Archive for the ‘Church History’ Category

Another Marian holiday and Halos

Friday, May 18th, 2018


Mary did not have a halo

COGwriter

Mike Gendron had the following in one of his recent newsletters:

The Vatican announced the new Roman Catholic holiday will be observed every year on the Monday after Pentecost. This year, the occasion will fall on May 21. The pope considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion to Mary will encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety. The decree states: “Mary is the mother of the members of Christ, because with charity she cooperated in the rebirth of the faithful into the Church, while the latter says that the birth of the Head is also the birth of the body, These considerations derive from the divine motherhood of Mary and from her intimate union in the work of the Redeemer, which culminated at the hour of the cross.”

The Roman Catholic Church already has a number of feast days dedicated to Mary, including the Feast of Immaculate Conception, in observance that Mary was conceived without sin, and the Feast of Assumption, in observance that Mary did not die but ascended to Heaven like Jesus.

Mike’s Comments: Mary described herself as a servant of the Lord (Luke 1:38). Yet the Catholic Church has elevated her to an omniscient goddess with divine attributes. She is said to be all-knowing, all seeing, and all powerful. The Catholic Mary has become a counterfeit savior and mediator who is said to have been born sinless and lived a sinless life. For Catholics, she has become a co-redeemer and the source of all grace. She is called the all-holy one, clearly a title belonging only to God.

This blasphemy stands in sharp contrast to what Scripture actually says and does not say about Mary. When Jesus said, ‘I will build My Church,’ he never said Mary would be the mother of His Church. The one true Church has only one Head, one Shepherd and one Builder: the Lord Jesus Christ. The true Church is the body of Christ, the bride; the flock of Christ and the household of faith. Scripture never speaks of Mary having a leadership role or as a mother over the church.

There is not one Scripture that show the disciples exalting or venerating Mary following the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. In fact, the Bible says nothing about Mary’s life or her later years after Christ’s death. When she briefly appears with the disciples and the other believers on the day of Pentecost, she’s not an object of worship or even a leader in the early church. She is just one among many. There simply are no biblical examples of anyone ever praying to her or venerating her. If you contrast that with the overwhelming number of books on the life of Mary, the miracles of Mary and the apparitions of Mary, it is obvious that a pagan goddess has been created in the minds of popes. Jesus alone is the head of the Church and He alone is to be worshiped, venerated, adored and petitioned.

Pushing his version of ‘Mary’ is something Pope Francis has been doing for years. It is part of his ecumenical, interfaith, and European agendas (see also Pope Approves New Feast Day for ‘Mary’). Now, in 2018, he invented another ‘Marian’ holiday–this clearly should prove to everyone that this was NOT an original Christian practice (cf. Jude 3).

The following was in another of Mike Gendron’s earlier newsletters:

Another Mary Who Is Quite Contrary

In its refusal to submit to God’s Word as the supreme authority in matters of faith, the Roman Catholic Church worships another Jesus, teaches another gospel, and is deluded by another spirit (2 Cor.11:4). However, those soul-condemning errors are only the tip of the iceberg. Her deceptive practices and ungodly traditions also include the veneration of another Mary. The Mary of Catholicism is a twisted distortion of the Mary revealed in Scripture who also gave birth to James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and their sisters (Mark 6:3). Rome rejects the Scriptural proof of Mary’s other children by infallibly declaring she remained a virgin throughout her life. This counterfeit Mary is said to be another sinless mediator who is the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 494).The exaltation of the virgin Mary by Catholics is completely unfounded in Scripture. Outside of the Gospels, Mary’s name is mentioned only once and that is when she is praying with her other children and other believers in the upper room (Acts 1:14). Information about Mary in the Gospels is also very sparse. After the narratives related to the birth of Jesus, there are only three other references to Mary. The first is at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-5). Next is when she and the brothers of Jesus desired to talk to Jesus. Jesus responded that His mother and brothers are those who do the will of God (Mat. 12:46-50). One other reference is given when a woman in the crowd calls the mother of Jesus blessed, but Jesus does not affirm her. Instead He said blessed are those who hear the Word and observe it (Luke 11:27-28).

Roman pontiffs have created a Mary that shares the divine attributes of the Lord Jesus Christ. They say she was conceived without sin, lived a sinless life, was bodily assumed into glory, is the mediatrix of all grace, is our advocate, and now reigns as Queen of heaven alongside the King of kings. Pope Francis declared, “The Immaculate ‘Virgin’ becomes the sublime icon of Divine Mercy that conquered sin. To her I entrust the Church and all humanity, especially the city of Rome.”

The idolatry associated with the Catholic Mary is evidenced in many ways, but primarily in the ungodly practice of praying to her. Prayer is one of the deepest forms of worship because it acknowledges the divine power of the person to whom we pray. This is why we never see any God-fearing man praying to anyone other than God in the Bible. Yet thousands of Catholics pray to Mary, at the same time asking for her help. The only way Mary could hear and answer those prayers would be if she were omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Yet, she is only human like all of us.

Mike’s Comment: As Christians, we esteem Mary as blessed among women, but to ascribe divine powers and attributes to her is blasphemous and idolatrous. Satan will use anything to persuade people to take their eyes off Jesus. Just as he deceived Eve by his cunning, Catholics who idolize Mary will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Cor. 11:3). Our dear Catholic friends and loved ones need to be warned of how God hates idolatry. We must call them to turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thes. 1:9).

While Christians can call Mary blessed (Luke 1:48), the Bible never refers to Mary as one to be venerated or prayed to.

Now, I intentionally used a picture that is claimed to be of Mary with a halo to point out that this too is contrary to scripture. If Mary had been traveling around with a halo, that would have caused quite a commotion. But even though she did not, that is how she is sometimes portrayed.

Most do not realize that the halo idea mainly comes from the followers of the pagan sun-god Mithra.

Mithra Had a Halo

Years ago, Wikipedia’s article on Halos reported:

Round “solar discs” above the head are seen in depictions of many deities of Ancient Egypt, including Ra and Hathor, and symbols resembling later haloes, such as the sun cross, are found in many ancient religions, especially in connection with sun worship. Homer describes a more-than-natural light around the heads of heroes in battle, and in Aristophanes’ Birds the founder of Cloud-Cuckoo-Land is extravagantly said to outshine stars and sun. Depictions of Perseus in the act of slaying Medusa, with lines radiating from his head, appear on a white-ground toiletry box in the Louvre and on a slightly later red-figured vase in the style of Polygnotos, ca. 450-30 BC, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. On painted wares from south Italy radiant lines or simple haloes appear on a range of mythic figures: Lyssa, a personification of madness; a sphinx, a sea demon, Thetis, the sea-nymph who was mother to Achilles, The Colossus of Rhodes, was a statue of the sun-god Helios and had his usual radiate crown (copied by the Statue of Liberty). Hellenistic rulers are often shown wearing radiate crowns that seem clearly to imitate this effect. A more prosaic influence that has been cited by some historians is the Greek practice of placing circular metal discs above the head of statues to protect them from birds and their droppings, thus anticipating the “perspectival” halo by over a millennium. In Asian art The halo and the aureole have been widely used in Indian art, particularly in Buddhist iconography where it has appeared since at least the 1st century AD; the Kushan Bimaran casket in the British Museum is variously dated between 30BC and 60AD.

The above may be too politically incorrect now as it is no longer found on Wikipedia. But the idea of halos coming from Egypt has long been known (Massey. Ancient Egypt Light Of The World 2 Vol Set. Routledge, 2013, p. 219). While other pagan systems like the Egyptians had an illuminating “halo,” the one that came into the main Western religions apparently came from Mithraism as a sign of being illuminated.

