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08/20/06 a.m. A reader suggested that I look at certain statements I wrote about Charles Darwin--which I did. The following is the revised version:
It may be of interest to note that Charles Darwin, the human credited for the so-called scientific development of the theory of evolution (and to be technical, evolution is a model and not a scientific theory), wrote the following in his book The Origin of the Species:
If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down (Darwin C. The Origin of Species. In Chapter 6, Difficulties on Theory).
And although he did not believe that was demonstrated to his satisfaction when he wrote that, the truth is that cellular life was simply much more complex than he at that time realized.
Thus, even Charles Robert Darwin's writings contain an admission that he understood that additional complexity would disprove his theory (perhaps it should be noted that the discovery of DNA would seem to qualify as sufficient complexity that he was unaware of).
Darwin himself seemed to acknowledge that life could not have started on its own. He seemed to, some degree, rely on the biblical account in the Book of Genesis as he wrote:
There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one (The Origin Of Species By Charles Darwin, 2nd and subsequent editions).
Thus, apparently Darwin recognized the impossibility of life starting on its own without a Creator (God).
The above is included in the article Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God's Existence Logical? Part II.
Ambassador is still in the news:
Pasadena Star-News - August 15, 2006
PASADENA - Pasadena's largest proposed residential development will face a last trial on the road to approval.
The City Council on Monday voted to review the planned 820-unit Westgate development on the site of the former Ambassador College in Old Pasadena.
Councilman Steve Madison, whose West Pasadena district encompasses the property, asked fellow council members to weigh in on a recently certified environmental impact report allowing developer Sares-Regis to move forward with the project.
First approved by a city hearing officer in July, the EIR stated traffic stemming from Westgate would have a minimal effect on neighborhood streets.
"As I sit here today I can't think of a bigger project in Pasadena," Madison said. "This really needs to be reviewed."
Sares-Regis executive Bill Albert told the council he was in favor of the review and said he was confident his project would hold up to scrutiny.
Some day all of the properties will be history.
In his latest letter, J Tkach of WCG writes:
With renewed armed hostilities in the Middle East, we are again reminded that our world can suddenly become extremely dangerous. Some, of course, see the current crisis as the precursor of the “end time” and look for the great tribulation of Matthew 24 to begin at any moment. For many Christians, these are frightening thoughts.
Personally, I am not in the least worried about whether this or any world crisis is the “beginning of the end.” And you don’t have to be, either. Jesus tells us that we have nothing to be afraid of—because our faith is in him. If and when the “end time” comes upon us, we can be confident in God’s love for us, just as we are at all times, good and bad.
Of course God will take care of His people, but Jesus repeatedly warned His people to watch. J. Tkach is no longer truly part of the COG, he apparently feels that the warning scriptures are of no real value.
And here is a very late announcement from The Journal:
ORLANDO, Fla.—Robert Elliott, 62, founder and pastor of God’s Church Worldwide (GCW), based in Sorrento, Fla., died
June 21 after a lng battle with cancer. Mr. Elliott is survived by his wife, Micki, and daughters...
GCW is a group that feels that HWA finished the gospel proclamation.
Egypt: a Reemerging Power? In 1992, the world’s oldest geologic map was rediscovered. It locates mineral rich areas in Egypt, including a Pharaonic gold mine about 350 miles (600 km) south of Cairo. This mine is set to reopen after nearly 50 years of dormancy. Interestingly, the entire region surrounding the gold mine is forecasted to become a mining province—something that “could revolutionize Egypt’s economy” by adding up to 12 percent of Egypt’s gross domestic product (GDP) and making gold the number one contributor to the Egyptian economy in the future (Egypt Today, August 2006). Several thousand years ago, God prophesied that in the last days the King of the North would “have power over the treasures of gold and silver and over all of the precious things of Egypt…” (Daniel 11:42-43). To this point, there are no “treasures of gold and silver” in Egypt—but these are apparently coming soon and may contribute greatly to the economy behind the coming King of the South.
An article of possible interest may be Is there a Future King of the South.
LCG was recently mentioned in the news:
San Antonio Express-News
August 17, 2006
NEW BRAUNFELS — City leaders are confident the $12.3 million expansion of the Civic Center will pay dividends for decades to come, they said at the official groundbreaking ceremony attended by about 150 people Thursday.
