The Corporate COG Struggle with Law and Grace

Historically from the days of the first century many false teachers have crept into the Ekklesia, not understanding the scriptures and attempting to use God’s forgiveness of repented sin as a license to justify minimizing the law and Word of God.  

Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [license], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ [by denying the need to obey God in all things]. 

They generally teach that all we need do today is to keep the Ten Commandments and love others; which is the position of modern Evangelicals. UCG in practice if not in the present List of Beliefs, Grace Communion International,  the Seventh Day Adventists and the Church of God Seventh Day also largely take this position. 

While the above organizations have adopted or lean heavily towards the Evangelical teachings, Herbert Armstrong taught that we are to live by every Word of God, but in practice he fell away from that by accepting the Roman Catholic teaching claiming that he was above the Word of God and had the authority to bind and loose God’s Word as he saw fit.

Today the PCG, COGWA and LCG with others pay lip service to living by every Word of God while taking the Roman Catholic position that human leaders must be obeyed regardless of God’s Word. 

Today the greater COG is full of both Evangelical and Roman Catholic teachings.

In the May-June 2018 issue of the Bible Advocate magazine, the doctrinal development of the theological outlook of the COG 7 with their final falling away into the same evangelical positions as the Seventh Day Adventists and UCG, is revealed from Robert Coulter’s ‘Looking Back’ article, pp.8-9:

“In the 1930s, the tithing system and the distinction between clean and unclean meats were being taught as an obligation of law in some quarters of the Church. The Church’s doctrinal statement, What the Church of God Believes, And Why in 1949, declared them an obligation.

But by the 1970s, the Church of God 7’s theology was undergoing a dramatic change from her legalisms [a change away from godliness]. It became Christ centered and grace based [read Evangelical with a false view of Christ and “a false concept of grace trumping law].”

Robert Coulter wrote, in the March-April 2018 issue, that formerly,

“the Church of God 7 placed greater emphasis on works in her doctrine of salvation than on the grace of God. However, by the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Church’s laity and ministry began to understand that salvation is received by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. In recognition of this, the North American Ministerial Council of 1986 … adopted a Statement of Consensus, which acknowledged God’s grace but retained a works ethic …

However, as the Church’s understanding of God’s grace in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ became clearer, the North American Ministerial Council of 2006 adopted a doctrinal statement recognizing that salvation is by God’s grace alone.” 

Within a decade after the death of Herbert Armstrong in January 1986, there were radical changes in the Worldwide Church of God as well – not just to “salvation by God’s grace alone” – but the abolition of all “Old Testament Law”, culminating in 2009 with the renaming of the church as Grace Communion International. 

Reacting to the changes many brethren left the WCG in the 1990’s along with a small number of elders who were then joined by many of the very people who made the changes in the WCG who were being laid off do to the exodus of brethren.  These apostates then worked to  take over the new UCG and a power struggle raged until UCG split in Dec 2010 – Jan 2011 with the evangelicals taking over UCG and many brethren leaving to COGWA.

See our articles on COG History here

The concept of law and grace has been a point of Satan’s attack from at least the first century.  To truly understand the issue, please read the articles on Ecclesiastical Authority beginning with article 101 here.

I am presently taking the Sabbath Calendar book which is mainly about law and grace and splitting it into two volumes; one on Personal Salvation and the Way to Eternal Life and the other to focus on Ecclesiastical Authority including the job of the ministry.  I hope to have both ready by early July. 

Generally arguments that “grace” means that we need not keep the laws that God gave to Moses are based on twistings of the writings of Paul’s epistles.   

On 4 May I began a series at the Biblical Studies site through the Epistles beginning with Romans and the series is now up to First Corinthians.  This series is in bite sized pieces a couple of chapters a day.  Those who want to study more at a time or share with others can download the full studies for free at our Free page or even buy their own printed books at the link provided on the Free page.

The very first step in perverting those who know that we are to live by every Word of God is to teach that: “We keep God’s laws because we decide we want to, and not because we must”.  This LIE has been pushed by the evangelical types in UCG for many, many years.  The truth is that God is in full authority and we must obey him regardless of whether we want to or not, or we will face the consequences of our disobedience.

Once people begin to believe that keeping the laws given to Moses by God are optional and up to our own discretion; those laws are continually minimized and set aside as we decide for ourselves whether to do them or not.  This happened in many organizations in the past and is now underway big time in UCG. 

In obedience to God the Father, Jesus Christ and Jude, I have taken a stand to fight this loathsome abomination of rebellion against the Living God: 

Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints [By the writers of Holy Scripture and by Jesus Christ who inspired them]

Brethren we are to live by EVERY Word of God including the laws which God gave to Moses!  Including  such things as “Clean and Unclean”  and the Festivals.

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  1. Robert Coulter’s March-April article concludes: “Thank God! His Holy Spirit corrects error and leads believers into truth (John 16:13)!”

    It’s tempting to write him and ask how he can be so sure COG-7 has it right now, if it was off-track for so long?

    Notice how he pairs the scriptural “leads us into all truth” with the erroneous “His Holy Spirit corrects error.” Always be alert for any such piggy backing of error onto snippets of truth!

