Archive for the ‘Church History’ Category

Should loving Christians watch the Superbowl?

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

COGwriter

This coming Sunday is known as “Super Bowl Sunday” in the USA. Most years, the American football (which is not the same as the sport called soccer in the USA) contest known as the Superbowl is the most watched television program in the USA. Between 100,000,000-150,000,000 are expected to intentionally (as opposed to perhaps seeing a news item about it) watch at least some of it this year according to various reports.

Should Philadelphian Christians, those who are to have love for others, watch the Super Bowl?

Tackle football is dangerous and many people are still getting severely hurt:

February 3, 2017

A concussion protocol was first introduced in 2009 by the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee in an effort to improve concussion detection. …

Prior to the 2016-2017 season, the NFL added additional elements to its concussion policy to ensure enforcement of the protocol, namely disciplining those teams that violate the required procedures. …

Enhancing the protocol to strengthen enforcement seemed like a wise move from the NFL. However, if teams are not going to face penalties for poor concussion management, it raises serious questions about the League’s intentions in making these changes.

The League’s history with concussion management is already so fraught, and while the NFL has appeared to make positive efforts in their handling of concussions, these situations only suggest the League has regressed. The protocol should have been enforced since its institution, but it wasn’t. It should have been followed since disciplinary action was put in place to avoid these situations, but it wasn’t. And the League should have disciplined teams for violating the protocol to set a precedent and strengthen their policy, but they didn’t.

The NFL has released injury data from the 2016-2017 pre-season and regular season. Combining this data, the number of reported concussions decreased by 11.3 percent from last season. While this may appear on its face to be a marked improvement, this is a decrease against the previous season, which saw the highest number of diagnosed concussions (275) in the past five years.

Having a loosely followed concussion protocol clearly is not enough. http://www.sporttechie.com/2017/02/03/sports/nfl/nfl-concussion-protocol-still-inadequate-after-enhancements-this-season/

Should Christians, who are part of Jesus’ church of brotherly love, encourage people causing themselves and others great bodily harm? Notice something from this year:

January 18, 2018

We live in an age of heightened awareness about concussions. From battlefields around the world to football fields in the U.S., we’ve heard about the dangers caused when the brain rattles around inside the skull and the possible link between concussions and the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

A number of high-profile NFL stars have developed CTE, and parents are increasingly worried about how concussions may affect their children who play sports. …

A study published online Thursday in Brain, a journal of neurology, presents the strongest case yet that repetitive hits to the head that don’t lead to concussions —meaning no loss of consciousness or other symptoms that can include headaches, dizziness, vision problems or confusion — cause CTE.

“We’ve had an inkling that subconcussive hits — the ones that don’t [show] neurological signs and symptoms — may be associated with CTE,” says Dr. Lee Goldstein, an associate professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine and the lead investigator on the study. “We now have solid scientific evidence to say that is so.”

And this evidence, he says, leaves researchers “terrifically concerned.”

“The concussions we see on the ballfield or the battlefield or wherever — those people are going to get attention,” Goldstein says, “because it’s obvious they’ve had some sort of injury. We’re really worried about the many more people who are getting hit and getting hurt — their brain is getting hurt — but are not getting help because we can’t see the evidence on the outside that their brain is actually hurt. It’s a silent injury.”

Translating Goldstein’s concern to the football field, Chris Nowinski, who heads the Concussion Legacy Foundation, says, “We see the hard hits all the time, where a guy pops up and smiles and [signals] a first down, and [we think], ‘OK, that hit was fine.’ But what this study says is: No, that hit probably wasn’t fine, and that poor guy can’t feel the damage that’s happening in his brain right now.” https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/01/18/578355877/repeated-head-hits-not-concussions-may-be-behind-a-type-of-chronic-brain-damage

Thus, sports like American tackle football are not safe.

There is NO DOUBT among those interested in the truth that American tackle football is violent and causes harm to the players–much of which is permanent.

Consider also something about Joe Namath:

One of the most legendary figures in NFL history will deliver a sobering message to football fans on the morning of Super Bowl XLVIII. Former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath, who famously guaranteed a win for his underdog squad in Super Bowl III, revealed the toll that football has taken on him in an interview with CBS scheduled to air on Sunday.

“I’ve been through some things medically. I’ve seen some things on my brain,” Namath told Rita Braver of CBS Sunday Morning in a brief preview of the interview released in advance. “But I’ve had treatment, and I’ve improved. None of the body was designed to play football. Excuse me, you know, football, we’re just not designed for it.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/01/joe-namath-brain-damage-nfl_n_4709018.html

Football causes great harm. No one has excuses anymore to pretend otherwise.

Since most people in the USA have, at one time or another, made some hint of professing following Jesus, a relevant question may be:

Would Jesus want you to watch the Super Bowl?

Jesus, of course, taught “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), while the Apostle Paul wrote “no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it” (Ephesians 5:29).

The Bible teaches:

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

Tackle football is a lust of the flesh and eyes. Those who claim to be Christian and endorse it are letting the pride of life deceive them.

How many who are in the COGs love the worldly sport of American tackle football and really do not care that it causes irreparable harm to its participants? Is not another reason that some watch it because of their lust for violence and/or for social acceptance?

This is not what loving Christians should do.

Most violent sports advocates do not seem to realize that they are being influenced by the devil who is the prince of the power of the air:

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10)

Why would anyone feel that God Himself would condone encouraging violent sports as the type of ‘good works’ Christians should be involved in?

After seeing the injuries that some of my high school football-playing colleagues suffered, I could not reconcile the scriptures with American football. There are better ways for Christians to learn principles like teamwork from other sports or activities than watching actual violence such as occurs in American tackle football.

Also, notice what John the Baptist taught soldiers:

14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages. (Luke 3:14, KJV)

I could not reconcile loving my neighbor as myself and cherishing my flesh and not doing violence to any man by watching others do it in a football game. Nor could I reconcile it with the following:

9…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Romans 13:9-10, NKJV)

The Super Bowl will do harm to participants in it.

The New Testament also warns Christians against being violent or approving of those that are (Romans 1:28-32), while history records that early Christians would not watch violent sports. Notice one such report from Theophilus of Antioch perhaps written about 180 A.D.:

Consider, therefore, whether those who teach such things can possibly live indifferently, and be commingled in unlawful intercourse, or, most impious of all, eat human flesh, especially when we are forbidden so much as to witness shows of gladiators, lest we become partakers and abettors of murders. But neither may we see the other spectacles, lest our eyes and ears be defiled, participating in the utterances there sung. (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book III, Chapter XV. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition)

So, Christians did not believe that they were to watch the violent sports so popular in the second century.

In the 20th century, the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

Competition and not cooperation, is the attitude which Satan inculcates human minds. But that does not mean that all sports are wrong or to be banned. The law of God is based on the way of righteousness…The basic law is love, out flowing toward God above all else, and secondarily, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

To harm the other fellow and to gain by doing so for self is a kind of competition that is wrong. Hostility toward the other is sin…

Wherever a game in sports involves antagonists–in hostile attitude to harm the other and/or to “get” from the other–to get the best of the other then a harmful, satanic and evil attitude enters in, and the sport is evil, not good…

Football (American football) is a violent body-contact sport. It is often played with an attitude of hostility and is dangerous and is fraught with physical injury…Soccer does not embody the same evils. (Plain Truth, July-August 1984)

CNN (01/29/2012) had a report that the average American high school football player received 650 sub-concussion hits per season which increased risk for brain damage of various types.

Since I do not actually watch American football, I do not know how many violent acts are likely at this year’s Super Bowl, but the number is likely to be very high, and maybe even a lot more if thoughts of violence are included (cf. Matthew 5:21-22).

In my view, the tackle version of the sport of American football is evil (touch football I would not consider to be inherently evil–though attitude is still a possible factor there). Also, no Christian can really defend how professional football cheerleading females are publicly dressed and displayed–and presumably some of how they will be displayed at today’s Super Bowl game.

Gambling, which is often a form of covetousness is also involved, WSPN had the following headline this week about this Superbowl:

Americans expected to bet $4.76B on SB LII

For more on gambling, see the article Gambling and Sin: Is it a Sin for Christians to Gamble?

As far as violence goes, the Bible shows that God is against violence:

23 ‘Make a chain,
For the land is filled with crimes of blood,
And the city is full of violence.
24 Therefore I will bring the worst of the Gentiles,
And they will possess their houses;
I will cause the pomp of the strong to cease,
And their holy places shall be defiled. (Ezekiel 7:23-24)

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality…30…violent, proud, boasters,…31…unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32)

Do you approve of those who practice violence?

Since American football games, like the Super Bowl, intentionally inflict various hurts, the following scripture supports the idea that American football will not be allowed in the Millennium:

9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:9, NKJV)

While “love does no harm to a neighbor” (Romans 13:9), what do sports like American football do?

A while back, on the night before the Super Bowl, I saw portions of TBN’s Christian World News. Towards the end, they interviewed players on the teams in that scheduled Super Bowl game who professed Christ. The players, individually, basically stated that their faith was more important than winning the Super Bowl. But none said that they would renounce violence, not harm others, or not participate in the game because of its negative fruits.

Additionally, of the multitude of groups that profess Christ, it appears that only an actual or relative handful or so will tell their members that they should not be fans of American tackle football. Sometimes they will not denounce it because their leaders are fans, sometimes because they are afraid that they might lose members and/or money, and sometimes because of all of those reasons.

Would Jesus want you to watch the Superbowl? What about the Apostle Paul who warned against approving violence? The same Apostle Paul who said to imitate him as he imitated Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Would Jesus or the Apostle Paul watch the Superbowl as football fans rooting for one team to crush the other team?

“Perhaps”, some might answer. And still others may ridicule and/or dismiss what I have written.

However, if Jesus Himself did watch the Superbowl, would He watch it and hope that one team would tackle and crash into members of the other team? Or might He watch it, if He did, so He could make social commentary against the violence and/or distorted priorities of the land?

Would Jesus take pleasure in humans damaging other humans for entertainment?

This is something that Christians, and others, should think about.

For more scriptures, as well as the position of early Christians and others on watching violent sports or participating in other violent pursuits, please see the following:

Is American Football Evil? Is the most popular spectator sport in the USA something that Christians should watch? What do the Bible and early writings show? There is also a YouTube video available titled Should Christians watch American football?
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.
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.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now essentially the most faithful in the Church of God, which is best represented by the Continuing Church of God.
Gambling and Sin: Is it a Sin for Christians to Gamble? What does the Bible reveal? A related video is Gambling: A Covetous Sin?
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? Here is a link to a YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?

Passion of the Christ sequel, descent, and the Apostles’ Creed?

Thursday, February 1st, 2018


Crown of thorns

COGwriter

Various religious sites have been excited about a sequel to Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ movie.

Others have been less excited about it.

Here is some information from a few reports about it:

01/31/18

A planned “Passion of the Christ” sequel has some people furious with Mel Gibson, even though few details have been released about the movie so far.

The sequel, tentatively titled, “Resurrection,” will chronicle the story of Christ’s rising from the dead and will see Jim Caviezel reprise his title role, USA Today reported.

“There are things that I cannot say that will shock the audience,” Caviezel said in confirming that he will again play Christ, USA Today reported. “It’s great. Stay tuned.”

