* LCG News * 2006 Feast of Tabernacles Sites * Listing of Living Church of God Congregations *Sunset Times for the U.S. * News of Those Once Affiliated with the Global COG * Prayer Requests * Official Living Church of God What's New? page.
Click Here for the COGwriter Home Page which has articles on various sabbatarian Churches of God (COGs) and articles supporting beliefs of the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God.
06/17/06 a.m. Last night, ICG's Mark Armstrong reported:
Have you seen what has been going on in Israel, and particularly in Gaza this week? Following the election of the terrorist group Hamas as the official governing body of Palestinians, Gaza has devolved into near anarchy. Unpaid workers stormed “government buildings” turning a “legislative session” into something resembling a food fight in a “B” movie. Order has all but completely vanished in the future Palestinian state, and reporters are now worrying aloud about the prospect of a “civil war” between angry factions of Palestinians, all of whom hope for the destruction of Israel.
West Bank territories, recently evacuated by Israel as part of the “roadmap to peace” program, have been routinely used as forward positions for Palestinian terrorists to fire rockets in the general direction of Israeli towns and settlements. They are notoriously inaccurate, but occasionally do result in casualties. Lately they’ve boasted of more powerful, more accurate missiles being provided by Iran amid their threats to rain down terror and destruction deeper into Israel’s population centers.
Actually, there will be an agreement, possibly between the king of the North and Israel to attempt to resolve the situation (see Daniel 9:27). It will not work), but current events suggest that this agreement may not be too many years from now.
AW reported the following:
Brian Knowles, a Plain Truth editor in the distant past, has announced his decision to step down as a regular columnist for The Journal. In an article that appears on Ken Westby's site (and I guess will be published in the next issue of The Journal) Brian writes:
"In my quest for truth, I’m simply one of many Pod people trying to find his way amidst the smoke and confusion of ecclesiastical chaos. The Journal’s pages are full of assertive statements made by those who believe they understand the truth. My voice is just one more in the cacophony of confusion. There’s no reason for anyone to pay any more attention to my words than to anyone else’s.
"Many years ago, in the 60’s, Art Craig gave a sermonette at the feast in Squaw Valley about “spitting into the wind.” I now believe that that’s exactly what I’ve been doing in writing my column for The Journal. It’s time to withdraw and relinquish the space to someone else."
Brian Knowles was the only person of old-WCG historical note that regularly wrote for "The Journal". I have long had concerns about his unitarian views and his semi-acceptance of Protestantism. We in the COGs hold a Binitarian view of the Godhead.
Legacy Institute's Leon Sexton wrote:
It looks like we will have 7-9 students for the 2006-2007 academic year...
Herbert Vierra and I were discussing the number of baptisms resulting from Legacy's efforts in Asia. I was astonished to realize that the total numbered over 50 in the course of the last 6 years!
While I respect the efforts of those involved with Legacy Institute, I really wish they would rethink a few of their positions. Information on some of them can be found in the article Teachings and Practices of Legacy Institute. Legacy Institute seems to have the second (or possibly third) largest COG presence in Southeast Asia (LCG has the largest COG presence there).
FWIW, I wish all the COGs would report baptisms numbers publicly (while UCG and LCG and Legacy do, some other groups, including at least one that is almost always claiming growth, do not seem to).
06/16/06 a.m. SDA S. Bacchiocchi reported:
The desecration of Christ is exemplified by reaction of the evangelical community to the Da Vinci Code, which could hardly have been more different. With the exception of the Catholic Church and a few other smaller churches, the voices of discontent in the evangelical community at large have been remarkably silent this time.
Apparently, Christian leaders realize that any resistance is futile, considering that Dan Brown's best-selling book, on which the movie is based, has penetrated so widely the cultural consciousness of our society. The popular acceptance of the book and movie show that the desecration of Christ Himself, for the purpose of entertainment, has become culturally acceptable.
Actually, UCG, LCG, and I (amongst others) have taken exception to The DaVinci Code. However, unlike the Roman Catholics, we have tended to use the Bible as the source of review of the book. Those interested may wish to read my article The Da Vinci Code: Some Good, Lots Bad.
