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Bible Studies and Church of God News

UCG Demands Obedience; Victor Kubik Discovers the Festival Scriptures

Because of the breakdown of the Syria ceasefire the deployment of the 4th Armored Division to the Golan was rescinded so that the unit could take part in a major offensive in Aleppo.  The Syrian Golan operation will now be delayed for some time.

Iraq has begun the final offensive operations against the Islamic State.  The plan is to clear the countryside over about one month to trap the IS forces inside Mosul and then move directly against Mosul in about a month from now, annihilating the IS in Iraq by year’s end. 

The IS is planning a suicidal defense of Mosul and it may be a prolonged fight, with little chance of escape and no intention to surrender by the IS foreign fighters. 

America plans to send 500 combat troops for the Mosul fight in the coming days.

Syria is defeating the foreign backed rebels who are now making agreements for safe passage to retreat towards the Safe Haven created by Turkey.  The US backed rebels in Homs province retreated to Idlib under a safe passage agreement yesterday.

A separate anti Islamic State offensive is to come on line in Syria at some point and the ISIL should be a foot note in history by next spring.  Meanwhile the US seems to be doing all they can to provoke Russia and the US Russia situation will come to a head at some point. 

In Israel a major political crisis is building around the Supreme Court’s order to demolish the Amona settlement built on private Palestinian land by December 25.  Settler political parties are threatening to bring down the government if the order is carried out and this time they seem to be very serious. 

Syria launched an offensive early this morning to liberate Aleppo which could delay any Golan operation for sometime yet.

Keep a sharp watch on Israel and the Syria / Russia – US situation as events progress and the Islamic State goes down over the coming months.


Dating the Festivals:  There is a tiny handful of people who are mistakenly observing the Festivals a month early this year.  It is very important to understand the principles for  establishing the biblical new year. 

Please read this article from last March again to refresh on this important matter, which a few have been misled about. 

Setting the Biblical New Year: New Year Announcement 2016


UCG News:  UCG has begun pushing the  “you must obey us to be right with God” falsehood very hard.  Don Ward sermon

Don for your information, it is God the Father, His Word and Jesus Christ who are the Head of the Ekklesia not any man.  It is the job of the elders to set an example and teach all people to live by every Word of God; not to decide right and wrong for themselves!

See: The Nicolaitanes and the Primacy of Peter

The idea that we must follow men even when they are inconsistent with the scriptures is the same nonsense pushed by all the other major factions; exalting men above God, making man sovereign and God subject to the whims of men. 

Even Jim Franks who himself rebelled against UCG pushes this same false teaching claiming that COGWA members must do whatever HE says, and he does not seem to see the rank hypocrisy in his own position.


From UCG:

eNews from Ministerial and Member Services

Issue 247
September 22, 2016

Cape Girardeau, Missouri, elder Carl Hoffman died at his home Monday evening, September 19, 2016, at the age of 85. 

On September 17, 2016, Len Parker was ordained into the ministry. He and his wife, Sandra, serve primarily in the Bricket Wood, Hertfordshire, congregation in the British Isles.

UCG has planned to hold one of their seminars in Charlotte on Sunday.

Long time readers know that I have posted on the Book of Ecclesiastes every Feast of Tabernacles for years now. 

Ecclesiastes teaches us about the temporary nature of the flesh,  which is also the lesson intended by living in temporary dwellings during this Feast, and teaches that the only things of lasting permanent value are the things of God. 

Victor also mentions the Song of Songs for Passover – ULB, and the book of Ruth for Pentecost; books that I have been presenting on those occasions for years. 

I give Victor full credit and applaud his recognition of this matter! 

Victor Kubik writes:

From Ecclesiastes to Eternity

I’d like to give a preview of my sermon that is scheduled to be webcast or played at the Feast of Tabernacles on October 22. I have chosen to speak about the book of Ecclesiastes, which was read at the Feast of Tabernacles. Ecclesiastes is part of the Five Megillot or five scrolls that were each read at certain festivals and holidays in Jewish synagogues. For example, the Song of Songs was read at the Passover, Ruth on the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost) and Ecclesiastes during the Feast of Tabernacles.

What is the connection between Ecclesiastes and the Feast of Tabernacles? Is there something relevant that we can learn from this book that ties into the meaning of this festival?

