Is Astrology for Christians?

April 13th, 2021


Astrological Signs

COGwriter

Many are fascinated by astrology, but it is not the source of truth or real knowledge of the future.

There was a book written in 1647 by William Lilly titled “Christian Astrology.” The book was not related to Christianity and it is commonly believed that the author added the term “Christian” to reduce potential criticism that he was advocating a form of witchcraft.

But throughout the ages, various ones have tried to indicate that it was acceptable for Christians to engage in astrology and the Catholic seer Nostradamus regularly used forms of astrology in his divinations.

In the 21st century, one can find various professors of Christ who practice astrology and teach that it is biblical.

Here is something from Carmen Turner-Schott:

I once worked for a devout Christian who was a little leery of me because she had heard of my interest in astrology. She knew I was notorious for incorporating it into my counseling sessions with teens and families. One day she approached me and said, “I was teaching Sunday school for the first time this weekend and I was shocked when I found out that the three wise men were astrologers.” I remember smiling as she asked me if I would look at her natal chart…

Many Christians are opening up their minds to things that they have never dreamed of before. According to a recent study, nearly 30 percent of Catholics stated that they believed in astrology. Among white evangelicals there was 13 percent that professed a belief in astrology…

Many are turning to astrology as a tool because of its accuracy and the comfort that they find from it. They tell me that astrology validates their experiences and even explains why certain painful experiences happened to them. Many Christian clients of mine even tell me that they feel more connected to God and their Christian faith after having an astrological consultation…

I feel that astrology was a tool created by God for us to understand ourselves better and to use as a spiritual tool. I feel that there are many biblical verses that support astrology. As a Christian, I focus on what Jesus taught. Christ himself talked about the importance of astrology when he said in Luke 21:25, “There shall be signs in the sun, moon, and stars.”…

The verses in the Bible that condemn astrology can actually be interpreted in many different ways.

(Turner-Schott C. Astrology from a Christian’s Perspective Signs in the Sun, Moon and Stars. http://astrology.about.com/od/thehistoryofastrology/a/christianastro.htm viewed 07/10/13)

The verses in the Bible that condemn astrology, which are shown later in this paper, actually do condemn astrology. Since those passages do condemn astrology that is how they should be interpreted.

Other writers have claimed:

The Bible is filled with references to astrology. This is because astrology was widely accepted as truth in Biblical times. Christians who believe that astrology is Satanic would be surprised to learn that the Bible is filled with astrology and even Jesus himself made numerous references to astrology…One of the great astrological stories in the Bible is the story of the star of Bethlehem…”There shall be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars.” – Jesus Christ, Luke 21:25 (Astrology in the Bible. Copyright 2007 Near-Death Experiences & the Afterlife. http://www.near-death.com/experiences/origen13.html viewed 07/10/13).

Throughout the Christian Bible, both Old and New Testaments, the number twelve is a prominent number. The twelve Disciples of Christ, the twelve sons of Jacob (better known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel), the twelve layers of precious stones in the foundation of heaven or the New Jerusalem…Some Astrologers have likened the symbology of the Moon to that of Mary, the Virgin Mother. Others have seen the Moon as Jesus or God. I personally agree that in accordance with the description of what the Moon is to represent, Mary is associated with the Moon. (Starr. Tiara, Christian Astrology…The Signs of the Disciples. © 2001 Astarotology, Inc. http://www.angelfire.com/stars2/astarot/V1I12/disciples.html viewed 07/10/13)

The Bible has references that condemn astrology and endorse astronomy. And Jesus Himself never made a favorable reference to astrology, but did towards astronomy. Yet, others seem to wish to believe otherwise. Furthermore, the view that the moon represents “Mary” (such as in Revelation 12:1) was not the opinion of early church writers, including Catholic ones. This was a later and false development. And just because there were 12 initial apostles and 12/13 tribes of Israel does not in any way prove a connection to the zodiac.

Followers of a universally recognized apostate/heretic who professed Christ named Marcus (see Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? ) seemed to adopt some aspects of astrology. The sun and the zodiac circle were important to the Marcosians:

They maintain, then, that first of all the four elements, fire, water, earth, and air, were produced after the image of the primary Tetrad above, and that then, we add their operations, viz., heat, cold, dryness, and humidity, an exact likeness of the Ogdoad is presented. They next reckon up ten powers in the following manner:— There are seven globular bodies, which they also call heavens; then that globular body which contains these, which also they name the eighth heaven ; and, in addition to these, the sun and moon. These, being ten in number, they declare to be types of the invisible Decad , which proceeded from Logos and Zoe . As to the Duodecad , it is indicated by the zodiacal circle, as it is called; for they affirm that the twelve signs do most manifestly shadow forth the Duodecad , the daughter of Anthropos and Ecclesia…The sun also, who runs through his orbit in twelve months, and then returns to the same point in the circle… Also the circumference of the zodiacal circle itself contains three hundred and sixty degrees (for each of its signs comprises thirty); and thus also they affirm, that by means of this circle an image is preserved of that connection which exists between the twelve and the thirty. Still further, asserting that the earth is divided into twelve zones, and that in each zone it receives power from the heavens, according to the perpendicular [position of the sun above it], bringing forth productions corresponding to that power which sends down its influence upon it, they maintain that this is a most evident type of the Duodecad and its offspring. (Irenaeus. Adversus Haereses, Book I, Chapter 17, Verse 1) .

The eucharistic host resembles a circle: it is likely an astrogical symbol or a sun-deity symbol. Marcus himself had been a disciple of Valentinus, who Polycarp of Smyrna denounced when he visited Rome.

Of course, just because someone claims that Jesus is Lord or that the Bible teaches something does not mean that they are Christian. And the fact that a number of Catholics and Protestants do believe in astrology is a clear indication that they are not truly Christian, but only those who claim to be so. Notice what Jesus taught about those who falsely claim to be His followers:

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

Those who endorse astrology and claim Christianity are basically endorsing false prophecies in the name of Jesus.

How can we be so sure?

Because the Bible teaches to avoid astrology and trust in God and His word.

Before getting to some of those passages that oppose astrology, I would like to address the main points that the pro-astrology Christian claimants tend to make.

While it is true that the “wise men” in Matthew 2:1-12 saw a sign in the sky, the reality is that the Bible taught that there would be a star to look for in Numbers 24:17. Looking for a particular star or something that the Bible teaches will happen in the sky is the prudent use of astronomy not astrology. Astrology is developing predictions that the Bible does not discuss based upon human interpretations of planetary alignment and normally the date and time of one’s birth.

The wise men did not do that, nor did Jesus when He pointed to signs in the heavens to look for just prior to His return.

While astrology is popular in the West, it is also popular in the far East. The Continuing Church of God has information about astrology and its dangers is several articles as well as one video:

The Bible and Astrology Should Christians avoid participating in astrology or did God inspire it? Does the Bible encourage astrology? What does the Bible actually teach? What is astrology? How does astrology differ from astronomy? Should Christians Be Involved In Astrology?
OMENS? DIVINATION? HOROSCOPES? THE ORIGIN OF ASTROLOGY
Where did astrology come from? Should you read your horoscope?
Does Astrology Work? Many believe and follow astrology–but does it work?

To better reach the Chinese, the last article was translated by a Continuing Church of God member into Mandarin Chinese. Here is a link: 占星术准确吗?.

Some do not seem to be concerned about people in the far east or other distant lands. But Jesus taught:

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)

In August 1997, I had an article published in The Journal: News of the Churches of God titled Getting the Gospel Out is Not Just a Local Job. The article has been updated a few times since, but is still available in English: Getting the Gospel Out is More than a Local Job.

Well it has also been made available in Mandarin Chinese thanks to the efforts of the same member who translated the astrology article. Here is a link: 宣传福音不只是一个本地作业.

We in the Continuing Church of God are serious about reaching people in all nations and continue to try to provide more biblically accurate information to all who have interest, no matter where they may live.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Bible and Astrology Should Christians avoid participating in astrology or did God inspire it? Does the Bible encourage astrology? What does the Bible actually teach? What is astrology? How does astrology differ from astronomy? Here are links to two videos Astrology, the occult, tattoos, and pornography and Should Christians Be Involved In Astrology?
OMENS? DIVINATION? HOROSCOPES? THE ORIGIN OF ASTROLOGY
Where did astrology come from? Should you read your horoscope?
Does Astrology Work? Many believe and follow astrology–but does it work? Here is a link to the article in Mandarin Chinese: 占星术准确吗?
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters Where did the Chinese people come from? This article provides information showing that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel. Here is a link to a version of this article in Spanish: ¿Prueban los caracteres chinos la exactitud de la Biblia?
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God’s Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? And is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath?
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon? Two YouTube video are Is China THE Threat to the United States of America? and China: A King of the East.
Did Angels Marry Human Women? Many insist this is so and also that this mating caused giants to be born. Did this come from the ‘Book of Enoch’? What does Genesis 6:4 really mean? A related video is also available: Did Angels Marry Women and Produce Giants?
Angels, Cherubim, and Seraphim This is information about various types of angelic beings.
Did God Create a Devil? If not, what happened? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet.
Close Encounters of a ‘Spirit’ Kind discusses some experiences I believe were (demon) ‘spirit’ related. A video is also available titled: Poltergeists and Lying Wonders.
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
Bible: Superstition or Authority? Should you rely on the Bible? Is it reliable? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.

‘Iran Blames Israel for Natanz Blackout’

April 12th, 2021


COGwriter

Voice of America reported the following:

Iran Blames Israel for Natanz Blackout

April 12, 2021

Iran is blaming Israel for a blackout at the country’s underground Natanz nuclear facility.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said uranium enrichment centrifuges were damaged, and that Iran would take unspecified revenge against Israel.

Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi called Sunday’s incident an act of “nuclear terrorism.”

“While condemning this desperate move, the Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes the need for a confrontation by the international bodies and the (International Atomic Energy Agency) against this nuclear terrorism,” he said, according to state TV.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations body that monitors Iran’s atomic program, said Sunday that it was aware of the situation and following developments, but did not elaborate.

Citing two intelligence officers who said they had been briefed on the damage, the New York Times reported that the incident was a severe blow to Iran’s ability to enrich uranium, and it could take up to nine months to restore Natanz.

The Times said U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials said there had been an Israeli role in the blackout. Multiple Israeli media outlets reported Sunday that Israel could have been behind the blackout, which may have been a cyberattack.

The blackout comes as the United States and Iran are set to have a second round of indirect talks this week to try to revive the 2015 nuclear deal Iran reached with world powers. The deal is formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Iran has maintained that all U.S. sanctions against it must be lifted, and the U.S. warned that such a demand may lead to an impasse. U.S. President Joe Biden has pledged to return to the JCPOA if Iran first resumes full compliance.

Then-U.S. President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement in 2018 and a reimposition of American sanctions on Iran became a major irritant in relations between the United States and Europe. Iran in turn began taking steps away from its commitments as it sought sanctions relief, including holding larger stockpiles of enriched uranium and enriching the material to higher levels.

The Natanz facility has been subject to attacks in the past, including the Stuxnet cyberattacks nearly a decade ago, which was widely blamed on the United States and Israel. Natanz also suffered a mysterious explosion of its centrifuge assembly plant last July, which Iranian authorities described as sabotage.

The U.S. and Israel have not commented on the latest blackout.

The incident came one day after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani oversaw on live television the launch at Natanz of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium, a key component for nuclear weapons, while reiterating his country’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation. https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/iran-blames-israel-natanz-blackout

Here is more about this:

April 12, 2021

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday said Israel was responsible for a power failure at the Natanz nuclear complex south of Tehran on Sunday.

