Brief History of the Continuing Church of God

By COGwriter

The Church of God (COG) has over churches and small groups located around the globe.

The most faithful in it (the 'Philadelphians') strive to preach the full gospel which includes teaching salvation through Jesus Christ as well as proclaiming the good news concerning the Kingdom of God. The most faithful COG group is currently the Continuing Church of God: (CCOG).

The CCOG believes that "all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto good works" (2 Timothy 3:16-17); it believes all scripture includes both the Old and New Testaments (2 Timothy 3:15-16). It strives to fulfill the commissions Jesus gave in Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20. Therefore, as the Apostle Paul wrote:

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

Where did the Church of God come from?

The Church traces its Christian history from the Day of Pentecost mentioned in the first book of Acts (details of the first and second century Church can be found in the article Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome).

Actually the name is "Church of God" is clearly stated in both singular and plural form in twelve different places in the New Testament—including Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 10:32; 11:16,22; ;15:9; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:14; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 3:5,15. And is often found in writings by second century leaders such as Ignatius (Ignatius' Letter to the Philadelphians 0:0, 10:1; Letter to the Trallians 2:2; Letter to the Smyrnaeans 0:0) and Polycarp.

The Continuing Church of God strives to be a continuance of the original Jerusalem Church, which some refer to as "primitive Christianity" (see also Continuing History of the Church of God). It believes (and biblical and secular history supports this belief) that as Christianity spread, major doctrinal compromise occurred ("I hate the work of those who fall away" Psalm 101:3) and that true Christianity has only been observed by an exceedingly small percentage of professing Christians. The beliefs, people, and much history of the true church can be found at the Early Christianity page as well as the free online booklet, Continuing History of the Church of God. As the true COG predates Protestantism, the COG did not come out the Protestant Reformation and it is NOT Protestant.

Throughout much of its history, the Church is most often only found to exist through the writings of its detractors. Information can be found on parts of it throughout history can be found in the following articles:

The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 from 31 A.D. to present: information on all of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3.
1. The Ephesus Church Era was predominant from 31 A.D. to circa 135 A.D. The Church of James, Peter, Paul, and John, etc.
2. The Smyrna Church Era was predominant circa 135 A.D. to circa 450 A.D. The Church led by Polycarp, Melito, Polycrates, etc.
3. The Pergamos Church Era was predominant circa 450 A.D. to circa 1050 A.D. An especially persecuted Church.
4. The Thyatira Church Era was predominant circa 1050 A.D. to circa 1600 A.D. The Church during the Inquisition.
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses earl;y history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
6. 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 is best represented in these last days by a remnant called the Continuing Church of God
7. The Laodicean Church Era was predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. Non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old Worldwide Church of God

From the Book of Acts to present, there were problems and pretenders in the COG that caused problems. So, it is no surprise that there are similar issues today.

For purposes of this brief history, perhaps it should be stated that in the 1800s, certain individuals gained power in the Church of God (not yet incorporated with this name, but usually referring to itself by that name), changed doctrines, accepted new "prophecies," and even changed the name. This group is now known as Seventh Day Adventists. Most of those who did not accept the changes either left or were put out and continued to be known as the Church of God. For one group, the name officially became the Church of God, Seventh Day (CG7) in 1884.

In the 1930s, one of the CG7 ministers, Herbert W. Armstrong, found that there were some biblical teachings the Church was not embracing (primarily the biblical holy days, the identity of lost tribes of Israel as well as their impact on prophecy, and more actively preaching the Gospel). When some of the CG7 leadership admitted these teachings were biblically correct, but that they would not be taught, he felt he had no choice but to disassociate himself from them. He founded what became known as the Radio Church of God, which in the late 1960s was renamed the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). Immediately after World War II, Herbert W. Armstrong warned the world that Germany would rise again and that there would be a coming "United States of Europe." Under his leadership, the true Gospel of the Kingdom was preached to those of all nations.

After his death in 1986, the new leadership did not remain faithful to the Church's teachings. In December 1992, one of the old-time leaders (Roderick C. Meredith) was put out of the Church for not accepting these "changes." He founded the Global Church of God (GCG). After a management coup removed Dr. Meredith, he then helped form the Living Church of God (LCG). Most who came to Living from GCG came because of their beliefs regarding governance and the priority of proclaiming of the Gospel. And LCG has had other issues since GCG. Over time foreign doctrine was introduced and once it became clear that it would not be corrected (see Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God), the Continuing Church of God formed on 12/28/12 under the direction of Dr. Bob Thiel. You can click here for Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God.

Since the doctrinal changes in the Worldwide Church of God (which is now called Grace Communion International), many other groups have formed; you can click here for news of various Churches of God or here for news of those once affiliated with Global.

Although CCOG is a small, but international, it needs to be understood that not only do we NOT teach that we are the only ones who will be saved, we believe that the Bible clearly teaches that God will save the vast majority of humankind (this is documented in the article Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs From Protestantism).

Here are seven specific parts of the mission of the Continuing Church of God:

1. To preach the Gospel of the Kingdom (Matthew 24:14) and salvation through Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 4:10,12; Romans 1:13).
2. To preach the end-time biblical prophetic warnings, including about the coming Great Tribulation, to the descendants of Jacob and others in this age (e.g. Ezekiel 3 and 33; Matthew 24:4-51).
3. To preach Philadelphian love (Revelation 3:7-12; James 2:8; John 13:35; Hebrews 13:1), feed the flock (Matthew 28:19-20), and encourage all to build character through growing in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
4. To be examples (Matthew 5:14-16; 1 Thessalonians 1:7) and witnesses (Matthew 24:14) to the world in general, as well as other Christians.
5. To learn and practice the words and commands of Jesus in all our dealings with others (John 13:35; 15:14).
6. To restore knowledge of more of the truths of original Christianity (Jude 3).
7. To teach that Christians should be led by the Holy Spirit and purse love, mercy, judgment, faith, and the other gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 13:1-14:1; Galatians 5:22-25).

Teaching the truth and love of the word of God to the world in general and those called in this age in particular (Matthew 28:19-20) is the mission of the Continuing Church of God.

The Continuing Church of God attempts to serve the scattered faithful around the world with weekly services, while being faithful to the Bible, and proclaiming the good news of Jesus' kingdom of God to the world as a witness.

Continuing Church of God
1248 E. Grand Avenue, Suite A
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

Some booklets of related interest may include:

Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?

Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Official website: http://www.ccog.org

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