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02/25/07 a.m. Two nights ago, I saw a short DVD presentation by CEM's Ron Dart titled Islamists. This may have been the first time I have ever actually heard him speak (though I have read a lot of his writings). Anyway, in that presentation which is from a 2005 seminar in Lexington, KY., he raises the fact that he is questioning some of what the COG has long taught about prophecy. But he then states that the only way the COG scenario can come to pass is if there is some type of war or uprising that will result in Moslems leaving Europe.

While that is NOT THE ONLY WAY, I will state here that yes, I believe that is what will happen. Furthermore, though he did not mention it, generally accepted private prophecy of the Roman Catholics' state that there will be civil wars in Europe that will lead to the rise of a Great Monarch. And other Catholic prophecies state that the Great Monarch will drive the Moslems out.

One that I have found of interest would be:

Rudolph Gekner (died 1675). "A great prince of the North with a most powerful army will traverse all Europe, uproot all republics, and exterminate all rebels. His sword moved by Divine power will most valiantly defend the Church of Jesus Christ. He will combat on behalf of the true orthodox faith, and shall subdue to his dominion the Mahometan Empire. A new pastor of the univeral church will come from the shore (of Dalmatia) through a celestrial prodogy, and in simplicity of heart adorned with the docrtrines of Jesus Christ. Peace will come to the world." (Cited in Connor, Edward. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Manterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p.36).

The Mahometan Empire refers to an Islamic empire.

Catholic views to the contrary notwithstanding, the Bible warns about the one who does the above. Notice:

40 "At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. 44 But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. 45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him (Daniel 11:40-45).

For more information, please see the article Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation.

One of the many problems with Roman Catholicism is the emphasis of filtered "tradition" over the Bible. Because of this, Roman Catholics (as well as the Eastern Orthodox who they have some communion with) will be woefully unprepared for the fulfillment of many biblical prophecies. Lest I be seen as too hard of the Roman Catholics, even though Protestants claim Sola scriptura, they too have been affected by a variety of conflicting traditions which I am convinced will also leave them woefully unprepared for the fulfillment of many biblical prophecies.

In the future, I intend to cover a bit more on prophecy. But I would add here that to better understand how Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants have been misled, it can be important to understand what really happened in the early church. More information is included at the History of Early Christianity page as well as in the articles Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome and What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History?

False "scholars" are once again making inaccurate claims for fame. Here is one that is now in the news:

Jesus: Tales from the Crypt

Time magazine - Feb 23, 2007

Brace yourself. James Cameron, the man who brought you 'The Titanic' is back with another blockbuster. This time, the ship he's sinking is Christianity.

In a new documentary, Producer Cameron and his director, Simcha Jacobovici, make the starting claim that Jesus wasn't resurrected --the cornerstone of Christian faith-- and that his burial cave was discovered near Jerusalem. And, get this, Jesus sired a son with Mary Magdelene.

No, it's not a re-make of "The Da Vinci Codes'. It's supposed to be true...

Ever the showman...Cameron is holding a New York press conference on Monday at which he will reveal three coffins, supposedly those of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene.

News about the film, which will be shown soon on Discovery Channel, Britain's Channel 4, Canada's Vision, and Israel's Channel 8, has been a hot blog topic in the Middle East...Here in the Holy Land, Biblical Archeology is a dangerous profession.

This 90-minute documentary is bound to outrage Christians and stir up a titanic debate between believers and skeptics. Stay tuned. http://time-blog.com/middle_east/

Of course, those that do not wish to believe the Bible is true like the spotlight for claiming details of it are not true. A somewhat related article of interest may be The Da Vinci Code: Some Good, Most Bad.

On other matters, LCG decided to make the following announcement:


In response to issues raised by critics regarding the announcement about Living University, we would like to mention the following facts.  We have discussed for some time the need to offer theology classes for members and youth in the Church who are scattered around the world.  Dr. Germano’s arrival in the LCG has provided an avenue to make this project possible.  He and his wife have considerable training and experience in the field of distance learning that will enable us to offer classes over the Internet.  The Germanos have been associated with the Church of God for more than forty years and have worked for years at a time with Mr. Meredith, Mr. Apartian, Mr. Ames, Dr. Winnail and others here in Charlotte.  Dr. Germano has served in various capacities with Imperial Schools and Ambassador College in Pasadena, California, and Ambassador University in Big Sandy, Texas.  He was ordained as an elder in the Worldwide Church of God in the 1980s.  He left WCG over doctrinal reasons about 1996 and served a small independent group of mainly elderly people for a number of years who met in his home in North Carolina.  Last spring, after a near-fatal illness, he contacted Mr. Meredith here in Charlotte and indicated that he and his wife would like to become part of the Living Church of God. They have considered themselves part of the Living Church since then and have attended with us since last summer.  Dr. Germano has stated that he is in full agreement with the doctrines of the Living Church of God. 