Speaking of SDA's here are some points of historical note:
ANTITRINITARIAN DOMINANCE: 1846-1888
From about 1846 to1888, most of the of leading Adventist writers rejected the concept of the Trinity, although the literature contains occasional references to members who held trinitarian views...
No Biblical Evidences for Three Persons
The early Adventists set forth at least six reasons for their rejection of the term "Trinity." The first was that they did not initially see biblical evidence for three persons in one Godhead. This was not a new objection. In its simplest form, the concept of Trinity is the result of affirming, on the authority of Scripture, both the "oneness" and the "threeness" of God, despite human inability to fully understand the personal, divine Reality those terms point to. How this can be explained has been the subject of much thought and speculation over the centuries. The influence of Greek philosophy on the doctrinal developments of early and medieval Christian history is well known.
Trinity Makes the Father and the Son Identical
A second reason the early Adventists gave for rejecting the Trinity was the misconception that it made the Father and the Son identical. The first of the three recognized cofounders of Sabbatarian Adventism, Joseph Bates, wrote that: "Respecting the trinity, I concluded that it was an impossible for me to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, was also the Almighty God, the Father, one and the same being." At the time of his conversion to Christianity in 1827, Bates told his father, "If you can convince me that we are one in this sense, that you are my father, and I your son; and also that I am your father, and you my son, then I can believe in the trinity." Because of this belief, and that of baptism by immersion, the younger Bates joined the Christian Connection rather than the Congregational church of his parents. D. W. Hull, J. N. Loughborough, S. B. Whitney, and D. M. Canright shared this view...
Expression Suggesting that the Holy Spirit is a PowerPARADIGM SHIFT: 1898-1913
Sixth, it was argued that "there are various expressions concerning the Holy Spirit which would indicate that it [sic] couldn't properly be considered as a person, such as its being 'shed abroad' in the heart [Rom. 5:5], and 'poured out upon all flesh' [Joel 2:28]." These arguments, however, depended on giving a very literal interpretation to expressions that could also be seen as figures of speech. These arguments made sense within an overall antitrinitarian paradigm, but when that paradigm was called into question, these points were recognized as being capable of fitting either interpretation...
The period from 1898 to 1913 saw an almost complete reversal of Adventist thinking about the Trinity. I say "almost" because this paradigm shift did not lead to unanimity on the topic. As Merlin Burt has documented, a few thought leaders who tended toward the "old view" remained vocal, but with declining influence, for many years.
Nevertheless, the publication of Ellen White's Desire of Ages in 1898 became the continental divide for the Adventist understanding of the Trinity ("The Adventist Trinity Debate" Jerry Moon, Ph. D. Chairman, Church History Department. Andrews University Theological Seminary).
Note that it was Ellen White who changed the position. Thus, the SDAs must admit that they DID NOT have the same teaching on the Godhead throughout history. However, the COGs do. Thus, the COGs are the only sabbath-keeping group that has any right to claim continuity throughout history. Historical articles of intersest may included:
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present
The Ephesus Church Era predominant from 31 A.D. to circa 135 A.D.
The Smyrna Church Era predominant circa 135 A.D. to circa 450 A.D.
The Pergamos Church Era predominant circa 450 A.D. to circa 1050 A.D.
The Thyatira Church Era predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1585 A.D.
The Sardis Church Era predominant circa 1585 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D.
The Philadelphia Church Era predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D.
The Laodicean Church Era predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present
On the SDAs and the Godhead, the following articles may be of interest:
SDA/COG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The COG is NOT part of the Seventh Day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, and differences in approaching doctrine.
Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Is The Father God? What is the view of the Bible? What was the view of the early church?
Jesus is God, But Was Made Man Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what?
Virgin Birth: Does the Bible Teach It? What does the Bible teach? What is claimed in The DaVinci Code?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it?
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah's Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a shorter article than the Binitarian View article, but has a little more information on binitarianism.
