Archive for February, 2011

Black History Month: Sabbath-Keeping in Ethiopia

Friday, February 25th, 2011

COGwriter

Since February is Black History Month, and I thought that this would be a good time to explain a little of the history of Sabbath-keepers in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia.

It has been reported that Ethiopia has more people who keep some version of the seventh-day Sabbath than any other country on earth. Notice how long they claim to have been observing it:

W. W. Oliphant, an African church leader in the early years of the twentieth century says that the “Sabbath in Ethiopia [has] been kept from the days of Nimrod, about 2140 B.C. (read Gen. 10:8, 10), that is 700 years before the birth of Moses. . . . Africans or Ethiopians had been Sabbath observers from the days of Nimrod” (Quoted in Bradford C.E. Sabbath Roots, The African Connection. L. Brown and Sons, Barre (VT), 1999, p. 26).

Thus it appears that Africans were familiar with the idea of a seventh-day Sabbath prior to the giving of the ten commandments on Mount Sinai.

This makes total sense as God set-apart the Sabbath the day after creating humans.

In Ethiopia in the fourth century, Frumentius reported:

“And we assemble on Saturday,” he continues ; “not that we are infected with Judaism, but to worship Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath” (Davis, Tamar. A General History of the Sabbatarian Churches. 1851; Reprinted 1995 by Commonwealth Publishing, Salt Lake City, pp. 41-42).

Notice some of the statements by Ethiopian Emperor Galawdewos (A.D. 1540-1559):

We do celebrate the Sabbath, because God, after He had finished the Creation of the World, rested thereon…and that especially, since Christ came not to dissolve the law but to fulfill it. It is therefore not in the imitation of the Jews, but in obedience to Christ, and His holy apostles, that we observe that day (Quoted in Bradford C.E. Sabbath Roots, The African Connection. L. Brown and Sons, Barre (VT), 1999, p. 26).

Thus Africa has long had groups of people who have kept the seventh-day Sabbath. In the 21st century, there are Church of God groups throughout Africa.

The Living Church of God, for one example, has groups in areas such as the Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania.

I have personally visited Africa one time (in 1985) and hope to come back one day.

Articles of possibly related interest may include:

Africa: Its Biblical Past and Prophesied Future What does the Bible teach about Africa and its future? Did the early Church reach Africa? Will God call all the Africans?
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?
Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord? Most Protestant scholars say Sunday is the Lord’s Day, but is that what the Bible teaches?
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the Nazarenes.

High End Homes to Be Built on Old Ambassador College Grounds

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Order  of  the Sacred Treasure
Ambassador Auditorium (in center)

COGwriter

The property at the old Ambassador College again made the news:

City Ventures Has Amassed 3,500 Lots for Homebuilding

By Mark Mueller

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Santa Ana-based City Ventures LLC doesn’t have the history of some homebuilders here. But it certainly has the land…

An upscale project in Pasadena at the former site of Ambassador College is set to start selling later this year.

The project is expected to be the company’s priciest, with homes starting at around $1.5 million. http://www.ocbj.com/news/2011/feb/20/city-ventures-has-amassed-3500-lots-homebuilding/

As I reported in January of 2010 (see Ambassador College Campus Again Changing Ownership), City Ventures bought a lot of the property of the old Ambassador College.

The physical assets of the old Worldwide Church of God helped the church reach world leaders with the message of the Gospel of the Kingdom.  It seems to have become a burden to those who have tried to develop the property since, but perhaps not now (though in the current California economy this project may be problematic).

Of course, the Gospel message will be proclaimed to the world (Matthew 24:14) and it is not dependent upon physical assets.

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains how he is and should be viewed today.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? True religion should be based upon the true gospel.
The Temple and the Work This article discusses the two temples of the Old Testament and gives insight as to their possible relevance to the situation which has impacted the Church during this past decade or so.

US Dollar No ‘Safe Haven’ In This Middle East Crisis

Thursday, February 24th, 2011


“I will break the pride of your power” (Leviticus 26:19)

COGwriter

During the current crises in the Middle East, some have noticed that the USA dollar is not benefiting like in the past:

Is The U.S. Dollar No Longer A Safe Haven?
iStockAnalyst – Feb 24, 2011

…since the protests and riots began in the Middle East over a month ago the U.S. Dollar Index has declined lower. This is very uncharacteristic of what we have seen over the past 10 years. Usually, when the U.S. Dollar Index declines the stock market indexes and most commodities will increase and rise in price. However, that is not happening at this time.

