Archive for June, 2007

Newton and the End of the World

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

The following news story was of interest:

The world will end in 2060, according to Newton

Evening Standard (UK) – June 19, 2007

His famously analytical mind worked out the laws of gravity and unravelled the motion of the planets. And when it came to predicting the end of the world, Sir Isaac Newton was just as precise.

He believed the Apocalypse would come in 2060 – exactly 1,260 years after the foundation of the Holy Roman Empire, according to a recently published letter.

…But he confidently stated in the letter that the Bible proved the world would end in 2060, adding: “It may end later, but I see no reason for its ending sooner.”

Continuing in a decidedly sniffy tone, he wrote: “This I mention not to assert when the time of the end shall be, but to put a stop to the rash conjectures of fanciful men who are frequently predicting the time of the end, and by doing so bring the sacred prophesies into discredit as often as their predictions fail.”

Source and large copies of document at:

Those in the COGs tend to believe that the recreated world that began after Genesis 1:1 would last 6,000 years after either Adam’s creation or his sin.  The 6,000 years would end by the early 21st century.  This used to also be like a view within Catholicism.

Notice that one Pope in the 20th Century blessed a book that stated:

…the time of the First Resurrection will end…It is the time when the Seventh Millennium will set in, and will be the day of Sabbath in the plan of creation…It has been the common opinion among Jews, Gentiles, and Latin and Greek Christians, that the present evil world will last no more than 6,000 years…Christians and Jews, from the beginning of Christianity, and before, have taught that 6,000 years after the creation of Adam and Eve, the consummation will occur. The period after the consummation is to be the seventh day of creation–the Sabbath…St. Jerome said, “It is a common belief that the world will last 6,000 years.”

…I believe that as the last days come to an end so will the sixth day of creation (Culligan E. The Last World War and the End of Time. The book was blessed by Pope Paul VI, 1966. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), pp. 113-115).

Yet the above view is strongly condemned by the Roman Catholic Church!

Notice the following:

676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism. (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995).

The above and more is contained in the article Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Church of God?

COGs Comment on Future Cyberspace Attacks

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007

LCG reported:


Cyberspace Security Threatened. The world’s economy could suffer billions of dollars in losses if enemies of the Western nations were to succeed in disabling the Internet. Business and tax revenues would plummet. Banks would close their doors and automated teller machines would run out of money as customers rushed to withdraw savings. Demand for coins and currency would outstrip availability, and commerce would grind to a halt as panic-stricken populations stopped spending in order to hoard scarce cash. Food riots could erupt as grocery stores were unable to replenish inventories. Travel would be disrupted as gas station credit cards stopped working and airline reservation systems ceased to function. Could such a dire scenario occur? Experts recently told London’s Daily Mail newspaper that such attacks are not only possible but are likely in the near future (May 24, 2007). Recent Estonian riots over the removal of a Red Army war memorial escalated into a cyber-attack that disabled the websites of Estonian government ministries, banks, media outlets and political parties. The online attackers remotely hijacked access to computers to disrupt vital public services. “We’re lucky to survive this,” said an Estonian defense ministry spokesman. God warns in Deuteronomy 28:20 that He will send “cursing and confusion” on us because we have forsaken Him in our wickedness. Cyber-attacks could certainly be a partial fulfillment of this prophecy.

LCG’s report is correct that cyberspace attacks are being planned by enemies of the West.

PCG recently reported:

China Prepares for Cyber War

China is seeking dominance on a crucial front for the modern military: cyberspace.

In future, the battlefield for warfare will be the server room. Engagements on land and sea, even in air and space will rely heavily upon who wins the battle on the front lines of computer code. For this reason, Beijing wants electronic superiority, especially over the United States…

“China’s near-term focus on preparing for military contingencies in the Taiwan Strait, including the possibility of U.S. intervention, appears to be an important driver of its modernization plans,” the DoD said.

But it is not just China seeking to gain the ability to attack the U.S. in cyberspace. The Telegraph reported (emphasis ours):

Lt. Gen. Robert Elder, commander of the 8th Air Force, said that all of America’s foes, including Iran, were looking at ways of hacking into U.S. networks to glean trade and defense secrets.

