Church of God News Blog: 2018, 1 January – June

A very warm welcome to all our brethren and guests.   For older COG news please see the COG News Blog category on the sidebar.

29 Jun:  Special Sabbath Music-   In an effort to expose the brethren to the international character of the coming Kingdom of God I occasionally post music from various countries.  Today’s music is from Egypt “My Life is Yours.”


24 Jun:   LCG-  Elder Mickey Mayeaux, of Lafayette, Louisiana. Mr. Mayeaux, an LCG elder since 2014, died on June 7. On August 15, we’ll begin our first online course, “The Life, Ministry and Teachings of Jesus Christ.” At this point, more than 600 members and ministers have pre-enrolled to take part in the course. [This is a substantial improvement in numbers from earlier reports.]  As of this writing, there are 7,541 members and guests successfully registered for the Feast.


22 Jun:   Grace Communion International- Greg Williams, GCI Vice President has instructed all congregations still paying lip-service to the seventh day Sabbath to desist and begin holding services on Sunday

The GCI will also adopt weekly communion and the Catholic Liturgical Calendar for its church services schedule of sermons.  “Wanting to assist you in that work, we have published in this issue an article that addresses worship in GCI congregations. It includes a standard order of services (liturgy) that, though not required, is strongly recommended.”

This liturgy is derived from the 1969 Ordo Lectionum Missae, a three-year lectionary produced by the Roman Catholic Church, following the reforms of the Second Vatican Council.
“ … change should now be a priority … strongly recommended.”The GCI is now using the Revised Common Lectionary, which is standard for Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, some Methodists and in recent years, many Evangelical churches. 

UCG- Victor Kubik is again in contact with his Ukrainian Sabbatarian friends and is hoping to establish a relationship between them and UCG, like the relationship being established between UCG and certain groups in Misiones, Argentina, Mizoram, India, and in Angola.  Here is a short list of  a few such Sabbatarian groups.  Also see the WIKI section on the Seventh Day Baptists and the Adventist Movement.   Truly there is a very large body of believers in various stages of spiritual growth outside of the Armstrong based COG.  During the tribulation God will be converting 144,000 pillars and quite probably hundreds of thousands of others of all nations, very many of which will have never heard of the Armstrong COG. 

COGWA- Jim Franks is attempting to counter the complaints of a lack of any COGWA outreach program by updating COGWA on the Franks Horchak “Foundation Outreach International” charity which is a copy of the Kubik LifeNets organization. In fact the FOI does not preach the gospel and is an attempt to establish a public charity fund raising organization with no apparent connection to religion. They have even removed the word Ambassador from the original name “Ambassador Outreach International.” 


16 Jun:  Please use and bookmark one of the new secure addresses for TheShiningLight School of Biblical Studies.  Home  or  Articles.   

At this site, this Church of God News blog will expire and a new Blog will be started on July first.  If you have bookmarked this COG News blog please remember to navigate to the New COG News Blog from here after 1 July.

A weekly series on God’s Plan for Personal Salvation began at this site Wednesday 13 June.  Nine extensive in depth articles on what is required for salvation are planned. This is material that we all should have studied thoroughly as part of baptismal counseling and a refresher is appropriate. I will also be keeping up with the Epistles studies at the Bible School site.

15 Jun:   The new moon was seen at Jerusalem by several observers this evening.  

A Blessed New Moon for All God’s Faithful!  The new moon was sighted by multiple witness in Jerusalem after sunset this evening making 16 Jun the first day of the fourth biblical month!  

God’s Word tells us to begin the new month with the first visible light of the new moon as seen from Jerusalem.  The new moon day is an Appointed Time like Passover and is not a High Day, it is to be observed with Bible Studies and the Shofar.  For more information please see the Calendar articles at this category.   

When Christ comes and the Ezekiel Temple is built, special new moon sacrifices will be offered and in addition to the Shofar being sounded in every town, the two silver trumpets will be sounded over the sacrifices in the Temple at Jerusalem.  See Ezekiel 40-48 and the Leviticus studies.

For HWA and the New Moons see these articles

Remember that when Christ comes he will require all humanity to observe the New Moons.  Isaiah 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.


14 Jun:    New Moon Announcement-  The new moon was NOT seen from Jerusalem this evening. Since tomorrow evening completes 30 days and no month can be longer than 30 days the first day of the Fourth biblical month begins at sunset tomorrow.

UCG:   Ministry-  Steven Britt, wife Danielle  and family will be relocating to the Philadelphia; Columbia, MD; Northern VA; Richmond, VA and Delmarva congregations this autumn.
Ministerial trainee, Joshua Creech, wife Lizzy, and family will be moving to the Nashville area to serve under Gary Petty.
Ryan Hall has been hired and is beginning ministerial training.


3 Jun:  LCG-  Gerald Weston reports that 13 students have been accepted to study at Charlotte and 393 have registered for online studies.  Gerald claims that this response is “very encouraging.” 

I point out that LCG claims a membership of over 10,000 and that some 400 online students is only a 4% response.  To my mind LCG members should be flocking to take advantage of the opportunity for deeper instruction in doctrine, and only a 4% response would be deeply disappointing. 

It appears that most of the LCG brethren are either not interested in the teachings of their organization, or they are not interested in doctrine at all and are attending services for social reasons, or they are finding spiritual meat elsewhere; such as TheShiningLight School of Biblical Studies which is absolutely free and full of in depth studies. 


30 May:   theshininglight-  New books on “Personal Salvation,”  “Ecclesiastical Authority” and “Passover, Wave Offering and Unleavened Bread” are now available for free here

COGWA-  COGWA is taking in large sums with their Jan to Apr income up 19%.  Most of this money is being spent on a large construction project and investments rather than on public preaching.  The lack of effort to preach to the public  is bringing dismay among many who would like to see some public outreach beyond an internet site.  There is also dissatisfaction among various elders who feel that their areas are being neglected and short funded. 

Jim Franks complains in   In Accord, 24 May 2018

 “Striving for unity is always something we do. We do it because we want to be more effective in preaching the gospel to the world and also caring for the brethren. But you know, we live in a time 2018 when there is a lot of cynicism. I see it and I see the reasons why. We can have an organization that will make a claim, “We’re unified now.” Well sometimes the loud cries of unity are only a mask to cover up division. We’ve seen that as well, and it’s always disappointing, and sometimes disillusioning.”

While there is some dissatisfaction in the ranks there is a general feeling of pride based on the physical riches of the organization and the hope that a solid financial foundation is being laid for a future public outreach push. 


26 May:   A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s faithful!  Today is the seventh Sabbath after the Wave Offering: According to the Biblical Calendar God gave to Moses Tomorrow, 27 May is the Feast of Pentecost. Please see our Spring Festivals studies


24 May:   UCG- 


On May 20, 2018, Les Babb was ordained into the ministry. He and his wife, Linda, serve in the Medford, Oregon, congregation.
On May 20, 2018, Lacy Mayes was ordained into the ministry. He and his wife, Frances, serve in the Hickory, North Carolina, congregation.
On May 20, 2018, Devin Schulz was ordained into the ministry. He serves as an assistant pastor for the congregations in Milwaukee, Oshkosh and Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, with his wife, Tiffany.

Pastoral Updates

Mr. Rob Slocum has been named an assistant pastor for the United Church of God congregation in Portland, Oregon, working with pastor Rex Sexton. Mr. Slocum has served as an elder in the Portland congregation with his wife, Tina, since September 2017.

Mr. Gary Beam is now serving as pastor for the congregation in Huntsville, Alabama, in addition to his previous assignments of Tupelo (Mississippi) and Birmingham (Alabama).

Mr. Rick Beam has relocated, and is now serving as pastor for the congregations in Rome (Georgia), Gadsden (Alabama) and Chattanooga (Tennessee).

The previous pastor for Huntsville, Gadsden and Chattanooga, Mr. David Dobson, is currently in the process of relocating to his new pastoral assignment in Alaska.

Mr. Doug Collison is now serving as pastor for the four congregations previously served by Rick Beam: Paducah and Henderson (Kentucky), Cape Girardeau and Poplar Bluff (Missouri).

We thank Mr. Paul Burnes for his service over the past year as interim pastor for the Rome congregation.

Later this fall, Mr. Steven Britt and his wife, Danielle, will be transferred from the Cincinnati area to Columbia, Maryland. Mr. Britt will continue his ministerial training alongside pastor Don McCoy. Mr. Britt will help to serve the congregations in Columbia (Maryland), Richmond and Northern Virginia, Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), and Delmarva.

Later this fall, Mr. Joshua Creech and his wife, Lizzy, will be transferred from the Cincinnati area to Nashville, Tennessee. Mr. Creech will continue his ministerial training alongside pastor Gary Petty. Mr. Creech will help to serve the congregations in Nashville, Murfreesboro and Jackson, Tennessee.


