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Church of God News
The Journal: News of the Churches of God
The latest issue of the Journal was published on-line on 10th September.
Biblical Calendar 2014
Day of Atonement is spread over five days - from Thursday, 2nd October, to Monday, 6th October. For the majority, who observe the Church of God version of the Hebrew Calendar, this will be on the Sabbath.
Thursday, 2nd October (first day of the moon’s dark phase);
Friday, 3rd October (astronomical conjunction of the sun and moon);
Sabbath, 4th October
(molad + 1 day postponement - CoG Hebrew calendar);
Sunday, 5th October (first sighting of the new moon anywhere in the world);
Monday, 6th October (first sighting of the new moon from Jerusalem).
Broadcast days and times are listed on the Live Sabbath Broadcasts page.
of Tabernacles 2014 - Torquay, England.
The United Church of God
festival venue in Torquay, on the south coast of England, has been full for several months, but there is no longer a waiting list, and a vacancy has arisen, which includes reservation of a
single room at the festival venue, the Victoria Hotel. Please e-mail the
festival organizer, Frank Jarvis for further information on this or to be put on the waiting list for other possible vacancies that might arise.
Why Were You Born?
Or as the British Humanist Association prosaically puts it, ‘What’s It All For?’
response to BBC Radio’s 4 minute daily religious program, ‘Thought for
the Day’, the BHA charity has launched a ‘Thought for the Commute’
Large posters will be displayed at 100 London Underground train stations over the next two weeks, featuring quotes by eminent British humanist writers.
of ‘Thought for the Day’ has clearly not made the UK population more
religious, and short-period, philosophical ‘sound bites’ on large posters, whether
humanist or religious, are unlikely to have much impact.
however, the Sunday Assembly (formed in January 2013) is quickly putting its Godless church
philosophy into practical action.
Sunday the 28th will see the launch
of 35 new assemblies, 17 of them in the USA.
Its motto is, “Live
better, help often and wonder more,” and its mission is, “to help
everyone reach their full potential in this one life we know we have.”
The Sunday Assembly is not atheist, just non-religious. You can believe in God, but discussion of religion is not allowed. Adam Newton
explains, “The idea is, why not steal all the good bits about church -
the music, the fellowship, the community work - and lose the God stuff.”
some Churches of God gradually “losing the God stuff” - reducing the number
of Bible studies and services at the Festival of Tabernacles, leaving more time for organized social activities, visits to local attractions etc?
United Church of God
On 10th September the UCG held the first of a planned
nationwide series of seminars, entitled, ‘Why Were You Born?’, in its HQ
city of Cincinnati, Ohio.
This was “a major undertaking for the Church”
- publicized by expensive general media advertising, plus cheap
targeted advertising - 5,830 on the Good News mailing list, and 28,500
Cincinnati households who were sent e-mails about the event.
registered for the seminar, but only 74 attended (including a few who
hadn’t signed up in advance). A follow up survey e-mailed to these 74,
plus those who registered but didn't attend, resulted in one new person being interested in attending services with the UCG.
Philadelphia Church of God
Update: CBS cancelled The Key of David shortly before it was first due to be broadcast, at 8.00am on Sunday, 7th September, but strangely continues to list it in the schedule. CBS has not given any reason for the cancellation.
Andrew Locher writes:
mid-July, we received approval to begin airing in Britain. The Key of
David will debut on CBS Reality a few weeks before the Feast of
Trumpets. This station is , available for free over the air to more than
90% of the British population. It also broadcasts into other nations in
the United Kingdom and Europe through cable and satellite. We have the 8
a.m. slot on Sunday mornings, a time that has proven to be our most
effective. We anticipate that this will be the best station ever
available to the PCG in Britain. Our first broadcast will be September
With mounting tension in Britain and Europe, it looks like God’s
timing is perfect for launching The Key of David to the general
population. Pair with that the possibility of expanding Herbert W.