"We already have 49 events tentatively booked pending construction completion for 2008," said Mayor Bruce Boyer. "About a fourth of those are new events for New Braunfels, so that is a good indication that this new facility will provide an economic boost to our community.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity this gives us to improve our business environment in the fall, winter and spring months. The tax benefits we'll realize from this new business will help us serve the needs of the New Braunfels community and help keep taxes on local citizens reasonable," he said.
Convention and Visitor Bureau head Judy Young said the groups slated to come in 2008 include a Living Church of God convention that is expected to draw up to 500 visitors for a full week.
BTW, I have been in Guatemala for the past week, so my son Michael has been updating the news pages. I hope to be back tomorrow, presuming no additional airline or other problems.
08/19/06 a.m. In a PCG Pastor General's Report (2/25/06), Gerald Flurry wrote:
The Philadelphia Church of God is not leaving God’s Philadelphia standard. The Laodicean leaders today are doing the leaving! They are taking a Laodicean turn away from Christ—because they ignore what Christ established through Zerubbabel (Mr. Armstrong).
Actually, PCG never was part of God's Philadelphia standard, because it rejected the biblical Philadelphia work, the work HWA said God wanted the Philadelphia Church to do. Instead, like RCG and a few others seem to do, it basically teaches that the main work is warn the Laodiceans.
Gerald Flurry also wrote,
"The commission is no longer to preach the gospel to the world" (Daniel-Unsealed at Last!, 2004, p.45).
This is NOT what HWA taught. In HWA's sermon The Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era,
"I want to speak on the mission of the Philadelphia Era of the Church...Today's mission of the Church you will find in Matthew 24:14. And this gospel of the kingdom…that is the same gospel that Jesus preached…shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come...Now He said the mission of this Church, then, that this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall he end…the end of this world…come, and the second coming of Christ to introduce the world tomorrow, another world altogether...And how in Revelation 18:4 that God has called us out from among them, to be separate. Well, brethren, all those things have been restored and there is a mission for this Church that never applied, and has never been done by any other Church. This gospel of the kingdom has been restored and shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations."
Several articles of possible interest may include:
Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God
Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees?
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D.
The Laodicean Church Era was predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present.
08/18/06 a.m. I recently added another few items to my Eastern Orthodox article. Here is one such addition:
No Immaculate Conception
Orthodox: The Orthodox Church does not accept the Catholic dogma of 1854--the dogma of the immaculate conception of the Virgin, in the sense that she was exempt at birth from original sin . This would separate her from the human race and she would have been unable to transmit to her Son real humanity (Clendenin D.B. ed. Eastern Orthodox Theology, 2nd ed. Baker Academic, 2003, p. 67).
COG: "The Bible never refers to Mary’s "Immaculate Conception"—the doctrine that she was born without sin." (Winnail DS. The Lady of Nations. Tomorrow's World, LCG Magazine).
This subject is a little tricky. The Orthodox, however, believe that Mary was not exempt from "original sin", a concept that the COGs deny, while the COGs teach that Mary did sin, a concept that the Orthodox deny.
The above and other information is included in the article Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Churches of God. This article helps explain which of the two is truly "orthodox" in the sense of holding to the beliefs of the original church.
Speaking of other non-COG groups, I recently added the following information to another article:
Many Protestants believe in some form of predestination (Calvinism). And the Bible does teach predestination, but not the way that Protestants tend to understand it. Notice what Paul wrote about it:
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called (Rom 8:29-30).
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth--in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:3-12).
The Bible clearly teaches that some were predestined to be called in this age before the foundation of the world. Yet, Protestants who believe in predestination seem to believe that God has predestined most to fail--this Protestant view is an incorrect understanding of how a God of love intended predestination!
If the predominant Protestant interpretation is correct, then God is going to punish everyone else who never had any opportunity to live God's way of life. There was no internet, etc. in those days, and no possible way the average person living in China, Japan, remote Pacific islands, India, etc. could possibly have learned anything about the true God of Israel; yes God says that they have no excuse concerning knowledge of His existence (Romans 1:20) and that all should repent (Acts 17:31), but not all hear (Romans 10:14) or are chosen (Matthew 22:14). The same scripture that commands all everywhere to repent also states, "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked" (Acts 17:31). The Protestant view seems to be that those whose ignorance that God has overlooked are lost--if so, why would God have overlooked their ignorance?
Even in Israel, most were not called.
More information is included in the article Hope of Salvation: How the COGs differ from most Protestants.