21 May:   I have been working hard at revising the Sabbath Calendar book.  I am adding new material and some existing material has been removed and added to the “Personal Salvation” book.  In addition some explanations will be improved and there will be a much improved new cover and title. 

I am also working on a post about the Mickelson paper and the UCG Doctrinal Committee’s response which will cover the very subtle earth shaking change in UCG as a follow up to last week’s Grace post. 

The new book tentatively titled “Ecclesiastical Authority: God’s Sabbath and Calendar”  will deal with the Mickelson issue of the God of the Old Testament as well as Law and Grace, Binding and Loosing,  the responsibilities of the priesthood/ministry  and the parameters and limits of their authority; concluding with the man made changes to the Sabbath and the Calendar.

18 May:   Special music song and dance of rejoicing.

A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!  Today is the sixth Sabbath after the Wave Offering.  By the calendar God gave to Moses, 27 May is the Feast of Pentecost!  I am working on a special Pentecost article for next Sunday.


17 May:   UCG-  Richard “Dick” Hegna, age 84, an elder who served in the East Texas congregation, died on Sunday, May 13. 

The UCG COE May 8-10 Report has been posted here and because I see that Chairman Ward’s Pentecost letter is not yet available at the UCG site I have appended that letter to the bottom of the CoE Report.  Also see the new post “The Corporate COG Struggle with Law and Grace.” 

TheShiningLight-  The new book “Personal Salvation: The Way to Peace and Eternal Fife” is now available at the Free page.  This is a serious study on how individuals can be reconciled to God the Father and receive the gift of eternal life.


16 May:   A Blessed New Moon for All God’s Faithful!  The new moon was sighted by multiple witness in Jerusalem after sunset this evening making 17 May the first day of the third biblical month!  

God’s Word tells us to begin the new month with the first visible light of the new moon as seen from Jerusalem.  The new moon day is an Appointed Time like Passover and is not a High Day, it is to be observed with Bible Studies and the Shofar.  For more information please see the Calendar articles at this category.   

When Christ comes and the Ezekiel Temple is built, special new moon sacrifices will be offered and in addition to the Shofar being sounded in every town, the two silver trumpets will be sounded over the sacrifices in the Temple at Jerusalem.  See Ezekiel 40-48 and the Leviticus studies.

For HWA and the New Moons see these articles

Remember that when Christ comes he will require all humanity to observe the New Moons.  Isaiah 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.

UCG-  Don Ward has sent out a pre-Pentecost letter on the Holy Spirit which assumes that all the UCG “members” have the Spirit.  He is thus presenting the corporate UCG as the “True Church” the body of Christ when it is not.  See also the May 12 LCG news.

The letter should be available at the members site soon.


15 May:   Observers will be out looking for the new moon at Jerusalem Wednesday evening at sunset.  


12 May:   A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s faithful!  Today is the fifth Sabbath after the Wave Offering! 

LCG-  Gerald Weston has put out a sermon linking baptism with loyalty to LCG.  He uses this opportunity to decry LCG folks visiting other groups. Substantial numbers of LCG folks have been visiting other groups especially UCG and COGWA and the numbers are shrinking in LCG.  I expect that David Pack is disappointed that he is not benefiting from this, another prophecy failure. 

Of course we are baptized into God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  We are not baptized into LCG or any other corporate organization; and to use baptism to demand organizational loyalty is blasphemy!

Gerald is not alone in this, as various other groups practice the same deception. Yet these folks are just doing what they learned from Herbert Armstrong who used the very same classic con artist bait and switch technique, saying that we are not baptized into any organization of men and then once baptized claiming that we are now baptized members of the WCG corporate organization. 

God’s true Ekklesia consists of all those who have God’s Holy Spirit and live by every Word of God, not following any man or any organization of men!  These folks even use baptism into godliness as a tool to lead us AWAY from God to exalt corporate loyalty!  How can they escape the correction of God?


9 May:   TheShiningLight-   Two new books have been published; “Hebrews to Jude” and a prophecy book;  Tribulation and Deliverance.”  They are both available for purchase or as free downloads at the Free page


6 May:  UCG GCE Ballot Results-  

Council of Elders seats:

Anthony Wasilkoff, international
Scott Ashley
Robert Dick
Len Martin

Approve the 2018-2019 Strategic Plan — Approved, 238 for; 12 against
Approve the 2018-2019 Operation Plan — Approved, 231 for; 19 against
Approve the 2018-2019 Budget — Approved, 228 for; 23 against
Approve adding Rule 5 Asset Protection to the Rules of Association — Approved, 224 for; 19 against

(This amendment assures that building and land assets are held in the name of UCG IA or an equivalent international associated body.)

Approve Procedure for Amending the Fundamental Beliefs — Approved, 192 for; 42 against.

Approve amendment to Bylaw 8.4.1 Number of Council Members — Approved, 226 for; 14 against
(This amendment assures that, when a Council member is elected to the Council they retain their domestic or international status through the duration of their term, regardless of relocation or adjustment of duties.)


TheShiningLight-   Visit our new Free page at this site for free Bible Studies downloads. 

LCG-  Two new congregations will begin in the next few weeks: Concord, North Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina.   They are intended to ease the commute to Charlotte and other cities.

There are only eight applicants for the fourteen positions in the LCG on-site Living Education program.   Jonathon McNair writes:  Mr. Ken Frank, Dr. Scott Winnail and I will be joined by our staff and student guests on the new Living Education Facebook site for a special one-hour interactive presentation about Living Education. This will be a great time to ask questions about the program or just listen to the discussion. Just go to, which is the Living Education Facebook page, at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) this coming Sunday evening.

The LCG Council of Elders will be meeting from Monday through Wednesday.


5 May:  A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s faithful!  Today is the fourth Sabbath after the Wave Offering!  Coming next week, an explanation of the True Gospel.


2 May:   LCG-   The May-June Tomorrow’s World is now online, circulation numbers are no longer printed on the cover as circulation plummets.  Circulation is now less than half of the March-April 2016: 539,000. 

The new Charlotte education one year program for potential ministers will accept only seven men and seven women this year, nevertheless they still have room for more applications. It appears that interest is less than hoped.

UCG-  Elders are gathering in Cincinnati for the annual GCE Conference next week.  They will vote to fill four COE seats and vote on new Rules of Association and an entirely new system for changing the List of Fundamental Beliefs.  UCG hopes that with new association rules they will attract other organizations to UCG.

TheShiningLight-   Work is progressing on a new edition of the “Bible Prophecy” book and a new book on the Sovereignty of God titled “Ecclesiastical Authority,” featuring the godly function, limits and parameters of the Priesthood/Ministry. 

The Jeremiah study should end tomorrow and on Friday a series featuring completely updated Epistles studies is scheduled to begin with Romans.


29 Apr:   LCG News-   Gerald Weston:  After much discussion and consultation with all involved, we want to announce the following ministerial transfers for the United Kingdom:

Mr. Peter Nathan will assume the responsibility of Regional Director of the U.K., Europe, and Africa next month.

Mr. Hugh Stewart will become pastor under supervision from Mr. Nathan for Shepherds Bush and Sevenoaks.

Mr. Simon Roberts will continue pastoring Hook and will become the pastor for the Midlands. He will also help Mr. John Meakin with South Wales. Mr. Nathan will assist Mr. Roberts as needed.

Mr. John Meakin will remain where he currently lives and continue pastoring the congregations he has, with help from Simon Roberts.

As announced earlier, Mr. Adam West will relocate to become Northeast Regional Pastor in the U.S.

The Canadian office also announces that Mr. and Mrs. Kinnear Penman, who have been serving in the Vancouver area over the past year, will be transferred to serve the churches in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland. This large area has been served for many years by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Best. Growth in media responses and overall attendance requires the addition of another minister.

The Living University Library has been renamed the “Roderick C. Meredith Memorial Library.”

So far 5,292 brethren and guests have registered for the Living Church of God Feast of Tabernacles.


28 Apr:   A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!  This is the third Sabbath after the Wave Offering!


24 Apr:   “Bible Studies Galatians to Philemon” is now available for purchase here.  The writings of Paul have been twisted for generations because they are vital to personal salvation.  These studies will be posted serially at the Bible Studies site:  Nevertheless having the complete series in one volume without waiting for day by day postings would be a great advantage. 


21 Apr:   A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!  Today is the second Sabbath after the Wave Sheaf Offering.


19 Apr:   UCG-   Chloe Aschenbrenner daughter of Randy and Keri (Seelig) Aschenbrenner passed away in Cincinnati at the age of two years.

