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Church of God News Blog: 2017, 1 November

19 Nov:  LCG News:  LCG announces:  New Congregation Starting in Morgantown, West Virginia.  The headline looks good until one reads the content and realizes that they are setting up a congregation for 24 already existing members to ease their commute. 

Living University will now be a facility for ministerial training.  A letter will be sent out shortly explaining the new system, which they claim will benefit all brethren. 

Doug Winnail writes a paragraph titled  Beware of False Teachers!  LCG is being rocked by the truth being published at our School of Biblical Studies, which is bringing a deluge of questions which they cannot honestly answer, and truths that they do not want to accept. 

For them it is all in the math and has nothing to do with seeking the truth of the Word of God.   They would rather reject the truth and maybe lose a thousand brethren, than to accept the truth and make a few minor changes which would offend the other seven thousand brethren.    Their pride brings self justification, which then prevents spiritual growth; which then will get them rejection by God into strong correction.  Revelation 3:14-22.

 

18 Nov:   Leon Sexton of Legacy Institute, Chiang Mai, Thailand, has suffered a stroke.’   Leon works very hard with the brethren in Burma and Thailand.

 

9 Nov:   LCG:  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. 

They have been struggling with and have been unable to respond to questions from hundreds of brethren about the scriptural information in our book “The Biblical Sabbath and Calendar” free download on the front page is about subjects like Church Government, Ministerial Authority, and the Sanctity of The Sabbath.   

Before Passover this year LU president Michael Germano attacked me and proudly declared that he could “destroy me doctrinally”.  I sent him a message asking for his honest doctrinal  input and he has not responded at this time! 

Nevertheless the inability of the LCG ministers and their leaders to answer honest questions on the subjects from their own brethren, speaks for itself.  LCG teaches that they have the right to bind and loose God’s Word, which is a horrible and indefensible affront to God the Almighty!  See the book for a full explanation of “binding and loosing”.

After discussing the situation inside LCG, the Board has opted to reject the Word of God and remain chained to the false traditions of men.   Of course their organizational traditions are NOT biblically based and they are actually rejecting the Word of God for the false traditions of men!

LCG  Living University Folds!  Living U will close as a “University” at the end of the semester and LCG will now focus on training a ministry instead of funding a “University” and seeking accreditation.   

Gerald Weston crafts the announcement like this:   

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 reality Living University has been a money hog, consuming large quantities of cash and attracting very little interest from potential students.  The lack of interest in LU plus the downturn in regular Sabbath and Feast attendees and income, has necessitated the end of Living U as it is presently constituted. 

We shall see the direction they decide to take from here, although it appears that they will go forward with an education system devoted exclusively to ministerial training [that is indoctrinating people in LCG traditions].   

Oh!  If they would only turn to God with a whole heart!

UCG reports 13,941 Feast of Tabernacles 2017 attendance.  The largest site was Panama City Florida with 968.    2016 UCG Feast attendance was 13,868.  COGWA  Feast attendance for 2017 is estimated at 9,800.

Israel Identity Issues.  Most of today’s COG organizations pay lip service to some form of British Israelism which has been taught by various organizations for hundreds of years, and more recently by Herbert Armstrong. 

In his publication “The United States and the British Commonwealth in Prophecy” [and in the works of other groups] Herbert actually confuses two separate Identity issues.  He mixes together the national identity issue with another identity issue; the identity of the monarchs. 

Let me illustrate this way; when the ten tribes were separated off from the Davidic line and given to a new king:  Was Jeroboam a descendant of David?  No.  When ruled by a different king than one descended from David was Ephraim still Ephraim?  Of course! 

In other words it is NOT necessary that the British monarch be descended from David, for the British people to have descended from the tribe of Ephraim!  Yet Herbert and others have confused these two issues. 

There is absolutely NO doubt that the Anglo Saxon British peoples are descended from Ephraim and the Anglo Saxon  American people are descended from Manasseh.   

On the other hand, some very big holes have been discovered in the concept of British Monarchs being descended from David, and because Herbert intermingled the two issues there are a substantial number of elders who no longer accept the identity of the nations either. 

This issue is not salvational but it is a matter of correctly understanding the Word of God. 

Because many elders are now rejecting the identity of the nations due to the obvious errors in the explanations regarding the British Monarchy as Davidic, I think that it is important to go through the subject of the Davidic line in the scriptures in depth.

I am saying that there are enough inconsistencies with the scriptures about the monarchy – not the origin of the peoples – in Herbert’s book, to warrant a serious study of the scriptures  about the Davidic line. 

This short message is to inform people that I will be dealing with this growing issue in the foreseeable future.

 

6 Nov:   In addition to a big drop in Feast attendance LCG weekly Sabbath attendance and income has been plummeting since the death of Rod Meredith.  Gerald’s comment that “We are encouraged to report that Sabbath attendance and income in most, if not all of our offices around the world, appear to be picking up the last three months.—GEW”   appears to be an attempt to conceal the losses from the various congregations by making each one think that things are better elsewhere. 