Not everyone is convinced that the movie will be good, however. Some Are Furious About Planned ‘Passion of the Christ’ Sequel | Newsmax.com

01/31/18

Since The Passion of the Christ, Gibson has both made other films that appealed to a faith audience (including 2016’s Hacksaw Ridge) and been in trouble for making homophobic, racist, and antisemitic comments. A sequel would also enter a markedly different movie landscape than The Passion did; the faith-based audience is no longer starved for entertainment (especially with companies like Pureflix both producing and distributing movies regularly).

And sources have hinted that the film may cover the “harrowing of hell” — the idea that Christ between his death and resurrection, Jesus descended into hell and, in some traditions, freed the souls of the righteous dead. (The Apostles’ Creed, which many denominations include as part of their services each week, contains a phrase alluding to this, though theologians differ on what it means and whether it is a good translation of the Biblical text.)

Because of the controversial nature of this assertion, and depending on how much of that story is covered in a sequel, evangelical audiences in particular — who tend to favor literalist translations of the Bible on screen instead of imaginative ones — may react with less enthusiasm than they did in 2004.

But one last factor may propel a Passion sequel to be the “biggest movie of all time”: “Evangelical” has become synonymous in some circles with a political leaning, and because of the heightened political nature of discussions around culture, going to see a sequel might be seen as a small-p political act as well — a way to repudiate godless, liberal, secular Hollywood. https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/1/31/16955448/passion-of-christ-sequel-mel-gibson-jim-caviezel-hell

Passion of the Christ 2, which is tentatively titled The Resurrection, is really happening and James Caviezel, the man who brought Jesus Christ to life in the original, is officially on board to reprise his role. We first heard of a sequel to The Passion of the Christ in late 2016 when Mel Gibson was promoting Hacksaw Ridge, which managed to revive the director’s career. Things have been quiet since, but it sounds like Gibson has started to sort things out and the sequel is moving forward.

Jim Caviezel recently was interviewed in honor of his upcoming movie Paul, Apostle of the Christ, in which, he plays Luke. He was asked about The Resurrection and confirmed his involvement. While he couldn’t say much in terms of story details, he claims that it will be “the biggest film in history.” Here’s what Caviezel had to say about it.

“There are things that I cannot say that will shock the audience. It’s great … I won’t tell you how he’s going to go about it, but I’ll tell you this much, the film he’s going to do is going to be the biggest film in history. It’s that good.”

The first Passion of the Christ was made for $30 million and went on to gross $611 million worldwide. … There’s currently no timetable established for The Resurrection, but at one point, Gibson implied that the sequel will be exploring Christ in hell. https://movieweb.com/passion-of-the-christ-2-resurrection-story-details-plans/

I intentionally did NOT see Mel Gibson’s first film of this series and do not intend to see the sequel. The original film, from what I read and saw about it, was fairly anti-Jewish and featured a Jesus that did not physically resemble the Jesus of the Bible.

That being said, this whole descent and Apostles’ Creed matter should be addressed, as those who hope to believe the Bible and church history have often been exposed to wrong information on this.

Various ones on the internet have defended the ‘descent into hell’ in the movie as something Christians originally believed. But that is not the case.

Catholics and some others believe Jesus did this the day after ‘Good Friday.’

The Church of Rome calls the day after ‘Good Friday’ and the day before “Easter”, “Holy Saturday.”

Now, the Bible does call the Sabbath day, which on the Roman calendar is called Saturday, holy:

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. (Exodus 20:8-9)

But that is not what Roman Catholics mean when they call the Sabbath “Holy Saturday.”

The Apostle Paul taught that Jesus died and that is essentially like being asleep:

34 … It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. (Romans 8:34)

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 4:14)

Yet, many falsely claim that Jesus did not really die, but that He descended into ‘hell’/hades to preach to fallen angels and/or others after His physical death on the stake. This is what the Church of Rome teaches happened on the day they call Holy Saturday:

What happened on the first Holy Saturday?

Here on earth, Jesus’ disciples mourned his death and, since it was a sabbath day, they rested. …

What happened to Jesus while he was dead?

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, “hell” – Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek – because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.

Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into “Abraham’s bosom”:

“It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Saviour in Abraham’s bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell.”

Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.

634 “The gospel was preached even to the dead.” The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfillment.

This is the last phase of Jesus’ messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ’s redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/12-things-you-need-to-know-about-holy-saturday3

632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was “raised from the dead” presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.478 This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ’s descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Savior, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.479 (479 Cf. 1 Pet 3:18-19.) (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 632)

While Jesus’ disciples mourned His death and would have rested on the Sabbath, when Jesus was dead, He was actually dead. Though He was raised from the dead on the day we now call Saturday.

There are several theological problems with the Roman view of ‘Holy Saturday.” Consider:

  1. If Jesus did not really die, which He did (Romans 5:8, 8:34; 1 Thessalonians 5:10), then He did not really give His life.
  2. Jesus said He would be like Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish (Matthew 12:40)–does anyone really claim that Jonah preached in ‘hades’ (called sheol in Hebrew) during that time? It is certainly not recorded that Jonah did that in the Old Testament.
  3. There is no New Testament teaching that Jesus descended into Hades to preach to various spirits or dead humans. Plus dead humans are dead (see Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? and What Happens After Death?).

On that third point, first let me quote the Bible:

27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. (Acts 2:27)

That passage does NOT say that Jesus descended and preached. Consider also the word translated as Hades means the grave or place of the dead.

It is NOT the same word as Gehenna (which had a fire) that is often translated as hell in many New Testaments.

It is also NOT the same word as Tartarosas which is used as a place of restraint for fallen angels (2 Peter 2:4). The Bible never teaches that Jesus went there after He was executed.

Furthermore, realize that Acts 2:27 is a quote (per Acts 2:25) of something David wrote in the Psalms:

10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. (Psalms 16:10)

Sheol also means grave or place of the dead. Notice the following where Sheol is translated as grave:

5 For in death there is no remembrance of You; In the grave who will give You thanks? (Psalms 6:5, NKJV; both the Catholic NJB and NABRE leave the word as Sheol, instead of using the translation as grave–see their Psalm 6:6)

Now let me refer to a statement from the late French Cardinal Jean-Guenole-Marie Danielou on whether the New Testament teaches the descent:

The Descent Into Hell…This doctrine appears nowhere in the New Testament,1

1 So W. Bieder, Die Vorstellung von der Hollenfardt Jesus Christi, p. 128

(Danielou, Cardinal Jean-Guenole-Marie. The Theology of Jewish Christianity. Translated by John A. Baker. The Westminister Press, 1964, p. 233)

Anyway, Jesus was dead for three days and three nights. Jesus emptied Himself of His divinity upon incarnation (Philippians 2:7) and did not receive it back until He was resurrected (cf. John 20:24-29).

As far as WHEN He preached to certain fallen angels, the idea is claimed to come from 1 Peter 3:18-20). So let’s look at that:

Jesus Christ was the same God who walked and talked with Moses in the wilderness — the same “I AM” (see Ex. 3:14) who brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. Paul makes this plain. “I want you to know, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the [Red] sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea…. For they drank from the same supernatural Rock which followed them, and the [‘that,’ KJV] Rock was Christ” (I Cor. 10:1-4).

This same Personage in the Godhead presided over the Flood in Noah’s day. Peter gives us the facts: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put. to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he [Christ] went and preached unto the spirits [demons] in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a-preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (I Peter 3:18-20, KJV). (Schroeder JR. Who Was Jesus? Good News magazine, November 1975)

The time frame of the ‘descent’ was the time of Noah and that flood. Thus, it DID NOT happen during the time called the ‘crucifixion week.’

Now, what about the Apostles’ Creed claim?

Let’s get some background first.

On July 15, 2011, I received the following in an email from one claiming her church (Eastern Orthodox) had the original Christian faith:

I am Greek Orthodox, and this is what we believe :

We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
light from light,
true God from true God,
begotten not made,
of one substance with the Father,
through Whom all things came into existence,
Who because of us men and because of our salvation came down from the heavens,
and was incarnate from the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary
and became man,
and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate,
and suffered and was buried,
and rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures
and ascended to heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father,
and will come again with glory to judge living and dead,
of Whose kingdom there will be no end;
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and life-giver,
Who proceeds from the Father,
Who with the Father and the Son is together worshipped and together glorified,
Who spoke through the prophets;
in one holy Catholic and apostolic Church.
We confess one baptism to the remission of sins;
we look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.

Amen

Is that original enough ?

My answer to her was no, it is not original enough, as it is not an apostolic document.

What that Greek Orthodox supporter (as well as several others within a week of this) sent is also known as the Nicene Creed. And while many of its statements are correct, much of it is certainly not original.

Notice what an Orthodox priest wrote about that creed:

The Nicene Creed, which was formulated at the Councils of Nicaea in 325 and of Constantinople in 381, has been recognized since then as the authoritative expression of the fundamental beliefs of the Orthodox Church. The Creed is often referred to as the “Symbol of Faith.” (Fitzgerald T.  Teachings of the Orthodox Church.  Copyright @2006 Saint Mary Romanian Orthodox Church. http://www.stmaryro.org/en/default.asp?contentid=704)

Despite priests and scholars being aware of the truth, it is sad that many of the Orthodox believe that they have not changed doctrine and that their 4th century creed was original–but it is not.

The Roman Catholics have their own version of the ‘Apostles’ Creed.’ It, too, was not an original document. Here it is translated into English from Latin (a language that the Apostles did not write in):

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen. http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=220 accessed 01/31/18

Furthermore, it is well known that ‘the descent into hell’ comment (which is not in the Orthodox Creed) was not part of the original creed:

The oldest extant version comes from Bishop Marcellus of Ancyra (ca. A.D. 337), and it does not contain the clause about descending into hell. Scholars call this version “The Old Roman Form”—the earliest creed of the Roman church.

Apparently the clause first appeared in the East with Sirmium’s fourth formula in 359—also called the “Dated Creed”— though the Eastern church rejected it as tinged with Arianism. The first mention of the descent in the West occurs in the writings of Rufinus of Aquileia, who included it in his baptismal creed around 400. Over time, the Latin church appropriated it as well, officially integrating it into the Creed in 750. https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/2008/august/was-phrase-he-descended-into-hell-always-part-of-apostles.html

Many scholars consider the “Old Roman Form” the earliest known form of the creed, and that it may have came from the second century.

What is called the original creed (the “Old Roman Form”) was put together the way we have seen it in the fourth century by Marcellus, Bishop of Anycra (now more commonly spelled Ankara) who is considered to have been Greek or Eastern Orthodox:

“I believe in God the Father Almighty. And in Jesus Christ His only (begotten) Son our Lord, who was born of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary; crucified under Pontius Pilate, and buried; the third day He rose from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father, from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. And in the Holy Ghost; the holy Church; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; (the life everlasting).” (Orr J. The Apostle’s Creed. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Vol. 1. Original by 1923. Kindle Version viewed 07/21/11)

Notice that this is different from the versions now used by the Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholics.

So, do not let anyone mislead you that the ‘descent into hell’ position was taught in the Bible or was part of the original teaching of the Apostles.

Presuming that Mel Gibson’s movie is promoting such, this is in error.