The facility lost power Sunday a day after Iran unveiled new advanced centrifuges capable of enriching uranium faster — violating commitments of the 2015 nuclear deal.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarid said Monday that Israel sabotaged the facility because of “progress” in talks between Tehran and world powers to lift sanctions.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh later said at a press conference that Israel was taking “revenge on the people of Iran for their patience and wise attitude regarding the lifting of sanctions.”

“If the purpose was to interrupt the path of lifting the oppressive sanctions against Iran, they will certainly not reach their goal,” Khatibzadeh said. …

The Israeli government has not yet directly commented on the incident at Natanz. However, reports in several Israeli media outlets quoted unnamed intelligence officials in saying Israel’s national intelligence agency, Mossad, was responsible. https://www.dw.com/en/iran-blames-israel-for-sabotage-at-natanz-nuclear-site/a-57164470

Israel and Iran have been threatening each other and taking actions against each other for years (e.g. ‘Netanyahu Blames Iran for Cargo Ship Blast’ and ZH: Iran Accuses Israel Of Seeking To Provoke “Full-Blown War” With Brazen Assassination and ‘Yet Another Explosion at Iranian Nuclear Site’ and Israel claimed Iran attacked it from Syria, then Israel launched huge counter-strike).

But we are getting closer to a major conflict which will make previous ones pale in comparison. A major conflict that could be the trigger that will lead to the deal of Daniel 9:27 and the countdown to the end.

Netanyahu does NOT trust the Biden-Harris Administration to do what it feels is necessary and has publicly pushed the idea of a pre-emptive strike against Iran. This could happen relatively soon.

Israel can damage Iran, yet Iran also has the ability to harm the nation of Israel.

As regular readers of this page are aware, damage coming to Judah (the modern nation of Israel) from a power like Iran looks to be prophesied:

5 For it is a day of trouble and treading down and perplexity By the Lord God of hosts In the Valley of Vision — Breaking down the walls And of crying to the mountain. 6 Elam bore the quiver With chariots of men and horsemen, And Kir uncovered the shield. 7 It shall come to pass that your choicest valleys Shall be full of chariots,And the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.8 He removed the protection of Judah. You looked in that day to the armor of the House of the Forest; 9 You also saw the damage to the city of David, That it was great; And you gathered together the waters of the lower pool. 10 You numbered the houses of Jerusalem, And the houses you broke down To fortify the wall. (Isaiah 22:51-9)

Elam looks to be a reference to at least some in Iran. Isaiah 22 shows, presuming that it has a future application, that a time is coming when God will take away the protection of Judah and the City of David (Jerusalem, cf. 2 Kings 9:28) and that Iran is a threat.

Kir is of interest as it has several possibilities. One is that the Bible tells that after Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria took over Damascus, he moved Syrians to Kir. While this does not mean that Kir must (or must only) be a reference to Syria, the fact that Syria is an ally of Iran is interesting. Some believe Kir is an area in the south of Iran, while others suggest closer to the Black Sea. The Bible tells of a time when Kir will be destroyed (Isaiah 15:1b).

Syria’s capital Damascus has been called the oldest continually inhabited city on the earth (though another place also claims that position). It’s destruction is prophesied:

1 The burden against Damascus.

“Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city,
And it will be a ruinous heap.
2 The cities of Aroer are forsaken;
They will be for flocks
Which lie down, and no one will make them afraid.
3 The fortress also will cease from Ephraim,
The kingdom from Damascus,
And the remnant of Syria;
They will be as the glory of the children of Israel,”
Says the Lord of hosts.

4 “In that day it shall come to pass
That the glory of Jacob will wane,
And the fatness of his flesh grow lean. (Isaiah 17:1-4)

This looks to take place near, and possibly before, the start of the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), also known as the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22). Things will change in Syria as more destruction will hit it in the future.

Now as Isaiah 22 shows, Israel could very well be damaged by Iran before the the Great Tribulation begins.

Would it strike back?

Undoubtedly.

Consider also the following:

34 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying, 35 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘Behold, I will break the bow of Elam,
The foremost of their might.
36 Against Elam I will bring the four winds
From the four quarters of heaven,
And scatter them toward all those winds;
There shall be no nations where the outcasts of Elam will not go.
37 For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies
And before those who seek their life.
I will bring disaster upon them,
My fierce anger,’ says the Lord;
‘And I will send the sword after them
Until I have consumed them.
38 I will set My throne in Elam,
And will destroy from there the king and the princes,’ says the Lord. (Jeremiah 49:34-38)

I have long believed that Iran is a threat that will one day be ‘neutralized,’ as I believe it will overplay its hand. The above prophecy, if it has application in this time, would tend to support that.

What is happening between Iran and Israel looks to be a precursor to events that will lead to the deal of Daniel 9:27.

Here is part of number 9 of my list of 21 items to prophetically watch in 2021:

Daniel 9:27 seems to be discussing some type of peace deal that the Europeans will either propose or at least one leader from Europe will endorse.

Why is this believed to be a type of ‘peace deal’?

There are several reasons, but notice some other scriptures that discuss this leader:

25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:25, KJV).

23 And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. 24 He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time. (Daniel 11:23-24, NKJV)

So this leader gives people the impression that there will be “peace” and is involved in some type of deal. This is the same leader that confirms the covenant in Daniel 9:27. The term is translated as “peace” in Daniel 8:25 is from the Hebrew term shalvah and essentially means security. In other words, this leader will destroy “many” who are under the impression that they are secure because of some type of security and/or trade arrangement. Such arrangements are now commonly referred to as peace deals or treaties.

US President Trump, leaders in the Middle East, and leaders in Europe have all discussed various peace deals. Essentially, they tend to be advocating one similar to the deal in Daniel 9:27.

The President of Palestine, in December 2017 stated, “The United States has chosen to lose its qualification as a mediator … We will no longer accept that it has a role in the political process from now.” (see Palestine’s Abbas wants UN not USA, Turkey’s Erdogan says recognize Palestinian Jerusalem). He made a similar statement a few days earlier after US President Donald Trump announced the official recogniton of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by the USA. Europe also denounced Donald Trump’s decision, which would tend to endear them to the Palestinians (see Donald Trump announces plan to relocate US Israeli embassy to Jerusalem against torrent of world opinion).

This essentially means that Europe will be involved, and may take the lead, on this deal. So, this is something to look out for as that is consistent with biblical prophecy.

What appears most likely at this stage is the the Biden-Harris Administration will try to work with the Palestinians and Europeans to come up with something they will find acceptable and then attempt to pressure Israel to take it.

Though it may take a regional war, with the prophesied destruction coming to Jerusalem (cf. Isaiah 22:6-8) for that to happen.

If Iran is less than pleased with the Biden-Harris Administration, perhaps that could come as early as 2021–we will have to wait and see.

Once the deal is confirmed for one prophetic week (which could happen some time AFTER a deal is made) by the “prince,” the seven-year countdown for the return of Jesus occurs.

But since the deal is broken in the middle of it, by the King of the North, who was once the “prince” of Daniel 9:26-27, the countdown for the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) will begin. That 3 1/2 period of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord is the same length of time some have calculated associated with the handwriting on the wall that Daniel wrote of in the 5th chapter of his book.

Let me also state that it may take a major regional war for the ‘peace deal’ of Daniel 9:27 to be ratified. Iran, Syria, and Israel may one day be in a major regional war in the future. It will not bring real peace.

We are getting much closer to that time.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
How Will Middle East Peace be Brought About? Can humans bring peace to the Middle East? Here is a link to a related video: Middle East Peace? When?
Iran in Prophecy Is Iran in Bible prophecy? If so, what does the Bible teach? What names, other than Persia, may be used to describe Iran? There is also a YouTube video titled Iran In Prophecy.
Damascus and Syria in Prophecy Will Bashar Assad hold power as he has it? Does the Bible show that Damascus, the capital of Syria, will be destroyed? What will happen to Syria? Will the Syrians support the final King of the South that the Bible tells will rise up? Which scriptures discuss the rise and fall of an Arabic confederation? Does Islamic prophecy predict the destruction of Syria.
21 items to prophetically watch in 2021 Much is happening. Dr. Thiel points to 21 items to watch (cf. Mark 13:37) in this article. Here is a link to a related sermon video: 21 Items to Watch in 2021.

‘Washington mulls digital dollar, sees Chinese e-yuan as potential threat’

April 12th, 2021


A store that accepts digital renminibi yuan (DRMB) in Shenzhen, Guangdong
(photo via 30000lightyears)

COGwriter

Bloomberg reported:

April 12, 2021

No economic question is being debated more hotly right now than whether the U.S. will see a sharp rise in inflation. But the answer for the next few months is simple: Yes.

Due to the way the government’s inflation metrics are calculated, what will appear to be significant price increases are all but guaranteed. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-04-12/simple-math-is-about-to-cause-an-inflation-problem-quicktake

Inflation means that US dollars will be worth less as they will buy less.

In that light, consider now the following:

Washington mulls digital dollar, sees Chinese e-yuan as potential threat – report

12 April 2021

Top US officials are reportedly calling for a hard look at China’s plans for a digital yuan, after raising concerns that the new currency may potentially challenge the greenback as the world’s dominant reserve currency.

Officials at the Treasury, State Department, Pentagon, and National Security Council are currently trying to explore the potential implications of China’s new sovereign digital currency, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

The presidential administration is reportedly not concerned about the immediate challenge the e-yuan might pose to regulatory frameworks and monetary systems.

However, American officials are worried that the new Chinese currency may be used to bypass US sanctions. Moreover, the government officials would like to know how the digital yuan will be distributed.

Last year, the People’s Bank of China revealed plans to have its sovereign digital currency ready in time for the 2022 Winter Olympics. China became the first country in the world to test such a product on a national level. https://www.rt.com/business/520768-digital-yuan-threat-dollar/

Aril 12, 2021

In short, while the US and China are both talking seriously about decoupling, the digital yuan – which is now a reality – indicates that China’s government is not only more effectively planning for it, but will be the first to fully sever all ties with the US… when the moment comes.

Finally, for those who have missed our reporting on this fascinating issue, here again is Rabobank’s Wim Boonstra explaining not only why China will be the first country to launch a digital currency but also looking at what happens next:

China Will Be The First Country To Launch A Digital Currency: What Happens Then

  • China may be the first major country to launch a central bank digital currency or CBDC
  • The Chinese CBDC, named DCEP, will strengthen the position of the central bank and help to further modernize the Chinese economy
  • The DCEP will probably also be available for China’s trade partners, to begin with Africa
  • The DCEP may strengthen the international position of the renminbi to the detriment of the euro
  • The arrival of the DCEP should be a strong wake-up call for Western, especially European, policymakers …

Here is the WSJ:

The U.S., as the issuer of dollars that the world’s more than 21,000 banks need to do business, has long demanded insight into major cross-border currency movements. This gives Washington the ability to freeze individuals and institutions out of the global financial system by barring banks from doing transactions with them, a practice criticized as “dollar weaponization.” …

The digital yuan could give those the U.S. seeks to penalize a way to exchange money without U.S. knowledge. Exchanges wouldn’t need to use SWIFT, the messaging network that is used in money transfers between commercial banks and that can be monitored by the U.S. government.

To be sure, a credible alternative to the dollar, reduces the need to hoard the currency for US trade partners which in turn would have profound implications on global saving patterns, from there, global capital flows. The consequences for the perpetual US current account deficit would be unprecedented.