But efforts by China set it apart. “They’re the only nation that has been quite that blatant about saying ‘we’re looking to do that,’” said General Elder in Washington.

Beijing has made huge strides in catching up to the leaders in the fields of space exploration, satellite communication, and military modernity. Now it is busy seeking a highly organized electronic warfare unit so it can gain the higher ground. Bringing the Pentagon’s highly secured network to its knees may be a tall order, but a coordinated attack would severely hamper U.S. response.

There have long been reports that certain terrorist groups intend to some day bring down the internet as part of their plans to negatively impact the USA, etc.

UCG Appoints New Manager in Australia

Monday, June 18th, 2007

In the latest United News, UCG’s Ruth Root reported:

The chairman of the Board for the United Church of God–Australia announced that Torin Archer has accepted the position of acting national office manager.

Some months ago Allan Hambleton submitted his resignation as office manager because of health considerations.

Expressions of interest were requested from the congregations, and the possible candidates were narrowed to Mr. Archer, who has had considerable previous experience serving the Church in the areas required to fill the position.

Since the initial expression of interest, several members of the Board have spoken with Mr. Archer and an agreement has been reached enabling him to fill the position on a part-time basis, for three days per week, until his contract with Lifeline, where he works as a supervisor and counselor, terminates in September…

COGaIC: Name of Paul

Monday, June 18th, 2007

COGaIC’s Peter Nathan wrote:

The New Testament records in Acts 13 that Saul changed his name to Paul. Why did he do this? Many commentators have sought to find the answer in the help that Sergius Paulus, governor of Cyprus, provided to Saul and Barnabas on their first journey there. While it is possible that respect and gratitude inspired Saul to take the governor’s name, it seems unlikely based on a number of other intersecting facts…


This chapter contains the only reference in the New Testament to Israel’s first king, Saul, the son of Kish…


King Saul persecuted David, whom God had anointed to replace him. In a similar way, Saul persecuted the one he later understood to be the true Son of David. By changing his name from Saul to Paul, he distanced himself from the actions and mindset of his namesake. 

The choice of the Latin name “Paulus” is instructive as well. The word means “little” or, when referring to a person, “short.” Whether this is a description of Paul’s physical characteristics is not stated, but it has an application to both King Saul and King David. When chosen to be king, Saul was known to stand head and shoulders above his compatriots. But his physical stature was of no consequence to his ability as king. He was only effective in that role when he was “little in [his] own eyes,” or opinion (1 Samuel 15:17). When David was anointed king, his father, Jesse, referred to him as “the youngest” (1 Samuel 16:11). The Hebrew word used here is the same one used earlier to describe Saul’s initial view of himself as “little.”


More on the Apostle Paul can be found in the articles:



The Apostle Paul He was a later apostle, but also an early Christian leader.

Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they?
Joyce’s Photos of Areopagus Rock In the Book of Acts, Paul made his famous “Men of Athens” speech on Areopagus Rock (called Mars Hill in the KJV).
Joyce’s Photos of Ancient Athens In the Book of Acts, Paul made his famous “Men of Athens” speech. Paul is believed to have visited Athens during his second missionary journey (which was with Silas) around 49-52 A.D.
Joyce’s Photos of Corinth The Apostle Paul not only preached in Corinth for about six months (Acts 18:8-11), he also wrote two letters to the brethren there (1st and 2nd Corinthians).
What Did Paul Actually Teach About the Ten Commandments? Many say Paul taught against the ten commandments. Is this true? This article quotes Paul with his words in green.

Honor Your Father

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

Today, is commonly called “father’s day” in the USA and many other lands.

Notice that the Bible teaches:

‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you (Deuteronomy 5:16, NKJV).

Modern statistics indicate that those whose fathers are less honorable tend to have a greater chance of being incarcerated and having various difficulties in this life.

But human fathers are not the only ones to be honored.  Remember that God the Father should be as well.

Any article of possible interest may be:

Is The Father God? What is the view of the Bible? What was the view of the early church?

Orthodox Need to Reject Unity With Catholics

Sunday, June 17th, 2007


There is a lot of buzz about various efforts on the behalf of Pope Benedict XVI to create some type of unity with the Eastern Orthodox churches. 

The Orthodox, however, need to study their Bibles and resist such efforts.

