Church of God News Blog; August 2019

Bible Studies and World News Prophecy site

 

18 Nov: LCG- The Charlotte congregation pastor, John Strain, has been diagnosed with lymphoma and will be replaced. 

Scott Winnail is being removed from the  TWNow and the on-site Living Education programs and moved to handle the routine day-to-day responsibilities of serving the Charlotte congregation.

LCG is also cancelling Scott Winnail’s popular  TWNow program: The reason given: “our commission is to preach the Gospel to the world, and other initiatives are fulfilling that task more effectively.”  The TWNow program was an effort to feed the flock but that consideration was apparently not involved in the decision.

Important news update: It looks very much like Israel will go to new elections in spring. It also looks like Netanyahu will delay his war as long as he can so as to initiate hostilities as close to the election date as possible in order to delay the vote as long as he can.  There is a very serious chance of a peace making coalition led by Benny Gantz’s Blue and White winning the election and forming a non religious, moderate peace making government not held hostage by the far right extremists and make the peace desired by Donald Trump.

2020 could be a very significant year with developments in world affairs and in the COG.

TheShiningLight- A new edition of the Proverbs – Song of Songs study is now available for free download.

 

16 Nov:  A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s faithful!

Breaking:  Israel attacks Hamas.

 

15 Nov: See today’s new article about becoming a virtuous bride for the Lamb.

Special Music  

UCG: Victor Kubik writes:  At the home office, the fifth annual Pastoral Development Program is in session. It started on November 11, and will run until November 20. Thirty-two people from Australia, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Malawi, the Caribbean, Myanmar, Canada, United Kingdom and the U.S. are represented. We also have two veteran U.S. pastors, Vince Szymkowiak (St. Louis) and Randy D’Alessandro (Chicago), who we invited to be part of the mentorship process.

News update:  A very uneasy calm has begun with Gaza.  The Israeli president is working hard trying to establish a governing coalition with the Gantz mandate expiring Wednesday night. Gantz could either ask for a two week extension or return the mandate. 

Once the mandate is returned it will pass to the Knesset which will have three weeks to try and form a government and if they fail an election must be called within three months. The Gaza situation is very likely to erupt again and if there is no formal government the various parties would support a minority Likud from the opposition until hostilities end.

 

12 Nov 00:30 PST: Breaking-  Israel launches surprise attack on Gaza!

Even though Xmas is on a Wednesday LCG and COGWA go out of their way to include the day in their disgraceful WFW.  These folks reject God’s command to meet every day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and instead spend their money on this; what a disgraceful affront to Almighty God!

COGWA announces it will again hold their WFW over Xmas:  “The Winter Family Weekend runs from Tuesday evening, Dec. 24, through Saturday night, Dec. 28, 2019 – so it’s more than just a weekend!”  Their WFW will once again be the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

The LCG Charlotte Family weekend is to be held December 25–29 at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina. and is restricted to LCG members.

At least UCG  will avoid Christmas Day this year, for its winter weekends. The main WFW will be at the major Christmas celebration site at the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, Ohio, running from Friday the 20th to Tuesday the 24th of December. 

 

11 Nov: LCG- Gerald Weston reports that “Overall, Living Church of God Feast of Tabernacles attendance in 2019 was 11,060—a 4.7 percent increase over 2018 and the first time in our 27-year history to go over the 11,000 mark. This year, we sponsored the Feast in 61 locations in 37 countries.”  He did not say if he was using actual attendance or the number of registered persons. He also mentioned that in some areas offerings increased by 10% but did not mention total figures.

Crossover visits between the big three seems to have been a consistent trend across the US. so Feast visit numbers are not reflective of memberships or regular weekly attendance in these organizations. It should also be noted that these figures include men, women and children and do not reflect the number of baptized persons, which is a closely guarded secret.

LCG also held board meetings in Charlotte this past week.

 

10 Nov 02:45 PST: Today we begin a new series through the book of Exodus at the Bible Study page.  This series is full of information not commonly taught including the name of the Pharaoh, the date and many other details.

After review the Passover book has been restored to the Literature page for free download. 

 

9 Nov:  A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!

 

7 Nov: Feast News- UCG has published the following preliminary details.

Number of sites:
2018 — 66 sites were kept around the world (same as 2017).
2019 — 61

Registration All Sites (many international sites do not register in advance):
2018 — 8,547
2019 — 8,514

Total Attendance:
2018 — 13,453
2019 — to be determined

 

4 Nov: Feast News- COGWA’s  Jim Franks reports record offerings and attendance with more attendees than were registered, over 100 extra in Myrtle Beach alone.

LCG’s Gerald Weston reports  all seven offerings this year were slightly higher than last year and that this Tabernacles there was a “well organized Feast and a loving atmosphere.”  At the LCG Branson, Missouri site a third of the brethren failed to attend the afternoon Eighth Day service.

I am hearing that most of the extra visitors to COGWA were unhappy LCG folks taking advantage of having many of their sites in the same cities as COGWA to cross over for a visit. LCG in Myrtle Beach had an attendance of about 200 less than the number registered, with some checking out COGWA and others taking a look at UCG. 

Crossover visits between the big three seems to have been a consistent trend across the US. It also appears that many are now so uninspired by the sermons provided that they prefer to turn the Feast into a carnal vacation and engage in other activities.

 

2 Nov: A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!

 

1 Nov: TheShiningLight-  New feature at the Literature page

Access an English audio King James Bible version here.  Click on the book you want and then click the player to listen as it is professionally read. Excellent for those who have trouble reading.