In addition to realigining the global balance of monetary power virtually overnight, China’s the digital currency kills another bird with the same binary stone: it allows unprecedented surveillance and supervision over every single transaction. https://www.zerohedge.com/crypto/chinas-digital-yuan-comes-expiration-date

As I have warned here for years, there are costs for USA sanctions, and one cost has been to motivate many in China, Russia, North Korea, Iran, and even the European Union to look at more ways to reduce dependence on the USA dollar. As far as the EU goes, check out the post from last month, ‘Europe Struggles to Defend Itself Against a Weaponized Dollar’

That being said, notice that having a national (or international) digital currency will allow for “unprecedented surveillance and supervision over every single transaction.”

And of course, the ability to control buying and selling is prophesied in the Bible:

16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:16-18)

The Bible is clear that the time is coming when the Beast power will have implemented some type of strong financial control. This type of control was NOT possible when Jesus told the Apostle John to write the above. But it is now.

Much of the world is moving away from the USA dollar.Back in 2011, some central bankers predicted that US Dollar Will Lose Reserve Currency Status in 15 years. That very well may be the case.

Notice also the following from 2019:

The U.S. dollar could lose its status as the world’s dominant currency. How does this affect investors?

July 10, 2019

The U.S. dollar (USD) has been the world’s dominant reserve currency for almost a century. As such, many investors today, even outside the United States, have built and become comfortable with sizable USD overweights in their portfolios. However, we believe the dollar could lose its status as the world’s dominant currency (which could see it depreciate over the medium term) due to structural reasons as well as cyclical impediments.  …

There is nothing to suggest that the dollar dominance should remain in perpetuity. … the USD will likely lose value compared to a basket of other currencies, including precious commodities like gold. …

Dollar’s declining role already under way?

Recent data on currency reserve holdings among global central banks suggests this shift may already be under way.  As a share of overall central bank reserves, the USD’s role has been declining ever since the Great Recession …

Trade Wars have long-term consequences

The current U.S. administration has called into question agreements with nearly all of its largest partners—tariffs on China, Mexico and the European Union, renegotiating NAFTA, as well as abandoning the Trans Pacific Partnership. A more adversarial U.S. administration could also encourage countries to reduce their reliance on USD in trade. Currently 85% of all currency transactions involve the USD despite the U.S. accounting for only roughly 25% of global GDP.

Countries around the world are already developing payment mechanisms that would avoid using the dollar. These systems are small and still developing but this is likely to be a structural story that will extend beyond one particular administration. In a recent speech on the international role of the euro, Bank for International Settlements Chief Economist Claudio Borio brought up the benefits of pricing oil in the euro saying, “Trading and settling oil in the euro would move payments from dollars to euros and thereby shift ultimate settlement to the euro’s TARGET2 system. This could limit the reach of U.S. foreign policy insofar as it leverages dollar payments.”

The European Central Bank also alluded to this theme in a recent report saying that “growing concerns about the impact of international trade tensions and challenges to multilateralism, including the imposition of unilateral sanctions seem to have lent support to the euro’s global standing.” …

Given the persistent—and rising—deficits in the United States (in both fiscal and trade), we believe the U.S. dollar could become vulnerable to a loss of value relative to a more diversified basket of currencies, including gold. https://privatebank.jpmorgan.com/gl/en/insights/investing/is-the-dollar-s-exorbitant-privilege-coming-to-an-end. https://privatebank.jpmorgan.com/gl/en/insights/investing/is-the-dollar-s-exorbitant-privilege-coming-to-an-end

Well, the US dollar will one day lose its reserve currency status. And yes, sanctions, trade policies, and US debt are proving to be contributing factors.

Most Americans have no clue how much foreigners have been financing their lifestyle.

One day, the US dollar will cease to be worth any more than the scrap value of the cotton-paper it is printed on.

The end of US dollar dominance is coming.

There will be a new world order coming and it will not be one dominated by the Anglo-Americans.

If you think that the USA will continue to be number 1 and claim to believe the Bible, please consider biblical prophecies such as Daniel 11:39; Habakkuk 2:6-8; Isaiah 10:5-11 (see also USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses and/or watch Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The End of US Dollar Dominance Is the USA losing its economic status? What about the petro-gold-yuan? A related video is also available: US Dollar being challenged by Gold-Petro-Yuan.
The Plain Truth About Gold in Prophecy. How Should a Christian View Gold? What do economists and the Bible teach about gold? Gold and silver may drop in value. Inflation/deflation? What do Christians need to know about gold? Two videos of related interest are Beast Prophecies and European Gold and Germany, Gold, and the US Dollar.
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin? A related sermon is also available: The Bible, the USA, and the King of the West.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
Jesus Returning, David’s Throne, and the Stone of Destiny Will Jesus return to the throne of David? What about the Stone of Scone? Here is a link to a related video: Stone of Destiny and Jesus’ Return.
Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians. We all know the Bible prophecies famines. Should we do something? Here is a version in the Spanish language Escrituras sobre Preparación física para los Cristianos. Here is a link to a related sermon: Physical preparedness for Christians.
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon? Two YouTube video are Is China THE Threat to the United States of America? and China: A King of the East.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future. A sermon of related interest is also available: Canada in Prophecy.
Australia and New Zealand in Prophecy Do biblical prophecies help explain the wealth blessings for Australia and New Zealand? Might cursings from disobedience come in the 21st century? Here is a link to a related sermon: Australia and New Zealand: Origins and Prophecy.
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2021, 2022, or 2023? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: 2021
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Other videos include: Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch?, Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy, Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome, Is China paving roads to Armageddon?, and Jordan, Petra, and Armageddon.
The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy Is there a Eurasian union that will be formed? Are any leaders working on that in the 21st century? Does the Bible teach that there will be a Eurasian union? What about the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU)? A related video would be Is The Eurasian Union Rising?

Biden-Harris: Prophecies and Destruction Can the USA survive two full presidential terms? In what ways are Joe Biden and Kamala Harris apocalyptic? This book has hundreds of prophecies and scriptures to provide details. A Kindle version is also available and you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to your free Kindle reader app (or if you already have one or a Kindle), you can go to: Biden-Harris: Prophecies and Destruction (Kindle) to get the book in seconds.

RCC and Confession to God and priests

April 12th, 2021


Roman Catholic confessional (Didier Descouens)

COGwriter

Last year, the Vatican made a temporary announcement that is closer to the original practice of confession:

Pope: Catholics may now Confess Directly to God without a Priest Present

March 30, 2020

Due to coronavirus restrictions, the Vatican issued a dispensation temporarily dispensing with the need for meeting with a priest to confess sins.

A Vatican tribunal issued a notice last week stating that due to the pandemic, Catholics need not meet with a priest to be given absolution for their sins.

“This Apostolic Penitentiary holds that, especially in places most impacted by the pandemic contagion and until the phenomenon subsides, there are cases of grave necessity” meeting the criteria for general absolution, the notice about confession said.

The Apostolic Penitentiary, is chiefly a tribunal of mercy, responsible for issues relating to the forgiveness of sins in the Catholic Church. …

In an address at a Mass at the Vatican last week, the Pope advised that people unable to go to a priest due to pandemic restrictions should pray for forgiveness instead.

You do what the Catechism says,” he stated. “It is very clear: if you do not find a priest to hear your confession, speak to God, he is your father, and tell him the truth.” …

It should be noted that the rejection of confession to a priest was a major reason for Martin Luther, a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation in the 16th Century, to break with the Catholic Church and for his subsequent excommunication from the Catholic Church. https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/147864/pope-catholics-may-now-confess-directly-to-god-without-a-priest-present/

Now, perhaps it should be added that the Church of Rome has always allowed for their members to pray directly to God for forgiveness of sins, but on the other hand has basically said that one should go to a priest to confess as the priest will prescribe penance–a list of prayers or penalties to supposedly help pay for the sins–even though Jesus paid the penalty for sins.

The Bible, of course, does say to confess sins, the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) has taken this beyond the practices recorded in the Bible or any found in early, historical, Christian documents.

What do the Bible and the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) teach?

Let’s start by reading a passage from the Douay-Rheims Bible (a Catholic version, abbreviated herein as DRB):

16 Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much. (James 5:16, DRB)

Notice that this was not a command to confess sins to the clergy.

For those who prefer a more modern version, the following is the same verse from the New Jerusalem Bible (another Catholic version, abbreviated herein as NJB):

16 So confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another to be cured; the heartfelt prayer of someone upright works very powerfully. (James 5:16, NJB)

Both versions teach confession of sins to lay members of the church as opposed to auricular (essentially audible) confession to a priest.

Here is the other time the Bible specifically talks about confessing sins:

7 But if we walk in the light, as he also is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:7-10, DRB)

The above says that Christians are to confess sins, and Jesus will forgive them. There is no discussion of penance here or in James 5:16.

According to other scriptures, God/Jesus again is the one we are to confess to:

11 For it is written: As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 Therefore every one of us shall render account to God for himself. (Romans 14:11-12, DRB)

1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly vocation, consider the apostle and high priest of our confession, Jesus (Hebrews 3:1, DRB)

14 Having therefore a great high priest that hath passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God: let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we have not a high priest, who can not have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin. 16 Let us go therefore with confidence to the throne of grace: that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid. (Hebrews 4:14-16, DRB)

Notice also the following:

18 And many of them that believed, came confessing and declaring their deeds. 19 And many of them who had followed curious arts, brought together their books, and burnt them before all; and counting the price of them, they found the money to be fifty thousand pieces of silver. (Acts 19:18-19, DRB)

The above people apparently repented of their sins and destroyed certain wicked books, but this was not penance in the sense that the Church of Rome now advocates.

Since the Bible has a different view, than Rome now has, has the Roman Catholic Church changed its position? Well, yes it has, even though it has suggested otherwise in the past.

Notice some claims from The Catholic Encyclopedia about confession and penance:

Penance is a sacrament of the New Law instituted by Christ in which forgiveness of sins committed after baptism is granted through the priest’s absolution to those who with true sorrow confess their sins and promise to satisfy for the same…the Council of Trent declares, Christ principally instituted the Sacrament of Penance after His Resurrection, a miracle greater than that of healing the sick. “As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained’ (John 20:21-23)…

Clement I (d. 99) in his Epistle to the Corinthians not only exhorts to repentance, but begs the seditious to “submit themselves to the presbyters and receive correction so as to repent” (chapter 57), and Ignatius of Antioch at the close of the first century speaks of the mercy of God to sinners, provided they return” with one consent to the unity of Christ and the communion of the bishop”. The clause “communion of the bishop” evidently means the bishop with his council of presbyters as assessors. He also says (Letter to the Philadelphians) “that the bishop presides over penance”. (Hanna, Edward. The Sacrament of Penance. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 18 May 2012 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11618c.htm>)

But is that quite true?

First of all, there is no discussion in the New Testament that Jesus ever instituted penance for “forgiveness of sins committed after baptism.” So, while it is true that Jesus taught forgiveness of sin, that bold assertion about penance being instituted by Jesus is false (John 20:23 will be addressed later).