Unbelievably, WCG actually sent me(and thousands) the following:
A better way to rest: The epistle to the Hebrews may have been written to Jewish believers who were still participating in (or at least attracted to) the customs of Judaism. The epistle explains that the old covenant is obsolete and its regulations have been set aside. When the word sabbatismos (a Sabbath-rest, NIV) is used in 4:9, it is not trying to subtly affirm an old covenant law when the rest of the epistle argues against old covenant laws. Throughout the epistle, the believers are admonished that Jesus is much, much better than anything the old covenant had.
We in the COG rest like God did in Genesis 2, and like Jesus did when He was on the earth.
Those truly interested in this subject should not bother with the related-WCG article (which is why I did not post its link), but instead read the articles:
Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord? Most Protestant scholars say Sunday is the Lord's Day, but is that what the Bible teaches?
The Sabbath was observed on Saturday by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church.
Sunday was not observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians.
Will you live again?
And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt (Daniel 12:2)
Marvel not at this: for the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs shall hear his voice, John 5:29 and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment (John 5:28)
The rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years should be finished (Revelation 20:5) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming (I Corinthians 15:22-26)
To many it is inconceivable that death ends everything - forever. Surely there's more to life than our brief three score years and ten. The concept is almost universal. We like to think that our experiences count for something long-term. Indeed this longing for life beyond the grave permeates the major faiths. Christians and Muslims each in their own way seek Heaven. Buddhism merges us into the Deity. The Hindu faith brings us back to a physical existence up or down the scale of life according to our deeds. And many New Age religions subscribe to this latter notion of re-incarnation.
In fact there are elements of truth in all these views
....all the major faiths promote their religious writings as divinely inspired and true.
In fact, The Resurrection of the dead was taught by all early Christians.
For those who have not guessed it, I have been out-of-town the past few days--thus there were no posts since Sunday.
06/11/06 a.m. Christianity Today reported the following from Fox News:
SHANGHAI, China — Chinese authorities detained 28 Christians in a raid on a non-government-authorized church service at a private home, an overseas monitoring group said Friday...
Police produced no identification or legal documentation during the raid, and confiscated Bibles and notebooks belonging to the congregation without issuing required receipts, the report said.
Those involved with the Bible in China will need to be discreet. And though the time mentioned is not quite here yet, in some places, Amos 5:13 seems to apply. It states, "Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, For it is an evil time". This DOES NOT mean that true Christians should not worship, but that there is a time to be careful about letting many know about it.
LCG's Wayne Pyle reports,
“This weekend we witnessed the finest start-up of a local commercial TV station since the Tomorrow’s World television program began seven years ago. At 10:00 o’clock Sunday morning, local time, our new Phoenix TV station, KAZT-TV, began proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to 1.4 million
households. As soon as the first booklet ad for United States and Great Britain in Prophecy was presented by Mr. Meredith, eight minutes into the program, the phone calls instantly started to pour in.” As of Monday (June 5, 2006), we have received 90 phone calls from KATZ-TV, and we expect the total response nationwide to reach 2,700 for the program. Arizona
As far as I have been able to tell, LCG gets about two-three times as many responses to its radio and television programs per week as all the other COGs do combined. An article of possible interest to those in the COGs may be Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work?
On other matters, I received an interesting hypothesis from H. Schwab titled Why Does the Roman Church Insist on the Eighth Day of the Week? He has put together an interesting set of references on this subject.
Speaking of times to worship, my son Michael completely updated and modernized his Pentecost Quiz. If you are unsure about your knowledge before taking it, you may wish to read the article Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2? as it contains information that answers most of the questions on that new quiz.
On a somewhat related note, my younger son Brian just developed a game called Brian's Holy Day Crossword Puzzle.
Pictures. The cogwriter site has almost never had pictures on it. There are now photos from trips my wife and I have taken to the following locations (as well as brief biblical and other references):
Rome There is even a picture of what J. Tkach Sr. once called "Satan's throne".
Ephesus The first of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. There is even a picture of the house Mary supposedly lived in.
Smyrna The second of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. The home town of Polycarp.
Pergamos The third of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3.
