Since the November 1998 takeover of the old GCG by the board in the U.S., those once with GCG went to many places. Most of the members and ministers ultimately went with the Living Church of God (LCG), 8-15% went with the Church of God, a Christian Fellowship (CGCF) and smaller percentages ended up with David Pack's Restored Church of God (RCG), Harold Smith's Church of God Fellowship, Northwest (CGFnw), the Continuing Church of God (CCOG), and other groups (at least one which is outside the U.S. uses the term Global Church of God). On July 1, 2001, eight ministers resigned from CGCF and formed the Church of the Eternal God (CEG), similar in name, but not related, to the Eternal Church of God (ECG--founded by a minister removed from the original GCG ministry for impropriety). About a month later CGCF (USA) dissolved and most then with it ended up in the United Church of God (UCG). One former GCG minister (Ronald Laughland) became pastor of the Wholeworld Church of God. In 2004, Raymond McNair, having been in GCG, CGCF, LCG, then went on his own and formed Church of God, 21st Century (COG21); later he died and that group disbanded. Don Haney, once in GCG/LCG, formed the Church of God In Peace and Truth. In 2005, Ben Faulkner, who was in GCG/LCG, formed the Church of the Sovereign God (CotSG). In 2006, Charles Bryce who was in GCG/LCG left, and formed the Enduring Church of God (En COG). In 2010, several of the main leaders who went to UCG from CGCF left it and went to a group called COGWA. A couple of people, like Norman Edwards (Servants' News/Shepherd's Voice), left GCG well before the 1998 takeover (he has Port Austin Bible Campus). In 2013, Rod Reynolds left LCG and formed COG Messenger. On 12/15/11, a minister in good-standing with LCG anointed Bob Thiel with oil and prayed that God would grant him a double-portion of His Spirit (see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God): and things have not been the same since (Bob Thiel still, of course, supports the goals and biblical beliefs of Philadelphia era of the Church of God). Website links for most of those who were once part of GCG and that have websites can be found at the COGlinks page. In 2012, certain heresies were officially introduced, accepted, and/or promoted by LCG. After concluding that insufficient value was placed on the truth (and keeing their word) by certain leaders of LCG and that they no longer held to biblical church governance and could not as is be used to lead the final phase of the work (see also Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God), on 12/28/12 Bob Thiel was led to form, and then announced, the beginning of the Continuing Church of God (CCOG). CCOG seems to be the second or third largest group, in terms of members, of those groups whose leaders were once part of GCG (LCG is largest). This page reports on those groups that somehow once had ties to the old GCG.
12/28/17 a.m. Today marks the fifth anniversary on the Roman calendar of the official declaration of the Continuing Church of God as a separate entity. Without going into all the details, suffice it to say that LCG made it clear on December 28, 2012 that it would not keep promises to correct errors, while then putting out more false information about me personally (see also Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God). After concluding that their words and actions demonstrated further attempts towards reconciliation were futile, I informed that group I would not be part of them. Later that day, my wife, I, and some witnesses then notarized paperwork for the start of the Continuing Church of God.
To learn some of what has been happening since, here is a link to a sermon: CCOG's Five Years of Listening to God.
12/22/17 a.m. LCG's TW News & Prophecy ezine has the following today:
It has been talked about for years: a multi-speed Europe where nations opt in and out of initiatives as they wish, with those in the center moving forward quickly and powerfully to full integration and those on the periphery lagging behind. In the wake of Brexit, the EU has moved quickly with its new military alliance known as PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation). “PESCO is significant not just because it marks a push by the EU into the military sphere but also because it represents ‘multispeed Europe’ in action. Twenty-five of the EU’s current 28 members have signed up—Malta, Denmark and soon-to-depart Britain are the outsiders. But different groups of countries take part in different projects” (Politico, December 14, 2017).
LCG has been pushing the idea of a multi-speed Europe off and on for some time. Yet, PESCO does not really seem to represent that.
Only three of the 28 EU nations are not in it: The UK which is leaving the EU, Malta which is a small island country without much of a military, and Denmark are not currently part of PESCO. When I was part of the old WCG, some taught that Denmark would not remain part of the European Beast power--we will see.
For more on what will happen in Europe, as well as some LCG teachings on it, check out the article: Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?
12/15/17 p.m. Visited the website of the Church of God In Peace and Truth (COGIPAT) today. Two things that stuck out were pictures of its leader Don Haney wearing a 'prayer shawl' and the frequent use of the term Yeshua in several articles.
Prayer shawls are common with Messianic groups, and COGIPAT comes across as a blend between being a COG group and a Messianic group (more on the Messianics can be found in the article Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God).
Lately, I have being dealing with 'sacred name' questions and yesterday finished a draft article about this matter (see The Bible, Church History, and Sacred Names). Now lest some misunderstand, unlike 'sacred name' groups, COGIPAT also uses the more common names of deity in English like Jesus and God.
Sacred name groups, themselves, tend to go off the deep end and some teach a false gospel based on their improper understandings of scripture.
For more details on 'names,' check out the article: The Bible, Church History, and Sacred Names.
12/13/17 p.m. Steve Dupuie (with technical assistance from Bill Wedekind) put together a video slideshow related to the Feast of Tabernacles in 2017. Steve Dupuie has been collecting photographs and adding music and descriptions. This is now up at the ContinuingCOG channel. Here is a link: Continuing Church of God Feast of Tabernacles 2017 Slide Show.
12/03/17 p.m. Living University announced the following:
The Spring 2018 semester at Living University will be the last for its curricular programs. As we push further into the 21st century and the laws of the land become more restrictive, it is becoming more difficult for LU to function, especially in the United States. Twenty states currently prohibit us from educating their citizens and we anticipate that number will grow in the future. In this light, we have been directed to begin to wind down the efforts of Living University with the goal of concluding formal operations by the end of the Spring 2018 semester (May 2018).
- We plan to offer the courses listed in the Spring 2018 Schedule of Classes as normal.
Sadly, many who had confidence about LCG and this school have been disappointed.
11/23/17 a.m. A CG7-supporter's COG News page (he prefers his name not be mentioned) has the following:
When Roderick Meredith was in charge, it was possible for anyone to view all of LCG’s live Sabbath services, passwords being freely available.
One of Gerald Weston’s first acts was to deny access to non-members.
“We ask you, brethren, please do not share passwords outside of your area. Your pastor’s sermons are ... not for brethren across the country or around the world.”
“... these broadcasts are not be shared with others, via any media including, without limitation, public media such as Facebook, Yahoo, or Twitter, etc.”
Any sermons that are not in line with the doctrines of head office could thereby be restricted to the local area, and ‘corrected’ if needed.
Some are continuing to share on social media, so Douglas Winnail has issued another admonition to ‘Beware of False Teachers!’ ... who “come in ‘sheep’s clothing’ (smooth talking, congenial, appearing to be spiritual), but inwardly are ‘ravenous wolves’ who seek to divide and devour the flock of God ...”
In 2015 and 2016 the live services during the Charlotte Family Weekend at Christmas were open to all, but Gerald Weston has decided that in future: “this Internet broadcast is for LCG membership and you can find the password at your “MyLCG” account.”
Regarding restructuring the educational programs, there is “a member letter that you should receive soon, giving an update on new educational initiatives for the Church, as we are moving very quickly regarding this. Living University resources will be used in what we see as a comprehensive approach to serve all members.”
The Living University will continue in its current format for the time being, the ‘Spring’ semester beginning on Wednesday, January 10th.
The link provided above shows a 2016 copyright, which indicates that this happened while Dr. Meredith was alive.
But it is true that various ones in LCG have wanted to reduce access to various LCG materials and not make them available to the general public. While I was there, I had to push for LCG making its Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs public as certain ones there wanted it restricted. Although there can be a place for some restrictions, in general this type of restriction seems inconsistent scriptures like the following:
27 "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops. (Matthew 10:27)
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)
In CCOG we make our materials and videos available to the public in accordance with Jesus' teachings.
Here are links to our video channels and Statement of Beliefs:
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos. Here is a link to a short intro: ContinuingCOG Channel.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God "Contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3, NKJV), "Let brotherly love (Philadelphia) continue" (Hebrews 13:1) " &continuing stedfastly in the teaching of the apostles" (Acts 2:42 YLT). So, what does that really mean in terms of specific beliefs? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Declaración de las Doctrinas de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. Here is a related link in Tagalog: Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. Here is a related link in Mandarin Chinese ~ç~íy^v„eYOv„OáNðXðf. Here is a related link in Kiswahili: KATIKA LUGHA YA KISWAHILI. Here is a related link in Dutch: Verklaring van geloofspunten van de Continuing Church of God. Here is a related link in Deutsche (German): Glaubenserklärung der Continuing Church of God. Here is a related link in Italiano: Dichiarazione del Credo della Continuing Church of God. Here is related link in the French language: Déclaration des croyances de L’Église Continue de Dieu.
11/17/17 a.m. LCG's TW News & Prophecy ezine has the following today:
A tragedy is underway in the world’s youngest country, South Sudan. Years of warfare have brought crop destruction, starvation and resulting hyperinflation—a rise in food prices by over 280% since last year (Deutsche Welle, November 6, 2017). Food shortages have affected 4.8 million of the nation’s 12 million people. Forecasts indicate that more than a million children could be malnourished in 2018, and nearly 300,000 will be at “heightened risk of death” from a tragic situation that is totally man-made.
The South Sudanese need God’s help—and they also need righteous government!
Yes, there are problems in South Sudan. And yes, "they also need righteous government!"
But let us also consider the following:
15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. (James 2:15-18)
27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. (James 1:27)
We in the Continuing Church of God have provided funds to help assist COG brethren who live in South Sudan.
While we cannot solve all their problems, we do what we can, consistent with what the Apostle Paul wrote:
9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9-10)
And yes, we know and teach that this world needs the Kingdom of God, which is something we have helped teach some of the South Sudanese.
11/15/17 a.m. Jim Cosenza of the Continuing Church of God died today:
Kris Cosenza left ... a message saying that Jim passed away peacefully at12:30 a.m. this morning.
He had been suffering for some time.
My wife and I first met Jim and Christine at the Feast of Tabernacles in 2014 in Orlando, Florida. We also saw them again at the Feast of Tabernacles in Niagara Falls, Canada on 2015.
Jim Cosenza, seated in front row next to Joyce Thiel
A few years ago, he sent me some information about himself:
My name is James Cosenza. I prefer to be called Jim. I am married to my wife, Kris. We have been married for 46 years and have two children, David and Julie. I was born in Wallingford, Ct. and have lived in Connecticut all my life except from 1968 to 1974 when I lived in Pasadena, Calif. I have a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Connecticut and a degree in Theology from Ambassador College in Pasadena. I briefly worked for the State of Connecticut before attending Ambassador College. I worked for The worldwide Church of God as a marketing and media analysis until a health issue caused me to leave in 1974. We moved back to Connecticut as a result. Upon recover I became a real estate agent and still work as such.
I was baptized in Nov. of 1967 by a minister in WCG. I first heard Mr. Armstrong on the radio in April 1967. After studying many of his articles and booklets with the bible I became convinced God was using him and he was God’s servant.I enjoy learning about biblical doctrine and church history. My wife and I enjoy visiting our national parks. As a teen my main interest in life was sports. I played varsity football in high school and played in organized baseball until I was 22. Today I enjoy playing golf.
Jim spoke a time or so at CCOG festival sites.
Jim Cosenza giving split-sermon
Before his health took a turn for the worse, he also used to help edit posts at the COGwriter Church of God News page.
Although he did not go along with the apostasy of the Tkach WCG, he stayed with WCG/GCI longer than many. After he came in contact with CCOG, he told me he could not understand how people who used to know the truth could turn away from it as those still in GCI had done. But that type of thing was prophesied (see The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).
Jim Cosenza will be missed--but his next conscious moment will be the first resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:51-54) in the millennial Kingdom of God. We can all be grateful for that (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
My prayers go out for his family.
11/14/17 a.m. LCG's latest weekly update has the following from its presiding evangelist:
From the Presiding Evangelist
We concluded a very encouraging series of Council of Elders meetings this past week in which we affirmed the need to hold onto the biblically based traditions of the Church. However, regarding Living University, we recognize that we are at a crossroads. The current situation is that individuals in at least 20 states are not able to take online courses in Living University due to changing state laws. It is apparent that its existing structure is not able to meet the educational needs of the youth and members of the Living Church of God.
The Council of Elders has reviewed the situation, and in keeping with the clearly stated wishes of Dr. Meredith, the Council has advised that accreditation efforts be dropped, in favor of developing a more flexible, less restrictive, and more effective program to support the development of future ministers, to serve our youth, and to serve our general membership.
This has not been an easy decision as much effort has been put into Living University. Many of you have supported these efforts through your prayers and financial donations. For this we are ever grateful. However, as evidenced by the recent limitations placed on licensed universities, restrictions on conducting online classes in an increasing number of states limit our ability to serve our ministers and members.
I believe there are exciting opportunities before us regarding a variety of educational programs and I will be forming a committee next week to begin restructuring our Living Church of God educational programs to serve our ministry, our youth, and our general membership. In the meantime, classes as currently configured will continue to operate for the time being. The decision as to how we restructure will be announced in the near future. I am looking forward to explaining more about this in the weeks ahead.
In Christ’s service,
Gerald E. Weston
Since LU's inception, accreditation was a goal that LU worked to attain it. While there must have been reasons this decision was made to not pursue accreditation, this must be disappointing to students who believed and trusted LCG would insure that LU would attain it.
11/10/17 a.m. In its newsletter today, CEG had the following:
“EU ‘Regime’ Is DOOMED ‘like the Holy Roman Empire’”
Express wrote on November 4:
“The European Union (EU) will end by 2027 like the Holy Roman empire (HRE) did, argues the Brexit campaigner and author Dr Niall McCrae. The HRE was a group of Papal territories in Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages… Writing in an article for the think tank, the Bruges Group, Dr McCrae said: ‘Just as the European Union is becoming less united, the HRE was not really holy.’…
“He wrote that in 2027 the chief Brexit negotiation, Michel Barnier, and his fellow commissioners will be behaving like the ‘enlightened despots’ of the European past… He argues… that the HRE ‘ended as an embarrassment of corrupted ideals and the EU may be going the same way’.
“He said: ‘For now, the EU seems to have strength and resilience: the combined might of France and Germany… The European Council has similarities to the Empire’s old Reichstag, where the representatives of the German cities would meet…
“Earlier this year, Boris Johnson, the former Mayor of London said that history teaches us that attempts to create a unified body have always been doomed to failure. He said: ‘Napoleon, Hitler, various people tried this out, and it ends tragically. The EU is an attempt to do this by different methods. But fundamentally what is lacking is [that there] is no single authority that anybody respects or understands…’”
Although the conclusions in the article are basically wrong, some statements are quite remarkable. First, the modern EU is indeed related to the “Holy Roman Empire” (HRE)… it is becoming the last or tenth revival of the ancient Roman Empire and the seventh revival of the HRE. If we apply biblical definitions to the word “holy,” then there was indeed nothing holy about it. Furthermore, Napoleon and Hitler revived the “Holy Roman Empire” for a short time, constituting the eighth and ninth revivals. The missing “single authority” will exist in a few years from now. Finally, the last European revival of the ancient Roman Empire will not slowly disintegrate within the next ten years, but it will be suddenly and forcefully destroyed in a world war, which will be fought with nuclear weapons.
It is true that the Europeans want to resurrect something like, but larger, than the old 'Holy Roman Empire.' This final European Beast power will be eliminated when Jesus returns. That is possible for 2027 (see Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?), but we will need to see certain other events in the next three years for that to be so (see When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019?).
11/03/17 p.m. LCG sent out the following in its TW News & Prophecy - Friday, November 03, 2017:
A deceptive religious leader will be emboldened to powerfully support the coming European beast and to deceive many on earth. For more information on this future world-changing figure, be sure to watch “Who Is the Prophesied ‘Man of Sin’?”
Sadly, LCG continues to compound its prophetic errors by promoting and teaching the wrong identity of the 'Man of Sin.' That telecast it is telling people to be sure to watch, originally aired on February 18, 2015. In it, Wallace Smith incorrectly claims that "this man of sin is called the false prophet." This is biblically inaccurate.
Despite this, and other inaccuracies, in its announcements for last Sabbath, LCG had the following:
Watch Bible Prophecy! Many today recognize the world is heading down a dangerous road politically, morally and militarily. While the news media report on events and trends, reporters and commentators do not understand the real significance of what they see or where these events are leading. This is why Jesus told His disciples to stay alert and watch for the fulfillment of specific prophecies that will mark the approaching end of this age (Matthew 24). Jesus also warned in the parable of the ten virgins that many will be caught napping and unprepared by the surge of events that will precede His return to this earth (Matthew 25:1-13). God has given His Church a “more sure word of prophecy” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV) so His Church can warn the Israelite nations and the world about the real significance of both current and impending world events (Ezekiel 3 and 33). However, misguided teachers and preachers discount the importance of Bible prophecy and instead prefer to entertain and make people feel good.
