Most COGs confused or in error on the sequence of Daniel 11

Battle Involving the 4th Islamic Caliphate


Nearly all who are part of claimed and real COG groups such as the Philadelphia Church of God (PCG), United Church of God (UCG), COGWA, and Living Church of God (LCG) believe that their leaders understand end time prophecy.

Yet, the reality is that on many prophetic points the teachings of those groups are confused or otherwise in error. Some of their errors have to do with Daniel 11.

While many are aware of Gerald Flurry’s incorrect identification of Iran as the final “King of the South,” some may be surprised to realize that PCG, UCG, and LCG do not understand the proper sequence of Daniel 11 nor the timing of the attacks by the King of the North.

What do they teach?

Let’s start with PCG.

In the January 2004 issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet, PCG’s Gerald Flurry wrote:

““And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (Dan. 11:40-41). The king of the north is a united Europe, and the king of the south is radical Islam led by Iran…Europe will win this war. But that victory will trigger some other events. Europe will then ally itself with the moderate Arabs and attack America, Britain and the nation called Israel.

Many Bible prophecies thunder that truth. (Flurry G. Personal: Russia Frightens Europe— and Fulfills Bible Prophecy. Philadelphia Trumpet, January 2004).

However, this sequence is in error. The Bible shows that the coming King of the North will eliminate the USA (the land with the strongest fortresses) in Daniel 11:39. This comes before the destruction of the King of the South in Daniel 11:40-43 (for more details, please check out Who is the King of the North?).

A reader sent me the following about teachings from at least one UCG pastor, Rex Sexton:

UCG … I have been downloading their sermons to listen to while I drive the car so I have an idea of some of their doctrines so I can better understand where they are coming from prophetically and have seen some dangerous mistakes. First of all is that they teach that the covenant that is confirmed and the sacrifices that are stopped in Dan 9:27 was fulfilled already by Jesus during His ministry and death and “the middle of the week” is talking about the day of the week He died on rather than the abomination of desolation occurring in the midst of the final seven years with the stopping of sacrifices by the King of the North in the middle of Daniels 70th week. If you Google UCG study paper on Daniels 70th week you will see their official teachings on this matter. I don’t understand how they could get something so clear so wrong, because the previous person spoken of in Dan 9:26 was the wicked prince who is to come, so how could the next “he” be Jesus? …
The other thing that was worrying is that at least some of the ministry teach that the event that tells us the end is about to begin and the abomination of desolation is soon to occur, is the King of the North defeating the King of the South and then he comes into Jerusalem and places the abomination of desolation. The Minister teaching this (Rex Sexton) has many many sermons on their website, so I gather they endorse his position. He said in the sermon that so many people want to know what the “tripwire” event is that sets all things in motion at the end and he said that the King of the North defeating and taking over the nations of the King of the South is CLEARLY it and that it is incontrovertible! CLEARLY he is badly mistaken.
The same Minister in another sermon was proudly proclaiming UCG a non-prophet church as a play on words. He then went on to make a personal prediction after chiding other COG groups claiming to have prophets, saying that there will probably be people in the Church of God claiming to be prophets very soon, who will probably say Jesus is returning in 2027 because it will be 2000 years since His ministery and will warn people to flee in 2024. He then said to be very weary if we hear anyone at that time saying this because God will make it very clear to His people when it’s time to go!
It’s easy to see that if Jesus does return somewhere around this time, that at least some in UCG will be warning people not to flee!
Here is something from COGWA:

Dual fulfillments

Verses 35-39: The reference to “the time of the end” in verse 35 offers a challenge in interpretation. Some understand this as referring to the time just before Christ’s return, and others see it as the end of the Maccabean struggles. Some of the actions can be attributed to Antiochus Epiphanes, and some seem to be prophecies of the beast power that will exist at the end of this present age. These verses apparently have dual fulfillments, spanning from the time of the Maccabees until the return of Christ.

