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Church of God News


The Journal: News of the Churches of God

The January 31 issue of the Journal is now available on-line.

The lead articles concern UCG's decision to change the title of its flagship magazine, and Herbert Armstrong's closure and attempted sale of the property at Big Sandy. Reported potential buyers included Pat Robertson, Kenneth Copeland and Jimmy Bakker.


Wes White of the Church of God International, writes (p.15, ed.): “Our history of evangelism began in the early 1930s when emphasis was placed on a three-pronged approach: radio, print media and personal appearances.
In the 1960s this formula for evangelism was revised to include television. And it worked back then. Unfortunately, too many of our leaders are still stuck in this outdated quagmire. Their method of preaching the gospel is to put a talking head on TV and supplement it with booklets and a magazine. This is followed by occasional public personal appearances in local cities by the TV talking head. And it does not give us the same results that we had from 1933 to 1975.
Before World War II most generals believed the tank should be a supplement to the infantry. It took visionary military leaders such as Patton and Montgomery to realize that the reverse should be practiced. That is, the tank should lead in battle and then be followed by the infantry.
Today too many of our church leaders ask how they can use the Internet and social media to supplement their three-pronged programs when they should be using the Internet and social media as their frontline driving force. We can’t think past the old three-pronged strategy. As a result of our futile efforts to continue using outdated methods, our churches continue to age.
We must ask ourselves if we are content to continually watch others take away our crown. If not, we must get out of the rut of using outdated methods of evangelism. We pour thousands and thousands of dollars into programs that no longer work.
When it comes to God’s truth, we should never change. But, when it comes to methods of promoting that truth, we will either change or die out.”

Biblical New Year

The March new moon diagrams show that the crescent new moon will be visible first on the evening of 20th March in the far west (e.g. Hawaii), provided weather conditions are perfect, and will be easily visible over most of the world on the following evening.

The new year for the larger churches (calculating by the Jewish calendar) will begin on the evening of 20th March.

Legacy Institute

From Leon Sexton: “I go into the hospital tomorrow, March 3rd, to finally have the angiogram and possible angioplasty performed. Please pray that all goes smoothly and successfully. Something is causing my heart to experience arrhythmia. This has been going on since the Feast of Tabernacles. I need a strong heart to complete whatever it is that Our Lord Jesus wants us to do over here in Asia.
I appreciate your heartfelt prayers for Gloria and myself during this time.”

Restored Church of God

RCG now has only 1000 members worldwide, according to one ex-minister.

On 28th February David Pack posted three new long audios on his website, Malachi: God's Final Warning to You!

David Pack gave a prophetic warning about himself in December 1998, which his recent postings (below) demonstrate is now coming to pass:

“I 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 me.”

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’.
Ex-minister 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.
“It’s 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.”

United Church of God

From the Council of Elders report, 23rd February 2015:
‘Viktor Kubik stated that Aaron Dean has done a superb job overseeing the international areas. The goal for all international areas is to have them work out a plan towards self-sufficiency.’

Why would the church want to cut back on aid to, for example, Central and East Africa, when ... ‘Rick Shabi opened his report by stating that the financial condition of the Church at this date is very strong’?

Aaron Dean is planning to visit East Africa for Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread.


’Ministerial and Member Services has issued four amendment proposals, on which the General Conference of Elders will vote at its Annual Meeting in May. The proposals are minor and none involves any amendment to doctrine.


The Italian congregation is offering “a Tuscany 4 day pre-feast cultural tour in Florence, Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano to the brethren who can attend the Atonement Day with us at the Feast of Tabernacles feast site.

The bus will depart to Tuscany on the morning after the Atonement Day and the group will be returning on time to the Feast of Tabernacles site (detailed information will be emailed to the applicants).”


“It is with great pleasure that we announce to you the sale of the Denton, Texas, property that the Church has owned for some time. The sale of the 81-acre property was finalized on February 10, 2015, to a Texas-based land speculation company. The Church purchased the property at the height of the real estate market in January 2008 [for $1.6 million]. While the land was sold at a loss from the amount paid at that time (before the decline in real estate prices), our agents, the Council and the Administration are satisfied that the amount received was fair market value and that it was not reasonable in the foreseeable future to expect a higher purchase price.
We thank God for His mercy in allowing this land to be sold. We seek His will about how the proceeds should be used in doing His Work.”
Victor Kubik, President, & Rick Shabi, Treasurer.

Think Red Ink Ministries

Think Red Ministries has been removed from our Live Broadcasts web page, as “TRI TV streaming is in the process of becoming strictly ‘On Demand’.
Through 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...
The 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.

Living Church of God

Rod McNair reports that “Dr. Doug Winnail and Mr. Peter Nathan spent last Sabbath with our new group in Kendu Bay, Kenya, and also with the congregation in Ndhiwa. They held a leadership conference with 40 elders, deacons, and wives, Sunday through Tuesday. Wednesday night, they conducted a Bible Study in Nairobi. They also explored the possibility of airing the ‘Tomorrow’s World’ telecast at a media outlet in Nairobi.”
Bob Thiel (who left LCG to form the Continuing Church of God) says, “According to another report I received, LCG has been able to greatly increase the number of people they have there, as a group once part of Church of God, an International Community  (which Peter Nathan had been part of) is now with them.”


In November all congregations were commanded to play a sermonette by Rod McNair on Ministerial Authority and a sermon by Rod Meredith on God’s Government.
(These two audios have been removed from this independent website. In each case: “The item is not available due to issues with the item's content.”)