    Of course this is absolutely false. The Holy Spirit will lead us into truth IF we are willing to follow it and correct ourselves! It is we who must correct ourselves! The Holy Spirit will not correct us, it will leave us if we will not live by every Word of God! God’s Spirit is given to and will remain in ONLY those who live by every Word of God (Acts 5:32)!

    And how do we know that the spirit we are following is God’s Spirit? See articles 101 to 106 here especially article 104. https://theshininglight.info/category/gods-authority-sabbath-and-calendar/
    James

  2. Wow James. You say “Sin has separated humanity from the Father and as soon as sin entered in the Father left”. This illustrates a complete MISunderstanding of the scriptures. It accounts for the deception propagated by yourself and others who, although sincere, are sincerely wrong. A story was created decades ago of which the fruit is evident amongst the CoG which has the made “the story” of more import than the scriptures. Tradition more important than revelation. The Father says…why do My children not honor Me? Good question. Not only do His children not honor Him, they don’t even acknowledge Him, nor desire any such relationship, which, ironically was the whole thrust of Christ message while on earth. He ALWAYS pointed to the Father. Why in the world would he direct us to someone who “could not dwell with sin”. Are you kidding. People, read your Bibles!

    Yes, read your Bible! Nothing personal but this is an example of the classic evangelical nonsense coming out of UCG: Teaching the lie that the Son and the Father will tolerate sin out of love! The Scriptures are clear Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. John 5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

    God the Father does not tolerate sin and will not coexist with sin but calls people out of sin, for it is written: 1 Corinthians 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

    God the Father will not deal directly with sinful men; if he would, where is the need for an intercessor?

    God the Father rejects sinners and we are commanded to do likewise: Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretick [sinner] after the first and second admonition reject; If we sin and justify that sin refusing to sincerely repent: we shall be destroyed in the lake of fire!

    The evangelicals leading UCG today are the same people who created the Tkach changes and they are at it again, working subtly to pervert the brethren. These kinds of folks have infiltrated other groups as well. See this link for the background of the current UCG leaders https://godourlight.info/tkach-wcg-history-and-ucg-today/

    Do download and study our new book on “Personal Salvation” at the Free page. This book goes into great detail on these things quoting the many scriptures on Law and Grace and related subjects. James

  3. CMH, you wrote: “…The Father says…why do My children not honor Me? Good question. Not only do His children not honor Him, they don’t even acknowledge Him, nor desire any such relationship, which, ironically was the whole thrust of Christ message while on earth…”

    That was not the thrust of Christ’s message while on earth, but one may ask: Who really are God’s children? Different children do exist. For example, we have this:

    “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” Eph 2:2

    It appears that virtually all are children of disobedience to begin with. Children of God come along later in life.

    Children of disobedience are sinners and God does not hear sinners. Who said so? An individual, who was blind and became healed, said it to some Pharisees:

    “Now we know that God heareth NOT sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” John 9:31

    Jesus also knew that most of the world cannot receive God’s Spirit (John 14:17 “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive…”), and Jesus knew that the world did not know His Father:

    “O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.” John 17:25

    So, the thrust of Christ’s message was elsewhere, but God does know who worships Him and does His will.

    James commented saying: “…The evangelicals leading UCG today are the same people who created the Tkach changes and they are at it again, working subtly to pervert the brethren…”

    If you are part of United, have you not noticed that back in the WCG days? Well, back in the WCG days, things like funerals, spokesman club nights, memorial services, weddings, were most often, if not all of the time, only done on any other day but on God’s Sabbath. No so today in United (other xcogs too?): doing these things on God’s Sabbath are becoming commonplace. You can throw in birthday celebrations now too. What’s next? The focus is definitely away from God, the Father!

    John

  4. Ucg has gone very confusing of late. It seems the speakers can teach whatever they like.
    This UB 2018 i heard a speaker in UCG teach that Israel never went through the Red sea and how the Kings James Bible referencing the Red sea is incorrect ! To hear this from United is shocking. But noone cares, not really. They care more about being grassed up, than being biblically correct.

    The sermon stated that Israel crossed the Sea of Reeds and not today’s Red Sea.

    Many misunderstand [apparently including this elder] that the issue does not concern two separate seas at all, but is an issue of translation of the word “Suph” as either Red or Reeds. The Sea of Reeds is simply another name for the Red Sea.

    Some have speculated that it was a northern location which dried up in modern times that Israel crossed, while others think of a more southerly location.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yam_Suph James

  5. Why will one member of the God family tolerate sin and work with sinful man and the other member will not?

    Neither the Father nor Christ will ever tolerate sin. The idea that one will not and one does, is the foundation of protestant theological error.

    From before the foundation of the world it was decided that the one who became flesh as Jesus Christ would intercede between man and the Father and would reconcile humanity to the Father giving his life as the Lamb of God. Please study through the two new books first “Personal Salvation” and then Ecclesiastical Authority” which go very deeply into his subject of the Intercessory role of Christ to reconcile humanity to God the Father. The Father and the Son are One in COMPLETE unity! https://godourlight.info/free/
    James

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