Those who wish to learn more should also study the following articles:

What Happened in the ‘Crucifixion Week’? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?) A sermon of related interest is titled What did and did not happen in the ‘Crucifixion week’?
What Was the Original Apostles’ Creed? What is the Nicene Creed? Did the original apostles write a creed? When was the first creed written? Are the creeds commonly used by the Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholics original?
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?
The Rich Man and Lazarus What was Jesus teaching in Luke 16?
Where are Enoch and Elijah? Booklet by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh.
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?
The Second Death The New Testament speaks of something called the “second death.” Who will be subject to it? How does it end?
Are The Wicked Tormented Forever or Burned Up? How does one explain Revelation 14:11 in light of Malachi 4:3? What happens to the incorrigibly wicked?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Why Easter? Did early Christians observe Easter? What are the origins of Easter? What does Easter have to do with the goddess Ishtar. Where did the word Easter come from? Where do Easter eggs come from? What do rabbits have to do with Easter? Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday? This is a video.
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?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

Germany and Spain speech laws: A second ‘Spanish Inquisition’? Pope Francis on ‘Fake News’?

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018


Coat of Arms for the Spanish Inquisition

COGwriter

There are concerns about surveillance and anti-speech laws in Germany and Spain:

30 January 2018

Germany’s Constitutional Court is reviewing the legality of the government’s surveillance capabilities, after several journalists and rights activists lodged a complaint arguing that the law allows for the “virtually unrestricted” monitoring of foreign reporters. …

As the law stands, journalists are technically no longer able to guarantee the protection of their source’s identity, Überall added. …

Sweeping new surveillance laws were passed by the Bundestag in October 2016. The reforms were drafted to explicitly allow the BND to direct espionage operations at EU institutions and other EU member states, provided they are aimed at gathering “information of significance for [Germany’s] foreign policy and security.” http://www.dw.com/en/journalists-go-to-court-over-germanys-unrestrictive-surveillance-laws/a-42365130

German social media platforms are censoring legitimate content, including an image by an award-winning artist. Critics say Germany’s much-lauded “lex Facebook” law encourages “overblocking.” …

“Employees of private companies are making snap decisions on behalf of Facebook and Instagram and don’t even provide any rationale,” wrote “Barbara” on Facebook. “I think this is more than a threat to Internet freedom. From my perspective, it’s being ruined.” …

The law was passed during the last legislative period of 2017 as a way of combating hate speech and other objectionable content, and it initially drew some rave reviews, especially abroad. The Atlantic magazine even suggested that it had the potential to “fix Facebook.” But now, scarcely more than two weeks after the so-called “lex Facebook” came into force at the start of 2018, many people say it’s a flop. …

Opposition politicians are far more confident that such“overblocking” is indeed a direct consequence of what they criticize as a poorly written piece of legislation.

“This illustrates the problems that crop up when service providers take such decisions on tight deadlines, especially with difficult evaluative questions, such as how to treat satire,” Petra Sitte of the Left Party told DW. …

“Everyone who familiarized himself with the law knew that there would be a lot of collateral damage for freedom of speech,” Heidrich says. “In my opinion, NetzDG is a poor and misguided piece of legislation that definitely should be repealed. It’s counterproductive to create so much pressure.” 01/15/18 http://www.dw.com/en/facebook-slammed-for-censoring-german-street-artist/a-42155218

Before getting to Spain, let me add here that the infamous Spanish Inquisition blocked legitimate speech and involved torture to get sources of information. Now they have laws using legal threats, like fines, in Germany.

Notice a headline related to Spain:

January 30, 2018

Inquisition 2.0? Spanish Government Arrests Catalan-Based Critic Using “Hate-Speech Law”

Spain’s government has gotten into the business of regulating speech with predictably awful results. An early adopter of Blues Lives Matter-esque policies, Spain went full police state, passing a law making it a crime to show “disrespect” to law enforcement officers.

The predictable result? The arrest of someone for calling cops “slackers” in a Facebook post.

Spain’s government is either woefully unaware of the negative consequences of laws like this or, worse, likes the negative consequences. After all, it doesn’t hurt Spain’s government beyond a little reputational damage. It only hurts residents of Spain.

When you’re already unpopular, thanks to laws like these and suppression of a Catalan independence vote, what difference does it make if you’re known better for shutting down dissent than actually protecting citizens from hateful speech?https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-29/inquisition-20-spanish-government-arrests-catalan-based-critic-using-hate-speech

More and more Western governments are restricting speech.

While you may not think that this could affect you, consider the following poem by Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892–1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

It was not just Adolf Hitler’s regime that restricted speech and arrested dissenters.

Although you might think that if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear from surveillance or speech restrictions, consider that many in the governments of the West consider that those not supporting homosexual marriages, etc. are extremist. I also saw someone once on a documentary that stated that people who believed in the millennium could not be trusted and should be considered as potential terrorists. The fact that we in the Continuing Church of God would be considered pacifists, does not change the fact that, since we hold to millennial and other biblical views, we can be improperly classified as extremist by government employees with various agendas. Having biblical views are becoming more problematic in the world (see ZH: Germany has killed freedom of speech and expects the rest of the EU to do the same). Canada does not want certain biblical verses to even be quoted (watch Canadian censoring of the Bible).

While the Europeans and North Americans decry internet and speech restrictions in various countries in Asia and Africa, they are also implementing restrictions themselves.

The West tends to be more subtle about it–at least for now.

Consider also the following related to Pope Francis:

Pope Francis has called for a “journalism for peace” in response to the threat of fake news, which “thrives on the absence of healthy confrontation with other sources of information.”‘

The Pope on Jan. 24 released his message for World Communications Day, which is held annually on the Sunday before Pentecost, falling this year on May 13. …

In Pope Francis’ message, he explores what makes fake news ‘fake’, how to recognize it, truth as an antidote, and how a “journalism for peace” takes people as its focus, says Vatican News.

“In today’s fast-changing world of communications and digital systems, we are witnessing the spread of what has come to be known as ‘fake news,’

“This calls for reflection, which is why I have decided to return in this World Communications Day Message to the issue of truth, which was raised time and time again by my predecessors, beginning with Pope Paul VI.”

He notes that the term “fake news” has been the object of great discussion and debate and that it usually refers to the spreading of disinformation on line or in the traditional media.

“It has to do with false information based on non-existent or distorted data meant to deceive and manipulate the reader. Spreading fake news can serve to advance specific goals, influence political decisions, and serve economic interests,” says the pontiff. …

“The ability to spread such fake news often relies on a manipulative use of the social networks and the way they function. Untrue stories can spread so quickly that even authoritative denials fail to contain the damage,” says Pope Francis. 01/24/18 http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/threat-of-fake-news-is-focus-of-pope-francis-2018-world-communications-day-message/60491.htm

In the past, the Church of Rome considered those who correctly did not consider that it taught biblical Christianity to be spreaders of lies–fake news!

The fact that Pope Francis called for “journalism for peace” is particularly disturbing from a prophetic perspective.

Why?

Well, it is not that journalists should be advocating for war, but the fact that the Bible warns:

1 Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins. (Isaiah 58:1)

And that warning includes prophecies of sudden destruction:

3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.(1 Thessalonians 5:3)

It will be fake news from journalists and government leaders that will mislead people about coming wars and devastation!

The Church of Rome, under the symbol of the cross, has persecuted those that ‘cry aloud’ in the past.

The Bible warns about a persecuting church and state alliance in Revelation 13 and Revelation 17. Notice also something that the prophet Daniel was inspired to write:

25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time. (Daniel 7:25)

That is not ‘fake news.’

Furthermore, perhaps I should add that certain Catholic writings support that the time will come when those that wear crosses will persecute those that do not. Actually, that is one of the items covered in our latest video:

17:12

‘The Catholic Encyclopedia’ reported that in the first millennium of the Christian era, there were those who consider that the ‘cross’ would be the ‘mark of the beast.’ Is this too far-fetched to be possible now? As it turns out, in the 21st century, the World Council of Churches, the Vatican, and the Lutheran have embraced the ‘Lund Cross,’ also known as the Salvadoran cross for purposes of ecumenical unity. Furthermore, writings by various Catholic saints and some claiming to see Marian apparitions have pointed to a group that will wear some type of cross to persecute those that do not in the end times. Is the cross an original symbol that early Christians venerated? Could a cross be ‘a’ or ‘the’ mark of the beast or final Antichrist? Dr. Thiel addresses this as well as other aspects of the ecumenical agenda.

Here is a link to our video: Beware of the ‘Ecumenical Cross.’

Pope Francis’ comments about ‘fake news’ and ‘journalism for peace’ are consistent with the intent to suppress the truth in the future.

Teaching what the Bible says about this Beast of Revelation and the King of the North leader will likely be considered as a ‘conspiracy theory’ and/or ‘fake news.’ Teaching the truths about what will be happening will trigger the prophesied famine of the word (cf. Amos 8:11-12; see also Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word).

As far as the actual Spanish Inquisition goes, the Continuing Church of God has this sermon on its ContinuingCOG channel:

According to Roman Catholic sources, the Inquisition was started by Pope Lucius III in 1184. In the next century, Pope Innocent IV officially authorized inquisitors to use torture. This video was shot in Europe and includes night scenes from Barcelona, Spain. The Spanish Inquisition, early Roman Empire persecutions, and Protestant persecutions are discussed. Antisemitism in Sweden and modern speech restrictions are also discussed. What is “The Truth about the Spanish Inquisition?” What were the type of torture and execution used? What about property confiscation? Does any of this tie in with Revelation 17? What doctrines have Christians been persecuted for? Will Christians be persecuted in the future for holding to original Christian teachings?

Here is a link to the video sermon: The Past and Future Inquisition.

More speech restrictions and persecutions are coming (cf. Revelation 13).

We continue to see steps to promote and lead to more of them now.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Spanish Inquisition and Early Protestant Persecutions Was the Church of Rome really responsible for this? What happened? Here is a link to a related video sermon: The Past and Future Inquisition.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
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.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
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?
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of a new 186 page book (in the print version). And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roma”? This 186 page book provides information and answers. This book is available for USD$9.98 in printed form The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis?
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 Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
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?

Sermon: Catholic teachings on the Sabbath, Sunday, and Protestantism

Saturday, January 27th, 2018


A collection of Roman Catholic papers on the biblical Sabbath

COGwriter

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

1:18:10

What day do Catholic scholars teach is the biblical Sabbath: Saturday or Sunday? Many may be surprised by the answer. This sermon is primarily based on Catholic writings and the Bible, both of which confirm the same day as the biblical Sabbath. The Catholic sources go over issues from the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s to present. They further discuss whether they or the Protestants rely on scripture alone or tradition and scripture. Dr. Thiel goes over New Testament scriptures on that and the Sabbath. The Catholic sources, like ‘The Catholic Mirror,” also mention the Seventh-day Adventists, but did not mention the Church of God. Is the Saturday Sabbath something restored by the Seventh-day Adventists or has it been kept by the Church of God since Acts 2? Is Sunday the ‘day of the Lord’ or does the ‘day of the Lord’ have to do with events in the Book of Revelation? These and other issues are addressed.

Here is a link to the sermon: Catholic teachings on the Sabbath, Sunday, and Protestantism.

Some items of related interest may include:

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.
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.
Another Look at the Didache, Ignatius, and the Sabbath Did Ignatius write against the Sabbath and for Sunday? What about the Didache? What does the actual Greek reveal?
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?
Early Sabbath Keeping in North America When did Europeans first keep the Sabbath in North America? Did the pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower keep Saturday or Sunday?
How to Observe the Sabbath How should you keep the Sabbath? This is an old article by Raymond Cole, with updated information for the 21st century.
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformatted Good News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true? Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese NN*N Ttv„y^ÿ
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?
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?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs 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! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
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.
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
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?
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 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.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. 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.