Many investors believe that the U.S. Dollar is being forced lower by the Federal Reserve Bank as they continue to flood the market with cash reserves in order to create inflation. Essentially, they are diluting the U.S. Dollar on a daily basis.   http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewarticle/articleid/4918944

Dollar Pressured by Mideast Turmoil
Wall Street Journal – Feb 24, 2011
“The dollar fell against most other major currencies as traders pared greenback positions in the wake of continued Middle East tumult and unfavorable yield differentials.

The safe-haven currencies of the Swiss franc and yen continue to be the most-direct beneficiaries of the latest Middle East civil eruption in Libya. The dollar was hovering above its new record low of 0.9240 franc reached in overnight Asian trading. The dollar was at three-week lows against the yen.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703408604576164012616205974.html

So instead of being a ‘safe haven’, the USA dollar is partially being pushed down by the crises in the Middle East.  It is amazing how greatly increasing the debt and currency of the USA has finally gotten more of the world’s attention.

Of course, there still are other options that some investors are looking at:

Turmoil and oil fears push gold to seven-week high

Financial Times - Jack Farchy – ‎24 February 2011

The price of gold rose to its highest level in seven weeks as political turbulence in the Middle East…drove investors to the metal, a traditional beacon of safety…

Gold has risen 8.4 per cent since…January…

So while gold maintains its traditional place a as “beacon of safety”, the same is no longer true for the USA dollar.

People who have faith that the USA will continue should ask themselves why.

Prophecy moves forward–significant personal repentance is probably the only way out (as national repentance for the USA seems highly unlikely).

To learn more, please check out the following articles:

Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? 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?
Prophecies of Barack Obama?
Are there biblical and non-biblical prophecies about Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist? This is a lengthy article with many prophecies that Barack Obama may end up fulfilling.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States Some claim that Barack Obama is the prophesied “son of Kenya”. Might Bible prophecy be fulfilled by him?
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?
End of Mayan Calendar 2012–Might 2012 Mean Something? Are there Mayan calendar predictions for change in 2012? Changes were centuries ago predicted by the Hopi Native Americans. Do Mayan/Hindu/Hopi/Buddhist/New Age/Nostradamus prophecies have any value here? Why might Satan have inspired this date? Does the Dresden codex show destruction of the earth by flood? Can the great tribulation start before 2012? How might Barack Obama be involved in 2012?

After START Treaty, Russia Announces New Military Build-Up

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Thirteenth Century Depiction of the Red Horse of War

COGwriter

The USA and Russia signed a nuclear reduction treaty called START which became effective a few weeks ago (Nuclear Reduction Deal With Russia).  Now that it is in place, and the USA feels it is safe to reduce its military might, the Russians have publicly announced that they plan to spend hundreds of billions to upgrade their military:

24 February 2011 Last updated at 07:17 ET

Russia plans $650bn defence spend up to 2020

Eight nuclear submarines, 600 jets and 1,000 helicopters feature in plans to renew Russia’s military by 2020, priced at 19tn roubles (£400bn; $650bn).

One hundred warships are also due to be bought in, including two helicopter carriers, in addition to two already being purchased from France…Analysts say the ambitious programme only makes sense if the military upgrades its training and recruitment…

Missile defence boost Last week, Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin announced that spending on defence development would triple from 0.5% of GDP to 1.5% from next year.

The defence spending was detailed in Moscow on Thursday by First Deputy Defence Minister Vladimir Popovkin.

“The main task is the modernisation of our armed forces,” he said.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-12567043

So, Russia is warning the world that it will modernize its military and spend “big bucks” to do so.

But, we have not heard anything similar yet from the USA.  Will that be coming soon?

Not likely.  While the USA will do some modernization, it has so many political considerations (including economic) when it makes defense spending decisions that optimal defense capabilities are not always the top priority (often getting or keeping defense-related jobs in certain areas plays a major role).  The essentially bankrupt USA cannot really afford to be on top militarily and its political system will likely contribute to it making the wrong decisions for its next major war.  The USA’s recent focus on terrorism seems to have gotten it to overlook who its future enemies will be.  Thus, the USA will likely modernize the wrong aspects of its defenses.

