Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

Sermon: Proverbs 29-31: Are You Willing to Learn From God’s Word?

Saturday, September 22nd, 2018


Scroll of Proverbs

COGwriter

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


1:10:09

Proverbs 29-31: Are You Willing to Learn From God’s Word?

This is the tenth part of a ten-part sermon series covering the Book of Proverbs. In this sermon,. Dr. Thiel covers all the verses in the 29th, 30th, and 31st chapters of the Book of Proverbs. He goes over why Christians should accept correction, dealing with trials and temptations, being a Proverbs 31 wife, being a Proverbs 31 husband, and other aspects of Christian living. He goes over verses related to fools, thieves, children, dating, speaking, and not pride. He goes over items that God’s word says to do as well as not to do. He mentions Solomon, Agur, Ithiel, and Lemuel. He even discusses work, wealth, linen/flax processing, clothes, and cotton. He also discusses prophetic ramifications of some of the verses in the Book of Proverbs. Furthermore, Dr. Thiel ties in various passages in the New Testament to show that the scriptures in Proverbs are also intended for Christians in the end times–including items related to the Beast and Antichrist.

Some items of related interest may include:

PROVERBS Here are links to ten sermons covering the all the chapters of the Book of Proverbs: Proverbs 1-7: Practical advice for those who wish to follow God and Proverbs 7-12: Wisdom, Knowledge, Righteousness, and Diligence and Proverbs 13-15: Following God’s Advice and Proverbs 16-17: Accept God’s Instructions and Proverbs 18-19: It is dangerous to trust self and Proverbs 20-21: Modern Christian Living and Proverbs 22-23: Certainty of the Bible and How to Live and Proverbs 24-25: What to do and what not to do and Proverbs 26-28: Giving Answers, Making Right Decisions (a related article is also available: Proverbs 26-28) and Proverbs 29-31: Are You Willing to Learn From God’s Word? (a related article is also available: Proverbs 29-31).
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian.
Dating: A Key to Success in Marriage, a practical dating guide for Christians This is a scripture-filled dating guide. It discusses many aspects of dating, as well as who to not consider for marriage. Two related sermons are available: The Art of Christian Dating. and No One to Date? Teen Q&A? Engagement? 2nd Marriage? A short animation is also available: First Date: Worldly vs. Christian.
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? A related article in the Spanish language is La Biblia, la historia de la Iglesia, y los nombres sagrados.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen What is faith? Can faith be increased? Are you saved by faith? What about works? Do Christians need to keep the Ten Commandments? What is the ‘faith chapter’? How do the just live by faith? Is faith one of the weightier matters of the law? How does faith come? Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido. In German: Glaube für die von GottBerufenen und Auserwählten. In French: La Foi pour ceux que Dieu a Appelés et Choisis. Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Faith for the Called and Chosen.and here is a link to another sermon Faith and Courage. Here is a link to shorter version of the written article in Mandarin Chinese 一篇关于信仰的小文章.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. There are links to literature is about 100 different languages there. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? an CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia? Here is a written link to a version of that first sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Africa, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Canada, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Europe, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOG Animations channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
BibleNewsProphecy Podcast. This has audio-visual podcasts of the Bible News Prophecy channgel. It plays on i-Phones, i-Pads, and Windows devices that can play i-Tunes.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube sermonette videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Sermons: ‘First Death, Second Death’ and ‘What Really Happens After Death?’

Friday, September 21st, 2018


Military cemetery in Estonia

COGwriter

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

1:10:08

First death, Second death

Can souls die? What is the first death? Can people physically die more than once? Is death like sleep? Did early Christians believe they were immortal? Did early Christians believe in a physical resurrection? Are there multiple resurrections? What happens when Jesus returns? What is the second death? Who is subject to the second death? Do the wicked become ashes or will they be tortured forever? What did the early Church believe? What do most Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants believe? Do they or the Church of God hold to the original and biblical teachings on these matters? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and provides additional information on the first death, the second death, and even what happens afterwards.

Here is a link to the sermon: First death, Second death.

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


1:15:06
What really happens after death?
There are many views about what happens after death, but only one true authority, the Holy Bible. Does the Bible teach ‘soul sleep’ or the immortality of the soul? What did early Christians believe? Did anyone ever return from the dead? What about ‘near death experiences’? Can you communicate with your dead loved ones? What will happen to the dead? What, if anything, are the dead up to now? What happens to those who commit suicide? Can souls die? What is the ‘second death’? How many resurrections are ahead? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: What really happens after death?

Some items of related interest may include:

The Second Death The New Testament speaks of something called the “second death.” Who will be subject to it? How does it end? Here is a link to a related sermon: First death, Second death.
What Happens After Death? Is death like sleep, or is that a cultic idea? Can you speak to the dead? A related sermon is titled What really happens after death?
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 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.
Did Early Christians Teach They Were Going to Heaven? What do the Bible and scholars teach? What about ‘near-death experiences’? Here are links to a related sermons: Heaven and Christianity and It’s not heaven.
What Is the Place that Jesus Is Preparing? Dr. Herman Hoeh wrote this and answered whether the saints go to heaven upon death.
Did the “Thief on the Cross” enter PARADISE immediately? Dr. Herman Hoeh wrote this and answered whether one killed with Jesus entered Paradise before Jesus could have.
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?
Born-Again originally meant being born at the resurrection, not at the time of conversion.
What Did Early Christians Understand About the Resurrections? Is there more than one future resurrection? Did early Christians teach a physical resurrection? Did early Christians teach three resurrections?
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Will God call everyone? Will everyone have an opportunity for salvation? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account? Related sermon videos include Universal Offer of Salvation I: God is love and Universal Offer of Salvation II: The Age to Come and the ‘Little Flock’ and Universal Offer of Salvation III: All Are to Know Jesus, But When? and Universal Offer of Salvation IV: Will the Guilty be Pardoned? and Universal Offer of Salvation V: All Israel Will be Saved? A version of the main article was also translated in the Spanish language: Oferta universal de salvación: Hay cientos de versículos en la Biblia que apoyan la verdadera doctrina de la Apocatastasis.
Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory? Is there a place called purgatory? Does God have a plan to help those who did not become saints in this life?
What is Limbo? Is There Such a Place as Limbo? What Happens to Babies When They Die? When did Limbo start being taught? What is the truth about dead babies?
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.
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?
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. 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.
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.
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.

American junk food grosses foreigners out

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

COGwriter

Some foods commonly consumed by Americans in the USA and Canada gross foreigners out:

Our food doesn’t exactly have a good reputation abroad; we might be best-known for exporting McDonald’s Big Mac hamburgers overseas.

Business Insider reports that Reddit recently asked its non-American users which U.S. foods they consider gross or weird.

From grits to Velveeta cheese and Hershey’s chocolate, the foods that made the icky list turn out to be kitchen staples in many American kitchens.

Cheese Whiz, a cheese-like product that squirts out of a can, topped the list.

One user reported, “It tastes like plastic and cancer.”

Another Reddit user couldn’t believe that Pop-Tarts, rectangular pre-baked toaster pastries with a sugary filling, were considered a morning meal.

“They were revolting,” homovore wrote. “People actually eat them for breakfast?”

Red Vines candy also made the list for tasting like “soap”, supermarket bread was deemed “too sweet”, and casseroles using Campbell’s soups were likened to a “sodium bomb.”

Root Beer floats — root beer soda with a scoop of ice cream in it — are a special treat to many Americans, but one foreigner called it “disgusting”. To be fair, many Americans might agree with the latter opinion.

President Obama has been photographed eating number 11 on the list. The most powerful man in the world might enjoy a snow cone — crushed ice with sugary, flavored syrups poured over it — but the rest of the world doesn’t appear to share his tastes.

And while many American children love the colors and treats that come in sugary cereals, our overseas friends do not.

“It has all these different colors and weird tastes, and there are marshmallows in some of it too,” wrote a user called TheInsaneDane. “That’s not ideal for a breakfast meal. No wonder why many kids struggle with obesity.”

Other foods on the gross list as selected by non-Americans include Twizzlers candy, beef jerky, grits, corn dogs, biscuits and gravy, meatloaf and bacon. http://blogs.voanews.com/all-about-america/2014/10/27/17-all-american-foods-that-foreigners-find-gross/

There is a lot of questionable items that Americans eat. I have never tasted Cheese Whiz. Grits, which once were made of ground, whole organic corn, are now made with degerminated GMO corn, ‘fortified’ with synthetic vitamins. After corn was ‘degerminated’ many people in the Southern USA died from a disease called pellagra. Instead of going back to whole corn, chemically-derived synthetic vitamins were added, which I consider to be dangerous.

As far as sodas go, they are not healthy and most should avoid them.

As far as bacon (biblically unclean), biscuits, and gravy go, a study came out last year that the typical Southern diet (which tends to contain those) was unhealthy and increased risk for strokes (see Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible).

Furthermore, the Bible warns about eating things that are not really food:

2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good (Isaiah 55:2).

Refined processed “breads,” refined and artificial sweeteners, chemical additives, and some other items commonly associated with junk foods and hydrogenated fats would seem to be consistent with that warning.

Breakfast cereals used to be one of the original ‘health foods’ when Dr. Kellogg first introduced Corn Flakes at his clinic in Battle Creek, Michigan. It was basically made of whole organic corn. Now, it seems to be made with GMO corn (its label does not state otherwise, which in the USA means the corn source is almost always genetically-modified) and is ‘fortified’ with synthetic vitamins.