The preceding verses in Daniel 11 represent extremely detailed prophecies that have been fulfilled exactly as they were revealed to Daniel. It is important to note that the Roman Empire defeated Seleucid Syria in 65 B.C. and that it defeated Egypt in 30 B.C. Thus the first identities of the king of the North and the king of the South came to an end.

The time of the end

In verses 40-45 we read of actions of a king of the North and a king of South “at the time of the end” (verse 40). The end-time identities of these nations are yet to be determined. (Treybig D. Daniel 11: The Most Detailed Prophecy in the Bible. viewed 06/03/14)

It is also interesting to note that the prophecy through verse 39 seems to end before the first century and not resume until “the time of the end” referred to in Daniel 11:40. (Treybig. The King of the North. viewed 06/03/14)

COGWA’s contention that Daniel 11:39 was fulfilled thousands of years ago is inconsistent with the view contention that the verses of Daniel 11:35-39 have future fulfillment–which they do. For more on this, check out the article: USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses and/or a related sermon: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?

The chapter that COGWA refers to as the most detailed prophecy in the Bible, it essentially admits it does not understand the details of it. Statements such as “offers a challenge in interpretation” suggest, to me at least, that COGWA has disagreement about how to interpret the statements or simply does not know. Most likely it is both.

Similarly to PCG and apparently UCG, notice what LCG’s late Dr. Roderick C. Meredith wrote and published:

This great charismatic “Mahdi” (Messiah) will gather together the forces of Islam in a final jihad (holy war) against the morally corrupt nations of the West, whose religion, lifestyle and values represent a deadly challenge to the Islamic dream.

He will feel emboldened to provoke or attack the European Union (Daniel 11:40). This will anger the fierce “king of the North” and the forces of the king of the South will be completely crushed by this European power. The king of the North will then come down “like a whirlwind” (v. 40) and take over the Middle East, including the Holy Land (vv. 41–42). The king of the North’s armies will seize control of the region’s vast oil reserves (v. 43).

These soon-to-happen events will be awesome to witness. The “king of the North,” a future European Napoleon or Hitler type of powerful, dynamic leader, will react mightily with a blitzkrieg retaliation. This dramatic military response against the king of the South will set off a chain of other events.

“And they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation” (Daniel 11:31). As this dual prophecy shows, there will, at the end of this age, either be a temple or a special altar in Jerusalem. The priests of the family of Aaron will again offer the daily animal sacrifices prescribed in the Old Testament until a great military power comes in and places there what is called the abomination of desolation.

The description continues: “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time” (Daniel 12:1). This is talking about the American, British Commonwealth and Jewish peoples. The great Muslim “king of the South” will cause a war, and the European “king of the North” will conquer much of the Middle East. This king of the North also comes west against God’s people at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. This is the same time Jesus described in Matthew 24:21: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.” (Meredith RC. Fourteen Signs Announcing Christ’s Return. viewed online 5/11/19).

Notice that LCG teaches that after Daniel 11:40-43 is fulfilled, that Daniel 11:31 will be fulfilled. This is a major problem because Daniel 11:31 is the sign that Jesus pointed to, to warn that it would be time to flee and that the Great Tribulation was about to begin:

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:15-21)

For years I tried to work with LCG on this point as they had a publication written by John Ogwyn that agreed with the sequence that I have taught–that the King of the North invades the USA and Anglo-Saxon nations prior to the invasion of the King of the South. John Ogwyn and the rest of the then LCG Charlotte-based evangelists all told me I was right about that. Yet, LCG has continued with two differing sequences that are in contradiction–which is confusing.

LCG also has the Great Tribulation beginning when the King of the North invades the King of the South. Here is what its Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs teaches:

The Bible speaks of a time of great catastrophe, called the “Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24:21-22; Daniel 11:40-45; 12:1; Luke 21:19-36) (viewed 05/11/19)

LCG is teaching that Daniel 11:40 is the first item in the sequence in Daniel 11 to start the Great Tribulation. And this is a FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF, which is in error.