Pope Francis points to ‘common baptism’ as part of his ecumenical agenda

Friday, January 26th, 2018


Roman Catholic infant baptism ceremony (photo credit: MamaGeek)

COGwriter

The Catholic News Agency reported the following:

.- At an ecumenical Vespers service Thursday, Pope Francis told members of several Christian communities that the grace of Baptism creates a unity in the family of God.

Even when differences separate us, we can recognize that we have the same Baptism, and we belong “to the same family of brothers and sisters loved by the one Father,” the Pope said Jan. 25.

“This is our experience as believers. As we grow in spiritual life, we increasingly understand that grace reaches us together with others and is to be shared with others. So, when I raise my thanksgiving to God for what he has done in me, I find I do not sing alone, because other brothers and sisters have my same song of praise.”

Francis spoke during a Vespers service in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls to mark both the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul and the close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which this year focused on the theme: “Powerful is your hand, Lord.”

In his homily, the Pope reflected on our common Baptism using imagery from the story of the rescue of the baby Moses from the river by Pharaoh’s daughter. …

“But like the Israelites of Exodus, Christians are called to safeguard together the memory of what God has accomplished in them.”

Led by Pope Francis, the Vespers service was attended by representatives from various Christian churches and communities in Rome, including Metropolitan Gennadios of the Ecumenical Patriarchate; Most Reverend Bernard Ntahoturi, personal representative in Rome of the Archbishop of Canterbury; students from the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey; and members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-to-christians-our-common-baptism-unites-us-73735

The Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, and various Protestant groups claim to have a common baptism with each other and that they are all part of the same faith, despite other differences.

Notice something from April 2014:

Swiss Catholic and Protestant churches have signed an agreement to recognize each other’s baptisms in part of a growing trend in European and American churches.

The World Council of Churches said on its website some people are a calling the rise of European and North American church body baptismal agreements an “an ecumenical harvest.”

Baptism is the Christian rite of admission that invariably involves the use of water.

The day after Easter, a day on which many Christian traditions receive people getting instruction on the rite of baptism, major Swiss churches (Roman Catholic, Reformed, Methodist, Old Catholic, Anglican and Lutheran) signed an agreement on the mutual recognition of baptism.

The April 21 signing ceremony followed an ecumenical interchange sponsored by the Council of Christian Churches in Switzerland. http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/baptism-gains-in-mutual-recognition-among-european-and-american-churches-24554

The World Council of Churches (WCC) added the following information also in 2014:

Earlier this year, during the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, several Portuguese churches entered a similar pact. The Anglican Church of Portugal (the Lusitanian Church) hosted the signing, which also included Portuguese church leaders from the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and the Methodist and Presbyterian churches.

In the prior year, major U.S. denominations of the Reformed tradition, including the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Reformed Church in America, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the United Church of Christ, signed an agreement in Austin, Texas, with the National Conference of Catholic Bishops recognizing the validity of each other’s practice of baptism. http://www.oikoumene.org/en/press-centre/news/baptisms-mutually-recognized-in-european-and-american-churches

Few people realize how fast the ecumenical movement is moving.

Having been to Rome many times, I have noticed an inscription, that is shown in numerous places, on the outside of St. John’s Lateran church in Rome:


(Photo by Joyce Thiel)

The inscription from Latin above, translated into English means, “Sacred Lateran Church Mother and Head of All Churches of the City and the World.”

That suggests a commonality. That would be consistent with recognizing baptisms of groups that the Church of Rome claims have descended from her.

Notice the following biblical warning against a worldly “mother” church associated with seven-hills:

1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written:

MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement…

9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. (Revelation 17:1-6, 9)

There are many warnings about Roman Catholicism and ecumenism in the Bible.

Now, having been to John’s Lateran several times, I can attest to it being within the seven hills of Rome. While Vatican City itself is outside of that ancient boundary, its most ancient basilica in the area is within the seven hills. Interestingly, perhaps it also should be mentioned that Vatican City is believed to have been named after a pagan goddess (Vatika) whose name also was associated with wine. Furthermore, it is actually St. John’s Lateran and NOT St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City that the Church of Rome claims to have its ‘cathedra’ (chair of succession).

Years ago, when part of LCG, I told the late evangelist Dr. R..C. Meredith that I felt led to tell him that the first seal of Revelation 6 may have been opened around the Feast of Trumpets/Tabernacles in 2009 related to the ride of the ecumenical false rider of the white horse of the Apocalypse. Behind the scenes actions and public reports are consistent with that. But even if that was not the precise time that it occurred, the ecumenical movement is moving quickly.

The Bible clearly warns against the final Babylonian system which the ecumenical movement is trying to form:

4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast…
6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. (Revelation 13:6-9)

3 And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

9 Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.

18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:3-6, 9, 18).

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. (Revelation 18:2-5)

That is the system that the ecumenical movement is trying to prop up.

In the future, the movement will also be propped up through economic intimidation and terror (Revelation 13:15-17), as well as signs and lying wonders that will deceive all but the very elect who have the love of the truth:

24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. (Matthew 24:24-25)

9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

While there have been many signs and lying wonders throughout history, the time will come when they will become even worse (2 Timothy 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12). The world will be deceived (Revelation 12:9, Mark 13:22).

The time to stand up for the truth is now and not to wait until the signs and lying wonders appear–they will be very persuasive. Those who wait too late to truly live like a real Christian will be deceived by what is going to come (Matthew 24:24).

Furthermore, let me add that infant baptism (which is practiced by the Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, and some others) was NOT a practice of the original Christians. Nor is how many churches perform baptisms consistent with the practices of the original apostles and the other faithful followers of Jesus.

Let me close by pointing out that common Greco-Roman baptismal practices were condemned by the Greco-Roman claimed saint Irenaeus in the second century (see Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism) and that church writers have long seen the connection between them and practices of paganism. For more details, check out the article Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church.

Some items of related interest may include:

Ecumenism and the ride of the White Horse of the Apocalypse Instead of a celebration of a separation from Rome, many celebrated the 500 anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses as an ecumenical time to come together. Vatican, Eastern Orthodox, and and Protestant leaders made positive comments about the 500th anniversary. When does the Bible teach Christian unity is to come about? Is the ecumenical movement good or, instead consistent with something that Jesus warned about? Are Christians to come out of spiritual Babylon and be separate? Has the first seal of Revelation 6, related to the rider on the white horse of the Apocalypse, begun? Had it began before the 21st century? Are there several events that show that this seal may have been opened in September 2009? Or have we at least seen signs consistent with the ride of the white horse of religious deception and ecumenism since that time? What does the Catechism of the Catholic Church teach about other religions like Islam? What does it teach about the final Antichrist? Is the rider of the white horse either the final Antichrist or doing work consistent with the final Antichrist? This is a video.
Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church Was it by immersion? Did it include infants? Does Polycarp prove infant baptism? Here is a link to some information in the Spanish language: Bautismo de infantes o bendición de los niños pequeños. A related sermon video is titled Baptism: What is it and how should it be done?
Did Real Christians Practice Nude Baptism? This is not a joke. Find out what was taught in the second and later centuries.
Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? Marcus was a second century heretic condemned for having a baptismal ceremony similar to one still practiced by many who profess Christ, as well as for promoting the ‘eighth day’ ogdoad. Might he also be in the apostolic succession list of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria? Where did the eucharistic host and IHS come from?
Real Conversion Many think that they are converted Christians. But are they? Would you like to know more about conversion?
False Conversion! Have you really been converted? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote an article on this important subject–but more scriptures have been added to it. How can you tell false conversion? A related video is also available: False Conversion.
All About Water Baptism What is baptism? Would you like to know more about it. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. As far as early history, see also Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church.
Laying on of Hands This is an elementary principle of Hebrews 6. Have you properly had hands laid upon you? Here is a link to a related sermon: Laying on of Hands and Succession.
Blessing of Children or Infant Baptism? Which does the Bible endorse? A video of related interest is available: The Blessing of Little Children Ceremony.
Ceremonies: Marriage, Funeral, Baptismal, and Laying on Hands Called ‘sacraments’ by some groups, what are the ceremonies in the Bible that Christians may be involved in? A related sermon is available online and is titled: Church of God Ceremonies.

United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God? Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical is titled ‘Laudato Si.’ In it, he goes over his views related to environmental, economic, social, moral, agricultural, and spiritual issues. He advocates international cooperation to solve various problems he believes are affecting humanity. Is that Pope’s agenda the solution? What about the Kingdom of God? does the Bible teach? Two related articles include Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? and Laudato Si: A call for a one-world government?
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.
Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Certain Catholic writings indicate this, while others take a different view, but what does the Bible show?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view?  Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches?  Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter! Here is a link to a sermon: Claims of Apostolic Succession. Here is a related articlein the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups that Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups? A related sermon is also available Christianity: Two groups.
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.
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
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.
Do You Know That Babylon is Forming? How is the final Babylon forming? Are Protestants such as Joel Osteen and Kenneth Copeland are endorsing something dangerous? Could Pope Francis be the ‘False Prophet’ that the Bible warns against? Is an antipope expected to endorse a one-world religion? Here is a link to a related written article In Vatican City: New Babylon more openly forming!
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?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
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.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs 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! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Another view of ‘Satan’s Throne’? Is the Cathedra Petri really Peter’s seat or might it be something else? There is also a YouTube sermon about Vatican City, Peter, and this same throne shot in Rome and Vatican City: The Vatican, Peter, and ‘Satan’s Throne’.
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?]
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?
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
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?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
The Last Pope Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Why might Pope Francis be the last pope? What happens if he is? Biblical and other prophecies help explain what to expect.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Amazon Book What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roman”? This 186 page book provides information and answers.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of the printed book which is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.

Pope Francis denounces war and persecution in the name of religion: A change from his church’s historical position and actions?

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

COGwriter

Pope Francis made some statements to the Yazidis:

January 24, 2018

“It is unacceptable that human beings be persecuted and killed because of their religious affiliation! Every person has the right to freely profess his religious beliefs without constraints.”

Pope Francis received members of the Yazidi community from Germany before the General Audience this morning,  in the small hall of the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. The Yazidis are religious minority, many of whom have been killed or forced out of their homelands by ISIS. …

“In many parts of the world, there are still religious and ethnic minorities, including Christians, persecuted because of faith,” the Pope reminded, saying, “The Holy See does not tire of intervening to denounce these situations, demanding recognition, protection and respect.” https://zenit.org/articles/it-is-unacceptable-to-kill-or-persecute-because-of-religion-pope-tells-yazidis/

The first statement attributed to Pope Francis in this post is consistent with “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

Early Christians would not even participate in military services (see Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence?; see also Continuing History of the Church of God).

While Christians should not murder in the name of religion, the Church of Rome has authorized religious persecution and murder throughout its history.

Now, at least one apostate in the second century–who attended for a time with the Church of Rome– endorsed carnal warfare for Christians. Irenaeus taught that Marcion was a successor to Simon Magus and that Marcion did push military warfare:

1. Cerdo was one who took his system from the followers of Simon, and came to live at Rome in the time of Hyginus, who held the ninth place in the episcopal succession from the apostles downwards. He taught that the God proclaimed by the law and the prophets was not the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the former was known, but the latter unknown; while the one also was righteous, but the other benevolent.