Mithraism was the religion of the Roman Emperor Constantine who attempted to merge it with Christianity in the fourth century. The Marian cult was not something original, even to the Church of Rome:

Devotion to Our Blessed Lady in its ultimate analysis must be regarded as a practical application of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Seeing that this doctrine is not contained, at least explicitly in the earlier forms of the Apostles’ Creed, there is perhaps no ground for surprise if we do not meet with any clear traces of the cultus of the Blessed Virgin in the first Christian centuries. The earliest unmistakable examples of the “worship” — we use the word of course in the relative sense — of the saints is connected with the veneration paid to the martyrs who gave their lives for the Faith…Further, it is quite likely that the mention of the Blessed Virgin in the intercessions of the diptychs of the liturgy goes back to the days before the Council of Nicaea, but we have no definite evidence upon the point, and the same must be said of any form of direct invocation, even for purposes of private devotion (Herbert Thurston. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV. Published 1912. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Antidicomarianites
An Eastern sect which…was so designated as being the “opponents of Mary”… This doctrine…was afterwards modified so as to teach that, although Our Lord was born of Mary through the Holy Ghost, afterwards Joseph and Mary lived in wedlock and had many other children. The sect denied the formula “ever-Virgin Mary” used in the Greek and Roman Liturgies. The earliest reference to this sect appears in Tertullian, and the doctrines taught by them are expressly mentioned by Origen (Homilia in Lucam, III, 940). Certain Arians, Eudocius and Eunomius, were great supporters of the teaching. (Shipman AJ. Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter. Antidicomarianites. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Thus, Catholic scholars admit prior to the 4th century (which is when the Council of Nicea was) that there was not much related to Marian veneration, but they suspect that it may have existed. Thus, it was NOT documented as a part of the original faith nor among the earliest faithful traditions. This is a MAJOR CHANGE, then, as Marian adoration is a big deal within the faith that now calls itself “Catholic.”

In the late fourth century, the Catholic Bishop Epiphanius warned that some were worshipping Mary and were causing ”excess awe of the saint” (Epiphanius. Section VII, pp. 618-629)–he thus seemed to clearly condemn what is now referred to by Catholics as veneration of Mary.

False apparitions and compromise with paganism brought many to have a non-biblical view of Mary.

And this has continued.

Notice what a ‘messenger’ allegedly stated to a young girl named Barbara Reiss in Marienfried/Pfaffenhofen, Germany on May 26, 1946:

Have absolute faith in my Immaculate Heart…Some have received my imprint, and there will be many more (Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, p. 216).

Yes, I am the powerful Mediatrix of Grace. As the world can find mercy only through the sacrifice of the Son with the Father, so can you only find favor with the Son through my intercession. Christ is unknown because I am not known…it will be I who draw the power of God and the love of the Father {that} will renew the fullness of Christ in you…The devil has power over those that do not trust in My heart. (Culligan E. The Last World War and the End of Time. The book was blessed by Pope Paul VI, 1966. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 162)

So, the messenger is indicating that her “Son” will not be known until she is known.

This seems consistent with an earlier message given through a nun:

Bl. Mary of Agreda (17th century): It was revealed to me that through intercession of the Mother of God all heresies will disappear. The victory over heresies has been reserved by Christ for His Blessed Mother. In the latter days, the Lord will in a special manner spread the renown of His Mother…Mary will extend the reign of Christ over the heathens and the Mohammedans. (Dupont, p. 33)

Notice what another messenger allegedly stated in Pfaffenhofen, Germany on June 25, 1946:

I am the great Mediatrix of Grace. The Father wants the world to recognize His handmaid…My sign is about to appear. God wills it…I cannot reveal my power to the world as yet…Then I will be able to reveal myself…Chose a sign for yourself so that the Trinity may soon be adored by all! Chose a sign for yourself so that the Trinity may soon be adored by all! Pray and sacrifice through me!…I will impose crosses on my children that will be as heavy and as deep as the sea because I love them in my sacrificed Son. I pray, be prepared to bear the cross in order that the Trinity may be honored (Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, pp. 217-218).

Real Christians would not pray and sacrifice through Mary.

In addition to the fact that these apparitions indicate that they need to become more known (hence may be a sign or wonder warned against in the end times cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9), notice the claims about being a “Mediatrix” (the feminine form of the term mediator). But the Bible is clear that there is only one mediator and that this can only be Jesus:

5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5, NKJV).

5 For there is one God, one also mediator of God and men, man Christ JESUS (1 Timothy 2:5, RNT).

Thus any others who claim to be a mediator clearly contradict the Bible (from both the Catholic and Protestant translations) and CANNOT BE OF GOD.

Yet, Pope Leo XIII (as well as other Bishops of Rome) called Mary the Mediatrix and the “co-Redemptress” (another title not hers as only Jesus is our redeemer Titus 2:14; Isaiah 59:20) as well:

The recourse we have to Mary in prayer follows upon the office she continuously fills by the side of the throne of God as Mediatrix of Divine grace; being by worthiness and by merit most acceptable to Him, and, therefore, surpassing in power all the angels and saints in Heaven. Now, this merciful office of hers, perhaps, appears in no other form of prayer so manifestly as it does in the Rosary. For in the Rosary all the part that Mary took as our co-Redemptress comes to us, as it were, set forth, and in such wise as though the facts were even then taking place; and this with much profit to our piety, whether in the contemplation of the succeeding sacred mysteries, or in the prayers which we speak and repeat with the lips (Pope Leo XIII. Iucunda Semper Expectatione On the Rosary. September 8, 1894).

The Catholic Saint Bridget claimed that a “Marian” messenger said the following in the 14th century:

…my Son and I never sinned…(Revelations of St. Bridget. TAN Books, 1984, p. 14)

But the Bible clearly teaches, that other than Jesus:

15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

22 Even the justice of God, by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe in him: for there is no distinction:

23 For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God.

24 Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:22-24, Douay-Rheims)

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8, Douay-Rheims)

Thus, Mary of the Bible would never have claimed that she never sinned.

So, if much about Mary is not true, why be concerned about it?

Well, the current Pope Francis and various Catholic prophecies point to more Marianism.

And the Bible warns of a ‘virgin” that uses enchantments who is also called the Lady of the Kingdoms:

1 Come down, sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne for the daughter of the Chaldeans, for thou shalt no more be called delicate and tender …4 Our redeemer, the Lord of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel. 5 Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called the lady of kingdoms. 6 I was angry with my people, I have polluted my inheritance, and have given them into thy bend: thou hast shown no mercy to them: upon the ancient thou hast laid thy yoke exceeding heavy.

7 And thou hast said: I shall be a lady forever: thou hast not laid these things to thy heart, neither hast thou remembered thy latter end.

8 And now hear these things, thou that art delicate, and dwellest confidently, that sayest in thy heart: I am, and there is none else besides me: I shall not sit as a widow, and I shall not know barrenness.

9 These two things shall come upon thee suddenly in one day, barrenness and widowhood. All things are come upon thee, because of the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great hardness of thy enchanters. 10 And thou best trusted in thy wickedness, and hast said: There is none that seeth me. Thy wisdom, and thy knowledge, this hath deceived thee. And thou best said in thy heart: I am, and besides me there is no other. 11 Evil shall come upon thee, and then shalt not know the rising thereof: and calamity shall fall violently upon thee, which thou canst not keep off: misery shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. 12 Stand now with thy enchanters, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, in which thou hast laboured from thy youth, if so be it may profit thee any thing, or if thou mayst become stronger. 13 Thou hast failed in the multitude or thy counsels: let now the astrologers stand and save thee, they that gazed at the stars, and counted the months, that from them they might tell the things that shall come to thee. (Isaiah 47:1, 4-7, 11-13, DRB)

Interestingly, the second of the seven wonders of the ancient world has been called, “Babylon the Great, the Lady of the Kingdoms, the glory of the whole earth“ (and the fourth wonder was called the temple of Diana of the Ephesians). The Bible also seems to connect the Lady’s haughty comments in verses 7 & 8 with those of the harlot of Revelation 17:1, 18; 18:7-8, 11 and the city in Zephaniah 2:15.