Sedro-Woolley, Washington elder Warren Larson died from heart complications last Saturday morning.

A meeting of international elders will be held on Friday, May 4, just before the UCG annual GCE conference.


17 Apr:   A Blessed New Moon for All God’s Faithful!  The new moon was sighted by multiple witness in Jerusalem after sunset this evening making 18 April the first day of the second biblical month!

God’s Word tells us to begin the new month with the first visible light of the new moon as seen from Jerusalem.  The new moon day is an Appointed Time like Passover and is not a High Day, it is to be observed with Bible Studies and the Shofar.  For more information please see the Calendar articles at this category.   

When Christ comes and the Ezekiel Temple is built, special new moon sacrifices will be offered and in addition to the Shofar being sounded in every town, the two silver trumpets will be sounded over the sacrifices in the Temple at Jerusalem.  See Ezekiel 40-48 and the Leviticus studies at the same site.

For HWA and the New Moons see these articles

Remember that when Christ comes he will require all humanity to observe the New Moons.  Isaiah 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.


14 Apr:   A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!  Today is the first Sabbath after the Wave Sheaf Offering.  For detailed explanations of God’s commanded Spring Festivals click this link.  You may be surprised!


13 Apr:   In response to Don Ward’s recent letter there is a new article up at this site.  “The Letter and Spirit of the Law”.


8 April:  A Blessed High Holy Day ending the Feast of Unleavened Bread for All God’s faithful.  Please note that because the Sunday during the Feast is today, the last day of the Feast; Pentecost is on 27 May this year.  By observing Passover on the wrong day those using the modern Rabbinic Calendar [finalized in 1178 A.D.] instead of the Biblical calendar which God gave to Moses; the major COG groups will also observe Pentecost on the wrong date.  

Today the assemblies observe Passover on the wrong day, by the wrong method and we use polluted bread which is white flour instead of whole grain, made without salt or the oil of the Holy Spirit; and we dare to think that God accepts us!  These physical things are indicative of our attitude towards spiritual things!  

Malachi 1:7 Ye offer polluted bread upon Mine altar. And ye say: ‘Wherein have we polluted thee?’ In that ye say: ‘The table of the LORD is contemptible.

Today’s leaders and elders offer false teachings and demand to be idolized above God’s Word by the brethren, and then  imagine that God will accept this great evil. and bless them.

Our Passover Feast of Unleavened Bread series of articles completes today and a series on Jeremiah and the Twelve Minor Prophets begins tomorrow.  This will be followed by an extremely important brand new series on the Epistles beginning about end May, early June.


29 Mar:   The compulsive liars at the Banned by HWA site have posted this about me:

  “James Malm rebelliously left the WCG in 1985 while HWA was still alive to try to think for himself. Malm and those associated with him got into things that proved they cannot think anything but rebellion and nonsense, such as sacred names nonsense, divorce, calendar confusion, a garbled gospel, and flat earth errors. Some other rebels think they can learn the “odd” thing from him. In a sense, they are right. It certainly will be “odd.”

I was baptized into God the Father and Jesus Christ and was never a “member” of the WCG  and I never committed myself to any man.  I stopped attending with them because I was zealous for the sanctity of God’s Sabbath and the minister disagreed. Banned claims that I agree with Flat Earth [see my article], Sacred Names etc  which all of our visitors know is an outright LIE. 

I know that our readers know the truth and I post this only to demonstrate what incredible liars these folks are.  You can be sure that they also lie about all of the other COG groups as well.

LCG-  Dexter Wakefield has posted an article  titled The Leaven of The Pharisees and Sadducee’sHe uses the article to rail against anyone who has questions that LCG does not want to answer, beginning by falsely claiming that LCG observes Passover at the same time and in the same way as the first century brethren.  Of course he is dead wrong on both points. He is not consciously lying, he is just repeating the falsehoods which he has been indoctrinated into believing, which falsehoods he sincerely believes.   

Remember that the leaven of the Pharisees is mainly pride in their own ways and living by their own false traditions,  rejecting truth [which also describes modern Laodicea]. 

It seems that LCG is getting very frustrated as more and more people ask questions about the Passover, Sabbath, High Days and Calendar.  Being unwilling to accept the truth they simply say “believe us because we know best; how dare you question us and ask us to prove our positions!”  Why are they afraid of questions?  because their positions are indefensible and contrary to both scripture and historical fact. 

Read the articles in this category from 101 up for the facts they cannot refute.  For our ongoing series about the Passover and Spring Festivals visit here.  


25 Mar:  LCG-  LCG held a teleconference of their Council of Elders this past Wednesday no details provided.


23 Mar:   Sites News-  I plan to have all Bible Studies at TheShiningLight School of Biblical Studies updated for the third time by late this year. 

This Church of God News site will continue as specific to news about and exhortation for the spiritual Ekklesia


19 Mar:  A Prosperous New Year for All God’s Faithful!  Last evening after sunset the first light of the new moon was observed at Jerusalem making this the first day of the first month of the Biblical New Year!  April 1 will be Passover Day and April 2 to 8 will be the Feast of Unleavened Bread followed by Pentecost on May 17th.  See our special article here


18 Mar:  LCG-  LCG now has a “Living Education” site online.  They plan to begin a course in Charlotte and another online course on 15 Aug.


15 Mar:   UCG-   Two elderly ministers have been recredentialed by UCG from the defunct Maranatha COG to establish a UCG congregation in Barrie, Ontario Canada.    

The new UCG Barrie congregation was formerly the Maranatha Church of God. It was incorporated in 2004, but in November 2017 its directors filed to dissolve its corporate status. Its website has since been removed.

Ken Parker, a Church of God minister since 1978, was one of Maranatha’s directors, and Bob Trotter, was a Maranatha elder.

On February 27, 2018, Ken Parker was re-credentialed by the United Church of God. He and his wife, Sally, serve in the Barrie, Ontario, Canada, congregation.
On February 27, 2018, Bob Trotter was re-credentialed by the United Church of God. He serves in the Barrie, Ontario, Canada, congregation.

The UCG CoE Conference report is now posted here.  UCG will again try to pass a new “Amending the Fundamental Beliefs”  rule in this year’s May’s GCE Conference. 

Current statistics include:

  • Average U.S. Sabbath attendance for the past four months averaged just under 7,100.
  • 387 elders in UCG.
    • 99 are outside the U.S.
    • 288 are in the U.S.
      • 76 are Church pastors; 10 are associate or assistant pastors
  • 4 ministerial trainees
  • 194 churches and Bible study groups in the U.S. (Regular Sabbath services have been discontinued for the congregations that were meeting in Hood River, Oregon, and Portsmouth, Virginia.)
  • 19 baptisms since the December meeting.


11 Mar:   LCG-  The new LCG one year education program in Charlotte is already begging for students.  Whatever happened to an internet program for all brethren? 

Living Education

Are you a young person considering college? Have you just completed college and you’re at a crossroad in your life? Would you like to build a solid foundation for the rest of your life? If you are willing to rise to the challenge of dedicating one year to immersing yourself in a study of the most important, fundamental principles for successful living, then Living Education—Charlotte is for you. The goal for our intensive program is to teach you how to live, not just how to earn a living. The principles you learn will be timeless and the friends you make will share the same values and beliefs. Enrollment is now open at  LivingEducation  if you’d like to reserve your spot in the program. We’ll continue to provide more detailed information in the weeks to come.—Jonathan McNair

Remember that TheShiningLight School of Biblical Studies is the ONLY place where free studies through every Word of God are being posted for everyone!  


8 Mar:   UCG-   International changes:  “John Elliott has officially passed his role as Senior Pastor for East Africa to Monte Knudson, an elder who serves the congregation in Phoenix, Arizona. Mark Mickelson [who retired from his position as pastor in Oregon on Dec 31] passed English-speaking West Africa to Paul Moody, pastor of congregations in Washington and Idaho. Earl Roemer has passed the Philippines to David Dobson, pastor of congregations in Alabama and Tennessee who will be moving to Alaska later this year.”


5 Mar:   LCG-  In a down scaled version of Living U,  LCG is planing to hold classes in Charlotte which amounts to ministerial training. 

Living Education

On August 15, we plan to begin our first year of “Living Education—Charlotte.” We will accept a limited number of students for our first year, as we focus on building a Godly foundation for life! All students will attend daily classes at our Headquarters facility, in this one-year intensive training program. Class titles will be “Principles of Christian Living,” “Fundamentals of Church Doctrine” and “The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ.” We’ll also study the “Acts and Writings of Paul,” and get an overview of the Old Testament through our “Old Testament Survey” class. This program is for young adults who believe in the Way of God and want to learn more about how to build their life on that Way. Students must live in Charlotte for this program as this is a face-to-face learning and mentoring program by our Headquarters faculty and staff. If you are up for the challenge of this intensive learning experience, listen closely for more details and information about how to apply in next week’s The World Ahead weekly update!—Jonathan McNair

Remember that TheShiningLight School of Biblical Studies is the ONLY place where free studies through every Word of God are being posted for everyone!

