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Church of God News
The Journal: News of the Churches of God
The latest issue of the Journal - April 30 is now available on-line.
The lead article is an update of an In Transition article from 1995: “Seemingly, Mr. Tkach enjoyed a 4-5 year honeymoon period ... But by the early 1990s there were increasing hints of change, and many ministers and a small percentage of other WCG members began thinking: I wonder if there is a doctrinal agenda. As time passed, the concern became: I wonder what the agenda is. Then the question was refined to: I wonder whose agenda it is.”
Also on the front page is an article on the Bible Sabbath Association, and a report from an Unleavened Bread Feast site in Maryland. For many people there is only one Feast - Tabernacles. Dan White from Missouri comments: “While I was gone to the Feast, I received a church brochure about planning for the Feast ... I guess it’s just coincidence that some ‘Feast keepers’ sent a Tabernacles planning brochure that was delivered while other Feast keepers were observing the Feast of Unleavened Bread.”
Pentecost (Shavuot) 2015
Gordon, a Karaite Jew, writes: “This coming Sunday, May 24, will be
Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks - a pretty rare occurrence on which
Rabbinical Jews and Karaite Jews are celebrating Shavuot on the same day
Some Torah keepers are celebrating Shavuot the following Sunday on May 31.”
The Truth About Shavuot, discusses how various Jewish groups in late Second Temple times interpreted scripture as to when to keep the festival.
Live broadcasts for Pentecost/Shavuot on Monday, May 25 & Sunday, May 31, are listed on the Sabbath Services Live page.
Church of God 7th Day (Denver)
The 2015 General Conference Convention,
which is to be held in Milwaukee, from 29th June to 4th July, will
consider radical changes to the church’s bylaws. The church currently is
congregational, allowing voting by everyone attending the conference. Most of its 300,000 members are poor, and cannot afford the heavy expense
incurred in travel and accommodation.
Universal inclusion could be achieved by postal or electronic voting, but Loren Stacy, the General Conference Chairman, and the Church’s new President, as from 4th July, writing in the March-April issue of the Bible Advocate (Viewpoint, This I Believe, p.22), recommends a delegate system, and much more control by the leadership.
There are Viewpoint Responses, p.24 of the May-June issue, plus an opposing Viewpoint, Radical Changes, p.22 by former Church President Robert Coulter, warning against turning the Church’s government into a hierarchy.
seems unfortunate that the Church (CoG7) is being asked to exchange its
congregational polity for a governing hierarchy on the basis that it
will lead us to greater unity and success. As a member of the Bylaws
Revision Committee appointed in 2013, I hold a minority opinion on its
“The current bylaws confer all Conference authority,
except amending bylaws, on its board of directors when it is not in
session. But they never authorize the board to regulate and manage the
The proposed bylaws, however, make the board
and its employed president a hierarchy, empowered to impose the
provisions of the bylaws on the Church’s membership ‘without
Additionally, the Conference board and its president
are authorized to review congregational documents and practices with
authority to ‘abrogate, amend or supplement all contrary law, organizing
documents, bylaws and customs of ecclesiastical entities and structures
[congregations] affiliated with the Conference regardless of whether
they were developed by them earlier or later than these Bylaws’
United Church of God
Council of Elders met following the annual General Conference of
Elders. John Elliott reported that “The doctrine committee is continuing
to study submitted papers. They are reviewing 35 study papers for
reclassification. The Last Great Day/8th Day paper is being reviewed. It
was mentioned that the committee has been approached by some regarding
various hymn selections. When this committee completes their findings
they will present them to the Council so as to assist the Council in
producing a responsible process moving forward when the Church deems it
appropriate to produce another hymnal.
He mentioned that there is no
mechanism for the committee to see if the material produced by the
church fulfills the overview section of the scopes and responsibilities
of the Doctrine Committee. The committee has been saturated with many
questions and answering types of inquiries that hinder its deemed
responsibility to focus on major topics of long-term importance. The
current scope and responsibilities need to be updated and reviewed
Kubik announced to the General Conference of Elders that the church is
considering accreditation for Ambassador Bible College. “Ambassador
Bible College will be further developed as a place of biblical learning
and training in service and leadership. We’re looking into it being
accredited for international students to be able to more easily come and
learn as well.”