Many other breakfast cereals, especially the ones targeted towards children are made of refined, degerminated grains, synthetic vitamins, a lot of sugar, and artificial colors. Pop-Tarts made of refined, degerminated grains, synthetic vitamins, fruit, sugar, gelatin (probably biblical unclean; see also The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats), and artificial colors.

Many Americans (and others) consume synthetic vitamins that they tend to consider to be “health food.” Synthetic vitamins are often in forms that are foreign to the human body (i.e. there is no such thing as isolated thiamin hydrochloride (thiamin HCL) in a natural food, but that is one form that refined foods are ‘fortified’ with–foods mainly contain vitamin B-1 as thiamin pyrophosphate. Most USP vitamins are petroleum derivatives and/or processed with formaldehyde and/or acetone.

Synthetic/USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) vitamins are not only isolates, they tend to be crystalline in structure. Vitamins complexed in foods appear rounder. Notice some electron microscope photos of food and synthetic vitamins:


Food Thiamin vs. USP Thiamin HCL


Food Vitamin C vs. USP Ascorbic Acid

Perhaps I should comment that most minerals Americans (and others) purchase are basically ground up industrial rocks with acids added to them. While plants can properly convert rocks into food, humans are supposed to eat food. Unless people consider bones or shells to be foods (which do contain hard mineral salts), foods simply do not contain the type of two word mineral salts that are used in most vitamin-mineral formulas.

Here are electron microscope photos of food and rock zinc:


Food Zinc vs. USP Zinc Chloride

Most people consuming minerals are consuming ground up rocks. The chemical forms of these mineral salts can be ‘natural,’ but they are not natural for humans to eat. Actually, eating ground up rocks/dirt is considered as a medical condition called ‘pica.’ Yet, many ‘health food’ supplements contain these substances for minerals that are totally foreign to human foods.

An Iowa study involving over 30,000 older women found that those that regularly consumed a synthetic vitamin pill died years before women that did not. In 2017, a study found that smokers who took high doses of synthetic vitamins B6 and B12 had a significantly increased risk of developing lung cancer than smokers who did not.

Synthetics are not good!

What should you eat? You should eat real food and be careful about your quantities.

2…Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good (Isaiah 55:2).

People should try to eat real, not artificial, foods. And if you take vitamins and minerals, take the type whose nutrients are 100% food (which is what I personally do).

Notice also the following:

Americans love to eat hotdogs; they spent $2.5 billion on this processed food last year. But a food analytics lab has found that there are unwanted and potentially dangerous ingredients lurking in hotdogs that consumers are not aware of.

Clear Labs, a startup that uses genomic technology to analyze foods at a molecular level, looked at 345 hotdogs and sausages from 75 brands sold at 10 different food retailers. The company found that 14.4 percent of the products examined contained ingredients that were not disclosed on the label.

The DNA analysis revealed unexpected ingredients as well with some of the products found to contain meat not found on the label such as meat in vegetarian products. Human DNA was also found in 2 percent of the samples and even in some of the vegetarian samples. Some of the ingredients that were advertised on the labels were not likewise found.

“The food industry has been a black box for too long. Food consumers have to trust that food labels are accurate, but that isn’t always the case,” said Clear Labs CEO Sasan Amini. “We’ve found a 10 to 15 percent rate of discrepancy between labeled ingredients and actual ingredients across our internal tests to date.”

Some individuals opt for chicken and turkey sausages to avoid pork but there were evidences of pork substitution in 3 percent of the samples tested. Pork was found to make its way to chicken and turkey sausages.

“Pork is a particularly unwelcome substitution in any food when you consider that significant numbers of people do not eat pork for religious reasons,” the report reads “Pork substitution was an issue in products across the price spectrum being sold at a wide variety of retailers.”

Based on the analysis, Clear Labs recommended that consumers who want to avoid pork steer free of chicken products and opt for Kosher brands like Hebrew National as the Kosher products that were tested were found to be 100 percent pork-free. http://www.techtimes.com/articles/99306/20151025/hotdogs-may-have-undisclosed-ingredients-clear-labs-finds-mystery-meat-human-dna-in-sampled-brands.htm

False labeling is bearing false witness. This is a violation of the ninth commandment. No human should be eating humans or pork.

The American and Anglo-Saxon descended nations are not setting the right example when it comes to diet and obesity and this does not bode well for them in the future (Proverbs 12:24; Daniel 11:39).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

American foods that gross out foreigners A study done in the Fall of 2014 found out which foods that non-USA Americans considered weird or gross that Americans eat. This video discusses those foods, ingredients in some of those foods, and warns against consuming ‘that which is not bread’ (Isaiah 55:2). Dr. Thiel also warns about synthetic vitamins and some of the issues associated with them. He also discusses something promoted by the late Seventh-day Adventist, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg.
Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods?
Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy Are there disadvantages to being overweight? Is junk food really bad for you? Does the Bible discuss overeating and/or obesity? Is overeating having an effect on the US military? What are the ramifications of personal and national health for overeating? What should you eat? This is a sermonette-length YouTubevideo.
GMOs and Bible Prophecy What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras? Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues?
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
Does God Heal Today? What does the Bible teach? Herbert Armstrong tries to explain this.
UK Study Supports Daniel Diet Daniel and his companions looked better eating more vegetables and avoiding strange meats. Has modern science confirmed this?
The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats; a short video is also available: Did Jesus declare all animal flesh food?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?

Have you studied the numerous scriptures about God’s plan to OFFER salvation to all?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018


Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. (Luke 12:32)

COGwriter

Have you actually studied the hundreds of scriptures related to the ‘Universal OFFER of Salvation’?

The article Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis has also been translated into the Spanish language to assist those who better understand that language. Here is a link: Oferta universal de salvación: Hay cientos de versículos en la Biblia que apoyan la verdadera doctrina de la Apocatastasis.

The Bible teaches that all are guilty of sin. Yet, most of humanity has never truly repented of those sins. Will “mercy triumph over judgment?” (James 2:13)? There are hundreds of scriptures that support that God will offer salvation to all. For the only place that I am aware of, the grouping of so many of them is available in English check out: Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis (and the Spanish language check out: Oferta universal de salvación: Hay cientos de versículos en la Biblia que apoyan la verdadera doctrina de la Apocatastasis).

But are you truly familiar with them?

While some have claimed that believing them is “unorthodox,” even the so-called Eastern Orthodox church tends to accept the general conclusion of them (see also Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God). The Roman Catholic church used to believe this general idea as well, though it changed (see Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God?).

Notice the following two:

6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. (Luke 3:6)

10 And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:10)

The Bible clearly teaches that those Gentiles, for example, who have been subject to condemnation will have an opportunity for salvation, but few seem to realize what that means.

To begin with Micah 7:18-19 teaches:

18 Who is a God like You,
Pardoning iniquity
And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?
He does not retain His anger forever,
Because He delights in mercy.
19 He will again have compassion on us,
And will subdue our iniquities.
You will cast all our sins
Into the depths of the sea.

Is your God going to pardon iniquity for a few or nearly all of the guilty?

Notice that Ezekiel 11:16-20 and 36:24-38 both record that God is going to convert many sinners so that they will walk in His statutes:

16 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Although I have cast them far off among the Gentiles, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet I shall be a little sanctuary for them in the countries where they have gone.” ‘ 17 “Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will gather you from the peoples, assemble you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.” ‘ 18 “And they will go there, and they will take away all its detestable things and all its abominations from there. 19 Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God…”

24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God. 29 I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. I will call for the grain and multiply it, and bring no famine upon you. 30 And I will multiply the fruit of your trees and the increase of your fields, so that you need never again bear the reproach of famine among the nations. 31 Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good; and you will loathe yourselves in your own sight, for your iniquities and your abominations. 32 Not for your sake do I do this,” says the Lord GOD, “let it be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel!” 33’Thus says the Lord GOD: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. 35 So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ 36 “Then the nations which are left all around you shall know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt the ruined places and planted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken it, and I will do it.” 37’Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock. 38 Like a flock offered as holy sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem on its feast days, so shall the ruined cities be filled with flocks of men. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.” ‘ “

Notice that the above has never been fulfilled by Israelites going back to the Middle East as God has YET to give them a new heart. Surely God has a plan to offer salvation to those who many now feel are lost.

Notice Daniel 12:2-4:

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever. But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase”

The above passage shows that death is like sleep. It also refers to a resurrection to everlasting life and resurrection to shame and to everlasting contempt. Notice that those who are wise will shine and still, after they shall awake, turn many to righteousness. Since they cannot turn those who are raised to everlasting contempt to life, who are they turning to life?

Obviously, those who were dead and not dead in Christ are those that are among the many that are turned to righteousness. Thus, the Bible clearly shows that there is a future offer of salvation past this current life and many will be turned to righteousness–many are then converted.

Jesus taught in Matthew 10:15 that those in Sodom and Gomorrah will do better than those who intentionally reject the message:

14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!

If the fate of Sodom is already eternal condemnation, how could it be better for them than for others?

Matthew 11:20-26, notice what Jesus stated:

20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

25 At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. 26 Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.”

Notice the Jesus clearly teaches that some, like Sodom, will still have a chance and that this knowledge is hidden to many of the wise of this world.