Some may be surprised to see this, but this immoral “Lady” also seems to have the title of “queen” and “harlot”:

7 You thought, ‘I shall be a queen forever.’ 8 I am the only one who matters. I shall never be widowed, never know bereavement.’ 9 Yet both these things will befall you, suddenly, in one day. Bereavement and widowhood will suddenly befall you (Isaiah 47:7, 8b, 9 NJB)

4 Because of the multitude of harlotries of the seductive harlot, The mistress of sorceries, Who sells nations through her harlotries, And families through her sorceries. (Nahum 3:4, NKJV)

5 Look, I am against you!- declares Yahweh Sabaoth- I shall lift your skirts as high as your face and show your nakedness to the nations, your shame to the kingdoms. (Nahum 3:5, NJB)

3 All the nations have drunk deep of the wine of her prostitution; every king on the earth has prostituted himself with her, and every merchant grown rich through her debauchery. (Revelation 18:3, NJB)

17:1 Come, I will shew thee the condemnation of the great harlot, who sitteth upon many waters 18:7 As much as she hath glorified herself, and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her; because she saith in her heart: I sit a queen, and am no widow; and sorrow I shall not see. 8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be burnt with the fire; because God is strong, who shall judge her. (Revelation 17:1b, 18:7-8, DRB)

So, understand that what will happen to the queen/Lady of the Kingdoms as well as to Babylon is warned against in Revelation. Yet, various Catholics have claimed that Mary is the “Queen of heaven” and “Lady of the kingdoms.”

However, neither the Bible nor the apostles referred to Mary as any type of queen, nor as the “Lady of the kingdoms.” Â Sacred scripture clearly warns against doing anything, such as making cakes, to honor one known as “the queen of heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18-19; 44:17-25) and certainly condemns one called the “Lady of the kingdoms.” Some information is also in a video sermon Why Learn About Fatima?

The late Herbert Armstrong wrote the following related to Isaiah 47:

But WHO is the Power that will lay this YOKE of slavery upon, Britain and America? We begin to find this answer in the 47th chapter of Isaiah. Notice!

“Come down, and sit in the dust, 0 virgin daughter of Babylon,” is the salutation of this chapter, verse 1. It is addressed, not to the ancient Babylon of King Nebuchadnezzar. It is addressed to a descendant, or successor, of the ancient Chaldean Empire. It is addressed to a WOMAN. And in prophetic symbol the term “woman” represents a CHURCH (Eph. 5:23, 27, 32; II Cor. ll: 1-2; Rev. 19:6-9; Rev. 12:13-17, etc.). This “lady of Kingdoms” of Isaiah 47 is the same CHURCH pictured in Revelation 17 and 18. But let’s understand as we go along “… there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.” (Verse 1).

This “lady” is no longer a virgin! She is a prostitute. She is to LOSE her throne over political kingdoms. Notice her moral and spiritual fall: “Thy nakedness shall be uncovered , yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance … ” (verse 3 ).

God Almighty Himself is going to take vengeance on her. This can result only from spirirual harlotry, which is sin.

Continue: “Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shall no more be called The Lady of Kingdoms.” (Verse 5 ) . The Moffatt translation is more plain: “Sit thou silent in the dark.” Light represents TRUTH. Darkness represents error and SIN. She is a fallen woman. She has reigned over KINGDOMS of NATIONS. But, from the time of the conclusion of this prophecy, she shall no longer be called “The Lady of Kingdoms”- that is, the CHURCH that had a kingdom over the political civil kingdoms…

God will give the House of Israel of today-Britain and America-into the hand of this “Lady of Kingdoms.” She, through the armies and secret police of the nations she shall sit upon and rule, will very heavily lay HER YOKE of slavery, torture, and martyrdom on our peoples! (Armstrong HW. BRITAIN’S DOOM Prophesied for Common Market Seeking Membership! Plain Truth, July 1962; he also said something similar in his Sermon dated November 27, 1982)

Here are some items from the late Radio/Worldwide Church of God evangelist Raymond McNair:

Fatima Portugal

THE Pope’s pilgrimage to Portugal is the biggest event ever to occur in this country!” an elated Portuguese exclaimed to me. This momentous occasion is the 50th anniversary of the first Fatima vision. It was on May 13, 1917 that three poor, uneducated Portuguese peasant children believed the Virgin Mary appeared to them, It is also the 25th anniversary of Pope Pius XII’s consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary! …

The Pope had come to Fatima to lead all Catholics worldwide in prayer for peace – peace within the Church, and peace in the whole world. …

“The first intention is for the Church …. We want to pray, as we have said, for its intemal peace.” Then the Pope gave a solemn warning to the ecclesiastical princes of the Catholic Church who do not agree with the official teachings of the Church.” What terrible damage could be provoked by arbitrary interpretations, not authorized by the teaching of the Church, disrupting its traditional and constitutional structure … ” …

The Pontiff then pointed to that great part of humanity which lives in hunger and in dire need.” Therefore, we say, the world i s in DANGER. For this reason WE HAVE COME TO THE FEET OF THE QUEEN OF PEACE to ask her for the gift, which only God can give, of peace.”

In the German Suddeutsche Zeitung there was an article in which it was revealed that Pope Paul VI had received a message in Fatima through the only remaining shepherd girl (who is now a nun). They were seen quite some time together and it appeared as if she had something to say to him. When asked in Rome, after his return, if his visit to Fatima was a success, Pope Paul said: ” I went to Fatima to pray for peace to the Virgin Mary and I received the answer how to, achieve this peace.”

There are many rumors that he did receive a message, but he has not wanted to divulge it.

Since the pilgrimage to Fatima, the Pope has spoken out on Jerusalem- demanding it become an international city. What most do not know is that there is evidence the Vatican has plans to move from Rome to Jerusalem … This event will stir the world! It will be the Pope ‘s final effort as the world’s peacemaker! (McNair R. The Real Meaning Behind POPE PAUL’S PILGRIMAGE TO PORTUGAL. Plain Truth, June 1967, pp. 3, 47)

Jerusalem will become increasingly important to Catholics in the near future. The Papacy will, as previously reported in The PLAIN TRUTH, be moved from Rome to Jerusalem … Bible prophecy is very explicit on this point. Furthermore, according to a recent report in a leading German newspaper, the Third Fatima Message is reported (by inside, informed Vatican sources) to reveal that there will be a terrible World War III, during which (according to this Fatima Vision) both Rome and the Vatican will be destroyed! Could this possibly explain why the Vatican will be moved to Jerusalem? (McNair R. POPE MEETS PATRIARCH. Plain Truth, October 1967)

For even more information on Isaiah 47 as well as Fatima and other apparitions, please check out the book Fatima Shock!

The Bible warns against end time Babylon and says that God’s people should not be part of it:

1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day — death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. (Revelation 18:1-8)

Despite the biblical warnings about this, Pope Francis wants to use ‘Mary’ as a springboard for the type of ecumenical unity that the Bible condemns. Notice, for one example, how Pope Francis specifically appealed to Mary to unite prior to giving his ‘Angelus prayer’:

And we entrust this, our prayer, to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church so that She, like a good Mother, may unite us. (Angelus Address: On the Thirst for Unity. January 25, 2015 http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/angelus-address-on-the-thirst-for-unity)

The ‘Angelus prayer’ starts out with the words, “Hail Mary” and the pontiff’s goal is a Babylonian unity. The Bible warns against that (Zechariah 2:6-9) and shows that true unity does not come through ‘Mary’ but happens AFTER the return of Jesus Christ (Zechariah 2:10-11; see also Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox?).

False Marian apparitions and telling people to turn towards Mary are parts of Satan’s Plan (see also Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?).

Much of what many believe about Mary is contrary to the truth about Jesus’ mother.