 

30 Oct: UCG- The big three will be holding board meetings sometime over the next six weeks or so. The UCG CoE is scheduled to meet Dec 9-12 along with their usual premeet weekend. The UCG CoE will discuss the recent Festivals and evaluate the Oct-Nov advertising campaign of 30 million Sunday paper inserts as well the usual subjects. Any matters that require a GCE vote in May 2020 must also be prepared and presented to the GCE in December. A second stage of advertising is planned to insert 70 million adds in Sunday papers in the Jan-Feb time frame.

The May 2020 GCE conference is being billed as the launch of a new UCG era with the theme “Moving Forward with Conviction, Commitment and Courage,” and they are pushing “The Next 25 Years” very hard.  They now have most of the ministry online for the agenda of the present permissive evangelical leaning CoE and most of the brethren are sound asleep, however there are some good elders and brethren who are beginning to see the trends and deep divisions are developing. 

 

29 Oct: New Moon Report-  The first visible light of the new moon was seen by several witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea this evening.  30 October is the first day of the eighth biblical month which is to be observed with a special congregational or family bible study.

 

26 Oct: A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!

 

25 Oct: UCG- Despite stagnant membership numbers UCG has ordained a number of new elders.  The overall makeup of the UCG ministry is being rapidly changed in character towards the present leadership’s agenda.

On September 30, 2019, Neil Crane was ordained into the ministry. He and his wife, Rita, serve in the East Texas congregation.
On September 30, 2019, Gregory Dullum was ordained into the ministry. He and his wife, Marie, serve in the Cape Girardeau, Missouri, congregation.
On September 30, 2019, Brent Fogelson was ordained into the ministry. He and his wife, Kristina, serve in the Phoenix Northwest, Arizona, congregation.
On September 30, 2019, Alan Gunn was ordained into the ministry. He serves in the Columbus, Ohio, congregation.
On September 30, 2019, Dave Wells was ordained into the ministry. He and his wife, Carrie, serve in the Troy, Illinois, congregation.
On September 30, 2019, Andy Duran was ordained into the ministry. He and his wife, Amber, have been transferred from Cincinnati to the Chicago area. Mr. Duran will assist Pastor Randy D’Alessandro with the Chicago (Illinois) and Beloit (Wisconsin) congregations.
On October 5, 2019, Richard Moulton was ordained into the ministry. He and his wife, Michelle, serve in the Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, congregation.
On October 21, 2019, Frank Reckerman was ordained into the ministry. He and his wife, Tina, serve in the Colombo, Sri Lanka, congregation.

 

22 Oct: Please see the new Personal article on how proclaiming the Gospel will unfold from now to the coming of Christ.

TheShiningLight-  The article on the Kurds has been updated with an explanation of the recent Trump maneuvering, revealing his secret strategy and goals. An important read to understand present events.

 

21 Oct:  A Blessed Feast of the Eighth Day for All God’s faithful!  May we all rejoice forever in our Mighty God!   Special Music: The resurrected of Spiritual Israel will rejoice forever!  Shouts of Joy

 

20 Oct:  In pictures; worshipers gather with their branches to celebrate the seventh and last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles.  The Feast of the Eighth Day begins at sunset tonight and ends at sunset tomorrow night. Some COG groups confuse the Last Great Day of Tabernacles with the Feast of the Eighth Day; they are NOT the same occasion.

 

19 Oct:  A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!

New Moon- Subject to observation the first day of the eighth biblical month is expected to begin at sunset ending 29 October.

 

17 Oct: TheShiningLight-  I have discovered and corrected a confusing sentence on the tribe of Dan in Genesis 49 of the Genesis Exodus study. The free download has also been corrected today. 

 

14 Oct: A Blessed Feast of Ingathering and Eighth Day for All God’s Faithful! 

 

12 Oct: A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!

Thought for the day: Learn to Discern- God does not judge by sight but by careful examination of the facts to determine the truth.  The godly person must follow that example and exercise the mind to properly discern the truth. 

Isaiah 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

The present propaganda about the Turkish operation in Syria is a classic in obscuring the truth which becomes very clear in our posts on the operation for the last several days at TheShiningLight October 2019 News Blog

Thinking deeply and being diligent to discover the facts and learning to discern between truth and error is a vital part of following God the Father and Jesus Christ to internalize their nature and to become like them.  We should practice this love of the truth in physical things and also in spiritual matters by carefully examining the words of men, regardless of the title that they claim (1 Thess 5:22),  by the Word of God. See our article on Discerning the godly from the false teacher.

 

10 Oct: TheShiningLight-  The Daniel 8 study has been updated to clarify the ambiguous statement near the end of the article: “Antiochus then proceeded to advance on Nicomedes I king of Bythnia and the army of Gauls he had called to help him and Nicomedes of Bythnia bowed to Antiochus without a serious fight in 278 B.C.  Nicomedes then continued to rule Bythnia but accepted the dominance of Antiochus king of Babylon [Seleucid Syria].”  This paragraph gives the impression that the four divisions began in 278 B.C. therefor I have added the date when Nicomedes submitted to Antiochus which was 277 B.C.

After the Feast beginning on Oct 22 a series through the books of Moses is scheduled.  These completely updated studies are much improved and very informative.  Because I am trying to complete studies through all of the bible by the fall 2020 Festivals, I plan to begin publishing TWO posts each Sabbath and each Sunday.

Some time ago I mentioned starting to record programs and that project has not been forgotten, it has been delayed by a big push to complete updating the bible book studies including the books published at the Lulu bookstore which are also available for free download.  Once the studies have been completely updated on my end [not necessarily posted yet but the actual editing work completed] I can devote my time to the programs. 

Brethren this is a full time job and I need your prayers and financial support as never before.  I am doing all of this work myself, studying through the entire bible with impaired eyesight, handling email questions and technical issues. 