Ezekiel 16:55 teaches that it was known that Sodom would return:

55 When thy sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate (KJV).

What does your church teach is the fate of Sodom? Does it teach that they will have an opportunity for salvation? If not, how do they explain Ezekiel 16:55?

Matthew 12:38-42 teaches:

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.” 39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.

Notice that contrary to the views of what passes as mainstream “Christianity”, there will be a difference in judgment in the end.

Now God destroyed Sodom for its wicked works (Genesis 18:20;19:24)–wicked works, that according to Paul’s writings make it impossible for them to inherit the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21). If what most Protestants believe is correct, then all in Sodom will be destroyed and will be no better off than those in Capernaum–but that is a clear contradiction of what Jesus taught.

Luke 10:8-15, Jesus taught:

8 Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. 9 And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 The very dust of your city which clings to us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’ 12 But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city. 13 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14 But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. 15 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be thrust down to Hades.

Notice that Jesus is holding those to a higher standard who saw miracles and should have understood His message, than those who were idolaters, pagans, and sexually immoral (including those that lived in Sodom). Jesus makes this concept clear in many other passages.

Does your church teach you that it will be more tolerable for certain non-Christians at the judgment than for others? If not, does it really understand the Bible?

Mark 6:10-11, notice what Jesus taught:

10 Also He said to them, “In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. 11 And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!”

God completely destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their sins. Yet, Jesus says that it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than those who had some understanding but would not accept it.

Psalm 90:3 teaches:

3 You turn man to destruction, And say, “Return, O children of men.”

God is teaching that He turned humans over to destruction–He allowed sinners to die–yet notice that He teaches that He is going to have them return. Does your church teach anything like this?

Twenty-six times in its twenty-six verses, Psalm 136 states:

For His mercy endures forever.

Why would God have to repeat that so much if He did not have a plan involving His mercy for more than this age? The expression “His mercy endures forever” is found 41 times in the NKJV and the version “his mercy endureth for ever” is found 33 times in the Douay-Rheims Bible. God wants ALL to realize that He really is merciful. Many who profess Christianity do not understand God’s mercy.

Notice that Psalm 107:1-3 teaches:

1 Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy,
3 And gathered out of the lands,
From the east and from the west,
From the north and from the south.

Thus, God is going to have mercy to those turned over to the enemy (the devil) because God’s mercy endures forever–Ambrose of Milan referred to this verse–and stated “this is the privilege not only of a few” (see article Hope of Salvation). When scripture refers to those gathered from all over in this manner, it often is referring to those who have died. Jesus also alluded to this verse in Matthew 8:10-11:

10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus was teaching that Gentiles will be part of the kingdom. And, I and others believe this means more than just a few.

Psalm 145:14 teaches:

14 The LORD upholds all who fall, And raises up all who are bowed down.

It should be clear that God is intending to raise up more than a few who fall.

Psalm 25:8 reveals:

8 Good and upright is the LORD; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.

Is He only intending to teach a few sinners or all sinners? God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34 KJV).

Hebrews 8:11-12, states:

11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Notice that the time is coming when all shall know the LORD. And notice that God is saying that He will forgive their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. Does your church understand this?

Isaiah 46:12-13 teaches:

12 “Listen to Me, you stubborn-hearted, Who are far from righteousness: 13 I bring My righteousness near, it shall not be far off; My salvation shall not linger. And I will place salvation in Zion, For Israel My glory.

Note, according to the marginal reference in the Nelson Study Bible, page 640, the word linger is perhaps better translated as “delayed.” Hence, God is teaching that those who were “far from righteousness” will have a time when God will not delay salvation, but bring it. This is not just a reference for Gentiles who will come to accept Christ in this age, this is a reference to an age to come.

One of the psalms, Psalm 66:3-4, teaches:

3 Say to God, “How awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power Your enemies shall submit themselves to You. 4 All the earth shall worship You And sing praises to You; They shall sing praises to Your name.

Notice that this is a prophecy. All the earth has not yet worshipped God. All the enemies who would have been alive when that verse was written thousands of years ago have long since died. But this passage shows that they will submit to God. This is considered to be an awesome work through God’s great power. Does the God you worship have the power to offer salvation to all so that even His enemies will submit to Him?

Isaiah 29:13-14, teaches:

13 Therefore the LORD said:

“Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths
And honor Me with their lips,
But have removed their hearts far from Me,
And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
14 Therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work
Among this people,
A marvelous work and a wonder;
For the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
And the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden.”

Thus, those who have been deceived by human traditions of false worship can be saved. And many have been! (See Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings).

Also notice the following from Jeremiah 30:9-10:

9. But they shall serve the LORD their God, And David their king, Whom I will raise up for them. 10 ‘Therefore do not fear, O My servant Jacob,’ says the LORD,
‘Nor be dismayed, O Israel; For behold, I will save you from afar…

Isaiah 55:1-5 teaches:

1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
Come to the waters;
And you who have no money,
Come, buy and eat.
Yes, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
3 Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you–
The sure mercies of David.
4 Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,
A leader and commander for the people.
5 Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,
And nations who do not know you shall run to you,
Because of the LORD your God,
And the Holy One of Israel;
For He has glorified you.”

The above is not simply a reference to Gentiles becoming Christians as most Protestant commentators think. It is David that is the witness to the people. This is the same David that is prophecied to rule over the nations of Israel in the future (Ezekiel 37:24; Jeremiah 30:9). Thus, this is a prophecy for a later time. The simple truth is that even after Jesus came, the statement “nations who do not know you shall run to you” has simply not been fulfilled. I know of not one nation, let alone nations, that have run to become true Christians. What has happened is that after Greco-Roman “Christianity” became the religion of the empire, many were forced to become “Christians” and those that have followed them have almost never followed the Christianity of the Bible.

If some of that confuses you, recall that in Isaiah 55:8-11 God teaches that even though we think differently than God, that His word will not return void:

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Furthermore, notice what Isaiah 56:1-2 teaches:

1. Thus says the LORD:

“Keep justice, and do righteousness,
For My salvation is about to come,
And My righteousness to be revealed.
2 Blessed is the man who does this,
And the son of man who lays hold on it;
Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath,
And keeps his hand from doing any evil.”

If the salvation to come is simply the first coming of Jesus, then should not all Christians keep the Sabbath as both salvation and the Sabbath are part of the same quote? Does your church teach that one is “blessed” who does not defile the Sabbath? (You may also wish to read the verses that follow it, like Isaiah 56:3-8 as it makes it clear that foreigners-Gentiles-also are to keep the Sabbath.)

Also, notice the following from Isaiah 66:23:

23 And it shall come to pass
That from one New Moon to another,
And from one Sabbath to another,
All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD.

Notice that all flesh will worship God on the Sabbath. This has not yet happened.

In Isaiah 57:16-18 it teaches that God will not always be angry and that He will heal the souls He has made:

16 For I will not contend forever, Nor will I always be angry; For the spirit would fail before Me, And the souls which I have made.
17 For the iniquity of his covetousness I was angry and struck him; I hid and was angry, And he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, And restore comforts to him
And to his mourners.

Thus, even those who sinned that God punished (struck) and hid from, God will lead them back! Does your minister proclaim this?

Isaiah 62:1-5 shows:

1 For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, And for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, And her salvation as a lamp that burns.
2 The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, And all kings your glory. You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the LORD will name.
3 You shall also be a crown of glory In the hand of the LORD, And a royal diadem In the hand of your God.
4 You shall no longer be termed Forsaken, Nor shall your land any more be termed Desolate; But you shall be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; For the LORD delights in you, And your land shall be married.
5 For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you.

Notice that salvation is being discussed and that includes Gentiles and lands that were desolate and that God will delight in them. This is not simply a reference to Gentiles who accept Christ in this age, as they were not referred to in the Hebrew scriptures as “Forsaken”. Versions of the Hebrew term “azuwbah” translated as “Forsaken” are used many times in the Old Testament to refer to Israelites (NOT Gentiles)–God is apparently using that term because most seem to feel that the Gentiles prior to Jesus’ first coming were forsaken–which, however, they were not. Most also seem to feel that most people dwelling in lands that basically do not accept any version of Christ today are in that forsaken category. But again, recall that God states that they are not forsaken. Which means, according to Isaiah 62, that God has a plan of salvation for them.

Also notice that in Isaiah 65:1-5, God declares that even those who eat unclean meat and did not seek God will be called:

1″I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name.
2 I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in a way that is not good, According to their own thoughts;
3 A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face; Who sacrifice in gardens, And burn incense on altars of brick; 4 Who sit among the graves, And spend the night in the tombs; Who eat swine’s flesh, And the broth of abominable things is in their vessels;
5 Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, Do not come near me, For I am holier than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day.

Notice that these people were not originally called. They even provoked God to anger by eating swine (a biblically unclean animal), but notice that they will find God even though they did not seek Him!

Isaiah 66:17-19 teaches:

17 “Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves,
To go to the gardens
After an idol in the midst,
Eating swine’s flesh and the abomination and the mouse,
Shall be consumed together,” says the LORD.
18 “For I know their works and their thoughts. It shall be that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.
19 I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles.

Even though He will punish those who eat unclean meat, notice that they will be gathered and declared God’s glory among the Gentiles. God’s glory among the Gentiles is when He calls them all and offers them salvation. Those who believe in the elitist approach that God is only going to save “good” Roman Catholics and/or Protestants and condemn the vast majority of eaters of unclean meats to fry in torment forever are in clear error.