The audios explain that LCGs doctrine on church government gives the ministry rulership over its church members, some of whom have been expressing disagreement with various doctrines and distrust of even the leading ministers.
Roderick Meredith says, “We found that some of these people we’ve had to put out (of the church) ... they often lie and lie, and they’ll twist and turn, and turn things around ...”
“I’ve asked Mr McNair and Mr (Bob) League - they’ve been working as a team to get all the information on many of these things - and I’m working with them and other leaders ... We’re trying to keep God’s church clean.”


Roderick Meredith wrote in the July/August issue of Living Church News:

“Because 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.
Every 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!
From the start of his ministry more than 60 years ago, Roderick Meredith continuously preached (as did other leading ministers) that Jesus Christ would return in the next 5 years, or at most 15 years - then specifically 1975 - and then that it must happen in the lifetime of Herbert Armstrong - who died in 1986. (His conversations with Ernest Martin must have taken place over 40 years ago, as Ernest Martin resigned from the Worldwide Church of God in January 1974.)
He says that the brethren should not complain about this:
“We must never be involved in ‘murmuring’ and ‘disputing’ and complaining about the fact that Almighty God is giving human beings more time ...”

The Father's Call

Brian Orchard 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.

Philadelphia Church of God

On 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 channel.
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.

Congregation of YHWH (Jerusalem)

Don Esposito has written an article for members to clarify why he is beginning the biblical year on March 21, contrary to what he had written in Lesson 11 of his correspondence course, ‘The Biblical Calendar’: “Clearly from scripture we are to start the year in spring after the vernal equinox and not in winter before it; thus, the next new moon after the equinox was the beginning month of Aviv, thus always occurring in the spring.” (p.7)
In 2015 the March equinox will occur at 00.45 on March 21 (Jerusalem time).
By ‘new moon’, he means the astronomical new moon (conjunction of sun and moon), which will occur at 11.36 on March 20 and 20.57 on April 18 (Jerusalem times). He begins a month at the following sunset, so the new year should begin at sunset on April 19. However, he will begin the new year at sunset (17.51) on March 21, almost 5 hours before the equinox.
His new article, ‘2015 and the Start of the Year’, clarifies, but also confuses as to which
‘biblical calendar’ he is really observing this year.

“Since the conjunction actually happens a few hours before the equinox some may wrongly assume that there should be another month added to the calendar, which would be inaccurate, since March 21, 2015 is both the first day of spring and also the first day of the new month, which would have to be Aviv, since spring and the new year would already be here.
The day of the equinox is NOT the last day of the old year but the first day of Spring/Summer, one can verify this on any celestial website including timeanddate.com. The day starts at the following sunset after conjunction, which in this case is the same day as the equinox, which makes it Aviv one. The month is based on the day cycle, but the year is based on the season and moon cycle.
The biblical calendar is a cyclical calendar based on both the celestial movement of the sun, moon and stars and confirmed by the agriculture in Israel. In 2015 the cycle is complete and the equinox occurs on March 21, which is also the first day of the new month, which would make it Aviv one, and not Adar 2. To wait a full extra month would make no sense and would throw off the entire agricultural cycle in which I have witnessed to for the last 15 years here in Israel.” (emphasis is ours) ....
“One thing that has been amazing is in my 15 years living here in Israel not once has the agricultural cycle ever disagreed with the biblical calendar but each year confirmed it. This can only come from Yahweh, as some years start early as this year and some years later, but every year was confirmed by Yahweh from heaven from the harvest fruits at the proper time.
This year we got such early rain in November as never before and everything turned green one month early in mid November instead of mid December. I have never seen it happen this early in the 15 years I have been here and the almost 20 years of coming to Israel. So I can almost say with certainty that there will be Aviv barley in March in preparation for the feast of firstfruits as the barley grass is already about 3 inches high, which is extremely rare for this time of year. The miracle is it could have just as easily gone the other way like last year, which had very little rain and later barley, but again Yahweh confirms His biblical calendar from His Holy Land.
I apologize if our literature on this subject made it somewhat confusing, since we stated that to start the year you should wait until after the equinox and then the next new moon is Aviv one, but it is more properly stated you should wait ‘until
the equinox and then start the new year as in cases such as 2015, where the equinox (new year) and new moon (new month) fall on the same day, making it clearly Aviv 1, and not Adar 2. Neither word is in scripture but is assumed and. when taking the whole calendar into account, including the agricultural cycle here in Israel, than it is clear that ‘until’ is more properly implied than ‘after’.”

Church of God, a Worldwide Association

The January 2015 issue of One Accord, which is now available online, includes 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 respect.”
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.

Larry 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 the administration.”
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.

Continuing Church of God
Bob Thiel writes (18th December):

“Some have wondered how many members/congregants are in the Continuing Church of God. Because we are scattered, this is hard to know for certain.

As reported before, over 500 attended our Feast of Tabernacles’ sites in 2014. More could have come, but we had some border issues in Tanzania and some other issues in Nairobi, Kenya. Some elsewhere could not make it for financial, distance, or other reasons. As it turns out, other scattered groups and individuals have asked to be part of us, since the Feast of Tabernacles.
Today, at my request, Pastor Evans Ochieng sent me a detailed report about members/congregants in Kenya and Tanzania. His report did not include some recent ones who have contacted us, nor some with interest in Uganda or Sudan. For my part, I also have not included numbers for 2-3 groups that are distantly related to us in Asia. Nor have I counted all who may actually be with us – but tried to only include those that I was fairly certain were with us.
Based upon those parameters, I calculated a total.
As of December 18, 2014, there are at least 680 members/congregants in the Continuing Church of God. We have members in all inhabited continents, as well as various islands. We have at least twenty congregations, as well as scattered ones in many locations.” [full text, including news of youth camp]