The 'Man of Sin' position is one of several that the Charlotte-based LCG ministry told me was wrong (including, I believe, the LCG evangelist who wrote the above comments) and needed to be corrected when I was part of LCG.
Here is a partial list of LCG prophetic errors that LCG is still teaching that at least part of its leadership told me was in error:
Here are links that contain information, including sermons, about several prophetic items:
The reality is that unless LCG changes on many of these points, those in LCG will NOT POSSIBLY KNOW WHEN THE GREAT TRIBULATION WILL START until it is basically too late!
LCG also changed other prophetic teachings after I left. It has since wrongly taught:
LCG simply does NOT have the "sure word of prophecy." People who will listen to the truth of the Bible and properly research these matters will see so. I pray that those in LCG, including its leaders like Gerald Weston and Wallace Smith, will see the truth and change where needed.
10/25/17 a.m. The Continuing Church of God had 15 festival sites located in countries all over the world in 2017. This post has information on most of those sites.
In the USA the site was in San Diego, California.
We held services in the Bay Room at the Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina 2051 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, California 92106 Phone 619-222-0561 Fax 619-222-9760.
The hotel is located on Shelter Island, but it is connected to the rest of San Diego by roads: people simply drove to get to it. It was also fairly close to the San Diego airport, though for many people it was less expensive to fly into one of the other Southern California airports (LAX, John Wayne, Burbank, or Long Beach) and to drive south.
We had a group actiivity after services at Balboa Park.
San Diego, California, USA
For more information about this Feast site, contact Dr. Bob Thiel, email firstname.lastname@example.org
We also had a semi-video site in the Wichita, Kanasas area. Deacon Richard Close ran a limited site in Wichita, Kansas. Services on most days were at the Wichita Public Library, Evergreen Branch, 2601 N Arkansas, Wichita, KS 67204.
Deacon Richard Close reported that we had 21 people attend the site in Wichita, Kansas. Linda Holeman sent me 24 photographs of the Feast site in Wichita. Here are two of the photographs she sent:
For more information about this site, contact Richard Close, email email@example.com
Herb Haddon coordinated the site in Kingston, Ontario, which is a short distance from New York Interstate 81.
In Canada, I was sent several photos of a boating activity that about 1/2 of the festival attendees went to. So here is one of those:
Kingston, Ontario site activity
For more information, contact Herb Haddon, email firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a site in Gambella, Ethiopia.
Here is an email report we received from Ethiopia:
Dear pastors:The Feast of Last Great Day is going well here in Ethiopia. And also we are happy to heard that you are going well too. Let the world to see Our God's plan after the reign of Jesus Christ, He will save others peoples after the end of days (Millennium). ..
Deacon Koang Deng also sent the following photograph from the festival site in Ethiopia:
People from Ethiopia attended. Three from South Sudan also attended.
We have hundreds with us in Ghana. They came to us from a Church of God, Seventh-day background and are relatively new to keeping the Feast of Tabernacles.
From Ghana, Samuel Ofosu Gyeabour sent in the following report:
Greetings from Ghana to Dr. Bob and brethren in Christ of the faith once delivered. We give thanks and praises to the Almighty God for His immense guidance over the church during the Feast of Tabernacles held this year. This year’s feast was a successful one irrespective of the frustration and hardship we encountered. Your support through the grace of God made the feast a reality, may the good Lord translate your endeavours into reality.
With regards to your vision to bring Africa to the light, it promoted us to have a theme”OVERCOMING THE POWER OF DECEPTION” the reason for this theme was, deception is leading some ‘Christian’ people to the wrong path. And its our duty as children of God to enlighten them to know the truth.
During the feast, we had a health talk,that gave us an insight with regards to the recent attitude of people,and it improved in our healthy living eduction.it was our utmost wish for our theme for the feast to have a positive impact in our Christian lives. Finally i will like to apologise for the late report of the feast, I say sorry for the inconveniences if any.
I once again say we appreciate and respect your offers in the vineyard. May the God who keeps us from falling continue to be with us all. Amen.
Samuel Ofosu Gyeabour
For more information, here are the email address of two contacts we have there, the leading Pastor Samuel Ofosu Gyeabour email@example.com and an elder named Osei Bonsu firstname.lastname@example.org.
We had five Feast sites in Kenya.
The smallest site was probably Bomet. Here is a report on that:
Here is our one week Feast of Tabernacles at Bomet it began on
Wednesday 4th of October when we open out meeting with cerebration.
We have preparing best meal for our visitors. We had over 30 members
who attended on the first day. We have two lesson on the first day and
was largely on part of Feast of Tabernacles. We also had an evening
lesson to which more people attended and the house was full on Friday
more people attended and we had morning after lunch and evening
lessons. We continued doing the same until Wednesday and God bless us
and new souls were saved and we prayed for,the years feast was actually
more different from the others since we have spend allot due to big
turn up. Thank you
We received the following from Pastor Sawek in Rift Valley in Kenya:
I Greet you all in the Name of Jesus.We, the Rift Valley (Transmara, Njoro, Bomet, Mau) Members held a meeting for eight days and it turned out successful. We were blessed with Spiritual Training and Teachings.The people were filled not only Spiritually but also with the bodily satisfaction of food. They were also happy with the services and support we gave them.I thank you all, but mostly Pastor Ochieng for the planning that took place.The challenge moreover is the way the people were starved. They experience starvation and hardships in terms of conquering drought and availability of water. But we thank God that the last 2 days when the meeting was supposed to come to an end we were blessed with Rain. But there was no Water Tank for storage but with your prayers we believe we will get one soon.Our Camera Man, Joseah Kipngetich, did a great job in Photo Session however he needs a better quality camera that can take great photo and video graphics whenever we have meetings in Rift Valley next year. Also, he can really come in handy in the Photos in our Church Magazine( Continue Church of God)In the photos, you will see Pst. Sawek , the children lining up for food, the women too and the choir which sang beautiful songs of praise.Attached are the photos of how the event turned out in Transmara, Chilani Church. (Chilani Church is the headquarter of all the meeting place in Rift Valley.)God Bless you all, I’m Pastor Sawek.
Joseph Kipngetich sent the following picture related to the Feast of Tabernacles:
Chilani Transmara, Kenya
Transmara is part of Kenya.
Here is a photo related to the Feast of Tabernacles in Ndhiwa:
Festival Choir, Ndhiwa, Kenya
Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following report from Kenya:
Pastor Dr Bob,Greetings from Kenya.Wonderful feast of Tabernacles 2017 in Africa. As far as concerns the reports that I have received from all corners of Africa, the Feast of Tabernacles 2017 in Africa was well done.Ndhiwa had a nice dinner on the opening day, sermon by Evangelist Evans and opening prayer by pastor Ezekiel Oanda. The feast was every nice, full of joy and teachings. I sent pictures and videos to Steve. The attendance was 158. Both elderly and children.Five people were baptized. These are Faith Ouma from Ndhiwa congregation,Evans Mauti, Linet Mauti, from Kisii, Francis Odhiambo and Filgona Atieno from Nyakach.I received the feast reports from Right valley in four sites through pastor Sawek and pastor kosgey that the feast was very exllent in the four sites. These are Njoro Nakuru, Mau, Bomet and Chilani.I also received a wonderful reports from Granton’s and Molozwa that the feast was every nice in Malawi. I received many greetings from the two chiefs in Malawi and one chief from Mozambique who all attended the feast in Malawi. They joined the church during my last trip in both Malawi and Mozambique. I was very happy to hear that they were in the feast site for 8 days. The Continuing Church of God is highly fulfilling Mathew 28:19-20. I was very happy to hear that many brethren came from Mozambique and Zambia and Malawi.When I attended the feast in Tanzania, I received a wonderful feast of Tabernacles with 19 brethren and was well done. Today I talked with Koang Deng on phone. He told me that the feast was good. We had a network problem so we didn’t talk much.I wanted to thank you pastor for the support that made all the feast sites to move successfully. I have not hear from Samuel from Ghana. But I hope he will send his report.Evans.
After receiving that, I noticed less people than expected and asked Evangelist Evans Ochieng about that:
Pastor Dr Bob,Greetings from Kenya.It is true that people were less than last year at the feast. Pastor there is a big problem in Kenya and some brethren feared to travel. Kenya is in a big problem especially Luos and Kikuyu and Kalenjins. And part of Kisii. People are dying badly. So many people were afraid to travel. Transportation was also a big problem. The owners of the vehicle were afraid to move.Pray for the brethren in Kenya. Kenya is not safe.Evans
Please pray for the brethren in Kenya and other parts of Africa. The political situation in Kenya is still tense–plus there is always the threat from al-Shabab.
For more information on the sites in Kenya, contact Evans Ochieng, email email@example.com
We had a site in MIGOWI, Malawi. Migowi is next to Migowi Trading Centre and is located in Phalombe District, Southern Region, Malawi. Those from Mozambique also attended.
Here is some information about the Feast of Tabernacle in Malawi from Radson Mulozowa:
Greetings Pastor Bob. We Thank Almighty God For Having Granted Us A
Chance To Keep The Feast Of Tabernacle In Malawi.We Had A Wonderful
Feast I Believe Grantone Will Report. Brother Grantone Was Our Guest
And Has Given Us The Real Truth About The Kingdom. We Were Able To
Learn More Concerning The Truth Of The Bible. Among Other Topics He
Was Able To Deliver Was: Baptism, Passover, Real Repentance,
Resurrection, New Heaven And Earth To Mention Few.We Had 102 Brethren
From Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique Who Attended The Feast. We Thank You
For Both Physical And Spiritual Support That You Offered To Us For The
Success Of Our Being In The Feast From The First Day To The Last
Day.We Had Chiefs Who Attended. I Failed To Send Report Early Because
Of Poor Internet Network On My Phone. I Will Send Pictures When I Go To
Blantyre. May God Bless You
This is the first time we have had any from Zambia attend.
We were sent 24 photographs from Malawi. Here are two that Grantone Otieno sent:
We were supposed to have some last year in Mozambique, and this may be the first year any from Mozambique actually attended as CCOG Feast of Tabernacles’ site. Since many of those in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia are relatively new to the Church of God, we had Grantone Mangiana Otieno, who is a CCOG host for Migori, Kenya, go to this site in Malawi to teach and assist. Grantone Otieno has been with the CCOG since 2014 (as I met him back then in Kenya) and sent in the following report:
Dear. Pst. Bob.It is my privilege and joyous moment to share with about my trip to Malawi to lead, teach and preach our brethren over there how to conduct the FEAST OF TABERNACLE under CCOG.Brothers from both Malawi and Mozambique wee able at the feast site as early as possible. We also had a representative from Zambia. So we had a total of 100 including children.Since it was their first time to keep the Feast of Tabernacles as they claimed, it forced me to participate in giving all sermonettes and sermons to give them appropriate time to learn more. I was able to tackle as many topics as I could in accordance to the true teaching of the bible as proclaimed by CCOG under leadership of Dr. Bob Thiel as a minister and Overseer.After teaching and preaching, many from both Malawi and Mozambique were in need of baptism, since I had also covered the topics stressing of true repentance and true baptism, but explained to them to wait while continuing learning to prepare … to be able to be baptized ….later so that they may not left out to partake Lordsupper/Passover as it is the first step in God’s plan of salvation to all mankind.We had our representative Mr.Justine Gonakumoto from Zambia who was also seek to be visited because it was not possible for the members over there to travel to Malawi since they didn’t have the relevant documents. The following are some photos I could be able to take.Yours in God’sMr. Grantone Otieno.
So, this was a good development for those nations.
From Mozambique, Wedson Matiya sent the following email:
Thanks Pastor Bob For The Funds You Send Which Assisted Us To Go Go
To Malawi And Attend The Feast.We Have Learned Alot From Grantone.We
Thank God For The Wisdom That God Is Giving Our Leader Radson In
Cordinating The Work In Malawi, Mozambique And Zambia In The Way That
He Is Able To Visit Us Frequently When We Need Him.The Feast Was Well
Organised In Everything.We Have Requested Mulozowa To Visit Us So That
He Can Teach Those Who Faiied Due To Travelling Document, Your Son.
We may have sites in additional countries next year.
For more information, please contact Radson Mulozowa email firstname.lastname@example.org or Evans Ochieng, email email@example.com
In New Zealand we had services in the town of Takanini, which is just south of Auckland, is to be the location.
This is the third time my wife and I attended the Feast of Tabernacles in New Zealand--the first time was in 1987 and the second time was in 2013.
Takanini, New Zealand
For more information, contact John Hickey, email firstname.lastname@example.org; his mobile phone number is 021 519 441.
Anthony Flavell sent in some information about the Feast in the Philippines:
The Philippine Feast of Tabernacles was very successful in Bacolod and we received much spiritual Food.
There were 11 Brethren in attendance including one new Brother ... who was with Church of God cogwa but after studying our Website www.ccog.org he decided to join us.
Myself, Oscar Mediavilla and Jose Lumpay shared duties in Song Leading, Opening and Closing Prayers and me Anthony Flavell delivered 4 Sermonettes which were well received by the Brethren.
We had several Field Trips during the Week and enjoyed a number of Lunches and Dinners together.
On the Last but one day of the FOT we received a call from Dick Perlass who informed us that he and his Wife wished to join the Church and they are already saving to attend 2018 FOT probably in Bacolod again. ...
His wife also sent the following photograph:
For further details, contact Oscar Mediavilla via email email@example.com or Anthony Flavell via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexsandar 'Sasha' Veljic coordinated the CCOG site in Serbia. Joanna Kersten sent the following photograph from there:
She mentioned that the weather has been absolutely wonderful there.
Alexsandar Veljic sent in the following report:
This, by far, was my best Feast ever. It was the first Feast for Luka and Filip. We were blessed to have meals together every day of the Feast and we had very moderate activities (we set aside one day for excursion to the surrounding areas). Most of the time we spent in fellowship as we had plenty of things to exchange and talk about. The spirit of family union permeated the atmosphere throughout the Feast. There was no complains of any sort and everyone expressed their joy that the Feast was kept in that atmosphere.
For more information, contact Alexsandar 'Sasha' Veljic, email email@example.com
We had a site in Utegi, Tanzania. Evangelist Evans Ochieng attended there part-time as well as Ndhiwa, Kenya part-time.
The Feast went well there based on his comments.
For more information, contact Martin Wanga, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We did have some type of services available via the internet for those who could not get to the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Ghana, Serbia, or the Philippines sites. Sermons, offertories, and some other items were made available.
We encourage all to please obey God and keep the Feast of Tabernacles as He would want you to (see also How to Keep God's Festivals).
For information related to 2018, check out, Feast of Tabernacles' Sites for 2018.
10/19/17 p.m. The 'Summer/Fall 2017' edition of Shepherd's Voice arrived in the mail. It has an article essentially opposing the 'Ezekiel warning' and states the following:
The role for which the Church has been spiritually equipped today is to perfect those whom God calls, “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:13). That should be the main focus of the Church today.
The Bible does not say the Church has been commissioned to deliver Ezekiel’s message to the descendants of the lost ten tribes in this day. Ezekiel delivered the message to the remnant of the House of Israel who dwelt in Judah and were taken into the Babylonian captivity with the Jews. His message was about the final stage of judgement that God was executing on the House of Israel (i.e. Israel and Judah collectively).
That is the author's opinion, but one that there are several reasons to disagree with--three of which will be provided here.
First, consider that the judgment was already on the house of Israel when Ezekiel wrote this, hence this was a prophecy for a later time. Consider the following from the late Herbert W. Armstrong:
Ezekiel was sent especially to "the HOUSE OF ISRAEL"—a term which refers ONLY to the people of the northern 10-tribed kingdom, often referred to as the "Lost Ten Tribes." They were never called Jews.
The first place in the Bible where the name Jews is used is II Kings 16:6, where Israel, allied with Syria, is at war AGAINST THE JEWS! The southern kingdom had retained Jerusalem as its capital, but had seceded from Israel. They were led by the tribe of Judah and were called Jews. But none of the northern 10 tribes, with the capital at Samaria, were ever called Jews. The term "house of Israel" in the Old Testament always refers to those of these 10 tribes. The term "children of Israel" quoted above, refers to all 12 tribes—both nations, the house of Israel, and the house of Judah.
The more specific commission of Ezekiel is mentioned in chapter 3 verse 1 where God said, "Go, speak unto THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL." Again in verse 4: "And He said unto me, Son of man, GO, get thee unto the HOUSE OF ISRAEL."
Ezekiel Never Allowed to TravelNow at this point UNDERSTAND THIS: Ezekiel was a captive, a prisoner. His country, Judah, had been invaded, and he was among the prisoners of war in a prison camp beside the river Chebar in the nation of Babylon.