COGWA admits the truth:  “We have [there is] no biblical model of a meal among the Old Testament Israelites on this evening [the night to be remembered], nor is there a New Testament model for us to follow.  How we observe this evening is a matter of church tradition.”  

The March 2018 issue of One Accord is now on-line.

See the “Personal From the President” inside the front cover for this item.

You will see that he forbids “sermonizing”  i.e. remembering; which is the very purpose for the occasion.

Their tradition is contrary to scripture which commands us to “remember” [rehearse] the exodus from Egypt and our exodus and deliverance from bondage to sin; not to eat and drink and ignore discussing the scriptures on the subject which we are commanded to remember.  Our series on the Spring Festivals which will have a post on this subject, begins on March 17th.


2 Mar:   According to the Biblical Calendar which God gave to Moses, Purim begins tomorrow.  We will be featuring a special study through the book of Esther, Sabbath 3 March.


1 Mar:   LCG-  The March-April 2018 issue of Tomorrow’s World magazine is now on-line.

The circulation figures continue to plummet and are now less than half of what they were only two years ago:

March-April 2016: 539,000

March-April 2017: 417,000

March-April 2018: 257,000 

Their “University” has closed and they are concealing their member and Feast attendance numbers.  

UCG-  Some videos from this week’s COE Conference are now available here.

The UCG elders will vote to approve or disapprove a change in the Rules of Association this May.  If approved the new rules concerning the assets of member organizations will open the way for at least two and maybe more organizations to join UCG as associate bodies.  This move will bring a substantial increase in the size of UCG AIA. 

One such organization is the Church of God Angola which Jorge De Campos has been visiting for the past few years.  There is also potential in Argentina


21 Feb:   LCG-  I have received the following communication from an insider in LCG, however this is unofficial and is much higher than their other published material, see the 5 Feb news:  “Official average FOT attendance was over 10,700 which includes shut-ins (members who phone in and or request the FOT Sermons on CD from their local pastor).”  This would be an increase of about 300 from 2016, or it could be just an attempt to obscure the real figures. 

This person’s figures were given to him by people who have chosen not to publish any official figures, this number are much higher than other available figures and Gerald has been warning of a drop in numbers [see the 5 Feb item] making this figure highly questionable.   


20 Feb:   Migrating storks have arrived in Israel, this means that spring is arriving.  UCG has a COE meet scheduled to be held in Big Sandy beginning next Monday.


11 Feb:   LCG News- Gerald Weston writes-   Mr. Phil West will be transferred to Little Rock, Arkansas to pastor churches in that area, and Mr. Bob Rodzaj will go to Wisconsin to replace Mr. Phil West.


9 Feb:   UCG-  From Ministerial and Member Services…

Pastoral Transfers
Mr. Earl Roemer, pastor of the United Church of God congregations in Anchorage and Soldotna, Alaska, will retire this summer, after 52 years of ministerial employment. Mr. Roemer will continue to serve as International Senior Pastor for Hong Kong.
This summer, Mr. David Dobson, and his wife, Denise, will transfer from Huntsville, Alabama, to Alaska, where he will pastor the Anchorage and Soldotna congregations, as well as continuing to serve as International Senior Pastor for the Philippines.
After Mr. Dobson’s transfer, Mr. Gary Beam, and his wife, Rhonda, will pastor the congregation in Huntsville (Alabama), in addition to his current assignment of Birmingham (Alabama), and Tupelo (Mississippi).
This spring, Mr. Rick Beam and his wife, Angela, will transfer from Paducah, Kentucky, to Rome, Georgia. Mr. Beam will pastor the congregations in Rome (Georgia), Chattanooga (Tennessee), and Gadsden (Alabama).
Mr. Beam will replace Mr. Paul Burnes, who has been serving as the interim pastor for the Rome congregation, with his wife, Dana, for the past year.
After Rick Beam’s transfer, Mr. Doug Collison and his wife, Dianne, will pastor the congregations in Paducah (Kentucky), Cape Girardeau (Missouri), Henderson (Kentucky) and Poplar Bluff (Missouri). Mr. Collison has been serving as an assistant pastor for those congregations alongside Mr. Beam for the past year.


5 Feb;  LCG-  Gerald Weston asks “Is bigger always better?”  and goes on to trot out the “Gideon 300”  to excuse the fall in attendance in LCG

2017 Feast of Tabernacles figures  are listed here.

The number of average attendees including children total approximately 6369 if I found them all. 

Two sites are listed by numbers registered and not by average attendance.  It can be safely assumed that the registered total figure of 1250 for these two sites was higher than the number of actual attendees.

6369 actual attendees plus an additional 1250 registered at two other sites totals  7619. There are also a handful of very small sites with no figures announced.

According to Living University’s 2017-8 catalog page 23, LCG had about 11,600 members at the end of 2016.   

“Living Church of God membership around the world was about 11,600 (approximately 6,300 in the USA and 5,300 internationally).”  However they admit that “Average weekly [end 2016] church service attendance is about 9,000.”  The terms “about” or “approximately” indicate that they are using the highest possible estimates.   

Note; this catalog was published early in 2017, before many began to depart after the passing of Rod Meredith.  These attendance  figures are therefore probably much higher than the final 2017 yearly average.   


3 Feb:   UCG-  Dan Hoosier tries to define God’s love in this new United News article, but falls short because he looks to the definitions of English and Greek words instead of getting his definition from the Bible itself.  This is a classic distraction from letting the Bible explain itself.

See how easy it is to get sidetracked from the truth!

God defines godly love 

Living by all of the commandments, ordinances, statutes, precepts and judgments of God is the true definition of godly love! 

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 

Every Word of God is love because God is love, therefore every Word of God is love.

1 John 4:8 He that loveth not [does not live by every ordinance and Word of God] knoweth not God; for God is love.


1 Feb:   UCG-   Victor Kubik writes:
“Last Wednesday evening, after deliberating a little more than six hours, the Minnesota jury involved in the Amy Allwine murder trial delivered a verdict, finding Stephen Allwine guilty of first degree murder.  After now being declared guilty, his formal sentencing is scheduled for Friday morning, February 2.  Minnesota law calls for an automatic appeal, so the process will actually continue in some form.” 

The full statement is here.



28 Jan:   UCG-  Aaron Dean has now recovered from his pulmonary embolism and has returned home.

LCG Gerald Weston writes-   On Wednesday, we held an online Ministerial Conference for about 265 ministers and wives, with 240 tuning in on the Internet. Mr. Jonathan McNair gave a presentation during the conference, and also during an office meeting, explaining the new education program we are developing.”  

Gerald is also pushing brethren to read a Bible portion each day to read through the entire Bible in a year.  This is excellent advice, but just reading is not enough; many millions do just that!  Instead of simply reading the words one must thoughtfully consider what those words mean [meditate on them], carefully study the meaning of the words in the scriptures, and pray for understanding; finally living by them so as to learn more through the experience of living by every Word of God.    To sum up:  There is a big difference between merely reading over words, and a serious study into the meaning of those words.

At TheShiningLight School of Biblical Studies we are now in a study of Genesis, Exodus and Leviticus leading up to presentations on the Spring Festivals. 

There are studies available throughout the entire Bible along with additional doctrinal studies.  This is the only COG site which has commentary and studies through every word of the Holy Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, in daily portions of about two chapters. 

This is not a one year program of casual reading, it is an approximately three year thorough study through the entire Bible in short digestible portions.  


27 Jan:    UCG CoE Statement on Tattoos

UCG Ministerial updates-   

“On this past Feast of Trumpets, Sept. 21, 2017, three new elders were ordained into the ministry. Lomax Morris and his wife, Marcia Blair, serve in the New York City congregation. Tim Seelig and his wife, Terry, serve in the Austin, Texas, congregation. Rob Slocum and his wife, Tina, serve in the Portland, Oregon, congregation.

In September, Craig Scott was named pastor of the congregation in Jacksonville, North Carolina, which had been pastored by Tom Adams. Mr. Scott also pastors the Raleigh and Greensboro, North Carolina, congregations.

In October, Aaron Creech was named pastor of the congregations in Bethlehem, Lewistown, and York, Pennsylvania. Mr. Creech and his wife, Whitney, had moved to the area two years ago to be trained by pastor Lee Cole. Mr. Cole retired from employment at the end of December.

In October, Ben Light was named interim pastor of the congregations in Salem, Eugene, and Roseburg, Oregon, following the death of pastor John Cafourek. Mr. Light has served as an elder in the Salem congregation since April 2015, with his wife, Shannon.