In the news the Israeli coalition talks are solidly deadlocked and it is quite possible that a third election will be called.  At the same time Turkey has entered Kurdish Syria to block the escape of the Idlib terrorists once the main Syrian Russian Idlib operation begins.  Israel has been waiting for Syria to be fully engaged in Idlib before invading Gaza so as to hopefully finish off Gaza before having to face Hezbollah and Syria.  The Gaza operation will take weeks if not a few months and after that the operation against Hezbollah and Syria will take more time and any Israeli elections could be further delayed. Once the situation stabilizes there will be a genuine dialogue for peace concluding with a Middle East peace deal. 

It is HIGHLY probable that this peace deal could be reached and the tribulation begin as soon as the end of 2020 (1 Thess 5:3, see Daniel 8), but things could still take longer than expected since there is no way of knowing exactly how long the conflicts and the subsequent peace talks will take. 

Nevertheless we NEED to be ready!  This is not the time to let down, as these events progress this work of encouraging the brethren to live by every Word of God and expounding sound doctrine must get done!  We have only one year maybe two to warn and prepare the brethren before the 3 1/2 year tribulation of correction begins, we MUST be about our Father’s business!

 

8 Oct:  The fast of Atonement begins at sunset tonight and continues through to sunset ending 9 October.  The seven day Feast of Ingathering called Tabernacles begins at sunset ending 13 Oct. The Feast of the Eighth Day begins at sunset ending Oct 20 and lasts to sunset Oct 21.

 

6 Oct UCG-  UCG issues a Feast press release designed to appeal to Evangelicals, focusing on false explanations of the Feast and on the Christ centeredness of the Fall Festival.

This press release is more than an appeal to evangelicals, it announces to the brethren that after redefining Jesus into an evangelical false Christ, which I have been fighting for the past ten years; they are now ready to make the change over, public.  They despise me for standing up to their machinations, especially with their recent attempt to redefine the God of the Old Testament in preparation for this unveiling of their new evangelical Jesus to the public. 

Notice that nothing seems wrong with this announcement; the issue only rears up when we begin to understand that besides presenting false evangelical explanations for the Fall Festivals taken directly from mainstream commentaries, they have changed the Real Jesus into the false tolerant of sin emotional “love love” evangelical model. 

PRESS RELEASE: 14,000 Gather to Celebrate Coming Time of Christ-Centered Global Peace: Church Follows Example of First Century Disciples

 

5 Oct: A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!  The Fast of Atonement begins at sunset Tuesday evening Oct 8 and ends at sunset on Wednesday evening Oct 9.

 

2 Oct: UCG- Victor Kubik and UCG as well as the other major COG organizations are still teaching their gross errors that the Fall Festivals somehow are about the early spring harvest.   “First, Christ returns to the earth, symbolically depicted by the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Tabernacles that follows pictures the coming Kingdom of God. In between these events, though, is the Day of Atonement which pictures the removal of the one who has brought evil to this earth. . . ”  [For the truth about God’s Festivals visit TheShiningLight Festival categories. For an overview of the Festivals see this.].  Victor then goes on to write about Satan and pride, not seeing that it is because of pride that UCG and the other major COG organizations cling to their past false teachings and refuse to accept the truth of the Holy Scriptures about God’s Festivals, biblical prophecy [One of their major key errors is explained here.] etc.  

 

1 Oct: LCG-  Doug Winnail has a good piece on loving God’s law.  If only LCG did love God’s law enough to keep it instead of only paying lip service to it.

LCG continues to push its anti biblical prophecy error: “Bible prophecy indicates that a powerful leader, described in Daniel 11 as the “king of the South,” will eventually arise in the Middle East region at the end of the age. Could the current tensions in that region create an environment that unifies Arab nations and enables such a leader to rise? Only time will tell. For greater insight about the future of this volatile area of the globe, be sure to read or listen to our well documented and biblically focused booklet, The Middle East in Prophecy.”  

Now identify the king of the South directly from the Bible.

 

30 Sep: An Inspiring Feast of Trumpets for All God’s Faithful! See our Feast presentations here.

 

29 Sep New Moon Report:  The first light of the new moon was reported seen by at least seven persons in Jerusalem!  The Memorial of Rejoicing with Trumpets begins at sunset this evening!

UCG new Grace booklet review-  The new “Grace” booklet seems to be a compilation of extracts from the many past UCG articles on the subject and contains very little that is new. Scott has done a good job putting this material together in one article. 

The content is certainly broadly acceptable to the religious mainstream as well as the COG, with the key issue of defining the law as the entire body of law given to Moses or only the Ten Commandments not being addressed.  The only suggestion I would have besides correcting that omission is to increase the font to a size better suited to the aging membership. A larger font would also make reading easier for the general public.

Darris’s recent statements [see comment below] as well as the Grace booklet [which does not define God’s law] are a lesson in discernment; teaching us that someone can tell the truth but still mislead by telling only a part of the truth.

I am working on an analysis of the UCG/COGWA and LCG Calendar papers to be posted in future. Nearly every quote in them has been lifted out of context and twisted to appear to mean the opposite of the original, in context meaning; this is so pervasive that these Papers appear to be a deliberate and calculated attempt to deceive the brethren. Be patient on this one but the research has been done and the process of writing a post exposing the many lies will begin after the Feast.

These are very subtle tricks and we must be wise in God to discern such attempts to lead us astray.