2. Marcion of Pontus succeeded him, and developed his doctrine. In so doing, he advanced the most daring blasphemy against Him who is proclaimed as God by the law and the prophets, declaring Him to be the author of evils, to take delight in war, to be infirm of purpose, and even to be contrary to Himself. (Irenaeus, Book 1, Chapter 27, Verses 1-4).

It is interesting to note that he believes that Marcion was the one to get ‘Christians’ to accept being part of carnal warfare (see also Marcion: The First Protestant?)–as real Christians would not do this (as far as Simon Magus goes, check out the article Simon Magus, What Did He Teach?).

A former Catholic priest reported:

Whereas up to the year 175 there was not a single Christian soldier, in 416, by an edict of Theodosius, only Christians were allowed to enlist (De Rosa, Peter. Vicars of Christ. Poolberg Press, Dublin, 2000, p. 156).

Yet, this military service is not an area that true Christians compromised on. The only ones who enlisted were those that ended up accepting the type of “Christianity” that nearly all the Greco-Roman Emperors from Constantine onwards endorsed.

In the later centuries, this violent trend worsened.

The Church of Rome really adopted the acceptance of military service once it had a benefactor known as Emperor Constantine, who was a follower of the sun-god Mithras. Notice the accounts from two historians:

The Battle of the Milvian Bridge (312 A.d.)…Constantine…the… cross. He had been led to adopt this emblem through the appearance, as once he prayed to the sun-god, of a cross over the setting sun, with the inscriptson upon it, In this sign conquer. Obedient unto the celestial vision, Constantine had at once made the cross his banner,a and it was beneath this new emblem that his soldiers marched to victory at the battle of the Milvian Bridge.

Whatever may have been the circumstances or the motives which led Constantine to make the cross his standard, this act of his constitutes a turning point in the history of the Christian Church. Christianity had come into the world as a religion of peace and good will. The Master had commanded his disciples to put up the sword. For two centuries and more, obedience to this command by a large body of his followers had been so implicit that a Quaker, nonmilitary spirit had throughout this period characterized the new sect . Some of the early Church Fathers taught that the profession of arms was incompatible with a true Christian life. But after the victory for the Cross at the Milvian Bridge a change passed over the Church. It leaned more and more upon earthly power, and became militant. This infusion into the Church of the military spirit of Rome was one of the most important consequences of the story of the miraculous cross in the sky, and of the espousal of the Christian cause by the emperor Constantine. (Van Ness Myers, Philip. Ancient History. Published by Ginn and company, 1916 Original from the New York Public Library Digitized Sep 26, 2007, pp. 480-481).

{Constantine} described to them the figure of the sign he had seen, bidding them represent it in gold and precious stones…Now it was made in the following manner. A long spear, overlaid with gold, formed the figure of the cross by means of a transverse bar laid over it. On the top of the whole was fixed a wreath of gold and precious stones; and within this, the symbol of the Saviour’s name, two letters indicating the name of Christ by means of its initial characters, the letter P being intersected by X in its centre…

The emperor constantly made use of this sign of salvation as a safeguard against every adverse and hostile power, and commanded that others similar to it should be carried at the head of all his armies (Eusebius. The Life of Constantine, Book 1, Chapter 31).

So, in other words, like the Quakers and the faithful of the Church of God, those who considered themselves Christians were opposed to military participation until a sun-worshipping emperor claimed to see a spear in the sky with a cross bar. Then he and his immediately “Christian” soldiers used this as their emblem when they went out and killed. So, this is how participation in carnal military warfare became “acceptable.” Do Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox realize that this is the real reason that “Christians” decided that they could bear arms for carnal governments?

Many claim that Emperor Constantine was, or became, a Christian no later than in 312 A.D. when he supposedly had a vision that contained a cross.

Yet, this is not quite so. It is not that he did not claim to have a militaristic vision then (see also What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?), but he had not renounced his connections to the sun god.

Constantine personally claimed to see an apparition of the sun god Sol in a grove of Apollo in Gaul in 310 (discussed in Rodgers, Barbara S. “Constantine’s Pagan Vision, ”Byzantion, vol. 50, 1980, pp. 259–78).

Even after his alleged conversion to his claimed version of the Christian faith in 312 (if he was ever baptized, it was supposedly on his death bed in 337 A.D., despite him declaring himself a lay “Christian” bishop by 325), Emperor Constantine still put the sun god Sol on his coins.

Notice that hate and violence against others who differed doctrinally was promoted by the Greco-Roman bishop and saint Gregory of Nyssa in the fourth century:

I affirm, then, that it is a lawful thing to hate God’s enemies, and that this kind of hatred is pleasing to our Lord: and by God’s enemies I mean those who deny the glory of our Lord, be they Jews, or downright idolaters, or those who through Arius’ teaching idolize the creature, and so adopt the error of the Jews. Now when the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are with orthodox devotion being glorified and adored by those who believe that in a distinct and unconfused Trinity there is One Substance, Glory, Kingship, Power, and Universal Rule, in such a case as this what good excuse for fighting can there be? (Gregory of Nyssa. Letter 17 to Eustathia, Ambrosia, and Basilissa. Translated by William Moore. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 5. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893)

So, before the end of the 4th century there were people teaching that hatred and fighting against those who did not accept a doctrine that was not formally adopted by the Greco-Romans until 381 A.D. was good (more on the trinity can be found in the article Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity?).

around 332, Constantine issued what is known as the Edict Against the Heretics,

Victor Constantinus, Maximus Augustus, to the heretics. “Understand now, by this present statute, ye Novatians, Valentinians, Marcionites, Paulians, ye who are called Cataphrygians,3304 and all ye who devise and support heresies by means of your private assemblies, with what a tissue of falsehood and vanity, with what destructive and venomous errors, your doctrines are inseparably interwoven; so that through you the healthy soul is stricken with disease, and the living becomes the prey of everlasting death. Ye haters and enemies of truth and life, in league with destruction! All your counsels are opposed to the truth, but familiar with deeds of baseness; full of absurdities and fictions: and by these ye frame falsehoods, oppress the innocent, and withhold the light from them that believe. Ever trespassing under the mask of godliness, ye fill all things with defilement: ye pierce the pure and guileless conscience with deadly wounds, while ye withdraw, one may almost say, the very light of day from the eyes of men. But why should I particularize, when to speak of your criminality as it deserves demands more time and leisure than I can give? For so long and unmeasured is the catalogue of your offenses, so hateful and altogether atrocious are they, that a single day would not suffice to recount them all. And, indeed, it is well to turn one’s ears and eyes from such a subject, lest by a description of each particular evil, the pure sincerity and freshness of one’s own faith be impaired. Why then do I still bear with such abounding evil; especially since this protracted clemency is the cause that some who were sound are become tainted with this pestilent disease? Why not at once strike, as it were, at the root of so great a mischief by a public manifestation of displeasure? (Chapter LXIV.—Constantine’s Edict against the Heretics. This document is from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College).

Some of those referred to as Paulians (Paulicians) and Cataphrygians were part of the true Church of God (please see the article The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3). Note that they are condemned for private assemblies and being haters of truth. Apparently Constantine felt that supporting the biblical sabbath, the biblical Passover, and other biblical doctrines were against his non-Christian version of the truth.

It is astounding to note it has been reported that:

More Christians were killed (by other Christians!) in the first century after the Council of Nicea than had been killed by pagans in the century before Nicea. Constantine, only one year after convening the Council of Nicea, had his own son (Crispus) put to death. Later he suffocated Fausta (his wife) in an overheated bath. Then he had his sister’s son flogged to death and her husband strangled. (1) It was also during the reign of Constantine that the cross became a sacred symbol in Christianity, just as it had been in pagan religions.(2) Throughout his reign, Constantine treated the bishops as political aides. He agreed to enforce whatever opinion the majority of the bishops formulated (Chaimberlin RA. Anti-Judiasm and the Council of Nicea. From Petah Tikvah Magazine Vol. 14, No. 3, http://www.yashanet.com/library/antisem.htm 4/28/04).

Of course, we in the Continuing Church of God do not believe that true Christians were involved in intentionally killing Christians as true Christians are opposed to fighting in the military.

Leading Roman Catholic theologians tried to justify war in the fifth and thirteenth centuries, and Thomas Aquinas actually listed some of the objections that real Christians should have to war:

Objection 1. It would seem that it is always sinful to wage war. Because punishment is not inflicted except for sin. Now those who wage war are threatened by Our Lord with punishment, according to Mt. 26:52: “All that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” Therefore all wars are unlawful.

Objection 2. Further, whatever is contrary to a Divine precept is a sin. But war is contrary to a Divine precept, for it is written (Matthew 5:39): “But I say to you not to resist evil”; and (Romans 12:19): “Not revenging yourselves, my dearly beloved, but give place unto wrath.” Therefore war is always sinful.

Objection 3. Further, nothing, except sin, is contrary to an act of virtue.

But war is contrary to peace. Therefore war is always a sin.

Objection 4. Further, the exercise of a lawful thing is itself lawful, as is evident in scientific exercises. But warlike exercises which take place in tournaments are forbidden by the Church, since those who are slain in these trials are deprived of ecclesiastical burial. Therefore it seems that war is a sin in itself.

On the contrary, Augustine says in a sermon on the son of the centurion [Ep. ad Marcel. cxxxviii]: “If the Christian Religion forbade war altogether, those who sought salutary advice in the Gospel would rather have been counselled to cast aside their arms, and to give up soldiering altogether. On the contrary, they were told: ‘Do violence to no man . . . and be content with your pay’ [Luke 3:14. If he commanded them to be content with their pay, he did not forbid soldiering.” (Aquinas Thomas. The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas. Second and Revised Edition, 1920. Literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. Online Edition Copyright © 2006 by Kevin Knight. Nihil Obstat. F. Innocentius Apap, O.P., S.T.M., Censor. Theol. Imprimatur. Edus. Canonicus Surmont, Vicarius Generalis. Westmonasterii. APPROBATIO ORDINIS. Nihil Obstat. F. Raphael Moss, O.P., S.T.L. and F. Leo Moore, O.P., S.T.L. Imprimatur. F. Beda Jarrett, O.P., S.T.L., A.M., Prior Provincialis Angliæ).

After listing 4 valid objections, Aquinas attempts to justify war over those objections. I would simply comment here that it is impossible to Do violence to no man if you are killing or trying to kill others–thus for Aquinas to use Augustine’s argument here simply does not prove his point. The main point of Luke 3:14 is that John the Baptist taught that newly repentant people who happened to have been in the military (and who probably were not allowed to quit) should do NO VIOLENCE. Presumably, like the Apostle Paul taught about slaves (1 Corinthians 7:21), soldiers were being told that they should accept their burden until they could be free of it–and perhaps because of them doing no violence, it may be that they might be allowed out of their military obligation early (military commanders generally do not want soldiers who will not fight).

Anyway, to further justify war, Thomas Aquinas continued with:

Those who wage war justly aim at peace, and so they are not opposed to peace, except to the evil peace, which Our Lord “came not to send upon earth” (Matthew 10:34). Hence Augustine says (Ep. ad Bonif. clxxxix): “We do not seek peace in order to be at war, but we go to war that we may have peace. Be peaceful, therefore, in warring, so that you may vanquish those whom you war against, and bring them to the prosperity of peace” (Ibid).

Perhaps I should add here that the term “evil peace” is in no version of the Bible that I have ever seen, hence does not appear to be a valid reason for justifying Christian participation in warfare.