The Worldwide Church of God faced problems in
obtaining accreditation for its ‘Ambassador College’, under the
direction of Michael Germano, who was unable to carry out all the
changes necessary for accreditation, as he was not given full authority
to do so. On refusing its second application in 1970, the Western
Association of Schools and Colleges commented that, “The basis of
‘truth’ for Ambassador and its faculty is whether or not facts,
information, or ideas agree with their Biblical interpretation ...
Science has ‘advanced’ by constant self-criticism. Such a direction does
not seem to be open for Ambassador faculty, however. This borders on
Accreditation would therefore force (or enable, as some critics might put it) ABC to offer resources that are contrary to UCG’s current doctrines.
The Living Church
of God’s Living University, under the presidency of Dr. Germano, has
gained limited accreditation, so it offers resources
that “Living University does not necessarily endorse ... nor vouches for
It was reported a few months ago that LCG’s
‘Presiding Evangelist’ Roderick Meredith had ordered that some students
be suspended (and one or two even expelled) for conducting studies, without the
guidance of a minister, into the Book of Enoch - even though this book was listed as
recommended reading in a Living University course.
Church of God, a Worldwide Association
Church’s Media team and its web developers at 30 Degrees North are now
in phase 2 of its 3 part plan to overhaul its Life Hope & Truth
“We’re now working hard to complete all parts of Phase 2,
focusing on creating an “I’m New” page, developing our new
online/interactive Bible study course and shooting a brand-new video
series. The “I’m New” page will serve as a starting point for visitors
who come to Life, Hope & Truth for the first time. It’s here that
they will be introduced to the people and the Church behind the website
and how to go forward in their learning journey. We are now in the
process of creating our new welcome video, which will describe why Life,
Hope & Truth exists and what our mission is. We’re also creating
our brand-new interactive Bible study course, which will be a key tool
in helping our website visitors take the next step in understanding and
committing to God’s truth.”
The January 2015 issue of One Accord included a report of the annual meeting
of the Ministerial Board of Directors in December 2014. The Doctrine
Committee chairman, Don Henson, “reminded the board that the committee
reviews various (official) documents and publications” and “also reviews
a small number of study papers submitted by members to propose
alternate positions to the Church’s longstanding doctrines or
understandings. Mr. Henson explained that, while such writers are asked
to submit their papers to their pastors first, they generally want the
papers to be reviewed by the committee and then usually try to rebut the
explanation if it differs from their own. This is is very
time-consuming, but such submissions are treated seriously and with
On 22 December 2014 it was announced that Andrew and Sarah
Henderson had been officially suspended and prohibited indefinitely from
attending all COGWA services and activities, because “they no longer
speak the same thing as the Church.”
The Hendersons had questioned
their local minster, Lyle Welty, about the COG Hebrew calendar, which he failed to
answer satisfactorily. At his request, they submitted to him a study
paper, A Case for the Biblical Calendar,
to be forwarded to the Doctrine Committee. On receipt of the study
paper, Lyle Welty suspended the couple from attending services, but
he eventually agreed to submit it to the Doctrine Committee, which
resulted in their total and indefinite exclusion.
It is not then the
Doctrine Committee’s role to treat members’ study papers seriously and
with respect, and to consider their alternative positions to the
Church’s longstanding doctrines or understandings. Rather it is to
explain to the members that they are wrong, and that they must comply
with the Church’s teachings.
Salyer stated, “All seem to agree that the camaraderie among the MBOD
is the best we have had in years. While it is easy to find agreement, I
also feel I can disagree and be frank on any issue I want to—even with
It’s a pity that this freedom to disagree and be
frank on any issue does not extend to those people who pay the salaries
of the Ministerial Board of Directors.
Passion for Truth Ministries
It is now reported that Jim Staley, founder of Passion for Truth Ministries, has pleaded guilty to the indictment in June 2014 of
defrauding investors of more than $3.4 million dollars. He will be
sentenced in July.