Patmos The island John was exiled to, and where he wrote the Book of Revelation.
Rhodes The Apostle Paul visited here. Also, there are photos of a castle of the Knight's Templar,
Athens, The town the Apostle Paul felt was too religious, due to temples and idols. After visiting there, I can see why.
Areopagus Rock This is where the Apostle Paul gave his famous Men of Athens speech.
Corinth The Apostle Paul wrote two letters to this church.
The photos are at a relatively low resolution so that they will load faster.
In the latest edition of its International News, ICG's Lloyd Cary reported:
That Christendom is astray from the doctrines and practices of Christ and the apostles of the first century—from the Bible— is recognized by laymen and scholars alike. What to do about it is an entirely different matter. Surely, few professing Christians would quarrel with Jude’s exhortation
to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Or would they?
Who would be afraid to take up their Bible and compare their customs and beliefs with the word of God? Would you?
For the sake of freshness, let us read what Jude said from the Mofatt translation: “Beloved, my whole concern was to write to you on the subject of our common salvation, but I am forced to write you an appeal to defend the faith which has once for all been committed to the saints; for certain persons have slipped in by stealth (their doom has been predicted long ago), impious creatures who pervert the grace of our God into immorality and disown our sole liege and Lord” (Jude 3–4).
This has happened in the past and is happening before our very eyes in these last days! Jude’s admonition is certainly an exemplary goal to which
we all should aspire.
Jude 3, as is mentioned in the page Who is COGwriter?, is the keynote verse of the COGwriter website.
On a related note, have you been to the Early Christianity page yet? If not, you really should visit it to find out about people, places, doctrines, and even heresies that impacted the true Christian church in order to better understand truly what was "the faith which has once for all been committed to the saints".
Here is a listing of doctrines linked from that page:
The complete Bible with the proper Old Testament and New Testament was relied on by the true Church in Asia Minor.
A Binitarian view was obviously held by the apostolic and post-apostolic true Christian leaders.
Birthdays were not celebrated by early Christians.
Celibacy for Bishops/Presbyters/Elders was not a requirement.
Christmas was not observed by any professing Christ prior to the third century, or ever by those holding to early teachings.
Duties of Elders/Pastors were pastoral and theological, not predominantly sacramental.
Easter was not observed by the apostolic church.
The Fall Holy Days were observed by true early Christians.
The Father was considered to be God by all early professing Christians.
Holy Spirit was not referred to as God or as a person by any early true Christians.
Hymns were mainly psalms, not praises to Christ.
Idols were taught against, including the use of the cross.
Immortality of the soul or humans was not taught.
Jesus was considered to be God by the true Christians.
The Kingdom of God was preached.
Military Service was not allowed for true early Christians.
Millenarianism (a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth) was taught by the early Christians.
Monasticism was unheard of in the early Christian church.
Passover was kept on the 14th of Nisan by apostolic and second Century Christians in Asia Minor.
Pentecost was kept on the same day that the Jews observed it by all professing Christians.
The Resurrection of the dead was taught by all early Christians
The Sabbath was observed on Saturday by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church.
Salvation was believed to be offered to the chosen now by the early Church, with others being called later, though not all that taught that (or other doctrines) practiced "the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3).
Sunday was not observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians.
The Ten Commandments were observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians.
Tradition had some impact on the second century Christians but was never supposed to supercede the Bible.
The Trinity was not a word used to describe the Godhead by the apostolic or second century Christians.
The Virgin Birth was acknowledged by all true ante-Nicene Christians.
There is also additional information on Early Christianity on that page.
06/10/06 a.m. ICG's Mark Armstrong reported:
Soon after the last letter was mailed I was informed that the parent company of the E! Network had thrown a wrench into our plans. Nothing personal, but rather a policy against religious programming while they’re introducing a new schedule in the third quarter. Given the circus that passes for religious programming on television, I can’t say I blame them! Rather than press the issue, we’ve opted to schedule the Garner Ted Armstrong telecast for a thirteen week run on the “I” Network (PAX), Thursday’s at 6:30 am Eastern, with a dual feed so that it also airs at 6:30 am on the West Coast. It is an expensive undertaking, but the Work is flourishing and taking this message to the world is our commission!