In November, Ron Barker was named pastor of the congregation in Dayton, Ohio. Mr. Barker worked as an assistant pastor for the congregation with his wife, Janet, for the previous 12 months while assisting pastor Len Martin. Mr. Martin continues to serve as pastor for the congregations in Cambridge, Columbus, and Mansfield, Ohio.

In December, Stan Erickson was named pastor of the congregations in Coleman and Waco, Texas. Mr. Erickson and his wife, Judy, recently relocated to the Coleman congregation, which had been pastored by Clyde Hubbard. Mr. Erickson also pastors the Waco congregation, previously pastored by Rod Foster. Mr. Foster continues to pastor the Austin and San Antonio, Texas, congregations.

At the beginning of January, Paul Moody was named pastor of the congregations in Spokane, Kennewick, and Kettle Falls, Washington, and Lewiston, Idaho. Mr. Moody worked as an assistant pastor for the congregations with his wife, Darla, for the previous six years, assisting pastor Mark Mickelson. Mr. Mickelson retired from employment at the end of December.”


25 Jan:   UCG-  Aaron Dean was rushed to hospital on Wednesday suffering from a pulmonary embolism.  This is a blood clot in the lungs which usually travels from a deep vein somewhere in the legs.  If the clot is small it can be dissolved, if it is large the problem is life threatening.


22 Jan:   LCG- About 30 LCG members  of the LCG Phoenix congregation attended James Capo’s COGWA congregation last Sabbath.   The reason is not yet clear. 

The Flat Earth nonsense is beginning to become a problem in the Sacred Names Movement and at least one organization has posted a list of issues they are facing [see the bottom of this post].     See our article on the Flat Earth.  This issue may seem very foolishly childish but it is best to understand it and be prepared for it if it comes up.


18 Jan:   The new UCG witnessing program is now officially endorsed by UCG President Victor Kubik.  While Victor is speaking about the “witnessing” of individuals and he has some good points, he goes on to say that we do not need to preach against the evils in the world, revealing the business model outreach of UCG which does not preach against evil as God has commanded us to do (Isaiah 58).  See the 15 Jan news. 

Victor ignores the sermon mentioned earlier at this Blog and writes:  “Cleveland elder Andy Lee was the featured speaker at the WFW with his sermon:  In the World, But Not of the World: Living a Godly Life in the Modern World.” 

Don Ward has written a letter, coming out against the trinity and strongly implying that the trinity is a serious issue inside UCG. 

He writes:  

“Once again, we were created to go from the human kind to the God kind. Of all the understandings that Satan hates this is the one he would pervert. He knows he is shut out, so he will do and is doing everything he can to subvert this great truth. The Trinity heresy (please see my article on The Trinity in the current issue of Beyond Today magazine), which contradicts this great truth, was at the heart and core of the great heresy that split and shattered the Church into scores of splinters.

I suspect that the final battleground will be over this very truth. I hope and pray that you and I will never let these things slip and that we will be willing to give our lives for the trunk of the tree.”


15 Jan:   OPINION:  The sermon on witnessing linked to below teaches the evangelical kind of witnessing for Jesus while totally ignoring what we are really commanded to witness [teach] about; by focusing on the act of witnessing, and excluding an explanation of what we are commanded to witness about.  

We are not to go about speaking about the person of Christ to the exclusion of his message, or a false evangelical love love; we are commanded to teach people HOW to love, which is to live by every Word of God Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4.  

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you [Jesus commanded us to live by every Word of God, which is every commandment, law, statute, precept, instruction and judgment of God, Matthew 4:4]: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
This is a very slick evangelical diversion away from teaching all people to live by every Word, commandment, law, statute, precept and judgment of God; into the evangelical type of witnessing, about the person of a false Christ, who in the name of love overlooks sin and effectively does away with law; making the keeping of any law a matter of “whether we want to or not.” 
Satan is clearly providing the brethren with a false choice between the “bully boy” organizations and a “love love” type organization: While hiding the true way, which is to love like God loves through living by every Word of God like Christ lives.

1 John 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments [Jesus commanded us top live by every Word of God, Mat 4:4, Luk 4:4]. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it


14 Jan:   LCG News-  Gerald Weston writes:   Mr. Jonathan McNair has been in town this week, meeting with various individuals regarding the new Living Education program (Living Ed for short). We should have more specifics shortly regarding the year-long program for young adults, with particulars on cost, classes offered and other details. Also, we are on target to begin the online learning program in August or September.

Whatever happened to Michael Germano?

Jonathan McNair writes:  The goal of our new “Living Education” team is to continue to assist our members and ministry by providing a roadmap of “focus points” over the course of the year. Our new format, however, will be designed to be available to all members. Stay tuned for more information about how to register and participate! 

Talk about money grubbing!  Apparently they are going to take members tithes and offerings, and then charge the brethren an additional amount for teaching them the official LCG line.   TheShiningLight School of Biblical Studies is free, and we teach the true Word of God not the false traditions of men! 

LCG Canada reports that 2017 attendance was up 5.6 percent over 2016. They now have 42 [mostly very small] congregations in nine of the ten provinces.  This increase seems to be mainly from people leaving UCG and please note that they are not giving out any attendance numbers.


9 Jan:   The UCG WWF sermon removed from the UCG site can still be found on Youtube.  Since it appears that leaving  the Youtube version posted may have been an oversight,  I have downloaded that sermon just in case it is also removed from Youtube.

The “Days of Zeal Gone By” article by Richard Nichols is back up here.


7 Jan:   LCG News-  Gerald Weston writes:  “Mr. Rand Millich mentioned that there were 472 at the Sabbath Service (including those connecting online) for the Kansas City Weekend.” 

He does not report on the Charlotte meeting.  He also writes:  

 “Following is a small sampling of some 2017 statistics. Information about our other efforts will come later.

We have a lot more work to do, but we are very thankful for the growth that we had in 2017.”

The bible study site by the late Richard Nichols is now back on the internet.  This means that the articles on the Radio COG keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread for the full commanded seven days including “Days of Zeal Gone By” is available.    Our post on the subject may be found here.


4 Jan:   UCG News-  I see that UCG has removed their presentation after I posted a link on 2 Jan.  This is very strange since they claim to be preaching to the world.  I do not seek out such material but visited and posted the link after receiving the message below.   Why they removed the sermon is very hard to understand since hundreds of people heard it at the WFW. 

“James: You were right. Here is absolute proof the UCG is going mainstream evangelical in order to attract new members. Bible Study given at their Winter Family Weekend. “
Victor Kubik writes:  Our student from India, Ezekiel Polinati, was baptized here at the home office.  We have enjoyed Ezekiel as a student; however, he will be returning to India shortly.

John Hull died at 93 on Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, due to complications from Alzheimer’s, at approximately 9:45 p.m. John was a long-time member and elder of the Church and led a full and active life.  A funeral service will be held on Jan. 5 at 1:00 p.m. at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nevada.

UCG seeks to build up its income:  We are currently working on our Strategic Plan with the administration and the Council of Elders. As we do so, I am adding a strategy to the plan that will bring together a team of knowledgeable and qualified people to further develop the Church’s revenue stream. The team would include people with experience in financial planning, planned giving and legal. So, to that end, if there is anyone in the Church who has experience in the not-for-profit field as a development director or fundraiser, I would appreciate hearing from you with your suggestions.


2 Jan:  UCG key address from their Winter Weekend non-Christmas, which festivities give the clear impression [witness] to all who see them that UCG [including LCG and COGWA etc] do observe Christmas.    


Add a Comment
  1. UCG also removed the Gary Petty, Beyond Today video where he stated and wrote, “sin is anything against God’s goodness”, after someone here brought attention to it. They must monitor this site. You would think they’d be glad to spread their message.

  2. James,

    Are you aware whether the “UCG key address” video/audio is available by any other means?

    Shame on United’s part is assumed when they “reveal” information, and then hide or shelve it.

    Thanks in advance!

