word promised in the last days.
That one prophet has restored truths, pointed out errors in the remnants of Thyatira and Sardis, as well as the numerous Laodicean groups.
A prophet has called out and warned about prophetic errors of the those groups.
A prophet has not uttered false prophecies.
CCOG has the literature in the most languages to help prepare for the short work--and more is coming.
CCOG has a significant electronic media presence via websites, video platforms, radio stations, and even one television station.
CCOG is leading the final phase of the work.
CCOG has had ten unique and productive years.
Here is a link to a related sermon: Continuing COG's 10 Unique Years.
Thiel B. CCOG: 10 Unique Years. COGwriter (c) https://www.cogwriter.com/ccog-10-restoration.htm
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