Speaking of modernization of their military, it was recently announced that Germany apparently has the quietest submarines available in the world:

Super-stealth sub powered by fuel cell
CNN - Feb 22, 2011…

The super-stealth vessel is the first of its kind to be powered by a revolutionary hydrogen fuel cell that lets it cruise the deep blue without giving off noise or exhaust heat.

That’s important, because according to Bernd Arjes, a captain in the German Navy, silence keeps submariners alive.

“We operate in coastal waters around Europe and this submarine is specially designed for finding submarines. If you want to find other submarines of course you have to be quiet,” he said.

With this latest technology, he added, “the boat is virtually undetectable.”

But being indistinguishable is not the only thing that sets the U212A apart. Unlike conventional subs, which need air to combust diesel, the fuel cell doesn’t require oxygen to operate.

This means it can remain submerged for many weeks — holding its breath many times longer than its gas-guzzling cousins.

You’d expect a boat like this to pack a punch, and you’d be right.

The 212A is armed with 12 heavyweight wire guided torpedoes, each capable of destroying a war ship or disabling an aircraft carrier. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-02-22/tech/hybrid.submarine_1_submariners-aircraft-carrier-howaldtswerke-deutsche-werft?_s=PM:TECH

It would seem that the German submarines may be able to track and eliminate even American submarines and air craft carriers without being detectable.  This may not bode well for the USA in the future.

The world is changing.  The times show that the Gentiles are rising up (cf. Luke 21:24, Revelation 11:2, Ezekiel 30:3).  This also means that the Anglo-powers like the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand will no longer be on top.  Consider the following”

1 The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God:

“Wail, ‘Woe to the day!’
3 For the day is near,
Even the day of the Lord is near;
It will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles. (Ezekiel 30:1-3)

35 And say, “Save us, O God of our salvation;
Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles,
To give thanks to Your holy name,
To triumph in Your praise.”  (1 Chronicles 16:34-35)

We are getting closer to this time than most think.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2010, 2011, or 2012? 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? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?  What are the role of the Gentiles?
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What is the Book of Revelation trying to tell us about them? Does the first one deceive many?
Russia: Its Origins and Prophesied Future Russia in prophecy. Where do the Russians come from? What about those in the Ukraine? What is prophesied for Russia and its allies? What will they do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end?
Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach?
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?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies 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?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-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 the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Will the Anglo-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 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?

Obama Won’t Support Ban on Homosexual ‘Marriages’

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

COGwriter

President Obama has once again indicated that he will not support biblical morality:

Obama Won’t Go to Court Over Defense of Marriage Act
National Journal - Feb 23, 2011

President Obama believes that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional and will no longer defend the 15-year-old law in federal court, the Justice Department announced today.

The decision, which stunned and delighted gay rights activists, means that the administration will withdraw its defense of ongoing suits in two federal appeals circuits and will leave it to Congress to defend the law against those challenges. It will remain a party to the lawsuits. The law itself remains in effect.

DOMA, signed by President Clinton in 1995, allows states not to recognize same-sex marriages preformed in other states and provides a federal definition for “marriage” that exempts same-sex couples.  http://www.nationaljournal.com/obama-won-t-go-to-court-over-defense-of-marriage-act-20110223

The US President, at least publicly, has always seemed sympathetic to the side of the homosexuals.  He does not seem to think this is a problem.

Well, perhaps Barack Obama should remember what happened to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Notice:

24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. (Genesis 19:24-25)

And why did it happen?

7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 7)

Why mention this in the 21st century? Because God turned:

6…the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly (2 Peter 2:6)

Thus, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah were to serve as an example to those who would live as they did.  Apparently those involved with the Pentagon’s report overlooked the risks that the Bible warns about.

Barack Obama claims Christianity as his religion, but notice what the Apostle Paul was inspired to write:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.  (Romans 1:18-32)

Of course, if there is no God, no morality, or such things, do what you want.  But since there is a God, there is a risk.  A risk that the USA will regret later.