    I was very busy with other things and did not have the presence of mind to download it. If anyone has a download they can forward it to me at and I will post it. James

  3. Here is a cleaned up version of the unleavened bread article (minus all the special markers, diamond with question mark)

    Days of Zeal Gone By Study No. 216
    The May, 1962, issue of The Good News magazine reported on God’s Passover Observed World-wide. This article was written by Evangelist Roderick C. Meredith. Over 10,000 brethren of the Radio Church of God in seven major Festival locations in America, plus others in England, Australia, and around the world, observed a glorious Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread.
    Unlike the common practice today of having Passover and Night to Be Remembered locally in homes, and perhaps Holy Day services on the first and last days of unleavened bread, the practice then was to observe an eight-day festival with the whole church in central places, with multiple sermons and Bible Studies every day, just like the Feast of Tabernacles.
    On March 13, 1961, Herbert W. Arm strong wrote in a member letter, Full eight day services will be held in more places than ever before this year. Since Passover that year fell on a Friday, the last Holy Day of the Feast also fell on Friday, followed by a weekly Sabbath. Armstrong noted, This means we will actually have nine days of services.
    As reported in the May, 1962, Good News, some 2000 brethren gathered in Gladewater, Texas, at the Church s Tabernacle Grounds. Garner Ted Armstrong, Les McCullough (who had been recently ordained as a Preaching Elder), and other ministers preached each day during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Meredith reported, The theme of overcoming and putting out sin dominated throughout the preaching and Bible studies during this Festival as it did everywhere this Festival was observed by God s Church.
    Another 2000 brethren met in Pasadena, California, with daily services given by Rod Meredith, Norman Smith, Ron Dart, and others. Albert J. Portune and Carlton Smith conducted the Passover services and an entire eight-day Festival in New York City. Over 500 people were in attendance on the night of the Feast and there were several hundred in attendance each day throughout the entire Festival. In Chicago, 614 took the Passover, and around 1000 were in attendance for the Feast, where many came in from several surrounding Midwest states. Meredith reports, The spirit of dedication and service in the Chicago area is very pronounced and reflects the character and personality of the pastor in that area, Mr. Dean Blackwell.
    Full eight-day Festivals were held also in Portland, Oregon, and Denver, Colorado. In Portland, Plain Truth managing editor Herman Hoeh led Festival services, assisted by Dale Hampton, Jimmy Friddle, Richard Plache, and Carl O Beirn. There were 470 for Passover, 800 for the Sabbath, and several hundred each day for the entire eight-day Festival. Hampton reported, there was great joy and rejoicing throughout the entire Festival. In Denver, Leroy Neff, Burk McNair, and Frank McCrady conducted services: 272 for Passover, 500 at the Holy Day, with a few hundred in attendance each day more coming, of course, for the evening services. Thus, there were two or more services each day.
    Raymond Cole, pastor over the churches in the Pacific Northwest, traveled to Opp, Alabama, to lead the seventh USA spring festival site, joined by Gerald Waterhouse and Carn Catherwood, at the National Guard Armory. Some 143 kept the Passover, and over 200 attended throughout most of the eight-day Feast. Cole reported that there were a number of outstanding HEALINGS, which God granted throughout the Festival, many were healed by God through the prayers of His servants in an unusual way.
    In other local areas, hundreds of brethren not able to travel to the seven Festival locations, kept the Passover and perhaps the first and last Holy Days of Unleavened Bread in Ohio, Texas, Missouri, California, Pitts burgh, Seattle, Oklahoma, and Indiana, where many brethren also journeyed to Chicago for the all-day meetings during the Days of Unleavened Bread.
    In Bricket Wood, England, Herbert W. Armstrong led the spring Festival, with 166 for Passover, and 210 for the Festival, with local services in Birmingham, Manchester, and Belfast. Wayne Cole, pastor in charge in Australia, led the festival in Sydney, with 89 for Passover, and average attendance during the entire Festival of 140. Services were also held in Melbourne. Finally, nightly meetings were held in St. Lucia, West Indies.
    In summary, Roderick C. Meredith noted that the 1962 Passover and Feast of Un leavened Bread Festival demonstrated the unusual dedication and LOVE among God s people, the deep understanding and POWER of God s ministers, and the tremendous world-wide work being carried on by a comparatively few people. Perhaps because of this emphasis on CHRIST S great sacrifice and love, each year the Passover season seems to point up the deep warmth, love and DEDICATION of God s people. In other words, the way the 1962 Passover Feast was observed showed the zeal of God s people to do His Work!
    Forty years later, quite a different Feast of Unleavened Bread was observed by Rod Meredith and others in the Church of God, as he reported in the July-August 2002 issue of Living Church News. On March 20, Meredith traveled to New Zealand to visit Living Church of God offices there, and then he went to Brisbane, Australia, to visit the LCG leader of Australia, Bruce Tyler. Meredith conducted Passover services Tuesday night, March 26, in Brisbane. On Wednesday morning, Passover day, Meredith toured Brisbane. Then he preached on Thursday, the first Day of Unleavened Bread to 58 brethren, followed by a covered dish meal and long fellowship. Then, the same day, Meredith flew the 2200-mile journey to Perth in Western Australia, arriving late and going to bed.
    On Friday morning, he and the local elder toured Perth s Kings Park and dined at a fish restaurant in Fremantle. On Sabbath, he preached to 49 brethren in Perth, followed by a patio dinner at a member s home. On Sunday, he flew back to Sydney, did not have a service because there are so very few Church people there, but instead toured the city and took a boat trip on Monday. On Tuesday, still during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Meredith flew to Melbourne, touring interesting areas, including a war museum, met with Church elders, and on Wednesday, the last Day of Unleavened Bread, he preached to about 55 people in Melbourne. On Thursday, he toured Melbourne more thoroughly.
    Notice the contrast between 1962 and 2002. In 1962, the Church observed a Feast, the whole eight-day festival together, marked by twice-daily services during the entire time. The Church of 1962 was dedicated, inspired to identify sin, to overcome sin, and to put out sin, through the power of the Spirit of God made possible by the sacrifice of the Messiah. The focus was Christ s sacrifice and love. God s people demonstrated love, dedication, and zeal. There were outstanding, unusual, miracles of healing.
    On the other hand, in 2002, there was no mention of a Festival, the Feast of Unleavened Bread; instead, Meredith referred to the First Day of Unleavened Bread and the Last Day of Unleavened Bread. There were no daily inspiring sermons during the Festival, no miraculous healings. Instead, there were meals, site-seeing tours, and fellowship, mainly minister to minister, instead of the whole Church together for the entire eight days of scintillating spiritual feasting. The intervening days between the first and last holy days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread were filled with business, meals and entertainment, touring, and traveling. Or, as they say in Australia, holiday. Instead of a Festival, a holy convocation, the 2002 Feast of Unleavened Bread was a holiday for Rod Meredith. Most of God s people continued their daily routine, pausing only briefly for the first and last Holy Day services.
    If you had to judge the character of the Church of God in 1962 versus 2002, which one would you say was zealous? Which one would you say was lukewarm, watered down?
    Sometime during the mid to late 1960s, the Church of God ceased the practice of observing an entire eight-day Spring Festival of Passover and Unleavened Bread. There after, the usual annual 30% growth in new members, ceased to a trickle. Healing miracles became rare, as scarce as hen s teeth. Some sermons became boring. Doctrines were changed, watered down, and in some cases, were altered to become politically correct.
    No external Satanic foe was responsible for this debacle. We have met the enemy and it is us! It gets worse.
    In 2002, the Living Church of God added to its Fundamental Beliefs a provision, We believe that the Philadelphia era [of God s Church] began in the 1930s and that we are a continuation of that Philadelphia era.
    Of course, one cannot prove Church eras from the Bible. Church eras is not a Bible term, but a man-made phrase. And historic ally, one cannot prove when one supposed era began, and another era diminished. The seven churches of Revelation 2 and 3 existed at the time the Apostle John wrote the Apocalypse. These seven churches may well represent seven different characteristic attitudes of God s Church through the ages, and during a particular period, one of those church s characteristics may be the dominant attitude. There is somewhat a chronological progression of the seven churches, in the same way that these cities were successive towns on a first century mail route. The seventh church, Laodicea, must therefore represent the dominant characteristic of the True Church in the very end times.
    Remember, each Church message ends with the same admonition, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches [plural], 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 22, 3:6, 13, 22. This means that at every period of its history, the Church is to heed the warnings given to all seven of these churches, because all seven messages apply. Thus, spiritual Philadelphians need to heed the message to Sardis, to strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God, 3:2, as well as be zealous therefore, and repent, the message to Laodicea, as well as all the other messages to the seven churches.
    Pride is bad. God says He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble, James 4:6, Proverbs 3:34, I Peter 5:5. Notice the context of James 4. It is talking of wars and fightings among you, the Church. Lustful Church leaders war and squabble in order to obtain more power and control over the brethren. Instead of being servant leaders, they lord it over the flocks, and proudly lift themselves above others, whom they put down. One of the biggest put downs is the claim, We are Philadelphian, and you are Laodicean. Even though the facts speak otherwise, the proud claim to be a Philadelphian continues to be made. Comparing the Feast of Unleavened Bread of 1962 with 2002 makes 99% of today s Church of God Laodicean. Another Church group took the name, Philadelphia Church of God, yet it too, in doctrine, in practice, in zeal for God, continues to act Laodicean. If you are lacking in zeal, then you are in the Laodicean condition.
    The Church at Laodicea said that it was rich and increased with goods, in other words, spiritually superior to others. Those groups who proudly claim to be Philadelphian, when they are not, are actually demonstrating that they are Laodicean.
    Zeal for God
    What is Biblical zeal for God? In the Old Testament, zeal is translated from the Hebrew word quinah, or qana, Strong s #7068 and #7065. Sometimes these words are translated zealous, or jealous. One of the great characteristics of the Eternal is that He is zealous. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts shall do this, II Kings 19:31. In describing the characteristics of the Messiah and His coming kingdom, the Bible says, The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this, Isaiah 9:6-7. The coming great Second Exodus likewise will be performed with zeal by the Lord of hosts, Isaiah 37:31-32, after He has chastised His people, Ezekiel 5:12-13. Jehu zealously slew wicked Ahab s descendants, II Kings 10:16-17.
    How about us? Does the zeal of the house of God (doing God s Work) eat us up, consume our time and efforts? See Psalm 69:9, 119:139; John 2:17.
    Although the scattered Church is trodden down, doubtless He is our Father, and His zeal and strength is just waiting to be manifested on behalf of His people, Isaiah 63:15-19.
    Zeal is a prominent characteristic of the New Testament Church of God, II Corinthians 7:11. Titus 2:14 says we are to be a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Jewish believers in Christ were zealous of the law, Acts 21:20. We are to be zealous of spiritual gifts, I Corinthians 14:12. The zeal of the Corinthians provoked many, II Corinthians 9:2. Epaphras had a great zeal toward the Church in Colosse, Laodicea, and Hierapolis, Colossians 4:13. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, Galatians 4:18.
    Paul said that Israel who rejected Christ have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge, Romans 10:2. They were ignorant of God s righteousness and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God, verse 3. Before his calling, Paul zealously persecuted the Church, Philippians 3:6. He was always a zealot, Acts 22:3; Galatians 1:14.
    Besides the zeal of Christ in cleansing the Temple of merchandisers, the primary Bible example of Godly zeal is Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, grandson of Aaron.
    During their journey to the Promised Land, Israel began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab, joining with them in idolatrous worship of Baal-peor. God told Moses to slay everyone who was joined to Baal-peor. Most of the Israelites, however, were squeamish in fulfilling God s command. An Israelite boldly flaunted God and Moses, when he brought a Midianitish woman in open sight of Moses and Israel, and went into his tent with her.
    Phinehas took a javelin in his hand, and thrust them both through, thus staying the plague of the wrath of God, after 24,000 were slain in the plague. The Eternal told Moses that Phinehas had turned away His wrath. As a result, Behold, I give unto him [Phinehas] my covenant of peace: And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel. He had God s zeal in him, and his actions proved it. See Numbers 25.
    It is high time for a modern day Phinehas to show himself in the Church of God. In their laxity in observing the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and many other things, these times are the days of zeal gone by.
    The Almighty s loving message to this Laodicean group is, As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent, Revelation 3:19.
    by Richard C. Nickels