God made no holidays for Mary.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy.
The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future? A video of related interest is titled: The ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ and Prophecy.
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
Mystery of Civilization Why is civilization like it is? How will it end? What will replace it?Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Mystery of Civilization and How it Will End.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
Assumption of Mary Did Mary die? Was she taken to heaven on August 15th? What is known? What does the Bible show?
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians?
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! provides concerned Christians with enough Catholic-documented facts to effectively counter every false Marian argument. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.

Sermon: Justin Martyr, Saint or Apostate?

Saturday, May 12th, 2018


Artist’s Imagination on Justin Martyr’s Appearance

COGwriter

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

1:17:28

Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants consider the 2nd century Justin, who was martyred, to be a saint and an important early Christian writer. Yet, Justin wrote against some doctrines they hold to as well as some doctrines they do not hold to. What did Justin teach on issues such as military service, the immortality of the soul, going to heaven upon death, idols, the millennium, the eighth day, the illumination, Christians who kept the Sabbath, etc.? Should Christians consider him to have been a saint or an apostate? Dr. Thiel addresses these matters, quotes papers by Justin, and also quotes numerous scriptures.

Here is a link to the sermon: Justin Martyr: Saint or Apostate?

Some items of related interest may include:

Justin Martyr: Saint, Heretic, or Apostate? Justin is considered one of the first Christian theologians and scholars. But did he support a Gnostic version of Christianity? Do you know what he taught about souls going to heaven upon death? This article shows from his own writings, what Justin really taught. Here is a link to a related sermon: Justin Martyr: Saint or Apostate?
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited 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.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? Two related sermons are available Millennial Utopia and The Millennium.
Was Jesus Born in the Grotto of the Nativity? Was Jesus born in a below ground cave? Was Jesus born below the “Church of the Nativity”? Were the wise men there?
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did the early Church use icons? What was the position of Christians about such things? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
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’ and Origin of the Cross.
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.
Sunday and Christianity Was Sunday observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians? Who clearly endorsed Sunday? What relevance is the first or the “eighth” day? A related sermon is also available: Sunday: First and Eighth Day?
Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? What does John 3:16, and other writings, tell us? Did a doctrine kept adopted from paganism? Here is a YouTube video titled Are humans immortal?
Did Early Christians Teach They Were Going to Heaven? What do the Bible and scholars teach? What about ‘near-death experiences’? Here is a link to a related sermon: Heaven and Christianity.
What Happens After Death? Is death like sleep, or is that a cultic idea? Can you speak to the dead? Here is a link to a related sermon: What really happens after death?
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?
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.
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 channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
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.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube sermonette videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
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.

Pentecost is May 20, 2018

Friday, May 4th, 2018


Artist Depiction of Pentecost (Cadetgray)

COGwriter

The Day of Pentecost for 2018 is approaching, and is May 20th. Unlike other biblical holy days, some version of the Day of Pentecost is observed by a lot of mainstream churches, both Catholic and Protestant. And of course, since Pentecost is a biblical holy day, it is observed by Church of God groups like the Continuing Church of God. Pentecost is the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in the shape of fire (Acts 2:3-4).

Most groups that profess Christ consider that Pentecost marked the formal beginning of the New Testament church.

The term Pentecost is a Greek term meaning 50th. That term is derived from the following Hebrew description of calculating the date:

And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath (Leviticus 23:15-16).

Early Christians believed that they were supposed to observe Pentecost. And they probably understood this from the Bible and the practices of the early apostles.

For example, the Apostle Paul continued to keep Pentecost decades after the Pentecost mentioned in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. Notice what he wrote, about 56 A.D.:

For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits. But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost (1 Corinthians 16:8).

This shows that Paul knew when Pentecost was, that he felt that the Corinthians must know when Pentecost was, and that the Ephesians would have known when Pentecost was. Thus, it apparently was being observed by Paul and the Gentiles in Ephesus and Corinth.

In another year, the Apostle Paul also wished to be in Jerusalem for Pentecost, around 60 A.D.:

For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 20:16).

Thus, Christians in Jerusalem were still observing Pentecost and Paul was observing it too. Otherwise, there would be no obvious reason why Paul wanted to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.

This was clearly understood by second century writers such as Irenaeus who wrote (circa 180):

Paul taught with simplicity what he knew, not only to those who were [employed] with him, but to those that heard him, he does himself make manifest. For when the bishops and presbyters who came from Ephesus and the other cities adjoining had assembled in Miletus, since he was himself hastening to Jerusalem to observe Pentecost (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book III, Chapter 14, Verse 2). Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

An old document that was probably altered in the 4th century, titled The Life of Polycarp, specifically mentions the Passover, the Days of Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost. And it records that the Apostle Paul said that they should be kept:

In the days of unleavened bread Paul, coming down from Galatia, arrived in Asia, considering the repose among the faithful in Smyrna to be a great refreshment in Christ Jesus after his severe toil, and intending afterwards to depart to Jerusalem. So in Smyrna he went to visit Strataeas, who had been his hearer in Pamphylia, being a son of Eunice the daughter of Lois. These are they of whom he makes mention when writing to Timothy, saying; Of the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois and in thy mother Eunice; whence we find that Strataeas was a brother of Timothy. Paul then, entering his house and gathering together the faithful there, speaks to them concerning the Passover and the Pentecost, reminding them of the New Covenant of the offering of bread and the cup; how that they ought most assuredly to celebrate it during the days of unleavened bread, but to hold fast the new mystery of the Passion and Resurrection. For here the Apostle plainly teaches that we ought neither to keep it outside the season of unleavened bread, as the heretics do, especially the Phrygians…but named the days of unleavened bread, the Passover, and the Pentecost, thus ratifying the Gospel (Pionius. Life of Polycarp, Chapter 2. Translated by J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 3.2, 1889, pp.488-506).

Notice that Paul is shown to have taught Gentiles to keep the biblical Holy Days, including Pentecost. Polycarp, himself, was a faithful early Christian leader who was apparently ordained by the Apostle John and was believed to be a Gentile.

Since the Apostle Paul and other faithful Christians kept Pentecost, shouldn’t you?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2? Many “Christians” somewhat observe Pentecost. Do they know what it means? It is also called the Feast of Harvest, the Feast of Weeks, and the day of firstfruits. What about “speaking in tongues” and led by the Holy Spirit? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Pentecostés: ¿Es más que Hechos 2? plus one by Herbert Armstrong HWA sobre Pentecostés). Here is a YouTube sermon titled Pentecost: Feast of Firstfruits.
Pentecost Quiz This is a Pentecost quiz based upon the Old and New Testaments in the Bible.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。. 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?
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 c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would 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. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
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?

More Americans believe in UFOs than in Jesus

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

COGwriter

Many Protestants have historically believed that the USA is a “Christian” nation. And while many do claim to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, notice a report that even more seem to believe in aliens:

According to a National Geographic survey, 77 percent of all Americans “believe there are signs that aliens have visited Earth”, and according to a recent Harris poll only 68 percent of all Americans believe that Jesus is God or the Son of God.
That means that the number of Americans that believe that UFOs have visited us is now greater than the number of Americans that believe what the Bible has to say about Jesus Christ. With each passing year, the frequency of UFO sightings seems to keep increasing, as does the number of movies, television shows and video games featuring aliens and extraterrestrial life. It is almost as if the population of the planet is being primed for something. http://www.altheadlines.com/more-americans-believe-aliens-have-visited-earth-than-believe-that-jes-13253491/

Of course, most Americans do not truly know the Jesus of the Bible, they know of/about Him.

Now, if aliens mean spirit-beings like demons, then I too believe that they exist because the Bible teaches that (e.g. James 2:19). But I do not believe that was the intent of the question in the survey by National Geographic.

Although the New Testament is clear that Jesus was the Son of God (e.g. Mark 1:1), many no longer profess to believe the New Testament.

Secular Writers Taught That Jesus Existed

Yet, there is proof outside of scripture that Jesus existed.