Although The Catholic Encyclopedia claims that the Letter to the Corinthians (which they it calls I Clement) indicates its version of confession and penance, the reality is that Letter specifically teaches the following about confession and repentance:

Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious that blood is to God which, having been shed for our salvation, has set the grace of repentance before the whole world.  Let us turn to every age that has passed, and learn that, from generation to generation, the Lord has granted a place of repentance to all such as would be converted unto Him. Noah preached repentance, and as many as listened to him were saved…The Lord, brethren, stands in need of nothing; and He desires nothing of any one except that confession be made to Him… You therefore, who laid the foundation of this sedition, submit yourselves to the presbyters, and receive correction so as to repent, bending the knees of your hearts. (Letter to the Corinthians (Clement), Chapters 7,52,57.  Translated by John Keith. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 9. Edited by Allan Menzies. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1896.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1010.htm>)

What about Ignatius? Well, he also did not teach penance in the modern Roman Catholic sense of the term. Notice what he really taught:

Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, which is at Philadelphia, in Asia, which has obtained mercy, and is established in the harmony of God, and rejoices unceasingly in the passion of our Lord, and is filled with all mercy through his resurrection; which I salute in the blood of Jesus Christ, who is our eternal and enduring joy, especially if [men] are in unity with the bishop, the presbyters, and the deacons, who have been appointed according to the mind of Jesus Christ, whom He has established in security, after His own will, and by His Holy Spirit…

3…For as many as are of God and of Jesus Christ are also with the bishop. And as many as shall, in the exercise of repentance, return into the unity of the Church, these, too, shall belong to God, that they may live according to Jesus Christ. (Ignatius. Letter to the Philadelphians, Chapters 0,3. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0108.htm>)

Basically, Ignatius was teaching that those who left the church should be allowed back if they repent. That is not the same as teaching that the individuals who left have to fulfill a form of prescribed penance.

Now, Rome had a fairly corrupt Bishop, named Callistus, who a Catholic saint named Hippolytus said bribed his way and bought the bishopric of Rome (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies, Book IX, Chapter VI. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight) (in violation of scripture, see Acts 8:20-23).

Well, it seems that Bishop Callistus was a factor in getting more involvement from some of the clergy.  The Catholic Encyclopedia reported:

Pope Callistus (218-22) published his “peremptory edict” in which he declares: “I forgive the sins both of adultery and of fornication to those who have done penance.” Thereupon Tertullian, now become a Montanist, wrote his “De pudicitia” (A.D. 217-22)…: “I blush not at an error which I have cast off because I am delighted at being rid of it . . . one is not ashamed of his own improvement.” The “error” which he imputes to Callistus and the Catholics was that the Church could forgive all sins:.. ‘The Church can forgive sin, but I will not do that (forgive) lest they (who are forgiven) fall into other sins” (On Pudicity 21.7). (Hanna, The Sacrament of Penance)

So, Tertullian seems to be teaching that he feels that the Church can forgive certain sins, but whatever Callistus was doing in this realm was wrong. It should be noted that Tertullian had problems, including possibly not understanding that nearly all sins are pardonable by God (see also What is the Unpardonable Sin?).

Another Catholic source indicates that penance may have came about in the third century to deal with ‘Christians’ who sacrificed to idols to avoid being killed, and that many were required to do some penance to be accepted by the Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox (Monroy MS. The Church of Smyrna: History and Theology of a Primitive Christian Community. Peter Lang edition, 2015, p. 321).

Although the Church of Rome cites Tertullian as proof that the sacrament of confession was in widespread existence in the early 3rd century, it needs to be understood, that according the Catholic saint and Bishop Augustine, auricular confession to a priest was not the practice in the 4th/5th century—instead he advised people to pray to God for forgiveness:

15. Forgiveness of sins. You have [this article of] the Creed perfectly in you when you receive Baptism. Let none say, I have done this or that sin: perchance that is not forgiven me. What have you done? How great a sin have you done? Name any heinous thing you have committed, heavy, horrible, which you shudder even to think of: have done what you will: have you killed Christ? There is not than that deed any worse, because also than Christ there is nothing better. What a dreadful thing is it to kill Christ! Yet the Jews killed Him, and many afterwards believed on Him and drank His blood: they are forgiven the sin which they committed. When you have been baptized, hold fast a good life in the commandments of God, that you may guard your Baptism even unto the end. I do not tell you that you will live here without sin; but they are venial, without which this life is not. For the sake of all sins was Baptism provided; for the sake of light sins, without which we cannot be, was prayer provided. What has the Prayer? Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors. Once for all we have washing in Baptism, every day we have washing in prayer. Only, do not commit those things for which you must needs be separated from Christ’s body: which be far from you! For those whom you have seen doing penance, have committed heinous things, either adulteries or some enormous crimes: for these they do penance. Because if theirs had been light sins, to blot out these daily prayer would suffice.

(Augustine.  Sermon to Catechumens on the Creed, Chapter 15.  In: Seventeen short treatises of S. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo. Volume 22 of Library of fathers of the Holy Catholic Church. J. H. Parker, 1847.  Original from Harvard University, Digitized Sep 28, 2007, p. 575)

Because of Callistus’ decrees and actions, Tertullian, after he discontinued any fellowship with the Roman Church himself, sarcastically dubbed him “our good pontifex maximus” (Tertullian. De Pudicitia, Chapter 1, verse 10. Unfinished English translation by Gösta Claesson, 1950-1980. http://www.tertullian.org/articles/claesson_pudicitia_translation.htm viewed 12/10/07) a title not assumed by the bishops of Rome until late in the 4th century, but a title that the pagan Roman emperors had signifying that they were the bridge between humans and the gods.

It is sad, but true, that lowered standards were major factors in making the majority of those who professed Christ part of the Greco-Roman confederation.  Even Roman Catholic sources admit that Callistus made changes in the standards along that line (Matz T. St. Callistus I.  Copyright 2009 Catholic Online.  http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=31 viewed 06/23/09), hence showing again that the Church of Rome clearly has changed from their practices in the first (and early second) century. Callistus also allowed abortions.

The Council of Trent in the 16th century made a variety of statements about auricular confession. Perhaps the first one to deal with is the following:

CANON VI.–If any one denieth, either that sacramental confession was instituted, or is necessary to salvation, of divine right; or saith, that the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone, which the Church hath ever observed from the beginning, and doth observe, is alien from the institution and command of Christ, and is a human invention; let him be anathema. (The Council of Trent The Fourteenth Session The canons and decrees of the sacred and oecumenical Council of Trent, Ed. and trans. J. Waterworth (London: Dolman, 1848), 92-121. Hanover Historical Texts Project Scanned by Hanover College students in 1995. http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct14.html 05/19/12)

Of course, the above is wrong as this most certainly was not the practice of the early Christians nor the Church of Rome from the beginning. And lest someone claim that I am “anathema” for teaching this, the reality is that even the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that the “sacrament of forgiveness” was changed:

1447 Over the centuries the concrete form in which the Church has exercised this power received from the Lord has varied considerably. During the first centuries the reconciliation of Christians who had committed particularly grave sins after their Baptism (for example, idolatry, murder, or adultery) was tied to a very rigorous discipline, according to which penitents had to do public penance for their sins, often for years, before receiving reconciliation. To this “order of penitents” (which concerned only certain grave sins), one was only rarely admitted and in certain regions only once in a lifetime. During the seventh century Irish missionaries, inspired by the Eastern monastic tradition, took to continental Europe the “private” practice of penance, which does not require public and prolonged completion of penitential works before reconciliation with the Church. From that time on, the sacrament has been performed in secret between penitent and priest. This new practice envisioned the possibility of repetition and so opened the way to a regular frequenting of this sacrament. It allowed the forgiveness of grave sins and venial sins to be integrated into one sacramental celebration. In its main lines this is the form of penance that the Church has practiced down to our day. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1447. Imprimi Potest + Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Image Books by Doubleday, NY 2003)

So, it took until the 7th century for the modern practice to develop widely, but it seems to have been related to Callistus’ actions combined with a syncretic adaptation of scripture and non-biblical practices that took time to develop (along with the general acceptance of the Greco-Romans to be willing to utilize practices of non-Christian religions with theirs). But the fact is that the Council of Trent was wrong–and this Council put forth many dogmas, all of which had papal approval–thus the Council of Trent disproves the idea of papal infallibility. Catholics really need to realize that.

So, it took until the 7th century for the modern practice to develop widely.

Of course, repentance was taught for becoming a Christian, and acknowledging our sins to God is taught for remaining one:

8 If we say, ‘We have no sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves, and truth has no place in us; 9 if we acknowledge our sins, he is trustworthy and upright, so that he will forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all evil. (1 John 1:9, NJB)

And while the Bible advocates repentance, penance is from outside of sacred scripture as well as the earliest traditions of the true Church of God.

While some Catholics believe that sins cannot be forgiven without the “sacrament of confession,” this is not the case. And, as the Catechism admits (#1447) the current “sacrament of confession” was not an original apostolic practice.

Furthermore, there were no ‘confessionals,’ like shown at the beginning of this post, used by early Christians. They also did not use crosses (there is one shown in the aforementioned confessional)–for details, check out the article What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?

Penance vs. Repentance

The true Church of God which existed since the beginning (see, for example, the page The History of Early Christianity) is not Protestant (see, for example, the article Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants). It bases its beliefs primarily upon the Bible, which teaches:

38 ‘You must repent,’ Peter answered, ‘and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38, NJB)

Repentance was taught for becoming a Christian, and acknowledging our sins to God is taught for remaining one:

8 If we say, ‘We have no sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves, and truth has no place in us; 9 if we acknowledge our sins, he is trustworthy and upright, so that he will forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all evil. (1 John 1:9, NJB)

Christians are not to inflict punishment on ourselves, thinking that this will force God to hear our prayers (Isaiah 58:2-7). God is not interested in penance, but repentance and change. We should not be like certain Muslims and whip our backs, while effectively saying, “Look at our suffering, God, so hear us.”

And while the Bible advocates repentance, penance is from outside of sacred scripture as well as the earliest traditions of the true Church of God. While the Church of Rome tends to claim that its beliefs come from sacred scripture or the traditions of the original apostles, the idea of auricular confession and penance did not come from either source–they are late heresies, essentially adopted from non-Christian sources.

The Bible teaches against a worldly repentance:

10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Here is something that the late Herbert Armstrong wrote related to that:

Admit Your Sins

Prayer and fasting aren’t the only requirements in seeking God. If you will read back over the examples of Daniel and Nehemiah as well as any of the other prophets of God, you will notice that in every case they FREELY ACKNOWLEDGED their own sins and shortcomings. It takes a deeply sincere man to say, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23-24).

If we are earnestly seeking God and His way, this is the attitude we will be reflecting. We will freely admit our own sins and shortcomings and be earnestly importuning God to show us the right way. Jeremiah said, “O Lord, I know that THE WAY OF MAN IS NOT IN HIMSELF: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing” (Jer. 10: 23-24).

We as individuals do not know how to live. Once we begin to learn that lesson, and look to God to show us how to live and how to change our lives, we are on our way to real repentance.

The steps are simple. Yet it is not easy to completely give of yourself, to admit your own faults and sincerely ask for God’s forgiveness.

Turn From Own Ways

The people of this world outwardly follow many of these steps and yet fall short in the final, most important of all the steps — TURNING FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS. That is why it is so hard to distinguish between the believer and the non-believer. That is why the “distance between our professed faith and our daily performance is astronomical.” So many people of this day and age profess to be repentant — profess Christianity and yet still live in all the wretchedness of their sinful ways. So, finally, one of the most important of all the steps in coming to true repentance is to STOP SINNING! Millions CLAIM membership in a church. They loudly proclaim their belief in Jesus Christ. They testify for Christ, BUT THE FRUIT IS NOT THERE.

All too often our repentance is the worldly repentance spoken of in II Corinthians 7:10. What we really need to come to see and understand is the kind of repentance God speaks of. “Therefore also now, saith the Eternal, Turn ye even to me WITH ALL YOUR HEART, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and REND YOUR HEART, and not your garments, and turn to the Eternal your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil”. (Joel 2:12-13).

No, God doesn’t want the worldly kind of repentance which is manifested by a trip down the sawdust trail. No, He doesn’t just want your name on the membership rolls of some church. What God wants and what you should come to deeply desire is to SINCERELY acknowledge your sins and ask forgiveness. God wants you to say, “I’M SORRY” — and mean it! He wants you to repent of breaking and to begin obeying His LAW. (Armstrong HW. Just What Do You Mean — Repentance?)