Response weekend before last was a little light on the network affiliate stations, but the program was on the subject of the law, and offered the booklet entitled Christ in the Old Testament. We had 336 calls with fifty-eight first time contacts.
There seems to be more opportunity in distant lands, such as China, for religion now, as the following article shows:
Christian Resources in Big Demand as China Opens Up
Friday, Jun. 9, 2006
The religious policy in China is becoming more open and the availability of Christian spiritual resources has greatly increased in some urban cities of China, a China mission expert reported.
Johnny Li, minister-at-large and spokesman for the China ministry of Open Doors U.S.A., shared the new insight that he received from his latest trip to China and other Asian countries.
"Many Christian bookstores have been opened in urban cities, such as Shanghai and Beijing. On top of the Bible and theological books, resources for Christian leadership, family and marriage, and other spiritual books, are also available. Currently, there are over 400 types of Christian books in China," Li reported.
The bookstores are not operated by the government-run China Christian Council/Three-Self Patriotic Movement of Protestant Churches (CCC/TSPM) and are allowed to openly sell Christian books published by different publishers, organizations or universities. There are around 70 such kinds of bookstores in China. The translated versions of some renowned spiritual publications in Western countries remain popular among Chinese Christians. For instance, the Biography of Hudson Taylor, Mother Theresa, the Story of Jesus, and even some pro-family resources written by the founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, James Dodson.
"Family and marriage is a very big issue in China nowadays, especially in pastoral ministries. Books related to this topic can bring great impact to the society," said Li.
Li tried to explain the reason why the demand for Christian spiritual books has increased in relation to the rapid development of "house churches." In Shanghai, Li visited some fellowships that are not registered with the CCC/TSPM and witnessed the passion of many young souls in search of Christian faith.
There have long been sabbatarians in China, but if there are any COGers outside of Hong Kong is unclear.
On other matters, I have received several emails on the following subject:
In the Matter of a Mail Dispute Between
THOMAS D. KERRY
P.S. Docket No. MD 06-7...
1. The Findings of Fact found in P. S. Docket No. MD 05-189 are pertinent to this case and are incorporated herein by reference. In summary, the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries was incorporated in 2004. The original members of the Board of Directors were Mr. Trent, Mr. Timmons and Mr. Kerry. Mr. Trent was president. A dispute over control of the corporation arose in 2005.
2. After the Postal Service Decision in MD 05-189, Mr. Kerry placed a notice on the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries website, and sent letters to some members, directing people sending mail to the church to send it to 1763 Stumpf Blvd., Gretna (Terrytown), LA 70056. (Documents attached to Trent January 5, 2006 letter).
3. On December 29, 2005, Mr. Kerry incorporated a new organization called Church of God, Ministries International. The business address of this corporation, and of a corporation called Church of God, New Orleans, incorporated by Mr. Kerry in 1998, is 1763 Stumpf Blvd. (Trent January 23, 2006 submission).
4. On December 30, 2005, Mr. Kerry sent a notice to some members of Church of God, Worldwide Ministries of a meeting and election of officers to be held on January 14, 2006. This notice made reference to a lawsuit initiated by Mr. Trent and his group in Tennessee, and stated the intention of Mr. Kerry and his group to create a “Totally New Separate Organization.” (Trent February 14, 2006 submission and documents attached).
5. On January 14, 2006, Mr. Kerry and his supporters held a meeting and purported to elect new officers of the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries. Bruce Chapman was elected President. The group also voted to amend the Articles of Incorporation to change the business address of the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries to 1763 Stumpf Blvd. (Kerry affidavit, February 7, 2006, and documents attached).
6. On January 21, 2006, Mr. Kerry sent a letter on Church of God, Ministries International letterhead, addressed “Greetings Brethren,” to church members. He made reference to the legal problems of the previous year, and announced the new name of the church -
, Ministries International. (Letter attached to Timmons February 21, 2006 submission). Churchof God
7. This mail dispute was initiated by Mr. Trent when he learned that Mr. Kerry had asked people to send mail addressed to the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries to 1763 Stumpf Blvd., Gretna (Terrytown), LA 70056. (
Trent January 5, 2006letter).