See and download the Doctrinal Papers being analyzed here:

The Hebrew Calendar Doctrinal Statement (UCG)

Summary of the Hebrew Calendar (UCG)

Appendix to the Hebrew Calendar (UCG)

Should Christians Observe New Moons? (UCG)

The Hebrew Calendar (COGWA)

Living Church of God Calendar Articles–Part 1 and Part 2 (LCG) 

 

28 Sep:  A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!

The Memorial of Trumpets-  Observers will be out looking for the first light of the New Moon on Sunday and the New Moon Feast of Trumpets will be announced as soon as the information is available.

UCG-  UCG brethren are beginning to receive their new booklet “What Does the Bible Teach About GRACE?” 

UCG is focusing on their 25th anniversary in May, not in terms of remembering the past 25 years but in declaring that the next 25 years will be much better.  Since they are about to experience substantial losses in income and members due to a rapidly aging organization, it is obvious that the “Grace” booklet and the focus on the Next 25 Years is conditioning people for changes as the UCG reinvents itself.  As you read this new booklet consider not only what is being said but what is being left out and not said. See how many of today’s UCG leaders reinvented the WCG for Joe Tkach before being laid off and forming UCG.

 

25 Sep:  The Seventh New Moon-  This will be a difficult sighting with less than one hour lag time between sunset and moon set.

Observers will be out looking for the new moon of the seventh month and if it is seen Monday 30 Sep will be the first day of the seventh biblical month and The Memorial of Trumpets.  By chance the often wrong Rabbinic Calendar may have it right this year.  See the Calendar category for more.  

Important:  Trumpets is only one day, however since the days of Hezekiah it has been necessary to set aside a cautionary two days for the Memorial of Trumpets just in case the moon is not seen on the expected evening. Trumpets is expected on 30 Sep but please be ready for a one day delay if the new moon is not seen as anticipated.

The Fall Festival presentations have now begun at TheShiningLight.

News Flash!  It looks like Netanyahu will soon be given the first try at forming a government and Likud officials have begun preliminary contacts with officials from Kahol Lavan [Blue and White] to begin talks on a national unity government.

Regardless of who gets the first try, if the corruption charges against Netanyahu are confirmed on Oct 2 it is highly unlikely that Bibi will be able to form a government and the Blue and White also has little chance.  Barring a political miracle Israel is headed to a third election next year.  It is also fairly certain that a multi front regional war will break out in the coming months which will have a profound effect on the Israeli electorate, breaking the deadlock in favor of a government which will conduct a genuine dialogue for peace.

 

22 Sep:  UCG Ministerial change- Bart Bornhorst will be relocating from the Indianapolis area to Pennsylvania. One of the Creech Brothers is expected to replace him.

 

21 Sep: A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s faithful!

 

20 Sep: TheShiningLight– Beginning Tuesday Sep 24 the Job study will be paused to begin the Feast of Trumpets and Fall Festival presentations. Job will be completed after the Memorial of Trumpets and ahead of the Fast of Atonement. Do join us to see what the Holy Scriptures say about the Biblical Festivals and what they really mean, you might be surprised! 

See the new article “Be Strong and Mighty in the LORD.”

 

16 Sep:  There is an interesting new comment and response here.

I am working on a 2019 Fall Festivals Personal for next week.

The Israeli cabinet and the IDF forced a postponement of Netanyahu’s plans for a pre-election war on Gaza. The cabinet, because they did not want a conflict that would delay the elections; and the IDF wanted more time for the Syrian Idlib operation to mature. For more see the September 2019 News Blog.

TheShiningLight- Dear Friends, over this summer TheShiningLight has received an average of 5,000 unique visitors making many thousands of visits and reading nearly 150,000 pages each month.  This COG News site receives almost the same amount of traffic.  In spite of this almost no one has remembered that your financial support is necessary to do this work.  As the Fall Festivals approach our bank balance is shrinking towards zero and we find ourselves in serious need; please consider helping us to serve you.

 

14 Sep: A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!  The last post in the Psalms study is scheduled at TheShiningLight today. Beginning tomorrow a series on Job is planned which will lead up to the Fall Festivals presentations.

 

13 Sep: UCG-  In 2009 “Larry Salyer (former UCG media director) was strongly opposed to any increase in outreach expenditures beyond the 19% level in order to plough money into ministerial health care and pensions: While Robin Webber campaigned for the council with a message of “dramatically increasing the expenditure on public proclamation” in the hope of increasing income. Webber won, Salyer lost.

More money for the ministry and less money spent on a different kind of Outreach was a central part of the leadership change that led to Salyer and others departing.

UCG then very quickly increased Outreach expenditures especially on ineffective media to 31%. They tried to maintain that level, but have run into difficulties.”  UCG figures for the year ending June 30, 2018, show that it spent $5,044,659 on public proclamation, out of its total annual revenue of $19,772,322, i.e. 25.5%.

COGWA- Larry Salyer to retire. See the comment below this post.

Britton Taylor, reporting on COGWA’s audit for the year ended December 31, 2018, wrote: “… income received for 2018 was just under $12.7 million – the highest in our history. This was a 6% increase over 2017, which was a strong year with income close to $12 million. Total expenses for 2018 and 2017 were about $11.8 million and $11.3 million respectively.”

Salaries and related expenses represented 43.8% of income. The ministry is elderly, so the rate of this expense will increase in all the major corporate groups in order to fund ministerial retirement pay, sickness benefits and the recruitment of replacement ministers.

COGWA public proclamation of the gospel, the focus of most corporate churches, amounted to $1,216,976 – which is 10.3% of annual income. This low percentage is due to its public proclamation being currently restricted to its website, Life, Hope & Truth – which is not as effective as the leadership had hoped.