But the HOUSE OF ISRAEL—the nation to which he was sent—had been taken captive more than a hundred years before Judah's captivity. The HOUSE OF ISRAEL had been taken to Assyria on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea as slaves. But before Ezekiel became a war prisoner, the Assyrians themselves had gone into captivity, together with their Israelite slaves. Where they migrated to is revealed in our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
The prophet Ezekiel was never freed nor allowed to travel from his prison camp in Babylon to the house of Israel. The lamentations and woes of the message to be carried to Israel never occurred in Ezekiel's time or later. They are to strike America and Britain in our time. This is borne out by several other prophecies!
So Ezekiel merely received and wrote the warning message. It was a prophecy for the latter part of the 20th century. IT HAD REMAINED FOR A MODERN 20TH CENTURY "Ezekiel" to understand and deliver the message! YOU ARE READING THAT MESSAGE NOW!
God said to Ezekiel—and his 20th-century counterpart who was ultimately to deliver the message—"Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the HOUSE OF ISRAEL" (Ezekiel 3:17). In other words, one who is to watch events as they fulfill prophecies leading up to what Ezekiel is to WARN the "lost" 10-tribed ISRAEL about. (Armstrong HW. AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL - AMERICA THE CONDEMNED. Plain Truth, June-July 1980)
While, Herbert Armstrong should have written 21st, not 20th, century, the fact is that the Ezekiel warning was not fulfilled in Ezekiel's time. While the faithful church is to reach all nations (Matthew 24:14, 28:19-20), this does not mean that the Ezekiel warning is not to be done.
Second, consider that the Apostles James and Peter did feel that they needed to reach the 'lost' ten tribes as the following greetings of letters from them demonstrates:
1 James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad (James 1:1).
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father (1 Peter 1:1-2).
Third, consider that the messages that Jesus gave the end time churches was NOT to focus on themselves, but to hold fast to true doctrine and have a work to go through the open door:
7 "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens": 8 "I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
13 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'
14 "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing' — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'" (Revelation 3:7-22).
The focus mainly on being spiritually equiped leads to selfishness and really does not result in the type of Christian work that Jesus wants.
The 'Ezekiel warning' message is only a part of what Philadelphians would wish to hold fast too. This is not to say that individual spiritual development is not important, but without the outward focus of the work, one will not end up Philadelphian.
Some items of possibly related interest may include:
Attending the Church of Choice This article discusses whose choice is important to worship God; should you attend the church of your choice or the church of God's choice?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it? Here is a related article in the Spanish language: Unidad: ¿Cuál Iglesia de Dios para usted?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like the beliefs held of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? Two related sermons are available The Work per HWA and the Bible and Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
10/12/17 p.m. The Feast of Tabernacles and Last Great Day have ended in nearly all the world.
Here is a link to the CCOG: Letter to the Brethren: October 12, 2017.
10/06/17 a.m. LCG sent out the following today:
Dear Tomorrow’s World News & Prophecy subscriber,
Thank you for subscribing to our weekly News & Prophecy e-mail newsletter where we discuss world news and events in light of Bible prophecy. We are away for the Fall Holy Days, so we plan to send the next News & Prophecy in a couple weeks. If you would like our free booklet about the Holy Days, please read it online or order your own personal print copy here. And in the meantime, please visit our web site at TomorrowsWorld.org, or our Facebook page for articles, commentaries, and brief daily posts about news events.
LCG differs from CCOG in this. Although LCG has a much larger staff, it tends to skip serving its subscribers during things like the Feast of Tabernacles. CCOG continues to try to serve during the same time.
There are many differences in priorities between LCG and CCOG.
09/22/17 a.m. Visited the website of the Church of God at Northeast Ohio today. This group used to supply CDs of old WCG literature (and still may). It has old Radio/Worldwide COG literature as well as recent news items. But unlike, for example, the COGwriter Church of God News page, it does not have scriptures or commentary on the news, just partial articles. It has long been my hope and prayer that groups like the Church of God at Northeast Ohio would realize that more needs to be done to support the work in the 21st century.
Here is a link to a sermon given yesterday: The Work per HWA and the Bible.
09/15/17 p.m. This Summer, Dixon Cartwright's newspaper, The Journal, had some interesting information related to calendar issues and two people once part of GCG (Norman Edwards and Raymond McNair) plus some others once part of WCG, but not GCG:
DALLAS, Texas—If you haven’t yet heard about the calendar postponements, just wait a while. Questions about the Hebrew calendar and the touchy subject of its postponements are a hot topic in many of the Churches of God. To some people postponements are no big deal. To others they’re the mark of the beast. What are they? Do the brethren need to be concerned about them? Do they make any difference one way or the other?
A conference at the Hilltop Inn here Jan. 3-5, 1997, convened to take up those questions in earnest. ...
Critics of postponements, such as James Russell of the Church of God in Truth and Mr. Maayeh of the Scattered Brethren, say that no man has the right to postpone the festivals. They draw direct comparisons be- tween the annual feasts and the weekly Sabbath. Mr. Russell goes so far as to equate acceptance of the postponements with bearing the mark of the beast. ...
Make peace, not war
Norm Edwards of Michigan, former publisher of the newsletter Servants’ News, is one who calls for church members to live in amity with each other in spite of calendar differ- ences. Mr. Edwards, who says he can- not find sufficient scriptural reason not to observe the postponements, points out that following them helps brethren worldwide keep the festivals at the same times.
On the other hand, James Russell obviously and sincerely believes a festival postponed is no better than a weekly Sabbath postponed. The Roman church postponed the Sab- bath. Where’s the dime’s worth of difference?
As you might expect, the answers are not quite that cut and dried. ...
Here are the speakers and synopses of their arguments.
First observable crescent
Herb Solinsky of Carrollton, Texas, said he believes a new month starts with the first observable crescent moon in Jerusalem, and the year begins with the first new moon after the spring equinox.
This means that Mr. Solinsky recognizes the beginning of the month usually one or two days later than the extant Hebrew calendar. About 20 percent of the time his dates agree with those on the Hebrew calendar.
He referred to the testimony of Philo, a 1st-century Jew, who said the month began with the first observable crescent and who encouraged people to go to Jerusalem to keep the feasts.
Mr. Solinsky believes the Israelites kept the calendar based on actual sightings of the moon, but he uses a computer program to predict when the first crescent will be observable from Jerusalem.
He allows that his calculated methods may deviate from actual observation in a few cases, such as when a small crescent is only briefly visible. He would defer to actual sightings in Jerusalem at those times.
True astronomical conjunction
James Russell of Corona, Calif., believes the year begins with the new moon closest to the spring equinox. He believes the months begin at the “true” astronomical conjunction (when the earth, moon and sun are in line).
This system usually starts the month one or two days before the Hebrew calendar and fairly often starts the year a month before the Hebrew calendar.
Using the true astronomical con- junction is different from the method used by the Hebrew calendar, which is based on the mean, or average, con- junction; that is, it assumes that every cycle of the moon consists of 29.530594 days.
In reality the moon’s orbit is not round and is not on exactly the same plane as the earth’s orbit around the sun. Thus Mr. Russell’s method re- quires complex calculations to come up with. Mr. Russell acknowledges that these calculations were probably beyond the abilities of ancient observers.
Rick Eckert of Orange Beach, Ala., presented a system in which the new year is based on the progress of the barley harvest in ancient Israel. Un- like most other calendar scholars, Mr. Eckert said he believes the months should begin with the full, not the new, moon.
Use of the full moon for this purpose means each festival varies at least two weeks from the same festival based on most other calendar systems.
Whether the feasts are to be kept two weeks earlier or later depends on the barley harvest each year.
Mr. Eckert says he has actually planted barley to determine when to start the year.
The main scriptural reference used by Mr. Eckert was Psalm 81:3, which says, “Blow the trumpet in the New Moon, at the full moon, on our solemn feast day.”
Since the Hebrew contains no coordinating conjunction between “full moon” and “on our solemn feast day,” Mr. Eckert concludes that “feast day” is the same as “full moon.”
He acknowledged that he had learned much at the conference and that other calendar theories could hold some validity.
Moon and stars
Michael Turner of Plano explained a system that uses the first observable crescent to begin the month, in that respect similar to Mr. Solinsky’s views.
However, Mr. Turner uses the moon and stars to determine the start of the year, specifically the sighting of the moon in the constellation T aurus. This approach means the year often begins a month later than that determined by the Hebrew calendar.
Because of the “procession of the equinoxes,” Mr. Turner’s method allows the calendar to get out of sync with the seasons about 13 days every 1,000 years.
Mr. Turner commented that many people assume any reference to the stars or signs of the zodiac are of pagan origin. Citing Job 9:9 and other scriptures, he noted that God created the constellations, but false religions exploited them for their own use.
Mr. Turner has developed a calendar system that would be observable in essentially the same manner all over the world.
Raider of the lost Ark
Vendyl Jones of Arlington, Texas, who refused to sign an autograph as “Indiana” (even though he said he is the real Indiana Jones), talked about a solar calendar based on 52 weeks of seven days with a leap day at the spring feast and an extra day every fourth year at the fall feast.
In this calendar are exactly 12 months in each year with no correla- tion between the month and the cycle of the moon. His preliminary comments prompted so many questions that he didn’t finish explaining his calendar.
Mr. Jones, who claimed to be close to finding the Ark of the Covenant and the ashes of the red heifer, also spoke of his archaeological projects in the Middle East and his studies at his Vendyl Jones Research Institutes in Arlington.
Last-minute speaker Alva Nelms of Temple, Texas, was not on the schedule but asked to address the conference. Mrs. Nelms said the calendar “must be simple enough for a shepherd to understand” and “must not have fragmented time periods.”
Some in the audience interjected at that point that those requirements are not in the Bible. Mrs. Nelms advocated using the last visible crescent of the moon as the beginning of a month, observed just before sunset rather than just before sunrise. (Cartwright D. Outlook on postponements affects festival observances. The Jourmal: News of the Churches of God. July 31, 2017, pp. 1,13,16)
It is good that Herb Solinsky realizes his method may not always be right, that James Russell acknowledges that what he is doing was really not possible in ancient times, that Rick Eckert realizes his method may be wrong and that . That being the case, then Jesus would not have been operating under James Russell's calendar).
Is is NOT possible that the Israelite calendar postponements are the 'mark of the Beast' (to learn more about that subject, check out the Mark of the Beast) like Church of God, In Truth's James Russell has asserted.
While God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), the anti-postponement crowd has the wrong priorities and methods that are not logical--nor is there any biblical proof that Jesus used their method(s).
There are many reasons why a calculated calendar makes sense. Consider:
- Modern communication methods did not exist thousands of years ago.
- Jesus endorsed the basic Jewish calendar (cf. Matthew 23:1-3).
- Jesus, who did not sin (Hebrews 4:15), seemingly observed a calculated calendar (cf. Luke 22:8-22, etc.).
- Throughout history God’s people not near Jerusalem basically had to rely on some type of a calculated calendar.
- Weather and other factors made a strictly observational calendar impossible for use every month.
- A strictly observational calendar results in people keeping Holy Days sometimes weeks differently, depending up where they are physically located.
- God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).
There is more information that could be provided on each of the above points, but even though I plan to research more on this in the future, thus far I have not been persuaded by the anti-postponement arguers as their methods fail to make historical sense.
The Journal also referred to earlier work by the late Raymond McNair--here is a link to his article: What are Postponements?
For more on the calendar, check out the article : Calculated or observed calendar?
09/07/17 a.m. The latest edition of The Journal had some information related to RCG:
Restored Church of God
WADSWORTH, Ohio—David Pack of the Restored Church of God (rcg.org) is to have heart surgery in the coming days. All heart surgery is dangerous and even if successful Mr. Pack will be out of circulation for weeks in recovery mode. “I’m having my faith tested,” he said a few weeks ago. If God “does not choose to heal me any more than He chose to heal Paul or Mr. Armstrong, I’m in good company.”
Dale Schurter restored
WADSWORTH, Ohio—Dale Schurter was sidelined 18 months ago, but he has been restored to the Restored Church of God. RCG pastor David Pack announced that: “Mr. Dale Schurter is actively serving in the ministry again, doing much better and that’s wonderful, at the young age of 80 about two weeks ago today . . . So he’s serving as the associate pastor with Mr. McElroy in Dayton, Ohio.” Both Mr. Schurter and Larry McElroy had moved to the RCG from the United Church of God. See also rcg.org.
I had hoped that Dale Schurter would have seen the truth about RCG by now, but at his age his mental abilities are not as they once were.
08/25/17 a.m. Yesterday afternoon I posted something from RCG's David Pack's part 78 of his The Greatest Untold Story! sermon series. This morning, perhaps some would like to see something from the summary at the beginning of what RCG posted:
No, selling everything one has is NOT tied to salvation. The context of Luke 12:33 was a man who was too tied to riches, not that all Christians had to always sell everything and have nothing. The Church of Rome seems to suggest one can buy salvation (see Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory?), but Jesus did not (cf. (Mark 10:23-27, 12:38).
Anyway, here is some of what part 78 of RCG's David Pack'sThe Greatest Untold Story! sermon states relating to selling all:
Turn over to Luke 12. Luke chapter 12…and we’ll pick it up in verse 32. Finally, I understand this, Luke 12:32: “Fear not little flock….” Now, Christ tells…speaks generally to all his servants…don’t be terrified and don’t be troubled, but here it’s phobeō—don’t fear little flock. How many times have you heard me…The ministers must have almost gotten bored, if you will, at how many times that…there’s something there. Is it just wars, rumors and commotions? Maybe. Maybe. But what else? Just actual fear: “…little flock…[it’s] your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” and then three things are said, in context.
Of all the things Christians are to do, it says, first, in two long verses actually: “…Sell that you have, and give alms…[Now, I’m going to be a little stronger about this.]…provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fails not, where no thief approaches…[There’s a thief coming! How many thieves do we need to read about in the Bible? There aren’t that many!]…neither moth corrupt. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (vs. 33-34)……
There are four things: Fear not; sell all; keep your loins girded, and your lights burning. And the “early birds” do this first. I’m going to show you that everyone who comes back into the flock, into the sanctuary, has got to do this as well, but in a different context. So you’ve got to do it, the question is: How hot do you want it to get?! How many phases of the fire do you want to go before you have to do it? Because you can’t be saved—what must I do to inherit eternal life? Matthew 19. You’ve got to do that. Some of you have already done it.
I just want to take a moment here, because we’ll just dwell on this. I normally don’t. I give it a “lick and a promise,” a sentence here, a sentence there, but I truly fear…I truly fear for those who don’t sell all that they have. You can’t play games! And now you know it isn’t, you can sort of play games—you’re going to be forced to make a decision—I will…or I will not…obey that command found all the way through the New Testament and sent out in articles. That’s the fuel for the fire.
You can begin to understand, if people begin to delay, God might, for a little while, hesitate because not enough fuel hit the fire, or maybe they’re not, for some other reasons, ready. And it may hesitate, not of what God decides, but on what we do, what we decide. So “if it hesitate” makes perfect sense. It depends on what we’re going to do. I could never get comfortable…What would God do to hesitate? Is the world not ready or something? What?
Nearly four years ago, notice something I posted about David Pack the day his prediction of thousands coming to him and three shepherds dying did not come to pass:
08/30/13 p.m. It is now several hours past sunset in Jerusalem and 24 Elul has ended. So, if I were one of the three "obstructionist shepherds" that David Pack of his improperly named Restored Church of God (RCG) said would die by now, he was clearly wrong. He was also wrong about a lot of HIS interpretation of the prophecies in Haggai.
As I posted at the Church of God News page late yesterday (RCG: Can you see the ‘handwriting on the wall’? Your emperor has no clothes!), David Pack's errors should be obvious by now.
David Pack believed that if he built some buildings that this would impress those in various COGs so much, that they would feel compelled to come to him as that is what he started to publicly teach as far back as 2007.
RCG's website, as of today, still says the following:
The Restored Church of God is pleased to announce its magnificent World Headquarters in Wadsworth, Ohio, USA.
While he saw a magnificent building, the rest of us who have not gone with him saw a building. While he considered the building project proof he was right, others saw it as proof that RCG spent money on a building. He wanted his church clothed in a building, while neglecting the weightier matters of the law (Matthew 23:23-24) and the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20). Those who remain with him are showing that they are spiritually naked (Revelation 3:17-18).
When RCG formed in 1999, David Pack stated that RCG stood for "precision of doctrine." Shortly after that he wrote:
What are the priorities of Restored?
1. To gather and feed the flock of God and to teach them to hold fast to the exact precision of doctrines as handed down by Jesus Christ, through the apostles and prophets, including our own end-time apostle, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong...
3. To be found doing the Work of preaching the gospel, as led by Jesus Christ, and as He gives us funds and time to do so in this age (Pack, David. Why the Restored Church of God? Booklet. 2000. pp.18-19).