Romans 8:19-21, Paul states:

19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Notice that the creation was not subjected to futility willingly. And that the creation is waiting to be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. The entirety of creation is awaiting apocatastasis.

Hosea 2:23. Here is what a Protestant author wrote on this verse:

God had said that he would name these children as a sign to his people, but there would come a day of restoration:

“And I will have pity on Not-Pitied,
and I will say to Not-My-People,
‘You are my people;’
and he shall say, ‘Thou art my God.'” {Hos 2:23 RSV}

So that even in this time when God was announcing judgment, his grace also was being shown. (Stedman Ray. O.T. Prophetical Books).

That author is correct on that point. God specifically has foretold a time of restoration through the prophets. And those that were not His people, will become His people.

Romans 11:32-33, Paul states:

32 For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. 33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Notice that God’s plan has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all. Also notice that Paul is teaching that God’s mercy and judgment is apparently not easy for most to figure out.

Is it someone’s fault that they were born in an area that no one knew or taught Christ?

Notice that God knew that most would not at first obey, but that He has a plan to have mercy on them.

Romans 11:13-15, Paul states:

13 For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, 14 if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them. 15 For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

Notice that Paul is teaching that those being cast away can have acceptance after they are given life from the dead (see also vss 26-27). Paul is clearly teaching what is consisting with the CCOG view of apocatastasis.

God does have a marvelous plan of salvation and it is laid out in hundreds of passages in the Bible.

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Will God call everyone? Will everyone have an opportunity for salvation? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account? Related sermon videos include Universal Offer of Salvation I: God is love and Universal Offer of Salvation II: The Age to Come and the ‘Little Flock’ and Universal Offer of Salvation III: All Are to Know Jesus, But When? and Universal Offer of Salvation IV: Will the Guilty be Pardoned? and Universal Offer of Salvation V: All Israel Will be Saved? A version of the main article was also translated in the Spanish language: Oferta universal de salvación: Hay cientos de versículos en la Biblia que apoyan la verdadera doctrina de la Apocatastasis.
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?
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?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Why Should American Catholics 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?
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?
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced several YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.
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.

Will all sins be forgiven? Can all sins be forgiven?

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018

Rembrandt’s Return of the Prodigal Son

COGwriter

Will all sins be forgiven? Can all sins be forgiven?

Because of Satanic deception (Revelation 12:9), human society being cut off from God (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 1:4), and personal selfishness (James 1:14-15), all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

What is the unpardonable sin? Simply put, the unpardonable sin is a sin that will not be forgiven. The Bible makes clear that God is willing to forgive our sins if we confess them and repent of them (1 John 1:9). But what if that does not happen?

While the wages of sin is death in this life (Romans 6:23), there is a sin that leads to the final death:

16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death. (1 John 5:16-17)

So, there is a sin that leads to death, while other sin does not. What specifically, one may ask, is the unpardonable sin that leads to death?

Some who fell away who have been associated with the Church of God and have made efforts to come back have wondered if they have committed the unpardonable sin. Others have wondered if various sins that they committed in their lives can be forgiven. (Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.)

From time to time I get emails from people who are concerned that they may have committed the unpardonable sin.

This is not a new concern. Back in the Good News magazine in 1959, Al Portune of the old Radio Church of God wrote:

Fear of the Unpardonable Sin

THE MOST destructive and terrifying thought that can enter a Christian’s mind is the thought that he has been completely cut off from God by having committed the unpardonable sin.
Think of it for a moment! How would it feel, after having known the depths of God’s wisdom, after having seen the glorious reward of eternal life in God’s very own family — as His Son — to live forever fulfilling His purpose throughout the endless reaches of the universe through joy and wisdom and service — having been glorified like Jesus Christ and made like Him — shining as the sun in its full strength (Rev. 2:16), and then after having known all these things to realize you had LOST IT ALL through the commission of the unpardonable sin!

Cut Off from God FOREVER

Think of what it would be like to be CUT OFF from God forever. Sin SEPARATES US FROM GOD (Isa. 59:1-2). The unpardonable sin cuts us off from God FOREVER. Cut off from God, He would never hear your voice again in prayer. No matter how long or how hard you prayed or cried out with tears, He would NEVER HEAR YOU AGAIN!
The fear of having committed the unpardonable sin is very real. It is a fear that many of God’s people have had. It is one of the most potent weapons of Satan the Devil, to make us believe we no longer have access to God — that we have been cut off forever.
Fear of this kind can utterly destroy us, can throw us into such a fit of despair we no longer want to live. To a true Christian there is no life but service to God, and if one feels he has lost his connection with God, then there is nothing else left to live for. In this frame of mind, Satan can easily overpower us and destroy us, which is his goal.
In order to be sure we do not fall into this destructive trap, we need to fully understand what the unpardonable sin is. We need to look into the Bible — the word of God — for the answer.

What Is the Unpardonable Sin?

There is only ONE “unpardonable sin”! Let’s notice WHAT it is. Jesus Christ said in Mark 3:28,

So let’s look at that:

28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” (Mark 3:28-29)

Because of the apostasy that hit the old Worldwide Church of God after the death of Herbert Armstrong, people who stayed with the apostate group too long as well as others who left the Church of God entirely have wondered if they have committed the unpardonable sin.

No, if they have repented they have not. Sometimes God will allow them more time. Notice what Jesus taught:

“A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. 7 Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ 8 But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. 9 And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.'” (Luke 13:6-9)

Jesus is teaching that while God may grant the unfruitful time to produce fruit (and this can apply to almost everyone), there are limits to the amount of time that will be granted. Do not remain unfruitful anymore.

Notice something else that Jesus taught:

42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:42-48).

Jesus is teaching that believers were subject to being treated as unbelievers and that those who had more given to them will be held to a higher standard than those who received less.

Some portions of scripture basically explain what the unpardonable sin is:

31 Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come (Matthew 12:31-32).

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame (Hebrews 6:4-6).

1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? (Hebrews 2:1-4)

Notice that the only sin not to be forgiven in the age to come is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, which seems further defined as knowing and willingly rejecting/neglecting the Holy Spirit which is received after repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38).

Those who never received God’s Holy Spirit as well as those who were deceived and departed from the COG but have repented of that have not committed the unpardonable sin.

However, the following in Hebrews concerns various ones:

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29)

Now while this sounds very bad, some forget that the Bible teaches the following:

13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13)

Mercy is one of the weightier matters of the law (Matthew 23:23) and mercy will triumph over judgement.

Notice also some passages from the Book of Ezekiel:

20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die…(Ezekiel 3:20)

24 “But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die. (Ezekiel 18:24)

The above seems to be consistent with the New Testament.

Basically, the historical position of the Church of God is that those who worry about committing the unpardonable sin, most likely have not committed it as the fact that they are concerned about it shows that they have not intentionally turned their backs on God and His ways.

For more information, check out the article What is the Unpardonable Sin? and/or watch the related sermon: The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.

Since God wants all saved (1 Timothy 2:4) and would not want humans to commit the unpardonable sin, this explains why only few are chosen in this age (Matthew 20:16) while nearly all others will be forgiven in the age to come (Matthew 12:32).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon: The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
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.

WCG: The released Atonement goat represents Satan

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018


17th Century Depiction of the Binding of Satan

COGwriter

The Day of Atonement lasts from sunset September 18th until sunset September 19th in 2018. (This article is also available in Spanish: http://www.cdlidd.es/el-macho-cabrio-degollado-representa-a-jesus/).

In the original Hebrew, the Bible calls the day Yom Hakippurim (which is Hebrew for “Day of the Atonements”).

The Day of Atonement in the Old Testament

A unique ceremony related to the Day of Atonement is discussed in in the Old Testament:

8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for Jehovah, and the other lot for Azazel. 9 And Aaron shall present the goat upon which the lot fell for Jehovah, and offer him for a sin-offering. 10 But the goat, on which the lot fell for Azazel, shall be set alive before Jehovah, to make atonement for him, to send him away for Azazel into the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:8-10, ASV)

8 ‘And Aaron hath given lots over the two goats, one lot for Jehovah, and one lot for a goat of departure; 9 and Aaron hath brought near the goat on which the lot for Jehovah hath gone up, and hath made it a sin-offering. 10 ‘And the goat on which the lot for a goat of departure hath gone up is caused to stand living before Jehovah to make atonement by it, to send it away for a goat of departure into the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:8-10, YLT)

Christians note the parallels between the first of the two goats with Jesus and the second of the two goats with Satan (the Azazel goat).

Such as Jesus does get killed, but Satan does not (which parallels him being placed in the bottomless pit for 1000 years in Revelation 20).

As far as ‘Azazel,’ notice the following:

R. Menachem interprets Azazel of Samael, the angel of death, the devil, the prince that hath power over desolate places: there are several Christian writers of great note, that understand this of the devil as Origen (b), among the ancients; and of the moderns, Cocceius (c), Witsius (d), and Spencer (e), who think that by these two goats is signified the twofold respect of Christ our Mediator; one to God, as a Judge, to whom he made satisfaction by his death; the other to the devil, the enemy with whom he conflicted in life; who, according to prophecy, was to be delivered up to Satan, and have his heel bruised by him; and who was to come, and did come into the wilderness of this world…(Gill, John. Exposition of the Entire Bible. [1746-63])

So, basically a Jewish rabbi (“R.” is an abbreviation for Rabbi) and certain leaders who professed Christ believed that the Azazel goat represented Satan. And that is consistent with the passages in Leviticus 16 and other scriptures.