08/17/06 p.m. Steve Collins wrote the following in an article in The Journal:
Some Christian denominations still expect that a “beast” power is likely to emerge in Europe. But many secular observers have noted the dramatic weakening of Europe on the world stage. Europe has largely disarmed and is under dire demographic threat from the millions of radicalized Muslims living in its midst. Indeed, the term “Eurabia” has been coined to describe the ongoing invasion of Europe by Muslim immigrants.
Europe is a target ripe for attack, not a candidate to carry captive any other nations.
Will any captivity occur in the latter days ahead of us just before Christ’s return?
Given the grim warnings of many prophecies about severe times before the end of this age, such a possibility must be considered. This article points out that biblical “captivities” come in more than one form. By focusing only on the extreme captivity that ancient Assyria imposed on the kingdom of Israel c. 721 B.C. (i.e., a military invasion with forced relocation of Israel’s conquered people to other regions), modern Christians overlook a much more common form of biblical captivity. This article examines the biblical record of an alternate kind of captivity that repeatedly befell ancient Israel and that could be happening again today, not only to the modern nations of the tribes of Israel but to the entire world...
Foreign oppressors afflicted the Israelites while the Israelites remained in their own lands. Only in the final captivities of Israel and Judah did God allow foreign armies to successfully invade Israel and Judah and remove their people from the Promised Land.
Overwhelmingly, biblical precedents show that, when God is angry at His people for disobedience, He allows foreigners to oppress the Israelites while they remain in their own land...
Many American businesses and properties are being bought up by foreign nations and businesses, and this supposed investment of foreigners in America is actually a hidden form of foreclosure while ownership (and control) of American assets and properties is steadily transferred into foreign hands...
The Bible predicts that a beast power will arise in the latter days that will dominate “all kindreds, tongues and nations” (Revelation 13:1-7). Revelation 13:17 adds that this global power will dominate the world via its ability to control “buying and selling.”
In other words, prophecy indicates this powerful global entity will come to power through economic and commercial actions...
The current hot-button issue of immigration is easily explained when one understands the prophecy of Revelation 18. The merchants of the earth want ever cheaper labor for jobs in the U.S.A., and they benefit from millions of illegal immigrants pouring into this country across the porous U.S.-Mexican border. Because their workers are illegal, the megabusinesses of Babylon the Great can oppress them in low-paid jobs that act to pull down the wage scale all across the United States (further benefiting the global corporations)...
Some readers, mindful of Revelation 18:4’s statement about coming out of Babylon, may think they are obligated to forsake all banking services and the many other aspects of a capitalistic economy.
To do that completely, one would need to live off the land as a backwoods survivalist.
But is this reaction necessary?
This author thinks not. We need a balanced approach...
What, then, is expected of us in coming out of Babylon?...
All borrowers become servants to their lenders. The greater your debt levels, the more you become an “indentured servant” to moneylenders in Babylon’s capitalist system. It is ironic that much of people’s servitude to Babylon the Great’s debtbased system is voluntary! Has any moneylender ever held a gun to your head and ordered you to borrow money for something? People voluntarily choose their degree of servitude to Babylon the Great’s system, based on how deeply
they go into debt...
Many people have chosen a high degree of debt-servitude to Babylon the Great by buying an expensive house they just had to have or a luxury car that some advertiser said they deserved...
Babylonian capitalism has no desire to kill you in a death camp, but it can make financial slaves of people by loaning money at interest...
Christians must not set their hearts on the numerous and complex financial options of today’s Babylon the Great system (which will collapse at the end of our age)...
When people are fully captive to Babylon the Great, they will again cry out for a deliverer. You can read about the deliverer’s arrival in Revelation 19:11-21.
I cannot believe that The Journal allowed so much of its issue 109 to be devoted to this absurd article. Having read the entire article, it somewhat seems like Steve Collins is teaching that there will be no military invasion, no disease epidemics, apparently none of the four horseman, none of the horrors exceeding WWII, but that those who are out of debt and presumably have inflation resistant assets (precious metals come to mind) will have little to fear as this "tribulation"--the one that Jesus said would be the worst of all time (see Matthew 24:21)--because they avoided debt when they could.
As I wrote before, those who do not believe that there will be a European-led Beast power that makes a deal with the Vatican will do so to their own peril. The Bible does warn that there will be people who are not interested in the truth, but some will prefer those who speak "smooth things" (Jeremiah 12:6; Romans 16:18), which is what this certainly sounds like.