Visitor numbers consist mainly of members with very few others being reached. Visits have declined through 2018, so in January 2019 the media department (which is outsourced) was given the task of improving website visitor numbers and page views by refining its search engine optimization tactics, redesigning the website, adding and changing content, and other techniques to enhance its attraction.

Jim Franks, writing in his September 2019 member letter, has now admitted that it is the content that needs to be attractive:
“… we are working hard at upgrading our Internet presence. For the past 18 months, our unique visitors to Life, Hope & Truth has leveled off at just under 500,000 per month. This is about half the number we were getting at our high point. We are investing resources to develop a strategy to increase our numbers. There are some technical things that we can do with the Internet, but we also realize the need for more compelling articles that get people’s attention and that proclaim the true gospel to a world that is spiritually starving.”

Sadly these groups do not proclaim the true Gospel, but present an insipid watered down lukewarm message full of errors.

 

7 Sep:  A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful! There will be two articles on Psalms 119 posted at TheShiningLight today.

 

4 Sep:  The COG and Prophecy-  Gerald Weston and the LCG Board have been busy discussing prophecy and I understand that prophecy will be a part of next month’s LCG Feast of Tabernacles presentation.  In the July/August edition of the Living Church News, Gerald discuss the Seventy Weeks Prophecy in his Personal message entitled Why a Council of Elders? 

He is correct in saying that Daniel 9 begins with the decree of 457 B.C. to build the city of Jerusalem.

Here is the correct explanation of Daniel 9:1 to 9:23 about the first coming of Christ the Messiah, which is largely understood in LCG. 

The 70th week of the 70 Weeks Prophecy begins in Daniel 9:24 and using the Bible to explain the Bible to clear away the confusion on the subject: here is the correct understanding of the 70th week of the 70 Weeks Prophecy which begins in Daniel 9:24.

 

3 Sep:  LCG- Gerald Weston writes:  “Last weekend we had Tomorrow’s World Presentations, mostly repeat presentations, in five U.S. cities, reaching 15 first-time and 10 returning guests.”

 

1 Sep: 15:30 PDT: It appears that both Hezbollah and Israel have declared victory and the focus will return to Gaza as Israel waits on the situation in Idlib Syria. 

The regional Israeli war that I have been warning about for the last 12 years is now at hand. Israel is calling up reserves and war can break out at any time in the coming weeks. See our Twelfth Anniversary Message to learn what is about to happen. 

 

31 Aug: New Moon Report:  Sightings from Jerusalem and across Israel have confirmed the first visible light of the new moon.  This means that tomorrow will be the first day of the sixth biblical month.

The New Moon is to be observed with congregational bible studies, or personal bible studies if it is not possible to meet with a like minded congregation.  I recommend that visitors go to the “Sabbath and Calendar” category and review these things this New Moon Day.  The New Moons were observed in the Armstrong Radio Church of God with congregational bible studies.  

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.    

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. 

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.

 

30 Aug: UCG-  The second part of the UCG COE report is now posted: UCG Conference of Elders Report Aug 20-22 2019   This has a few extremely interesting and important items.  If you can’t change the list of fundamental beliefs then change the perspective and understanding by which those beliefs are interpreted.  This UCG big push on “Grace” has been coming for a long time now:  For the plain truth on Grace see the top four articles here.

There is nothing complicated about Grace!  Grace is: God’s merciful forgiveness for all those who sincerely repent of all past sin and make an unshakable commitment to STOP sinning and go forward to forever live by every Word of God in dedicated enthusiastic zeal!

As the sun sets May All God’s Faithful Have A Blessed Sabbath!    Special Music:  Because You Are

 

27 Aug: New Moon-  Observers will be out looking for the first visible light of the new moon at Jerusalem on Saturday night.  If seen, Sunday will be the first day of the sixth biblical month.

 

24 Aug:  A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!  Enjoy our studies through the Psalms this Sabbath!

 

22 Aug: COGWA-  COGWA posts 2018 audit.

WFW-  This year UCG is holding its Winter Family Weekend Dec 20 to 24 while LCG is holding their’s Dec 25 to 29.  They make a big deal about holding this non biblical “Church Retreat” every year at Christmas, while they refuse to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread with services on each of the seven days of the Feast as God has commanded and then they dare to call themselves God’s people!  For Shame!

UCG-  The August 19 CoE Report is now available.  

 

18 Aug:  Dear friends I am testing out a translator for TheShiningLight.  I do have some misgivings about the accuracy of a mechanical translator even though the GTranslate plugin seems like a good idea.  I request that those who are fluent in various languages give the translator on the menu bar a try and send me their input especially about translation accuracy at jddm3@hotmail.com  Thank you very much for your participation in this project.

 

17 Aug:  A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!

 

16 Aug: COGWA- COGWA is to hold an International Leadership Program in the UK in a facility at Cranfield University, from the evening of Friday 23 Aug to Sunday 25 Aug.

Attending COGWA leaders include:

Jim (and Sharron) Franks, COGWA President
Leon (and Reba) Walker, COGWA International Coordinator
Doug (and Tanya) Horchak, COGWA Ministerial Services Operations Manager
Clyde (and Dee) Kilough, COGWA Media Operations Manager
Britt (and Donna) Taylor, COGWA Financial Operation Manager
Joel Meeker, Chairman, Ministerial Board of Directors, & French Language Director
Bernard Hongerloot, Translator & Administration for French Language Areas

This will be the last of ten initial regional leadership seminars, the most recent being held in Runaway Bay, Jamaica.  The purpose of these seminars is to groom potential ministry for the COGWA in areas outside of the US.  They have a list of some 400 men and women, but the attendees at the UK seminar would only include the folks on the list from Europe.