Notice, he taught that sins are to be acknowledged and behavior changed. More on this subject is also covered in the article When You Sin: Do You Really Repent?

All Sins that Are Properly Repented of Will Be Forgiven

While some Catholics believe that sins cannot be forgiven without the “sacrament of confession,” this is not the case. And, as the Catechism admits (#1447) the current “sacrament of confession” was not an original apostolic practice.

While some people erroneously believe that God could not forgive them and that they have possibly committed the “unpardonable sin,” those who feel that way pretty much can be assured that they have not committed it–recall that scripture teaches:

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. (1 John 1:9, DRB)

For more details about the “unpardonable sin,” please see the article What is the Unpardonable Sin?

The Bible, like the Continuing Church of God, says to confess sins to one another but mainly to the Father or Jesus Christ. Scripture does not say to do so to a priest, nor does the Bible ever authorize penance for sin. For more details, check out the new article History of Auricular Confession and the ‘Sacrament of Confession’

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

History of Auricular Confession and the ‘Sacrament of Confession’ Did early Christians confess their sins to priests? A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son. Here is a link to a shorter video The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’?
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
Was Celibacy Required for Early Bishops or Presbyters? Some religions suggest this, but what does the Bible teach? What was the practice of the early church?
Did the Early Christian Church Practice Monasticism? Does God expect or endorse living in a monastery or nunnery?
Were the Early Duties of Elders/Pastors Mainly Sacramental? What was there Dress? Were the duties of the clergy primarily pastoral or sacramental? Did the clergy dress with special liturgical vestments? Can “bishops” be disqualified as ministers of Christ based on their head coverings?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? Two related YouTube videos would be Beware of the ‘Ecumenical Cross’, The Chrislam Cross and the Interfaith Movement, and Origin of the Cross.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from Protestantism How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. Several related sermon are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History, The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character, The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon, Eucharist, Passover, and Easter, and How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

Nail to Jesus’ heel?

April 11th, 2021


Heel (Wikipedia)

COGwriter

The latest edition of Artifax, a publication of the Near East Archaeological Society arrived at the CCOG office a couple of days ago. Several hours ago, I was able to read it over.

It had two items some may find of interest, part of which my wife Joyce graciously typed as Artifax is not generally online.

Here is one item:

HEEL BONE CRUCIFIXION FOUND IN ITALY

Italian archeologists Emanuela Gualdi-Russo and Ursula Thun Hobenstein from the University of Florence report in a recent edition of the scholarly journal Archaeological and Antropological Sciences that they have excavated a poorly-preserved skeleton of a man at Gavello in northern Italy which has a nail hole through his right heel bone (calcaneus). This nail hole is thought to be evidence of crucifixion.

This crucified man is thought to have been about 30 years old when he was executed, and he was found in a simple grave–but not in a cemetery–without grave goods. The grave has been dated to the First Century AD…

EDITOR’S NOTE: Nearly all of the pictures of Christ on the cross from late ancient to modern times show him with a nail or nails going through the top of his feet just above his toes. However, since there are now two examples of Roman crucifixions where nails were apparently driven through heel bones, it is highly likely that Christ’s nail(s) also went through his heel bones.

For many Christians, Genesis 3:15 contains the first prophecy about the crucifixion of Christ. This passage of Scripture has God saying to Satan; “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; and he will crush your head and you will strike his heel. (Billington CE, ed. HEEL BONE CRUCIFIXION FOUND IN ITALY. Artifax, Vol. 36, no. 2, Spring 2020, p. 17)

Many people had a particular perception of how Jesus was nailed to a tree and killed in the first century A.D. Scripture shows He was impaled on a tree. Since putting a nail through the heel was used in the first century A.D. (and the above Italian example is not the only one), plus the prophecy in Genesis 3:15, it certainly is reasonable to think that one or more nails through His heel was used.

Here is another item from Artifax:

Does the Nazareth Inscription Refer to the Resurrection of Jesus?

… the Nazareth Inscription speaks of moving corpses–note the plural from the tombs. Incidentally, Matthew 27:52 states when Jesus was resurrected: “The tombs of many were opened and the bodies of many holy people who had dided were resurrected.” The use of the plural in the Nazareth Inscription is thus easily explained in terms of the resurrection of Christ …

The Nazareth Inscription is believed by many conservative Bible scholars to be a version of the Jewish High Priests’ explanation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ as is found in the Gospel of Matthew 28:11-15; in other words, Jesus’ disciples stole his body and perpetrated a fraud pretending that he had resurrected from the dead. …

I believe that it was taken from a rescript letter of the Emperor Claudius which he sent to King Herod Agrippa I, who was his close personal friend. It was the Emperor Claudius who made Herod Agrippa I the king of all of Israel, including Judah, which is even seen in the New Testament. King Agrippa I is mentioned in the Book of Acts as a persecutor of the early Christian Church in Jerusalem. …

It is likely that the Nazareth Inscription was ordered by the Emperor Claudius to be posted in Nazareth in order to counter what he considered to be a dangerous political-religious movement that said that their Jewish “king” had resurrected from the dead. The Nazareth Inscription threatens with death anyone who takes corpses from tombs in order to perpetrate a fraud.

It should be remembered that the titulus placed over the head of Jesus Christ at his crucifixion read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew/Aramaic. The Emperor Claudius would have almost certainly been interested in a Jewish king–so also would have King Herod Agrippa I–whose followers claimed that he had resurrected from the dead.

Consider that Claudius wanted to quash early Christianity and also that he wanted to threaten Christians for perpetrating a fraud by claiming that King Jesus Christ had resurrected from the dead. Where would Claudius–or more likely his agent Herod Agrippa–have obtained the marble used for the Nazareth Inscription? The closest and easiest place to obtain marble, have it inscribed, and then shipped to Nazareth was most likely Kos.

Excluding its journey by sea, the total overland shipping of the Nazareth Inscription from its quarry on Kos to Nazareth would have been only about 25-30 miles total; the fastest, easiest, and the least expensive way for King Herod Agrippa I to obtain and to post the Nazareth Inscription in Nazareth.

The Nazareth Inscription is almost certainly a rescript, in other words a letter of response from Caesar to some official–in this case almost certainly King Herod Agrippa I–who had sent an earlier letter asking for guidance on how to deal with some problem, in this case the rise of Christianity.

If the Nazareth Inscription is an abridged version of an imperial rescript, as it almost certainly is, then it would naturally contain a “Decree of Caesar” dealing with this problem. Such decrees of Caesar were ordered to be placed in conspicuous public places. Kind Herod Agrippa I, who almost certainly sent the original letter of inquiry to Caesar Augustus, would have been responsible for inscribing and posting this “Decree of Caesar.”

In summation, based on the shipping routes of that day, King Herod Agrippa I could have easily ordered this Decree of Caesar to be inscribed on white marble at Kos and then had it shipped by sea to Ptolemais and from there overland to Nazareth where it would have been posted. This decree, that threatens with death anyone who removes corpses from tombs in order to perpetrate a fraud, fits very well with the story of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but it does not at all fit the story of Nikias the Tyrant.

(Billington CE, ed. Does the Nazareth Inscription Refer to the Resurrection of Jesus?. Artifax, Vol. 36, no. 2, Spring 2020, pp. 12-13)

Consider the following:

9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”

11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened. 12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, 13 saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’ 14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” 15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. (Matthew 28:9-15)

Because the New Testament shows that the Jews and Romans did not want people to know the truth about Jesus’ resurrection, it is of little surprise that a story against the resurrection of others may have been planted. circulated, and posted also in marble.

Satan, and those against the truth, have long posted falsehoods to discourage people from believing the truth.

Hopefully, you are willing to accept the truth about Jesus, as well as His most faithful church.

The Church of Rome calls the day before “Easter” “Holy Saturday.”

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? Two related YouTube videos would be Beware of the ‘Ecumenical Cross’, The Chrislam Cross and the Interfaith Movement, and Origin of the Cross.
What Happened in the ‘Crucifixion Week’? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?) A sermon of related interest is titled What did and did not happen in the ‘Crucifixion week’?
Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the Messiah, Prophecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and death, Jesus’ prophesied divinity, 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made, Why Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?, Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus. Plus the links to two sermonettes: Luke’s census: Any historical evidence? and Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah, but … These videos cover nearly all of the book, plus have some information not in the book.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui? Here is a link to a short animation: Which Church would Jesus Choose?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.

Pontifical support for abortion and infanticide?

April 11th, 2021


Colosseum of Rome (Photo by Joyce Thiel)

COGwriter

Abortion is wrong and it is good that many Roman Catholics realize this.

But not all of them. I recall hearing Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (a nominal Roman Catholic and a staunch supporter of abortion), mention that the Church of Rome was not always opposed to abortion. And on that point, Nancy Pelosi was correct.

Most Catholics would generally be surprised to hear that in the third century, Callistus Bishop of Rome, openly allowed abortion.

In circa 217 A.D., Callistus became bishop of Rome. The Roman Catholic saint Hippolytus reported:

Callistus…a man cunning in wickedness, and subtle where deceit was concerned, (and) who was impelled by restless ambition to mount the episcopal throne…Whence women, reputed believers, began to resort to drugs for producing sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time! And withal, after such audacious acts, they, lost to all shame, attempt to call themselves a Catholic Church! And some, under the supposition that they will attain prosperity, concur with them. (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies, Book IX, Chapter VII)

Notice that Callistus allowed (or at least permitted) abortion and adultery.

Note what The Catholic Encyclopedia has admitted about Callistus:

Callistus…permitted noble ladies to marry low persons and slaves, which by the Roman law was forbidden; he had thus given occasion for infanticide. (Chapman , Pope Callistus I)

Yet, the following is the official position of the Roman Catholic Church on abortion and was approved by the late Pope John Paul II and the current Pope Benedict XVI (when Benedict XVI was still known as Cardinal Ratzinger):

Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to moral law (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2271. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 606).

However, they seem to be ignoring the Roman Bishop Callistus (as well as later Popes and others) who did allow abortion.

Furthermore notice what one Protestant scholar wrote about other Roman Catholic Popes:

Most Catholics are not aware that the infallible Church and popes have changed their minds several times on this topic–unthinkable from today’s perspective.

From the fifth century onward, Aristotle’s view that the embryo goes through stages from vegetable to animal to spiritual was accepted. Only in the final stage was it human. Thus Gregory VI (1045-6) said, “He is not a murderer who brings about abortion before the soul is in the body.” Gregory XIII (1572-85) said it was not homicide to kill an embryo of less than 40 days since it wasn’t yet human. His successor, Sixtus V, who rewrote the Bible, disagreed. His Bull of 1588 made all abortions, for any reason, homicide and cause for excommunication. His successor, Gregory XIV, reversed that decree. In 1621 the Vatican issued another pastoral directive permitting abortion up to 40 days (Hunt D. A Women Rides the BeastHarvest House Publishers, Eugene (OR), 1994, pp. 519-520).

Quite similarly notice what one former Roman Catholic priest wrote:

Most Catholics assume that the soul is infused at conception…For fourteen hundred years until the late nineteenth century, all Catholics, including the popes, took it for granted that the soul is not infused at conception…

From the fifth century, the church accepted without question, the primitive embryology of Aristotle. The embryo began as a non-human speck that was progressively animated.

