CGOM’s James McBride and the Bible on prophecy

Laodicea has many ineffective structures


James McBride of the Church of God, UK, which has ties CGOM, distributed the following in the July-August 2014 edition of its outreach newsletter:

It Will Happen…

Many Bible believers express concerns as to how to interpret the end-time prophecies or doctrinal issues. If they get it wrong—will that condemn me to ‘the great tribulation’? …

Then there’s the interpretation of the prophecies. Who is ‘the Beast’ or the ‘False Prophet’ or the ‘man of sin’? Or, is the ‘King of the South’ an Islamic force, or a secular power? Or other? What if I’m not sure this truly is ‘the end time’, and it turns out it is? Will I be left behind? And what about Daniel’s much-discussed prophecies? All genuine concerns! And yes—we should…

And prophecy? The interpretations are endless! Given enough time most human speculations—that’s what they are—fall by the wayside. I don’t need to know when Jesus will return. I must just stay in a state of preparedness. I needn’t know who may be the ‘two witnesses’; God will manifest them for all to see in His good time. . I need not be concerned about world chaos— just be personally ready for when the end comes.

There is, however, one clear instruction direct from the lips of Jesus: ‘…Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them … and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world’ (Matthew 28:19-20).

(McBride J. It Will Happen… OUTREACH Newsletter: July-August 2014)

The Knowledge That Counts

What do you need to know to become a Christian? Is doctrine important? And must you understand the prophecies? …

That is exclusive— acceptance of Jesus as Saviour, and commitment to him and to the Father. Anything else?

Not prophecy. For multitudes have died in the faith not understanding them—or getting it wrong!

(McBride J.The Knowledge that Counts. OUTREACH Newsletter: July-August 2014)

Knowledge of the Bible, Jesus, the Kingdom of God, and salvation are important, but some of that knowledge also is based upon future prophetic events. Those who misunderstand about certain aspects of doctrine and prophecy are not growing in grace and knowledge of Jesus as they should (cf. 2 Peter 3:18) and are subject to deception and not being a Christian and/or living as a Laodicean (which Jesus prophetically warns against in Revelation 3:14-20).

Those who wish to possibly be protected from the Great Tribulation need to ‘gather together’ as the Bible tells in Zephaniah 2:1-3, and specifically with the end time Philadelphians as they are the only ones Jesus promised protection from the coming hour of trial in Revelation 3:7-13 (see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra).

Regarding prophetic subjects James McBride brought up, Laodicean groups have been teaching prophetic errors about the King of the South (see Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?), the man of sin (see Who is the Man of Sin?), and the prophecies in Daniel (e.g.The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 and Who is the King of the North?).  For a longer list, please check out the list in the article The Laodicean Church Era.

Jesus taught a lot about prophecy and groups like CGOM are not teaching that as they should. I believe that because of following false and/or Laodicean teachers, those in groups like CGOM will not know what is happening prophetically. As far as whether one should be concerned about ‘world chaos,’ Jesus repeatedly told His followers to watch those type of events, as He did five times in Mark 13:5-37.  Watching world events from a biblical perspective helps us realize that this age will come to an end and that Jesus will return to reign and establish the Kingdom of God–this helps proper watchers keep their lives in perspective and should motivate them to live as a proper Christian. Notice something that Jesus taught:

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)

Notice that Jesus used the information about coming prophecies related to world chaos to motivate Christians. Should that not exhortation be done today as we are closer to the time of that day approaching (Hebrews 10:25; Romans 13:11).

Notice also something that CGOM published in the past:

Two WitnessesOil represented God’s Holy Spirit which seems to indicate that these two sons of oil may be symbolic of spirit beings rather than human…These two witnesses, if cherubim, will be manifested in the form of men…Although the Bible does not definitely say whether the two witnesses will be angelic beings or human there is enough evidence in the Bible to suggest that they most likely will be angelic beings. But some may have difficulty with the concept of spirit beings being killed and resurrected which is prophesied for the two witnesses (Revelation 11:7-11)…As the world moves closer to the end-time configuration will we see more false witnesses pronouncing Christ’s return? (Morton, John. Two Witnesses. New Horizons, a CGOM magazine. July-Augist 2007, pp. 4-5).

Since the two witnesses do die and the Bible clearly calls them “men,” CGOM’s John Morton’s speculation should be ignored. Those wishing to learn more may wish to read the article Who Are the Two Witnesses?

Unless they change, those associated with CGOM, like other apparently Laodicean groups, will end up going through the Great Tribulation. Not because they do not understand all the nuances of end time prophecy, but because of their attitudes about themselves, the work, etc. they will not listen enough to change or understand prophecy. See also Is there a need for a prophet now?

Remember Jesus’ words:

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)

Will groups of people decide to remain Laodicean? Perhaps some individuals will realize the truth, check out the facts, and decide that they should return and support the leading remnant of the Philadelphia era of the Church of God, which is currently the Continuing Church of God.

Jesus repeatedly told people to watch world events and prophecy.  Jesus warned against remaining Laodicean and not being willing to truly listen to all that He taught.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Church of God Outreach Ministries This was a CGI spin-off that says it is not a church.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “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 ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2014, 2015, or 2016? 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? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2013 o 2014? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
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?
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?
Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God Several have speculated reasons, but here is the truth. (En el idioma español: ¿Por qué Bob Thiel dejó la Iglesia del Dios Viviente?)
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. There is also a YouTube video: The Seven Church Eras of Revelation. There is also a version in the Spanish language: Las Siete Iglesias de Apocalipsis 2 & 3.
1. The Ephesus Church Era was predominant from 31 A.D. to circa 135 A.D. The Church of James, Peter, Paul, and John, etc.
2. The Smyrna Church Era was predominant circa 135 A.D. to circa 450 A.D. The Church led by Polycarp, Melito, Polycrates, etc.
3. The Pergamos Church Era was predominant circa 450 A.D. to circa 1050 A.D. An especially persecuted Church.
4. The Thyatira Church Era was predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1600 A.D. The Church during the Inquisition.
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees? Discusses similarities of the Sadducees and Pharisees to various COGs in this end-time.

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