As with all Old Testament Scripture, Ecclesiastes was written for our learning (Romans 15:4) and admonition (1 Corinthians 10:11). It is therefore profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
After the many wars during King David’s reign, Israel settled into a period of peace as the kingdom was consolidated. The nation’s boundaries (1 Kings 4) extended from the Nile to the Euphrates River. Different maps show Israel’s political and economic influence dominating the Middle East. Israel at this time was a type of the Millennium–a period of rest from war; a time of peace and prosperity.
Solomon’s reign began on a high note with God working with Solomon as He did with his father David. The remarkable biography of Solomon is found in 1 Kings 1-11.

Solomon was a talented and ambitious man who built great structures such as the world-renowned temple in Jerusalem. He was rich and famous. He sponsored expeditions that traveled the seas to bring exotic plants and animals for gardens he had built in in Israel. Potentates such as the Queen of Sheba traveled from Ethiopia to have an audience with this very wise king.

Solomon could have anything he wanted, and God allowed him to have it, including wisdom initially granted him by God.

But something went wrong. Very wrong. When one starts reading the book of Ecclesiastes we confront a man in depression–one who is seeking the meaning and purpose of life. What happened? What went wrong? How could it go so wrong? He had everything a person could want and that was needed to make one happy and fulfilled. It did not.

Solomon uses the word vanity or uselessness, futility and vapor 38 times in Ecclesiastes–five times in one verse. He had come to see physical things and physical life as utterly useless and depraved. He already had everything one could possibly have, and even experimented beyond. Nothing brought satisfaction.

He came to see that eventually everyone gets old and dies, no matter how much they acquire or how famous they become. Death is the great equalizer between the least and the greatest. So what’s the point of having it all in this life?

Some commentators have called Ecclesiastes the strangest book of the Bible because Solomon’s state of mind and attitude are such an enigma. Dr. Abraham Cohen writes in the preface to the well-respected Soncino commentary on Ecclesiastes as follows: “It is the most difficult book in the Bible for the commentator. Its complexities and obscurities are so many and often baffling that the assumption of dogmatic certainty is unwise and unwarranted.”

Part of the difficulty lies in not comprehending the point of the Ecclesiastes because the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles, on which it was read, is not fully understood.

Here’s where this book becomes relevant to us. We are going to inherit this dream world from God. We will live forever. But there needs to be some understanding and instruction about handling this windfall.

In Deuteronomy 14, we are commanded to go the Feast of Tabernacles with this mindset of enjoying plenty and to spend the tithe that we have saved: “You will spend the money for whatever your heart desires . . . and you shall rejoice, you and your household” (Verse 26).

But there is one more critical element in verse 23 about attitude: “And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always” (emphasis added).

The Feast, which pictures eternity, salvation, peace and plenty, must include a proper relationship with our God. This relationship is built upon a family or “filial” fear that a child in a normal family has for his or her parents. Children have a tremendous respect and love for their parents and a desire to please them. They have a fear or an anxiety of offending their loved ones, not because of fear of punishment, but rather because of fear of displeasing the one who is, in a child’s world, the source of everything they have.

Solomon lost this awe of God and his childlike respect. He had drifted into materialism and tried to satisfy himself with all things physical and experiential, but it didn’t work and led to despair. So many in this world who are wealthy and super wealthy are not happy because wealth alone does not fill a hollowness in our life that can only be filled with God’s presence and a relationship with Him.

So, in Ecclesiastes, we see Solomon searching for life’s meaning and experimenting with pleasure. He then makes his observations of life and comes to the conclusion and our purpose for keeping the Feast. He states his conclusion in the last two verses of the book: “Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

God wants us to be fulfilled and satisfied, as He is the one who owns everything. God is love. He is the great Creator. He is the one who is always thinking outwardly. This is what we, too, will be doing for all eternity.

So, at the Feast of Tabernacles, we should take care not to just focus on the fun and food but to heed to the message of Ecclesiastes which shows the futility and emptiness of material pleasure as an end in itself. Take time to learn the spiritual values that bring eternal satisfaction. This is the important lesson of the book of Ecclesiastes and the Feast of Tabernacles.

You may wish to read the book of Ecclesiastes before the Feast and have a Bible study with your family. I found the conclusion of Solomon–which he came to in great pain–along with what we are commanded to learn about the Feast of Tabernacles to be a beautiful lesson of eternal life. Hence my sermon title: “From Ecclesiastes to Eternity.”