In the fifteenth century, moralists began to ask whether it was not possible in certain circumstances to get rid of the foetus without fault…Some went further. They said it was permissable to save a mother’s life even after the foetus was humanized…

Gregory XIII (1572-85) said it was not homicide to kill an embryo of less than forty days since it was not human…His successor, the tempestuous Sixtus V, who rewrote the Bible, disagreed entirely. In his Bull Effraenatum of 1588, he said all abortions for whatever reason were homicide and were penalized by excommunication reserved to the Holy See. Immediately after Sixtus died, Gregory XIV realized that, in the current state of theological opinion, Sixtus’ view was too severe. In an almost unique decision, he said Sixtus’ censures were to be treated as if he had never issued them (De Rosa, Peter. Vicars of Christ. Poolbeg Press, Dublin, 2000, p.p 374-375).

Even some Catholic monks put out instructions for how women could perform abortions in the Middle Ages:

Looking for Medical Miracles in Medieval Manuscripts

Spiegel – March 25, 2010 excerpts…

Obscure passages can also be found in “Macer floridus,” another standard work of monastic medicine. “When a pregnant woman takes in the scent of the wilting flower through her nose, this shall abort the fruit of the womb,” a monk wrote in punchy Latin hexameter. He was referring to the flower of the wild arum plant. The same effect could be achieved, he added, “if the crushed root is inserted into the uterus from below with a small wool suppository.”

The abortion method involving the suppository could even have worked. “Arum is quite toxic,” says Mayer. However, the intervention was probably not completely safe for the pregnant woman. “In the Middle Ages, toxic substances were used very often,” Mayer explains. “The people in the monasteries knew about the risks and side effects, but they often had no better alternatives.”

Monks giving abortion tips? The medical historian doesn’t find this outlandish at all. “The Catholic Church only formulated its rigid position on abortion in the 19th century,” Mayer explains. It was not as clear in the past, he adds. http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,685432,00.html

Although there is no evidence that any legitimate Church of God leader endorsed abortion, sadly some affiliated with the Roman Church have.

So, while it is good that some Catholics now oppose abortion, Catholics may wish to consider that their church has sometimes held to different positions.

As far as US politics go, some political leaders have endorsed abortion and essentially infanticide. For that, we made the following video:

The Continuing Church of God (CCOG) is pleased to announce the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:

12:55

February 23, 2019 was declared a ‘day of mourning’ by some concerned about infanticide and other ramifications of the State of New York’s “Reproductive Health Act.” The American College of Pediatricians reported they were grieved by efforts by several states to allow infanticide. Statements from disgraced Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, as well as proposed laws in Illinois, Rhode Island, and Vermont have gotten more to be concerned about infanticide in the United States of America. Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse proposed S. 311 the ‘Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act failed in a voice vote–and 17 “public health organizations’ denounced S. 311 as “a dangerous government intrustion.” Is the destruction of humans wrong. Does human life begin at conception? Is there a light flash at conception? Has there been infanticide throughout human history? What does God say about the shedding of “innocent blood’? What about Judaism and Molech?

Here is a link to the sermonette video: American Infanticide.

Abortion is wrong, despite statements from politicians.

Most people, Catholic or otherwise, simply do not know enough about the real truth about early church history.

Some items documenting these and other items of possibly related interest include the following:

Callistus (217-222) He is the first bishop known to have been a criminal prior to his election. He was also accused of a variety of corrupt acts, including allowing indulgences and infanticide (abortion).
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?
Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose Do you know what the Bible teaches on this? Has the Roman Catholic Church allowed abortions? What about the real Church of God? Some may also, or instead, wish to view the YouTube video Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja viva do deus? Tambien Español: Cuál es fiel: ¿La iglesia católica romana o La Iglesia del Dios Viviente? Auch: Deutsch: Welches zuverlässig ist: Die Römisch-katholische Kirche oder die lebende Kirche von Gott?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Hippolytus of Rome A third century Catholic saint and one elected to be Bishop of Rome who condemned others for lowering standards like taking bribes (Zephyrinus) and allowing abortions (Callistus). Why was he considered to be the first antipope?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter! Here is a link to a sermon: Claims of Apostolic Succession. Here is a related articlein the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups that Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups? A related sermon is also available Christianity: Two groups.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

Sermonette: Teach Children Self-Discipline, Self-Control

April 11th, 2021

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce this sermonette from its ContinuingCOG channel:

Would you want to hire a contractor to build you a home who did not know how to actually build a house? As parents, we somewhat function as the builders of our children’s character. What are some tips from Solomon and the Book of Proverbs to do so? Should you teach your children work habits and punctuality? What happens if children do not develop proper discipline and self-control? Were certain negative traits prophesied for the end times for those who were disobedient to parents? Are God’s people supposed to spend time teaching their children God’s commands? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues in this video sermonette.

Here is a link to the sermonette: Teach Children Self-Discipline, Self-Control.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Five Rules for Effective Parenting Do you know that there are five simple rules that can make you a more effective parent? Here is a link to a version in Mandarin Chinese N”ga{€SUg eHv„[PYsQ{€²‰ÄR. There is also a 12 1/2 minute English language YouTube video on this, also titled Five Rules for Effective Parenting.
What Psychologists do not Know About Child Rearing This is an article by Herbert Armstrong that was used as the introduction to the pdf booklet The Plain Truth About Child Rearing.
The Plain Truth About Child Rearing This is a pdf booklet that the old WCG put out. Also watch, Teach Children Self-Discipline, Self-Control.
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen What is faith? Can faith be increased? Are you saved by faith? What about works? Do Christians need to keep the Ten Commandments? What is the ‘faith chapter’? How do the just live by faith? Is faith one of the weightier matters of the law? How does faith come? Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido. In German: Glaube für die von Gott Berufenen und Auserwählten. In French: La Foi pour ceux que Dieu a Appelés et Choisis. Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Faith for the Called and Chosen.and here is a link to another sermon Faith and Courage. Here is a link to shorter version of the written article in Mandarin Chinese N{ÇQsNŽOáNðv„\e‡zà.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?

The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. There are links to literature is about 100 different languages there. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? an CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia? Here is a written link to a version of that first sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
CG7.ORG This is a website for those interested in the Sabbath and churches that observe the seventh day Sabbath.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Africa, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Canada, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Europe, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOG Animations YouTube channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs. Also available at BitChute COGAnimations https://www.bitchute.com/channel/coganimations/
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced hundreds of videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. You can find them at them on YouTube at BibleNewsProphecy https://www.youtube.com/user/BibleNewsProphecy, plus also on Vimeo at Bible News Prophecy https://vimeo.com/channels/biblenewsprophecy as well as on Brighteon Bible News Prophecy https://www.brighteon.com/channel/ccogbnp and Bitchute Prophecy https://www.bitchute.com/channel/prophecy/
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo. Also available at BitChute COGAfrica https://www.bitchute.com/channel/cogafrica/
CDLIDDSermones channel. This contains messages in the Spanish language
BibleNewsProphecy Podcast. This has audio-visual podcasts of the Bible News Prophecy channgel. It plays on i-Phones, i-Pads, and Windows devices that can play i-Tunes.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos. Also available at BitChute COGTube https://www.bitchute.com/channel/cogtube/

Michael Snyder: Famines are biblically prophesied for the last days

April 10th, 2021


COGwriter

Michael Snyder posted the following:

The Bible Says That There Will Be Famines In The Last Days

Could it be possible that the stage is being set for horrific famines that the Bible has been warning us about for nearly 2,000 years? A few years ago, any talk of “coming famines” would have seemed absolutely ludicrous to most people in the western world, but the events of the last several months have changed everything. Now, the UN is openly warning that famines of “biblical proportions” could be on the way, and the head of the UN World Food Program is telling us that we could soon see 300,000 people literally starve to death every single day. Nightmarish droughts, African Swine Fever, COVID-19 and armies of locusts in Africa the size of major cities have combined to create a “perfect storm”, and global food supplies are becoming tighter with each passing month.

As conditions continue to deteriorate, many are starting to wonder if certain prophetic passages in the Bible are starting to come to fruition. For example, in Matthew 24:7 Jesus specifically warned us that there would be “famines” in the days immediately preceding His return…

So if we actually are living during the time just before the return of Jesus, we should expect to see horrifying global famines start to emerge, and that is precisely what we are witnessing at this moment.

In Revelation 6:8, we are told that “hunger” will eventually be a major factor in the deaths of a large portion of the global population…

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Of course we aren’t at that point yet.

But are we starting to move in that direction?

David Beasley is the executive director of the UN World Food Program, and he recently stated that we are heading directly into “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two”. Hunger is rapidly rising all over the globe, and he believes that if dramatic intervention does not happen quickly we could see an astounding death toll.

According to Beasley, we could soon see 300,000 people around the world starve to death every single day, and that figure doesn’t even factor in the effect of this coronavirus pandemic… 05/05/20 http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/the-bible-says-that-there-will-be-famines-in-the-last-days

History, as well of the words of Jesus (Matthew 24:7-8), tends to show that food shortages come after wars, and the third horseman comes after the horseman representing war.

That being said, COVID restrictions have affected food supply chains and, they themselves, may also be a factor.

COVID-blamed deficit spending by various governments, including that of the USA, may also be a factor in contributing to food inflation.

Notice that this third horseman results in scarcity, inflation, and famine. Revelation 6:5-6 indicates that there will be food, but that it will be quite expensive (food-price inflation).

5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

Some will thus die as they will not be able to afford it, while others will survive but struggle.

The old Worldwide Church of God published the following:

The black horseman’s future ride will reduce the proud faces of white America, Europe, and the British Common wealth into the blackened skin of starvation such as now afflicts the vast majority of mankind. (Alexander G. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Ambassador College Press, Pasadena (CA), 1973, p. 31)

Notice some of the penalties for disobedience recorded in the 26th chapter of Leviticus: “If after all this you have not learnt discipline but still defy me, I in turn will defy you and scourge you seven times over for your sins. I will bring war in vengeance upon you … you shall be herded into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be given over to the enemy. I will cut short your daily bread until ten women can bake your bread in a single oven; they shall dole it out by weight [see Revelation 6:5-6], and though you eat, you shall not be satisfied. If in spite of this you do not listen to me and still defy me, I will defy you in anger, and I myself will punish you seven times over for your sins. Instead of meat you shall eat your sons and daughters” (Lev. 26:23-28, The New English Bible). Other passages warn of famine-producing upsets in weather (Amos 4:7, Deut. 28:24); ruined harvests (Ezek. 5:16, Deut. 28:17); blighted crops (Amos 4:9); harmful insect pests (Deut. 28:39, 42); and nonproductive soil (Deut. 28:23). (4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – The Black Horse – Famine. WCG booklet, 1976)

And while the northern Babylonian Beast power will prosper for a short while, it too will ultimately succumb to famine according to Revelation 18:2,8:

2 Babylon…8 her plagues will come in one day–death and mourning and famine…

We are starting to see more reports of food shortages and the potential for food inflation.

Here is something from the old Worldwide Church of God:

The black horseman’s future ride will reduce the proud faces of white America, Europe, and the British Common wealth into the blackened skin of starvation such as now afflicts the vast majority of mankind. (Alexander G. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Ambassador College Press, Pasadena (CA), 1973, p. 31)

FEEDING THE BLACK HORSE OF FAMINE

Centuries ago the greatest prophet, forecaster, and newscaster who ever lived described in vivid detail the most climactic period in all of man’s existence. The prophet, Jesus Christ, was referring to events immediately preceding the end or consummation of this present era of human history.

His answer came in response to His disciples’ question: “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?” (Matt. 24:3.)

Jesus spoke of several major events that would signal the beginning of this troubled period. After false prophets and wars came a third significant indicator: “… and there will be famines” (Matt. 24:7).

Some 60 years later, Christ further elaborated on this description when He gave the apostle John the prophecies concerning the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the sixth chapter of the ‘book of Revelation. Again the same basic sequence of events is described. Following the white horse representing false Christs and the red horse of war comes the black horse of famine: “And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand. And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine” (Rev. 6:5-6, KJV).