Prior to contacting us about becoming part of LCG, Dr. Germano had no knowledge of our discussions about the need for an educational program.  Shortly after one of our executive discussions here in Charlotte, Dr. Winnail visited the Germanos on his way to a Church visit in Knoxville.  Upon seeing what Dr. Germano was doing with a distance learning course that he was planning to teach, Dr. Winnail asked him to come to Charlotte to share his ideas and technical skills with our executive team.  The concept of a Living University offering online classes was the result of several months of discussion and planning.  The potential of this new project looks exciting. 

As alluded to at this page before, LCG has been planning for some time on doing something like this for its members, younger people, and yes, potential ministers. I believe that LCG has found apparently the most practical, and cost-effective, way to allow its members to receive further theological training. As there are probably at least four or more years until the end, I expect that Living University will help LCG become more ready for the final phases of the work.

02/24/07 a.m. Last night ICG's Mark Armstrong reported:

If you’ve been keeping up with the news this week, you know that another UN deadline for Iran to cease its uranium enrichment has just passed, and that Ahmadinejad has responded with predictable defiance.  As we’ve mentioned previously, Iran is busily installing some 3000 centrifuges to enrich uranium on an industrial scale.  This, some experts have declared, will give Iran the ability to produce at least a few nuclear weapons per year.  Ahmadinejad always retorts that the nuclear program is strictly for civilian energy purposes, but then again, the philosophy he embraces regards lying and treachery toward us infidels as a virtue

On a somewhat related note are two news items this morning:

Israel seeks all clear for Iran air strike Telegraph - Feb 24, 2007

Israel is negotiating with the United States for permission to fly over Iraq as part of a plan to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.To conduct surgical air strikes against Iran's nuclear programme, Israeli war planes would need to fly across Iraq. But to do so the Israeli military authorities in Tel Aviv need permission from the Pentagon.A senior Israeli defence official said negotiations were now underway between the two countries for the US-led coalition in Iraq to provide an "air corridor" in the event of the Israeli government deciding on unilateral military action to prevent Teheran developing nuclear weapons."We are planning for every eventuality, and sorting out issues such as these are crucially important," said the official, who asked not to be named."The only way to do this is to fly through US-controlled air space. If we don't sort these issues out now we could have a situation where American and Israeli war planes start shooting at each other."As Iran continues to defy UN demands to stop producing material which could be used to build a nuclear bomb, Israel's military establishment is moving on to a war footing, with preparations now well under way for the Jewish state to launch air strikes against Teheran if diplomatic efforts fail to resolve the crisis.

The pace of military planning in Israel has accelerated markedly since the start of this year after Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, provided a stark intelligence assessment that Iran, given the current rate of progress being made on its uranium enrichment programme, could have enough fissile material for a nuclear warhead by 2009. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=EVOXYL2X0DPWXQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2007/02/24/wiran124.xml

American armada prepares to take on Iran

Telegraph - Feb 24, 2007

It is four and a half acres of American power in the middle of the Arabian Sea but the influence of USS Dwight D Eisenhower stretches for hundreds of miles.

The aircraft carrier, backed by its sister vessel, a handful of destroyers and a shoal of support ships, has placed a maritime ring of steel around an increasingly unstable region...

While the Eisenhower is ostensibly assisting US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is the looming threat of Iran that increasingly occupies its attention.Recent tensions between America and Iran over Teheran's attempts to develop a nuclear weapon have raised the prospect of its third regional war in a decade.

The addition of a second aircraft carrier to its strike groups has fuelled the belief that America is gearing up for a fight with Iran. Not since the Iraq war in 2003 has America amassed so much fire power around the Gulf. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=EVOXYL2X0DPWXQFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2007/02/24/wiran24.xml

Since I disagree with PCG regarding Iran (they claim Iran is the Future King of the South), I believe something will happen with Iran. But do not know who or how Iran will be dealt with this year.