LCG’s Gerald Weston had the following in a Co-worker letter dated February 13, 2019:

Correct doctrine is vital to the Church of God and love is at the heart of correct doctrine. …

Doctrine, we might say, is simply teachings or instructions, and in this case, the teachings of the Bible. The Apostle Paul confirms that doctrine is important. He warned the Church of God at Ephesus that they “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. . .” (Ephesians 4:14). And he urged the members in Rome to “note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).

Right doctrine is what allows us to have unity. Paul told the Corinthians that they should all speak the same thing, meaning they should be unified in the basic doctrines they were taught by Paul and other ministers of the truth (1 Corinthians 1:10). And he pointed out that we must strive to keep the unity of the faith: “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).

A servant of God must teach sound doctrine as found in the Bible, not ideas with roots in pagan philosophy and heathen practices. He must also be bold in proclaiming the truth and in fulfilling God’s command, “Cry aloud, spare not; lift up your voice like a trumpet; tell My people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins” (Isaiah 58:1). We live in an age where God is despised, because this generation, especially, hates His laws. Biblical values are rejected at every turn and a totalitarian-minded elite is convincing a whole generation to do everything it can to wipe out any remembrance of God and His Word. The “culture war” is, more precisely, an assault against God.

Love is important and doctrine should be based upon the Bible (see also The Philadelphia Remnant: It’s All About Love).

But LCG has this sequence wrong (and other doctrinal errors, for details see What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God?).

Notice that the old WCG taught something different related to the sequence and the start of the Great Tribulation. The late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the following in 1979:

What is this abomination? This refers to Daniel 11:31 and Matthew 24:15…That will be a time when the UNITED Europe shall appear–the revival of the medieval “Holy Roman Empire.” We shall then be warned, and readied to be taken to a place of refuge and safety from the Great Tribulation. Forty-five days later “the beasts armies” will surround Jerusalem. Thirty days later the Great Tribulation will probably start with a nuclear attack on London and Britain–and possibly the same day or immediately after, on the United States and Canadian cities. The GREAT TRIBULATION, we shall fully then realize, is the time of “Jacob’s Trouble,” spoken of in Jeremiah 30:7. And Jacob’s name was named on Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (Gen. 48:16). At that time a third of the people in our nations will die, or shall have died, by famine and disease epidemics; another third will dies of the war–our cities being destroyed (Ezek. 6:6), and the remaining third will be carried to the land of our enemies as slaves (Ezek. 5:12). Armstrong HW. The Time We Are In, Now. Pastor General’s Report-Vol 1, No. 15, November 20, 1979, Page 2).

Notice that Herbert Armstrong has Daniel 11:31 first, then the USA and UK getting attacked (Daniel 11:39). While it is true that the old Radio Church of God misunderstood the sequence originally, it changed decades ago–yet some (like in the leadership of PCG, UCG, and LCG) never have understood the change and still prefer to rely on an overridden tradition over the Bible.

Notice also something from the Plain Truth magazine in 1979:

King David of ancient Israel in a prophetic psalm (Psalm 83) provides additional insight into the Mideast picture. Germany (Assyria in Bible prophecy) and perhaps the rest of Europe will be in league in the future with a union of Arab nations–a vast confederacy bound together in an effort to crush out the name “Israel” from the face of the earth! This Arab-Moslem confederacy may very well be the previously mentioned “king of the south”–a sphere of power encompassing vast portions of the Islamic world.

“They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee: The tabernacles of Edom [Esau or modern-day Turkey, a non-Arab but Islamic nation], and the Ishmaelites [Saudi Arabia]; of Moab [part of Jordan], and the Hagarenes [anciently these peoples dwelt in the area known as Syria today]; Gebal [Lebanon], and Ammon [modern Jordan], and Amalek [part of the Turks]; the Philistines [the modern Palestinians] with the inhabitants of Tyre [Lebanon]; Assur [whose descendants, the Assyrians, migrated to Germany] also is joined with them: they have holpen the children of Lot [Jordan and Western Iraq]” (Psalm 83:4-8)…

But in the end, this European-Arab alliance will prove short-lived. As shown earlier, the “king of the north” of Daniel 11–the leader of the German-led European union–will ultimately turn against the Arab “king of the south,”…Daniel 11:40-41: And the king of the north shall come against him [the king of the south]…The Arab-Moslem Confederation will, of course, be thrown into chaotic disarray in the fact of invasion. (Stump K. The Arab World in Prophecy. Plain Truth, December 1979)

“Israel” in quotes above is a reference to the end time descendants of Israel, which includes the USA and Anglo-Saxon nations.