Notice more about part of an Old Testament ceremony that occurred on the Day of Atonement:

And when he has made an end of atoning for the Holy Place, the tabernacle of meeting, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions, concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat, and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to an uninhabited land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness…And he who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp (Leviticus 16:20-22,26).

While some Protestant commentators understand this correctly, others either do not know what the Azazel goat represents or think it represents the physical life of Christ. Yet, that latter explanation would not seem to be consistent with the statements in Leviticus 16:26 (bolded above).

Why?

Because notice that it is a fit man that takes the goat into the wilderness and he has to wash himself after he has released the aza’zel goat. If the second goat represented Christ, the fit man would have to wash BEFORE touching the goat (cf. Leviticus 16:4) and not AFTER releasing it. Touching the one representing Satan would make one unclean, but not touching the one representing Christ. Washing in Leviticus 15 clearly was shown to be required after touching/being exposed to various things considered to be unclean.

The old Worldwide Church of God taught:

The English word scapegoat is not a correct translation of the Hebrew word God inspired. Most Bibles with marginal renderings show that the original word was azazel. Azazel refers to none other than Satan the devil!
The modern word scapegoat carries an entirely wrong connotation. Originally it was escape goat — the goat allowed to escape in the wilderness — that the translators took to be the meaning of azazel. But today the English word scapegoat signifies “one who bears blame or guilt for others.” As we shall see, azazel — Satan — will bear his own guilt! (MINISTUDY: The Day of Atonement in God’s Great Master Plan. Good News, August 1983)

What happened to the live goat in Leviticus 16 is symbolic of Satan for two basic reasons:

  1. The term scapegoat is an inappropriate translation into English, as it implies that blame is being placed where blame is not due. The Hebrew term is actually aza’zel. This is a term that some Jewish people have historically ascribed to a Satanic adversary.
  2. What happens with the Azazel goat and what happens to Satan is quite similar, if one compares Leviticus 16:20-22,26 to Revelation 20:1-3.

The New Testament Fulfillment of the Binding of Azazel/Satan


Place called ‘Devil’s home’ in New Zealand

The New Testament shows that Satan will be bound for a thousand years to be kept away from humanity during the millennial reign of Jesus Christ:

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. (Revelation 20:1-3)

Since the above is consistent with the ceremony in the Old Testament about the binding of the Azazel goat, it appears that the above binding of Satan will occur on the Day of Atonement.

Notice that the Old Testament shows that it is a fit man that places the Azazel goat which bares blame for sins into the wilderness, and in the New Testament it is an angel that places Satan, who brought sin into the world, into the wilderness of the bottomless pit.

Some Catholic leaders, oddly, believe that this already happened physically or spiritually:

Revelation 20:1-3 . . . God has always respected our freedom of choice between covenant fidelity to him and to apostasy. That seems to be the theological point of this thousand-year period that is relatively free from Satanic temptations. (Kurz, W. What Does the Bible Say About the End Times? A Catholic View. Servant Books, Cincinnati. Nihil Obstat: Kistner H., Schehr T.P. Imprimi Potest: Link F., Paul J.M. Imprimatur: Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 19, 2004, p. 168, 173-174)

Millenium {sic}: Since the Holy Office decreed (July 21, 1944) that it cannot safely be taught that Christ at His Second Coming will reign visibly with only some of His saints (risen from the dead) for a period of time before the final and universal judgment, a spiritual millennium is seen in Apoc. 20:4-6. St. John gives a spiritual recapitulation of the activity of Satan, and the spiritual reign of the saints with Christ in heaven and in His Church on earth. When Christianity triumphed over the Beast (in its sixth head, the pagan Roman empire) Satan was chained. With the re-appearance of the Beast in the anti-Christian world empire (the seventh head), he will be unchained, and muster all his forces against the Church until the peak of the persecution under Antichrist. Meanwhile, the church enjoyed its milleniun {sic} with Christ enthroned among the nations. (LeFrois, Bernard J. Eschatological Interpretation of the Apocalypse. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. XIII, pp. 17-20; Cited in Culleton RG. The Reign of Antichrist, 1951. Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1974, p. 9).

Notice that the above suggests that Satan has been gone a thousand years. Does any thinking person believe that Satan was ever bound and away from the earth for 1,000 years after Revelation (which Catholics often refer to as the Apocalypse) was written? This has never happened literally or spiritually–though it will in the millennium (see also
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).

Contrary to the claims of those who do not take this portion of Revelation literally, this 1000 year binding of Satan has certainly not taken place since John was inspired to pen Revelation.

The New Testament shows that the Gentile Gospel writer Luke knew about the Day of Atonement, when he wrote:

9…sailing was now dangerous because the Fast was already over (Acts 27:9).

The Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God states this about the Day of Atonement (and more detail is in the article The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance):

The Day of Atonement, called “the Fast” in the New Testament (Acts 27:9), helps show our own weaknesses and need to be closer to God (Isaiah 58:5,11). This day shows that Jesus was the atoning sacrifice for our sins (John 4:10; cf. Leviticus 16:15-16). It also helps picture that Satan has a role in the sins of humankind and that he be punished by being bound for one-thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3; cf. Leviticus 16:20-26; Isaiah 14:12-16).

While some believe that what the Old Testament pictures is past, the reality is that the Holy Days help show God’s plan of salvation, and in the case of the Day of Atonement, it also shows Satan’s role in sin and his coming binding for 1000 years.

Those who have more interest may wish to study the following:

The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: El Día de Ayuno –Su significado cristiano.
Sermon: The Bible and the Day of Atonement The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? Was it observed in the New Testament? What did some of the ancient Hebrew ceremonies surrounding it mean? Does one goat in Leviticus represent Jesus and the other Satan? How does the New Testament help answer this?
The Atonement Plan How does the Day of Atonement tie into God’s plan of salvation? Two sermons of related interest are available God’s Atonement and Fasting Plan and God’s Atonement Plan.
Atonement Offertory Should an offering be taken up on the Day of Atonement? What does the Bible seem to teach about that? Was Jesus a type of atonement offering? If you send an offering, how does that support the work? Does God need your money or do you need to give? Dr. Thiel goes over scriptures and facts related to this. Here is a link to the donation page of the Continuing Church of God, which includes the ability to use PayPal: http://www.ccog.org/donations/
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?
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?
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
Michael’s Day of Atonement Quiz Another free on-line Bible quiz by my son Michael.
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
Importance of Fasting An old article by Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject. Here is a link to it in Mandarin Chinese 禁食的重要性.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should Christians keep the Fall Biblical Holy Days?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not? What does the Feast of Trumpets, which the Jews call Rosh Hashanah, help teach?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach? A related sermon video is Feast of Tabernacles from Israel.
The Last Great Day: Shemini ‘Azeret What is the ‘eighth day’ of the Feast? What does it help picture? A sermon on this topic is also available: Shemini Azaret: The Last Great Day.
Christians are to Be Strangers and Pilgrims? Should Christians sojourn? What does the Bible and Feast of Tabernacles teach? A related video sermon is titled Christian Pilgrims.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time to Learn the Law The Bible teaches that every seven years that the law should be read at the Feast of Tabernacles. This is what I did at the first Feast site were I gave an actual sermon (as opposed to a sermonette) in 2006.
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2018 This is information on the Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God in 2018. The Feast in 2018 Services will begin the evening of September 23rd and run through (including the Last Great Day) October 1st.
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.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.

Fasting Tips for the Day of Atonement

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018


People Fasting in New Zealand

COGwriter

From sunset the 18th of September through sunset the 19th is the Day of Atonement for 2018.

On the Day of Atonement, the Bible says to “afflict your souls” (Leviticus 23:32).

In Isaiah 58:5 the Bible teaches that a fasting day is a day to afflict one’s soul. Furthermore, notice something else from Isaiah:

12 And in that day the Lord God of hosts
Called for weeping and for mourning,
For baldness and for girding with sackcloth.
13 But instead, joy and gladness,
Slaying oxen and killing sheep,
Eating meat and drinking wine:
“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”

14 Then it was revealed in my hearing by the Lord of hosts,
“Surely for this iniquity there will be no atonement for you,
Even to your death,” says the Lord God of hosts. (Isaiah 22:12-14)

Notice that not avoiding food when told to is equated to having no atonement. And while the word translated as atonement in Isaiah 22:14 is not the identical Hebrew word in Leviticus 23, it is similar and apparently has similar connotations.

The Day of Atonement was called “the Fast” in Acts 27:9.

Thus, those in the Church of God who are faithful and able fast on the Day of Atonement. That is, they avoid all food and drink for the entire 24 hours of that day.

Are there any benefits associated with that?

First notice what the Bible teaches:

5 Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the Lord?
6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

“If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In. (Isaiah 58:5-12)

So, the Bible teaches both physical and spiritual benefits and responsibilities from fasting.

Here are some comments from Herbert W. Armstrong about fasting:

FASTING AND PRAYER: There is . . . NOTHING like fasting and prayer for drawing close to God, re-establishing contact, being filled with His Spirit. For this purpose it is better to fast completely — no fruit-juice of any kind. In Bible times they sometimes fasted without even water, but sometimes water was used. Personally I think results will be obtained if one drinks water, but nothing else.