On a related note, Bruce Porteus (former WCG member in New Zealand) in his newsletter provides his opinion:

The USA and Britain is being sucked into a fatal war with Iran – a war which will trigger off a sequence of events with disastrous consequences to these two nations.  It will reshape the geo-political landscape of the world.  President Bush is sincere when he says he does not want war with Iran, but the USA is been drawn into one regardless.  As a result of the folly of invading Iraq, the Western media assumes that President Bush also wishes to attack Iran.  This time, it is not the US who wishes war, but Iran.  The current situation is quite different to the events that lead up to the illegal invasion of Iraq...

A war with the USA will cause massive destruction to Iran military capacity, but it will even be more damaging strategically to the USA military and economically.  The USA military, already over-stretched with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, does not have the reserves to wage a long war.  Even worse, the war with Iran will be the final breaking point of the US economy.  This war will lead to a lack of confidence in the US economy.  Already massively in debt, partly as a result of the quagmire in Iraq, the USA is in no position financially or military to become involved in another Middle East conflict. 

War with Iran will see oil prices go through the roof, crippling the debt-ridden global financial markets, causing wide-spread financial panic, and a massive sell-off of over-inflated global assets.  It will trigger a run on those currencies that have become depended on borrowing from Asia to finance their deficits (especially the US dollar), and result in their total collapse. 

Panic withdrawal by international investors from US banks will quickly follow, drying up bank liquidity, forcing banks to cease all lending and calling up loans as the fall due.

While the US economy will ultimately collapse, I do not believe it is yet (though Iraq and potentially Iran almost certainly hasten the day.

The following news item was of interest:

Cheney voices concerns on Chinese army

Financial Times - February 23 2007

China’s military expansion and recent missile testing are ”not consistent’’ with its stated peaceful objectives, Dick Cheney, the US vice president, said in Sydney on Friday.During a visit to Australia, Mr Cheney noted that Beijing had been sending mixed messages, but welcomed its role in securing a recent six-party agreement with North Korea to suspend its nuclear programme in return for economic concessions. Mr Cheney said: “The regime in Pyongyang has much to prove, yet this agreement represents a first hopeful step towards a better future for the North Korean people.”

Concerning China‘s recent test of its capacity to destroy satellites, as well as the increase in the size of its military, Mr Cheney said: “(They) are not consistent with China‘s stated goal of a peaceful rise.’’ He added: “We hope China will join us in our efforts to prevent the deployment and the proliferation of deadly technologies, whether in Asia or in the Middle East.” http://www.ft.com/cms/s/d7c0aa9e-c2ec-11db-9e1c-000b5df10621.html

Irrespective of what the objectives of China's military are, Bible prophecy shows that its military will be used. Please see the article China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 3: China in Prophecy

The following would be more humorous if it wasn't true:

KFC asks for Pope's blessing of new sandwich ABC 7 News, Chicago - Feb 22, 2007 Kentucky Fried Chicken is asking the Pope's blessing for its new fish sandwich. The Fish Snacker sandwich went on sale this week.  KFC's president sent a letter to Pope Benedict asking for his personal seal of approval for its Fish Snacker sandwich as an appropriate meal for lent.  The Vatican has only confirmed that it has received the request. http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=consumer&id=5060044 

Speaking of the Vatican, a longtime reader of this page put together the following:

[T]he ground near an Italian Volcano called "Campi Flegrei" (near Naples) is rising and may indicate an imminent eruption.  Because of the high population density, it is one of the most dangerous volcanic areas in the world.

Rome and the Vatican region of Italy are surrounded by volcanoes.  Revelation 18:8 may indicate Rome's demise via volcanic activity: "She [Babylon] will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her".  Interestingly, the volcanic area just north of Rome is called "Sabatini", where "Sabato" is Italian for "Saturday".  Will the Sabbath destroy Rome ?   

Italian Surnames:  SABATO, SABATINI, SABATACCI, SABATINO, SABATELLA: From the first name Sabato,

Sabatino = Saturday, given at times to children born on said day of the week.

Although I have been to Vatican City several times (to see some photos, please go to Joyce's Photos of Rome), I had not realized how vulnerable it is to volcanic eruption.

On other matters, I made major updates to the article The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats. Here are only part of two of the many additions:

Here is how J.P. Green's Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (a standard scholarly reference) literally translates Mark 7:18-19:

Do you not perceive that everything having entered from the outside into the man is not able to defile him? (This is) because it does not enter into his heart but into the belly, and goes out through the toilet bowl, purging all the foods...