Armstrong College into Britain, and we could muster a labor force ready
to take calls, process requests and do other support work for the
Although CBS Reality is available free to over 90% of the
British population, BARB statistics show that this channel’s percentage
of total weekly viewing is 0.5%, and its average weekly viewing per
person is 8 minutes.
pastor general and false prophet, Gerald Flurry, has admitted that “God
is not opening a door to purchase the Bricket Wood campus near St.
PCG had hoped to recreate Herbert Armstrong’s Ambassador College, however Hanstead House and a large area of adjacent land was bought by Saint Congar, a property development company, in April 2012, but its controversial housing scheme still awaits planning approval, as it involves significant development in the Green Belt.
According to various reports, Flurry announced in July 2013 that the property was being purchased, one source quoting $6.8 million for the house and 7 acres of land.
a recent PCG publication states: ‘PCG officials have been looking for
other estates in England that could suit the purpose of a college campus
and office facility, and he (Flurry) indicated that they were
pleasantly surprised to find a large number of beautiful estates
available that are considerably less expensive than the Bricket Wood
|Living Church of God|
Young, a long-time faithful member of God’s Church in the United
Kingdom and regular contributor to the “Woman to Woman” series in the
Living Church News, died peacefully this morning, 11th September, after an
11-year battle with cancer. We are thankful for Mrs. Young’s life and
contribution to God’s Work, and for the faith God instilled in her and
His divine mercy in answering the many prayers that were offered on her
behalf. She now awaits the resurrection and we look forward to seeing
her at that momentous occasion.”—Jamie Meakin
Jim Meredith has announced that the annual “Winter Family Weekend” will again take place at the Renaissance Charlotte (NC)
Suites Hotel, and will be “three days of spiritual rejuvenation and
fellowship”, beginning with a full day of sports tournaments and games
on Christmas Day, and finishing with a dinner dance on Saturday evening
Persecution in East Africa
Report from Bob Thiel, 11th September: There
are some in Uganda that have expressed interest in the Continuing Church of God, but are not yet actually part of us. Kenya-based Pastor
Evans Ochieng was born in Uganda and was able to meet with a couple of
them. Several hours ago, I received the following from him:
went to meet two brethren from Uganda, who met me at border yesterday
till today early. There is a sad news from them that I would like the
church to offer prayer to this our brethren.
They have a great war with
some denominations that are surrounding them. These denominations are
saying that they are devil worshipers, because they are preaching that
people are not going in heaven. That Christ is coming to rule on earth.
This is a big problem facing these our brethren. Some people have
attacked them and are ready to accuse them because of what they preach.
But it is good that, they insisted that they must preach the truth and
they cannot change whatsoever. Even some of people who had joined went
back to follow men instead of following God.
Now they told me that, even
though the situation is tough, they are going to arrange how I am going
to meet those people on the ground. They told me that I should wait
first and give them time to see how they are going to solve that
problem. We took a lot of time when talking, answering questions, and
talking about the kingdom of God. I urged them not to give up, because
God has chosen them to reach in the kingdom of God. When I saw how they
were brave and strong, I was very happy and pray for them. Please pray
for the gospel in Uganda to stand.”
Report from Bill Goff of Kenya, Hands of Hope :
many of you know, our East African brethren are rich in faith, but
reside among the poor of this world in terms of material wealth. 2014
has been another difficult year for our impoverished brethren, due to
the adverse weather conditions, plus a disease that has devastated much
of the maize crop (which has caused food prices to rise dramatically).
Without our help, most will not be able to attend this year’s Festival
With well over 20 groups now in Kenya and Tanzania,
it will not be possible to have one central location. We have arranged
to have five feast sites this year to accommodate all the brethren.
Transportation to each site will be the individual group’s
responsibility (bar the assisting of widows and orphans). Three of the
sites will meet at their regular Sabbath meeting hall, but two will meet
under tents - that we are now in the process of purchasing.”
When Will Jesus Christ Return?
Roderick Meredith of the Living Church of God writes:
I have been one of the pioneer students of Ambassador College and of
the ministry of this Work under Herbert W. Armstrong, I have been able
to know and converse for many hours with nearly all of the leading men
who studied prophecy in detail in the early years. I have also read some
articles and books on prophecy and biblical chronology by outsiders.
one of the leading men that I talked to in this Work—including Dr.