For purely spiritual purposes a fast of from one to three days is usually sufficient. You may expect headaches, and a very thick-headed feeling the first few days. It is not pleasant. It is, in Bible language, AFFLICTING THE SOUL. It takes courage and will-power, and self-denial. I recommend, for this purpose, dividing your time three ways: about one third in studying the subject of fasting in the Bible, and other Bible study. Use a good concordance, and your marginal references if your Bible has them. If not you should get one which has. Look up all you can find under fasting. Then about a third of your time in meditation — turning over in your own mind by yourself WHY you have not been closer to God, thinking out just HOW you have been letting the worldly things creep in, meditating on what you have read in the Bible, applying it to yourself and your spiritual condition. Then, spend one full third of your time in earnest PRAYER.

Did you ever spend one solid HOUR in prayer, alone with God in some private room, on your knees? Very few ever have. If you haven’t, the first time you do it you’ll find it will take as much will-power and self-denial as forcing yourself to stay on a fast and resisting that gnawing hunger feeling. In five or ten minutes, or less, every excuse in the world will come into your mind. You aren’t in the mood now — why not do it later? You just think of something that ought to be done, and you think you must go do it right now. Yes, I know what will come to your mind, for I have done it and I know by experience. But if you will resist every temptation, and STAY on your knees, even though you think your prayer isn’t going as high as the ceiling, in at least 30 or 40 minutes the devil will probably give up and let you alone and you’ll find you are establishing contact with God, and you’ll find you are beginning to really ENJOY talking to Him — just pouring out your soul to Him — telling him all about it. Pause, once awhile, and meditate, and let God talk to you. (Armstrong HW. Importance of Fasting. July 7, 1948)

In addition to humbling ourselves and helping us to realize how much we need to rely on God and drawing closer to him, fasting is considered to have certain physical benefits. Some, though sadly not yet most, in the medical world are realizing that there seem to be health benefits from fasting:

The power of intermittent fasting

Scientists are uncovering evidence that short periods of fasting, if properly controlled, could achieve a number of health benefits, as well as potentially helping the overweight, as Michael Mosley discovered…

Calorie restriction, eating well but not much, is one of the few things that has been shown to extend life expectancy, at least in animals. We’ve known since the 1930s that mice put on a low-calorie, nutrient-rich diet live far longer. There is mounting evidence that the same is true in monkeys…

IGF-1 levels can be lowered by fasting. The reason seems to be that when our bodies no longer have access to food they switch from “growth mode” to “repair mode”.

As levels of the IGF-1 hormone drop, a number of repair genes appear to get switched on according to ongoing research by Professor Valter Longo of the University of Southern California…

Current medical opinion is that the benefits of fasting are unproven and until there are more human studies it’s better to eat at least 2000 calories a day. If you really want to fast then you should do it in a proper clinic or under medical supervision, because there are many people, such as pregnant women or diabetics on medication, for whom it could be dangerous. August 4, 2012 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19112549

Fasting Reduces Risk of Heart Disease.

In a study of more than 4,500 Mormons in Utah, researchers examined behaviors that were associated with lower risk of coronary artery disease—heart disease. After accounting for other factors (smoking, alcohol use, coffee and tea ingestion), researchers discovered that those who fasted routinely (without food or drink) were at lower risk for heart disease than those who did not fast. Fasting was also associated with lower diabetes risk (The American Journal of Cardiology, October 1, 2008)-WA Update.

Fasting twice a year rebuilds Immune System

A New Study Has Suggested That Fasting Could Help The Body To Fight Off Disease By Regenerating The Immune System. The Study Added That Fasting For Two Days Can Regenerate The Immune System.

June 8, 2014

For the study, the effects of fasting for two to four day periods for six months on both mice and humans were tested by the researchers. In both cases, it was found that long periods of not eating significantly lowered white blood cell counts.

And in mice, each cycle of fasting then ‘flipped a regenerative switch’ that led to the regeneration of new white blood cells, which in turn renews the defence system of the body.

Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California, said: “It gives the OK for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system. And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting.”

He added that a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.

The study also revealed that levels of the enzyme PKA, reduces as a result of fasting. This increases longevity in simple organisms, as well as levels of the hormone IGF-1, which has been linked to ageing, tumour progression and cancer risk. http://www.delhidailynews.com/news/Fasting-regenerates-immune-system-1402181003/

Fasting is a health booster for many and also seems to increase longevity.

Of course, those who risk death or major health problems should not fast. But for others, it can be a healthy thing to do from a physical, as well as spiritual, perspective.

Some people, especially those who consume caffeine regularly, find fasting difficult. Those who wean down off of caffeine sometimes find fasting easier than they would have otherwise.

Here are some Jewish tips to prepare for fasting:

Tips for Easier Fasting

Tips to prepare for the fast include: drinking at least two liters of water a day (10 cups) on the days before the fast, and eating whole grains and vegetables on the day before, while avoiding sugar,spicy, fried and salty foods that cause thirst.

Those who drink significant amounts of beverages containing caffeine daily (coffee, non-herb teas, colas) are advised to reduce the amount gradually, starting several days before the fast to prevent caffeine addiction symptoms which can include headaches and nausea.

The last meal before the fast, known as the seudah hamafseket, should not include unfamiliar, spicy, or fried foods, and should omit vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli.

After the fast, those who have abstained from drinking and eating are advised to rehydrate slowly, with a sweet drink, and begin eating with a snack, followed approximately one hour later by a light meal. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/148579

In my own case, I tend to drink more water the day before fasting and avoid saltier foods. Also, those who fast more regularly throughout the year tend to have less difficulties fasting than those that do not (people with hypoglycemia, etc. excepted).

The Christian Day of Atonement, comes after the Feast of Trumpets (also known as Rosh Hoshana or Rosh Hashanah) and is considered to be part of God’s plan of salvation as shown in the biblical (though often called ‘Jewish’) holy days.

In its Statement of Beliefs , the Continuing Church of God states:

The Day of Atonement, called “the Fast” in the New Testament (Acts 27:9), helps show our own weaknesses and need to be closer to God (Isaiah 58:5,11). It also helps picture that Satan has a role in the sins of humankind and that he will be bound for one-thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3; cf. Leviticus 16:20-26; Isaiah 14:12-16).

Thus, because of its New Testament references, the Day of Atonement is something that should be highly relevant for Christians.

Those who can in the Continuing Church of God fast annually on the Day of Atonement as well as periodically throughout the year.

1:15:08

The Day of Atonement is part of God’s plan. It pictures that Jesus paid the penalty for sins and that Satan will bear guilt for his actions. What does it mean to ‘afflict your soul’? Why do many connect this with fasting? If Christians should fast, is drinking water okay as part of a biblical fast? What are some of the lessons of the Day of Atonement and fasting? Are there benefits from fasting? Did Jesus expect His followers to fast? Did the Apostle Paul fast? Is there any particular day Christians should fast? What does the Azazel goat of Leviticus represent? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more.

Here is a link to the video: God’s Atonement and Fasting Plan.

Here is a link to a related offertory: Atonement Offerings?

In 2017, the Day of Atonement begins at sunset the 29th of September through sunset the 30th.

Several items of possibly related interest include:

The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? Is fasting healthy? Here is a link to a sermon: Christians, the Day of Atonement, and Fasting; here is another sermon: Day of Atonement: How Jesus fulfilled His part for the Atonement. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: El Día de Expiación –Su significado cristiano.
Importance of Fasting An old article by Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject. Here is a link to it in Mandarin Chinese 禁食的重要性.
The Atonement Plan How does the Day of Atonement tie into God’s plan of salvation? Two sermons of related interest are available God’s Atonement and Fasting Plan and God’s Atonement Plan.
Does God Heal Today? This historical article is by Herbert Armstrong and provides his views on healing circa 1952, which he seemed to later modify, at least to some degree.
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.
How to Keep God’s Festivals Many have heard of God’s Holy Days and wonder how they are kept in the 21st century. This is an overview article. A related sermon is also available titled: How to Keep God’s Feasts.
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should Christians keep the Fall Biblical Holy Days?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful to the word of God and original Christianity.

Fasting aids longevity

Monday, September 17th, 2018


People Fasting in New Zealand

COGwriter

From sunset the September 18th through sunset the 19th is the Day of Atonement–a day CCOG members, who can, fast.

Notice a study that shows health benefits in fasting:

Fasting twice a year rebuilds Immune System

A New Study Has Suggested That Fasting Could Help The Body To Fight Off Disease By Regenerating The Immune System. The Study Added That Fasting For Two Days Can Regenerate The Immune System.

For the study, the effects of fasting for two to four day periods for six months on both mice and humans were tested by the researchers. In both cases, it was found that long periods of not eating significantly lowered white blood cell counts.

And in mice, each cycle of fasting then ‘flipped a regenerative switch’ that led to the regeneration of new white blood cells, which in turn renews the defence system of the body.

Valter Longo, Professor of Gerontology and the Biological Sciences at the University of Southern California, said: “It gives the OK for stem cells to go ahead and begin proliferating and rebuild the entire system. And the good news is that the body got rid of the parts of the system that might be damaged or old, the inefficient parts, during the fasting.”

He added that a system heavily damaged by chemotherapy or aging, fasting cycles can generate, literally, a new immune system.