In many translations of Revelation 18:2, several words are not being translated and the part about unclean beasts is often missing...

Revelation 18:2 in somewhat normal English should be literally translated as:

And he cried with a strong voice, mightily saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every unclean spirit, and a cage of every unclean bird and a cage of every unclean and hateful beast."

If you have not read The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats before, or have not read it within the past fews days, you may wish to read it as it had major portions added to it Thursday and Friday of this week.

02/23/07 a.m. I received a report that Thursday's Wall Street Journal

...reported that with China’s central bank sitting on a stash of $1.07 trillion in foreign currencies, officials are considering a change in its investment strategy that could lead China to decrease its holding in dollar-denominated investments.And that means one thing: a dramatic downward pressure on the U.S. dollar.

While some of that will happen, there are still some positives about the US economy as the following story shows:

Gas Hydrate Project Could Unlock Vast Energy Resource In Alaska

Science Daily - Feb 22, 2007

Drilling is complete on an Alaskan North Slope well, cofunded by the Department of Energy, that could prove to be an important milestone in assessing America's largest potential fossil energy resource: gas hydrate. 

Gas hydrate is an ice-like solid that results from the trapping of methane molecules - the main component of natural gas - within a lattice-like cage of water molecules. Dubbed the "ice that burns," this substance releases gaseous methane when it melts.

The size of the global gas hydrate resource is staggering, holding more ultimate energy potential than all other fossil fuels combined, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). In the United States, where gas hydrate occurs beneath the permafrost of Alaska's arctic north and below the seabed offshore, the volume of this resource is massive. USGS estimates that the Nation's gas hydrate deposits contain 200,000 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas. Compare this with a known recoverable natural gas resource of approximately 1,500 Tcf. If just one percent of the gas hydrate resource could be rendered producible, our Nation's natural gas resource base would more than double. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/02/070221180908.htm

I suspect between the above and the massive oil discovery in the Gulf, these and similar events will for the time being help prevent a collapse of the US dollar, although my reading of biblical prophecy shows that ultimately there will be a major collapse (but probably not in the next couple of years).

On other matters, for at least February 2007, the COGwriter article Polycarp of Smyrna has become much more popular with readers without a COG background that those with one. Since the old Church of God, Seventh Day, the old Worldwide Church of God, and current COG groups (including the Living Church of God) have traced church history through Polycarp of Smyrna, this may be an article you may wish to view.

An article of related interest may be Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome. There are many articles of historical and doctrinal interest at the History of Early Christianity page.

The following news item was of interest:

Oil States Plan Weapons Buying Binge

Associated Press - Feb 21, 2007

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Deep fears about the war in Iraq and growing tension between the United States and Iran are driving the wealthy oil states of the Persian Gulf to go on shopping sprees for helicopters, ships and tanks, officials say.

Some 900 weapons makers and security firms from around the world, including the U.S. and Russia, will compete for those military buys at the IDEX military show that opens Sunday in Abu Dhabi. At stake are contracts predicted to soar past the $2 billion signed at the last such show two years ago.

"The shopping lists are directly correlated to the threat perception," said military analyst Mustafa Alani of the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center. "For the past 15 years, these countries didn't invest a lot in rearming."

But now they're rushing to upgrade.

The biggest fear in the region is that Iraq will collapse into civil war and its violence will spill into nearby Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, Alani said. http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,126057,00.html?ESRC=dod-bz.nl

Whether or not the USA gets involved with Iran, the king of the South must improve its arms in order for it to feel it can push at the king of the North.

02/22/07 a.m. This morning's news reports earthquakes in New Zealand:

Fairfax Digital - Feb 22, 2007

A flurry of earthquakes had Aucklanders running into the streets as their houses shook last night.

The three quakes were the largest in New Zealand's biggest city since 1970. They occurred in the space of three hours centred about 30km east of Orewa, north of Auckland.  GNS Science said they were widely felt because of their shallow nature. The first, measuring 3.7 on the richter scale, occurred at 8.20pm at a depth of 6km, the second 40 minutes later measured 4.5 at depth of 15km.

The last and biggest at 11.23pm measured 3.8 and had a focal depth of 7km.  http://www.stuff.co.nz/3970550a10.html

Jesus warned about earthquakes in diverse places (Matthew 24:7).