It is commonly taught that the two main doctrinal issues separating the two churches are:

1.  The filioque clause that the Roman Catholics teach, but that the Orthodox do not (please see article Binitarian View).  

2.  A difference of opinion on how much authority that the Bishop of Rome should be able to exercise.

However, there are many more.  Notice:

1. The Eastern Orthodox, like the Church of God, reject the Catholic notion of purgatory.

2. The Eastern Orthodox, like the Church of God, number the ten commandments as they originally were and not as the Roman Catholics number them.

3. The Eastern Orthodox, like the Church of God, believe that God has a plan of salvation (please see article Apocatastasis) that can occur at the time of the final judgment, the Roman Church rejects the idea that salvation can be available after the first death (please see the article on Catholic and COG Beliefs).

4. The Eastern Orthodox, like the Church of God, do not believe that God’s plan will result in most being lost or that it is a plan of terrorism.  This differs from the Roman Catholic view of eternal torment.

5. The Eastern Orthodox, like the Church of God, believe in baptism by immersion.  The Roman Catholics usually employ sprinkling.

6. The Eastern Orthodox, like the Church of God, believe in “the responsible use of contraception within marriage”.  The Roman Catholic position is far more limiting.

7. The Eastern Orthodox, like the Church of God, reject “the dogma of the immaculate conception of the Virgin”.  That is a Roman Catholic dogma.

8. The Eastern Orthodox, like the Church of God, agree that “the final goal at which every Christian must attain: to become god”.  The Roman Catholic teaching in this area is less than clear.

9. The Eastern Orthodox, like the Church of God, teach that presbyters (which they call “priests” but the COG calls “elders”) can be married.  The Roman Church requires celibacy for all presbyters, even though that was not its original position (please see the article Was Celibacy Required for Early Presbyters?

10. The Eastern Orthodox, like the Church of God, teach that “Christians must always be ‘People of the Book’ “.  Yet, throughout history, the Church of Rome has tended to place more emphasis on non-biblical sources for much of its doctrines.

While there are certain ceremonial similarities (as well as differences) between the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, if the Orthodox really wish to become “the people of the book” they need to reject all non-biblical doctrines and not enter into greater unity with Rome.

Three articles of possibly related interest may include:

Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Churches of God Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Pope Benedict XVI and Orthodox Patriarch Want Unity  But at least one Catholic prophecy predicting this unity shows that the Pope will rule in such an unified group.

Pope Benedict XVI and Orthodox Unity

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

Here are two stories:

Pope tells Cypriot Orthodox leader he holds ‘firm hope’ for Christian unity

Associated Press – June 16, 2007

VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI told a visiting Cypriot Orthodox leader Saturday that he holds hope that the Catholic and Orthodox churches can be united, despite centuries of painful division.

The churchmen also explored how the two sides could work together on social, moral and bioethical issues, including same-sex marriage and embryonic stem cell research.

And the Orthodox Patriarch apparently agrees:

Alexy II Favors Ecumenical Ties

Says Orthodox-Catholic Partnership Is Important

Zenit – June 15, 2007

MOSCOW – Expanding cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church will have significant implications for the future of Europe, according to Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia…

Alexy II regretted that relations between the Moscow Patriarchate and Catholics in Russia are not always problem-free:

Pope Benedict XVI has repeatedly and publicly stated that he is determined to obtain greater unity with the Eastern Orthodox.

Part of the reason why is that Roman Catholic prophecy specifically states that the East and Western churches will unite and that Rome will dominate:

One prophecy, that was given no later than 1202, by a Catholic abbott named Joachim states:

A remarkable Pope will be seated on the pontifical throne, under special protection of the angels. Holy and full of gentleness, he shall undo all wrong, he shall recover the states of the Church, and reunite the exiled temporal powers. As the only Pastor, he shall reunite the Eastern to the Western Church…This holy Pope shall be both pastor and reformer. Through him the East and West shall be in ever lasting concord. The city of Babylon shall then be the head and guide of the world. Rome, weakened in temporal power, shall forever preserve her spiritual dominion, and shall enjoy great peace…At the beginning, in order to bring these happy results, having need of a powerful assistance, this holy Pontiff will ask the cooperation of the generous monarch of France (Great Monarch). (Cited in Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, pp. 31-32).