Notice also the following Catholic prophecy:

Our blessed Mother through Father Gobbi of the Marion Movement…provided several messages…

On November 15, 1990: Mary spoke about the great trial coming to the United States and for all humanity. The Blessed Mother specifically mentions the United States will know the hour of weakness and of poverty as well as “the hour of suffering and defeat”. The thunder of God’s justice will have arrived:

…”…Sins of impurity have become ever more widespread, and immorality has spread like a sea which has submerged all things. Homosexuality, a sin of impurity which is against nature, has been justified…The moment of divine justice and of great mercy has now arrived. You will know the hour of weakness and poverty; the hour of suffering and defeat; the purifying hour of the great chastisement…” America will know poverty and defeat! Those are strong statements made by the Virgin herself. Never before have we known something like this on a national scale (Flynn, Ted and Maureen. The Thunder of Justice. MaxKol Communications, Inc. Sterling (VA), 1993pp. 341,342).

Although I do not believe that Jesus’ mother Mary actually said the above (see Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions), nor has the Vatican accepted that particular apparition as valid (though Pope John Paul II did honor Priest Gobbi), perhaps I should add that even the demons know that the Bible condemns homosexuality, as well as the fact that the USA is prophesied to be destroyed.

The USA is in decline and even its military will NOT be able to defend it well enough a few years from now.  The USA will be taken over and defeated, and its people made slaves.  Yes, it will get that bad (and actually even worse than that).

To solve its real problems, the USA needs national repentance, not gay ‘marriage’. The USA needs repentance right now. The USA does not seem to realize that otherwise its days are numbered. US government policies and practices are part of sealing its doom.

UPDATE 2/24/2011.  The following item at the end of a news article on this subject caught my attention today:

THINK ABOUT IT: What difference does your neighbor’s marriage make in your life?  (Gay marriage advances: Overdue justice or moral chaos?)

Essentially, the secular position is that gay marriage should not matter to anyone except those involved.  But the lessons of Sodom and Gomorrah suggest otherwise.  Those who think that there are not major ramifications on society for allowing this are in error.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Prophecies of Barack Obama? This article has eight reasons why Barack Obama is apocalyptic and eight reasons why Barack Obama is not the Antichrist. It includes many biblical and non-biblical prophecies, from around the world, that seem to discuss Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist? Might Barack Obama set the stage for the kings of the North and South as at least one Shiite prophecy suggests? This is the longest and most complete article at the COGwriter website on Barack Obama prophecies. Read it and decide for yourself if President Obama seems to be fulfilling various prophecies.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States
Some claim that Barack Obama is the prophesied “son of Kenya”. Might Bible prophecy be fulfilled since he is to be the USA president?
Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? 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?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-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 the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first?
Does God Have a 6,000/7,000 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? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2018 or 2019?
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2011, 2012, or 2013? 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?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge.
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article by Wallace Smith which answers what many really wonder about it.
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?
The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This is a booklet written by Douglas Winnail that answers if the Bible is just a collection of myths and legends or the inspired word of God.
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.

Polycarp Feast Observed Today

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011


“Martyrdom of Polycarp” from Ceiling of the Church of St. Polycarp, Smyrna (now called Izmir, Turkey)

COGwriter

February 23rd is considered the “Feast of Polycarp” by the Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholics. Some believe that he was martyred on that date, while I suspect it may have been closer to Passover.

Polycarp was a disciple of the Apostle John. In the late 1st century (or the early second century) he was put in charge of the Church of God in Smyrna. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox revere him as a saint (as do some Protestants). We in the Living Church of God primarily trace our early history from Peter, Paul, and John through Polycarp (we also trace our history through other areas that had faithful Christians for a while, such as Jerusalem through 135 A.D., and then later once the faithful returned for a while).

Almost everyone associated with Christendom considers that Polycarp was a true and faithful Christian leader.

In the late second century, the Catholic and Orthodox saint Irenaeus wrote:

But Polycarp also was not only instructed by apostles, and conversed with many who had seen Christ, but was also, by apostles in Asia, appointed bishop of the Church in Smyrna…always taught the things which he had learned from the apostles, and which the Church has handed down, and which alone are true. To these things all the Asiatic Churches testify, as do also those men who have succeeded Polycarp down to the present time (Irenaeus. Adversus Haeres. Book III, Chapter 4, Verse 3 and Chapter 3, Verse 4).