Any who wishes to follow the Steve Collins fairy tale will have to re-interpret James 5:1-3 which clearly shows that having money and thinking you know how to handle it will not protect any one in the last days:
Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.
And while S. Collins might say this verse shows that the ignorant rich will suffer, I believe that since the letter of James is essentially addressed to church brethren, James is clearly teaching that money will not save one from what will happen.
An article that those interested in the truth may wish to read is Laodicean Warning for God's People, which incidentally, was published in The Journal years ago.
Here is a link to the front and back pages of the current edition of The Journal www.thejournal.org/issues/issue111/jf063006.pdf
08/13/06 a.m. I have often been asked for PCG's position and rationale for not allowing its members to fellowship even with relatives if they are non-PCG COG supporters. Here is what Gerald Flurry wrote:
Greetings, ministers and wives!
I want to clarify the Philadelphia Church of God’s policy on contact with disfellowshiped family members. This issue has not been clear among all our ministers and members. We need to become more unified on it.
Around 1985, Joseph Tkach spoke of a couple in the Church who had some family members disfellowshiped, and he told them that they were to sever their relationship with those people and not to fellowship with them. He told Mr. Armstrong about this situation publicly, and Mr. Armstrong agreed with him publicly.
Notice 1 Corinthians 5:9-11: “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators [speaking spiritually]: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother [speaking of somebody in the Church] be a fornicator [again, this could be referring not just to physical fornication, but spiritual sins as well] or covetous or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one not to eat.”
God is saying that when fornicators, covetous, idolators, railers, drunkards, extortioners and those with spiritual problems have to be put out of the Church, the rest of us should not keep company with them or eat with them. We are not to fellowship or socialize with them. Certainly there might be an emergency in the family where you might be needed to work out the details of a will or something similar; it is all right to deal with them on that level. But we must keep in mind what God has said.
We have had members in the pcg who have been taken out because they violated this plain command.
We are living in the fearsome time the Apostle Peter spoke of in 2 Peter 2:1-3, the time of “false prophets also among the people” and “false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,” when “the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” Peter warned that “through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you”! This is talking about people who had been close friends and even family members! Satan is influencing minds, and he will use any means he can to reach those in the inner court. In commanding us to avoid the Laodiceans, God is trying to protect His people from predators!
Satan is subtle, and he knows how to use people to destroy you...
2 Thessalonians 3:6 reads, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” Certainly all the Laodicean groups are walking disorderly. They’re not walking after the traditions given us by God’s government through Mr. Armstrong.
We have to look upon people that are in the Laodicean churches as being disfellowshiped. Revelation 11:1-2 says they’ve been cast out; they have been put out of the Church of God. We must not keep company or fellowship with them by going to restaurants and things like that. In the past, some members have been told that these relationships are okay as long as religion is not discussed. That is not what God says. Scripture makes it clear that there should be a complete cut-off.
“And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother” (verses 14-15). I know it is painful to cut off contact with family.
(Flurry G. Pastor General's Report. December 10, 2005 • Vol. 2, No. 39).
Let me comment here that 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 is referring to brethren who are committing physical fornication, not spiritual fornication. Gerald Flurry apparently has trouble with understanding that book of the Bible (as well as others)--he should read the context.
In addition, it appears that Gerald Flurry is trying to say that all non-PCG members in any COG, are by definition, disfellowshiped.
For those not in any COG (or even for those that are), let me state that Gerald Flurry is NOT following the Bible nor normal COG practices in this regard. Herbert Armstrong specifically fellowshiped with those that were in the Church of God, Seventh Day (CG7) , and allowed members of the church to attend CG7 services when no other services were available. The fact that he once determined that the members of one family should avoid certain ones who have been disfellowshiped is not the same as what Gerald Flurry has done.
Gerald Flurry is a legend in his own mind, and apparently has many misled by his PERSONAL, not COG, teachings. It is sad.
Further down in the article he also wrote:
Avoiding the Laodiceans also puts a message across to them that they are influenced by the devil, and need to repent.
There are, however, a couple of exceptions to this principle. In the case of a mate in a Laodicean Church or one who left the pcg, that relationship should be preserved as long as the mate is “pleased to dwell with” (1 Corinthians 7:10-14). But if that mate becomes hostile and stirs up contention, it should be cut off.
Wherever there is hostility, you must cut off every tie. Sometimes that hostility can be very subtle.