LCG News:   LCG reports 7,800 registered for the Feast of Tabernacles this year, well below the 10,500 attendees claimed for last year. 

Gerald Weston writes:  “Dr. Winnail held a Leadership Conference in Joplin, Missouri in which 115 ministers, deacons and wives participated. In the U.K. Mr. Simon Roberts is transferring to the London area to take up the Shepherd’s Bush, Sevenoaks, and Hook congregations; and Mr. Adam West will then become the pastor of the Birmingham, Manchester, and Pontefract congregations.” 




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  1. Prov. 14:6 “A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.”

    Victor writes:
    “Part of the difficulty lies in not comprehending the point of the Ecclesiastes because the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles, on which it was read, is not fully understood.
    Here’s where this book becomes relevant to us. We are going to inherit this dream world from God. We will live forever. But there needs to be some understanding and instruction about handling this windfall.”

    No, Victor that isn’t quite the God’s honest truth. What we will inherit is an earth torn to shreds from global warfare by rebellious mankind against their Creator and a humanity that is physically, emotionally, and spiritually a wreck from having to endure the day of the Lord. (See Matt 24:22, Rev 6:15-18, Rev 19:11-21, Isa 13:6-9, Joel 1:15, Amos 5:18-23, etc.)

    Further, what we will be doing in the Millennium pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles is binding up the wounded and hurting survivors of great tribulation (Isa 35:3-10) and rebuilding that which was wrecked (Isa 61:2-4).

    More importantly, those resurrected and allowed to step into eternity with their Lord and Savior will be kings,(rulers), judges, (administrators of the laws of the realm) and priests (teachers of God’s way)(Rev 1:6, Rev 5:10, I Cor 6:2-3).

    God and His resurrected saints are not going to wave some magic wand and turn the earth into some Disneyland of endless material prosperity and distracting amusement. They will teach (by modeling and by exhortation)the survivors the way that leads to peace, prosperity, and ultimately eternal life. Then, as the ignorant or rebellious conform to God’s way they will be blessed mightily both physically and spiritually.

    However,you can’t teach what you don’t know. And you cannot model what you have not practiced as a way of life. Otherwise your “feasts” and observances are just an empty and hollow exercise that God despises. (Amos 5:20-24).

    As we enjoy the blessings of the prosperity and abundance God has granted, all who count themselves as God’s elect must closely and prayerfully contemplate their own personal example and compare it to the standard of Jesus Christ as contained in scripture.

    Tim McCaulley
    Jacksonville FL

    Welcome back Tim! Victor has no understanding of these things, but at least he is acknowledging them, and even acknowledging that they do not understand the reasons and the lessons; and that’s a start! So far the other faction leaders have just turned up their noses at how the Festivals were inspired to be observed during the days of Christ, which Jesus accepted. James

  2. Hi Tim! We are very happy to have your input once again! Our prayers are with you!

  3. Hi Tim,
    Its wonderful to read your comments again, your such an inspiration to us all. Our prayers are with you and your family.

  4. Good to see your comments here again Tim! Praying that God will continue to heal and grant you complete recovery very soon now. Thanks for your comment today….very good point about the Feast of Tabernacles and what it will really be like after the tribulation and the kind of leaders that will be needed.

    Take care and keep up the good work! (the grueling work of physical therapy and getting better!)

  5. I am so excited to have you back Tim, that I can’t find words to express my joy other than thank God for answering our prayers on your behalf. Being able to join the ‘battle cry’ again is a wonderful sign that you are on your way to full recovery.

    May God continue to bless and keep you!

  6. I listened to this sermon twice and Don Ward ought to be ashamed of himself.

    I noted seven issues which show that he has lost his way.

    1 ]36 min mark] He asks how does God speak to man, he speaks to us through man. This statement is incorrect as God speaks to us through the pages of the bible. This is what the bible was created for and he uses men to help explain things written in the bible. The bible is the written word of God.

    2 [40 min mark]He says that the foot washing part of the Passover service is symbolic of laying down our lives for Christ. The foot washing is to teach us humility.

    3 [40.36 min mark]He said that the sheep not of this fold refers to the gentiles. This can’t be correct as the gentiles are not a sheep fold/church. I think that this more likely refers to true Christians in various churches of God scattered around the world.