Large numbers are now regularly attending other organizations.  The word is now spreading that LCG is not the one and only and LCG is getting desperate to stem the tide, in the next few weeks those on the LCG membership list who’s attendance is sporadic can expect to be told to attend and pay or be struck off the rolls.  

 

5 Nov:   LCG’s Gerald Weston announces:   “We are saddened to announce the recent deaths of Mr. Gary Ullerick (age 85), a longtime elder in Washington state, and Alvina Dellinger (an elder’s wife, age 79).”  That is three elder deaths in the past few weeks. 

There will be a meeting of “the Council of Elders this coming week for three days. Mr. Rob Tyler is coming from Australia, Mr. Stuart Wachowicz from Canada, and Mr. Adam West from the U.K. There is also a Board of Trustees meeting for Living University scheduled for Thursday.

Over the next couple of months, we will be updating our membership listings.  Over the next few weeks, your pastor (or someone to whom he delegates the responsibility) will check with each head of household to make sure that our information is accurate and complete.”  LCG has been experiencing a decline in attendance and income this year so extensive that they need to rewrite their membership list to get a handle on who is still attending.  

Gerald adds:   “We are encouraged to report that Sabbath attendance and income in most, if not all of our offices around the world, appear to be picking up the last three months.—GEW”  GSW’s statement that attendance is picking up refers not to any increase over past years  but to the hope that this year’s decline has hit bottom. 

The Journal will print its last edition at the end of January.

 

2 Nov:   LCG:   LCG seeks input from its Feast attendees to get a handle on the numbers attending to help them plan for next year.  I would expect that they already know how many attended this year and the survey is to try and learn how many will be interested in attending next year. 

LCG numbers are declining and one concern is how the costs affect attendance.  While costs do affect many, the main reason for the decline in LCG Feast attendance seems to be unhappy people checking out other organizations.

UCG:  It seems that UCG is having difficulties in enticing its youth to commit themselves and be baptized.

Victor also announces:  The setting for this past week’s leadership workshop and ministerial conference for the North Central region was the beautiful Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch in Stewartville, Minnesota.  The Pastoral Development Program will begin this coming Monday and run through Nov. 15. Ten couples are coming to the home office from the United States, Australia, Colombia and several countries in Africa.

 

1 Nov:   Gary L Klar COG Toledo age 74, passed away by his wife’s side Friday evening, October 6, 2017 in Elkhart, IN. 

After the breakup of Worldwide, he attended the United Church of God with his family in Toledo.

The Toledo congregation was deceived by Ron Weinland [then of UCG] into splitting from United and forming the Church of God – Toledo.

Later when Weinland attempted to take sole control of the Toledo church and its bank account, Gary was a key element working against Ron Weinland. The Toledo church split, with Ron going his way with the money [about $300,000] and Terry Wrozek, and Gary Klar remaining to seve the people who refused to follow Weinland.   

After numerous egregious failed prophecies and a prison term, Weinland now has about 500 followers believing that the tribulation began in the fall of 2015 and that Christ will come on Pentecost 2019.

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  1. Re British Israelism. I don’t think it can be right to say, as many do, that the Saxon name comes from Isaac and therefore the Saxons are descended from Isaac, as per the scripture “In Isaac shall they seed be called”. The nation of Israel has never been called Isaacs sons – in the bible or anywhere else. This nation is called Israel or the Hebrews, but never a name that has Isaac in it. Sometimes, the people call themselves the children of Abraham, but really Israel is the name by which the nation has been known and still is. So using the Saxon word to say that people are Isaac’s sons and therefore Israelites doesn’t seem valid. It is interesting that British royalty (some) is from the house of Saxe Coburg Gotha which is apparently German. THe derivation of the word Sax or Saxon does not appear to be connected to the name Isaac. I look forward to reading your paper on the identity of the British royalty, James. THe promise to David and Solomon that they would always have one of their line on the throne was conditional on their obedience and loyalty to God. Therefore, it would seem that as the Kings of Judah and the people were disloyal to God, then they lost the right to always have one of their kings ruling over them. I do not in any way wish to disparage the royal family in England. They seem to rule with dignity in a world that is losing its standards. They are German by descent.

  2. Trouble may be brewing with UCG in northern Brazil.

    President Kubik went with Jorge de Campos, for a visit there this Sabbath. Mr. de Campos told a service in Oklahoma last Sabbath there’s some sort of “witchcraft” issue there.

    He did not explain whether he means rebelliousness or literal witchcraft. We’ll see.

    Thank you, I know about the visit but I have not heard of any particular issue there. Please keep us informed if you hear more. James

  3. If it is Brazil, it is probably literal witchcraft. Fred Kellers ran into the same kind of thing in Africa at times.

    The practice of seances and talking to the “dead” is extremely prevalent in Brazil. That said it is very important to wait for the facts and not speculate. James

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