The study also revealed that levels of the enzyme PKA, reduces as a result of fasting. This increases longevity in simple organisms, as well as levels of the hormone IGF-1, which has been linked to ageing, tumour progression and cancer risk. http://www.delhidailynews.com/news/Fasting-regenerates-immune-system-1402181003/

Fasting is a health booster for many and also seems to increase longevity. More information on the health benefits of fasting is in the article The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance.

Many also recommend fasting as part of a weight management plan.

Of course, those who risk death or major health problems should not fast. But for others, it can be a healthy thing to do from a physical, as well as spiritual, perspective.

The Bible shows that Jesus fasted. The Bible also shows that Jesus endorsed fasting for His followers:

16 “Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:16-18)

“Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast…” (Matthew 9:15)

The Gospel writer Luke mentions the Fast also known as the Day of Atonement in Acts 27:9. History shows that professors of Christ fasted on Atonement. Despite what the Bible teaches, some were condemned for fasting on the Day of Atonement by Greco-Roman leaders such as John Chrysostom for doing so (see also Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).

Those in the Continuing Church of God tend to fast annually on the Day of Atonement as well as periodically throughout the year.

Several items of possibly related interest include:

Importance of Fasting An old article by Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject. Here is a link to it in Mandarin Chinese 禁食的重要性.
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? Is fasting healthy? Here is a link to a sermon: Day of Atonement: How Jesus fulfilled His part for the Atonement. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: El Día de Expiación –Su significado cristiano.
The Atonement Plan How does the Day of Atonement tie into God’s plan of salvation? Two sermons of related interest are available God’s Atonement and Fasting Plan and God’s Atonement Plan.
Does God Heal Today? This historical article is by Herbert Armstrong and provides his views on healing circa 1952, which he seemed to later modify, at least to some degree.
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.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
Is Smoking a Sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change?
Binge Alcohol Drinking and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach?
Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods? A related video would be Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy.
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
The Bible, Christians, and the Environment How should Christians view the environment? Does the Bible give any clues? What are some of the effects of air, water, and land pollution? Is environmental pollution a factor in autism and death? Do pollutants seem to double the autism risk? What will Jesus do? A YouTube video is available titled Air Pollution, Autism, and Prophecy.
UK Study Supports Daniel Diet Daniel and his companions looked better eating more vegetables and avoiding strange meats. Has modern science confirmed this?
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 goat slain at the old Atonement ceremony represents Jesus

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

COGwriter

The Christian Day of Atonement is coming up soon. It begins at sunset September 18th and runs until sunset September 19th in 2018.

In the original Hebrew, the Bible calls the day Yom Hakippurim (which is Hebrew for “Day of the Atonements”).

The original rites and practices for the Day of Atonement are set forth in the sixteenth chapter of Leviticus (cf. Exodus 30:10; Leviticus 23:27-31, 25:9; Numbers 29:7-11). It is considered to be a time for fasting, during which no food or drink are be consumed:

26 And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. 27 It shall be a holy convocation for you; you shall afflict your souls…32 It shall be to you a sabbath of solemn rest, and you shall afflict your souls; on the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall celebrate your sabbath (Leviticus 23:26-27,32).

This fasting is historically how the phrase “afflict your souls” has been interpreted by the Jewish community (this is also verified by such passages as Psalm 35:13; 69:10 and Isaiah 58:5) to mean fasting, unless one is somehow ill, and thus is already afflicted. Evening to evening means from sunset to sunset.

In the New Testament, the Day of Atonement is referred to as “the Fast” (Acts 27:9). The fact that this day was referred to that way (or even at all) is an indication that it was observed by Christians after Christ’s resurrection. The Bible clearly shows that so-called Jewish holy days, such as Pentecost were observed by Christians after Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 2:1).

A unique ceremony related to the Day of Atonement is discussed in Leviticus 16:

8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for Jehovah, and the other lot for Azazel. 9 And Aaron shall present the goat upon which the lot fell for Jehovah, and offer him for a sin-offering. 10 But the goat, on which the lot fell for Azazel, shall be set alive before Jehovah, to make atonement for him, to send him away for Azazel into the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:8-10, ASV)

8 ‘And Aaron hath given lots over the two goats, one lot for Jehovah, and one lot for a goat of departure; 9 and Aaron hath brought near the goat on which the lot for Jehovah hath gone up, and hath made it a sin-offering. 10 ‘And the goat on which the lot for a goat of departure hath gone up is caused to stand living before Jehovah to make atonement by it, to send it away for a goat of departure into the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:8-10, YLT)

Christians note the parallels between the first of the two goats with Jesus and the second of the two goats with Satan (the Azazel goat).

Such as Jesus does get killed, but that Satan does not.

The slain goat represents Christ who actually dies for our sins. Notice Leviticus 16:15-19:

15 Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. 16 So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness. 17 There shall be no man in the tabernacle of meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the Holy Place, until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself, for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel. 18 And he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD, and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and some of the blood of the goat, and put it on the horns of the altar all around. 19 Then he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, cleanse it, and consecrate it from the uncleanness of the children of Israel.

Christ’s sacrifice is an atonement sacrifice to reconcile us to God. Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote:

18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

The late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

Now the goat which God selected through lot, to represent Christ was slain, as Christ, its antitype was slain. But the other goat selected by God to represent Azazel was not slain, but was driven, alive, into an uninhabited wilderness. It was not a resurrected goat, symbolizing the resurrected Christ, for it never died. The uninhabited wilderness, to which this goat was driven, cannot, as we shall show, represent heaven, where Christ went. Heaven is neither uninhabited, nor a wilderness.

After God designated which goat represented Christ and which Azazel, the high priest (verse 11) killed the bullock for a sin offering for himself, then took the burning coals of fire and the sweet incense into the Holy of Holies, also sprinkling the blood of the bullock before the mercy seat, typical of the throne of God, covering the tables of testimony (the law). This the high priest was required to do in order to purify himself to officiate, and to represent Christ as High Priest. In the antitype, this was not done, for Christ, our High Priest, had no need of this purification as the typical substitutionary priests did.

Now the Levitical high priest was ready to go out and officiate.

Next, the goat which God selected by lot to represent Christ, as the sin offering of the people, was killed. Thus the sins of the people were borne by the goat, even as Christ, finally, once for all, bore our sins on the cross. But Christ rose again from the dead, and ascended to the throne of God in heaven.

Now, who, or what, from this point on in the Levitical ceremony, typified the resurrected Christ, who went to heaven? Some say the goat representing Azazel. Let us see.

The risen Christ, now at the right hand of the throne of God in heaven (I Peter 3:22), is called what? Our High Priest! What was the earthly type of God’s throne? The uninhabited wilderness? No! That is where the live goat went!

The earthly type of God’s throne was the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies. After Christ died, He went to the heavenly mercy seat interceding for us, as our High Priest. “. . . Entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 6:19-20).

Now, again, who, or what, in the Levitical ceremony of the Day of Atonement, typified the risen Christ, our High Priest, who went within the veil to God’s throne in heaven? The one goat had been slain. It represented the slain Christ. It can no longer represent the risen Christ. The slain Christ was not our High Priest, because the Levitical priesthood, with its high priest, did not end until Christ rose from the dead and ascended to heaven as a High Priest after the order of Melchisedec. But the risen Christ was High Priest. Now WHO took this part in the Levitical ceremonies, temporarily re-enacted year by year, on this eternal Holy Day? Why, so obviously a child could see, it was the Levitical high priest, not the goat representing Azazel!

The High Priest Type of Christ

As soon as the slain goat was dead, who went within the veil, presenting the blood of this goat before the typical throne of God?

Leviticus 16:15-16 “Then shall he [the high priest] kill the goat of the sin offering, that is for the people, and [now the high priest himself typifying the work of the risen Christ] bring his blood within the veil . . . and sprinkle it upon the mercy seat: and he shall make an atonement for the holy place. . . .”

And so it was the high priest taking blood within the veil, to the mercy seat, that typified the risen Christ figuratively taking HIS blood, once for all, within the veil to the very throne of God in heaven, there to intercede for us as High Priest. Surely this is so plain a child can see.

The slain goat represented the crucified Jesus. The high priest, by taking the blood of this slain goat into the veil to the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies, a type of God’s throne, represented and did the work of the risen Christ, who ascended to the right hand of the Majesty on high, there interceding as our High Priest. (Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days Which?)

The Holy Days of the Hebrew scriptures have applicability now and all help point to Jesus Christ. As far as why Jesus is shown in Passover and Atonement, that is discussed in our latest sermon: God’s Atonement and Fasting Plan.

People attempting to be faithful to the Bible have observed the Day of Atonement and we faithful in the Continuing Church of God continue to do so in the 21st century.