The rules that govern the outcome of disputes such as this are found in Section 614.1 of the Postal Operations Manual, which states that in the event of a dispute over mail addressed to an organization, the mail “must be delivered according to the order of the organization’s president or equivalent official,” and in Section 614.2, which states that mail addressed “by organization name, but not to the address of the organization, must be delivered to the organization if the organization so directs.”
In the decision in P. S. Docket No. MD 05-189 it was concluded that Mr. Trent was still the president of the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries because Mr. Kerry’s claim that Mr. Trent and Mr. Timmons had been removed from office was not supported by the evidence. That is still the case here. Mr. Trent and Mr. Timmons dispute the validity of the January 14, 2006 election and Mr. Kerry has not demonstrated that the election was conducted in accordance with the Articles of Incorporation and the By-Laws of the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries. Further, some of Mr. Kerry’s other actions (see Findings #3, 4, and 6) suggest that he is acting on behalf of his new organization, not the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries. Therefore, Mr. Trent is still recognized as president of the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries and as such, he is authorized to direct the delivery of mail to that organization.
Additionally, one of the principal purposes of the rules governing mail disputes is that mail be delivered as intended by the senders. Based on all the facts presented in the previous case, and in this case, including the creation of Mr. Kerry’s new and separate organization, it is likely that most of the mail addressed to the Church of God, Worldwide Ministries is intended for the group represented by Mr. Trent and Mr. Timmons. There is no dispute over mail addressed to the Church of God, Ministries International, and that mail should be delivered as addressed.
This decision deals only with delivery of the mail. It does not attempt to resolve any underlying financial or other disputes between the parties. If either party obtains a court order directing delivery of the mail, postal regulations provide that the mail will be delivered according to such an order. POM §616.3.
The Judicial Officer should issue an Order to the Terrytown, Louisiana Postmaster that the disputed mail should be delivered as directed by George Trent.
Chief Administrative Law Judge
The above is from the United States Post Office website (http://www.usps.com/judicial/2006deci/MD_06-7.htm). I have no specific knowledge of this other than to say the above appears to be another COG-related split. I am sorry they had this problem.
06/09/06 a.m. This morning, UCG posted its latest update. Clyde Killough reported:
This coming Sunday, June 11, we head to Calgary, Alberta, to join in several key meetings for the Canadian work. Their Media Committee, Ministerial Services Team and National Council have packed four days with a full agenda on a variety of topics. On Friday Dee and I travel north to Edmonton, to spend the Sabbath with the members in the congregation of our very first assignment as a ministerial trainee in 1974.
UCG's Gary Antion reported:
Ambassador Bible Center Update...We have currently accepted 30 for 2007 and have 12 more applications awaiting the trip through the Admissions Committee.
UCG's Peter Eddington reported:
Beyond Today Program Recordings...This week production continued with Steve Myers recording four new programs on June 7 and 8 , with guests Clyde Kilough, Jim Franks, Rex Sexton and Darris McNeely. The subjects covered were as follows:
- "You Need a Break" [the Sabbath] (Myers / Kilough / Franks)
- "A Place Called Hell" (Myers / Kilough / Franks)
- "The Debt Trap" (Myers / Sexton / McNeely)
- "What Next, America?" (Myers / Sexton / McNeely)
Beyond Today airs on over 160 cable-access stations across the United States each week, and also on the Vision and Christian channels across Canada. However, our greatest coverage comes from our presence on the World Wide Web 24 hours a day, seven days a week...
I am pleased that UCG has finally begun to have more of a media presence, though its responses thus far have been below expected. LCG seems to be a but more effective in cable-access stations and much more effective in terms of coverage and response in television. This and other matters is documented in the lengthy article Differences Between UCG and LCG.