From no later than 1979 until the time of his death, Herbert Armstrong correctly taught that the Great Tribulation first begins with an attack by the European King of the North, not that the King of the North first invades the King of the South.

I tried to work with LCG on this for many years, and although they seemed to have agreed multiple times (and at least once it was agreed in a meeting by one of their leaders that WCG had changed its view by the 1970s to the biblical view I was advocating; see also December 2011 Proposed changes to LCG’s Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs), they never changed their publications to reflect this.

Since I was unable to get LCG to change while I was with it, despite agreements by its leaders to fix LCG’s errors on this point, hopefully pointing this error out again will assist them to correct it. Otherwise, this will be another area where those in LCG will misunderstand prophecy.

I would make a similar appeal to PCG, COGWA, and UCG.

However as those in PCG improperly believe that Gerald Flurry is a prophet, nor have they ever agreed that I was correct on this, they seem less likely than LCG (or UCG) to consider this–but they ignore what the Bible teaches to their peril. Sadly this likely means, then, that they will not know when the Great Tribulation will begin, and that would then indicate they will not be protected from it.

The Apostle Paul taught:

15… I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:15)

On the prophetic sequence of Daniel 11, as well as on certain points of conduct, neither PCG nor LCG can be considered the “pillar and ground of the truth,” which is part of why neither hold the Philadelphia mantle. When I checked LCG’s Official Statement of Beliefs this year, it still had serious errors.

There are many ramifications of the errors that PCG, UCG, and LCG hold.

One to consider is that unless they change their positions, NEITHER PCG NOR UCG NOR LCG OR OTHERS IN MANY COGS WILL REALIZE WHEN THE GREAT TRIBULATION WILL BEGIN AND THEIR SUPPORTERS WILL NOT FLEE TO BE PROTECTED IN A PLACE OF SAFETY IN THE WILDERNESS (Revelation 12:14-16). Their positions will be proven to be false.

We in the Continuing Church of God strive to always rely on the Bible over tradition: ” We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).

Will you truly rely on the more sure word of prophecy? Or traditions that will be proven to be false?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy
The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi. Another article related to Iran translated into the Spanish language is: Irán y líderes israelíes discuten las intenciones nucleares de Irán.
Iran in Prophecy Is Iran in Bible prophecy? If so, what does the Bible teach? What names, other than Persia, may be used to describe Iran? There is also a YouTube video titled Iran in Prophecy. Here is a related video Iran In Prophecy.
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. Two related sermon are available: Identifying the USA and its Destruction in Prophecy and Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin? A related sermon is also available: The Bible, the USA, and the King of the West.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here are links to two related videos: The King of the North is Alive: What to Look Out For and The Future King of the North.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
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.
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.
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 as led by Roderick C. Meredith 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?
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?)
Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18? Here is a link in the French language: Est-ce que l’Église Continue de Dieu confirme les signes d’Actes 2:17-18? A related sermon in the English language is also available: 17 Last Days’ Signs of the Holy Spirit.
Church of God Leaders on Prophets Have there been prophets throughout the church age? Are any supposed to be around in the last days? What have COG leaders stated or written about prophets? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.
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?
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation. Here is a video in the Spanish language: Contando los eventos y el inicio de la Gran Tribulación.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2021, 2022, or 2023? 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 la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: 2021: The Great Tribulation or the Great Reset? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation. A short video is also available titled Trump’s Deal of the Century and Daniel 9 27?
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 the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy. See also Do You Hold to Any of These Laodicean Prophetic Errors?

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