Passover/Festival report from Leon Sexton:
and I are back from our annual Spring Holy Day trip to Myanmar
(formerly called Burma). This trip we had Lacee Hilgen come along with
us. Lacee is a volunteer teacher at Legacy Foundation Leadership
Training Center in Chiang Mai, and she was just finishing up her
service. She decided that, instead of going straight home to California,
she would go with us to visit the brethren in Myanmar. At present,
almost all of our students are from Myanmar; so this gave her the
additional pleasure of meeting family members of some of her students.
was torn between our school at Chiang Mai and our growing Church of God
congregations in Myanmar. Members at both sites needed to take the New
Covenant Passover and worship together for Unleavened Bread. I decided
to ask Htoo Mya Shwe (I call him Toomy) to lead the Passover ceremony in
Chiang Mai. He is experienced as a leader because he led the church
congregation in Jawk Taing, Myanmar, until we could graduate a more
Lacee was able to take many pictures and videos of the Unleavened Bread gathering at Jawk Taing, Myanmar.
She is preparing a video presentation, which she will present to church
congregations in Southern California. If you would like her to make
this presentation to your local congregation anywhere in the U.S.,
please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is a colorful and
informative visual presentation about your brethren and family members
who live in one of the most remote parts of the world. When you see how
they live, the blessings of Abraham will have more meaning for you.
of the brethren in Myanmar are poor. They live in bamboo houses with
grass or teak-leaf roofs. They cook with wood and bathe in the river,
but they are happy with the things God has provided.”
Herbert Armstrong Videos
Grace Communion International (formerly the ‘Worldwide Church of God’) has
filed several copyright notices with YouTube concerning the telecast
section of Herbert W. Armstrong Library, resulting in the
deactivation of the HWAL account with YouTube. HWAL spent years
building the YouTube channel, uploading a total of 1,335 videos on to YouTube, where
it says they were receiving 1.6 million hits per month.
GCI owns the
copyright on all WCG materials, but HWAL believes the publication of the
videos falls within the ‘fair use’ provision of the copyright
Living Church of God
Greeman, Area Pastor for Barbados, Trinidad, Guyana and Brazil, has
died of kidney disease, aged 64. Douglas Winnail travelled from
LCG’s HQ in Charlotte NC to attend his funeral on
Tuesday, April 7, in northern Trinidad. Fitzroy Greeman was baptized in 1972
and ordained in 2000.
Peter Nathan, Stephen Elliott, Bob Rodzaj and Ted Budge were among the ministers who left David Hulme’s church to form The Father’s Call
in January 2014. One month later all four left that new group - Nathan,
Elliott and Rodzaj joining the Living Church of God, and Budge
returning to the United Church of God. Ted Budge has had to wait a
full year until his appointment as an elder, assisting Robin Webber in the
Los Angeles congregation.
Many ministers were upset to learn that these three had been given immediate full-time employment, prompting Roderick
Meredith to write an open letter in March 2014 to “ask all of you, in Jesus’ name not
to be alarmed or worried about this!”
In March 2015, all three men were promoted:
Stephen Elliott has been designated as the Area Pastor of congregations
in Southern California and Nevada. Mr. Bob Rodzaj has been designated
as the Area Pastor for congregations in New Mexico and West Texas. Mr.
Peter Nathan will serve as the Assistant Regional Director for Africa in
addition to his duties with Living University.”
The Temple Institute
Wednesday, 25th March was the 6th Annual Temple Mount Awareness Day, for which the Temple Institute produced and uploaded 10 videos, answering questions about the Temple Mount and the building and furnishing of the third Temple.
Biblical New Year
The biblical year for the larger churches began on Friday evening, 20th March. The March new moon diagrams
show that the crescent new moon would easily be visible over most of the world on Saturday evening.
of various Jewish and Christian groups were in Israel on that evening looking for the new moon
crescent, which was sighted in the north and the far south, but not at Jerusalem, as the sky was too cloudy.
some people the new year begins when, as Herbert Armstrong put it in
1952, “the new moon is first visible to the naked eye at Jerusalem” -
i.e. as it was in Jesus Christ’s time, when only new moon witnesses
living in or close to Jerusalem could reach the Temple in time. The aids
of modern communications and astronomy are not acceptable.
