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© 2023. COGLIVE.ORG   |  All Rights Reserved.
In Loving Memory
of
Mr. John W. Ritenbaugh
(1932-2023)

     COGLIVE.ORG
Internet Virtual Book
        First Edition
            © 2023

Prolegomenon

     The Old Testament prophet Daniel (12:4) wrote that in the end-times many will run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Our 21st century civilization is one evidence of that prophecy. This Internet Virtual Book consists of curated works from the Church of God. The purpose is to reflect on messsages of hope for mankind and God's intervention to stop the wickedness of a spiritually sick, decadent, dying world. The elites in academia and science often inspire a global audience and wield substantial influence on them. But too many of these brilliant minds deny existence of the biblical Creator God. Furthermore, traditional Christianity invented bodies of religious knowledge contrary to pure teachings of the Bible. It is no wonder then that nations are plagued with abominable moral decay, pervasive natural disasters, and brutal wars.

     Modern-day Church of God began spreading long-lost biblical truths in the 1930s with hand-published papers. Eventually, with commercial printing presses, millions of Plain Truth magazines were freely given worldwide. Coverage on radio and television was also extensive. Nevertheless, mass media outreach peaked by mid 1980s. The uncorrupted publications ceased during the period of apostasy (1987-1995) hatched by leaders beholden to complicit Protestant theologians. Despite a crippling schism that ensued, cast out and faithful Church members continued to spread the Bible's pristine good news of the coming Kingdom of God.

     The Church of God is not about physical organizations, steepled buildings, or related material assets and resources. True members belong to only one spiritual body wherein Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. Hence, these called-out ones do not play games with the wisdom and understanding granted them through the Holy Spirit of the Living God. Rather, they seek repentance to completely turn their sinful lives around through life-long conversion process and full submission to God's Laws, thinking, and way of life. Thus, God's Ten Commandments are kept not only in the letter, but foremost, applied continually in spirit, truth, and humility.

     This website is a work in progress. With incremental addition of curated pieces, video streams in particular, subject matters will overlap. But the message themes should fit into one or a mix of seven concepts: God; Angels; Man; Civilization; Israel; Church; and Kingdom of God. The website design model was inspired by a book published in 1985. For those who decide to trek into the virtual book pages that follow, may you be rewarded with fresh insight and understanding of God's precious truth.


Bob Lomboy (webmaster | coglive.org)
January 1, 2021

Photo credits:

  • New Haven Register
  • Tyndale Bibles: Yale Univ. Beinecke Library
  • Hearing the Word of God

    God’s Word comes to us as printed words on paper. It is brought to spiritual life by the Holy Spirit. What is the absolute reality of the Word of God in your life? Are we basing our reactions to stressful events in our lives on faith in God’s Word or are allowing emotions to dictate responses?

    Brian Orchard:  December 4, 2021
    Photo credits: photographer, unknown.

    The Stranger's Voice

    Rick Shabi: December 26, 2020
    In an age of endless media outlets, voices come at us from all directions. Most purport to be “experts” trying to lure us into sharing their opinions. But for every expert opinion supported by studies, there are opposite viewpoints with “experts” and studies that substantiate the opposite viewpoint. In an age of so many disparate voices, each of which urges us to believe and follow it, what do we do? How do we discern the good, right voice from the confusing voices—"the stranger’s voice?” Let’s look at three common “voices” in today’s world and see where they may be leading us.

    Accountability
    Taking Responsibility for Our Actions

    Sermon given 21-Mar-98:

    Summary:  Richard Ritenbaugh observed that in the scattering of the church and the famine of the word, the young people have the roughest time coping- as in a literal famine. The prophecies reveal that if young people try to find answers in the world or other religions, they will meet with disaster. The youth of the church must realize that part of the responsibility for the scattering rests with their behavior. Young people are personally accountable for their behavior. Having fun or following the heart's impulse is OK, but it must be done within the bounds of God's law. The consequences of breaking God's law are equal opportunity consequences. Life is not a game, but must be taken seriously, even by youth. The Bible records many young people, including Joseph, Josiah Samuel, Jeremiah, Mark, and Timothy boldly committing their lives to God.