So if Polycarp was a faithful saint who was appointed by the apostles, then perhaps real Christians would follow his practices as he followed the Bible.

In the famous account of his martyrdom, he made some statements that even under the face of death suggested that he had a sense of humor:

9:1 But as Polycarp entered into the stadium, a voice came to him from heaven; ‘Be strong, Polycarp, and play the man.’ And no one saw the speaker, but those of our people who were present heard the voice. And at length, when he was brought up, there was a great tumult, for they heard that Polycarp had been apprehended.

9:2 When then he was brought before him, the proconsul enquired whether he were the man. And on his confessing that he was, he tried to persuade him to a denial saying, ‘Have respect to thine age,’ and other things in accordance therewith, as it is their wont to say; ‘Swear by the genius of Caesar; repent and say, Away with the atheists.’

Then Polycarp with solemn countenance looked upon the whole multitude of lawless heathen that were in the stadium, and waved his hand to them; and groaning and looking up to heaven he said, ‘Away with the atheists.’

9:3 But when the magistrate pressed him hard and said, ‘Swear the oath, and I will release You; revile the Christ,’ Polycarp said, ‘Fourscore and six years have I been His servant, and He hath done me no wrong. How then can I blaspheme my King who saved me?’

And even though many Greco-Romans observe the presumed date of his martyrdom as a feast, it is not likely that many of those who do so realize that he held many (though not all) views that sometimes conflict with those now held by the Greco-Roman churches. Actually, he was a heretic fighter and even tried to get Anicetus, Bishop of Rome to change.

Here is a summary of some of Polycarp’s beliefs and practices:

A Binitarian view, that acknowledged the Holy Spirit, was held by the apostolic and post-apostolic true Christian leaders, like Polycarp.
Hierarchical church governance was advocated by Polycarp.
The canon of the New Testament was known by Polycarp as he seemed to refer to all the books it in the famous Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians.
Christmas was not observed by Polycarp nor any professing Christ prior to the third century, or ever by those holding to early teachings.
Deification of Christians was taught by the early leaders of the Church, including Polycarp.
Easter per se was not observed by the apostolic church, and Polycarp fought against it.
The Fall Holy Days were observed by true early Christians, including Polycarp.
The Father was considered to be God by all early professing Christians, including Polycarp.
Polycarp taught against idols (and that would include icons).
Polycarp taught against the immortality of the soul.
Jesus was considered to be God by the true Christians, including Polycarp.
The Kingdom of God was taught by Polycarp.
Leavened Bread was removed from the homes of early Christians like Polycarp.
Lent was not observed by Polycarp.
Limbo was not taught by Polycarp.
Military Service was not allowed for true early Christians like Polycarp.
Millenarianism (a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth, often called the millennium) was taught by the early Christians who succeeded Polycarp.
Passover was kept on the 14th of Nisan Polycarp.
Purgatory was not taught by Polycarp.
The Resurrection of the dead was taught Polycarp.
The Sabbath was observed on Saturday by Polycarp.
The Ten Commandments were observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians, including Polycarp–and in the order that the Living Church of God claims they are in.

The Living Church of God seems to be the largest group in the world to have all of the same beliefs and practices as Polycarp (although we observe no particular day in his honor).

If Polycarp really was a saint that was placed in charge by Christ’s apostles, shouldn’t you have the same beliefs and practices?

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

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?
Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians Did Polycarp refer to all the books in the New Testament? This is Roberts and Donaldson’s translation, corrected by me in one place, where they made a small error in translating Latin by omitting one word. It is also annotated with scriptures to demonstrate that Polycarp did have the New Testament canon.
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? Does the Living Church of God or the Church of Rome more faithfully follow his teachings and practices?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups 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?
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?
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.
Hope of Salvation: How the Living Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the Living Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Living 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?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Living Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?

Gaddafi Vows to Fight to Death, and He May End Up That Way

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011


Muammar al-Gaddafi

COGwriter

Libya’s problems seem to be getting even more violent:

Gaddafi refuses to cede power; protesters win backing of defectors

Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, February 22, 2011; 9:31 PM

SANAA, YEMEN – Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi defiantly vowed Tuesday to “fight until the last drop of my blood” to maintain his 41-year hold on power, and he called on supporters to reclaim control after a week of rebellion that has left his government’s authority in tatters.