RCG's emphasis was wrong from the beginning and hopefully more will see that. Notice what David Pack has claimed has been his focus for the past 14 years:
For over 14 years, The Restored Church of God has focused on leading those of like mind back to one group. (Pack D. “BACK TOGETHER” What This Means! : June 7, 2013)
The above shows that David Pack's focus has not been on fulfilling Matthew 24:14 nor leading what I have termed "The Final Phase of the Work." And his emphasis and related predictions did not happen on August 30, 2013 as he claimed they would. So, we will see how he may deny or twist this (wanting more time is a common response to this type of failure--though repentance is what he and others truly need).
Notice something else that David Pack wrote:
I have taught prophecy extensively—and correctly!—the truth of established understanding—for over 40 years, probably much, much more than ANY other pastor during this same period. I wanted people to know what lies ahead. (Pack DC. HAGGAI: A Prophecy for OUR TIME! (Part 1). May 3, 2013)
David Pack wrote the following statement in his July 5, 2013 letter:
Mr. Armstrong knew the ancient Zerubbabel having been born to a man named Shealtiel had nothing to do with his prophetic fulfillment of this role. The same would be true of the modern Joshua regarding the irrelevancy of the ancient figure Josedech...Of interest, God revealed to me during ELUL four years ago my role as the modern Joshua.
Notice that David Pack claimed that God revealed to him that he was Joshua about four years ago. Yet, while the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4, KJV) may have done that, certainly was not the Creator God of the Bible! ...
12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:12-15)
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (2 Peter 2:1-3)
David Pack was never a true apostle. His teachings about his reunification by August 30, 2013 have been proven to be false. Because of David Pack's excessive fascination with money, it would seem that RCG may well have financial problems and eventually have some form of bankruptcy.
Some items of possibly related interest may include:
Why Not the Restored Church of God? This group, led by David Pack, claims to be the most faithful. The information in this article suggests otherwise. Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Por qué no la Iglesia de Dios Restaurada?
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing?
Attending the Church of Choice This article discusses whose choice is important to worship God; should you attend the church of your choice or the church of God's choice?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it? Here is a related article in the Spanish language: Unidad: ¿Cuál Iglesia de Dios para usted?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like the beliefs held of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees? Discusses similarities of the Sadducees and Pharisees to various COGs in this end-time.
David Pack's ego, greed, bullying tactics, and lack of true compassion are affecting RCG. One day I expect RCG to have severe financial problems.
The call again for RCG members to sell everything they have is consistent with that.
Sadly, David Pack continues to use covetous words and causes the way of truth to be blasphemed (2 Peter 2:1-3).
08/24/17 p.m. In part 78 of his The Greatest Untold Story! sermon series, RCG's David Pack is claiming that he long held to a "man of sin" doctrine that differred substantially to what he would have backed (or at least would have been expected to have backed) while he was in GCG (this also differs from what he was teaching in RCG as late as 2013):
And in the three-and-a-half years, by the way, when He’s confirming the covenant, before He gets to Jerusalem, but after He’s come to Earth, there are going to be some priests who are offering sacrifices at the wrong house. We haven’t talked about them much, but Malachi talks about them. It isn’t all just ministers who…presenting vomit today. There will be priests in Jerusalem who are Levites, who will be offering, with the Prince of Tyre and the King of the North, in that house after the Man of Sin is gone. ...
Because I’ve long believed…Over the year since I introduced the Man of Sin, I’ve long believed, now, that the leader of the Worldwide Church of God was a type. But he stood up on December 31, 1994…Here’s what he did…in Atlanta and he gave a sermon…I got the tape, transcribed it—the whole thing…and he said, “The Law’s done away; the Sabbath’s done away; the Holy Days are done away; tithing, clean and unclean meats…it’s all gone. It’s all Old Testament.” Everything—gone.
And within about four months, 25,000…23,000, something like that, had gone with United. It dwindled down later. More thousands came with Global, where I was. I was very involved.
The King of the North IS the man of sin (for details see Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?), hence he will not be in Jerusalem when the man of sin is gone. It should also be mentioned that the Bible teaches that the falling away happens BEFORE the revealing of the 'man of sin' (see The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings), whereas David Pack seems to hint otherwise. His published position in earlier days of RCG was not like what he is now teaching on the man of sin (for details see Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?).
David Pak is wrong on many matters, including the man of sin. Some of them are documented in the article: Why Not the Restored Church of God?
Yet, David Pack is not the only one wrong about the "man of sin." To learn more about what the Bible teaches, as well as the position of some COG groups, check out the article: Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?).
08/21/17 a.m. Received the following report from CCOG Evangelist Evans Ochieng this morning:
Pastor Dr Bob,
Greetings from Kenya,
It is of a great pleasure to inform you that the gospel of the kingdom of God is touching almost every corner in Africa. After receiving good massages from Zambia and Mozambique, I received another massage from South Africa that there are some people who need our visit in South Africa. We are happy that the gospel of the kingdom of God is reaching West Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa and Northern Africa. That means, the doors are open for the gospel to reach out to all parts of Africa.
Ghana is going well with the work, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia etc.
Thank you very much for your prayers to our country Kenya. Even though the problem is still on but I know God has heard the prayer of the brethren and will make everything calm in our country.
FEAST OF TABERNACLES 2017
We are now making arrangements for the feast of tabernacles 2017 sites.
We shall have five feast sites in Kenya, one site in Tanzania, one site in Malawi and one site in Ghana. I will contact koang from Ethiopia to know his plans concerning the feast of tabernacles 2017.
Five congregations from seventh day church of God are added to our congregations in Rift Valley. These congregations are in Nakuru and Njoro areas. Nakuru and Njoro are towns in Rift Valley.
Tiongik sawek gave me a good update after visiting mau areas.
We have a new congregation in kisii called Nyasembe. This congregation is under supervision of pastor Ezekiel Oanda Ombaso. I will visit kisii again this coming sabbath. They are lacking a place to meet on sabbath, so we are going to start building a new place where they will meet on sabbath.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God is being preached. People are responding. Fruits are being produced.
08/11/17 p.m. Today, CEG posted:
The Bible predicts an end-time falling away of true Christians from the Truth. We read that many will fall away (Matthew 24:10, Revised Standard Version). They will engage in works of unrighteousness so that the love of God within them will grow cold (Matthew 24:12).
That is true.
For more about the falling awy check out the following:
The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings Who is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring to? Are there multiple falling aways? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: La Apostasía: Enseñanzas de la Biblia y de la WCG. There are also two YouTube videos on the subject that you can watch The Falling Away Part 1: From the Bible and Church History and The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others.
08/01/17 p.m. A CG7-supporter's COG News page (he prefers his name not be mentioned) has the following:
Restored Church of God
Dale Schurter was sidelined 18 months ago, but he has now been restored to the fold. David Pack began part 82 of his latest sermon series by announcing that:
“Mr. Dale Schurter is actively serving in the ministry again; doing much better and that’s wonderful - at the young age of 80, about two weeks ago today ... So he’s serving as the Associate Pastor with Mr. McElroy in Dayton, Ohio.”
Both Dale Schurter and Larry McElroy moved to RCG from the United Church of God.
Pack then talked once more about the surge of people who will be wanting to join RCG ... “it should be obvious if you think this through, that it becomes exponential. The people who are excited enough to get others to come and who come, are therefore, going to react, logically, the same way that the excited people who urged them did, and they’re going to go out and do the same thing. And then, that’s going to double and so forth.”
Using the concept of a penny doubling every day and becoming $11 billion after 40 days, he muses ... “here in Ezekiel 33 we’re talking about people. So if one tells two and then two tell four and four tell eight ... it would be on about Day 36 when you get to almost 700 million ... and then if you went four more days, you would go way beyond the total population of Earth.
Now obviously, God has to bless that process...” Is that where his analogy fails?
Two weeks previously, in part 80, he exclaimed ... “we’re starting to take off again. You can imagine with our budget. And staggering numbers. I would anticipate within 2, 3, 4 months at the most, over 2,000 households are going to ask to come to church. An awful lot of them are going to stay 12 weeks, or they don’t come at all, the vast majority. Low, single digits will be the only ones that come, and then how many even stay?”
“Staggering numbers” ask to come to church, but hardly any come, and fewer stay, even for a short time.
Before being allowed to come to church, each household must be visited by an RCG minister, and that seems to be enough to put most people off attending.
RCG has not had staggering growth in numbers of members. CCOG, for example, is larger than it in terms of members and started over a decade later than RCG.
Now, I went to look at part 80 of David Pack's sermon. Here is what he actually said:
I mean, we’re starting to take off again. You can imagine with our budget. And staggering numbers…I would anticipate within two, three, four months at the most, over 2,000 households are going to ask to come to church. An awful lot of them are going to be they stay 12 weeks or they don’t come at all, the vast majority. Low, single digits will be the only ones that come and then how many even stay? I understand all that. We’ve talked about that before, but the point is—you’ve got to understand—it’s going to be wild.
So, he is not actually claiming that RCG is about gain over 2000 households in the next four months--only that RCG may get that many inquiries.
That being said, David Pack has been repeatedly wrong about his ideas of RCG's growth. Essentially he has a twisted view of certain OT prophecies and has been hoping for something that has not and will not happen. Thousands of true philadelphian Christians are not about to come with RCG as he suggested in the past.
07/28/17 p.m. LCG member and long-term GCG/LCG unpaid-volunteer employee, Jean Brazil died today. She had been in the hospital for several days. She was once married to Bill Brazil.
I met Bill Brazil in Pasadena, California in the late 1970s when we were both single. When I met Jean Brazil, back in 2010, Bill had been dead for about two years and she had been divorced from Bill for some time before then (Bill was a deacon in WCG and was once part of GCG).
07/21/17 a.m. In its newsletter today, CEG had the following news item:
Speeding Towards World War Three
Express wrote on July 17:
“A joint US and Australian operation has seen the launch of a multi-million pound hypersonic missile capable of travelling at almost 13,000 kmh. The successful launch from a remote rocket range near Woomera, in South Australia, helped staunch fears that China and Russia were racing ahead in a new hypersonic arms race, and concerns over increasingly hostile missile tests by North Korea.
“The incredible speed would theoretically take a hypersonic glider from London to Australia in a little over one hour…
“Just weeks ago, in May, members of US Congress raised concerns that the US was trailing behind Russia and China in the development of hypersonic weapons capabilities… Some experts fear once the technology is perfected, other nations will use them for nuclear warheads, and then the US will be forced to follow suit…
“There are fears [North Korea] could now even have the capability to fire a missile that could reach the US, potentially sparking World War 3…”
While North Korea will not spark WWIII, it could cause other issues (including upsetting those that will start WWIII).
For details, check out the following:
World War III: Steps in Progress Are there surprising actions going on now that are leading to WWIII? Might a nuclear attack be expected? Does the Bible promise protection to all or only some Christians? How can you be part of those that will be protected? A related video would be Is World War III About to Begin? Can You Escape?
Korea in Prophecy, Any Witness? Where did the Korean people come from? Does God have a plan for the Koreans? Is Korea mentioned in any prophecies? Will Koreans be among the first in the Kingdom of God? Here is a machine-translated link to that article in Korean: 한국의 언어로 : 한국 예언, 모든 증인에?. A prophetic video is also available: Syria, North Korea, and Prophecy.
07/13/17 a.m. Evangelist Evans Ochieng sent the following today:
Pastor Dr Bob,
Greetings from Kenya.
Even though the trip was very long. I am feeling better because I met very friendly brethren in Nakuru and Njoro.
I met pastors of 5 congregations who are demanding my services in their congregations. All of them are pastors of seventh day church of God. Since the conference in Nairobi, so many people are interested in truth and the teachings of CONTINUING CHURCH OF GOD. All these 5 congregations have decided to join CCOG.
These are the pastors and their congregations :-
1-Njoro Nesuit – – – – – pastor David Cheruiyot
2-Molo Nyakwinywa – – – – – pastor Charles Langat
3-Molo Sirikwo——-Pastor Daniel Rono
4–Rongai – – – – pastor Soi
5—Sururu sekutiet – – – – – pastors Samuel Bii and Edina Chetotich
All these congregations will keep the feast of tabernacles 2017 with David Cheruiyot who joined CCOG long time before the conference in Nairobi.
The Continuing Church of God is having a good growth in Kenya. It has bring into our attention that those who will keep the feast of tabernacles 2017 in Kenya will be more than last year. Last year we had 4 feast sites in Kenya but these year, we are going to 5 sites in Kenya and one in Tanzania. The feast sites are :- NDHIWA, Bomet, Chilani, Mao and Nakuru Njoro.
Tomas Koskey from Bomet, Kenya, sent me the following email:
hallo bob greeting you in jesus name! the work of the lord is doing
well here at bomet. thank you. tomas koskey.
Bomet is a county in the Rift Valley region of Kenya.
Pastor Tiongik Sawek sent the following:
I greet you in the name of Jesus Christ. I hope that you are well.
Last Friday God enables us to go to Nakuru where brethren have waited us so long. We also visited Njoro-Nesuit.
Nakuru area is the boarder of the Rift Valley and it is a cosmopolitan area where many tribes lived it is so far from Transmara where it boarders with Tanzania.
We noticed that our God has opened up the ears of many brethren and they are calling us.
The meeting at Nakuru was also attended by brethrens from other areas like Sururu, Sirikwo, Nyakinywa, Rongai, Sekutiet and Nesuit.
All these area are far from each other and not all who came were mostly leaders. Brethren from these areas were appealing for the feast of tabernacles to be conducted at their areas.
We sat with pastor Ochieng, Pastor William Kirui and pastor Sawek and discuss about it and saw that, the feast is so near we can only conduct at the centre place which is Nesuit-Njoro and the others will be seen next time. God willing, we shall divide next year though transport id the problem.
Brethren from those five areas requested the bibles for Kalenjin, Kiswahili and English. If possible each local church to get atleast gets twenty five bibles for Kalenjin, twenty for Kiswahili, twenty four English and then several magazines for the churches and towns.
Though we got some bibles in the Rift Valley it seems that they also need more because it is also large. We thankful for those ones we got.
We are also requesting for other magazines for English to be taken to Kericho town where soon I will go there for a week preaching the gospel. We shall arranged with pastor Ochieng about that day for Kericho visits. Kericho is still Rif Valley.
The harvest is great and the labourers are few, we pray that our God add the labourers for His work.
Pastor Ochieng taught for two hours about eternal life and immortal life. His teaching made, the brethren so happy after knowing about the eternal kingdom of God. Pastor Sawek and Pastor William Kirui were also happy how Pastor Ochieng presented teachings. We also seconded about it and made the brethren happy.
What the continuing church of God has done in the Rift is also great, by spreading the gospel and helping the needy people, we are thankful about them.
I will send to you some pictures taken during the meeting.
God bless you
He also sent some photos. Here are two of them:
Brethren, please pray to God for more laborers for the harvest and that those who come with us will be able to properly proclaim and teach the truth (Ephesians 6:19-20). The above are in the CCOG Letter to the Brethren: July 13, 2017.
07/10/17 a.m. Recently, I got an email from someone interested in the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) who was being discouraged from being part of CCOG by one or more ministers in LCG along with one in COGWA. Basically, these ministers inaccurately claimed that I was not ordained, hence wanted to warn this person should stay away from CCOG.
The fact that I was anointed by an LCG minister, Gaylyn Bonjour, who prayed that God would grant me a 'double-portion' of His Spirit was apparently not relevant to them. Nor is the fact that the anointing minister told afterwards me that he knew what he seemed have done and that what he did could not be taken away (reminded me of Isaac blessing Jacob, Genesis 27:33, though no deception was involved between Gaylyn Bonjour and I). Since this anointing was a private matter (like King David, see 1 Samuel 16:1-9; see also Laying on of Hands), later I was ordained again in public (like David, see 2 Samuel 2:4; 5:3). On 02/09/17 by Evangelist Evans Ochieng (formerly of GCG) and Overseer Samuel Ofosu (formerly of CG7) both laid hands on my for my anointing. So, it is improper to claim that I have not been ordained.
One question all should ask is regarding me is, "How does God make known that one is a prophet?"
It is not the way many seem to think. It is not based upon the decision of some minister nor a group of men.
The BIBLE teaches:
6 Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6)
Sadly, most people will not believe that--but that is what God said.
Anyway, in my case I had a least two confirmed dreams--plus a then LCG member who did not know of me also had one related to me, that was later confirmed (for details, see Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God).
The Bible also teaches:
28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? (1 Corinthians 12:28-30).
Now, does that mean that no anointing is needed?
Well, a month or two before Gaylyn Bonjour anointed me, two LCG ministers told me that I did NOT need a special ordination or anointing to be a prophet. I stated that, in my case at least, I felt otherwise. Then I prayed something would happen to clarify this in December 2011, and something did. The unexpected prayer for a 'double-portion' of God's Spirit by LCG minister Gaylyn Bonjour. God answered that prayer.