There is also the case of unbaptized children (or those not validly baptized) who have left the Church. Mr. Armstrong, for example, had a relationship with his daughter—and he believed she never was converted, and the fruits were there to prove that. As long as they were unconverted, we can have a relationship there—but we do have to be awfully careful. We may have to make a judgment about someone’s conversion in a few cases, but we don’t want to use that as a cop-out either. If your children have been baptized and left, that relationship should be severed.
We must obey God’s command.
I believe this is Gerald Flurry's command he wants obeyed. The Bible NEVER says that it is wrong to fellowship with Laodiceans (and at best, there are some of those in PCG, and at this stage, probably no true Philadelphians). The Bible never says to disfellowship someone outside of your fellowship, simply because they are not part of a particular corporate church.
Gerald Flurry also added:
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). In an article titled “If One Is Disfellowshiped, Which Family Comes First?” Mr. Armstrong commented on this verse: “It does not say all except members of your flesh and blood family. It speaks of any who has been a Church member. And it says avoid them. It’s a command, and if we try to be more kind, more righteous than God and disobey that command, we convict ourselves of disobedience of God’s command” (Good News, April 1980). He concluded by discussing Matthew 10, which says we must love our father and mother less than God.
I don’t think there would be a difference between a marked person and one who is disfellowshiped.
Gerald Flurry may not think that there should be a difference, but the Bible does distinguish between both. And more importantly from the perspective of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert Armstrong did. He did not forbid contact with the disfellowshiped--they basically were not allowed to attend services until their personal problem was resolved. This is once again another change from PCG.
Note to those unfamiliar: Someone may be disfellowshipped for misconduct (like Paul had happen to the individual involved with his step-mother in I Corinthians). Some one tends to be "marked" if they "cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned". Marking is usually restricted to individuals who intentionally are trying to cause doctrinal problems, not one who may simply hold opinions that differ from the majority of the brethren (Paul concurred with this difference, see Romans 14).
On other matters, a reader, yesterday, showed me a link to an article which was apparently written by Herbert Armstrong's long-time aid, Aaron Dean. Here are some related comments:
Some have brought up certain comments by Aaron Dean as an excuse to not place their top priority on proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom to the world as a witness. Some apparently believe that since Aaron Dean now claims to have penned HWA's last letter, that this means that God did not intend for the church to first try to get the gospel out as a witness, but instead the focus should be to get the bride ready. Here is some of what Aaron Dean apparently wrote on November 23, 2005:
FYI, the simple answer is I did write his last letter for him - in his style of course. He was too weak to even dictate. I did read it to him however, and told him it wouldn't go out unless I knew he understood it. He squeezed my hand, and added a couple words, so I knew he got it. It was the truth as I knew it, and I felt we needed a send off more than "I did the work, so hang on till Christ comes". He really felt he had done the commission and that the purification of the bride was to be next. He didn't expect a great work to continue...I had asked if he could prove from scripture that that part of the work had been done, and he replied, "no"...
The simple truth is that the Bible supports that the work of the Philadelphians was to continue to the end and this is what HWA's church always had taught.
So now, using Aaron Dean, those who are opposed to the Philadelphia work, will cite his letter as proof that they can ignore the Bible and what the old WCG stood for. The fact that Aaron Dean has been on the Council of Elders of the United Church of God for years (a group that historically has placed a lessor priority on proclaiming the gospel than the old WCG) and has stated, "Personally, I think God is preparing the bride" (same letter) does not change what was previously written, nor the Bible.
Certainly God is preparing the bride, but to do that without placing a priority on proclaiming the gospel as a witness leads to a selfish, not Philadelphian bride.
The plain truth is that I believe that God Himself wanted what was in HWA's last letter to be in that letter.
I also personally have spoken to Aaron Dean about HWA's 01/10/86 letter on more than one occasion. And that was the last letter approved by HWA. And that, I believe is what God wanted remembered. The fact that HWA had some possible doubts at the end of his life on the future direction of the church (recall that he appointed J. Tkach) does not change any of the facts. Even John the Baptist had some possible doubts at the end of his life about Jesus being the Messiah (Matthew 11:2-3)--but that also did not change the fact that true believers were to follow Jesus.