Herman Hoeh, Dr. Ernest Martin, Dr. Charles Dorothy, Dr. Robert Kuhn and
others—have acknowledged that they came to realize during their study
of biblical chronology that we could ‘easily’ be 20 or 30 years off in
either direction! Therefore, it should be easy to realize that Christ may not come until about 2030AD!”
Meredith and the other pioneer
students in the 1950s who became ministers preached, as Herbert
Armstrong had been doing, the imminent return of Christ—in the next 5 to
10 years—and then specifically 1975. When this prophecy failed, they
declared that Jesus Christ must return during the lifetime of Herbert
Armstrong—who died in 1986—and then by 1996/7AD, this being the year
6000 from creation according to James Ussher’s chronology.
Roderick Meredith’s conversations with these other leading men must have taken place over 40
years ago, as Ernest Martin resigned in January 1974 from the Worldwide Church of God.
The brethren should not however complain about this deception:
must never be involved in ‘murmuring’ and ‘disputing’ and complaining
about the fact that Almighty God is giving human beings more time ...”
Leon Sexton writes: “Please remember our brethren in Burma. They cannot attend the Feast of Tabernacles in Thailand. We are again planning an FOT site in Burma near the central city of Taungoo. Please remember our brethren who will gather there. Legacy graduates and the COG deacon in Rangoon will be serving at the Burmese site. Most of our Burmese brethren are subsistence farmers or day laborers and earn very little money. We need to help out with food, some accommodations and transportation. We need to send them U.S. $2,000.00 to cover these festival expenses. If you wish to make a donation for the Feast of Tabernacles in Burma, please send to P.O. Box 575, Monrovia, California 91016, with a note ‘FOT Burma’.”
The Vatican and ‘Christian Unity’
Palmer, an evangelical Anglican bishop and close friend of Pope
Francis, who consecrated him to be a “bridge for the promotion of
Christian unity,” died in hospital on 20th July, following a collision
between his motor cycle and a car near his home in south-west England.
Cardinal Kurt Koch,
President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, sent a
message of condolence to his widow, saying that Bishop Palmer’s
meetings with Pope Francis over recent months had given "great impetus
to ecumenical relations between the Catholic Church and Evangelical
Christians.” His strong faith and his passion for unity, the Cardinal
said, “reached a global audience of Christians with the message that
there is no time to be wasted in division, the time for unity is now.”
Tony Palmer was due to be in Italy on 28th July for a meeting with the pope and Rev. Giovanni Traettino. Zenit.org
reported on 28th July: ‘Pope Francis has met privately with Evangelical
pastor and friend Rev. Giovanni Traettino in Caserta, southern Italy.
After the private visit this morning with the friend he’s known since
early ministry in Buenos Aires, the Pope surprisingly met with the
Community of the Pentecostal Church of Reconciliation - which is under
construction - and gave a speech. The Vatican has said the text of the
talk is being transcribed and will be published soon.’
The video Does the Pope’s Message Fulfill Prophecy is an analysis by Doug Batchelor of Tony Palmer's presentation and the Pope's message in Palmer's video The Miracle of Unity Has Begun.
International Congregation of Yahweh
ICY is sponsoring an International Festival of Tabernacles in 2015, to be held at Elementaita Country Lodge (about 85 miles north of Nairobi Airport.)
“It’s been almost 15 years since we began to hold international gatherings every 3-5 years at Tabernacles time. In that time believers from all over the globe have met together and celebrated Tabernacles, this incredibly joyful feast, in the UK (2000 & 2010), the USA (2003), and in Jamaica (2006). These international gatherings have been rich in fellowship, worship and the ministry of the Word. There is a thriving and developing national congregation in Kenya and the people are keenly excited about hosting this event.”
There is an option of a variety of safaris following the festival.
Bookings need to be made by mid-October.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for any further information you require, and contact details of the festival organizer in your part of the world.