Convery reports: “Many have inquired as to any sighting of the crescent
after sunset Saturday in Jerusalem. Both Matthew and Pierre reported the
entire region was enveloped in clouds and many locations having rain as
well. Others report the same thing from Jerusalem and the surrounding
area. With that said we will be moving everything forward for one day,
which we have posted on the web site. These are our personal beliefs, which we hold dear to our worship of the Creator.”
this is the reader’s personal belief, please note that wave sheaf
offering Sunday will now be the 7th day of the festival instead of the
1st, so Pentecost will be a week later.
In the video Month of the Abib (starting 16 minutes in), Roy Hoffman of the Israeli New Moon Society
explains why Rabbinic Jews such as himself are now practising
observation of the new moon, yet continue to keep the Jewish calendar. (Nehemiah Gordon is on the left, and Brian Convery is on the right. The commentator is Michael Storey.)
Continuing Church of God
Received the following report from relatively new CCOG supporter in Kenya:
On the Sabbath of 14th March 2015 we held a successful meeting in Dikirr Transmara where Pastor Ochieng and I had an opportunity to meet each other. This was the second meeting in the Rift Valley after holding another one in Bomet last month. The meeting was attended by many brethren from the area including those who were converted as early as 1970s. The main problem which those early Christians had experience is bad leadership, which resulted to numerous divisions among the brethren.
We are now re-uniting these groups together to be one. We also held a leaders’ meeting in Dikirr Transmara together with Pastor Ochieng and we agreed to have three venues for the Passover feast i.e. Bomet, Transmara and Mau in the Rift Valley region.
Also the brethren of Transmara have found a big hall whereby it can accommodate the brethren for the Feast of Tabernacles. Transmara Dikirr is center place from the three regions of Bomet, Kilgoris and Mau - there are many Christians in this region of Dikirr Transmara including old people who believe in Christianity. We shall not forget to extend our sincere thanks to Pastor Ochieng for his small assistance he offered to the widows in the area by providing them with the food.
The pastors are also happy because they were promised English, Kiswahili and their native language Bibles. There are also many brethren in three churches who don’t have Bibles in their native language. The members also requested Pastor Ochieng to provide them with the Kalenjin bibles because the majority of the Rift Valley region understand Kalenjin.
May the lord bless you Amen.
Yours, Joseah Kipngetich Tiongik.
Restored Church of God
RCG now has only 1000 members worldwide, according to one ex-minister.
Robert Thiel has posted (5th March) some quotes from the 2008 edition of a booklet by David Pack, I Will Send Elijah To Restore All Things (March 5th posting), sent to him by a former RCG
p.95 “A future ‘Elijah counterfeit’ will almost certainly soon deceive many unsuspecting brethren.”
The warnings that David Pack gives in this booklet are an amazingly accurate prophecy against himself.
Pack gave a general prophetic warning about himself in December 1998:
want to make a statement about me now. If I became deceived, I will
never tell you what I’m going to tell you now. I am telling you, if I go
off into strange ideas, misconduct, rebellion, you name it, don’t
follow me. I want to tell you that now, because if I start doing that,
I’m gonna try to get you to follow me! I’m gonna come to you and tell
you it doesn’t apply, it doesn’t mean me. No, no, no, no, no, no, it’s
ok to follow me, because ABCD and XY and Z. Do you understand what I’m
saying? Listen to me now, when I tell you, don’t follow me if I go off
into weird ideas, or if I get off into other things that are total
absolutely unscriptural conduct, because if I do, I’m gonna paint it
with a different face and try to get you to follow me. Do you understand
what I’m saying, brethren? Please remember that, because I promise you
that, if I become deceived, I’ll forget it, and I’ll want you to forget
it. And I hope you’ll remember it well enough to quote it right back to
He declares that Herbert Armstrong was Moses and that he, David Pack, is the ‘Elijah to come’ (Malachi 4:4-6).