Jim Franks wrote on 8 Aug:  “We have collected the names of over 400 men and women for an international leadership database. There are three requirements for participants to complete this first phase of the new program: (1) be invited to and attend the weekend seminar in their region, (2) view the seven follow-up classes from the leadership website, and (3) view the 24 Foundation Institute classes on the Fundamental Beliefs.”

With all those American leadership personalities attending it seems reasonable to assume that the European COGWA leaders and elders will be attending the seminar as well as potential new elders.

UCG- Elders are arriving for next week’s CoE conference.  First informal discussions at the Sunday retreat, followed by the formal conference 19 to 22 Aug. 

Victor Kubik of UCG writes:

I’d also like to mention that the online radio station for United Church of God is streaming 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. You can listen to booklet and magazine readings, Bible readings, Bible Q&As, sermons, Bible class lectures, podcasts, the BT Daily series, music and more! A radio schedule in PDF can now be downloaded which will show you upcoming programs. You can reach it easily on your computer at https://www.ucg.org.au/radio 

 

15 Aug 02:30 PDT:  The PHP has been updated on our server.  If you are having trouble accessing any of our sites please delete your computer and search engine browsing history.

 

11 Aug: LCG-  Doug Winnail misidentifies the LCG ministry with the authority of the Word of God, and in pushing people to obey LC G without question says that people who are willing to put God first and not the LCG ministry or their erroneous traditions are motivated by Satan. 

Doug very subtly exalts the “authority” of the LCG ministry above the Word of God.  See the “Binding and Loosing” and the “Legitimate Ministerial Authority” articles, or download the “Ecclesiastical Authority” book.  

Satan’s Subtle DevicesWhat motivates our thoughts and actions? Principles from God’s word or ideas from the world? Most people today, whether in the Church or in the world, either tend to forget or do not realize that Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4) and that he is the one who strives to influence the thoughts and actions of unsuspecting individuals (Ephesians 2:1–3). Unfortunately, even after spending years in the Church, we can still be snared by Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11Ephesians 6:11) without even realizing what is happening. Satan—who is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) and the source of doubts, divisions, and rebellion against authority—can beam thoughts into our minds that stir us to question, complain, or criticize ideas and actions of those around us or over us in the Body of Christ. When we see that Satan tempted Jesus Christ  (Matthew 4:1–10) and also stirred Peter to sharply rebuke Jesus (Matthew 16:22–23), we should realize that we are not immune to Satan’s devices. If we forget the warning that “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12), we will be an easy target for Satan to manipulate. This is why we are urged to stay alert and vigilant—because we have an enemy who wants to use us for his purposes and eventually destroy us (1 Peter 5:6–9). Let’s strive to promote peace and harmony and not be an instrument that Satan can use to sow division or discord in the Church of God.

 

10 Aug:  A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful!

 

7 Aug:  Both Norbert Link of the Church of the Eternal God and Gerald Fury of PCG are insisting that Donald Trump will be reelected US president.  This prediction is based on their personal opinion that Trump is doing God’s will, however it assumes that God cannot use any other.  In fact Trump could still win or he could be replaced, after all politics is primarily a theatrical spectacle for the public since the Establishment owns all the important horses in the race.

 

3 Aug:  A Blessed Sabbath for All God’s Faithful! 

Special Music: One of the best voices to come out of the modern Jewish State; Bat-Sheva Ofra Haza sings from the Song of Solomon. The song begins at about the 1:27 mark.  About Ofra Haza: Ofra died of aids in 2000 after contracting the disease from a blood transfusion following a miscarriage.

 

2 Aug:  The Holy Day Festival Calendar chart has been updated to add a potential early new year and Festivals for 2024. 

The new moon was seen from Jerusalem this evening making 3 August the first day of the fifth biblical month.

 

1 Aug: UCG- Does size matter?  UCG affiliated Worldwide Church of God Angola may be about to lose its official corporate status.

New Moon-  Observers will be out looking for the new moon in Jerusalem after sunset ending 2 August.  I will announce the first day of the fifth biblical month when a sighting is confirmed.

TheShiningLight- The Epistles series is scheduled to complete with Jude on 2 Aug.  There is a post scheduled for 3 Aug on Leadership which is mainly about family and child rearing as a follow up to the marriage articles which can be found in the General Doctrines category.  A series through the book of Psalms is planned to begin on 4 Aug and will last up until the fall Feast material begins. 

A superficial reading of Psalms gives the impression that they are about David’s sins and prayers for deliverance and praises to God. In fact there is an enormous amount of very deep meaning in the Psalms, which are an instructional allegory using physical struggles to teach us about the spiritual struggle against Satan and sin and the way of eternal salvation.  

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  1. Comment was made 7 Aug 2019 saying: “Both Norbert Link of the Church of the Eternal God and Gerald Fury of PCG are insisting that Donald Trump will be reelected US president. This prediction is based on their personal opinion that Trump is doing God’s will, however it assumes that God cannot use any other. In fact Trump could still win or he could be replaced, after all politics is primarily a theatrical spectacle for the public since the Establishment owns all the important horses in the race.”

    Some used to say something like beware of the “‘man’ behind the curtain!” How would Link or Flurry speculate to know “that Trump is doing God’s will?” Is it possible that Trump may be doing Satan’s will? Satan, god of this present evil world, has a will:

    “And [that] they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” 2 Tim 2:26

    Jesus Christ, when He walked this earth, addressed the false leaders of his day as follows:

    “Ye are of [your] father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

    Are Link and Flurry listening to lies?

    Satan operates in a stealth mode, wants to remain hidden, does not want to be exposed and oftentimes seems to be very much like a “‘man’ behind the curtain!”