Those who are relying on Aaron Dean's account as an excuse for the true church to not proclaim the gospel are plainly in error. The record of the Bible and the writings of HWA that have been preserved clearly teach that the top priority of the Philadelphia portion of the church of God is to continue to have the Philadelphia work--the work of going through the open door to proclaim the gospel. Would those that think otherwise teach that John the Baptist's followers should have rejected Jesus for the doubts that John raised at the end of his life?
Of course not!
Herbert Armstrong clearly wrote that the commission to the Church was to proclaim the gospel and "to provide the first actual harvest of mortal human beings" (Mystery of the Ages, pp.206, 232). How can this be done if the gospel is not being proclaimed? Mr. Armstrong also wrote,
God has given his Church dual responsibility: 1) 'Go ye into all the world' and proclaim the good news--announcement--of the coming kingdom of God. 2) 'Feed my sheep'. But in feeding the 'sheep', developing in them God's spiritual character, God has given them their part in supporting, backing up, the great commission: 'Go ye in into all the world' (Mystery of the Ages, p.265).
At least four times in the Mystery of the Ages chapter titled, Mystery of the Church, Herbert Armstrong quotes or alludes to portions of Matthew 28:19-20. He never says that dual responsibility is finished or that he finished either part.
I have added most of the above, and some other statements, to the article Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work?
Of course, since the Laodiceans do not have the same work as the Philadelphians, they will not see it the same as those of us who see the importance of proclaiming the gospel do.
Speaking of yesterday, the following was in the news:
Lebanon peace deal is agreed
WORLD leaders today unanimously approved a resolution to end fighting in Lebanon, as Israel continued to launch airstrikes on Hezbollah militant strongholds. http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1174642006
The above reminds me of the following:
They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying, 'Peace, peace!' When there is no peace (Jeremiah 6:14, NKJV).
Whatever peace deal is agreed to, the reality is that it will not lead to real peace.
LCG reported the following news items:
Can The World Risk Placing Sanctions on
? Will Iran really turn off the oil, if the United Nations imposes sanctions? Speaking in Iran , Ali Larijani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, said regarding cutting oil exports: “We do not want to use the oil weapon. It is them who would impose it upon us.” (Guardian Tehran , August 7; Associated Press, August 8, 2006). Larijani stated that if the West does decide on sanctions, “we will react in a way that would be painful for them… Do not force us to do something that will make people shiver in the cold.” If UK Iranfails to cease its enrichment of uranium by August 31, the U.N. Security Council is likely to take some kind of action against . Meanwhile, as the Iranian crisis is coming to a head, Tehran Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay pipeline has been closed for repairs, reducing daily crude oil supplies by at least 2.6 percent. God warned that at the end of the age, scarcity of vital commodities would occur. “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine” (Revelation 6:6). U.S.
If You Don’t Like the Weather Now… “Although skeptics say our changing weather is just part of a natural cycle, many scientists say winter’s diminished fury here is the most visible piece of evidence in the
Midwestof global warming.” (McClatchy Newspapers [ ], July 7, 2006) Plants are blooming weeks earlier than usual, migratory birds are off schedule and the heat and drought have reduced water levels in reservoirs, lakes and streams to the lowest point in years. “Heat stress can cause chickens to quit laying eggs, dairy cows to stop producing milk and beef cattle to lose hundreds of pounds, raising the cost of eggs, milk and beef.” Leonard Krishtalka, director of the Natural History Museum at the University of Kansas, reported to the U.S. Congress that a broad review of studies indicated Earth has not been this warm in 400 years—and possibly for 2,000 years or much longer. As the soil heats up, the moisture in it will evaporate more quickly, reducing the benefit of precipitation. Because of our personal and national sins, God said, “And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron. The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed” (Deuteronomy 28:23-24). Kansas City, MO
Takes Lead in EU Military. Germany , for the first time since WWII, is leading a military force abroad. In the aftermath of WWII, Germany ’s military was limited both in size and scope. It was small and its sole focus was that of defense. In recent years, German troops have begun to play a role outside of Germany as part of larger “peace keeping” contingents alongside foreign soldiers and under foreign command. But at the European military base near Germany Potsdam, “the focus of interest is , which is providing not only the bulk of the EU contingent, but also its commander, Karlheinz Viereck— a first since the war.” (The Economist, June 29, 2006) Germany ’s military rise has long been taught by the Church. The events now taking place are setting the stage for the emergence of the Beast Power as described in Daniel 2, 7 and Revelation 13, 17. Germany
Prophetic matters continue to align themselves.