    4 [49 min mark] He said we are called to do an Elijah type work. The WCG used to teach that HWA did that, so where is he coming from?

    5 [55 min mark] He said don’t leave the body of Christ. This is true, only here he is intimating that the body of Christ is UCG not any of the alternative groups. While some of the Church of God groups are way off the mark, not all of them are. So he really does need to come down from the clouds.

    6 [1.03 mark] he intimates that UCG is the only true group when he says UCG is the body of Christ and if you leave you are being blown about by the winds of doctrine Essentially, he is saying that if you leave UCG you are leaving the body of Christ. What arrogance!!

    7 [1 hr 13 mark] He aid that the big split happened in 1995. He is correct that the UCG split was the biggest, but people, individually began fleeing the apostasy in WCG six or seven years before this. One of the first ministers to go was Gerald Flurry in 1989 when he formed PCG [a highly suspect group with false doctrines]. That the 1995 split was led by ministers so late after 1986 is grossly suspect . It is highly likely that these ministers, many of which were supporters of the Tkach’s probably only left when they did so as to retain their pay cheques.

    Many will refute the above as know that there are a lot of high horse out there

    You are correct in that most of these ministers including Don were big supporters of the Tkach doctrines and only left WCG when so many brethren left, that these men were laid off by Joe.


    Many of these points are dual in that yes Jesus was referring to the Gentiles as other sheep, but this would also mean that he has others not of any particular faction today as well.

    I point out your no 2: Don is trying to focus us on his imaginary false tolerant of sin Christ.
    Foot washing came about because the disciples were fighting over who was the greatest among them, and foot washing is about serving God the Father and mankind and not seeking to exalt ourselves above the Word of God as Don and his friends do. It is also certainly about humility; which again is about not exalting ourselves as most of these folks are want to do.

    The body of Christ are those who follow and are subject to the head of that body which is Christ and God the Father. NO corporate entity – including UCG – is the body of Christ!!!

    UCG does not follow God the Father or Jesus Christ and neither does LCG, PCG, RCG, COGWA, Bob Thiel etc etc These factions pretend to follow Christ but in fact follow their own imaginations and idols of men, rejecting those scriptures that they do not want to accept.

    This is coming out by Don and John Elliot and others, because UCG is now experiencing many people opening their eyes and asking very hard questions.

    John Elliot has gone as far as to say that even if something makes good sense and is scripturally correct, it should be ignored and rejected if it does not come from them.

    As for an Elijah Work, they have bought into the Bob Thiel lie – like LCG and COGWA – that AFTER a peace deal is declared (1 Thess 5:3) they will have 3 1/2 years to do an Elijah Work BEFORE the tribulation begins. In fact none of these leaders – in any of the mentioned factions – would recognize Elijah if he stood up in front of them. Elijah was zealous to live by every Word of God, something which is totally foreign to the natures of these folks.

    When Elijah comes [with a type of Moses as God’s two] these folks will reject him in favor of their idols of men, corporate entities and false traditions, and will themselves be rejected into the correction of tribulation by Jesus Christ in the hope that they will sincerely repent.


  7. Tim is right on in his comments above. Victor is presenting retribution for his 2016 Pentecost fiasco sermon. He has to bring the troops back into line, no apostacy here folks, he has to present a biblically healthy feast of tabernacles sermon.

    Since when do you get the heads up about the Ucg presidents sermon weeks BEFORE the feast. Unheard of. It’s all PR. Victor and his fans jumped the gun 6 months ago and now they have to reel it in. But have many seen the light and can many see through this ?

    I did and do applaud Vic for acknowledging Ecclesiastes, but I have no illusions; Victor does not understand this book, as he has already admitted, and is not likely to do it justice.

    As it happens, this year I will be posting the proposed Fall Festivals book draft which includes Ecclesiastes. Please read the posts here and have a listen to Vic’s sermon as well. James

  8. To James and all The Shining Light virtual congregation who have taken time to express such kindness as has been posted above. Thank you for your good wishes and earnest prayers on my behalf. Waking up to so many kind wishes this Sabbath AM is a bit overwhelming.

    As Constance alluded to in her note above, the physical therapy is both tiring and sometimes leaves me sore from exertion. However, it is the “strong medicine” that will help me recover my energy and get rid of this walker that for now is a necessary help on the way to recovery.