Here is a quote from Suetonius. He discusses that around 49 A.D., the Roman Emperor Claudius banished all Jews from the city of Rome (this seems to be an incident also mentioned in Acts 18:2):

“He expelled the Jews from Rome, on account of the riots in which they were constantly indulging, at the instigation of Chrestus” (The Lives of the Caesars, Bk. V, 25).

Chrestus is believed to be a slang and derogatory reference to Christ. Suetonius was not a Christian and referred to them as holding to “a novel and mischevious superstition” (Life of Nero, 16.2), as cited in Bock DL. Studying the Historical Jesus: A Guide to Sources and Methods. Baker Academic, 2002, p. 48.

Here are two quotes from the Jewish historian Josephus (first century):

Antiquities 18.3.3 Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ, and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct at this day.

Antiquities 20.9.1 But the younger Ananus who, as we said, received the high priesthood, was of a bold disposition and exceptionally daring; he followed the party of the Sadducees, who are severe in judgment above all the Jews, as we have already shown. As therefore Ananus was of such a disposition, he thought he had now a good opportunity, as Festus was now dead, and Albinus was still on the road; so he assembled a council of judges, and brought before it the brother of Jesus the so-called Christ, whose name was James, together with some others, and having accused them as law-breakers, he delivered them over to be stoned.

Notice a translation of a Latin quote from the first, and early second century Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus:

Annal. 15, 44…Christians…Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius. But the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time, broke out again, not only through Judea where the mischief originated..(Annals of Tacitus. As cited in Giles JA. Heathen records to the Jewish scripture history:containing all the extracts from the Greek and Latin writers, in which the Jews and Christians. James Cornish, 1856. Original from Harvard University, Digitized, Oct 17, 2008, p. 105)

So, secular sources from those that did not claim to believe in Jesus reported about Him.

Let me also add that the James’ Ossuary is archaeological evidence that Jesus existed.


James Ossuary (English Wikipedia)

The first century inscription, translated into English, states “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” For additional information, here is a link to the sermon: James’ Ossuary, Fake News, and Jesus’ Birth.

The Second Century Writers Taught That Jesus is God

Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, and also God according to various Christian and professing Christian writers of the second century. And they also taught that He always had existed.

In “the oldest complete Christian sermon that has survived” (Holmes M.W. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 2nd ed. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2004, p. 102)–outside those in the Bible–sometimes erroneously referred to as Second Letter of Clement, there seems to be support for binitarianism. It was given perhaps within a year or so of John’s death (thus may be towards the end of the time of Ephesus), and begins with the following:

Brothers, we ought so to think of Jesus Christ, as of God, as “Judge of the living and the dead” (An Ancient Christian Sermon (2 Clement), 1:1. In Holmes M.W. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 2nd ed. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2004, p. 107)

Ignatius, who was known by Polycarp (and praised in this same Polycarp epistle, which is known as Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians), wrote around 108-120 A.D.:

For our God, Jesus Christ, was conceived by Mary in accord with God’s plan: of the seed of David, it is true, but also of the Holy Spirit. He was born and baptized so that by His submission He might purify the water (Ignatius of Antioch, Letters to the Ephesians 18,2–note this is translated the same by at least three separate translations as done by Dr. Lightfoot, J.H. Srawley, and Roberts & Donaldson).

Polycarp of Smyrna, in the mid-second century, wrote:

But may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Son of God, and our everlasting High Priest, build you up in faith and truth, and in all meekness, gentleness, patience, long-suffering, forbearance, and purity; and may He bestow on you a lot and portion among His saints, and on us with you, and on all that are under heaven, who shall believe in our Lord and God Jesus Christ, and in His Father, who “raised Him from the dead (Polycarp. Letter to the Philippians. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Chapter 12 modified by R. Thiel to correct omission in translation).

For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is antichrist (Polycarp, Chapter VII. Letter to the Philippians. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885).

Him who died for us, and for our sakes was raised again by God from the dead (Polycarp, Chapter IX. Letter to the Philippians. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885).

Melito of Sardis wrote:

For the deeds done by Christ after His baptism, and especially His miracles, gave indication and assurance to the world of the Deity hidden in His flesh. For, being at once both God and perfect man likewise…He concealed the signs of His Deity, although He was the true God existing before all ages (Melito. On the Nature of Christ. From Roberts and Donaldson).

These are the apparent positions of all groups that I am aware of that profess any form of Christianity, except those that are unitarian or affiliated with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Thus, early Christians believed and taught that Jesus is God. Regarding Melito’s statement about the Deity hidden in Christ’s flesh after baptism, recall that Jesus taught that it was the Father in Him that did the works, and hence it was not Jesus’ deity that did them (John 14:10).

Even heretics in the second century, like Irenaeus, realized that Jesus was God. Notice excerpts from two of Irenaeus‘ writings:

…there is none other called God by the Scriptures except the Father of all, and the Son, and those who possess the adoption (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book IV, Preface, Verse 4. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Thus then the Word of God in all things hath the pre-eminence; for that He is true man and Wonderful Counselor and Mighty God. Jesus the Anointed of God, showing Himself to be the One who was proclaimed beforehand by the prophets (Irenaeus, St., Bishop of Lyon. Translated from the Armenian by Armitage Robinson. The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching. Wells, Somerset, Oct. 1879. As published in SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN CO, 1920).

The fact is that many in the second century taught that Jesus was God.

It is unfortunate that less and less Americans in the 21st century also believe that. Of course, that could partially explain the great moral decline in the USA.

Despite the fact that many do not wish to believe God (or truly believe in Him), God has a plan to involve humanity(Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis)–a humanity that has been deceived by Satan and his supporters (Revelation 12:9).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Jesus is God, But Became Flesh Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what? Here is information in the Spanish language¿Es Jesucristo Dios?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
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?
British and American Moral Decay Public nudity is becoming more prevalent in the Anglo-Saxon lands. What are some of the consequences?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
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? 2023 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? 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 comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Will God call everyone? Will everyone have an opportunity for salvation? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account? Related sermon videos include Universal Offer of Salvation I: God is love and Universal Offer of Salvation II: The Age to Come and the ‘Little Flock’ and Universal Offer of Salvation III: All Are to Know Jesus, But When? and Universal Offer of Salvation IV: Will the Guilty be Pardoned? and Universal Offer of Salvation V: All Israel Will be Saved?
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?

Sermon: CCOG Q&A: Prayers for the Dead, 18 truths, Birthdays, Insurance, & More

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

PRAYER Book Cover - Front Final

COGwriter

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

1:12:26

CCOG Q&A: Prayers for the Dead, 18 truths, Birthdays, Insurance, & More

In this sermon, Dr. Thiel answers questions that have been submitted to the Church of God on many topics, such as: Should Christians pray for or to the dead? What scriptures are involved related to this? What were the 18 truths that Herbert W. Armstrong claimed Jesus had him restore to the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God? Does the Bible have any guidance about buying insurance? What about Canaan being cursed? Did Jews or early Christians celebrate birthdays? Are Christmas trees appropriate? Is male circumcision in any way helpful? Is it required for Christian salvation? Was the transfiguration with Jesus, Moses, and Elijah a vision?

Here is a link to the sermon: CCOG Q&A: Prayers for the Dead, 18 truths, Birthdays, Insurance, & More.

Some items of related interest may include:

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)?
Did Early Christians Pray for the Dead? What about prayers for the dead? Is this a Christian practice? Dead the ancient Greeks and Romans do this? This is also discussed in the sermon: CCOG Q&A: Prayers for the Dead, 18 truths, Birthdays, Insurance, & More.
18 Truths Restored to the Churches of God: Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era Herbert W. Armstrong wrote that he felt he had restored at least 18 lost truths to the Church, here is Herbert W. Armstrong’s list given 12/17/83. This articles also has links to show that these truths were believed by professors of Christ in earlier times, hence they were not some invention of Herbert Armstrong.Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Lista de Herbert W. Armstrong de las 18 verdades restauradas. As far as the mission goes, here is a link to a sermon: Mission of the Remnant of the Philadelphia Church Era. Here are links to a related two-part sermon: The 18 Restored Truths: 1-8 and The 18 Restored Truths: 9-18.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations? A related sermon video is available and is titled: Birthdays, Christians, and December 25th.
Health Benefits of Circumcision Various studies show health benefits for male circumcision. Have Christians observed circumcision throughout history?
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited 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.
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 channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
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.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube sermonette videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
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.