The most populous nation on the planet is the People's Republic of China. Did you know that there is evidence that the Chinese people were familiar with the accounts in the Book of Genesis up until the time of the Tower of Babel? Did you know that there is evidence of true Christianity being in China throughout some of the centuries? Did you know much about Chinese Sabbath-keepers?
Here are two brand new articles, plus an old one that I did not writ,e which provide information on God's witnesses to China. The first one of which was yesterday's sermonette in our local congregation:
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters This article provides information showing that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God's Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? And is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath?
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformattedGood News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
While this series of articles is not complete (I plan to add one or more about China in prophecy, for example), the above articles provide interesting historical information about China and portions of the Bible.
08/12/06 a.m. Last night, ICG's Mark Armstrong reported, bolding his :
The radical Islamic movement is chipping away at our freedoms, and there is no sign that we are prepared to identify or specifically scrutinize those who might actually be inclined to commit an atrocity against innocent civilians. At least not at the airport.
The theme promoted by the anti-war, anti-Bush movement all this week has been unmistakable. Have you ever noticed the phenomena of people of a certain ilk showing up on all the radio and television discussions saying the same thing? How does that happen? The theme this week goes something like this. If we could just get rid of George W. Bush, then the Muslim radicals would turn peaceful and leave us alone. The premise is blindly naïve to the point that it’s hard to imagine anyone retaining any degree of credibility after standing on such an idiotic premise. You’d have to have no recollection whatever of the past fifty years to retain such a belief.
Israel and the United States are in grave danger, more so due to the many attempts to appease the bloodthirsty factions in the Middle East. Those who want to destroy us have now (and apparently accurately) identified the United States as being weak, unable or unwilling to risk the ire of Europe and the UN in order to eliminate the gathering threat.
As a former PLO member said this week, these people will stop at nothing to bring down the United States. He indicated that they are planning and working toward a “grand finale” that will grind our nation to a halt. How do you make deals and treaties with organizations or individuals who prove time and time again every week that they are brazen and extravagant liars, knowing they are calling for and working feverishly toward our destruction?
Although the US government is to a degree allowing the terrorist threat to chip away at our freedoms, it would seem that the government, be it led by Republicans or Democrats, has slowly been chipping away at freedoms and rights that we in the US thought we had.
It is also true that the terrorists do not like the US and continue to plan to take advantage of any perceived US weakness. The King of the South does intend to eliminate Israel, and not just the tiny Judaic nation with that title.
After a long absence, Robert Kuhne has once again began updating his pcog.info mainly with documents and photos of/from PCG. The following link takes you to some Pastor General's Reports from PCG: http://www.pcog.info/PGR%20Thumbnails/index.html
Two items of specific interest may be:
Court Case Book Update
Stephen Flurry’s book about the pcg’s lawsuit with the wcg is nearing completion. As of the end of March, 21 of the 26 chapters were completed, with about half of the book edited. Fact checking has begun, and officials are looking into how the book can be distributed commercially. The book should be finished and ready to distribute before the end of summer. Meanwhile, more excerpts may be added to the Trumpet magazine. Please continue to pray for God’s inspiration on the book as well as open doors for its distribution.
The other item of interest was related to PCG's income and what it does with third tithe. PCG reported a 2005 income of $12,557,254. It reports that it spends relatively little on the field (Field $ 1,338,019.26 10%) or for church assistance.
The following is in the updated version of the Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God article:
In October 2004, Robert Kuhne reported, "Although the PCG still teaches its members to pay the third tithe (RV July/August 2004, pg. 28), a member who was seeking third tithe assistance recently told us that Ron Frasier personally told him "the church has discontinued that program."And a former PCG minister confirmed to us that the PCG does not distinguish between first, second, and third tithe, but treats them all the same to support "the work," which of late has been the construction of beautiful homes for the inner circle PCG ministry. Construction of an auditorium is also soon to start."
Actually, a chart of how 2005 income was spent by PCG was in the PCG Pastor General's Report dated April 8, 2006. The chart shows, "Assistance $ 79,502.11 1%". Although the chart rounds this "Assistance" to 1% of expenditures, it actually is less than 2/3 of one percent of PCG's income. Thus this seems to confirm Robert Kuhne's earlier report. PCG apparently collects third tithe, but does not seem to distribute it as the old WCG did.
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Volume 10, issue 17 COG writer B. Thiel (c) 2006