    In any event, all the world is deceived, and regardless of whether God allows Satan to keep/put Trump into office or any other man/woman for that matter, nothing will thwart God’s will and His perfect plan of salvation for humanity.

    John

    You assessed this well in your last para, Satan has his own will but he is limited by God’s will and what God will allow.

    Trump is Jesuit controlled and his core support is Catholic and Evangelical, it seems that Norbert and Gerald have bought into their propaganda that Trump is God’s agent. However he is not the only person who has Jesuit support. James

  2. Regardless of who the next President will be, God’s overall will is of paramount importance. The Greater COGs have a very long list of failed prophecies, predictions and trying to second guess God and His timetable for bringing about the end of man’s rule on this earth and restoring His kingdom and government. As always, time will tell.

  3. I’ve heard Trump say more than once he might pull our troops from Europe. Imagine Europe with no US or Great Britain presence. How long would it take for the Beast to rise?

    The New Federal Europe is ready for approval as soon as the conditions are right. British refusal to accept the move to a federal Europe is the very reason that Europe and Britain are divorcing.

    Once Brexit is accomplished [probably at the end of October] some European political maneuvering will be necessary and then a final push in the form of a papal recommendation will result in ten nations coming together. As for the US and Nato or Europe, that situation could come before, during or right after the federal Europe rises. James

  4. Re: 22 Aug – To COGWA’s credit, the audit is detailed. Yet those details are revealing, and a bit sad to me.

    “Public proclamation” accounts for only about 10 percent of COGWA’s expenses. Taking care of the “headquarters office” total about seven percent.

    And under the public proclamation category, three times more is spent on “salaries and related expenses” than on internet and printing.

    With numbers that low, is COGWA really a “healthy” church in a position to grow?

    Spending millions to teach error is not healthy either. Spiritual health is measured by zeal to learn and live by every Word of God not by finances, numbers of attendees or outreach numbers.

    These folks including LCG, UCG and many others, have not grown spiritually for over fifty years; they believe that they are spiritually rich and are blind to their true spiritual condition.

    Their pride prevents them from seeing the truth so they are comfortable in their spiritual coma and resent being called to wake up. Because they reject spiritual knowledge and growth they are sleep walking to serious correction by God.

    Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
    James

  5. Regarding …. 27 Aug: New Moon- Observers will be out looking for the first visible light of the new moon at Jerusalem on Saturday night. If seen, Sunday will be the first day of the sixth biblical month.

    Who said we have to look for a crescent Moon anyway??? Sounds like the worship of Nana if you ask me.

    I suggest that you read the articles at our Biblical Calendar category. https://godourlight.info/category/101-sabbath-and-calendar/ James

  6. Re: 13 Sep – Your timing is uncanny. COGWA announced in this week’s update video that Larry Salyer is retiring this fall.

    What a mixed record he leaves, especially in terms of bringing groups together (remember CBCG)? and pulling them apart (COGWA).

    Thank you, I missed that. I am always grateful to receive news I can share. Here is more on Larry Salyer https://godourlight.info/meredith-salyer-history/
    James

  7. 28 Sep 2019, comment was made saying: “…UCG is focusing on their 25th anniversary in May, not in terms of remembering the past 25 years but in declaring that the next 25 years will be much better. Since they are about to experience substantial losses in income and members due to a rapidly aging organization, it is obvious that the “Grace” booklet and the focus on the Next 25 Years is conditioning people for changes as the UCG reinvents itself…”

    I am in process of reading the latest issue of Beyond Today (September – October 2019) and the cover of the magazine says: “When Heaven Comes to Earth” and the lead article by Darris McNeely has the same title.

    Darris wrote on page 4 saying: “…We’ll look more at this parable shortly, but its message is basically this: The Kingdom of God is coming to earth…Another way to say this is that “heaven,” the divine realm of God’s reign, will come to earth…”

    Throughout the article the phrase of “heaven coming to earth” is emphasized.

    Might United be reinventing itself to appeal to Catholics and Protestants, regarding the emphasis on “heaven,” to attract more members and thus acquired more income?

    Jesus Christ prayed Thy Kingdom Come, and not Thy Heaven come.

    Instead of saying Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, is one to change their thinking and say instead: “Seek ye first Heaven?”

    John

    A change in general attitude and focus is being orchestrated as a prelude to changing the meaning and explanation of some of their listed beliefs. They may well maintain the List of Fundamental Beliefs while reexplaining and clarifying their meaning. These folks originally set up the list in such a way that the individual beliefs could be changed by reinterpreting them. That way they can say that they are not changing the list only clarifying various points. James

  8. John said: “Jesus Christ prayed Thy Kingdom Come, and not Thy Heaven come. Instead of saying Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, is one to change their thinking and say instead: “Seek ye first Heaven?””

    On the contrary John, the Kingdom of God is the same as the Kingdom of Heaven (Mat 3:2; 4:17; 5:3, 10, 19-20; 7:21 8:11; 10:7; 11:11-12; 13:11, 24, 31, 33, 44-45, 47, 52; 16:19; 18:1, 3-4, 23; 19:14, 23; 20:1; 22:2; 23:13; 25:1, 14). So I’d argue that McNeely’s explanation is both scriptural and correct unless you have an issue with the gospel writer’s recording of Christ’s use of the phrase as well?

    You both have a point. The Darris issue is the exclusive use of one term over the other which places the entire focus on the one point while obscuring the other.