Did early Christians hold to Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Protestant, or Church of God doctrines?

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

CHOG Book Cover 2015

COGwriter

Last decade, Christianity Today was promoting an article that stated:

We are now in a period when it is not enough to know only about the Bible. The apologetics of the past is no longer adequate. Today’s questions involve not only how the Bible came to be, but even if there was originally such a thing as orthodoxy. It is a crucial question. Christians need to know a lot more about the second century. Roots matter, especially in the founding of a movement (Bock. D. Roots Matter: The Gnostic Hunger For Secret Knowledge. Christianity Today. Issue 96, Fall 2007, Vol. XXVII, No. 4, Page 42).

And while that is true, sadly Protestant scholars realize that the doctrines and practices of what now passes for mainstream “Christianity” simply have no historical evidence of existing in the second century.

Notice the following admissions from Protestant scholar HOJ Brown:

It is impossible to document what we now call orthodoxy in the first two centuries of Christianity (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, p. 5).

Simply put, many of the doctrines that now are considered to be heresy were held by the early church and many doctrines now considered to be mainstream were condemned as heresy by those associated with the early church.

Here is a listing of many such doctrines, that is also included in the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God:

Baptism of Christians was by immersion and did not include infants.

The complete Bible with the proper Old Testament and New Testament was relied on by the true Church in Asia Minor.

A Binitarian or Semi-Arian view, that acknowledged the Holy Spirit, was held by the apostolic and post-apostolic true Christian leaders.

Birthdays were not celebrated by early Christians.

Born-Again meant being born at the resurrection, not at the time of conversion, which is when a spiritual begettal occurs.

Celibacy for Bishops/Presbyters/Elders was not a requirement.

Church Governance was properly hierarchical.

Christmas was not observed by any professing Christ prior to the third century, or ever by those holding to early teachings; December 25th did not come from the Bible.

Circumcision, though not required, was long practiced by original Nazarene Christians.

Confession of sins were not made to priests and did not require penance.

Deification of Christians (which begins after the first resurrection) was taught by the early leaders of the Church.

Duties of Elders/Pastors were pastoral and theological, not predominantly sacramental–nor did they dress as many now do. Easterper se was not observed by the apostolic church.

The Fall (and Spring) Holy Days were observed by true early Christians.

The Father was considered to be God by all early professing Christians.

The True Gospel included the kingdom of God and obedience to the law of God and was so understood by the faithful.

Heaven was not taught to be the reward of Christians.

Holy Spirit was not referred to as God or as a person by any early true Christians.

Hymns were mainly psalms, not praises to Christ.

Idols were taught against, including adoration of the cross.

Immortality of the soul or humans was not taught. Jesus was considered to be God by the true Christians.

The Kingdom of God was preached.

Leavened Bread was removed from the homes of early Christians when the Jews did the same.

Lent was not observed by the primitive church.

Limbo was not taught by the original church.

Mary was the mother of Jesus, was blessed (Luke 1:28) and called blessed (Luke 1:48), but was not prayed to, etc. by true early Christians.

Military Service was not allowed for true early Christians.

Millenarianism (a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth, often called the millennium) was taught by the early Christians.

Monasticism was unheard of in the early Christian church.

Passover was kept annually on the 14th of Nisan by apostolic and second century Christians in Asia Minor.

Pentecost was kept on Sunday by certain Jews and was observed then by professing Christians.

Purgatory was not taught by the original apostolic church.

The Resurrection of the dead was taught by all early Christians

The Sabbath was observed on Saturday by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church.

Salvation was believed to be offered to the chosen now by the early Church, with others being called later, though not all that taught that (or other doctrines) practiced “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). God’s

Six Thousand Year Plan for humankind to rule itself was believed by early professors of Christ.

Sunday was not observed by the apostolic and original post-apostolic Christians.

The Ten Commandments were observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians–and in the order that the Church of God claims they are in.

Tithes and Offerings were given to support the ministry, the churches, the needy, and evangelical travels and proclamation.

Tradition had some impact on the second century Christians, but was never supposed to supercede the Bible.

The Trinity was not a word used to describe the Godhead by the apostolic or second century Christians, though a certain threeness was acknowledged.

Unclean Meats were eaten by the early allegorists, but not by true Christians.

The Virgin Birth was acknowledged by all true ante-Nicene Christians.

The early true Church simply had many doctrines and practices that do not resemble today’s “mainstream Christianity.” Instead, the faithful held to doctrines that we in the Continuing Church of God still hold to.

Despite claims and misinformation to the contrary, early Christians held to Church of God doctrines much more than they did to many doctrines now held by the Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, or the Protestants.

Those interested in more information should consider visiting the History of Early Christianity page.

Lest anyone feel that the Roman or Orthodox Catholics or others can tie their beliefs and continuity to the original church better than the we in the Continuing Church of God can, if they are truly interested in learning the truth, should study the following:

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.
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!
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?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants 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!
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing 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?
Similarities and Differences Between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Continuing Church of God
Both groups claim to represent the original Christian faith. Do you know much about them? Both groups have some interesting similarities, but many major differences. Would you like information on how to deal with Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The genuine Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White. Did Ellen White make prophetic errors? Did Ellen White make false prophecies? Here is a version in the Spanish language: SDA/COG Diferencias: La bestia de dos cuernos de Apocalipsis y 666. Here is a sermon in the English language: CCOG and SDA differences and similarities.
Seventh-day Adventist President Ted Wilson’s Comments on the Remnant Church Ted N. C. Wilson spoke on the SDAs striving to be the “remnant church”, but what do the related scriptures actually teach?
Some Dissimilarities Between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and the Continuing Church of God The genuine Church of God is not related to the Mormons and this article explains some differences and a couple of similarities. Also, might certain LDS prophecies apply to Mitt Romney?
Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
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. 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.

The Sabbath, Pope Leo IX, and the Catholic Mirror

Wednesday, April 18th, 2018


Pope Leo IX

COGwriter

April 19th is a date that some in the Church of Rome honor, as one of their saints, Pope Leo IX (whose name had been Bruno). Here is some of what they teach about him:

Son of Count Hugh of Egisheim. Cousin of Emperor Conrad II. Chapter canon of Saint Stephen’s, Toul, France. Deacon. Soldier and officer in the imperial army. In 1021, while still in the military, he was chosen bishop of Toul, France, a position he held for 20 years. Commanded troops under emperor Conrad II in the invasion of Italy in 1026. http://saints.sqpn.com/pope-saint-leo-ix/

Although it is known that Christians were not militaristic, the Greco-Roman faith became militaristic around the time of Emperor Constantine (see Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare?). Yet despite claims of being a Christian, Bishop Bruno was certainly militaristic.

We in the Continuing Church of God do not consider that Pope Leo IX was a real Christian, despite him being considered a saint of the Church of Rome.

Leo IX was believed to have been a factor in causing the Great Schism between the Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox in 1054.

While politics and other doctrines are believed to have played a major role in the schism, some have suggested that the Orthodox tendency to somewhat honor the seventh day Sabbath (in addition to Sunday) was also a factor:

[A] treatise, entitled in Latin Adversus Graecorum Columnias was composed in the form of a debate about the year 1054 by Cardinal Humbert. The Cardinal had been sent by Pope Leo IX early in 1054 as the papal nuncios to Constantinople to endeavor to bring the Greeks into conformity with the religious practices of the Roman (Latin) Church. The mission however did not succeed. The treatise was composed as a further attempt to dissuade the Greeks from holding on to certain divergent religious practices such as veneration of the Sabbath…The Cardinal argues that the Latins in no way resemble the Jews in their observance of the Sabbath…He proceeds then to show the Greeks that they are the ones who judaize as they observe the Sabbath in the identical manner of the Jews.