Church of God 7th Day
The Journal’s lead article in the July 2014 issue concerns Bill
Hicks, pastor of The Rest of God Ministries, and International Ministerial
Congress Executive Director, who resigned from the General Conference of the
(Denver based) Church of God Seventh Day in June.
The Ministerial License and Credentials Committee alleged
that he had posted “inflammatory and defamatory e-mails” concerning
leaders of the church.
Bill Hicks published an online newsletter, dated 19 May 2014,
titled ‘Wanted: Church Organizations That Care More About Your Soul Than
Your Assets!’ alleging that the church’s national board of directors
had spent more than $80,000 for legal advice on how to adopt a new
constitution to enable it to exercise control over local church assets.
that the CoG7 General Conference has formed a ‘committee’ which is
preparing to reveal their recommendations on a completely new
constitution in advance of their general conference next year, it is
high time all local churches wake up and see what is going on. The sales
pitch is always something like this: ‘If you give us (the
denomination) full control over all power and assets of the local
church, we can do a better job of preaching the gospel’.”
Whaid Rose, CoG7 President and Chairman of the Conference, declined to comment on the allegations and resignation.
Christian Biblical Church of God
On the front page of the 31st May 2014 issue of The Journal is a report of a sermon given on 3rd May by the church's founder, Fred Coulter, entitled Guard the Doctrine of God,
in which he criticized the Journal for publishing “heresies to deceive
those who are trying to be faithful” - particularly articles on the
Passover and the Biblical Calendar.
He also criticized the leadership of the United Church of God for changes in doctrine that they are supposedly preparing. After 11 minutes he says, “In one of the Churches of God today there is a man [he means Viktor Kubik] who was also in charge of the big church that we left years ago [he was in charge of Ministerial Services - Joseph Tkach was in overall charge of the Worldwide Church of God], who was the leading one in bringing the false doctrines within that church. [Tkach and others brought in the new doctrines - Kubik's responsibility
was to ensure that all the ministers taught them.] And guess what they’re doing in that church [United Church of God], they are investigating 26 doctrines.”[None of which are fundamental doctrines.] ... Currently one of the ministers is giving a series of six sermons on the Passover, entitled ‘Changes in the Passover’. [The correct title of the series is 'Six Steps to Passover']
22 minutes Fred Coulter discusses the Hebrew Calculated Calendar,
admitting that “there are some things you have to take on faith.” He
asserts that God gave this calendar to the priests and the Levites at
Mount Sinai [thus by-passing Moses, who wrote all the words of the Lord - Exodus 24:4 - and delivered the law to the priests and the Levites - Deut.31:9].
warns that, if you do not believe this and you observe another
calendar, “in your own self righteousness, God’s judgement will be upon
Continuing Church of God
over 5 years Robert Thiel has considered himself to be a prophet, and
now he is preparing the ground for the possibility of his also being the
Elijah to come.
“As far as ‘Elijah’, the position of the Church of
God since the beginning is that there would be three biblical ‘Elijahs’.
The original Elijah (e.g. 1 Kings 17:1), John the Baptist (Matthew
7:12-13), and an Elijah to come at the very end of the church age
(Malachi 4:4-6) to restore all things (Matthew 17:11).”
“Although I have not ‘restored all things’, nor am I insisting that I personally must be the prophesied Elijah, the reality is that I and CCOG have restored what Dr. Meredith repeatedly wrote needed to be.”
[Meredith is the leader of the Living Church of God, which Thiel left at the end of 2012 to form CCOG.]
Herbert Armstrong seemed to feel he was an Elijah, I have yet to see
any published statement from him where he directly stated that he was
the only possible Elijah, that he restored ALL things, and that there
could be no Elijah figure after his death ...”
HWA taught that the one of the two witnesses come in the spirit and
power of Elijah, and he was not one of the final two witnesses, he
clearly allowed for another ‘Elijah’.”
the old WCG taught what I believe that the Bible teaches on them (on
the one or two that it did not, one is consistent with a November 1979
HWA writing, and on the other an advisor to HWA told me that HWA would
have agreed with me on that as well).”