Notice also what The Catholic Encyclopedia teaches about a 9th century pontiff:

Leo V, though an Iconoclast, tried to refute the accusation that he was a Paulician by persecuting them furiously. A great number of them at this time rebelled and fled to the Saracens. Sergius was killed in 835. Theodora, regent for her son Michael III, continued the persecution…We hear continually of wars against the Saracens, Armenians, and Paulicians…This eliminated the sect as a military power. Meanwhile other Paulicians, heretics but not rebels, lived in groups throughout the empire (Fortesque A. Transcribed by Richard L. George. Paulicians. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Copyright © 1911 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

It should be noted that the reason that some of the Paulicians did not fight back was because some of them were in the true Church of God (please see the article The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3).

The Albigenses were pacifists, but they and those who sometimes failed to not turn them in to Catholic authorities were often killed. Notice what a former Roman Catholic priest reported:

It has been reckoned that in the last and most savage persecution under Emperor Diocletian about two thousand Christians perished, worldwide. In the first incident of Pope Innocent’s Crusade ten times that number of people were slaughtered. Not all were Albigensians. It comes as a shock to discover that, at a stroke, a pope killed far more Christians than Diocletian (De Rosa, Peter. Vicars of Christ. Poolberg Press, Dublin, 2000, pp. 160-161).

(The entire persecution that Roman Emperor Diocletian unleashed lasted from 303-313 A.D; the inquisition-persecution that Innocent III unleashed lasted hundreds of years.)

The Catholics also called for the crusades which killed Muslims and eventually others:

Urban’s main achievement was convoking the Council of Clermont, November 1095, which called the First Crusade. The Byzantine Emperor, Alexius Commenus, had sent a desperate appeal to Urban for armed knights to defend Christianity against the Moslem enemy. When the Pope laid the Emperor’s pleas before the knights in Clermont, the main concern of the noblemen there was not so much the defense of Byzantium as the rescue of the Holy land from Moslem domination. Palestine had been under Moslem control since the days of the Caliph Omar, but at least the Arab Moslems had allowed Christian pilgrims to visit the places made sacred by the life of Christ. The SeIjuk Turks, now the dominant Moslem power, had, on the other hand, closed off the Holy Land.

Thus the Pope concluded his speech to the council with these words: “Men of God, men chosen and blessed among all, combine your forces! Take the road to the Holy Sepulcher assured of the imperishable glory that awaits you in God’s kingdom. Let each one deny himself and take the Cross!” With a shout — “God wills it” — the Assembly rose. They adopted a red cross as their emblem, and within a few hours no more red material remained in the town because the knights had cut it all up into crosses to be sewn on their sleeves. Because of their emblem (crux is the Latin word for cross) they were given the name Crusaders. (Carrol A. The Crusades. Catholic Education Resource Center. http://catholiceducation.org/articles/history/world/wh0010.html viewed 07/27/14)

Decrees of Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont, 1095… He established and decreed that knights and footmen, that is whoever were able to go to deliver Jerusalem and the other churches of Asia from the power of the pagans, for the love of God and to obtain remission of all their sins, should set forth with one soul, bearing arms, and he decreed that in their property until their return unbroken peace and security should be observed. At the same time he provided that all who went there should bear the sign of the cross marked on the garments on their shoulders or on their forehead, whereby they would show the piety and pilgrimage of so great a journey and be impeded by no one. All those who were present, hearing such a good and desirable edict, lifted their voices to the heaven in ovation, shouting altogether again and again : God wills it, God wills it, God wills it. (Decrees of Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont, 1095. In a Historia peregrinorum at Monte Cassino is contained an amplified version of the Cencius-Baluze text (p. 124n.) Translated from Robert Somerville, The Councils of Urban II. vol 1, DECRETA CLAROMONTENSIA, Amsterdam 1972. http://falcon.arts.cornell.edu/prh3/259/texts/clermont.html viewed 07/27/14)

The Crusades were expeditions undertaken, in fulfilment of a solemn vow, to deliver the Holy Places from Mohammedan tyranny. The origin of the word may be traced to the cross made of cloth and worn as a badge on the outer garment of those who took part in these enterprises. Medieval writers use the terms crux (pro cruce transmarina, Charter of 1284, cited by Du Cange s.v. crux), croisement (Joinville), croiserie (Monstrelet), etc. Since the Middle Ages the meaning of the word crusade has been extended to include all wars undertaken in pursuance of a vow, and directed against infidels, i.e. against Mohammedans, pagans, heretics, or those under the ban of excommunication… the extermination of the Albigensian heresy was due to a crusade (Bréhier, Louis. “Crusades.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 27 Jul. 2014 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04543c.htm>)

The positions of the Church of God and Church of Rome were not the same. Neither on violence, nor the cross (see also What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?).

Notice this account in the thirteenth century:

After this, the Crusaders moved to Lavaur…Afterwards, 400 perfecti were led out of town and burned in a vast funeral pyre. Vaux de Cernay put on record for the pope’s benefit: ‘Cum ingenti gaudio combusserunt’, ‘They set them alight with immense joy’. They were relaxed knowing they had his Holiness’s blessing.

Only one of the perfecti renounced his faith. They were pacifists. They died with dignity (De Rosa, Peter. Vicars of Christ. Poolberg Press, Dublin, 2000, p. 161).

It is sad that those killing pacifists believed that the pope’s approval meant that persecution and murder were appropriate. Nowhere in my Bible do I see any verse suggesting that real Christians were ever to become murderous persecutors. Actually, the 30 times in the New Testament the NKJV translators used the terms persecute, persecuted and persecution, those terms refer to something happening to Christians–not the other way around (have they not read “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you”, in Matthew 5:11?).

Of course, the true Christians (and some who were not Christian) did not accept papal views on violence–they remembered what the Bible taught. And the position of the true Church of God has not changed throughout the centuries.

To understand the difference between the truly faithful and the others, notice what Jesus taught:

… yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you (John 16:2-4).

Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote:

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of (2 Timothy 3:12-14).

10 Love does no harm to a neighbor (Romans 13:10a)

Of course, violence does harm to neighbors.

It should be noted that although the early Church was against military service, in the fourteenth century the Roman Church later decreed:

Both, therefore, are in the power of the Church, that is to say, the spiritual and the material sword, but the former is to be administered for the Church but the latter by the Church; the former in the hands of the priest; the latter by the hands of kings and soldiers, but at the will and sufferance of the priest. However, one sword ought to be subordinated to the other and temporal authority, subjected to spiritual power…Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff (THE BULL UNAM SANCTAM , 1302. English translation taken from a doctoral dissertation written in the Dept. of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America, and published by CUA Press in 1927. In Medieval Sourcebook, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/b8-unam.html 01/16/06).

Thus, Roman leaders endorsed killing and the use of the military under the authority of church leadership. And of course, who can forget the famous Spanish Inquisition (see also The Spanish Inquisition and Early Protestant Persecutions).

Notice the following from the 16th century:

In 1520, Leo X condemned Martin Luther for daring to say that burning heretics is against the will of God (De Rosa, Peter. Vicars of Christ. Poolberg Press, Dublin, 2000, p. 145).

Burning heretics is certainly persecution and murder, yet those associated with the Church of Rome have endorsed it.

All this is not simply ancient history.

Notice the following curious 21st century statements from the former pontiff, Benedict XVI, who to a large degree is supporting his predecessor, as well as the position of Aquinas:

In this regard, the Introduction of “Spirituali Militum Curae” expressly cites “Gaudium et Spes,” recalling that those doing military service must be considered as “ministers of the security and freedom of peoples”, because, “if they carry out their duties properly, they also truly contribute to stabilizing peace” (cf. “Gaudium et Spes,” n. 79).

If, therefore, the Council calls members of the armed forces “custodians of security”, how much more so would be the Pastors to whom they are entrusted!

I therefore urge you all to ensure that military Chaplains are authentic experts and teachers of what the Church teaches and practices, with a view to building peace in the world.

Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Constitution is an important milestone in this teaching and its contribution in this context can be summed up in the words you have rightly chosen as the theme of this Congress: “‘Ministerium pacis inter arma’ — Soldiers at the service of peace”.

My Predecessor considered this “ministerium pacis inter arma” “a new proclamation of the Gospel in the military world, of which the Christian soldiers and their communities cannot fail to be the first heralds” (Address, Third International Congress of Military Ordinariates, 11 March 1994; ORE, 23 March, n. 5, p. 6).

The Church is missionary by nature and her principal task is evangelization, which aims to proclaim and to witness to Christ and to promote his Gospel of peace and love in every environment and culture.

The Church is also called in the military world to be “salt”, “light” and “leaven”, to use the images to which Jesus himself refers, so that mindsets and structures may be ever more fully oriented to building peace, in other words, to that “order planned and willed by the love of God” (Message for World Day of Peace, 1 January 2006, n. 3; ORE, 21 December 2005, p. 6), in which people and peoples can develop to the full and see their own fundamental rights recognized (cf. ibid., n. 4).

The Church’s teaching on the subject of peace is an essential aspect of her social doctrine. Grafted onto very ancient roots, it continued to develop in the past century in a sort of “crescendo” which culminated in the Pastoral Constitution “Gaudium et Spes,” in the Encyclicals of Bl. John XXIII and of the Servants of God Paul VI and John Paul II, as well as in their Addresses to the United Nations Organization and their Messages for each World Day of Peace.

This insistent appeal for peace has influenced Western culture, fostering the ideal that the Armed Forces are “an exclusive service for the security and freedom of peoples” (John Paul II, Address, Third International Convention of Military Ordinariates; ORE, 23 March 1994, n. 5, p. 6). (Benedict XVI. Giving Priority to the Soldier’s Christian Formation. Vatican translation of the address Benedict XVI delivered in the Vatican on Oct. 26 to the participants in the 5th International Congress of Military Ordinariates. From http://www.zenit.org/english/ 11/13/06 ).

So even though mentioning the “Gospel of peace,” Benedict XVI seemed to clearly be teaching that participants in the military are essential to the Roman Catholic’s teaching on peace. We in the Continuing Church of God take a different view.

Pope Francis has taken a position that differs from, and represents a claimed change from, historical practices of the Church of Rome.

Will Pope Francis’ current statements now prevail in the Church of Rome?

No.

The Bible tells of murderous persecutions of true Christians to come (cf. Daniel 7:25; Revelation 13).

In the past, Christians were persecuted by the Greco-Romans because they:

In the future, according to Catholic teachings, they also will be persecuted for:

Christians have been persecuted for holding doctrines that we in the Continuing Church of God hold and are clearly expected to be persecuted in the future for holding Continuing Church of God doctrines.

Pope Francis’ statements today are not expected to stop the coming persecutions as the Bible teaches more are coming (see also Persecutions by Church and State).

Some items of possibly 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.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
What is the Synagogue of Satan? David Pack falsely claims these are leaders in what he considers to be “splinter” COGs. What is the truth about this?
The Spanish Inquisition and Early Protestant Persecutions Was the Church of Rome really responsible for this? What happened? A video of related interest is titled: The Past and Future Inquisition.
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?
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?]
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?
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future?
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?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? Former Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is now Pope Francis. According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? Could a Jesuit be “the black pope”?
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?
COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of God?
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.
The Last Pope Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Why might Pope Francis be the last pope? What happens if he is? Biblical and other prophecies help explain what to expect.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Amazon Book What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roman”? This 186 page book provides information and answers.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of the printed book which is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.
Can the Final Antichrist be Islamic? Is Joel Richardson correct that the final Antichrist will be Islamic and not European? Find out. A related sermon is titled: Is the Final Antichrist Islamic or European? Another video is Mystery Babylon USA, Mecca, or Rome?