    So far, all the physicians and nurses who have checked me out have said everything is looking good with my heart, lungs, and blood pressure. May God bless all His people who are anxiously anticipating the fall holy days nearly upon us.

    Tim McCaulley
    Jacksonville FL

  9. Maybe someone can help me. For many years we have always been taught to give your 1st tithe to the church. But what if you don’t agree with the churches today? What should you do with that money? Also, what is 1st tithe supposed to be used for in the New Covenant? Thank you in advance for your help.

    The tithe is God’s money and it should be sent to those who are teachers of godliness and of living by every Word of God, not to some corporate church organization which does not keep God’s Word.

    Jesus said that we should render to God what is God’s Mark 12:17; He also said that we would know who is of God by their fruits of building on the sure foundation of the Word of God Mat 7.

    Look around you: Who is teaching the whole Word of God and studying through the entire Bible, feeding everyone with the solid meat of God’s Word day by day and chapter by chapter? and who is restoring those things that have been forgotten? Who is growing in understanding of God’s Word and is willing to speak the truth to all people?

    Who is covering and explaining world events of prophetic significance in detail as they happen, warning the people and presenting in depth studies in BOTH Prophecy and Sound Doctrine?

    Discern BETWEEN who is working to turn as many as possible to an enthusiastic Christ-like zeal to live by every Word of God; from those who say “obey us” regardless of the scriptures.

    This is the criteria to discern who is of God and who is not. The credentials of a godly work are not ordination by some man or bowing to some corporate entity, but the godliness of the work being done.

    Once you have discerned who is of God, then support that person; because God’s money is to do God’s work, which in the New Covenant is to teach every person to live by every Word of God as Jesus did(Mat 4:4, Mat 28).

    This work gratefully accepts tithes and offerings for the furtherance of the Gospel. Tax deductible in the USA. James

  10. Hi Rocky!God is definitely doing His work through James Malm and Constance Belanger. The Shining Light and Glorious Living Sabbath studies. This is where our tithe and offerings are sent. I am not aware of any other at this time. Maybe James could link you with a study on the Ekklesia and God’s true Church. Have a great Sabbath!

  11. This link above is broken:

    The Nicolaitanes and the Primacy of Peter

    Thank you Rick
    That link is now fixed

  12. James,

    In your response to Tom Edwards you said, “John Elliot has gone as far as to say that even if something makes good sense and is scripturally correct, it should be ignored and rejected if it does not come from them.”

    Do you have a link to where he said this?

    Thank you!

    See and read carefully. He accuses those who he cannot answer, of having a “self directed mindset” [and equates everything the CoE says as being God directed even when they cannot defend it from the scriptures. When it is those who teach the truth who are really God Directed and those who cannot prove their positions from the scriptures are the “self directed” ones.

    John published this becuse they are being swamped with questions sourced from this site which they cannot answer scripturally, and while admitting they cannot prove me wrong, do not want to accept. James

  13. From the John Elliot statement, “Christ inspires true doctrine to be taught through His ministry, which He Himself appoints.” When I first read that, I couldn’t believe it. It’s absolutely against scripture.

    Just as I couldn’t believe the recent Gary Petty Beyond Today video, where he stated twice (and wrote into his “points to ponder”), “Sin is anything that is against God’s goodness.” They’re sneaking more confusion into their teachings. https://www.ucg.org/beyond-today/beyond-today-television-program/hard-questions-why-does-god-kill-people

  14. Having read Someone’s comments above I clicked on the link. The video wouldn’t load (could be my computer)so I read the transcript instead and lo and behold there in black and white are the words; ‘sin is anything against God’s goodness’
    Ugh how wishy washy is that. Whatever happened to sin being the breaking of God’s divine law.

  15. Amazing – this sin is “anything against God’s goodness” is almost verbatim to what I heard WCG teaching in 1994-95. Being a 2nd gen who really hadn’t “proved” many of the things I had grown up believing, I fell for many of the arguments used then to dismantle the belief system and turn to a heretical lawless grace . To hear it come from Gary Petty is a shocker for me – I’ve heard some really good messages from Him.

    See this article detailing the WCG change process and the people who carried it out. The same folks were laid off from WCG because of collapsing income and run UCG today; they are now forwarding the same agenda.

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