CG7 posted its proposed rewording of its doctrinal statement. On the matter of deity, unless this is further reworded, IT DID NOT move towards teaching the trinity! This is fabulous as some within CG7 seemed to be trying to move in that heretical direction. Specific statements on that include the following:
God is revealed in Scripture as Father and Son...
The Holy Spirit is the promised Divine Helper who proceeds from the Father and Son. The Spirit is God’s personal presence in believers, rather than a third person of the Deity. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God inspired and illuminates the Scriptures; convicts and regenerates sinners; sanctifies, teaches, comforts, guides, and preserves believers; and empowers them for service.
There were a few concerns in other parts of the deity statements, but it is refreshing that CG7 decided to clearly remain with a non-trinitarian view. CG7's position is mostly consistent with the Binitarian View held by the COGs.
Here are its statements on the Ten Commandments and the Sabbath:
7. The Ten Commandments
We believe that the Ten Commandments were known and obeyed by faithful people before the law was given at Sinai. Later incorporated into the new covenant, they constitute the basic moral code for humanity and are obeyed to demonstrate the believer’s love for God and his fellowman.
8. The Sabbath
We believe that the seventh-day Sabbath is God’s gift to humanity from creation, was written into the Ten Commandments by His finger, was kept and taught by Jesus, and was observed by the apostolic church. A memorial of both creation and redemption, it should be faithfully celebrated by believers now as a day of rest, worship, and well-doing.
I expected that CG7 would always teach the Sabbath, but not as a requirement--this statement from them is consistent with my view. CG7's current statement is included in my article on The Church of God, Seventh Day.
06/08/06 a.m. I am currently working on an article relating to China past and future and if you read Chinese characters and would like to help, please contact me. Since I do not, I would like someone to verify the meaning of some Chinese characters for me. My email address is COGwriter@aol.com.
CEM's Ron Dart recently posted:
I have gone quiet for a while finishing the book I have been posting here in part. Last night, I finished the final draft of my second book, this one titled: "The Thread, God's Appointments with History." It is about the festivals of the Bible which are called moeds, in Hebrew, a word that means "appointments."
A related point I would like to mention is that the Hebrew word that can be spelled in English as moeds is first mentioned in the book of Genesis. Notice Genesis 1:14:
Then God said, "Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;
The Hebrew term translated as seasons does not mean Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter--it means appointed religious festival seasons. This word is used two other times in the Bible: in Lev 23:4 where it is followed by the listing of the Holy Days and in Ps 104:19 which says God "appointed the moon for the seasons"--the Holy Days are marked by the moon (Lev 23), whereas Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter are determined by the sun. Some have suggested that the verse in Genesis 1:14 is the Bible's earliest proof that God intended His festivals since the beginning--before humans were made. And it is clear, as the following passage shows, that God had His plan, including the Holy Days, before humans were made:
...but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you (1 Peter 1:19-20).
An article of related interest may be Is There an Annual Worship Calendar in the Bible? which takes exception to the position of the Tkach-led Worldwide Church of God.
The June 2006 issue of United News reported the following:
Brethren in the Tacoma and Olympia, Washington, congregations sent out over 500 letters inviting Good News subscribers in the area to a special public Bible lecture, "The King of the South and the Abomination of Desolation in History and Prophecy."
Fred Reeves, an elder in the area, put together a PowerPoint presentation that led the audience through the somewhat detailed subject. He used history to highlight the accuracy of God's prophecies and to explain how to understand the abomination of desolation. Mr. Reeves said, "The lectures went well. We planted some seeds."
Many local brethren came to serve and benefit from the message and fellowship with the 32 "new people," about half of whom had a Church of God background.
Pastor Rex Sexton said, "These lectures drew the largest response percentagewise that I have ever seen. The subject was specific and timely, plus we asked the members in both church areas to pray and set aside one day to fast, asking God to inspire people to respond."
Rex Sexton was part of those who supported the GCG takeover and who ended up in UCG. Unlike CEG and CGFnw (groups that are made up of other supporters of the old GCG takeover), UCG does believe that there is a future King of the South.
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Volume 10, issue 10 COG writer B. Thiel (c) 2006