Facing a violent popular revolt backed by high-level defections, Gaddafi cast an ominous tone in a 70-minute address, referring to China’s forceful response in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown to suggest that his regime, too, would use as much force as necessary to stay in power.

“I will not leave the country,” Gaddafi declared in the rambling, televised speech, delivered from the remains of a presidential palace destroyed in a 1986 U.S. air raid. “I will die as a martyr at the end.” He showed no remorse for attacks launched by his loyalists against his citizens, vowing instead to “cleanse Libya house by house.”

With rebels apparently controlling much of the eastern half of the country, the violence engulfing Libya is already the worst in more than a month of unrest that has toppled regimes in Tunisia and Egypt as it spread across North Africa and the Middle East.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/22/AR2011022203488.html

In Libya, increasingly divergent views of Gaddafi

Washington Post - Leila Fadel – ‎16 minutes ago‎

TOBRUK, LIBYA – On Libya’s northeastern border, there are no visa procedures and no passport-control officers. There’s just a gaggle of armed young men – defected soldiers and police officers – waving people through…

“Our leader is a tyrant and he’ll kill us all in cold blood,” said Hassan el-Modeer, a British-educated engineer. “The world needs to intervene as soon as possible.”

Opposition supporters described this area to visitors as the “liberated eastern region of Libya,” and anti-government sentiment here runs high.

After watching the news on television late tonight, and seeing the first headline in the Washington Post, the following scripture came to mind:

24 Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written.

25 “And this is the inscription that was written:

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

26 This is the interpretation of each word. Mene: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 Tekel: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 Peres: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.”  29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.  (Daniel 5:24-29, NKJV)

Now, I am not saying that he will be gone by tomorrow, but the protesters seem to want his head now.  And they may end up getting it.  On the other hand, Moammar Gaddafi’s history of brutality may result in having him hold out for a while, but the alignment of world events and end time prophecy continues to be fulfilled.  The “handwriting is on the wall”.  The King of the South is getting close to rising up.

And while Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, in the past, has indicated that he wanted to lead Islam and Africa (see Qaddafi Hailed as “King of Kings”), I never really felt he would be the final King of the South. But in the current Middle East turmoil, the seeds seem to be being set for the rise of that leader.

Watch (cf. Mark 13:33-37).

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? What does the Bible say?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies 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?
The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam?
Africa: Its Biblical Past and Prophesied Future What does the Bible teach about Africa and its future? Did the early Church reach Africa? Will God call all the Africans?

AC Explains COGWA’s Use of ‘UCG’ Camps

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

COGwriter

The Abigail Cartwright (AC) site posted the following today:

Winter Family Weekend and Camps

We have been asked why the Church of God, a Worldwide Association has use of some of the facilities previously used by the United Church of God for the Winter Family Weekend and some of the camp facilities.

Before last year’s Winter Family Weekend began, the event coordinator, Mark Winner, notified the leadership of the United Church of God that he planned to leave that organization but agreed to stay until he had completed his responsibilities with the WFW. Mr. Winner resigned from UCG at the end of the WFW.

Following the 2010 WFW, a representative of the Galt House spoke with Mr. Winner and asked about plans for 2011. Mr. Winner told the person that he was no longer an employee of UCG and that someone else from that organization might be contacting them. But the representative preferred to offer the facility to Mr. Winner as an agent for the Church of God, a Worldwide Association.

According to the APEX Accepted Practices for the Convention Industry Council, all options and renewals must be clearly stipulated in the contract. If no renewal option or right of first refusal clause is included in an existing contract, the contract concludes when business has been completed on the final day of the event. After the conclusion of the contracted event, the property is free to negotiate and enter a new contract with any interested party that the property believes would be in its best interest.

Since there was no renewal option in the contract and since no UCG representative had contacted the Galt House expressing interest in using the facility the following year, the representative was free to offer and did choose to offer the facility to Mr. Winner and COGWA. Mr. Winner accepted the offer. This acceptance of the Galt House’s offer was in keeping with industry standards.