Dr. Bacchiocchi observed:

R.L. Odom has persuasively brought out that the Roman insistence on making the Sabbath a day of fast contributed greatly to the historic break between the Eastern and Western Christian Church which occurred in A.D. 1054. (Cited in Bacchiocchi Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday, p. 67)

So, Pope Leo IX had a Cardinal that was opposed to officially honoring the Sabbath and this was apparently one of various factors for the split with the Eastern Orthodox.

A split that has gone on for close to a thousand years, but one that the Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox are looking to resolve.

As far as Sabbath fasting goes, that seemed to originate with the heretic Marcion :

Marcion who fasted on the Sabbath to show his contempt for the God of the Old Testament whom he considered to be evil (Bacchiocchi S. Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday. The Pontifical Gregorian University Press, Rome, 1975, p. 62).

Fasting on the Sabbath was a practice adopted by the Roman Church, but not the Churches in Asia Minor in the second and third centuries.

The Catholic and Orthodox saint Irenaeus noted that the faithful Church of God leader/bishop Polycarp opposed Marcion:

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, whom I also saw in my early youth, for he tarried [on earth] a very long time, and, when a very old man, gloriously and most nobly suffering martyrdom, departed this life, having 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 — a man who was of much greater weight, and a more stedfast witness of truth, than Valentinus, and Marcion, and the rest of the heretics. He it was who, coming to Rome in the time of Anicetus caused many to turn away from the aforesaid heretics to the Church of God, proclaiming that he had received this one and sole truth from the apostles — that, namely, which is handed down by the Church. There are also those who heard from him that John, the disciple of the Lord, going to bathe at Ephesus, and perceiving Cerinthus within, rushed out of the bath-house without bathing, exclaiming, “Let us fly, lest even the bath-house fall down, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is within.” And Polycarp himself replied to Marcion, who met him on one occasion, and said, “Dost thou know me?” “I do know thee, the first-born of Satan.”(Irenaeus. Adversus Haereses. Book III, Chapter 3, Verse 4. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Polycarp, and other true early Christian writers, kept all the ten commandments that were first mentioned in the Old Testament (an article of related interest may be The Ten Commandments and the Early Church). This is how Polycarp (and others) differed from many of the early heretics like Marcion (more on Cerinthus can be found in the article Cerinthus: An early heretic).

Another to specifically oppose Marcion was Church of God leader/bishop Theophilus of Antioch (late 2nd century). The Syriatic version of Eusebius’ Church History notes:

BUT as to Theophilus, concerning whom we have said that he was Bishop of Antioch, there are three treatises by him against Antolycus, and another which is inscribed “Against the heresy of Hermogenes,” in which he uses testimonies from the Revelation of John; and there are other books by him which are suitable for teaching. But those, who pertained to heretical doctrine, even at that time like tares were corrupting the pure seed of the doctrine of the Apostles; but the Pastors which were in the churches in every country, were driving them like beasts of the wilderness away from the flock of Christ; at one time by teaching and exhortation to the Brethren, but at another time openly before their faces they contended with them in discussion, and put them to shame; and again, also, by writing treatises they diligently refuted and exposed their opinions. But Theophilus, together with others, contended against them; and he is celebrated for one treatise, which was ably composed by him against Marcion, which, together with the others that I have already mentioned, is still preserved. And after him Maximinus received the Bishoprick of the Church of Antioch, who was the seventh after the Apostles.

But Philip, respecting whom we have learned from the words of Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth,2 that he was Bishop of the church of the city of Gortyna, he also composed with accuracy a treatise against Marcion (Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History, Syriac version, Book 4 (Extract), Chapter 24. Spicilegium Syriacum (1855). This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2003. Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font/Polytonic Greek).

This is of interest because it shows that both Philip and Theophilus also wrote against the heretic Marcion (though the document, while apparently available to Eusebius, is currently unavailable).

Notice what the Protestant historian Kenneth Latourette stated:

Marcion insisted that the Church had obscured the Gospel by seeking to combine it with Judaism (Latourette KS. A History of Christianity, Volume 1: to A.D. 1500. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1975, p. 126).

In other words, the original true Church of God truly did combine faith in Christ with practices that Marcion considered to be to Jewish. And Marcion was denounced by leaders from Asia Minor for rejecting the true faith.

In the third century, Hippolytus of Rome wrote:

But Marcion, a native of Pontus, far more frantic than these (heretics), omitting the majority of the tenets of the greater number (of speculators), (and) advancing into a doctrine still more unabashed, supposed (the existence of) two originating causes of the universe, alleging one of them to be a certain good (principle), but the other an evil one. And himself imagining that he was introducing some novel (opinion), founded a school full of folly, and attended by men of a sensual mode of life, inasmuch as he himself was one of lustful propensities. This (heretic) having thought that the multitude would forget that he did not happen to be a disciple of Christ, but of Empedocles, who was far anterior to himself, framed and formed the same opinions,–namely, that there are two causes of the universe, discord and friendship. For what does Empedocles say respecting the plan of the world? Even though we have previously spoken (on this subject), yet even now also, for the purpose, at all events, of comparing the heresy of this plagiarist (with its source), we shall not be silent. This (philosopher) affirms that all the elements out of which the world consists and derives its being, are six: two of them material, (viz.,) earth and water; and two of them instruments by which material objects are arranged and altered, (viz.,) fire and air; and two of them, by means of the instruments, operating upon matter and fashioning it, viz., discord and friendship. (Empedocles) expresses himself somehow thus:- “The four roots of all things hear thou first: Brilliant Jove, and life-giving Juno and Aidoneus, And Nestis, who with tears bedews the mortal font.” (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies (Book VII), Chapter XVII. Translated by J. H. Machmahon. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight)

Marcion taught against the law and the Creator’s Sabbath–the seventh-day Sabbath. Marcion eliminated or overlooked many portions of the Bible. His attitude seems to have been similar to Luther’s in this respect (Martin Luther’s attitude toward the Bible can be found in the article Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible?).

While the Church of Rome eventually condemned Marcion, sadly, its Pope Leo pushed for at least one of his non-biblical practices.

As far as the Sabbath being biblical, let me point out that a series of articles in the Catholic Mirror, called The Christian Sabbath, essentially proved that the biblical Sabbath was Saturday, that the Lord’s day in Revelation 1 is not a reference to Sunday, that the Church of Rome implemented Sunday, and that nearly all Protestants followed Rome. The change from the Sabbath was not biblical and Catholic scholars have admitted this.

Some items of related interest may include:

Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
Marcion: The First Protestant? Considered to have been an organized heretic, he taught against the Old Testament, the law, and the Sabbath. Some have considered him to be the first Protestant reformer. But was he? Here is a link to a related sermon: Marcion: The first Protestant reformer?
The Coming Persecution of the Church Jesus foretold persecution. Many are aware of some of the early persecutions, but few understand what teachings true Christians were persecuted for in the fourth century and beyond–some may seem shocking. At least two major persecutions are prophesied to come. Which doctrines are expected to be causes for the coming persecutions? Are the Greco-Roman churches planning on persecuting Sabbath-keepers, those who do not accept a non-biblical Mary, and those who do not wear crosses? This is a video.
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? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
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.
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing 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?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper 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?
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 c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would 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. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
The Christian Sabbath. This is a series of articles from the Catholic Mirror essentially proving that the biblical Sabbath was Saturday, that the Lord’s day in Revelation 1 is not a reference to Sunday, that the Church of Rome implemented Sunday, and that nearly all Protestants followed Rome. Here is a link to a related sermon: Catholic teachings on the Sabbath, Sunday, and Protestantism.