Salvadorian cross being used as a symbol of ecumenical unity: Could a cross be a mark of the beast?

Sunday, January 21st, 2018


Salvadorian Lund Cross and Labarum Cross

COGwriter

Could a cross be used by the Beast and Antichrist?

It may be of historical interest to note the following statements in the article on the Paulicians in The Catholic Encyclopedia (bolding mine):

They honoured not the Cross, but only the book of the Gospel…They were Iconoclasts, rejecting all pictures… The whole ecclesiastical hierarchy is bad, as also all Sacraments and ritual. They had a special aversion to monks…Since Gibbon the Paulicians have often been described as a survival of early and pure Christianity, godly folk who clung to the Gospel, rejecting later superstitions, who were grossly calumniated by their opponents…

the Cathari also renounced priestly vestments, altars, and crosses as idolatrous. They called the cross the mark of the beast, and declared it had no more virtue than a ribbon for binding the hair. (Fortescue, Adrian. Paulicians. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 23 May 2010 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11583b.htm>)

So, groups that traced their history to original early Christianity (see also Continuing History of the Church of God) did not use crosses and further claimed that the cross was a mark of the beast.

Does this claim seem too far-fetched for modern times?

Consider the following report from Ecumenical News:

A Salvadoran Cross that is a now an icon of Christian unity was dedicated and placed in the World Council of Churches’ Chapel in Geneva, Switzerland on the first day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

The 2-metre high cross from Salvador has become known as the Lund Cross from the Swedish city where Lutherans and Roman Catholics met at the end of 2016 to commemorate the 500th Reformation anniversary.

“On behalf of the World Council of Churches, we receive this cross as a gift of communion,” said World Council of Churches general secretary, Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit at the ceremony.

“May the historical step that it symbolizes reminds us that Christ’s cross transforms our conflict into communion, and we are reconciled as one creation, joined by the one sprit of God and Creator. Behold the life-giving cross.”

A sign of continuous commitment with the one ecumenical movement the Lund Cross was created for that joint Catholic-Lutheran Commemoration of the Reformation in Lund and Malmö, Sweden, on 31 October 2016.

The week of prayer for its part is traditionally celebrated between 18-25 January, between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul. …

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in his 18 January sermon in the chapel spoke on the message of the cross which is the work of Salvadoran artist Christian Chavarría Ayala, a man who has lived in the shadow of death squads in his country.

The cross is rich with symbols, and shows a baptismal font, branches of the true vine, and Jesus inviting people of all nations to share bread and wine.

The Lund Cross was painted by Ayala, a Lutheran from El Salvador in the typical colorful style of his country.

“People create crosses from their own experiences,” said the artist, who as a child lived through the Salvadoran civil war and grew up in a refugee camp in Honduras. …

In his sermon, Koch reminded those in the chapel that the cross was present during the signing of a Lutheran-Catholic Joint Statement signed by Pope Francis and Bishop Munib A. Younan, who was Lutheran World Federation President on that historic day. …

Dedicating the cross LWF’s Junge said, “In gratitude for the Lutheran and Catholic Joint Commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in Lund, Sweden, we present the Lund Cross to the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva. 01/18/18 http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/salvadoran-cross-that-is-christian-sign-of-unity-is-dedicated-at-ecumenical-center-in-geneva/60489.htm

So, the head of the World Council of Churches, the head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and other ecumenists are promoting the cross as an ICON and a symbol of their ecumenical plans.

The Lutherans, which commissioned the Salvadorian cross, reported the following about it:

The cross depicts the Triune God’s creative, reconciling and sanctifying work. …

The cross depicts the Triune God’s creative, reconciling and sanctifying work. At the base of the cross, the hands of God hold all things together, as is recorded in Colossians 1:17 and Hebrews 1:3.

Jesus Christ, Word of God, is at the center of all life, incarnate, redeeming, reconciling, sustaining all creation, and renewing our lives by his death and resurrection made present in the Eucharist. The vineyard and the vine represent both Christ and the people of God.  …

The Eucharist represents the visible and full church communion for which we dearly long. At the table, our Lord Jesus Christ offers himself as nourishment for the journey, strengthening the communion of saints established in baptism, reconciling all people as walls of division are broken down. …

The images on this cross embody reconciliation: God’s call to communities of faith to be places of reconciliation and peace, God’s call to all the baptized to be ministers of reconciliation, engaging the path of goodness that offers reconciliation to all humanity and all creation. God embraces this splendid universal communion. https://www.lutheranworld.org/news/salvadoran-cross

As far as the “Triune God” message, consider that it was not until the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D. that it was formally adopted by the Greco-Romans, see also the article Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? As far as the eucharist goes, early Christians literally broke unleavened bread to recount Jesus’ final Passover–see also Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist?

Does God embrace this “splendid universal communion that differs from the Bible and the early Christian church?

No.

Consider the following:

23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24)

3 … contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jude 3)

17 “Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Early Christian leaders did NOT seek unity to those who were heretical and introduced foreign concepts–instead they denounced them (see Continuing History of the Church of God), including specifically the first one who is believed to introduced the mystical eucharist (see Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist?).

Before going further, let me also state that the word “cross’ is not actually in the original New Testament. The Greek word stauros, which is often translated as cross, properly means “a stake or post” (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.).

Perhaps it should be mentioned that crosses are part of various pagan religions, and hence some type of cross could appeal to many who do not profess Christianity.

Although it is well documented that early Christians DID NOT venerate the cross or use it as any type of icon, in the fourth century the “cross” became a military symbol after a sun-worshiping Emperor claimed to have a vision and a dream:

In 312, the Roman Emperor Constantine I the Great was in Trier, Germany where he had an unexpected vision of a cross that appeared in the sky..Constantine’s soldiers, the majority of whom were pagans, placed the sacred image of the cross on their shields (Mangan C.M. In This Sign You Conquer, 10/15/03 Copyright © 2004 Catholic Online).

He {Constantine} said that about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens , above the sun, and bearing the inscription , Conquer by this…in his sleep the Christ of God appeared to him with the same sign which he had seen in the heavens , and commanded him to make a likeness of that sign which he had seen in the heavens , and to use it as a safeguard in all engagements with his enemies….At dawn of day he arose, and communicated the marvel to his friends: and then, calling together the workers in gold and precious stones, he sat in the midst of them, and described to them the figure of the sign he had seen, bidding them represent it in gold and precious stones…

Now it was made in the following manner. A long spear, overlaid with gold, formed the figure of the cross by means of a transverse bar laid over it. On the top of the whole was fixed a wreath of gold and precious stones; and within this, the symbol of the Saviour’s name, two letters indicating the name of Christ by means of its initial characters, the letter P being intersected by X in its centre…

The emperor constantly made use of this sign of salvation as a safeguard against every adverse and hostile power, and commanded that others similar to it should be carried at the head of all his armies. (Eusebius. The Life of Constantine, Book I, Chapters 28,30,31).

This type of cross is known as a labarum:

The Labarum (☧) was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the first two Greek letters of the word “Christ” (Greek: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, or Χριστός) — Chi (χ) and Rho (ρ).It was first used by the Roman emperor Constantine I…

Though modern representations of the chi-rho sign represent the two lines crossing at ninety degree angles, the early examples of the Chi-Rho cross at an angle that is more vividly representative of the chi formed by the solar ecliptic path and the celestial equator. This image is most familiar in Plato’s Timaeus…Of Plato’s image in Timaeus, Justin Martyr, the Christian apologist writing in the second century, found a prefiguration of the Cross (Labarum. Wikipedia, viewed 03/04/09).

So we see that the Chi-Rho existed from at least the time of Plato (a pagan philosopher), but was adopted by Constantine centuries after Christ died. The heretic Justin was probably one who originally encouraged its adoption, and he apparently got it from Plato. Constantine’s mother Helena later claimed to find a piece of Jesus’ ‘cross’ and this helped popularize interest in crosses in the empire.

As far as the end times go, there is a Catholic writer who indicated that the image or perhaps mark of the beast may be something that resembles that Constantinian cross:

Priest P. Huchedé (19th century): Antichrist will further make all men, great and small, rich and poor, freemen and bondmen, bear a sign on their right arm or their forehead. (Apoc. 13:16). What this sign shall be time alone will reveal. Yet there are some {Catholic} commentators of the Holt Writ, who, according to a special revelation pretend to say that it shall be formed out of the Greek letters X and P, interlaced…which resembles the number of Christ. (Cornelius a Lapide in Epis. 2 to Thes.). No one can either buy or sell without this mark, as specified in the Apocalypse (13:17). (Huchedé, P. Translated by JBD. History of Antichrist. Imprimatur: Edward Charles Fabre, Bishop of Montreal. English edition 1884, Reprint 1976. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 24).

If the cross is a symbol of the future Antichrist/Beast power as Priest P. Huchedé indicates it will be (and it is in a book with an official imprimatur), perhaps those who come from faiths descended from Emperor Constantine should be concerned about their religion now–before it becomes even further removed from the original faith. The Bible indicates that the true Christians will NOT have the symbol/mark needed to buy or sell when the two beasts of Revelation 13 are in power, but only those that will follow those beasts will (Revelation 13:16-17)–and while crosses may not necessarily be required everywhere, other Catholic writings suggest that in certain places, they will be.

Although all real scholars admit that the original Christians would not kill or intentionally participate in military service, after Emperor Constantine claimed to see a spear in the sky with a traverse bar (see Constantine is Why “Christians” War), the group that accepted his authority then allowed him to convene what is known as the Council of Nicea in 325. A.D.

Before going further, let me state that a cross was used by the followers of the militaristic sun-god called Mithraism, which Emperor Constantine supported.

The 20th and 19th century writers Manly Hall and Albert Pike wrote respectively:

Candidates who successfully passed the Mithraic initiations were called Lions and were marked upon their foreheads with the Egyptian cross. (Manly P. Hall Manly P. Hall (Author), J. Augustus Knapp (Illustrator) The Secret Teachings of all Ages. Originally published 1926, reprint Wilder Publications, 2009, p. 45)

Mithras signed his soldiers on the forehead with a Cross. X is the mark of 600, the mysterious cycle of the Incarnations. (Pike A. Morals and dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. First published 1871. Forgotten Books, 1962, p. 246)

Catholic scholar Cumont wrote:

A curious bas-relief recently published shows us the spectacle of this sacred repast (Fig. 38). Before two persons stretched upon a couch covered with pillows is placed a tripod bearing four tiny loaves of bread, each marked with a cross. … these love feasts are evidently the ritual commemoration of the banquet which Mithra celebrated before his ascension. (Cumont F. The Mysteries of Mithra. Open Court, 1903. Original from Harvard University, Digitized Feb 15, 2008, p. 160)

Crosses were not originally part of Christian worship (for details read What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? and/or watch a related YouTube video: Origin of the Cross.

Before going further, it may be of interest to note that a Mithratic temple was recently in the news:

In central London, seven meters underground, lies an ancient Roman temple to a mysterious god called Mithras.

Nearly 2,000 years after the temple was frequented by the all-male members of an exclusive, enigmatic cult, it has now been faithfully restored and opened to the public.