As for Pinecrest, in mid-January Greg Sargent notified the manager that he was no longer with UCG. The manager immediately wanted to know where the former national camp coordinator was and where other full-time staff were—most would be with COGWA. Although he understood that someone else from UCG would probably be contacting him about using the camp this summer, he made the decision to work with COGWA, the people he knew. Mr. Sargent told the manager that he did not want to interfere with the camp’s right to continue to do business with UCG. Just this week, the manager rethought his position and stated he felt he should be neutral and allow the two groups to decide who should use the camp. COGWA camp coordinator Ken Treybig discussed it with Mr. Sargent and promptly notified the manager, as well as UCG, that COGWA would not be using Pinecrest this year.

In the case of Winter Camp, Gary Black met with the Sky Lodge Camp manager at the end of camp to pay the bill. At this meeting he informed the manager he would be leaving UCG and that someone from UCG would likely be in contact with them about booking the camp. Three weeks later he called to ask if anyone from UCG had contacted the camp. On Jan. 25 the manager returned the call to say that someone from UCG had contacted them and was interested in using the camp. However, he said he and his staff had met to discuss their options and the staff consensus was they wanted to continue to deal with Mr. Black. He said that he believed our camp program would continue to be successful and that was important to them from a business perspective.

The managers of Pinecrest and Winter Camp made their own decisions without any coercion or pressure from COGWA. These camps were notified of the change in organizations and that we would not interfere if UCG wanted to use them again. However, their managers decided they wanted to do business with the men who are now part of COGWA. When the Pinecrest manager indicated he had rethought his position, we promptly released him from his prior statement.

Camp Carter and Camp Heritage were booked only after UCG notified Mr. Treybig that it would not be using these camps.

This information does not seem to be at COGWA’s official website.  Someday, perhaps whoever runs the AC website will make a public explanation of it and when he/she/they decided to become a COGWA site (and any prior relationship with UCG).

I suspect some issues related to Feast of Tabernacles’ sites might also arise between the groups.  If not this year, then likely in 2012.

This crisis has been a real struggle for those in or once part of UCG as parties on both sides seem to be offended by the actions of those on the other side. This split is also seems to be causing financial tensions for the two primary groups affected. It is also causing confusion.

If you are or were part of UCG and are confused about what to do, please pray, fast, and study the Bible about this.

Ask yourself what are the true priorities that the Bible indicates that the church most faithful to the words of Jesus would do and act appropriately.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?
Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from the two largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Concerns about Church of God, a Worldwide Association This seems to be the largest group that came out of the United Church of God. Here is some history and concerns about it.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: World Order About to Collapse, Mahdi Behind it

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

COGwriter

Iranian President Ahmadinejad suggests the world order is about to collapse:

President: Outdated world order on verge of collapse
IRNA - Feb 22, 2011

Tehran (IRNA) – President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday that the traditional and outdated world order is now on the verge of collapse.

President Ahmadinejad made the remark in a meeting with visiting Ecuadorian Parliament Speaker Fernando Cordero in Tehran on Tuesday.

World nations should not let those who took control of the world over the past 300 years impose their will under a new guise, he said. According to the presidential website, at the meeting, the Iranian president said the global hegemony has reached a dead-end.  http://www.irna.ir/ENNewsShow.aspx?NID=30260545&SRCH=1

But who might the Iranian President believe is behind this?  Well, though he seems to be warning about the West, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made some interesting comments about the situation in the Middle East a few weeks ago:

In his fiery style, Ahmadinejad, showed his messianic beliefs on Friday, saying the world was witnessing a revolution managed by Imam Mehdi, the 12 Shiite imam who disappeared as a five-year-old in the 10th century and who Shiites believe would return on the judgement day.

“The final move has begun. We are in the middle of a world revolution managed by this dear (12th Imam). A great awakening is unfolding. One can witness the hand of Imam in managing it,” said Ahmadinejad, wearing his trademark jacket. (Davari M. US, Israel will soon exit Middle East: Ahmadinejad. AFP – February 11, 2011. http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j4nERLgb7ILzV-di10ZB5i5GewYg?docId=CNG.680158c3fc877f3521627185c89de338.1f1)

So, somehow Iran believes that the Imam Mahdi is behind what is going on.  Well, I believe that the final King of the South is currently alive, is Islamic, and may be associated with one or more transnational Islamic groups.  If the King of the South is playing much of a behind the scenes role at this time will remain to be seen.