Now also consider something that Herbert Armstrong wrote:
PERSECUTORS HAVE CALLED me a "false prophet." Now how would you KNOW whether the accusation IS true- or false? ... Actually, it probably is not very important to you to know whether my persecutors are right or wrong, when they call me dirty names, hurl epithets, resort to innuendo, impute sinister motives, strive to discredit, attempt character assassination. What is important to YOU is whether what you read in The PLAIN TRUTH really is the truth - whether what you hear over The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast is true- not whether I, as an individual, am true or false.
I think our readers know by now that we always say: "DON'T believe what we say because you believe in us." We say "Listen with open mind, without prejudice, then CHECK UP in your own Bible-prove whether it is true, and BELIEVE what you find proved!" I don't seek to induce people to believe in ME-I seek to lead them to believe in JESUS CHRIST! (Armstrong HW. Personal from the Editor. Plain Truth, May 1966, pp. 2)
You may search the Bible from beginning to end. You'll find the true prophets, apostles, ministers of God put first emphasis on the right CAUSE, not the effect. They proclaim THE WAY that leads to peace, happiness, security, and finally, eternal life. In Bible language, this means that God's Word, and God's true prophets and ministers put first emphasis on God's LAW...God sends HIS prophets and ministers to proclaim the RIGHT WAY, to show people that they are going the WRONG WAY, to cause them to turn around and get back on the RIGHT WAY through Jesus Christ by God's free grace...
God's true servants are not OF this world nor of its ways. (Armstrong HW. Personal from the Editor. Plain Truth, May 1966, pp. 2, 44-45)
(Speaking of Herbert W. Armstrong, one could argue that his baptism would not have been acceptable to the ministry of the old Worldwide Church of God. Instead of changing, people often like to look for excuses to not be Philadelphian Christians--though they do not think that is what they are doing.)
As far as the law and true way of life goes, the latest booklet I finished was: The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast. As far as not being of the world and its ways, I also wrote the booklet: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
As far as accepting what I teach, I only expect people to believe me as I teach matters consistent with the Bible and facts. Don’t simply believe me, but do believe the truths taught that are backed up by the Bible and/or historical or other facts.
And as far as doctrine goes, have any ever seen anyone in LCG or one of the other COGs that proved, for example, that any of the differences between LCG and CCOG (see What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God?) or CCOG and Laodicean COGs are in biblical error? People need to use the Bible's, not their own, criteria to be dismissive. Jesus and the apostles ran into the same thing, including among people who thought that they were using biblical criteria, but missed the point (e.g. John 1:46; 7:41-42; 2 Corinthians 10:10; 11:5-7).
It should also be mentioned that Jesus' criteria related true vs. false prophets were the fruits (Matthew 7:15-20; see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God). Those interested in more details about them and CCOG may wish to check out the article CCOG's Four Years and God Revealing Philadelphia? and/or the related sermon titled CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia?
07/07/17 a.m. RCG's David Pack is again claiming that he will rule over the COG groups he calls "splinters." Here is something from his website:
Now, we read and heard last week and the time before, there’s a period of 45 days from 1,335 until the 1,290 when the Man of Sin sends his system and his representatives directly into the Church, and the fire explodes in intensity on the Church, because after 45 days, there’s a group of people that didn’t buy in and there’s another group working with them. Now God allows some of them to die. We understand that some get slain. Some get killed, James said…They’re called the flock of slaughter; we know all those verses…but most, I would hope, do not. ...
Obviously, we’ll have 45 days to tell the splinters, “If you think it’s bad now, wait a month and a half,” and to get them ready so they have a maximum chance when tremendous pressure comes on them—tremendous miracles and power and fear—and maybe even, they see some people they know and love die—that they not collapse. Because remember, God’s overall purpose is that they pass—that they make it.
I can’t imagine going into Jerusalem and not saying things to the leaders there…“This is the wrong guy. The right one will be along shortly.” But there’ll even be another one that’s wrong called the prince of Tyre and the king of the North, and we’ll get into get into that more I hope next week. I can’t imagine not going to certain Israelite nations during this period, before Christ comes to sit on David’s throne, and telling the leaders of Israelite nations…I mean, I just can’t imagine. I had a long time to think about this…and certain things are not said to the leaders of those particular nations that things are about to change. There’s a new ruler coming…
If I’m given the authority to rule them…Think of Matthew 24 and we are, we’re not going to work with them in 400 hundred groups…I’m going to tell them, “Guess what, today you’re in one organization” and they will be looking for help. They’ll…Absolutely, they all want to be together. Not the ones who aren’t converted, who are going to follow what I call the “spiritual sleeper cells.” They were appointed to this ungodliness when they crept in unawares long ago and then they rise up to do their evil according to Acts 20, verse 30, when Christ says, “some will rise among you” and so forth. Those people are not going to agree and the people who follow them aren’t going to agree, but thousands of brethren are going to be looking for direction. Maybe with or without their own ministers, so, you know, we will be in a position to say a lot of…a lot of things that I hope will be very, very helpful.
David Pack originally stated all would be under him years ago. He was wrong as that did not happen. He has also gone the wrong way on the man of sin (see also Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?).
David Pak is more and more wrong on many matters. Some of them are documented in the article Why Not the Restored Church of God?
06/30/17 p.m. LCG sent the following out today in its TW News & Prophecy:
End of the Anglo-American Order?
A writer for the BBC recently made a sobering assessment of two nations that have led the Western World. Noting the “uncertainty in Westminster” and “something nearing chaos in Washington” he wrote, “Neither Britain nor America can boast strong and stable governments. Neither have the look of global exemplars. In the six weeks since Theresa May called her snap election, the global tectonic plates have shifted fast, leaving Britain and America increasingly adrift” (BBC, June 9, 2017). The author then concluded with the fatalistic observation, “These English-speaking nations no longer speak with such a clarion voice, and the rest of the world no longer takes such heed. A new world order seems to be emerging that is being articulated in other tongues.” The fading influence of America and Britain is creating a leadership void that others will rush to fill, especially Europe and China.
Yes, there is coming the end of the Anglo-American order--Europe and China are interested in filling the void.
For those wanting more information, this BBC piece is something I posted about at COGwriter nearly three weeks ago (see BBC: The end of the Anglo-American order?) and even made a video about (watch BBC: The end of the Anglo-American order?).
P.S. In my 06/29/17 a.m. post on this page, I accidentally omitted that according to the Banned by HWA site, the first three sets of comments I reported about from that site were supposedly "From an LCG source." In other words, an unnamed coward who claims to be a Church of God Christian. That person should consider the following:
16 "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)
18 Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, And whoever spreads slander is a fool. (Proverbs 10:18)
8 ... all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
This is not the first time someone who claims to have been in the Living Church of God has sent the Banned by HWA site false information about me (see the 6/15/17 a.m. post on this page). Anyway, presuming it was someone in LCG, it is distressing that any who claim to be a Church of God Christian would make up such falsehoods. Such a person needs repentance.
Furthermore, why would anyone in LCG actually want to help the Banned by HWA site?
The site is not only anti-COG, it seems to relish being anti-CCOG and anti-LCG. Although I do not know LCG's top evangelist, Gerald Weston, well, it is not likely that he would want his members to encourage the Banned by HWA site at all, let alone want his members to post falsehoods.
But it is distressing when any who claim to be in the COG spreads falsehoods to get the way of truth blasphemed (2 Peter 2:2). But in this age we keep seeing it. Many do not have the proper love of the truth.
For those interested in the truth, and not libel/slander, about why I had to leave LCG, details are in the article: Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God.
06/29/17 a.m. Gary Leonard, the webmaster at the Banned by HWA site, continues to post falsehoods and innuendoes about me and what happened with LCG. While I do not plan to deal with all of the latest ones, it might make sense to deal with some of the falsehoods he posted about me last evening. Let's start with the following that Gary Leonard posted:
Rod Meredith spent many years having to listen to his self-important "son" wax prolific on hundreds of prophecies his "son" claimed to know more about than he did. Every time Meredith turned around his narcissistic "son" had had a new revelation and was demanding that the LCG change its "understanding."
That is not the case. Dr. Meredith is the one who forced me, over my objections, to promise to tell him if I felt he was 'pulling punches.' The fact that I strove to live up to that promise is not a negative. Furthermore, years after Dr. Meredith made me promise that, he appointed me as an advisor to he and the Charlotte-based evangelists on doctrine and prophecy. That was also his idea. It should further be pointed out that I did not "demand" that LCG change its understanding on matters. I pointed out issues and the LCG the evangelists often agreed. The closest thing to a demand I ever made while there was reminding them to keep their word and make the corrections they promised to do (see also Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God). LCG leaders, like Richard Ames, have known what I have written is true, but have sadly been unwilling to publicly rebuke those that slander me.
Getting back to Banned, here is something else that Gary Leonard just posted:
Meredith soon started ignoring Thiel which forced Thiel to start planning his escape into his own church where his word would be heard and he would have the final rule. Before his departure, Thiel deliberately conned Gaylyn Bonjour into giving him a blessing.
That is also not the case. I did NOT start planning an escape from LCG before Gaylyn Bonjour anointed me. Nor did I somehow con Gaylyn Bonjour into giving me a blessing (see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God). Nor after Gaylyn Bonjour unexpectedly prayed that God would give me a double-portion of the Holy Spirit did I plan to leave LCG. The first thoughts I recall having about possibly leaving LCG were about seven months later after watching the must-play 'falling away' sermon (see also http://www.cogwriter.com/lnews.htm). And even then, I was not plotting to leave--just wondering how to handle that matter. And that Summer I handled it as Dr. Meredith wanted me to--I wrote an extensive paper on the errors of it and submitted it to him and the other evangelists in Charlotte (see also The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).
In a second post about me last evening, Gary Leonard posted that I am:
a fake Doctor who got his diploma from a diploma mill in India, who is not licensed to practice in California
Gary Leonard knows that I am not a 'fake doctor' and that I got my Ph.D. from the Union Institute and University, which is licensed by the State of California to grant doctoral degrees. Yes, I also have a doctorate (Th.D.) from a foreign institution as I have reported about before, The Living Church of God was aware of this and approved my entry into that program--as I had called Dr. Douglas Winnail and asked before entering the program. LCG approved it so much that after I graduated, Living University gave me the title "Adjunct Assistant Professor for Theology." As far as not being licensed to practice in California, my business has always had a license, and the State of California does not grant licenses (nor require them) to nutritionist or traditional naturopaths, but perhaps I should add that I have been licensed as a naturopathic scientist for over a decade by the State of Alabama and held a naturopathic license by the State of North Carolina while in LCG.
Gary Leonard, someone I have not met, continues to want to spread lies and improper innuendoes about me. Perhaps one day he will more realize that what he is doing is illegal and wrong. Those who choose to believe his lies over the truth are obviously not living as Philadelphian Christians. Hopefully, those reading this realize the truth. If not, then repentance on that is needed.
06/23/17 a.m. This morning, LCG sent out its TW News & Prophecy, which had the following statement:
To better understand what is happening in Europe, be sure to watch our insightful telecast “Four Prophecies for Germany.”
The reason to bring that up here is that there is an error in that telecast that I pointed out a little while ago. That error is now number 45 from the list of "Doctrinal Differences between LCG and the Continuing Church of God" in the article What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God? and it reads as follows:
WWIII is not related to the battles between Europe and Eurasia as LCG asserted in its Tomorrow's World telecast Four Prophecies for Germany in March 2017, but has to do with the destruction and takeover of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies by a European-led force who will then conquer the Middle East (see also World War III: Steps in Progress).
Perhaps, under Gerald Weston, LCG will correct some of its errors. He and others in LCG remain in my prayers.
On other prophetic matters, a reader from Canada sent the following last night:
Dear Dr. Thiel:You were right, again, when you predicted that there would be more calling for violence in regards to President Trump. Enclosed is a video of a site calling for physical violence Trump supporters.
Actually, many things I wrote would happen if Donald Trump were elected US President have been coming to pass. For a listing of at least a dozen read Donald Trump in Prophecy and/or watch Trump Presidency Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy?
By looking at world events in the light of Bible prophecy, it will become clearer that more events will align with what we in the CCOG have been teaching as well.
06/18/17 a.m. In the posted transcript for his The Greatest Untold Story! Part 63 sermon, RCG's David Pack wrote:
You’ve heard me say this; the Church has believed it for scores of years…was 3981 B.C.…3981 B.C. I remember back in the’ 70s,’ 80s,’ 90s and then the 2000s…Wow, you know that if there’s no year “zero,” that means 6,000 years lands in 2020. And a few years ago I mentioned that a time or three, but what is interesting is that you’d have to back off of that general year, if it’s accurate, over three-and-a-half years and that would throw you sometime in 2017.
And it was years ago that I last thought about that, and I was just sitting last Sunday thinking, you know what? I ought to at least mention that since an awful lot of things are lining up. Is it possible…Since we’re into normalcy and we have a list of things that don’t have to happen that we thought did, is it possible that that kind of cycled back through my mind at the same time? Now I’ll throw one other related point. I don’t know exactly if 3981 is right.
Let me state that it is now clear that 3981 is not right and the 6000 years cannot possibly end in 2020 with the Great Tribulation starting in 2017.
The reason is that various prophetic events (cf. Matthew 24) still need to take place.
The following explains more details on both points:
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2026 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity's reign almost up? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the "beginning of sorrows"? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?
The non-Philadelphian groups that claim to be part of the Church of God have a variety of prophetic misunderstandings. Some are listed in the article The Laodicean Church Era.
The following was a must-read announcement in LCG services yesterday:
After graduating from Ambassador College Bricket Wood in 1973, Shayne and I returned to Australia to serve in the full-time ministry. I pastored churches in Australia as well as the Philippines and Papua New Guinea. In 2006, Dr. Meredith asked us to move to England to serve in the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa, and then to attend the Council of Elders and present on the Tomorrow’s World telecast. Over these 44 years, there have been many blessings, many friends made, and many memories.
While my health is holding, I find that it is a battle to have enough energy in the day to fulfill my responsibilities. It has been with regret that I have asked to be retired from the full-time ministry. We’ll stay in Melbourne, serving as an elder whenever the need arises.
Grateful thanks are given to our God for hearing the prayers of so many of you around the world for my healing. We are mindful daily of how much God and Jesus Christ do for us. Thank you to so many who continue to send cards, which are a real source of encouragement.—Rod King
I spoke with Rod King once while in LCG and let's just say his approach to the matter I called him in England about did not seem Philadelphian, but organizational. So, now he has retired.
06/15/17 a.m. Some people who post at the Banned by HWA site have claimed to be in LCG and then made false statements about me.
I addressed a set of those falsehoods, for example, on this page on 05/03/17 a.m. As well as another rumor/lie that has been mentioned at Banned and I found out recently has believed by some in LCG for sometime on 06/07/17 a.m.
Now, I just saw the following lie about me at the Banned by HWA site from an anonymous coward:
I saw Bob Thiel eat pork while in LCG said...
So, another lie. Let me clearly state that I do not eat pork and no one in LCG ever saw me eat pork.
The Bible teaches:
8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
The above applies to whoever posted that lie about me.
Those who post lies at the Banned site need to realize that God will judge. The Banned site should not allow people to post lies, but it does. People lied about Jesus, Paul, and others.
The Bible also teaches:
15... outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:15)
No one truly in the Church of God would spread this pork lie and other lies about me. Hopefully, no one reading this page believes the lies either.
06/07/17 a.m. At the COG News page ran by a CG7 supporter, the webmaster there posted the following:
Living Church of God
On the recent church-wide fast day, when Roderick Meredith was close to death, Gerald Weston gave a sermon, Trust and Obey, which was uploaded onto Facebook on 3rd June. His purpose was to dispel rumors and fears that LCG would split after Roderick Meredith's death.
“Some believe that, just as with Mr. Armstrong’s death, that it is inevitable that the church go into rebellion or apostasy again ... Have God’s people always rebelled after the death of a significant leader?”
He compared the current transition of leadership from Roderick Meredith to himself with “another transition, one in many ways of far greater significance” - that of Moses and Joshua.
He quoted Joshua 24:31, ‘And Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that overlived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the LORD, that he had done for Israel’.
“So it is not inevitable that, when a leader dies, the church has to go off track.”
He was careful to interject that he was not considering himself to be the second Joshua (as certain other CoG leaders do).
In the June 1 update, Doug Winnail reiterated that the church’s leaders are responsible for doctrine, so the brethren must ‘trust and obey’ their decisions:
“we can lose sight of this big picture if we begin to focus on details and issues not clearly defined in the Scriptures - the loose brick or doctrine that we feel the Church does not understand - and then sit in judgment of the Church that has been given the responsibility to do the Work and make decisions in these areas.”
Bob Thiel, an active figure in LCG due to his frequent Cogwriter blogs, left the church in December 2012 because, “In 2012, certain heresies were officially introduced, accepted, and/or promoted by LCG. After concluding that insufficient value was placed on the truth (and keeping their word) by certain leaders of LCG and that they no longer held to biblical church governance and could not be used to lead the final phase of the work ...”