    McNeely’s statement is scriptural as you say but has an unbalanced focus and is definitely designed to appeal to the religious mainstream. He would have been much clearer if he had used some of these other scriptures as well, but he chose not to even though he is well aware of them. He is definitely tailoring his messages to the religious mainstream as much as possible. FYI he definitely has a very evangelical bent and is one of “the good old boys” club of evangelicals in UCG. James

  9. Job,

    We may read the following verses from the NT and the OT, respectively:

    “HEAVEN IS my THRONE, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest?” Acts 7:49

    “Thus saith the LORD, The HEAVEN IS my THRONE, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?” Isaiah 66:1

    Do you want to know what that Heaven is? It was not about the 1st or 2nd heavens, but the third heaven.

    What’s coming down to this earth? Heaven? Yes! Kingdom? Yes! Throne? Yes!

    My point was that Jesus, unlike Darris McNeely, EMPHASIZED that we pray: “Thy Kingdom Come” (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2) and NOT “Thy Heaven Come” OR “Thy Throne Come.”

    John

    Well said. Darris’s statements as well as the Grace booklet [which does not define God’s law] are a lesson in discernment; teaching us that someone can tell the truth but still mislead by telling only a part of the truth.

    I am working on an analysis of the UCG/COGWA and LCG Calendar papers to be posted in future. Nearly every quote in them has been lifted out of context and twisted to appear to mean the opposite of the original in context meaning; this is so pervasive that these Papers appear to be a deliberate and calculated attempt to deceive the brethren. Be patient on this one but the research has been done and the process of writing a post exposing the many lies will begin after the Feast.

    These are very subtle tricks and we must be wise in God to discern such attempts to lead us astray.

    James

  10. John, I still have notes from a sermon titled, “The Days of Heaven Upon the Earth.”

    Herbert McNair gave it at a WCG Feast…. in 1983. And it’s a Biblical phrase, from Deut. 11:21. So I’d be careful about looking for conspiracies here.

    Deu 11:21 has nothing to do with any Kingdom of Heaven and it has nothing to do with this issue, which is about the exclusive use of one phrase “the Kingdom of Heaven” to the exclusion of the phrase “the Kingdom of God.” Deu 11:21 is a simple statement that they would possess the land forever if they obeyed God.

    Deu 11:18 Therefore shall ye lay up 7760 8804 these my words 1697 in your heart 3824 and in your soul 5315, and bind 7194 8804 them for a sign 226 upon your hand 3027, that they may be as frontlets 2903 between your eyes 5869. 11:19 And ye shall teach 3925 8765 them your children 1121, speaking 1696 8763 of them when thou sittest 3427 8800 in thine house 1004, and when thou walkest 3212 8800 by the way 1870, when thou liest 7901 8800 down, and when thou risest up 6965 8800. 11:20 And thou shalt write 3789 8804 them upon the door posts 4201 of thine house 1004, and upon thy gates 8179:

    Deu 11:21 That your days 3117 may be multiplied 7235 8799, and the days 3117 of your children 1121, in the land 127 which the LORD 3068 sware 7650 8738 unto your fathers 1 to give 5414 8800 them, as the days 3117 of heaven 8064 upon the earth 776.

    This states that: your days on the land [the time that your generations will possess the land] will last as long as the length of time of the heavens if they obeyed God. In other words this is a poetic way of saying that they would possess the land forever if they obeyed God.

    Apparently Herbert McNair misused Deu 11:21 taking it out of context [contextomy] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quoting_out_of_context and twisting it to support his own opinion. This has nothing to do with any Kingdom of Heaven on the earth. It is very important to look up the scriptures or any quotes, in their proper context.

    Note that the UCG/COGWA/LCG Calendar Papers [most produced originally under the Jim Franks UCG Doctrinal Committee] are chock FULL of the contextonomy form of deliberate deception. James

  11. Concerning UCG’s press release about the Feast of Tabernacles. They said:

    Church Follows Example of First Century Disciples

    Nothing could be further from the truth! Having a hierarchy, an exorbitant paid ministry, and abusing and lording it over the brethren does not follow the example of Jesus’ disciples. The corporate COGs still have so much to learn about Godly love and true discipleship!

  12. Rick wrote: “…Nothing could be further from the truth! Having a hierarchy, an exorbitant paid ministry, and abusing and lording it over the brethren does not follow the example of Jesus’ disciples. The corporate COGs still have so much to learn about Godly love and true discipleship!…”

    And the United Ass. has been basically stagnant, in some sort of a way like being in an aircraft flying in fog waiting for a break in the clouds and hoping to land, since they got established in 1995. And in some 24 years have not grown in the grace AND knowledge……….of Jesus Christ, something Christ’s disciples experienced in their lives daily. The organization’s leadership is still striving to figure out exactly just who they are and what they should be doing. They admit they may be in a time of “critical reflection,” something I once thought they already did before/at the 1995 Indianapolis Conference when they voted the United Association into existence and numerous hirelings, who fled the Pasadena WCG, became a part of…thinking the “grass would be much greener.”

    John

  13. Sadly, UCG has ordained so many people (many of them good people, but unqualified) that the office of elder really has no meaning in the United Church of God anymore. It would be interesting to see a total number of people United has ordained since 2011, because I believe the number would be staggering.

    Membership has fallen and yet ordinations have outpaced retirements by a substantial margin. It seems that they are are not happy to wait for a natural changeover through retirements and are building up the numbers of voting elders who would be amenable to the new UCG agenda of the present leadership.

    The CoE is making a very big deal about using the 25th anniversary GCE next May to push it as a new beginning. They have adopted the theme of “Moving Forward with Conviction, Commitment and Courage.” James

  14. Re: 7 Nov – Did you know UCG is now a “mega-church”?

    That’s what at least one pastor is declaring.

    I wonder how many other UCG Pastors would laugh at such a claim.

    Size matters more than sound doctrine to these folks. James

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