    Fast-forward to conclusion of the CGG audio transcription:

    "Now do you believe this in regard to your children? Do you believe that God has begun a good work in your children? Do you believe, do you trust Him enough to let Him do His work, let Him do His job, because He wants them there in His Kingdom just as much as He wants you?The children, the young people, have to trust God to guide their lives and to do what is right. He has given us the way, and we have to walk in it in faith.Parents, do you trust Him with your kids? Remember, I said this is a "faith" matter. Do you trust God? This is the perspective we need".


    RTR/smp/drm

  • More audio messsages

  • Written articles
  • Excerpt: "Our main tool for doing any work is the internet."

    Review, Refresh, Reaffirm

    Brian Orchard: December 12, 2015
    As you know we had a conference last weekend and today I would liketo spend a little time with that.  But I’m going to take the opportunity to review and refresh and reaffirm who we are as the Church of God, The Father’s Call. So there will be some review today and some refreshing of some of the things we considered at the beginning and a little direction as to where we go forward from here.

    The Seven Churches of Revelation 2-3

         Among the best-known and strongest beliefs held by those who left the Worldwide Church of God during its doctrinal heresies is that the seven letters in Revelation 2 and 3 describe church eras. That is, they comprise seven long periods from the church’s founding by Jesus Christ up to the present and continuing until His return.
         But is this belief true? Is any part of it true? On what biblical foundation is this idea based?

    John W. Ritenbaugh
    (Forerunner Magazine | "Personal" | May 24, 2023)

    In Memoriam

    Special Service: June 18, 2023
    We are grieved to report that John W. Ritenbaugh, Founder and Pastor Emeritus of Church of the Great God (CGG), died on Sunday, May 28, 2023 (Pentecost), after a nine-month decline due to a severe stroke and worsening dementia. He was 90 years old. He is survived by six of his seven children, twenty grandchildren, and twenty-nine great-grandchildren.

    John and his wife Evelyn were baptized into God’s church in September 1959 in the then-Radio Church of God's Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, congregation.

    What Does the LORD Require?

    UCG Short Films March 21, 2018
    By Jonathan Magee, Jamie Schreiber, Kayleen Schreiber

    He has shown you, O man, what is good;
    And what does the Lord require of you
    But to do justly,
    To love mercy,
    And to walk humbly with your God?

    A Scientist’s Journey to God

    "First, I think it’s important to define what science really is. It is easy to want to avoid science if it seems like just a collection of questionable 'facts' assembled by scientists who are biased against God. But  science is actually investigation: an organized, rigorous and ongoing attempt to find truth".

    The Natural Carnal Heart

    The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things
    By John Hinds   (June 24, 2023)

    We are admonished to examine our hearts so that we can see the need to have a change of heart. Our conversion comes with a delicate heart transplant operation where God removes our heart of stone and replaces it with one that is soft and pliable and yielding.

    Is There Really a Devil?

    The Bible reveals much about an unseen power that works behind the scenes, shaping our world to its will and agenda. Are you being taken in? In this booklet you will discover the real source behind so many of the world's problems. Learn about the being who is determined to bend your thinking to his own.

    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Satanic Methods of Deception

    Steve Myers (May 28, 2023):  Believe it or not, Satan plays an enormous role in religion and he is very interested in what happens in churches. So stay tuned and you'll learn to look for the signs to watch out for, and to find out if Satan has infiltrated your church. We often think of the devil out there somewhere, maybe on the attack. Well, that might seem obvious. But do you realize that evil is closer than you think? Have you ever considered Satan goes to church? Well, has he influenced your religion, or you? Have you compromised the truth? I mean, could it be possible that the devil has weaseled his way into your church?
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part II. Religious Pretenders

    Steve Myers (June 4, 2023):   Learn how religion is not immune to fraud. Could you be taken in with your beliefs? Religious pretenders are everywhere. Remember, deception is found when you're convinced something false is actually true. The one behind the scam, the ultimate deceiver, Satan the devil seems to have no equal when it comes to being the greatest religious con-artist of all. He zeroes in on attacking religion, but maybe not in the way you might think.
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part III. Message Control

    Steve Myers (June 11, 2023):  If you tell a lie long enough, people will come to believe it. So who wants to control the message in religion? Your Bible says it's Satan, the devil. In fact, it's chilling to think about it, even when it comes to church, to faith, to worship. If someone controls the information, they can control the mind.
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part IV. Satan the Identity Thief

    Steve Myers (June 18, 2023):  Your Bible shows that you were created according to the God kind, to be a part of God's spiritual family. But Satan the identity thief has stolen that fact, that God is reproducing spiritual children after his kind through humanity, and that family relationship of becoming a child of God, the Father, is right at the heart and core of God's incredible plan for you.
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part V. The Beast of Revelation


    Satan and the Beast of Revelation
    Steve Myers (June 25, 2023)

    We recognize the fact that Satan hates mankind and there is coming wrath and future deception. But prophecy shows it's not just a future thing. It's not just something often the distance. It's something that impacts you even today. And so when we look to the book of Revelation, we begin to find that it starts to explain the devil's motivation.
     