Biblical prophecy states that there will be a major unifying religion that it calls “Babylon the Great” (Revelation 17:5)–but one that the Bible warns against.  The Orthodox (and all others) need to heed the Bible and “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.  For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelation 18:4-5).

For more information, please see the article:

Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation?  What does religion have to do with this?

ICG’s Mark Armstrong Reports on Gaza

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

Last night, ICG’s Mark Armstrong reported:

News from Gaza over the past two days has been absolutely stupefying.  Israel’s withdrawal from the territory, the bolstering of that ridiculous “coalition government,” the appeasement of one group of more moderate terrorists hoping to hold at bay the more radical terrorists, the whole thing has turned into a slow motion train wreck.  And it’s not over yet.  The way the U.S. and Israel have chosen to play the “diplomacy” game with these animalistic zealots has led to an entire region, Gaza, within what should have remained sovereign Israel, becoming an outpost for Iran and terrorists of every stripe.

What a stroke of genius it was to arm Abbas and his “fighters.”  A sizable percentage of Abbas’ military (cough, choke) force are open members of al Aqsa brigade, and have boasted responsibility for nearly all of the suicide bombings that have taken place in Israel over the past couple of years!  The U.S. and Israel determined that this bunch of rag-tag murderers should be armed with American vehicles, weapons and ammo, but not only that, they were also provided all manner of sensitive CIA intelligence on American operations throughout the Middle East to be held in a “Security” compound inside Gaza.  Obviously the compound wasn’t too secure.  And how could anything of value have been entrusted to these people?  

None of that matters now.  Gaza, the Abbas “government” has fallen to the more radical Hamas.  I’m sure you’ve seen and heard the stories of defeat and mayhem.  Palestinians killing Palestinians.  The more radical of the terrorists have prevailed over the “moderate” terrorists.  It’s just beyond comprehension that our Administration or our State Department or the Israeli government could have done business with any of them in the first place.  But the fallout, as the news has detailed, is unbelievable.

Actually, the part of the fallout he did not report is that it appears that the European Union may provide “peace-keeping troops” in that area. 

Notice the following from LCG:

Europe Moving Closer to the Holy Land. In a recent interview with the London daily The Times (May 18, 2007), King Abdullah of Jordan expressed frustration at the situation in Israel and the Palestian territories. He stated that “the only glimmer of hope was Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel… ‘I have been extremely pleased here… If you are talking about Middle East issues, they are in good hands with the German leadership.’” Meanwhile, according to its Foreign Policy Chief, the EU would be willing to consider a military role in Gaza if asked to do so by the major players: Israel, the Palestinians, and Egypt. This comes as a reaction to a recent statement by the Israeli Prime Minister suggesting an international force could help stabilize the region (Associated Press, June 13, 2007). Germany’s prowess is growing on the world-stage. And that same stage appears to be being set for the future welcoming of a European force into the Holy Land—a force that the Bible indicates will play a major role in end-time world events in and around Jerusalem (Daniel 9:26-27; Revelation 17:12-18).

Furthermore, the situation there is getting very serious.  Notice what today’s news reports:

BBC – June 16, 2007

The gunmen reportedly tried to seize the Palestinian Legislative Council’s second deputy speaker, Hassan Khuraishah, but staff intervened.

Mr Khuraishah told the BBC he had been beaten up as he tried to prevent Fatah gunmen from raising their flag.  The clashes came after Fatah was ousted from Gaza by Hamas, ending a week of clashes which left more than 100 dead.

The Bible makes it clear that the “King of the North” will come into the “glorious land” (Daniel 11:31,41).

Plain Truth Ministries and WCG

Friday, June 15th, 2007

In the latest issue of Together (subtitled Worldwide Church of God News) WCG reported:

Even after 20 years, people find old advertisements for magazines and booklets that we used to publish. If they ask for The Plain Truth, we explain that the PT is published by an organization that is not affiliated with us, and we give them the contact details for Plain Truth Ministries. We also offer them a free copy of our booklet Good News for Bad People and a subscription to Christian Odyssey. Over the past four years that we have done this, we have received almost 5,000 requests for out-of-print literature.