A light display in the recess of the temple depicts the cult statue of Mithras slaying a bull, an image that was the central icon of the cult. …

It is believed that soldiers and merchants gathered in these secret temples drinking, feasting and performing rituals that may have involved simulating death and rebirth, and even some nakedness. …

Variations of the bull-slaying cult statue — known as the Tauroctony — feature a scorpion on the bull’s testicles, a dog and snake licking the blood, and various zodiac signs and allusions to Sol the sun god. http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/12/europe/london-temple-of-mithras/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+rss%252Fcnn_latest+(RSS%253A+CNN+-+Most+Recent)

Now the ancient cult of Mithras is being represented. In fact, there are some 600 people a day visiting a restored temple underneath the London headquarters of the business news outlet Bloomberg. …

“Most people today don’t realize how much of a hold ancient pagan beliefs, practices and images still have on their lives,” said Joseph Farah, author of “The Restitution of All Things: Israel, Christians and the End of the Age.” “In fact, pagan values and traditions have never left us. Even Jews and Christians are impacted by them. And they are not innocent because the gods of paganism are actually demons, according to the Bible. It’s not something to be played with. http://www.wnd.com/2018/01/now-people-going-ga-ga-over-temple-of-mithras/#V5C3az8alRmLw63t.99

So, this pagan sun-god cult is officially getting some attention. And attention at a time the ecumenical types are pushing crosses. Perhaps it should also be emphasized that the professing Christian world has been impacted quite a bit by doctrines once associated with Mithraism (see also Do You Practice Mithraism?).

As far as crosses go, some may be astounded to learn that there are Catholic writings that indicate that those who wear crosses will be persecutors in the end times:

St. Francis de Paul (1470): These holy Cross-bearers shall reign and dominate holily over the whole world until the end of time…(Culleton, G. The Prophets and Our Times. Nihil Obstat: L. Arvin. Imprimatur: Philip G. Scher, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno, November 15, 1941. Reprint 1974, TAN Books, Rockford (IL),p. 157-161).

St. Bridget of Sweden (died 1373): …war shall end when an emperor of Spanish origin will be elected, who will, in a wonderful manner, be victorious through the sign of the Cross. He shall destroy the Jewish and Mahometan sects… (Culleton, The Prophets and Our Times , p. 154).

Anne Catherine Emmerich (October, 1820): citizens and peasants, many of whom were marked on the forehead with a red cross. As this army drew near, the captives and oppressed were delivered and swelled the ranks whilst the demolishers and conspirators were put to flight on all sides (Emmerich AC. The Life of Lord Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations. Schmöger edition, Vol. IV. Nihil Obstat: D. Jaegher, 14 Februari 1914. Imprimatur: A.C. De Schrevel, Brugis, 14 Februari 1914. Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 2004, pp. 290-291).

Notice what one claimed to be “Mary” allegedly stated in an apparition 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! 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 1958, Matous Losuta of Czechoslovakia claimed that “Mary” stated:

All my children will receive and carry the sign of the cross on their foreheads (Flynn, Ted & Flynn, Maureen. Thunder of Justice: The Warning, the Miracle, the Chastisement, the Era of Peace. Signs of the Times Illustrated by Kaleidoscope Graphics Staff Contributor Malachi Martin Published by Maxkol Communications, 1992, p. 331).

This is not something that the Bible advocates. (More on Mary can be found in the article Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions.)

Thus, according to various Catholic mystics and writers, those that follow a persecuting power will wear some type of cross. And according to at least one Catholic priest, it is similar to the type of cross that Emperor Constantine used, and according to that same priest, it may be an important symbol for the beasts of Revelation 13 and their followers.

And now, we are seeing a type of cross being called an “icon” by major leaders in the ecumenical movement and a promoter of a Babylonian ecumenical unity that the Bible warns against (cf. Revelation 17) .

Some type of cross may well be a mark of the Beast or final Antichrist.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? Marcus was a second century heretic condemned for having a ceremony similar to one still practiced by many who profess Christ, as well as for promoting the ‘eighth day’ ogdoad. Might he also be in the apostolic succession list of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria? Where did the eucharistic host and IHS come from?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
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?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs 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! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
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.
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants) Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
The Spanish Inquisition and Early Protestant Persecutions Was the Church of Rome really responsible for this? What happened? A video of related interest is titled: The Past and Future Inquisition.
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.
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?

Sermonette: Does the Bible endorse Jerusalem as the Church of God headquarters now?

Sunday, January 21st, 2018


Part of the original Church of God building in Jerusalem

COGwriter

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

16:07

Does the Bible endorse Jerusalem as the Church of God headquarters now?

In the 20th century, Church of God Seventh Day minister A.N. Dugger promoted the “back to Jerusalem movement.” In the 21st century, at least one group claims that the Church of God needs to be headquartered in Jerusalem. Does church history support the view that Jerusalem was to be the permanent headquarters for the Church of God? When does the Bible show that God wants Jerusalem to be the headquarters? Could Grover Beach, California be the headquarters of the most faithful? Is a Jerusalem headquarters the criteria for the Philadelphian portion of the Church of God?

Here is a link to our video: Does the Bible endorse Jerusalem as the Church of God headquarters now?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Does the Church of God need to be headquartered in Jerusalem? Some say so. But what does the Bible teach? A related video is: Does the Bible endorse Jerusalem as the Church of God headquarters now?
Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill Could this building, often referred to as the Cenacle, which is located on a Mount Zion, possibly have been the oldest actual Christian church building? There is also a video titled Does the ‘Cenacle’ deal have prophetic ramifications?
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.
Bible News Prophecy
online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
Bible News Prophecy
channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them at that channel.
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.

The Apostle Peter taught doctrines that most who claim succession through him do not hold

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018


Artist portrayal of the Apostle Peter preaching

COGwriter

Former Roman Catholic Mike Gendron had the following in one of his newletters:

The apostle Peter played a prominent role in the early church. Soon after he abandoned his career as a fisherman to follow Christ, he became a fisher of men. Several of his sermons were recorded in the Book of Acts, and his two epistles are included in the divinely inspired Scriptures. Since Catholics have been taught that Peter was their first pope, I have developed some questions to shed some light on his theology, ecclesiology, and soteriology. All of the answers come directly from his writings and sermons…>

Peter, were you the first pope and the supreme head of the first century church?
“As a fellow elder, I exhort the elders among you… to shepherd the flock of God.” (1 Pet. 5:1-3)

Are you the rock upon which Jesus would build His church?
Jesus is “a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God, chosen and precious… The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense. They stumble because they disobey the word.” (1 Pet. 2:4,7-8)

Were you infallible?
Paul opposed me to my face because I was not in step with the truth of the Gospel.(Gal. 2:11,14)

Should we confess our sins to priests?
Repent of your wickedness and pray to God that your sins may be forgiven. (Acts 8:22)

Should we pray to Mary and the saints?
Pray to God. (Acts 8:22)

Can anyone be saved apart from the Lord Jesus Christ?
“There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

What would you say to Pope Francis who teaches that atheists can follow their conscience into heaven?
“There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” “The ignorant and unstable twist Paul’s letters to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” (2 Peter 2:1; 3:16)…

Is it possible for God’s grace or indulgences to be purchased for the remission of sins?
God ransoms us “not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.” (1 Pet. 1:18-19)…

Should Jesus Christ be made a sin offering during the sacrifice of the Mass?
Christ suffered “once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18)…

Should Jesus continue to be pictured as a dead man hanging on a cross or as a baby in Mary’s arms?
The resurrected Christ has “gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.” (1 Pet. 3:21-22)

What should we do in these days of great deception? Take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Pet 3:17-18)

There is a profound contrast between the divinely inspired teachings of Peter and the fallible, ungodly opinions of Pope Francis. The enormous disparity between the instruction of these two men Catholics call “pope” shows how far the Roman Catholic Church has departed from the faith of the apostles. May God give us all a greater compassion for the many victims of religious deception.

Most who claim some tie to Roman Catholicism do not realize how much that church has changed. An article that documents this in great detail is available: Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God?

As far as ‘apostolic succession’ goes, notice the following definition from a Roman Catholic priest and scholar:

Apostolic Succession...In its strict sense, apostolic succession refers to the doctrine by which the validity and authority of the Christian ministry is derived from the Apostles…In its broader sense, apostolic succession refers to the relationship between the Christian church today and the apostolic church of New Testament times. Thus, apostolic succession refers to the whole church insofar as it is faithful to the word, the witness, and the service of the apostolic communities. Understood in this way, the church is not simply a collectivity of individual churches; instead, it is a communion of churches whose validity is derived from the apostolic message that it professes and from the apostolic witness that it lives (McBrien R.P. Apostolic Succession. http://mb-soft.com/believe/txo/apossucc.htm 12/09/06).

In other words, according to the above priest, apostolic succession is actually related to the acceptance of the succession of biblical truth, as taught by the original apostles–spiritual apostolic succession is the most important factor to consider when it comes to the subject of apostolic succession (though the ‘laying on of hands’ is also a factor).

Jesus said:

23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24)

True successors of Jesus’ disciples would worship God in spirit and truth–“the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Yet, the Church of Rome has made many changes, including many that disagree with positions held by many it considers to be early ‘saints.’

I would add that it is not just Roman Catholics that made changes that disagree with the views of the original apostles.

Some details are in the free online booklets Continuing History of the Church of God and Where is the True Christian Church Today?

Some items to assist in your studies may include:

Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view?  Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches?  Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter! Here is a link to a sermon: Claims of Apostolic Succession. Here is a related articlein the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups that Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups? A related sermon is also available Christianity: Two groups.
Laying on of Hands This is an elementary principle of Hebrews 6. Have you properly had hands laid upon you? Here is a link to a related sermon: Laying on of Hands and Succession.
Was Peter the Rock Who Alone Received the Keys of the Kingdom? How should Matthew 16:18-19 be understood?
The Apostle Peter He was an original apostle and early Christian leader. Where was Peter buried? Where did Peter die?
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. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? 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. There is also a YouTube sermon on the subject titled Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?
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?
Laying on of Hands This is an elementary principle of Hebrews 6. Have you properly had hands laid upon you? Here is a link to a related sermon: Laying on of Hands and Succession.
What Was the Original Apostles’ Creed? What is the Nicene Creed? Did the original apostles write a creed? When was the first creed written? Are the creeds commonly used by the Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholics original?
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity?
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?
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 Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
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?

Sermon: Sacred Names: True or False Gospel?

Saturday, January 13th, 2018


Mesha Stele (c. 800 B.C.) contains the word translated as ‘Yahweh’ (Neithsabes)

COGwriter

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

1:14:34

What name did Jesus reveal to His followers? Can Christians use terms like Jesus, Lord, and God? Is the use of terms such as Yahshua or Yahweh essential for salvation? What does the Bible teach? What did early Christians teach? What is the Tetragrammaton? Is the use of ‘sacred names’ something that was to be restored by the end time EliYah/Elijah for Philadelphian Christians? Is the name ‘Jesus’ a reference to Zeus? Was the New Testament written in Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew? What are the names/titles for deity in the Old and New Testaments? Dr. Thiel answers those questions and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: Sacred Names: True or False Gospel?

Some items of related interest may include:

The Bible, Church History, and Sacred Names What are ‘sacred names’? What is Jesus’ Old Testament name? Is the use of sacred names a subject of salvation or a false gospel? Must we refer to our Saviour as Yahweh or Yashua? A related sermon is available: Sacred Names: True or False Gospel?
Was the New Testament Written in Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic? What language was the New Testament written in? Does it make any difference? What about sacred names? Did the Apostle Paul ever teach in Greek?
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.
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.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.