    Whole Wheat Unleavened Bread Recipe
    Ingredients: 4 C whole wheat pastry flour, 2 egg yolks, 1-1/2 t salt, 2 T vegetable oil, 3 T butter, 7/8 C milk or water.
    Sift flour then add salt, cut the butter into flour mixture, like making pastry. In another bowl, beat egg yolks, adding oil slowly. Pour this mixture into flour and stir with spoon or fork until it forms a ball of dough that comes away from the side of the bowl. Knead lightly on a floured board for about a minute to shape dough into a soft ball.
    Lightly flour the board again, pinch off about one-third cupful of dough and with the hands pat it as thin as can easily be done, then roll it thinner with rolling pin. Keep working the dough and rolling it until dough is so thin, it just holds together without breaking when handled. Place rolled dough on ungreased baking sheet and mark into squares of any desired size with a knife. If it is to be used for Passover service, make only one cut across the middle to make pieces only small enough that they may be conveniently carried.
    Bake in preheated oven 390-400 for 8-12 minutes until very lightly browned.
    If this bread is to be used for Passover service, use water instead of milk, and leave out the egg yolks. Increase water to one cup, mix with oil and add to butter-flour mixture. (This recipe is sufficient for about 500 people in the Passover Service.)

    Thank you so much for all this work! NOTE: This was written many years ago; for an updated Passover ULB recipe fulfilling all of the symbolism of the sacraments see

    I have also posted this Nichols article here James

  4. At the very core of the problem with UCG is a failure to recognize that it is God that does the calling. John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is a doctrine that they consistently ignore.

  5. James wrote: “…The sermon on witnessing linked to below teaches the evangelical kind of witnessing for Jesus…”

    Aside from the speaker witnessing his runny nose, he mentioned the Book of Acts Chapter 1 and took verses way out of context.

    The 11 Apostles, amongst others present with them, were told: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8

    Then they all returned to Jerusalem and did what? They needed another witness: someone to replace Judas.

    Acts 1:21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

    :22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a WITNESSS WITH us OF HIS RESURRECTION.

    Matthias was numbered with the 11 Apostles, but a witness of what? The resurrection of Jesus Christ (verse 22)!

    Then, on Pentecost, Peter, one of those 12 witnesses emphasized the following:

    “This Jesus hath God RAISED UP, whereof we all are WITNESSES.” Acts 2:32

    Again, it appears the speaker was taking information in Acts 1 out of context to build some theory about something other than what God intended.

    Also, John 6:44 says: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him…”

    Now, for all we know, God the Father may very well have drawn that woman of Samaria to the well in order to preserve that conversation of the woman with Jesus for all of us to benefit from, but it was not the example of how Christians should witness to complete strangers. Most of us know that that does not work, unless God the Father, by His Spirit (Zech 4:6), first initiates something and we may be confident of that:

    “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath BEGUN a good WORK IN you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Phil 1:6

    God works out things by His Spirit (Zech 4:6). The speaker would have been better off considering the Acts 8 example of Philip witnessing to an Ethiopian eunuch, who was a stranger to Philip, but was not a stranger to God, who draws (John 6:44)! Why not? After all, Philip later became an evangelist (Acts 21:8).


  6. >> Gerald is also pushing brethren to read a Bible portion each day to read through the entire Bible in a year. <<

    This reminds me that this week marked 16 years since UCG began its "Bible Reading Program." It promised to take members through the entire Bible in about three years.

    Yet 16 years later, it's still one book shy of finishing the Old Testament. Nothing yet from the New Testament. A lot of UCG leaders have talked about restarting it, but it hasn't happened.

    So much for “Preparing a people.” I do think that the LCG one year is just too fast [especially for working people] for any degree of real comprehension and retention. Its just too much material too quickly even if they do not offer explanations. James

  7. Why does UCG always say when they report on ministerial transfers that “so-and-so AND HIS WIFE” will be pastoring here and “so-and-so AND HIS WIFE” will be pastoring there? What? A minister’s wife gets 50% of the power and authority of the pastorship? Are their wives now ruling over men in the congregation? Maybe that’s why we’ve heard stories of very dictatorial wives of pastors in the past? (And maybe that’s why some pastors are desperate to remarry illegally after they’ve divorced their wives illegally?)

    There is nothing sinister in this. In life all wives are to be helpers of their husbands and to work together with them for the benefit of the family.

    Converted wives are helpers of their husbands and in the ministry wives can be a great help to their husbands. That does not mean that the wife is in authority over her husband, it simply means that they work together as a team under his leadership, hopefully for the good of the brethren. Here is an article on The Role of Women in the Ekklesia

    Any good leader will listen to and accept advice from his wife. A classic example of a man not listening to his wife when he should have is Nabal and Abigail. A wife helping her husband does not diminish his position [as long as she does not usurp and take over]; rather the opposite is true, it enhances his leadership and sets an excellent example of what a proper marriage should be for the brethren.

    I ask, does Jesus Christ allow his bride to assist HIM? Of course, as long as we are faithful to follow His lead! That is the example we are to follow in our own marriages.