Plain Truth Ministries’ site (various pages) states:

Greg Albrecht, the Editor of the Plain Truth magazine and President of Plain Truth Ministries…

Plain Truth Ministries Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. Is Plain Truth Ministries (PTM) financed by or affiliated with a church or denomination?

A. No. We partner with and provide resources to other ministries and well as small groups and individual congregations. But we are not dependent on any other ministry or church. We are a member of the Evangelical Press Association and National Religious Broadcasters…

Plain Truth magazine was founded by Herbert W. Armstrong in 1934. He later had a radio program and television broadcast by the name The World Tomorrow. Herbert Armstrong died in 1986, was succeeded by Joseph Tkach, Sr…

The Worldwide Church of God was accepted as a member of the National Association of Evangelicals in 1997.

This story is told in Transformed by Truth – written by Joseph Tkach, Jr., who succeeded his father in the fall of 1995 when Tkach, Sr. died of cancer, cancer that most feel moved much faster due to the incredible stress Tkach, Sr. was under. Transformed by Truth was published, two editions, by Multonomah Press, but is now out of print. It is available through Plain Truth Ministries.

The Worldwide Church of God (WCG) was a church that grew out of a media empire, and shortly after Tkach, Sr.’s death the church board, headed by Tkach, Jr., decided that the church would no longer sponsor a media empire for the purpose of leading people to the church. Instead, the WCG founded Plain Truth Ministries (PTM) as a non-denominational media ministry to bring people to Christ. PTM now exists for that purpose, serving people of a number of denominational affiliations as well as the non and formerly churched. We do not prefer one church over another, but advise those we serve to be involved with a healthy, well-balanced Christ-centered local church.

Plain Truth Ministries is now essentially Greg Albrecht. While I am uncertain about whether or not he still attends the Worldwide Church of God, the fact that he is essentially claiming that his PTM is the place to get the mistitled “Transformed by Truth” (a better title would have been, Transformed by Worldly Christianity or Transformed from Truth) shows some type of affiliation (though the two groups apparently have no corporate-legal connections).

While I have few articles specifically about the new WCG, three articles that do refer to it include:

Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles (the main one from J. Tkach Jr.) which state that this should be a local decision.
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 HWA used to teach and still be in WCG? This article addresses this important issue.
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?

The Latest from CBCG’s Fred Coulter

Friday, June 15th, 2007

In his latest newsletter, CBCG’s Fred Coulter reported:

The Bible Project: We are continuing to make progress with the Old Testament Bible Project. We should be finished editing and polishing up the Scriptures in about 60 days—and finished writing and editing the commentaries in about 90 days. This will give enough lead-time for the printer to order the special French Bible paper and the lambskin to make the covers for 7,000 copies. Then we will have 3,000 copies printed with soft covers, which will lower the overall cost. Later this month I will meet with the printer’s representative to finalize the contract.

He also reported:

As you have seen with the samples we sent to you in the last mailing, all of the difficult Scriptures will be properly translated and clarified. For example, passages instructing us how to properly count to Pentecost have been correctly translated. They now clearly show how to count fifty days—with each of the seven complete weeks ending with a weekly Sabbath, plus one day. Seven complete weeks of seven days each—to the day after the seventh Sabbath—for a total of 50 days. Therefore, Pentecost is always on the first day of the “eighth week.” This is important because the number eight signifies a “new beginning”—and the resurrection is truly a new beginning for the saints. While there may be some who continue to cling to a Monday Pentecost, the proper translation of Leviticus 23 should eliminate this error in the future.

When the WCG observed a Monday Pentecost for forty years (from 1934 to 1974) they were observing it on the wrong day—a day late—because the day after the seventh Sabbath is a Sunday, not a Monday. Keeping Pentecost on the wrong day undoubtedly lead to a lack of understanding of its full meaning. While many understood the Old Testament harvest of the firstfruits of the grain harvest, they failed to understand that the true harvest of the spiritual firstfruits at the first resurrection also had to occur on a Pentecost. Instead, as so many still assume, they believed that the first resurrection would take place on the Feast of Trumpets. But the Feast of Trumpets is a memorial of the blowing of trumpets all day long. Trumpets is God’s call to war, not a day of the resurrection of the firstfruits.

The last paragraph is one of the differences that CBCG has from most other COGs. An article of related interest may be Christian Biblical Church of God and its Teachings.