WCG reported:

Basil Wolverton honored

Jan. 23 was the 150th anniversary of the incorporation of Vancouver, WA. The Columbian newspaper ran a special section regarding Vancouver’s history, including biographies of the dozen most “Notable Names, Famous Faces.” Basil Wolverton was included in a list with President Ulysses S. Grant, Willie Nelson, General George C. Scott and others. Basil was an original member and elder in the Vancouver congregation. The Columbian occasionally runs political cartoons drawn by Basil’s son, Monte, who works for Plain Truth Ministries.The article read:

He never had an art lesson, but Basil Wolverton parlayed a natural talent for drawing into national prominence. In describing his style, Wolverton said, “I realize my drawings tend to turn delicate stomachs, but I kind of consider myself one of the tops in the horror-comic field.” Wolverton was born in Oregon in 1909 and spent most of his life in Vancouver before his death in 1978.

Cartoonist Al Capp had a running gag in his L’il Abner comic strip, a character named “Lena the Hyena.” She was billed as the world’s ugliest woman, too repulsive to be pictured. Capp invited artists to submit their interpretations of Lena, and in 1946, Wolverton beat 500,000 other artists for the horrific honor.

In 1991, Wolverton was inducted into the American comics industry’s hall of fame. Wolverton penned comic books, created magazine covers and did artwork for a wide-range of publications, including Life, Mad and—in a real display of his versatility—a history of the Old Testament [The Bible Story].”

I remember his illustrations in WCG's old The Bible Story (many volumes of which our family still has).

Christianity Today reports:

Anti-Conversion Bill Becomes Law in North India State

Christian Today - Feb 21, 2007

On 19 February, the governor of Himachal Pradesh state, Shri Justice Vishnu Sadashiv Kokje, gave his assent to the anti-conversion law passed by the state legislature on 29 December 2006. The bill has now passed into law.

Himachal Pradesh is a mostly mountainous state in northern India.

Minority groups had expressed grave concern that the ‘Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2006’ was passed by the secular Congress Party, after similar laws were passed and strengthened in states ruled by the Hindu fundamentalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) last year.

Not only is the above pathetic, it also reminds me of Orwell's 1984 as the anti-religious freedom law is titled as the ‘Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2006’ . http://www.christiantoday.com/article/anticonversion.bill.becomes.law.in.north.india.state/9639.htm

Yesterday, Alan Ruth of BibleStudy.org reported:

In 2006 close to 2.1 million people, a phenomenal rise of 47% above the previous year, visited BibleStudy.org.  These searchers for what the Bible teaches requested 5.7+ million Bible study materials (a 20% increase) during the year. Additionally, last year the site's hard working team of twelve mature Christians, known as the Email Evangelists, handled 1,142 questions from the public.  Since September 2002 the Web site has processed 5,916 visitor submitted questions. 

So far this year God has blessed the site with a still further increase in its outreach.  Year-to-date BibleStudy.org is up 15% in number of visitors compared to the same period last year.

As of yesterday, that website had an Alexa ranking of 246,724, making it one of the more popular "independent" COG-type sites.

02/21/07 p.m. I noticed a variety of inaccurate statements about Dr. Mike Germano posted at the AW site (there were also a couple of inaccurate slams against me, that I will let slide at this time). Anyway, to set the record straight, after prayer, repentance, and study, Dr. Germano and his wife began attending LCG last June. He is not yet on LCG's payroll, though he is to be soon. Hence comments suggesting him coming to LCG only two months ago and being on the payroll since then are in error. Dr. Germano personally told me in January that he accepts what LCG teaches, including everything in LCG's Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs. He came to LCG as a member, and not currently an LCG elder.

I have spent a decent amount of time with Dr. Germano this year (but not really before, and hence am not trying to indicate that I had anything to do with his coming to LCG) and am looking forward to his contributions to LCG in general and Living University in particular. Interestingly, Dr. Germano and I both have degrees from two of the same schools as we both graduated from the University of La Verne and the University of Southern California--though we did not attend the schools together. He and I once had a some communication a few years ago when I was doing research on binitarianism, which became the article Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning. He believes that LCG is the only COG really continuing the work that God did through HWA, and I agree.

Three articles of possibly related interest 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?
The Philadelphia Church Era
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God?