    JOSEPH'S BIRTHRIGHT
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part I. The Throne of David

    Darris McNeely (April 23, 2023):  Why did millions of people around the world watch the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, a 96-year-old woman who had reigned for 70 years? Why in a modern world are people fascinated by the person who wears the crown in Great Britain? After all, aren't kings and queens out of date and out of place in our modern technological world?
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part II. The Coronation and Stone of Destiny

    Darris McNeely (April 30, 2023):  Now why would this stone called in history the Stone of Destiny, used in the crowning of British kings and queens, why would it be connected with an event in the Holy Land almost 4,000 years ago and some 2000 miles from the British Isles? And why the association between London, England and a place in ancient Israel called Bethel? ...Now to a modern mind looking at this story in history, this seems rather preposterous and totally irrelevant but it's not, because Bible prophecy and history and scripture connect to help us understand something about the faithfulness of God beyond what most people can ever imagine.
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part III. Blessings to Joseph

    Darris McNeely (May 7, 2023):   Now in this program, I'm going to show you how the blessing of a dying Jacob to his son Joseph connects our world to the covenant that God made with Abraham all the way back in Genesis beginning in Genesis chapter 12. That covenant that God made with Abraham still stands, that covenant is about Jesus Christ, the seed of Abraham who lives and who will return as King of kings. He will come to sit on the throne of his father David, and to rule over the united Israel and all of the nations of the world.
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part IV. Ephraim and Manasseh in the Last Days

    Darris McNeely (May 14, 2023):   This great story is a type of the rise of two of the world's greatest nations, Great Britain and the United States of America. Joseph's fascinating tale holds a vital key to discovering the nations that have inherited the fullness of the physical promises made to Abraham and passed from his descendant Jacob to Joseph, and it holds the key to connect the prophecies of Israel at the end of the age before the second coming of Jesus Christ. In this program, we're going to examine key Bible prophecies that give keys to identify who in today's world hold these fulfilled promises. And we will also show what that means for the future.
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part V. God’s Unfinished Business with Israel

    Darris McNeely (May 21, 2023):   So here's a question. What about the one nation chosen by God for a special purpose among all the nations in history to be what God called a great nation, chosen to be a wise and an understanding people? What about the nation known in history and the Bible as Israel? Now, when I use that term, Israel, I am not talking about today's State of Israel, the Jewish state in the Middle East that we hear so much about on the news. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the nation that God brought out of Egypt in a great exodus into the land promised to their father, Abraham.

    Special Music

    Making the Right Sacrifices

    Justin Plagenza (July 9, 2022)
    Throughout the Bible, sacrifice is a central theme. Sometimes these sacrifices do not meet God’s standards, as in the story of Cain. Other times, these sacrifices are called good and show the faith of the one sacrificing as in the story of Abraham. God has sacrificed His Son, which shows His faithfulness to us. It is our duty to make faithful sacrifices to God. Prayers, good works, and our speech are all referred to as sacrifices we should make in the New Testament.

    A Closely Connected Body

    Troy Phelps (May 28, 2023)
    Cases of depression and anxiety have been growing at incredible rates globally. As scientists and doctors do more research and studies, they are discovering social and cultural issues that are greatly contributing to these increases. In a world of social media and internet connection, individuals are feeling more lonely and isolated than ever before. On Pentecost, God created a Body of believers that we all belong to and was designed to bring benefit to our lives.

    Being Led by the Holy Spirit

    Aaron Creech (May 28, 2023)
    God tells us that His children will be led by His Spirit. How do we know if we are being led by our human nature or God’s Spirit? It’s important to know the difference and God gives us keys to be sure He is the one leading us if we listen to Him.

    God is with His People

    God is with His People   (Brian Orchard | July 1, 2023)
    The Church is not a building or a legal entity. It is a living, connected spiritual entity with a living head, Jesus Christ. Just knowing that gives us a wonderful view and a wonderful outlook of what the Church is and what God is doing.

