UCG Says, “Now is Not the Time”

UCG’s Logo for its Beyond Today television program


In its May edition of United News, Victor Kubik of the United Church of God (UCG) wrote the following (which was posted today at the United News website):

Forward! Now is Not the Time…

We have glimpses into the identity of the Beast, the False Prophet, the King of the North and the King of the South. We know that things will get really bad before the end of this age.However it grates on me when at a time of great calamity, terrorism, natural disaster or loss of life that some are quick to pontificate, “There it is! Prophecy is being fulfilled!” Lively discussion ensues as speculation of what exactly in the Bible this particular catastrophe might refer to while we simultaneously watch televised reports of horror, misery and grief in the lives of thousands and even millions of people.

The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for all things. There is an appropriate time to proclaim. There is a time to mourn and weep. As Christians we need to be sensitive to how we act and react…

An important aspect of our Christianity is to know when to proclaim and when to be like Jesus, who knowing that Jerusa- lem would be destroyed, wept because of what was going to happen: “He saw the city and wept over it, saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes” (Luke:19:41-42[41]And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,[42]Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.).

A Christian is not noted for his intel- lectual prowess—it’s his love that carries meaning.

While Victor Kubik is correct that love is important, I would suggest that the Book of Daniel shows that the wise (who presumably would be certain Christians in the end time) would understand what is happening.  Daniel 12:10 specifically states, “the wise shall understand” (NKJV).

And while love is important (and the most important element for Christians), I believe that those of us who have the “love of the truth” (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:10) will want to include the truth about Bible prophecy to help warn the world (Matthew 24:14).  It is not that I do not believe that UCG in general or Victor Kubik in particular are opposed to that, it is just that I feel that articles with titles such as “Now is Not the Time” indicate that we are not as far along prophetically as we seem to be.

Previously, in its World News & Prophecy, UCG published the following:

It is midsummer and there seems to be a lull in the news as I write. No big event or crisis has erupted. You can tell this by the headlines on the Internet—there are none…

When you look at the flow of events in the Bible, from creation forward to today, you see a lot of high points such as the time of Abraham, the Exodus, David and Solomon, and Christ and the apostles. But these events are separated by at times hundreds of years when not much seems to be happening.

But something is happening in those in-between years. Everyday life is taking place. People are “marrying and giving in marriage.” Babies are born and families grow. People rejoice and mourn within the normal cycles of life and death. Life goes on, and sometimes it is no more exciting than sitting on a front porch and watching the hours slip by.

But that’s okay. God did not determine that we would always be hyped up in alert mode. Prophecy is not to be used that way. Prophecy is a compass that helps us see our world for what it is, from God’s point of view. We can understand the high points of history and know that God is guiding the world to a point where He will completely take over with the appearance of His Kingdom.

…Enjoy the life you have and make the most of it within the framework of God’s way of life. Understand that at times life is experienced while sitting on a “front porch.” (McNeely D. Restoration: View From the Front Porch. World News & Prophecy. August 2007).

UCG and the Living Church of God (LCG) seem to have a different perspective on this.  While we in LCG have not dogmatically declared anyone the Beast or the False Prophet (groups like TPM come to mind for that type of thing) we never-the-less do suspect that the beginning of sorrows has begun (see LCG: Beginning of Sorrows May Have Begun) and that many world events are consistent with Jesus’ teachings about what would happen then.  Notice some of what Jesus taught:

“Take heed that no one deceives you.  5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.  8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.  10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.  14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come….42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. (Matthew 24:4-14, 42)

Jesus repeatedly told His followers to watch (Matthew 24:42; 25:13; Mark 13:9; 33-37; Luke 21:35; Revelation 3:3).  And He meant events such as those in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21–events related to the beginning of sorrows, as well as the Great Tribulation.

UCG Reports on Spring Holy Days

On other UCG related news, I have just received the following from UCG:

Days of Unleavened Bread Holy Day Attendance and Offerings Reported

The totals for the attendance and offerings for the 2011 Days of Unleavened Bread season have been tabulated and reported by the business office. Those figures are as follows:

First Day of Unleavened Bread

Attendance:  8,225

Offering:     $544,408.14 *

(* Once all offerings are processed, which were individually mailed to the home office by those who did not attend a service, the actual amount should reach approximately $560,000.)

Last Day of Unleavened Bread

Attendance: 7,553

Offering: $547,662.84 **

(** Once all offerings are processed, which were individually mailed to the home office by those who did not attend a service, the actual amount should reach approximately $565,000.)

Gerald Seelig

The attendance is less than last year because of the COGWA split, but it is not as bad as perhaps it could have been.  I state this based upon some reports from COGWA, as COGWA seemed like they would have reduced UCG Holy Day attendance more, based upon the numbers of supporters they claimed prior to the Holy Days (COGWA has not published Holy Day attendance figures that I have seen).

As a side point, it should be noted that UCG’s Holy Day offerings are substantially higher than COGWA’s for this Spring (for more information, see COGWA and LCG Report on Spring Holy Days).  So while UCG seemed to lose a majority of its USA ministry to COGWA, apparently it has not lost a majority of its income to COGWA.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?
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?
Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from the two largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Concerns about Church of God, a Worldwide Association Known as COGWA, this seems to be 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 Pater Hawkins are part of it.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000?Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 Who is 666? This article explains how the LCG views this, and compares this to Ellen White.
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet”. Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy.
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? True religion should be based upon the true gospel.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it. Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?

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