02/21/07 a.m. In his latest letter, CBCG's Fred Coulter reports:

This mailing includes the year-end CBCG Website Report from Ron. Combined with his report is a year-by-year comparison of Website activity from 2002-2006.  As you can see, activity during those five years has increased tenfold! The January 2007 report is included as well, showing a dramatic increase over January 2006. It is quite apparent that God is leading people to utilize our Website.  We are constantly receiving emails and letters from brethren and newcomers who frequent the CBCG Website.

Many COG sites are reporting increases in website activity. According to Alexa, CBCG's website ranks 652,829, this compares to 250,391 for the COGwriter site (the lower the number, the more popular it is per Alexa--COGwriter appears to be the most popular pro-COG one-person website, but is also more popular than all but a few COG group websites).

Legacy Institute's latest letter arrived last night. In it, Leon Sexton wrote that they are to have 7 graduate in their third commencement exercise. He also mentioned:

...the dollar has gone down against the Thai baht over 12% in 2006.

This increases his costs. Other COGs are affected when the US dollar drops the finances most of the COGs are often based on the US dollar.

Leon Sexton also wrote:

In Malaysia, it is against the law for a Muslim to convert to Christianity. COG members in that country are either ethnic Chinese or Indian. I do not believe I need to say much to you about China. Reports come from China almost weekly of the persecutions of non-state sanctioned Christian movements.

That is certainly true of LCG in Malaysia--when we were there, all the members were Indian or Chinese. Also, we were aware of the law against conversion of Moslems.

02/20/07 a.m. CG7 reported that it had a Hispanic Convocation:

On Saturday morning, we were still rejoicing from the previous night and brothers and sisters from all over the Metroplex, Mount Pleasant, and Tyler, Texas, started filling the sanctuary to its capacity. Some of the Metroplex churches that were present: North Dallas, Dallas (Melbourne), Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, and Arlington. There were also folks from the Venice and Waco churches. They joined and rejoiced with us during this blessed meeting. Our pastor was worried, but simultaneously trusting the Lord, asking for a miracle that the food would be multiplied, because the maximum number of attendees expected, was 500. But, to our pleasure, the Lord to whom we give honor and glory, answered our prayer.

At the end of the Sabbath Day, we had almost 800 brethren in just one service! PRAISE THE LORD! The food was not only enough, it exceeded the number of people we had and everyone ate plenty--living proof of Matthew 15:37. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

That certainly is tremendous attendance.

The following news item was of interest:

German president wants churches to redouble unity efforts

ENI - Feb 16, 2007 

Wittenberg, Germany (ENI). German President Horst Köhler has called on Christian churches to redouble efforts to promote unity, warning they risk squandering their opportunities by letting differences and disputes drown out the message of their faith.

"I too strongly believe in the importance of dialogue between the various Christian denominations. But the engine of ecumenism seems to have stuttered," Köhler told 150 representatives of Europe's main Christian traditions gathered in Wittenberg, where in 1517 Martin Luther set in train the Protestant Reformation...

"Shared Communion, for example, is a major issue," Köhler noted, referring to the desire for Protestants and Catholics to share in the Eucharist, or Holy Communion, something ruled out in most cases by Catholic teaching.

Köhler said he hoped the churches in Germany, where there are roughly equal numbers of Protestants and Catholics, would help give new impetus to ecumenism...

The Wittenberg meeting is being organized by the Council of European (Roman Catholic) Bishops' Conferences (CCEE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC), which groups most Anglican, Protestant and Orthodox churches in Europe. It is one of a series of events that will culminate in September in the Romanian city of Sibiu at the Third European Ecumenical Assembly, which will gather several thousand people from Europe's main Christian traditions.

"I wish you the strength and courage to act in the spirit of ecumenism," said Köhler, quoting a prayer from Luther's collaborator, Philipp Melanchthon, calling on God to "consecrate and unite [the Church] with your Holy Spirit." The German president said, "May the Third European Ecumenical Assembly and the meeting here in Wittenberg today serve this same end."

One cannot help but wonder if having a German pontiff is also motivation for the German president.

The following news item may be a sign of things to come:

EU wants rest of world to adopt its rules

Financial Times - Feb 18, 2007

Brussels wants the rest of the world to adopt the European Union’s regulations, the European Commission will say this week.A Commission policy paper that examines the future of the Union’s single market says European single market rules have inspired global standard-setting in areas such as product safety, the environment, securities and corporate governance.“Increasingly the world is looking to Europe and adopts the standards that are set here,” the paper, seen by the Financial Times, says.