BibleNewsProphecy: Could the Shroud of Turin Be Real? 12 Reasons to Consider

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

COGwriter

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

The Shroud of Turin has been a mystery to many for a long time. In April of 2018, a possibly full-sized 3-dimensional replica of the 5′ 11″ man in that Shroud was shown to the public. Could the Shroud of Turin have been the actual burial cloth of Jesus? In this video, Dr. Thiel goes over 12 reasons to consider about the possible authenticity of the Shroud of Turin. These include the belief that blood residue as a result of Jesus being tortured is on it, its age, claimed blood type, presence of pollens native to Israel/Palestine and Turkey, the fact that the Shroud is not a simple stain or painting, location of nail marks, 100 whip lacerations, the appearance of a spear wound, the use of myrrh and aloes in Jewish burial customs (John 19:39-40), the hair shown in facial/head image and practices in that day (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:14), and the size of the man in the Shroud (cf. Luke 4:28-29; Matthew 26:48). Do the reasons, in the light of scripture, prove or disprove that the Shroud of Turin is real or a fake? What do early drawings/painting suggest that Jesus looked like? Should Christians venerate it?

Here is a link to our video: Could the Shroud of Turin Be Real? 12 Reasons to Consider.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Clear Proof that the Shroud of Turin is Fake: Debunking the ‘reasons’ that the Shroud of Turin is real There is NO proof that the Shroud of Turin has Jesus’ image and those who are willing to believe the Bible can prove it is fake. Here is a link to a related video: Could the Shroud of Turin Be Real? 12 Reasons to Consider.
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did the early Church use icons? What was the position of Christians about such things? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
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 do deus?]
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?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 Do they matter? Most say they must, but act like they do not. This article contains some history about the Church of God (sometimes referred to as the continuation of Primitive Christianity) over the past 2000 years.
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.
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”?
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?
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.
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Famine of the Word? God inspired the Prophet Amos to write that the time would come when there would be a famine of hearing the words of the Lord (Amos 8:11-12). Are we seeing anything that is leading up to this? Is the Christian message already too ‘politically incorrect’?
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, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu 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. 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? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that 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.
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 channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos. Here is a link to a short intro: ContinuingCOG Channel.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
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.

Victorinus: A Catholic saint who held to a doctrine that Rome says is associated with Antichrist

Friday, April 13th, 2018


“Orthodox” 16th Century Representation of the “Apocalypse”

COGwriter

April 15th is when some in the Church of Rome will honor one of their “saints” and bishops named Victorinus. Here is some of what The Catholic Encyclopedia reports about him:

St. Victorinus

An ecclesiastical writer who flourished about 270, and who suffered martyrdom probably in 303, under Diocletian.

He was bishop of the City of Pettau (Petabium, Poetovio), on the Drave, in Styria (Austria); hence his surname of Petravionensis or sometimes Pictaviensis, e.g. in the Roman Martyrology, where he is registered under 2 November, which long caused it to be thought that he belonged to the Diocese of Poitiers (France). Until the seventeenth century he was likewise confounded with the Latin rhetorician, Victorinus After. According to St. Jerome, who gives him an honourable place in his catalogue of ecclesiastical writers, Victorinus composed commentaries on various books of Holy Scripture, such as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Isaias, Ezechiel, Habacuc, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, St. Matthew, and the Apocalypse, besides treatises against the heresies of his time…

Like many of his contemporaries he shared the errors of the Millenarians, and for this reason his works were ranked with the apocrypha by Pope Gelasius. (Clugnet, L. (1912). St. Victorinus. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved April 1, 2013 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15414a.htm)

Notice that like MANY GRECO-ROMAN LEADERS just prior to Constantine, Victorinus taught the millennium. That was both a biblical doctrine as well as the teaching of most professing Christians prior to Emperor Constantine. The millennium was certainly part of the apostolic tradition (the Apostle John, after all, wrote about it in Revelation 20), thus any who challenge or dismiss it are not being faithful to biblical doctrine nor apostolic tradition.

Victorinus wrote the following about the Book of Revelation, in likely the late 3rd century:

FROM THE TWENTIETH CHAPTER.

1–3. “And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a chain in his hand. And he held the dragon, that old serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and cast him into the abyss, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be finished: after this he must be loosed a little season.”]…

For we know not of those who seem to stand whether they shall not fall, and of those who are down it is uncertain whether they may rise. Moreover, that he says that he is bound and shut up, that he may not seduce the nations, the nations signify the Church, seeing that of them it itself is formed, and which being seduced, he previously held until, he says, the thousand years should be completed, that is, what is left of the sixth day, to wit, of the sixth age, which subsists for a thousand years; after this he must be loosed for a little season. The little season signifies three years and six months, in which with all his power the devil will avenge himself under Antichrist against the Church. Finally, he says, after that the devil shall be loosed, and will seduce the nations in the whole world, and will entice war against the Church, the number of whose foes shall be as the sand of the sea. (Victorinus. On the Apocalypse. Translated by Robert Ernest Wallis. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. [Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.], p. 359. http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf07.vi.ii.xviii.html).

He also wrote:

…that true and just Sabbath should be observed in the seventh millenary of years. Wherefore to those seven days the Lord attributed to each a thousand years; for thus went the warning: “In Your eyes, O Lord, a thousand years are as one day.” Therefore in the eyes of the Lord each thousand of years is ordained, for I find that the Lord’s eyes are seven. Wherefore, as I have narrated, that true Sabbath will be in the seventh millenary of years, when Christ with His elect shall reign. (Victorinus. Commentary on the Creation. Translated by Robert Ernest Wallis. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight).

The Roman Catholic Church, in spite of the fact that it admits that many of its early saints taught the millennium, now strongly condemns this belief. Notice:

676 The Antichrist’s deception already begins to take shape in the world every time the claim is made to realize within history that messianic hope which can only be realized beyond history through the eschatological judgment. The Church has rejected even modified forms of this falsification of the kingdom to come under the name of millenarianism, especially the “intrinsically perverse” political form of a secular messianism. (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 194).

It should be noted that the millennial teaching appears to be the only doctrine associated with Antichrist that is condemned in the current official Catechism of the Catholic Church (which was the first new one in hundreds of years). The one that has the imprimatur of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger who is now called Pope Emeritus and formerly Benedict XVI.

It tends to amaze me that some associated with the Church of Rome do not realize that many of their “saints” held positions that are so strongly condemned by the current Roman Catholic Church.

Some articles of related interest, which contain many scriptures to search to verify what I am saying, include the following:

Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? A related sermon is titled The Millennium.
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? 2026 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2018, 2019, or 2020? 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 comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation begin in 2018?
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet”. Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?
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.
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.

Sermon: Paul: Apostle to the Gentiles

Saturday, April 7th, 2018


Artist depiction of the Apostle Paul writing his epistles

COGwriter

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

1:26:15

Do you know much about Saul who became Paul–like even what those names mean? Saul was a tent-maker from Tarsus who persecuted Christians before Jesus had him struck with blindness on the road to Damascus. What did Paul teach about the Ten Commandments? Did he teach they were “nailed to the cross” as some claim? Did he keep the biblical Holy Days? Did he teach keeping the Holy Days and obedience to God to the Gentiles? Was he an eloquent speaker? Did he feel the need to have to defend himself and his apostleship? What did Paul teach about love? Since Paul wrote Christians are to imitate him as he imitated Jesus, do you do that? Do you know enough about him to be able to do that? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: Paul: Apostle to the Gentiles.

Some items of related interest may include:

The Apostle Paul He was a later apostle, but also an early Christian leader. Here is a link to a related sermon: Paul: Apostle to the Gentiles.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited 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.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
Unleavened Bread recipes A Serbian COG member, now CCOG elder, sent these recipes for those who would like more ways to prepare unleavened bread.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited 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.
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 channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos. Here is a link to a short intro: ContinuingCOG Channel.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
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.