Over 2000 people have joined his new church in Africa, due to the efforts of Evans Ochieng and other African ministers . . .
We will see what happens in LCG. As far as why I left LCG, more details are in the article: Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God.
It has come to my attention that many in LCG and outside of the Continuing Church of God believe the falsehood that I left LCG because it would not recognize me as a prophet. That is a false rumor that those who do not love the truth enough to check the facts have stated and/or repeated. Let me simply state here:
1) It was LCG's then top evangelist, the late Roderick C. Meredith, who told me that God may consider me to be a prophet when he telephoned me on October 3, 2008.
2) On December 15, 2011, LCG minister Gaylyn Bonjour, while laying hands on me, was moved by the Holy Spirit to pray that God would grant me a "double portion" of His spirit, which he said was reminiscent of the passing of the mantle from Elijah to Elisha as recorded in 2 Kings 2:9-13.
3) Furthermore for the record, on August 26, 2012, LCG Evangelist Dr. D. Winnail told Bob Thiel, “We all think that you might be a prophet.” In order in order to determine who “We all” was, on September 7, 2012, I asked if this was a reference to all three of the LCG Charlotte-based evangelists and Dr. Winnail concurred.
4) On January 7, 2013, which is AFTER I left LCG, Dr. Douglas Winnail sent me an email, which included the statement, "we made comments to you that “you may be a prophet.”"
5) The fact is that I remained in LCG for years after Dr. Meredith brought up me being a prophet (and he did it on multiple occasions; see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God ).
6) None of the LCG evangelists ever told me I was not a prophet or that they would not recognize me as such when I was in LCG. Nor did any send me anything later to that effect. Perhaps it should be noted that in the last personal email I received from Dr. Meredith (which was in March 2013), he still wanted me in LCG and did not write I was not a prophet.
7) I left LCG because of ITS lack of integrity, which proved to me that God could not use it to lead the final phase of the work.
Let me add that the Continuing Church of God has been the fastest growing Church of God group in the 21st century. Hopefully, some will see God's blessing in that. Despite claims to the contrary, many in LCG really do not understand God's government nor how God really works (see also The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government).
Again as far as why I had to leave LCG, more details are in the article: Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God.
06/03/17 p.m. Mary-Pat Whitfield posted the following on Facebook related to her husband Ben Whitfield:
Latest update: Ben's heart was again skipping beats last night, one five beats, several three and four beats. He will be having a pacemaker installed in 5 or 6 hours. Thank you again for your love, support and prayers!
06/02/17 a.m. Mary-Pat Whitfield posted the following on Facebook related to her husband Ben Whitfield:
Took Ben to the doctor this morning, and we , were advised to go straight to the ER in Casper...160 miles away. We chose to drive rather than take the $50,000 helicopter ride. Have been here 5 hours now. His heart has stopped several times since we have been here. He is being admitted for several days. It may be a meds adjustment. We are hoping for that, or else it will be a pacemaker. This will be an anniversary we will remember. And hope that we do not have another like it. We thank you for your prayers.
Ben Whitfield, of LCG, is in my prayers.
On other matters, the latest edition of Shepherd's Voice (somewhat associated with Norman Edwards) arrived in the mail. It had articles about the canon of the Old Testament and being 'independent.'
Here are some items to consider:
Independent Members of the COG: Herbert W. Armstrong Comments, Plus Questions and Answers What did Herbert W. Armstrong teach about being independent of the organized Church? Should independents who claim to accept Herbert W. Armstrong's teachings support the end time Philadelphian work?
The Old Testament Canon This article shows from Catholic accepted writings, that the Old Testament used by non-Roman Catholics and non-Orthodox churches is the correct version.
The New Testament Canon - From the Bible and History This article, shows from the Bible and supporting historical sources, why the early Church knew which books were part of the Bible and which ones were not.
A reason I posted about this is because I felt that the 'independent' and canon articles in Shepherd's Voice overlooked a lot of information.
05/19/17 p.m. LCG's Roderick C. Meredith has died. For more information check out: LCG’s Roderick C. Meredith died.
Change is expected for that church.
05/18/17 p.m. The following is in CCOG's Letter to the Brethren: May 18, 2017:
Evangelist Evans Ochieng was in Uganda last week. Here is his report from late last week:
Pastor Dr Bob,
Greetings from Kenya.
I am back from Uganda. My trip was very good and I am very happy with our brethren in Uganda. I did not expect to meet very good people like the ones I met in Uganda. This is my first time to meet a person who has been a Sunday keeper since his childhood and their families but has turned out completely to follow up God’s way with all his heart. Kennedy Wafula was a Sunday keeper through out his life but he is now keeping the Sabbath. No one taught Kennedy about Sabbath or the truth about Church of God. But when visited the Continuing Church of God website, he started reading many things from that website and that is where Kennedy found all the truth. I really appreciated the work that Dr. Bob has done through website, because many times most who are contacting me are getting the truth from Continuing Church of God website. Kennedy has been sharing the truth with many people in Uganda and that has led a total of 14 people to follow the truth and they are fellowship together with him.
I also met with David who is a refugee in Uganda. David had been a member of Living Church of God for 8 years. This year, David visited our website, where he read so many things. According to his statement he said that he found many truths in CCOG than other churches. That is the reason why he decided to follow and join Continuing Church of God. David left the refugee camp and is now staying in Kampala town. He and other 8 people are fellowshiping together in Kampala. Another 21 members, who also joined CCOG, are still in the refugee camp in Uganda and are staying at a place called Cheka in Uganda. I gave David funds to go and visit the brethren in refugee camp. Also I gave him funds to come back to Tororo town on the Sabbath to visit Kennedy’s group to share with them some truth. We discussed so many things concerning the work in Uganda. We came to realized that it is very important to register the church in Uganda. I gave Kennedy some funds to start the process of registration.
I was accompanied by Grantone Otieno. When we were going to Uganda, I forgotten all the books and magazines. It forced me to go back to Uganda yesterday to take all the books to Kennedy. For many years that David and the 21 people who are in refugee camp stayed in living church of God, they have not been baptized. So David requested me to go back in Uganda after my trip in Malawi to baptized them.
That is fantastic news. Evans Ochieng and I have long wanted to successfully reach people in Uganda. Here is part of an email I later received from Uganda:
Dear Elder Bob,
Receive our greetings from the pearl of Africa-Uganda.
We have been happy that pastor Evans Ochieng’ visited us from Kenya and we had a great time together, He also came with some literature that has been very helpful in our quest to know the truth, the number here is growing and we are praying that more people will come to the knowledge of the truth.
Pastor Evans has given me the task of registering the Continuing Church of God in Uganda and am working on the details before I report on this. We are face with numerous challenges here but we are overcoming all by prayer and perseverance that the truth and truth alone must be preached to people of all nations. Uganda is indeed blessed that the preaching of the truth of the word of God has finally arrived and people are hungry for it.
We have been meeting in one of the brethren’s house as my place is a bit far from town, He is called Were Hassan and he has also been helping with translations for the members who don’t speak well in English. The challenge we shared with Pastor Evans is that the house has now become small for our number and we have requested if the the church leadership could provide us with an alternative hall of worship. …
Pastor Evans said he may give us some laptops to aid our communication but if any is available and not in use you assist us to ease communication so I may not have to travel a long distance to access internet service and printing literature from the net for use during sabbath is a bit costly as I have to sell farm produce to get some little money for work. I already showed Evans some of the literature i print from the net. If some literature are available for posting please post to:
So, I did send a set of literature. However, as the freight costs more than twice as much than the printing cost, I emailed Kennedy Wafula and said that in the future, he will need to get the literature from Kenya. I also informed him that we do not have any extra laptop computers in California, but that a member in the USA who repairs computers sometimes gets used ones donated and sends them a couple of times per year. So, he may be able to get one later.
Uganda borders Kenya and is relatively close to several CCOG congregations in Kenya (though still many hours away). Evangelist Ochieng, himself, was born in Uganda and currently lives in Ndhiwa, which is in southwest Kenya.
My wife Joyce and I will be working on a video related to the Spanish Inquisition later this month. As it turns out, we need to transfer from Spain via the airport in Stockholm, Sweden– I hope to do some research there on anti-Semitism and Sweden’s move towards a cashless society (cf. Revelation 13:16-18; see also Sweden getting almost totally cashless: A portend for 666?). While we do not have any known supporters in Sweden, should anyone in that area see this and wish to attend Sabbath services with us on May 27, 2017, please email me (email email@example.com).
As a reminder we are planning to conduct Sabbath services in Belgrade, Serbia on June 17, 2017 to visit some of the brethren there. If you wish to attend, please conduct Elder Aleksandar “Sasha” Veljic. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are or can be in Serbia or Sweden when my wife Joyce and I are there and wish to attend, please email me: email email@example.com. If you are in Uganda and wish to check out the Continuing Church of God, please email Evangelist Evans Ochieng: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
05/12/17 a.m. In its newsletter today, CEG had the following:
by Kalon Mitchell
After the death of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong and the doctrinal changes which were made, many people who once believed and held on to the truth simply walked away. They accepted false teachings such as eating unclean food, keeping worldly holidays, forsaking the weekly Sabbath and God’s annual Holy Days, as well as tithing, and, in essence, they lost everything they once held to be true. But the craziest thing is how FAST they lost the knowledge of the truth when they turned away from it.
How does something like this happen?
How do people, who have devoted their entire lives to something, just give up and walk away?
The answer, simply put, is they never truly loved God’s Way of Life. They never inculcated it into their everyday doings. And so, when lawlessness came, their resolve, their LOVE for God was not truly there (Matthew 24:12).
1 Timothy 4:1-2 accurately describes the condition of those who left—and those who WILL leave in the not-too-distant future.
I knew Kalon Mitchell as a boy, but have not seen in many years. That being said, we have already seen a great falling away, but yes another one will come. For information about the falling away, check out the following:
The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings Who is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring to? Are there multiple falling aways? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: La Apostasía: Enseñanzas de la Biblia y de la WCG. There are also two YouTube videos on the subject that you can watch The Falling Away Part 1: From the Bible and Church History and The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others.
05/04/17 a.m. In the May-June edition of LCG's TW magazine, its Gerald Weston wrote:
Longtime readers of Tomorrow’s World have read and become familiar with these “Personals” from Editor in Chief, Dr. Roderick C. Meredith. Sadly, Dr. Meredith, who is nearly 87 years old, has been diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer, and his days appear to be very limited. It grieves me to inform you of this, as I have known Dr. Meredith since I first took his Freshman Bible class at Ambassador College in 1965. He has asked me, his designated successor to his office, to write this issue’s Personal and relieve him of that task.
Change is never easy, but it is an important part of life. ... In reality, we all have this choice to make. And remember, not making a decision is, itself, a decision!
Dr. Meredith is aging and change will happen in LCG. As far as decisions go, staying with a Laodicean organization is a decision. But in my case, I chose to leave LCG once it was clear it had become one (see also Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God).
05/03/17 a.m. The libelous anti-COG website Banned by HWA posted the following misleading information about me:
From an LCG member:
Bob Thiel is not licensed to practice in California, which many LCG members had always assumed. The papers he claims to have written have also not held up to "peer review" standards. Bob Thiel is a quack in every aspect of his life. Fake doctor, fake theologian, and a fake COG leader. He is a liar that every COG members should be wary of.
Whoever the unidentified "LCG member" is (LCG stands for Living Church of God), that person needs to repent. The Bible teaches:
14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:14-15)
Let's try to deal with some of the misleading and libelous statements.
First of all, I always had a business license as a Doctors Office when I was in LCG. But, while it is true that the State of California does not license nutritionists nor traditional naturopaths, I always had a naturopathic license in North Carolina once LCG was in North Carolina and while I was in LCG. Perhaps I should mention that I also held (and still hold) a naturopathic scientist license from the State of Alabama.
Second of all, the following papers, which I personally mainly wrote, are up to accepted scientific standards as they are ALL indexed in the US National Institutes of Health medical database:
Thiel R., Fowkes S.W. Down syndrome and thyroid dysfunction: Should nutritional support be the first-line treatment? Medical Hypotheses, 2007; 69:809-815
Thiel R. Might disorders of calcium cause or contribute to myoclonic seizures? Medical Hypotheses, 2006; 66(5):969-974
Thiel R., Fowkes S.W. Can cognitive deterioration associated with Down syndrome be reduced? Medical Hypotheses, 2005; 64(3):524-532
Thiel R., Fowkes S.W. Down syndrome and epilepsy: A nutritional connection? Medical Hypotheses, 2004 Jan; 62(1): 35-44
Thiel R. Natural vitamins may be superior to synthetic ones. Medical Hypotheses, 2000; 55(6):461-469
The following, which were not published in the NIH medical database, were peer-reviewed:
Thiel R. Facial effects of the Warner protocol for children with Down syndrome. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 2002;17(2):111-116
Thiel R. Growth effects of the Warner protocol for children with Down syndrome, Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, 2002;17(1):42-48
I received the the Orthomolecular Leadership Award in 2002 from the Society for Orthomolecular Health-Medicine. I am also a former Special Council Member for the American College of Nutrition. I also received other awards. Furthermore, years ago, Back to Herbs reported, "Dr. Thiel has the highest known published success rate of any natural health practitioner in the USA."
While many of my health and theological views are not 'mainstream' (nor were Jesus'), calling me a quack is wrong.
Third of all, let's deal with this fake degree nonsense. I have a B.S. for the University of LaVerne and an M.S. from the University of Southern California. Those degrees are not fake--LCG's Dr. Michael Germano also has degrees from those same universities. My Ph.D. is in nutrition science and is from Union Institute and University--it is also not fake--COGWA's Ralph Levy also got his Ph.D. from the same university.
Fake theologian is another falsehood hurled above. LCG's Dr. Douglas Winnail advised me to get my foreign Th.D. in Christian apologetics, early church history, when I consulted with him about it in 2004. He also had some limited involvement with my program. While the school does not have USA accreditation, my doctoral dissertation was 589 pages, single-spaced, with 1302 references, plus hundreds of scriptural references--and that is much longer than the dissertation for my USA-accredited Ph.D. After I graduated, Living University gave me the title "Adjunct Assistant Professor for Theology." But since I left LCG, I did not end up teaching at LU--but make no mistake about it, the leaders at LCG did not consider me to be a fake theologian. Furthermore, Dr. Roderick C. Meredith appointed me as an advisor to the evangelists on doctrine and theology back in 2009.
Additionally, LCG's Dr. Meredith told me on multiple occasions that God may consider me a prophet. When I counseled with two LCG ministers about it (Dr. J. Fall and Gary Ehman) both told me that I did NOT need to have any ordination to be a prophet. I would not accept that. Instead I prayed that God would resolve the prophet matter for me in a visit to Charlotte, NC in December 2011. At that time, while being anointed, LCG minister Gaylyn Bonjour prayed that I be granted a double-portion of God's Holy Spirit and told me that this was reminiscient of the passing of the mantle (2 Kings 2:9-13). He told me what he did was done and could not be undone. He also brought up the passing of the mantle up with me again on March 23, 2012. But other than telling Dr. Meredith, etc., I took no action related to a church until December 2012 when it was clear that the top leadership reneged on too many promises and did not have the integrity to lead the final phase of the work.
Perhaps it should be noted that like David who was privately anointed by Samuel, then later publicly anointed years later, years after the private anointing by Gaylyn Bonjour, I was pubicly anointed by Evangelist Evans Ochieng (who had a GCG/LCG background) and Overseer Samuel Ofusu (who had a Church of God, Seventh Day background) in front of about 60 witnesses.
Furthermore, calling me a false COG leader is absurd. There supposedly are hundreds of COG groups, and the Continuing Church of God is in the top ten in terms of number of congregants. The Continuing Church of God has been the fastest growing of ANY COG in the 21st century.
Consider also that Dr. Meredith had the following in a Personal in the Living Church News, Jan-Feb 2016 edition:
One special prayer that I would ask all of you to join me in praying is this: let us all together beseech God to grant us in this Work at least half of the financial increase that He gave Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong for about 35 years! For, as Mr. Armstrong explained many times, God gave the Work under his direction about 30 percent increase year by year for about 35 years.
Near the end of his ministry, with personal problems and sins growing throughout the Church, those blessings were taken away or cut back.
Well, LCG is hoping for 15% growth per year to show God's blessing, whereas Dr. Meredith said that 30% showed blessings. The Continuing Church of God has exceeded that 30%. For details check out, CCOG's Four Years and God Revealing Philadelphia? (a related sermon is titled CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia?).
Those who put out false statements against me need to consider the following:
9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
Do you have the love of the truth? Will you believe the truth? If so, you will realize that many put out false information about me. As far as that "liar" crack, while no one is perfect, I deny that I am some type of habitual liar and would challenge those who falsely label me a liar document where I supposedly have lied. I have been upfront about what happened with me and LCG, plus my articles tend to contain references which support my writings.