The President of Iran does not wish to promote peace, as that is not his agenda (see Iran’s Ahmadinejad Does Not Want Peace).

Perhaps it should be mentioned that the President of Iran believes that it is his special calling to create enough chaos in order to stimulate the arrival of an Islamic leader that he and others refer to as the Imam Mahdi. This leader is supposed to unite Islam and root out problems within its religion.

For various reasons, the Imam Mahdi sounds a lot like the final King of the South that the Bible foretells (Daniel 11:40-43). And he may be part of a deal that will affect the USA and its Anglo-allies (Psalm 83). And this will not be good.

Yet, the President of Iran continues to make statements to suggest he wants conflict and such a leader to appear.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What does Islam teach about the Imam Mahdi?
Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Is he the Imam Mahdi? What does the Bible say?

David Hulme’s COGaIC Vision-Less?

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

COGwriter

During the United Church of God (UCG) crisis, I have occasionally mentioned COGaIC’s David Hulme.  David Hulme was the first president of UCG.

Somewhere around February 1998, after a variety of governance and managerial bickering, the UCG Board decided to not continue David Hulme’s presidency.  And at that time, he and one board supporter (Peter Nathan) decided to leave the United Church of God and form COGaIC. And until the formation of COGWA, COGaIC was the largest group to have split from UCG.

Without going into all the details, I felt that from what I studied that the UCG Board was justified for removing David Hulme, but I also felt that the two doctrinal issues David Hulme then raised (better governance and being more proactive in proclaiming the gospel) suggested that COGaic may have less doctrinal errors than UCG (who continued to have doctrinal changes as are documented in the article Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God).

Now I am less sure about the gospel and prophetic doctrinal aspects. Especially since UCG seems to be doing more to publicly proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom now that David Hulme is gone than David Hulme’s current church does. My basic impression is that COGaIC believes that it reaches people a different way with a more intellectually modern message (mainly with its Vision magazine website) and hence that it feels that it adequately is proclaiming the gospel to the best of its ability.  And it terms of prophecy, COGaIC’s unwillingness to teach “church eras” (nor, does UCG officially) and explain current events in the light of end time Bible prophecy has been disappointing to me.

As I have not reported much about them lately, today, I checked out COGaIC’s Vision website.  The last issue of Vision apparently was from the Fall of 2010.  The latest post on Vision Blog (formerly actually called HulmeVision) was dated January 3, 2011.

The latest post on David Hulme’s Causes of Conflict blog is dated November 3, 2010.  The Causes of Conflict blog is mainly supposed to be about events in the Middle East.  Considering all that has been happening in the Middle East (like Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, and Libya), and the fact that David Hulme holds a doctorate in International Relations with an emphasis on the Middle East, this lack of coverage at the Causes of Conflict blog seems unusual.  One might ask, “Where’s the vision?”

When I went to the New/Press link at the Vision website today and noticed that its last update was May 9, 2009, it again struck me that Vision has less updates on many matters than it once did.  And while the website once had an Alexa ranking of about 100,000, which is quite good (COGwriter’s Alexa ranking is currently 148,605), Vision’s Alexa ranking dropped a lot and currently is 496,317.  This suggests that Vision is simply not having much of an impact on the web.  And the web seems to be the primary media of public proclamation that COGaIC is currently utilizing.  There is simply less going on with COGaIC’s Vision site.

If you are or were part of UCG/COGaIC/COGWA and are confused about what to do, please pray, fast, and study the Bible about this and the events of the past year, or even past 16 years. All should be “zealous” as Jesus said in Revelation 3:19 and not be satisfied with something less than a Philadelphia type of work and form of church governance.

Ask yourself what are the true priorities that the Bible indicates that the church most faithful to the words of Jesus would do and act appropriately.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Church of God, an International Community (COG aic) This is the group led by David Hulme. It seems to minimize parts of biblical prophecy and be restrictive on doctrinal statements.
Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it?
Differences between the Living Church of God and United Church of God This article provides quotes information from the two largest groups which had their origins in WCG as well as commentary.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.
Concerns about Church of God, a Worldwide Association Known as COGWA, this seems to be the largest group that came out of the United Church of God. Here is some history and concerns about it.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.