Unprecedented Famine

There have always been famines, but there have never been famines the likes of which the world is currently experiencing. Usually famines of the past came in conjunction with droughts, wars, and other natural or man-made disturbances. They were cyclical in nature. Today worldwide famine is built into the structure of world society. Famine is now a way of life for millions of people. Weather fluctuations, wars and crop failures only serve to exacerbate existing conditions.

Today’s famines also differ in both nature and size from those of the past. Never before did multiple hundreds of millions of people suffer from hunger and malnutrition at any given period in history as they do today. As Paul and Arthur Simon wrote in The Politics of World Hunger: “The population explosion has produced stress and deprivation on a scale without precedent, as well as a momentum of growth that boggles the mind” (p. 51).

So Jesus Christ was not merely guessing about future famines. He was describing an age of human existence that was unique from all others in which widespread famine was only one of many interrelated events. In the 24th chapter of Matthew, He made this clear when He said: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be” (verse 21).

The prophet Jeremiah describes this tumultuous age as follows: “Alas! that day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob …” (Jer. 30:7).

Daniel likewise wrote: “And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time” (Dan. 12:1).

Today, modern-day prophets have finally caught up with the patriarchs of old. Notice what Robert McNamara says about this era of world history: “We have to see the population problem as part … of a much wider social and political crisis that grows deeper with each decade and threatens to round off this century with years of unrest and turbulence, a ‘time of troubles’ [emphasis ours] during which the forces of historical change threaten our frail twentieth century society with disintegration.”

Also, Georg Borgstrom states: “As a human race we are heading for Supreme Disaster, and the great challenge to our generation is to avert this calamity. It has to be done in this crucial century, or mankind may well deprive itself of both its future and its history.”

And worldwide famine, fueled by an exploding population and future international conflicts, will undoubtedly be a key catalyst in this rapidly deteriorating chain of events.

Old Testament Warnings

Christ, who was the Logos or Spokesman of the Old Testament (see I Cor. 10:4, John 1:1), also gave national warnings concerning famine through many of the prophets of old.
In these passages, famine, along with the 2nd and 4th horsemen, war and pestilence, are shown to be the ultimate result of false religion (the first horseman) and flagrant disobedience of God’s commandments.

Notice some of the penalties for disobedience recorded in the 26th chapter of Leviticus: “If after all this you have not learnt discipline but still defy me, I in turn will defy you and scourge you seven times over for your sins. I will bring war in vengeance upon you … you shall be herded into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be given over to the enemy. I will cut short your daily bread until ten women can bake your bread in a single oven; they shall dole it out by weight [see Revelation 6:5-6], and though you eat, you shall not be satisfied. If in spite of this you do not listen to me and still defy me, I will defy you in anger, and I myself will punish you seven times over for your sins. Instead of meat you shall eat your sons and daughters” (Lev. 26:23-28, The New English Bible).

Other passages warn of famine-producing upsets in weather (Amos 4:7, Deut. 28:24); ruined harvests (Ezek. 5:16, Deut. 28:17); blighted crops (Amos 4:9); harmful insect pests (Deut. 28:39, 42); and nonproductive soil (Deut. 28:23).

Israel of old didn’t heed these warnings and suffered the consequences. Today many of the modern nations of the world, including the United States and Britain, are following in the footsteps of the ancient Israelites and are beginning to pay the same penalties as their predecessors.

The Bitter Harvest of Disobedience

And as men continue to flagrantly disregard the laws of their Creator, such conditions will continue to be aggravated. Jesus Christ went on to warn of similar calamities in the future. In the book of Revelation, He depicts an earth whose entire food producing ecosystem will be in jeopardy. …

Perhaps lack of food or resources resulting from these global catastrophes explains why a massive army of 200 million men decides to march on the Middle East in the 16th chapter of Revelation. In any event, Jesus Christ went on to show that unless He personally intervened in the affairs of men during this tumultuous time period, all life would be erased from off the face of the earth (Matt. 24:22).

A Global Surplus of Food

Christ’s intervention will set off a chain of events that will finally bring a halt to the continuous rounds of famine and hunger the human race has experienced down through history. Satan the Devil will be put away (Rev. 20:1-2), and with him will go the centuries—old system of greed and exploitation that has left many a broken, hungry, and destitute person in its wake. The “dispossessed masses” will become a thing of the past as every individual will have a chance to own agriculturally productive real estate (Micah 4:4). Farming methods will be overhauled until lush crops are considered commonplace (Isa. 32:15), and one harvest follows hard on the heels of the previous one (Amos 9:13-14).

The earth’s arable land mass will be greatly expanded as mountains are lowered (Isa. 40:4) and the sands of the deserts begin an unprecedented retreat (Isa. 35:1, 7). Only then will the age-old problem of famine finally be put to rest. (4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse – The Black Horse – Famine. WCG booklet, 1976)

And while the Bible does teach that famines will come, it should be pointed out that the ride of the third horseman, famine, does not happen until after the start of the ride of the second horseman of war, but also before the ride of the fourth horseman of death and pestilence.

COVID-19 is sort of a mild precursor compared to what is still prophesied to come.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled Sorrows and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse What is the pale horse of death and pestilences? What will it bring and when? Here is a link to a related sermon: Fourth Horseman, COVID, and the Rise of the Beast of Revelation. Some shorter related videos may include Amphibian Apocalypse: Threat to Humans? and Zombie Deer Disease is Here! Are the 10 Plagues on Egypt Coming? Here is a version of the article in Spanish: El cuarto jinete de Apocalipsis, el caballo pálido de muerte y pestilencia.
COVID 19 is NOT the End, but could it be TEOTWAWKI? The novel coronavirus called COVID-19 is wreaking havoc around the world. Many states of the USA as well as countries in Europe are on lockdown with shelter in place /shelter in residence requirements. In France, a form is required when you are not at your house. In Spain, drones are being used to warn people who are outside to got back to their homes–does that bring up feelings of ‘Big Brother’? Italy, France, and other areas are using police and/or military force to encourage people to stay inside. According to the Bible could this be the end? If not, what has to happen first? Have the second and third of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse started their ride? Could COVID-19 be the fourth horseman? Why or why not? Could we be seeing The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) like the R.E.M.’s 1987 single song discussed? Do Christians need to fear? What did Jesus teach? What did the Psalmist teach? This is a video. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: Corona 19 no es el final PERO es el TEOTWAWKI.
COVID-19 Leading to 666? The novel coronavirus of Wuhan, China fame, is now called COVID-19. It has also been called the ‘Coronapocalypse.’ Does COVID-19 have any prophetic ramifications? What did Jesus teach about pestilences and sorrows in the Olivet prophecy in Matthew 24? Could COVID-19 be the ride of the fourth horseman of the Apocalypse? Why was this type of disease expected according to the O. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: ld Testament prophecies in Deuteronomy and Leviticus? What has the US Centers for Disease Control warned about? What has the CDC reported about the flu? Were there lessons about fear and infections in the 2011 movie ‘Contagion’? Because of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO), nation of Iran, and certain French locations are telling people not to use cash, but instead electronic forms of payment. The US Federal Reserve is now quarantining money repatriated from Asia to reduce the potential spread of the coronavirus on US currency bills. Is COVID-19 worse than we have been told or could this all be a ‘false flag’ event to encourage people to move towards a cashless society? If the thousands of deaths associated with COVID-19 are pushing parts of the world towards cashlessness, how much more likely will the ride of the fourth horseman and over a billion human deaths motivate people to move to making electronic payments that can be monitored? The Bible tells of a soon coming society that controls buying and selling to force allegiance to a coming European Beast power, known as 666 (Revelation 13:16-18). Does the ‘great tribulation’ begin before ride of the fourth horseman or with the opening of the fifth seal of Revelation 6? Do the words of Jesus helps us better understand the sequence of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse and the start of the Great Tribulation? Will the ride of the fourth horseman help lead to the rise of 666? Is that ride very close? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video. Here is a link to a version in the Spanish language: El COVID-19 ¿Conduce al 666?
Biological Warfare and Prophecy Is biological warfare possible? Was it prophesied? Scientists have long warned that pathogenic organisms like the coronavirus could be weaponized. Furthermore, back in 2017, there were concerns that the biological research facility being constructed in Wuhan, China was risky and that a coronavirus from it could be released. On January 25, 2020, China’s President Xi Jinping publicly stated that the situation with the Wuhan-related strain of the coronavirus was grave. Did Church of God writers like the late evangelist Raymond McNair warn that engineered viruses (the “Doomsday bug”) were consistent with prophecies from Jesus? Did a warning from CCOG leader Bob Thiel warn about risks of genetically-modified (GMO) mosquitoes come to pass? Could human research and/or the consumption of biblically-unclean animals such as bats and snakes be a factor in current outbreaks or coming future pestilences? What about famines? How devastating have pestilences been? How devastating are the prophesied ones going to be? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video.
Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians. We all know the Bible prophecies famines. Should we do something? Here is a version in the Spanish language Escrituras sobre Preparación física para los Cristianos. Here is a link to a related sermon: Physical preparedness for Christians.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2028 or or 2031 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
The Great Tribulation: What Happens First? What events have happened? What are some events that are now happening? And what events need to happen for the Great Tribulation to start? Here is a link to a related sermon video: Counting Down to the Great Tribulation. Here is a video in the Spanish language: Contando los eventos y el inicio de la Gran Tribulación.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2021, 2022, or 2023? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: 2021: The Great Tribulation or the Great Reset? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.

Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Other videos include: Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch?, Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy, Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome, Is China paving roads to Armageddon?, and Jordan, Petra, and Armageddon.
Weather Blessings and Sorrows Are weather problems a warning? What should be done? Here is a related YouTube video Does God Use Weather?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

Aeon: Does life have a purpose? COGwriter: Yes, but few understand the mystery of God’s plan

April 10th, 2021


COGwriter

Aeon is launching a new newsletter today. It also put out an article that Pocket recommended that contains the following:

Does life have a purpose?

Nobody expects atoms and molecules to have purposes, so why do we still think of living things in this way?

here’s no sense for most scientists that a star is for anything, or that a molecule serves an end. But when we come to talk about living things, it seems very hard to shake off the idea that they have purposes and goals, which are served by the ways they have evolved.

As I have written about before in Aeon, the chemist James Lovelock got into very hot water with his fellow scientists when he wanted to talk about the Earth being an organism (the Gaia hypothesis) and its parts having purposes: that sea lagoons were for evaporating unneeded salt out of the ocean, for instance. And as Steven Poole wrote in his essay ‘Your point is?’ in Aeon earlier this year, the contemporary philosopher Thomas Nagel is also in hot water since he suggested in his book Mind and Cosmos (2012) that we need to use teleological understanding to explain the nature of life and its evolution.

Some have thought that this lingering teleological language is a sign that biology is not a real science at all, but just a collection of observations and facts. Others argue that the apparent purposefulness of nature leaves room for God. Immanuel Kant declared that you cannot do biology without thinking in terms of function, of final causes: ‘There will never be a Newton for a blade of grass,’ he claimed in Critique of Judgment (1790), meaning that living things are simply not determined by the laws of nature in the way that non-living things are, and we need the language of purpose in order to explain the organic world.

Why do we still talk about organisms and their features in this way? Is biology basically different from the other sciences because living things do have purposes and ends? Or has biology simply failed to get rid of some old-fashioned, unscientific thinking — thinking that even leaves the door ajar for those who want to sneak God back into science? https://aeon.co/essays/what-s-a-stegosaur-for-why-life-is-design-like?utm_source=pocket-newtab accessed 05/16/20

Yes, life has a purpose and there really is a God.