This type of attack is not unexpected. Notice what Jesus taught:
11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)
But, sadly, many are not interested in the truth. Hopefully, you are.
04/30/17 a.m. RCG's David Pack said that Herbert W. Armstrong would have been horrified if he understood the man of sin the same way that David Pack does:
Let’s suppose Mr. Armstrong knew about the rise of the Man of Sin. What would that have meant? Well, first of all, if you knew anything about the man, like I did, he would have raced to the nearest housetop, carrying the biggest bullhorn he had and warned the world with all the power he could muster. And if you doubt that, you will not doubt it at the end of this sermon, because THE MOST chilling things I have told you in the first 53 sermons come today--they started last week.
But if Mr. Armstrong had begun to explore--and understood--all of what I’ve taught you about this man, and what I’m going to teach you today, it would have horrified him. . .
He would have found it inconceivable and impossible that this man was going to sit in the Church. He would have done everything he could to prepare people to avoid it and block it. And I’m going to show you, in a moment, that would have been utterly--180 degrees--opposite to what God wanted. There is a people He wanted to know about it; there’s a people, a larger people, He did not. To imagine Mr. Armstrong, then having to face the question of “Well, I’ve got to appoint somebody who’s going to destroy everything”--you’re right back to that problem. He could never be allowed to know that. (Pack D. The Greatest Untold Story! Part 53. Sermon transcript. https://rcg.org/sep/the-greatest-untold-story-part-53 accessed 04/30/17)
Yes, David Pack, Herbert W. Armstrong would be horrified by you and many of your prophetic conclusions.
No, David Pack, the man of sin is not a current Church of God member--the man of sin will be the Beast of Revelation, a political leader who is also described in Daniel 11--nor will he claim to actually be Jesus like you claimed in part 45 of this series (for details, check out the article Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?).
David Pack also wrote the following:
Brethren, you need to now…to understand what the less fortunate…That’s a bad word to use, but there are three categories of people under the Man of Sin. Those who get killed outright—butchered, but killed, because no authority on Earth has the power, or probably even the will, to block the death of people who have the Holy Spirit, which…They probably think “Good riddance.” It’s like getting rid of the Jews…Let’s get rid of them. That’s the best status. ...
I hate to have to say this. I hate to have to tell some of you, your friends are going to be butchered like hogs, but they’ll come back up soon…very soon. That’s the good news. And we haven’t talked about exactly how they fit into the resurrection of the dead and it’s very exciting. I would like to comfort you with those words. But they will not come up in the reckoning; but they do come up into a special status.
This video will be available, so I’ll just tell those in the splinters…I’ll name them. If you’re in the Living Church of God, PCG, UCG, COGwa, and others—take heed. You’re being warned. Brethren of God, now you know why Paul didn’t stop for three years—with tears, warned everyone day and night. You got a better picture of why? Be warned. This man you seek…Maybe you think I’m wrong or it’s a joke, or you don’t fear God or look at the Bible. If you’re in those groups or the little groups—he is coming for your throat! And unless you escape, he’s going to get there and he’s going to rip your carotid out as he tries to catch your jugular on the way out! That’s the way it’s going to be. If that makes me a cult leader, so be it. I believe God…I believe God.
There are other verses I’ve not had time to go to. You know, when Paul talked about grievous wolves who will not spare the flock, what do you think he meant? I thought “Well, they come in and…it’s terrible thing.” “Spare them”…not going to “pity” them. The Greek means pity…you read in Zechariah 11 “spare” and “pity” is the same word. Not going to spare them…not going to pity them. That’s what it says. Their own shepherds pity them not. They’re going to save themselves… They’re going to sell them out and “woe unto him” who leaves the flock and follows this guy. (Pack D. The Greatest Untold Story! Part 53. Sermon transcript. https://rcg.org/sep/the-greatest-untold-story-part-53)
According to the anti-COG site, Banned by HWA today, I, Bob Thiel, am allegedly the one who David Pack is referring to as the man of sin. However, David Pack does not so state that--plus in part 45 of this sermon series, David Pack said that the man of sin was younger than I, plus single--I have been married for over 35 years--and thus it does not appear that I am the one David Pack is referring to. That being said, I am also a pacifist (see also Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? ) and no, obviously will not be killing God's people.
David Pack has many, many errors.
Some of his errors are in the article Why Not the Restored Church of God?
04/15/17 p.m. Here is something from the latest CCOG Letter to the Brethren:
Last Day of Unleavened Bread
The Last Day of Unleavened Bread for 2017 will be April 17th. It is a time for church services according to the Hebrew scriptures (Exodus 12:16).
In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul endorsed properly keeping the Feast with unleavened bread (1 Corinthians 5:7). He and others still marked/observed it and observed it outside of Judea. Notice something from the Book of Acts:
6 But we sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days. (Acts 20:6)
If Christians were not keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread, the Holy Spirit would not have inspired this to be recorded like this. Now Philippi was a Gentile town in Macedonia. It was ruled by the Romans–thus keeping these days was NOT limited to a place like Jerusalem as I recently heard someone claim. In at least two places in the New Testament, we see that the Days of Unleavened Bread were to be kept in Gentile areas (1 Corinthians 5:7; Acts 20:6).
Consider also the statement “it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread” in Acts 12:3. Since the Gentile author Luke addressed the Book of Acts to another Gentile (Acts 1:1), why would he have mentioned these days if they were unknown to the Gentile Christians and had ceased to exist?
Information from outside the Bible reports that the Apostles Paul, John, and Philip, along with Polycarp of Smyrna and other early Christians, kept the Days of Unleavened Bread (Pionius. Life of Polycarp, Chapter 2). Various Sabbath-keepers continued to keep the Days of Unleavened Bread afterwards (Pritz. Nazarene Jewish Christianity. Magnas, Jerusalem, 1988, p. 35; Jerome as cited in Pritz, pp. 58,62,63; Ephiphanius. The Panarion of Ephiphanius of Salamis: Book II (sects 1-46) Section 1, Chapter 19, 7-9. BRILL, 1987, p. 117-119) and into the Middle Ages and beyond (Liechty D. Sabbatarianism in the Sixteenth Century. Andrews University Press, Berrien Springs (MI), 1993, pp. 61-62; Falconer John. A Breife Refutation of John Traskes Judaical and Novel Fantyces, pp. 57-58, as cited in Ball B. Seventh Day Men: Sabbatarians and Sabbatarianism in England and Wales, 1600-1800, 2nd edition. James Clark & Co., 2009, pp. 49-50).
We in the Continuing Church of God also still keep the Days of Unleavened Bread. We eat some unleavened bread for each of the seven days as the Bible admonishes (Exodus 12:15; 13:6; 23:15; 34:18). This bread can be made of different grains/nuts—the use of wheat is not biblically-required.
While some like to allegorize away many portions of the Bible, although there certainly is a spiritual understanding to the Holy Days, there is also a physical one. And the physical observance helps us to better understand the spiritual lessons.
The Days of Unleavened Bread help picture that we Christians are to strive to put sin and hypocrisy out of our lives (cf. Matthew 16:6-12; 23:28; Luke 12:1). By keeping them physically, it helps us to better learn the spiritual lessons that God intended.
April 17 and 22 in Jensen Beach Florida!
We plan to fly to Florida on next Sunday morning. As mentioned before, my family and I expect to be in Florida for the Last Day of Unleavened Bread, which will be April 17, 2017. We also plan to be in Florida for Sabbath services on April 22, 2017.
We are planning to meet at the Vince Bocchino Community Center on the grounds of Langford Park, in Jensen Beach. The address is 2369 NE Dixie Hwy, Jensen Beach, FL 34957. We have the Vince Bocchino Community Center rented from 1:00pm and presume services will start by 1:30 pm both days. We plan to take up a Holy Day offering on April 17, 2017 while there.
If you are in Florida and may wish to attend, please email me: email@example.com
03/29/17 p.m. Live in Florida?
My family and I expect to be in Florida for the Last Day of Unleavened Bread, which will be April 17, 2017. We also plan to be in Florida for Sabbath services on April 22, 2017.
Just finished confirming the location for two services to be held in Jensen Beach, Florida.
We will be meeting at the Vince Bocchino Community Center on the grounds of Langford Park, in Jensen Beach. The address is 2369 NE Dixie Hwy, Jensen Beach, FL 34957. We chose Jensen Beach as it will be closer for two that we heard from. We have the Vince Bocchino Community Center rented from 1:00pm and presume services will start by 1:30 pm both days.
If you are in Florida and might wish to attend, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
03/28/17 p.m. Just got the following email from CCOG Evangelist Evan Ochieng:
Pastor Dr Bob.
Greetings from Kenya.
Since we came back from the conference, I have been getting so many good reports and requests from all parts of Africa. So many people are interested in truth and needs to join CCOG. I have noticed that the work is still expanding and catches most parts of Africa. I also received many calls from all parts in Kenya. Since then I am busy talking with new people who are visiting our website and are having interest in CCOG. I am planning to meet them and I promised them that I will visit them after passover. This is because I will travel to Tanzania before passover to meet our minister Martin Wanga and Andrew. I will also meet brethren from Rift Valley and kisii before passover. So I will be totally busy that I can't meet them before passover. I am also very happy with the reports that I received from Malawi and Mozambique. I am getting some good reports from Mulozoswa. We will visit Malawi and Mozambique after passover and Unleavened bread.
I want to print out the magazines before passover so that I can take some to Tanzania. Especially the Swahili and Luo magazines.
The conference the Continuing Church of God had in Nairobi continues bearing fruit. Information on that conference can be found in the article: Africa Conference 2017.
03/25/17 a.m. RCG's David Pack posted the following as part of his newest booklet "How God’s Kingdom Will Come The Untold Story!":
The prophet Habakkuk, whom Paul quoted in Hebrews 10 regarding the man of sin, adds to this man’s profile: “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith. Yes also, because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud man, neither keeps at home, who enlarges his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied, but gathers unto him all nations, and heaps unto him all people” (Hab. 2:4-5). Here is a man who is of the devil, but who holds such awesome power that all nations of the world buckle to his will. No one is talking about this man because no one understands him or could believe the enormous reach and power that he will bring. A number of verses make plain that this counterfeit will be very short-lived. (Other helpful related verses to read include II Corinthians 11:4; all of Habakkuk 2; all of II Timothy 3; Zechariah 11:15-17; James 5:1-6; Matthew 7:15-23 and Luke 21:8, 35-36.)
Like many, David Pack does not understand the prophecy of Habakkuk 2 which has to do with the USA that will be destroyed for greed and indebtedness (David Pack should have realized what Habakkuk 2:6-8 states as he recommended that his readers would read the entire chapter--those that do will realize that David Pack misunderstands it; (check out Do you take seriously the warnings God had the prophet Habakkuk record?). Like many, David Pack also does not understand the truth about the 'man of sin' (see also Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?). There were many. many other ways that David Pack erred in that booklet. He continues to veer further away from the truth. Some of his errors are in the article Why Not the Restored Church of God?
03/07/17 a.m. Received the following in an email today:
It looks like Mr Ames' health has taken a turn for the worse. They rushed him to hospital after complaining of a headache. The doctors are doing further tests on him.
Sorry Mr Ames was complaining of slurred speech and numbness on his right side.
Richard Ames is with the Living Church of God. Roderick Meredith once designated him as his replacement, but later switched to Gerald Weston. An LCG minister once told me that Richard Ames was loyal to a FAULT--emphasizing that he would not stand up for the truth when he should as he placed his version of loyalty above doing right. My experience with him and LCG, sadly, confirmed that.
02/24/17 a.m. ECG reported the following in its newsletter today:
“The EU Council president (Donald Tusk) railed against ‘brute force, egoism and arrogance’ in a series of jaw-dropping remarks which will be interpreted as a very thinly veiled assault on the Republican commander-in-chief. Polish eurocrat Mr Tusk admitted that nobody could ‘pretend that everything is as it used to be’ following months of verbal attacks from the Republican’s administration which have met with furious responses in European capitals. And in an extraordinary press conference following talks with Vice-President Mike Pence the top Brussels official effectively admitted that trans-Atlantic relations are in the gutter following the election of Mr Trump.
“In an exchange surely unprecedented in recent EU-US history he railed against the new US President’s ‘surprising opinions’ on European integration and said he had directly challenged his second-in-command over the administration’s hostility towards the bloc. The remarks came after signs earlier emerged of the gaping chasm emerging between the two sides as France railed against a speech the Republican gave to delegates in Munich in which he did not even mention the EU.
“Mr Tusk made no attempt to hide Europe’s dismay at the election of Mr Trump, and instead harked back to better times for trans-Atlantic relations under his predecessors Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan…”
Subsequently, Mike Pence was asked in a press conference what America will do if Europe does not fulfill America’s demands of contributing more to NATO’s defense costs. The journalist raised the question in regard to a comment that Europe must do so, “or else.” Mike Pence refused to explain what was meant by that comment and said that the future will have to provide the answer.
The Bible teaches that Europe will end up with a "great army" (Daniel 11:25) and defeat the land with the "strongest fortresses" (Daniel 11:39; see also USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses). Those who properly understand biblical prophecy realize that the USA is currently pushing Europe to arm and that this will not end well for the USA (see also Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel).
02/18/17 a.m. The following was forwarded to me today regarding LCG's Dr. Meredith:
Dr. Meredith is resting at home following a diagnosis of cancer. He is keeping in touch with Mr. Weston and others at the office via visits [their visits to him] and phone calls. After praying and meditating on the subject, he has decided not to get caught up in various rounds of treatments that MAY prolong life but not quality of life, while in the end the outcome is the same. He is putting his life in God’s hands to do as only God knows best. He knows that God can heal him, but he is realistic, knowing that he is 86 ½ years old and has had a full and very eventful life. His concern has always been the Church, serving Jesus Christ, and his family. Tuesday evening he had about 20 people over for dinner—mostly family and a few of those who have been like family to him. He is in good spirits and greatly appreciates everyone’s prayers for God’s intervention in his life.
Here is something that was posted by someone at an anti-COG website:
Maybe now that RCM is on his death bed he will start making some calls. ...
All the people Rod has slandered over the years including Bob Thiel (say what you want about him but it doesn't negate the fact that RCM lied about him repeatedly), Charles Bryce and the Scarborough's to name a few.
Let me state here, that although I was NOT a fan of Charles Bryce, I did personally object to LCG's top leadership about certain items that Dr. Meredith improperly wrote about him after Charles Bryce left LCG. As far as the Scarboroughs go, while I discouraged them from filing their lawsuit, it was my hope that with their information people would realize that LCG had put out knowingly false information about them.
And as far as I go, yes, Dr. Meredith put out several false and misleading statements about me and he even flat-out denied telling me that he said if he would accept the role of an apostle, he was considering ordaining me as a prophet--even though he did, in fact, do that in January 2009. Plus he broke numerous promises to me related to correcting literature and doctrinal errors that he and others at LCG had acknowledged. He also falsely libeled my character. Yet, I have stood for and told the truth. And Dr. Meredith, if he still has the mental capacity, should realize that and tell the truth.
He and others in LCG need to seriously considere that the Bible teaches:
10 Cursed is he who does the work of the Lord deceitfully, (Jeremiah 48:10)
4 For the word of the Lord is right, And all His work is done in truth. (Psalm 33:4)
Those verses help show why I do not believe that God allowed the Philadelphia mantle to remain in LCG.
Furthermore, consider that Dr. Meredith wrote the following:
Personal - Pray for Our Financial Growth!Roderick C. MeredithJanuary/February 2016
One special prayer that I would ask all of you to join me in praying is this: let us all together beseech God to grant us in this Work at least half of the financial increase that He gave Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong for about 35 years! For, as Mr. Armstrong explained many times, God gave the Work under his direction about 30 percent increase year by year for about 35 years.
Near the end of his ministry, with personal problems and sins growing throughout the Church, those blessings were taken away or cut back. ...
God Almighty is still alive, He is working through us right now, and—as these terrible end-time events approach—we really need to shake the world with the knowledge of His Kingdom far more than we have ever done. Remember, brethren, we are only “beginning to fight.” We have not yet finished! So again, since Jesus told us: “ask and you shall receive,” we can with faith ask God to give us at least one-half of the financial increase He gave His Church all those years when Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong were still alive and doing the Work. That would be a 15 percent financial increase of this Work year by year. I hope all of you will sincerely and zealously do your part. But I am not going to “press you” on that. For that is up to you and between you and God as you “walk with Him” in the fear of God. But I feel that God would want us to cry out and ask Him for the blessing that I have already indicated. Then, we could go on far more television stations, greatly increase our impact over the Internet—which is certainly the “wave of the future”—increase our personal appearance campaigns and “grow” the Work in every possible way.
When I first began this present Work back in 1992, I was a little embarrassed to ask for money. ...