    Yes, there have been some elders who have been ruled by their wives, but that does not mean that we men should go to the opposite extreme. James

  8. Was just reading a written summary of UCG’s GCE today. I noticed two things especially: after 23 years UCG still does not have a unified and comprehensive leadership development program; that it appears, at least on the surface, that Donald Ward (Chairman) is treating the holy spirit as a separate active entity without saying so in concrete terms. Perhaps I’m still gun shy from the subtle undermining of faith and truth that went on during the Tkach apostasy in WCG. As we see in Matthew 4, what is said – and what is unsaid, can have eternal consequences.
    Here is a link to the article:

    Don was a major supporter of and was instrumental in introducing the Tkach changes to WCG

    I did ask him some time ago if he still supported the trinity and he denied that he believed in the trinity. However he also denied the changes he was helping to introduce even as he sent promising WCG men to the Trinitarian Azusa Pentecostal College for further education for Joe Sr. James

  9. Mr. COG Member: The “Bible Reading Program” was inherited by UCG from the bankrupt Global Church of God after it merged into UCG. UCG never really treated it with the respect it should have received, nor did they work diligently to salvage/finish it. It had the potential to be developed into a full commentary of the Bible, but, ended, as many of UCG’s major projects have, a forgotten dismal half-finished project – unloved and ignored.
    James Malm’s works on the other hand have continued on, been refined, and are readily available.

  10. James you noted earlier this year that, “COGWA admits the truth: ‘We have [there is] no biblical model of a meal among the Old Testament Israelites on this evening [the night to be remembered], nor is there a New Testament model for us to follow. How we observe this evening is a matter of church tradition.'” Have you written any material expressing your view on the traditional “night to be much observed,” which the various churches of God originating from Herbert W. Armstrong’s ministry have observed with a sumptuous meal and staying up late on the same evening Talmudists observe Judaic Passover?

    Yes Please see this article
    It would also be a good idea to study through our entire Spring Festivals series, you will find the article most interesting.

  11. Deacon@Large,

    I read that link to the article where Don Ward says: “…So who is our teacher? It should be the Word of God and the Spirit of God…”

    Yes, Don treats the Spirit of God as if it were some independent, active, being, but the answer to his question of who the teacher is should be: God! God accomplishes things through His Spirit (Zech 4:6), but God is the Teacher! For example, we have the following:

    Ps 71:17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.

    God is the Teacher!

    John 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

    Can God, the Father, really be such a Teacher? Really? Why not?

    “Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?” Proverbs 20:24

    Why wouldn’t teaching be involved in “man’s goings?”

    I suppose Don Ward could argue with God about that verse, but why argue? Here’s another!

    “LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.” Isaiah 26:12

    Of course, Satan by his spirit (Eph 2:2), is also a “teacher,” but of things resulting in sin (I John 3:8) and evil.

    Although we all get our noses rubbed in sin and evil (Romans 7:21), I prefer God teaching us!

    The United Ass. can now amend their fundamental beliefs. It may be interesting comparing their recommended changes to what God teaches in His Word…


    God and his Spirit are NOT divided, NO NEVER! Yes, God must be our teacher and yes he teaches us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit which gives us an understanding of the Word of God. However it is very important to watch out for people who claim that God is their teacher, couching their own ways in the mantel of God, while teaching their own ways (Mat 24) like UCG [and the other COG groups] do on the Calendar, Festivals, prophecy etc. James

  12. Jim Franks complains in In Accord, 24 May 2018 writing:

    “Striving for unity is always something we do. We do it because we want to be more effective in preaching the gospel to the world and also caring for the brethren. But you know, we live in a time 2018 when there is a lot of cynicism. I see it and I see the reasons why. We can have an organization that will make a claim, “We’re unified now.” Well sometimes the loud cries of unity are only a mask to cover up division. We’ve seen that as well, and it’s always disappointing, and sometimes disillusioning.”

    When Jim Franks was part of the United Ass. he was part of an Association that professed to strive for unity, but it didn’t work out the way he had anticipated, and so he left and got involved in another Association: cogwa!

    What happened? Jim is basically seeing the same thing in cogwa that he saw in the United Ass. Jim insisted that the United Ass. leaders were going to abandon God’s Sabbath, but that never happened in the way he imagined. Jim speaks of “a lot of cynicism,” but that involves beliefs that people are generally selfish and dishonest (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

    I suggest that what Jim experienced in the United Ass. he is now again experiencing with those who left United and took some of that cynicism with them to form their own “United Ass.” under a different name that they choose to call COGWA. Jim had pointed his finger at the United Ass., but ignored the remaining 3 fingers coming back on his own hand. Jim may very soon learn that COGWAss. is no more united that the United Ass. was.

    Jim may question the effectiveness of COGWA’s preaching the gospel to the world and also caring for the brethren, but the members, the COGWA ministry members are making sure they are very effective in taking care of themselves. That was a top agenda item at the 1995 Indianapolis Conference.

    We may expect the division(s) and loud cries to continue!

    Instead of openly disagreeing and resigning from UCG, Jim Franks secretly organized and led the COGWA rebellion and then with the help of his close buddies had himself made leader virtually for life. He uses the people’s idolizing of HWA to get them to follow whatever he wants.

    On the other hand UCG has been working very hard, patiently and very subtly to change the attitudes of their brethren towards an evangelical bent. They now have the CoE, these evangelical folks want. If time were to go on I would expect UCG to end up like the COG7 or SDA, still paying lip service to the sabbath but extremely lax, and straying farther and farther from sound doctrine.

    I point out that in practical terms most elders in UCG already allow almost anything on the Sabbath as long as people show up and sign their cheques, and most COGWA elders are just as lax as UCG on the Sabbath.

    In truth, the spiritual light of all the big three, plus both COG 7’s [Salem and Denver] and the SDA as well as the smaller groups has flickered out and they are spiritually dying. The entire COG spectrum is in desperate need of a full fledged revival.

    I cannot say precisely what will transpire in each group; I can say that none of the big groups will turn to God as organizations [I have been in contact with leaders in most of them and I am well aware of their attitudes]; although a few scattered brethren will turn to godliness now before the hour of trial; and that during the tribulation many of the genuinely called out will sincerely turn to God with a whole heart. James

  13. COGWA – The corporate COGs are doomed and dying because they still haven’t learned from WCG’s major mistakes:

    Lack of humility, lack of Godly love and their hideous, disgusting “class system” (the doctrine of the Nicolaitans which Jesus hates – Rev. 2)

    It is only a matter of time before they all implode, one by one.

  14. GCI has, of course, put pressure on Pastors to hold Sunday services for a long time. I recall leaders coming to one town years ago and firing a Pastor for resisting – and that Pastor intentionally sat in the front row on the day his dismissal was announced during the service.

    But going back to a structured litergy (worship order) is another GCI flip-flop. What happened to their being open to the lead of the Holy Spirit?

    The biggest surprise to me, besides the tough talk in Greg Williams’s letter, is the recommendation of weekly communion.

  15. Presumably your Feast figures apply to the LCG group only.

    The figures under the LCG heading apply to LCG only. I am told by senior people that actual attendance is usually somewhat higher than the number registered. James

  16. Hello John G. I believe Mr. COG Member is referencing GCI or “Grace Communion” rather than CGI which would be “Church of God International”

  17. Nathan,

    Thanks for mentioning that “Mr. COG Member is referencing GCI or “Grace Communion” rather than CGI which would be “Church of God International.””

    In 2 out of 3 places I used the inappropriate acronym. I apologize to you and Mr. COG Member for that and now re-post my reply with the appropriate acronym.

    Mr. COG Member, surprised by GCI’s recommendation of weekly communion, asked: “…What happened to their being open to the lead of the Holy Spirit?…”

    Those of GCI, once upon a time thinking God’s Spirit was leading some in their organization, were deceived! Join the world, which isn’t led by God’s Spirit either! God’s Spirit was not in GCI leading anybody into their ungodly ways that seemed right to them.

    What happened when Jesus was led by God’s Spirit?

    Luke 4:1 “And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,”

    Did Jesus go into ungodliness? No, but that Spirit led Him to depart from one area, Jordan, to another area: the wilderness, but why? Was it just some senseless trip? No!

    Matthew 4:1 “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
    It was time for Jesus to be tempted of the Devil. God always does things decently and in order and God appoints the time for the accomplishment of His own will. Done deal, but to hold Sunday services? No way, unless it was on Pentecost!

    Who else is led by God’s Spirit besides this first beloved begotten Son of God?
    Romans 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
    The fruits/works of the leadership of GCI reveal that they have not been led by God’s Spirit. In fact, they are much like the ancient physical Israelites, which God inspired Moses to describe as follows:

    “Yet the LORD hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.” Deuteronomy 29:4

    Without God’s Spirit, one cannot walk God’s way:

    “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Romans 8:7

    God can’t lie and neither does Jesus, who tells us, paraphrasing some: we shall know them by their fruits.


    To avoid double posting I will delete your first comment. James

  18. when are you going to update your file. There is nothing so far for July.

    I had announced that the COG News Blog was full and a new one was started July 1.
    The latest posts are always at the articles page with the latest COG News Blog featured at the top of that page. Please set your bookmark to this link and you will always see the latest posts.

    Also there is little news right now as the organizations are involved in their summer camps and vacations and Feast preparations.

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