Before getting to that it should be pointed out that REAL scientists, those actually willing to believe the facts of biology realize that evolution is NOT science.

Those who claim that evolution is the origin of life are not being logical as that is impossible.

Consider the following admission from Nobel Prize winner Dr. George Wald, from Harvard University:

The reasonable view was to believe in spontaneous generation (life from nothing); the only alternative, to believe in a single, primary act of supernatural creation. There is no third position . . . One has only to contemplate the magnitude of this task to concede that the spontaneous generation of a living organism is impossible. Yet here we are, as a result I believe, of spontaneous generation. (Scott I. The God Solution: Are You Ready? Xlibris Corporation, 2013, p. 41)

This is an astounding admission. Dr. Wald is saying that he chose to believe the impossible. And “scientists” claim that those who believe in a Creator have blind faith with no proof, but instead believe the impossible!

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines impossible as “incapable of being or of occurring.”

It is a falsehood to believe in something that is impossible–it is illogical.

Consider the following from the Bible:

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:14-15)

Would not professing belief in something you know is impossible be loving and believing a lie?

The fact is that evolution functions as a false religion that many cling to. Therefore, many who hold to it do not bother to look into the truth about why they are on this planet nor what their life really is supposed to be about.

The Continuing Church of God put out two short animations related to this general topic on our CCOG Animations channel:

13:48

Big Bang: Nothing or Creator?

Colleges and universities teach variations of a godless ‘Big Bang theory’ as science. But is it scientific or simply the musing of scientists? The late Dr. Stephen Hawking stated that there was nothing before the Big Bang. Is it logical that nothing became everything? What should have happened then according to scientists? What happens to radioactive materials like uranium? What does the Bible teach about errors called science? Is God’s existence more logical than a godless ‘Big Bang’? Which has more actual proof? In this animation, a university student asks a professor questions and provides information that students and those out of school should know. A free online booklet is also available:

Here is a link to our video: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator?

15:06

Did life just spring up on its own? Is this possible according to a Nobel-prize winning scientist who believes in ‘spontaneous generation’ and other aspects of evolution? Is there any possibility that life could have just started on its own and thrived to the point of being able to reproduce? Is the academic community biased against those who believe in a Divine Creator God? Does it make scientific sense to believe in the atheistic position? Is there more proof of God’s existence than there is for ‘spontaneous generation’? What about DNA and Charles Darwin? What about the RNA first hypothesis? What about matter, entropy, biogenesis, and abiogenesis? Is evolution possible, probable, or impossible? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our animated video: A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?

The Apostle Paul warned:

20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge — 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21, NKJV)

20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21, KJV)

Problems of contradictions of what is called ‘knowledge/science’ exist to this day. If there ever is an apparent contradiction between the Bible and what is called ‘science’ remember that the Bible teaches:

4 … Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)

The Bible is scientific and reliable. Not all scientists are. Nor are all theologians.

The Apostle Paul also wrote the following to Timothy about some who were:

7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; 9 but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, (2 Timothy 3:7-9)

Believe the truth. Belief in God is logical (see also Is God’s Existence Logical?).

Because God exists, yes, it makes perfect sense that He has a purpose for EACH and EVERY human life.

But God’s plan is a mystery to most.

God’s purpose for His creation is for eternity to be better.

His purpose for individual human beings is for them to be able to give love in a unique way to make eternity better for themselves and everyone else.

Scriptural and other details are in the free online book: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?

Regarding why this world needs you, you might find the following Continuing Church of God sermon helpful:

1:14:43

Why did God make YOU? What is the biblical meaning pf life? Are you supposed to do good? Is there a place for works? What will you be rewarded for? What about love and the commandments? Does God have a specific role for you personally? Do you really trust God? Will you be able to give love in a unique manner in order to make eternity better for yourself and others? What about character and deification? Why did God create anything? This is third part of a three-part sermon series by Dr. Thiel.

This sermon series is based on the following free online book: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?

Here is a link to the sermon: The Mystery of YOU.

But what about COVID-19?

Hopefully, the results of the COVID-19 situation are helping wake you up and motivating you to realize that you should have a role in supporting the true Philadelphian work.

The time to do so is now, before it is too late (cf. Zephaniah 2; watch Zephaniah’s ‘Gather Together’ Prophecy).

We produced a short video related to this:

16:03

‘Get Ready: The World is About to Need You’

According to a secular source, related to COVID-19, Matt Smith wrote, “We could have been better prepared.” He also went over many issues, including lockdowns, illness, and deaths that should be anticipated related to COVID-19. But he then said, “Get ready. The world is about to need you.” Are you willing to step up spiritually and support the Philadelphian work? Most end time Christians are prophesied not to do so. Do the words the Mordecai passed on to Queen Esther have meaning for you today? Could you have been called into the Kingdom of God for a time such as this? What are the plans that God might have for you? Are you one who may have been prophesied to “instruct many” in the end time? Are you watching and praying? Are you cold or lukewarm when it comes to God’s work? Are you mainly a hearer of the word of a doer? Dr. Thiel goes over these subjects.

Here is a link to our video: ‘Get Ready: The World is About to Need You’.

Yes, life has a purpose!

And if you are willing, you can make eternity better for yourself and all who will later hear God’s call.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! Would you like Christian answers to give atheists? This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution. Two animated videos of related interest are also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator? and A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available:
Going on to perfection and building character.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians. We all know the Bible prophecies famines. Should we do something? Here is a version in the Spanish language Escrituras sobre Preparación física para los Cristianos. Here is a link to a related sermon: Physical preparedness for Christians.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.

Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18? Does any church have the confirmed dream and prophetic signs of Acts 2:17-18? Should one? Here is a link in the Spanish language: ¿Tiene la CCOG confirmadas las señales de Hechos 2: 17-18? Here is a link in the French language: Est-ce que l’Église Continue de Dieu confirme les signes d’Actes 2:17-18?
Church of God Leaders on Prophets Have there been prophets throughout the church age? Are any supposed to be around in the last days? What have COG leaders stated or written about prophets? Here is a link to a related sermon: Church of God Leaders on Prophets.
What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles? Some in the West discount God’s calling of Gentiles, but the Apostle Paul wrote about the need for them to come to the truth before Jesus returns.
What is the Ezekiel Warning? Should the end-time descendants of Israel and Joseph be warned? What should the watchman warn about?
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.

Sermon: Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover

April 10th, 2021


COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce the following sermon from its ContinuingCOG channel:

The Didascalia Apostolorum claims it “is the Catholic doctrine of the twelve Apostles and the holy disciples of our Lord.” Is that 3rd century document claim true? Where should original Catholic Christian doctrine come from? Was the Nicene Creed the original ‘Apostles’ Creed’? What about the old Roman Form from Rufinus or the ‘Creed of Lucian’? Who used the term ‘Catholic Church of God’? Did the murderous Emperor Theodosius enforce a changed creed? What were early church services like? What do we learn from the ‘Life of Polycarp’ and Melito? What was the original liturgy? What is a ‘synaxis’? Was it on Saturday? Was baptism by immersion? Were only adults baptized by early Christians? Did Irenaeus object that Valentinian heretics mixed oil and water? Did Polycarp live to 86 or 104? Did early Christians baptize infants? What about Jesus’ blessing of little children? When was the original Passover/Eucharist? Was it to be observed annually or more often according to Emperor Constantine and the Quartodecimens? If Pascha was at night, should it not still be observed then on the 14th of Nisan/Abib? When did the Apostle John, Apostle Philip, Polycarp, Thraseas, Sagaris, Papirius, Polycrates, Apollinaris, and Apollonius keep Passover? What about Easter and the Ishtar/Eostre? What should those wishing to be faithful rely on? Dr. Thiel addresses these matters and more in this sermon.

Here is a link to the sermon: Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? , Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?
What Type of ‘Catholic’ was Polycarp? Did Polycarp hold Roman, Eastern Orthodox, or Church of God catholic doctrines? Did he have apostolic succession from the Apostle John or Paul? How long did he live? What did he teach? Here is a link to a related sermon: What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?
Polycarp of Smyrna: The Heretic Fighter Polycarp was the successor of the Apostle John and a major leader in Asia Minor. Do you know much about what he taught? A YouTube video or related interesy may be: Polycarp of Smyrna: Why Christians should know more about him. There is also a short video: Polycarp or Martin Luther?
What Was the Original Apostles’ Creed? What is the Nicene Creed? Did the original apostles write a creed? When was the first creed written? Are the creeds commonly used by the Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholics original? Here is a link to a related video: The Original Apostle’s Creed?
What was the Liturgy of the Early Church? Were early church services mainly scriptural, emotional, or sacramental? Who follows the basic original liturgy today? A related video is also available: What were early Christian church services like?
Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church Was it by immersion? Did it include infants? Does Polycarp prove infant baptism? Here is a link to some information in the Spanish language: Bautismo de infantes o bendición de los niños pequeños. A related sermon video is titled Baptism: What is it and how should it be done?
Early Christianity and the Eucharist? What does ‘eucharist’ mean? Did early Christians tie it in with Passover? Should it be a rounded host? Here is a link to a related sermon: Eucharist, Passover, and Easter.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.

Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You?
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how they develop love, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. There are links to literature is about 100 different languages there.
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Africa, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Canada, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Europe, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
CG7.ORG This is a website for those interested in the Sabbath and churches that observe the seventh day Sabbath.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOG Animations YouTube channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs. Also available at BitChute COGAnimations https://www.bitchute.com/channel/coganimations/
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced hundreds of videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. You can find them at them on YouTube at BibleNewsProphecy https://www.youtube.com/user/BibleNewsProphecy, plus also on Vimeo at Bible News Prophecy https://vimeo.com/channels/biblenewsprophecy as well as on Brighteon Bible News Prophecy https://www.brighteon.com/channel/ccogbnp and Bitchute Prophecy https://www.bitchute.com/channel/prophecy/
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo. Also available at BitChute COGAfrica https://www.bitchute.com/channel/cogafrica/
CDLIDDSermones channel. This contains messages in the Spanish language
BibleNewsProphecy Podcast. This has audio-visual podcasts of the Bible News Prophecy channgel. It plays on i-Phones, i-Pads, and Windows devices that can play i-Tunes.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos. Also available at BitChute COGTube https://www.bitchute.com/channel/cogtube/
Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of GodContend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3, NKJV), “Let brotherly love (Philadelphia) continue” (Hebrews 13:1) ” & continuing stedfastly in the teaching of the apostles” (Acts 2:42 YLT). So, what does that really mean in terms of specific beliefs–the Statement gives answers? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Declaración de las Doctrinas de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. Here is a related link in Tagalog: Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. Here is a related link in Mandarin Chinese ~ç~íy^v„eYOv„OáNðXðf. Here is a related link in Kiswahili: KATIKA LUGHA YA KISWAHILI. Here is a related link in Dutch: Verklaring van geloofspunten van de Continuing Church of God. Here is a related link in Deutsche (German): Glaubenserklärung der Continuing Church of God. Here is a related link in Italiano: Dichiarazione del Credo della Continuing Church of God. Here is related link in the French language: Déclaration des croyances de L’Église Continue de Dieu. Here is a related link in the Chichewa language: ZIKHULUPIRIRO ZA MPINGO WA CONTINUING CHURCH OF GOD. Here is a link in Romanian: Declarația de credințe a continuării Bisericii lui Dumnezeu. Here is a link in Portuguese: Declaração de Crenças da Continuação da Igreja de Deus. Here is a link in Russian: Утверждение верований о продолжении Церкви Божьей. Here is a link to a related English-language sermon: Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God.