Most of you realize this. If you go around your neighborhood you find virtually no one who has heard of the Living Church of God or any of the other groups that are trying to do God’s Work today. This needs to change! So I hope all of us can begin to fast and to pray fervently and ask God to help us stir ourselves to do our part far more zealously and begin to serve our Creator with zeal and to give of our physical substance sacrificially as we are able. Some of our brethren are already doing this. But I am fully aware that many of our brethren—often fine brethren who mean well and who are already giving a little bit of their substance—are nevertheless sitting on hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars worth of money, property and other resources they very rarely touch to help do the Work of the living God at the very end of this age.
Think of it! ...
God’s Word tells us: “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus,having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 4:32–37). God does not ask us to “have all things in common” as did these first-century Christians, but we can still be moved and inspired today by their great zeal.
Is it too much to ask that all of us follow the pattern of the early Church and give of ourselves, our time, our energy and our possessions in the very service of Jesus Christ at the end of this age?
So, Dr. Meredith wrote that he believes that sins cause COG groups to have less than 30% growth, so he was hoping for 15% for LCG. There are sins in LCG (see Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God). Therefore, by Dr. Meredith's logic, there are severe problems with LCG.
As I repeatedly told Dr. Meredith over the years when I was part of LCG, even doubling the number of television stations its broadcast was on would NOT fulfill Matthew 24:14 as the reach (according to his own statistics) would still be inadequate. I explained to him that it looked like God would use media coverage just prior to the Great Tribulation to insure that Matthew 24:14 would be fulfilled. The non-Philadelphian groups seem not to realize how God's work really will be accomplished (cf. Zechariah 4:6) and that it is a work of faith (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:11) not money.
We in the Continuing Church of God have been walking by faith and have had vastly more than the 30% growth that the old Radio/Worldwide Church of God once had and the 15% growth that Dr. Meredith has asked his followes to plead for. Dr. Meredith and others may wish to consider the ramifications of that in lieu of what he posted.
I have prayed for Dr. Meredith and prayed that he would publicly repent of his false statements. Yes, he is getting old and will die someday--but God may have kept him alive these past four plus years for him to see that the CCOG is the only COG this century that has had the type of growth he claimed showed God's blessing (see also CCOG's Four Years and God Revealing Philadelphia?).
He and others are getting a witness, but sadly the Bible shows that the bulk of the Laodiceans will not repent as they should (Revelation 3:14-18 ). It is time for Dr. Meredith to repent and it may be that his time to do so is getting very short.
02/15/17 a.m. Just received the following:
Just got the following message regarding Mr Meredith
Hey ..., I hope you're well
I just received ... an email from Mr. Weston that Mr. Meredith was taken to hospital after feeling very weak at work. He's been released from hospital after doing some tests, but it's highly likely from the results that he has cancer.
Dr. Meredith is elderly and has a variety of health problems. He has remained in my prayers.
02/01/17 p.m. Just received the following email from Aleksandar 'Sasha' Veljic, the Serbian host of the Continuing Church of God, who is currently in Kenya:
Greetings dear brethren,
I am taking advantage of the fact that I have a wi-fi at the hotel where I am staying tonight, so I am able to drop you a few words. I arrived to Kenya last Friday evening, just about the beginning of the Sabbath. The hotel in Nairobi didn't have Internet access, so I basically couldn't write anything. Then we kept the Sabbath with a small group nearby Nairobi. On Sunday we hit the road and travelled to Kenya interior. That traveling has continued to today and will will continue until Friday. Then after the Sabbath at the home of pastor Evans Ochieng, it should continue next Sunday. I have been preaching the Good News basically day and night, trying to help the small congregations in Kenya and also help pastor Evans and ease his burden. I have been giving him and his son some useful ideas on how to speed up the Work in this area. And I am full of impressions. The brethren are generally responsive and just yesterday we had an unexpected visitor from Adventist church. Upon hearing my preaching on the meaning of prophecy and seeing that the congregation remained still for three hours, this man declared that he cannot longer be in the Adventist church and wants to join this Church that preaches the truth. Another younger man, right after my speaking, asked pastor Evans to baptize him soon because he is ill with cancer and he doesn't want to die without being baptized in the true Church of God. (Please, pray that he would be healed of cancer).
The greatest miracle for which I prayed in this country is - rain. I began to cry and pray to God for that miracle because there was nothing I could do about it, nor there is anyone who could have done anything about it. I asked God to intervene for our members have not been able to grow crops, many remained without seeds and some were facing starvation to death. So I began to pray for rain. And the first word that was on my mouth ever since I arrived in Kenya, the word that I so often mentioned was only one word - rain. On the Sabbath, I prayed with the small local congregation in Kitangala, nearby Nairobi, for the rain. On Sunday, as we were asking blessing for a meal, I mentioned rain. Ten minutes afterwards there came rain over the city we were staying in - Narok. In the following days it was raining everywhere. Even tonight, here where we are staying (Kissi town) we had a downpour of rain. Exactly what I asked God, everything happened when it comes to rain. I have tens of witnesses that it is true.
I now pray for other miracle - that I would manage to get organic seeds to our brethren, so that they would be able to grow their own food. If you don't mind, please join me in prayers.
I am supposed to return to Serbia on February 13th, following the Church conference in Nairobi. On another topic, I connected a man from Tanzania who got in touch with me seeking the truth with these people even before I came to Kenya. This evening, the man wrote me the message and asked about baptism. He kept the Sabbath with our members in Tanzania last week and he is very happy with it. A young man from Uganda also contacted me even before I came to Kenya and he has been searching deeper understanding of the truth. I have connected him to this people even back then and continue to maintain that contact.
Again, I couldn't write you anything as I was on travel, then I had no Internet and tonight I am using that opportunity to drop a note that I am fine and will continue to preach the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God. I could tell you yet many things about the ways that we have preached Gospel here without saying a single word, simply because of our skin colours, but I will leave that for another time.
Would you, please, in the days to come, set aside a day for fasting and praying for the success of our Church conference here in Africa, which will be held next week.
With appreciation and gratitude,
I am to planning to see Sasha and others there in a few days for the CCOG conference in Nairobi, Kenya. My wife Joyce asked me if we could get and send seeds. We looked online and could not find a reliable local source. So, we ordered some from out of the area. Please pray that they will arrive in time for me to bring them and that they will grow in Kenya. I will not be able to bring much, but hopefully what I many be able to bring will help some.
01/30/17 a.m. RCG's David Pack posted the following in what is called Sermon Transcript The Greatest Untold Story! Part 31:
II Thessalonians 3, verse 6: “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.”
Those in the splinters…There are thousands of them, brethren, who are in the splinters, who have the Holy Spirit. They’re not going to follow this man, and they’re the ones that are going to come back to God’s Church. I’ll have a lot more to say about them, in a way that will simply stun you—stun you. They’re going to escape, but not until they go through fire.
I don’t know how long this man will last, but we ought to, at least, pause and say…The next thing we’re looking for is not Christ revealed from heaven. It’s this evil blasphemer…revealed out of the splinters—that is coming first, and God is going to vacuum away all the tares and those who lost His Spirit and who will not come—and they’re not going to come later—they’re out. You know Luke 14. There are those who are invited and they don’t come. God said they were not going to come…They will in no wise enter this supper……
Let’s be clear…(II Thessalonians 2) verse 12, those who follow him are damned. They are condemned. I didn’t say that. God does. Why? Because they “believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” You cannot be saved if you follow a Satan-possessed, blaspheming, false Christ. Who knows? Maybe he says he’s God the Father. There’s a guy in Rome that calls himself the Holy Father. It’s not shocking that a human being might say that.
Salvation is lost to the people who follow this man…It just was never clear how far they would go, and how God would vacuum them out of the Church. God said in Haggai—I called for the desolation. I raise up the Foolish Shepherd. It’s something He’s doing. He hardened pharaoh. He used Judas. He can do that. He can use man for a righteous purpose like Cyrus, and others. ...
I began to realize that, after the apostates under Joe Tkach, there would actually be worse leaders that followed. ..
God raised up Joseph W. Tkach and a group of people around him to cause the apostasy. We all know that. Mr. Armstrong was not so deceived or weak a leader that he picked an evil man to follow him. He didn’t know. ...
Do you think the devil would need to be coaxed to enter a man among God’s people, in a way no man has ever done in 2,000 years—that we could ever see? Do you think the devil would have to be coaxed to do that? He’d be like a dog on a chain with his front legs off the ground, straining to snap the leash to do it!
God could probably just snap His fingers, and the devil would enter this man and knock him over when he did, so to speak. This is easy for God to do. We serve the God who can change out the universe with a bang. It’s easy for God to do. He has a purpose in it. It also draws tremendous attention to His Church in a right way. He raised up Joe Tkach to cause the apostasy. Without that, this man can’t rise out of it. Surely, brethren, we believe that He can raise up a man out of it to carry out the last part of it.
This is interesting for at least four reasons. Here are three:
David Pack is now claiming that someone who was in the Church of God will have Satan enter him to become the man of sin. David Pack once claimed that COGwriter (me) was part of the 'synagogue of Satan' (see RCG’s David Pack Says COGwriter, Dr. Meredith, COGs, etc. ‘Part of Synagogue of Satan’). So, it should not come as a surprise that presuming thousands more will come into the Continuing Church of God that he will falsely also call me the 'man of sin.' Especially if some day I get over some illness.
And the fourth reason is that this represents yet ANOTHER change from David Pack. Here is who he identified the man of sin of 2 Thessalonians 2 before:
God does not just describe this false religious system as abominable, but refers to it as “the mother of...abominations.”
This religious leader is described in II Thessalonians and there referred to as the “man of sin.” Notice: “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [Christ’s Return] shall not come, except there come a falling away first [a prophecy fulfilled in the twentieth century] and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition…Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2:3-4). ...
This is clearly the False Prophet of Revelation 16:13, not the Beast.
(Pack, David C. What Is the “Abomination of Desolation”? https://rcg.org/articles/witaod.html viewed 07/16/16)
This two-horned beast gives “power” to the first beast...So this beast, then, appears to be religious...Remember also, this two-horned beast possesses such awesome power that it inspires the world to worship the beast...
The second beast is able to perform miracles. He does this “in the sight of” the first beast—the Holy Roman Empire. These miracles are so extraordinary—so mesmerizing—that they allow him to deceive the whole earth! Finally, the beast is worshipped as a result. This future religious leader will lead the final resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire alongside a great civil leader.
In II Thessalonians 2:3, this same religious leader is called the “man of sin.” Revelation 19:20 refers to him as a “false prophet.”
(Pack, David C. Who or What Is the Beast of Revelation? http://rcg.org/books/wowitbor.html viewed 05/05/13)
So, David Pack used to believe that the 'false prophet' that worked with the Beast of Revelation would be the man of sin. Now David Pack believes that the man of sin comes from within the Church of God. David Pack continues to display ignorance of prophetic and other scriptures.
David Pack, and many others (including LCG), do not understand what the Bible teaches about the 'man of sin.' For more details, check out the article Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?
01/26/17 p.m.CCOG now has materials online in over 90 languages (see Letter to the Brethren: January 26, 2017), plus it put up a slideshow related to the: Continuing Church of God Feast of Tabernacles 2016.
01/24/17 a.m. A reader tipped me off to the following, which he called To Force revealing Personal info, LCG limits Online access, and which LCG had read in services on 1/22/17:
We have encouraged people everywhere to sign up for our digital magazine, but when the whole magazine is already on our Web site, and therefore available without subscribing, there is little incentive to do so. What we plan to do going forward is to offer a portion of the magazine on our Web sites, but if one wants to read the whole magazine right away, one must subscribe (thus giving us an e-mail address). Otherwise, he or she must call or write for a hard copy subscription. We will still make the whole magazine available after the next issue comes out so it will still be available, but with a delay for some articles for as much as two months.
In addition, we hope to offer enhancements, additional material that will only be available with a digital subscription. The intent in all this is not to take away, but to give more to the subscribers and to make it possible for us to better serve these individuals going forward.
The reason for this announcement is to inform all of our members the reasons for these changes. This is not unusual in today’s Internet world. We will remain different from others in that we still provide everything free of charge.—Gerald Weston
LCG does not think that is unusual for the internet world, but it is not normal for the COG (though COGaIC had restrictions on one of its publications for a time, but then rescinded it; PCG has restrictions, however, that are still in place). In CCOG, we do not restrict access to the truths we publish for proclamation (cf. what Jesus taught in Matthew 10:27). But LCG has chosen to go in another direction with some of its materials.
01/20/17 p.m. CEG had the following in its newsletter today:
Mr. Trump’s stance on many political issues will force Europe to unite against the USA… which has long been prophesied in the Bible to occur.
As regular readers of the COGwriter.com news page are aware, CEG is correct about this. I just wrote a book about Donald Trump, which is 100% FREE on Kindle until Monday (and you do not need a Kindle reader to be able to read it). We have arranged with Amazon Kindle to give the Kindle edition away free for five days beginning yesterday (five days is the maximum that Amazon Kindle allows in this type of promotion). Otherwise, the electronic version will be $3.99.
Anyway, you DO NOT need a Kindle device to get it for free. Simply go to the link: Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse and then Amazon has an app there you can also get for free so that you should be able to download it for many electronic devices for free.
01/12/17 p.m. Just received the following report from Kenya-based Pastor Evans Ochieng about his trip to Tanzania:
Pastor Dr Bob,
Greetings from Kenya.
I thank our Almighty father above for giving me a safe and nice trip to Tanzania. I met our brethren in Tanzania. On Wednesday, We had a wonderful discussion concerning the work in Tanzania. Andrew and Martin are very steady in the work that they are doing in Tanzania. I was happy to hear that our brethren in Tanzania are getting it right that there is a great different between continuing church of God and the passed churches of God that were in that country before. They said that the work which CCOG is doing is powerful.
Martin Wanga and Andrew will attend the conference in Nairobi Kenya in February 2017. I gave them their transport to Nairobi.
Martin and Andrew will go to meet some old members of community international church of God who called them to go and meet on next sabbath. This people were discouraged by the work which, that church was doing. But they are happy with the work of CCOG.
Let us pray for the trip of our two brothers and the work which they will do on sabbath. When I was coming back I met our brother Samson who came into Kenya to visit some relatives. We discussed more about holy names that some people are thinking that these names can purify a person. After a long discussion, we finalized by saying that Samson will keep on working together with Martin Wanga.
This is great news. By “community international church of God” Pastor Evans is referring to COG,aIC (which is led by David Hulme). We have had contact with some of their former members in Tanzania before and perhaps more of them will decide to support the Continuing Church of God (CCOG). Please pray for the success of our talks with these former COG,aIC members.
As far as the Nairobi conference goes, this is scheduled for next month. We hope to have leaders from Kenya, Tanazania, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana, and Ethiopia attend. As well as myself from the USA and Alexsandar Veljic from Serbia. We held a similar, but smaller conference three years ago, for leaders in Kenya and Tanzania representing about 300 people. The 2017 conference is expected to have leaders representing 2,000 people who are part of the. Continuing Church of God.
01/05/17 p.m. The latest edition of Shepherd's Voice just arrived. In addition to articles by Jim Patterson and Norman Edwards, I noticed that there were articles from Richard Traver (Christian Church of God, Grand Junction) and David Havir (Church of God, Big Sandy). Norman Edwards also had an article about prophets that reminded me of some of what he wrote before (and that is in the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).
Norman Edwards also wrote the following about his PABC:
Port Austin Bible Campus provides the following to people in need:
• Emergency housing: 50,000 bed- nights to 500 Guests so far.
• Food, mostly received from food banks or grown in our garden.
• Help getting lost documents (State ID, birth certificate, Social Security Card, etc.)
• Assistance to finding jobs, applying for government programs, etc.
• Transportation to jobs (essential to those with no money to get to their first job)
• Location accountability to discourage Guests from “hanging out” with people in negative environments that cause self- destruction and homelessness.
• Access to recovery groups for those suffering from substance abuse
• 8 hours per week of Bible classes to teach principles that most Guests have never heard.
• Firm correction—sometimes dismissal—for those who will not learn their lessons by love and need to be returned to reap the fruit of their own ways.
Sharing the Blessing with Guests
Most of the PABC homeless Guests are glad to find an emergency place to stay. They take on the tasks of finding a job, securing other payments due them, and finding new housing. Some can do that in a few days or weeks, others have more hurdles to jump, and can take months. They are generally thankful for what PABC has provided.
Other Guests have more difficulties. Some of the reasons for their homelessness become quickly evident. They do not want to follow the campus rules, even though they could without much difficulty. They have frequent excuses for not doing what they should do— some of which turn out to be totally false. Some percentage still want to engage in substance abuse, stealing or promiscuity—but will go to great efforts to try to keep it secret.
Though we have several theological differences, I have long admired Norman Edwards commitment to support the downtrodden.
Click here for the previous news of those once affiliated with GCG
COGwriter, (c) 2017