Those who have more interest may wish to study the following:

The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? Is fasting healthy? Here is a link to a sermon: Day of Atonement: How Jesus fulfilled His part for the Atonement. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: El Día de Expiación –Su significado cristiano.
The Atonement Plan How does the Day of Atonement tie into God’s plan of salvation? Two sermons of related interest are available God’s Atonement and Fasting Plan and God’s Atonement Plan.
Atonement Offertory
Should an offering be taken up on the Day of Atonement? What does the Bible seem to teach about that? Was Jesus a type of atonement offering? If you send an offering, how does that support the work? Does God need your money or do you need to give? Dr. Thiel goes over scriptures and facts related to this. Here is a link to the donation page of the Continuing Church of God, which includes the ability to use PayPal: http://www.ccog.org/donations/
Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy.
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
Michael’s Day of Atonement Quiz Another free on-line Bible quiz by my son Michael.
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
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.
Importance of Fasting An old article by Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject. Here is a link to it in Mandarin Chinese 禁食的重要性.
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should Christians keep the Fall Biblical Holy Days?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not? What does the Feast of Trumpets, which the Jews call Rosh Hashanah, help teach? A related sermon video would be Feast of Trumpets and the Book of Life as well as The Trumpet Release. The article has links to hear shofar blasts.
Feast of Trumpets: Why Should You Keep It? What does the Bible say? What does this festival picture?
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 Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach? A related sermon video is Feast of Tabernacles from Israel.
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2018 This is information on the Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God in 2018. The Feast in 2018 Services will begin the evening of September 23rd and run through (including the Last Great Day) October 1st.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.

Many rely on mistranslations to persuade themselves that they do not have to keep God’s Holy Days

Sunday, September 16th, 2018

COGwriter

Since Jesus and the Apostles kept the Sabbaths and the Holy Days, why do most who profess Christ not observe them?

While social pressure, tradition, and twisted interpretation of scripture all play a role, one role that is overlooked by many is the fact that there are a few passages in the New Testament that have often been intentionally mistranslated.

But because of tradition and a lack of real love for the truth, most people who profess Christ do not care.

Colossians 2:16-17 and Galatians 4:8-10

The most common portion of the Bible that I have heard cited as “proof” that the biblical holy days are done away with is Colossian 2:16-17.

Here is one popular mistranslation of it:

16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17, NKJV)

The above gives a rendering that suggests that the holy days are not important, like they have no substance. But that is not what the Apostle Paul was actually saying.

So, let’s examine two other translations of those passages:

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17, KJV)

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a festival day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths, 17 Which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17, Douay-Rheims)

The above translations are closer than the NKJV. However, they both added a word that is not in the original Greek.

The word added is “is.” Truly literal translations leave it out as it is not in there. Notice the Strong’s words for verse 17:

3739. 2076 4639… 3588……. 3195 3588…… 1161 4983 9999 3588 5547
Which are a shadow of things to come; the…. but.. body ….is…. of… Christ.
(Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright (c) 1994 by Biblesoft).

It should be noted that 9999 means that there was no word in the biblical text–so oddly, even though they knew there was no word, even the Interlinear added something that the verse in Greek did not say. It should also be noted that #3588 is most often translated as “the.”

Because the same three Strong’s words (#4983, 3588, & 5547) are used four other times in the New Testament and in those times the KJV translates it as “the body of Christ” (Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 4:12)–as does the NKJV (The Douay-Rheims translates it that way in three of those verses; in the one that it does not, 1 Corinthians 10:16, it translates it as “blood of Christ”).

Therefore, if all the translators were simply consistent with themselves, they would have translated Colossians 2:16-17 to state:

16 Therefore let NO MAN JUDGE YOU in eating and drinking or in respect of a festival or of an observance of the new moon or of a sabbath; 17 for those things are a shadow of the things to come, BUT THE BODY OF CHRIST.

Or in other words, do not let those outside the body of Christ (the church, Colossians 1:18) judge you regarding holy days, but only the church itself. Colossians 2:16-17 is not saying that the holy days are done away.

It is sad, but most in the Protestant and Catholic worlds have misunderstood Colossians 2:16-17 because translators who know better MISTRANSLATED it.

Even the early Orthodox bishop Ambrose of Milan recognized that Colossians 2:17 was referring to the “body of Christ” as he wrote the following comment about it:

Let us, then, seek the body of Christ…where the body of Christ is, there is the truth.
(Ambrose of Milan. Book II. On the Belief in the Resurrection, section 107. A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church: Socrates, Sozomenus: Church histories. Schaff P, Wace H, editors. Christian literature Company, 1896 Original from the University of Virginia Digitized Nov 11, 2008, p. 192).

It is sad that modern translators of the Greek have often ignored what the expression really meant. It is poor exegesis (biblical interpretation) to rely on a mistranslation to claim that the holy days are done away with.

Furthermore, when the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:8, “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth,” this was likely properly believed to show additional scriptural support that the Holy Days were still enjoined upon Christians.

Another common objection to keeping the Holy Days is Galatians 4:8-10. Protestants, and some Catholics, tend to use this to say that no biblical dates are to be observed, so let’s look at that:

8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. (Galatians 4:8-10, NKJV)

8 But then indeed, not knowing God, you served them, who, by nature, are not gods. 9 But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known by God: how turn you again to the weak and needy elements, which you desire to serve again? 10 You observe days, and months, and times, and years. (Galatians 4:8-10, Douay-Rheims)

There are two problems with using these passages as part of an anti-holy day argument.

The first is that the Galatians were Gentiles (although there were apparently some Jews addressed in later verses) and were NOT keeping the biblical Holy Days (plus, there is no way that the Bible would call biblical requirements as “beggarly elements”) .

The second is that Catholics/Protestants/Orthodox do observe various days and years (Sunday, Easter, Christmas, New Years), so they should not observe anything if they feel that no religious days are to be observed.

Galatians 4:8-10 is not doing away with the biblical Holy Days.

A Wrong Sabbath Argument

The NKJV improperly translates Hebrews 4:9 as follows:

9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. (Hebrews 4:9, NKJV)

Because of this (as well as similar mistranslations by others), many do not realize that the New Testament specifically enjoins keeping the Sabbath.

Decades ago, a Protestant told me that he did not keep the Sabbath because he claimed that “the ten commandments were nailed to the cross” (they weren’t, for scriptural proof please see Were the Ten Commandments Nailed to the Cross?) and that all the other commandments were repeated in the New Testament after the resurrection, except the Sabbath commandment, hence it was done away and not intended to be observed.

I informed him that the second commandment against bowing down before graven images was not explicitly so stated after the resurrection in the New Testament. So, I asked him if he should bow down before graven images, and he said no. I asked why. He said because it was wrong. And when I asked him based on what, he had nothing to say.

Since he claimed that the Sabbath commandment was not repeated in the New Testament after the resurrection, I had him read the following:

3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'” 4 And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience…9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, NIV).

This clearly shows that the command to keep the seventh day Sabbath is in the New Testament. It also shows that only those who will not observe it because of their disobedience argue otherwise. And that is why Paul observed it. Despite the fact that the New Testament stated that the Sabbath was to be kept, he who claimed to believe the Bible, would not do it.

The Greek word in Hebrews 4:9 that the KJV/NKJV/Douay Rheims translates simply as “rest” is the word sabbatismós. It means keeping of the sabbath or sabbath-rest. The Greek word commonly translated as “rest” (meaning taking a break) a dozen times throughout of the New Testament is “anapaúsasthe.” Yet, that was not the inspired word in Hebrews 4:9. And Hebrews 4:9 should mention that a sabbath-rest or observance of the sabbath is being discussed.

Even the ancient Orthodox scholar Origen understood some of what Paul wrote in Hebrews as he wrote:

But what is the feast of the Sabbath except that which the apostle speaks, “There remaineth therefore a Sabbatism,” that is, the observance of the Sabbath, by the people of God…let us see how the Sabbath ought to be observed by a Christian. On the Sabbath-day all worldly labors ought to be abstained from…give yourselves up to spiritual exercises, repairing to church, attending to sacred reading and instruction…this is the observance of the Christian Sabbath (Translated from Origen’s Opera 2, Paris, 1733, Andrews J.N. in History of the Sabbath, 3rd editon, 1887. Reprint Teach Services, Brushton (NY), 1998, pp. 324-325).

Now I should add that although certain “modern” translators put their own word in instead (usually “rest”), the reality is that Origen began writing relatively close to when the New Testament was written and lived in a time when he should have been able to understand what the Greek word sabbatismós actually meant.

Acts 13:42-44 shows what Paul did:

…the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.

Also Acts 18:4 states:

And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

Hence the New Testament is clear that Paul kept the Sabbath, regularly preached on the Sabbath, and that he wrote that there remains “a Sabbath-rest for the people of God.”

The Apostle Peter warned:

14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation — as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. (2 Peter 3:14-16)

Many rely on mistranslations, and thus can be considered as part of the “untaught” that Peter warned about. And many have not only twisted what the Apostle Paul wrote, several scholars have likely intentionally mistranslated what he wrote, which results in even more inaccurate twisting of scriptures. But those that are diligent can see through this if they are willing to submit to the truth of God’s word and His plan.

Another verse whose meaning has sometimes been twisted is Revelation 1:10– details on it can be found in the article Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord?

The following is normally not mistranslated, but seems to be misunderstood, especially within the Protestant world:

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

Believing and relying on mistranslations instead of the actual word of God is consistent with loving and practicing a lie. True Christians would not want to do that.

CHOG Book Cover 2015 BOTHShould you observe God’s Holy Days or demonic holidays?

That sounds like an easy question, but most who profess Christianity do not keep God’s Holy Days.

Both the seventh-day Sabbath and the biblical Holy Days were kept by Jesus and His disciples. And they should be kept by those who wish to be faithful today.

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history teach about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
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 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?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should Christians keep the Fall Biblical Holy Days?
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?
Sunday and Christianity Was Sunday observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians? Who clearly endorsed Sunday?
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they? A related sermon is titled Tradition and Scripture.
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? Are mistranslations of these early writings relied on for false doctrinal positions?