The Two Witnesses of Revelation 11 will arise from within the RCG, and will be trained by David Pack, long before their commission begins in Jerusalem .
He also confirmed a previous declaration that he is the ‘Joshua to come’.
Adrian Gray left RCG in 2013, because: “Mr Pack’s focus on members is
to get as much cash from them as possible. He uses not going to the
place of safety and hellfire for those who do not give all, and laying
up your reward in heaven for those who do give all.”
Pack says that the phrase ‘all
things in common’ (Acts 2:44 & 4:32) means: sell everything you have and
send the money to him.
absolutely biblical that what we have, we sell, whatsoever we have, we
give it to God’s work. That’s why we were called. You’re not allowed to
hold on to your own income.”
“You are not allowed to hold on to your
own assets. You have an income, you live a wonderful life, life goes on
normally. But if you were called by God and you are to participate in
His work and walk in His ways, you have to turn over your assets to
God’s church. That’s the pattern.”
“It won’t leave you a pauper, it won’t break your life.”
Think Red Ink Ministries
Red Ministries has been removed from our Live Broadcasts web page, as
“TRI TV streaming is in the process of becoming strictly ‘On Demand’.
the years TRI has made many productions available via the various
websites. You have always been able to access and download, audios,
videos, books, Red Letter Academy classes, and more! Perhaps this is
part of the reason why the statistics do not show a lot of activity from
live stream viewers. Due to the extreme expense of streaming live TV
and to stay true to our financial convictions, it became necessary to
trade this system for an ‘On Demand’ system. We think you’re going to
enjoy watching whatever you choose -- whenever you want it! That’s
right! You will soon be able to go to the website whenever you have the
time and inclination and pick what you want to view!
Every time you
watched a Red Letter Edition for an hour or an hour and a half, it
represented as many as 3-4 days to produce EACH SHOW! ThINK of the hours
of production spared that can be now utilized for other things! Like...
Think Red Ink book is finally
ready and will soon be in distribution! Using some of the time formerly
spent with daily radio and TV production, Don has completed the audio
book version as well. (Just wait till you see the photos throughout the
book and hear the dramatization of Traveler's adventures as he ‘meets’
Paul in prison, etc.)
As you listen to these shows or find something
of particular interest on our websites, send us a note and tell us what
you would like to have available ON DEMAND! (If you feel
inspired...send along a proposed title for these programs, as well!)”
Don & Pam Harris.
The Father's Call
writes, in the January 31 update: “You will notice that we have included
the church name – Church of God – on the front page so there is no
misunderstanding of who we are. The Father’s Call is the website name,
not the name of the church ... The Church of God, through this website,
seeks to support those the Father calls to come into a restored
relationship with Himself through His Son, Jesus Christ.”
The Sabbath Broadcasts listing includes ‘The Church of God’ for the ministries of Jamie
McNab in the UK and Don Roth in the USA – who are associates – but they
are not connected with The Father’s Call. In order to avoid confusion, the title of The Father’s Call will be retained.
Live bible studies will now be every two weeks instead of every Friday evening.
Church of God
23rd January Stephen Flurry made the first broadcast from the new UK
studio at Edstone. He quotes from Herbert Armstrong’s autobiography: “It
was the development of the college in Pasadena that made possible the
growth of the whole gospel work,” and he again intimates that the UK
college at Edstone will have the same effect.
Rapid church membership
growth in the UK in the 1960s was achieved, not by the establishment of
Bricket Wood College in 1960 (which Herbert Armstrong closed in 1974),
but by daily broadcasts by Garner Ted Armstrong on off-shore pop music
radio stations - at a time when only the BBC was allowed to have a
mainland radio network - which did not then include a pop music radio
PCG does not have a broadcaster anywhere close to his
quality, and there are now numerous commercial TV and radio channels in
the UK - although very few accept religious programs.
‘The Key of
David’ was due to start on CBS Reality UK in September, but CBS
cancelled it a couple of days before the first broadcast. CBS has
however been persuaded to restore it in the early Sunday morning
listings, and the program now follows ‘Tomorrow’s World’ from the Living
Church of God.