The paper calls on the EU to encourage other jurisdictions to follow suit – for example by “promoting European standards internationally through international organisation and bilateral agreements”...

“[The single market] gives the EU the potential to shape global norms and to ensure that fair rules are applied to worldwide trade and investment. The single market of the future should be the launch pad of an ambitious global agenda.” The Commission paper forms part of an ambitious review of the Union’s single market – widely seen as one of the proudest achievement of European integration. Thanks to product harmonisation, common business rules and the erosion of national trade barriers, the single market means that goods, services, capital and people can move freely among the EU’s 27 member states.http://www.ft.com/cms/s/af609b2c-bf72-11db-9ac2-000b5df10621.html 

When I read the above, the following scripture came to mind:

... that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name (Revelation 13:17).

One of the reason that I post worldly news items here is to all follow Jesus' warning:

Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning-- lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!" (Mark 13:35-37).

An article of possible interest may be Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation.

02/19/07 a.m. CG-ff now claims the open door was closed, but is now reopened. I do not believe it was ever closed (please see 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?).

CG-ff's latest is available at the GCG News page.

The following news item was of interest:

Churches back plan to Unite under Pope The Times - Feb 19, 2007

Radical proposals to reunite Anglicans with the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of the Pope are to be published this year, The Times has learnt. The proposals have been agreed by senior bishops of both churches.

In a 42-page statement prepared by an international commission of both churches, Anglicans and Roman Catholics are urged to explore how they might reunite under the Pope...

Were this week’s discussions to lead to a split between liberals and conservatives, many of the former objections in Rome to a reunion with Anglican conservatives would disappear. Many of those Anglicans who object most strongly to gay ordination also oppose the ordination of women priests.

Rome has already shown itself willing to be flexible on the subject of celibacywhen it received dozens of married priests from the Church of England into the Catholic priesthood after they left over the issue of women’s ordination.

There are about 78 million Anglicans, compared with a billion Roman Catholics, worldwide...

As the Anglicans’ squabbles over the fundamentals of Christian doctrine continue — with seven of the conservative primates twice refusing to share Communion with the other Anglican leaders at their meeting in Tanzania — the Church’s credibility is being increasingly undermined in a world that is looking for strong witness from its international religious leaders.

The Anglicans will attempt to re-solve their differences today by publishing a new Anglican Covenant, an attempt to provide a doctrinal statement under which they can unite...

The English Church broke from Rome in 1534 as part of the Reformation. The trigger in England was Henry VIII’s wish to remarry. The Pope had said that his marriage to Anne Boleyn was illegal.

Henry had been a devout Catholic. But when he turned on the Catholic Church he seized its land and cash and destroyed its religious heritage in Britain.

Centuries of suppression continued until Catholic emancipation and the restoration of the hierarchy in the 19th century.


While some Anglican leaders may reunite, I do not believe that most will, based upon my understanding of biblical and Catholic prophecy.

02/18/07 a.m. WCG made the news:

Religious Airwaves

Radio, Television Spread The Gospel, Introduce Church’s Message To New Listeners

Rocktown Weekly, Harrisonburg, VA...

In a time when communication repeatedly reinvents itself, Guthrie and other clergy in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County rely on improved technology to reach once inaccessible listeners. Electronics, they say, plays a key role in bringing the church into homes.

The Google Web site lists hundreds of radio ministries, proof of just how far religion has come since the audio medium launched such air-wave programs as the Worldwide Church of God, which began in the 1930s.

Of course, WCG was once named "The Radio Church of God" and had a major radio presence in the USA for decades. The current group, however, called the Worldwide Church of God has no real presence, nor does it teach what the old WCG or Radio Church of God taught. An article of possible interest may be Did You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made to WCG?

Groups such as CEM, LCG, PCG, and UCG are still maintain a noticeable presence on radio/television (also, there are smaller COGs with some presence).

LCG announced its new Living University. It is intended to initially and primarily offer courses via the internet.

More information is at the News of the Living Church of God page.

Click here for previous COG news (includes comments on Ambassador Auditorium, CG7 & prophecy, the OT Canon, UCG's Bible course, the Temple Mount, China & warfare, evangelicals, Valentine's day, MySpace, etc.)

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Volume 10, issue 38 COG writer B. Thiel (c) 2007