    THE UNKNOWN JESUS
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part 1. Who Is Jesus?

    Gary Petty (July 2, 2023):  Post-modern secularized, New Age Christianity is actually about being a fan of Jesus, like He's some celebrity. It's not being a disciple of Jesus. You see, disciple just doesn't mean being a believer or a student, it means being an imitator of Jesus Christ. To be His true disciple you must sift through many myths and misperceptions to discover the real Jesus Christ.  If you don't know what Jesus would do, it's absolutely meaningless, has no meaning at all. Understanding the unknown Jesus, it's actually the key to what you've been looking for your entire life.
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part 2. The Firstborn Among Brethren

    Gary Petty (July 9, 2023):  The biblical Jesus is the most well-known person in the history of the world, but, you know, there's so many different portrayals of Jesus. Is He the meek and mild pacifist who's main message is the brotherhood of humanity? And all Christian denominations claim to have special insight to His teachings. You know, Jesus may not be who you think He is. Beyond this physical life, God’s faithful people are heirs of a breathtaking future with Christ.
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part 3. Judge of Humanity

    Gary Petty (July 16, 2023):  God wants to turn your life around. He wants to give you eternal life in His family, a more beautiful and joyous thing than you've ever experienced, any of us have. And that's the good news. But if we ignore the words of Jesus about judgment, we do that at great peril.You may be surprised to find out that Jesus, what Jesus was actually meaning when He talked about destroying both body and soul. You may be surprised to find out that Christians aren't actually leaving earth and going to heaven, but heaven's coming to earth.
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part 4. Lord of the Sabbath

    Gary Petty (July 23, 2023):  Observing the seventh day Sabbath was one of the 10 commandments given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. The seventh day Sabbath was seen as a covenant signed between God and His people. And that was very important. Today we're going to discover something about Jesus that few Christians actually know. You know, the basis of Christianity is the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ who opened the door so that we can have a relationship with God, the Father. But there's another gift He wants to give you that can help you discover a more meaningful relationship with God, and we're going to explore this gift on today's program.
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Part 5. I Am the Resurrection

    Gary Petty (July 30, 2023):  As we have seen numerous times on this series on "The Unknown Jesus," we're confronted with another statement by Jesus that is either profound and profound truth or it's the babblings of a madman. He makes this statement. "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die." Do you believe this?" Can you imagine being asked that question? Do you believe this? Christ's purpose is to present you to God as blameless, to bring us in a relationship with the God the Father.Your reconciliation with God involves more than accepting the sacrifice of Jesus though for your sins.
    Photo credits: Unknown.

    The Test Commandment

    Our question is "How do you keep it?" I've had two other Bible Studies on "The Sabbath Question"prior to this. But it is very important that we understand not only about the Sabbath, and that God commands it, and what it is, and why it is; but how do we keep it. He said, "Keep it holy." How do you do that? Just what is meant by that? People will haggle over and don't want to obey. They want to change it. They want to make it Sunday.
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    Return of Ancient gods

    Darris McNeely (August 6, 2023):  The Apostle Paul described our time in detail when he wrote this in scripture. He said that, "Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, despisers of good, and lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." Note that Paul uses the term unholy. I think about that term when I see today's culture embracing ancient pagan images and open satanic worship.
    Family Day (FOT 2023, Oxnard, CA).

    The Importance of Elsewhere

    Special Music: Katie Rumler plays the harp (FOT 2023, Oxnard, CA)

    Brian Orchard (October 14, 2023):
    We live in a world of growing conflict. As God’s people this demands a response from us to be living examples of the Elohim family. This sermon reviews the foundational issues that the Fathers Call has been doing since its formation, with a view of how we go forward from here.
    Photo credits: Beyond Today.

    The Point of No Return

    Steve Myers (October 15, 2023):
    God says, "For this reason, He gave them up to vile passions." (Romans 1:26) And then He lists sins that follow some of the most offensive, vile, and degrading things you could imagine. These are the things that our world calls freedom. Our world calls this diversity. Our world calls this, this is love. In fact, our world has taken these things out of the arena of morality. And so society today says, oh, this isn't about morality. This is an issue of law, because these things are good. These things are better. They're better than just acceptable. They're good and they're legal.

    To be continued...

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    CURATED MATERIALS ARE IN PROCESS:
    Tribute to Mr. Hebert W. Armstrong

    To be continued...

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