Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

US FDA wants to define healthy foods, while California wants to deny medical freedom of speech

Wednesday, September 28th, 2022


(Unsplash photo)

COGwriter

The Washington Post reported the following:

The FDA announces a new definition of what’s ‘healthy’

But what’s good for you is a fraught topic — and the federal government has a spotty record on the subject

September 28, 2022

The Food and Drug Administration announced new rules Wednesday for nutrition labels that can go on the front of food packages to indicate that they are “healthy.”

Under the proposal, manufacturers can label their products “healthy” if they contain a meaningful amount of food from at least one of the food groups or subgroups (such as fruit, vegetable or dairy) recommended by the dietary guidelines. They must also adhere to specific limits for certain nutrients, such as saturated fat, sodium and added sugars. For example, a cereal would need to contain three-quarters of an ounce of whole grains and no more than 1 gram of saturated fat, 230 milligrams of sodium and 2.5 grams of added sugars per serving for a food manufacturer to use the word “healthy” on the label.

The labels are aimed at helping consumers more easily navigate nutrition labels and make better choices at the grocery store.

While we will give the FDA the “benefit of the doubt” that it believes its guidelines are helping define “healthy,” the reality is that that the FDA has changed its understandings over the years, has often been wrong, and really does not have the true competence to define “healthy.”

It is also essentially engaging in censorship as the GOVERNMENT has decided only it can tell companies when to use the word “healthy.”

Highly processed foods are often NOT healthy, but that is something that the “experts” at the FDA have overlooked.

We have seen over 2 1/2 years of “expert” health errors and censorship related to COVID-19.

Many “experts” are often deceived themselves and look to be fulfilling the following end time prophecy:

13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13, KJV)

The Book of Proverbs has the following prophecy:

12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes,
Yet is not washed from its filthiness.
13 There is a generation — oh, how lofty are their eyes!
And their eyelids are lifted up.
14 There is a generation whose teeth are like swords,
And whose fangs are like knives,
To devour the poor from off the earth,
And the needy from among men. (Proverbs 30:12-14)

Yes, we are in a time when the generation of leaders does not fear God, but thinks its ideas are right.

As far as food goes, the Continuing Church of God put out this sermon from its ContinuingCOG channel:

1:11:59

The Bible says to eat what is good. Does the Bible give any information on what to eat and not eat? What happened in the Garden of Eden? What about Noah? What are clean and unclean animals? Did early Christians avoid biblically-unclean animals? What are some of the health risks associated with eating pork, shellfish, and bats? Are pigs associated with the flu? Could bats have been involved related to the corona virus pandemic? Should humans consume blood? What are enzymes? Can raw foods aid in health? Is the typical US diet deadly? What about processed foods? Is eating refined sugar necessary? How were vitamins discovered? What about United States Pharmacopeia (USP) vs. food vitamins? Are most mineral supplements composed of processed rocks? What about genetically-modified organisms (GMOs)? What about sodas and other beverages? Dr. Thiel addresses these matters and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: Let’s Talk About Food.

As mentioned earlier, we have seen over 2 1/2 years of “expert” health errors and censorship related to COVID-19. Such censorship has cost numerous lives and government handling of COVID has been a factor in food price inflation,

To compound restrictions, the State of California has another censorship-type bill being proposed:

Bill to Punish Physicians for ‘Unprofessional Conduct’ and Wrongthink on Gov. Newsom’s Desk

Assembly Bill 2098 puts unconstitutional restrictions on free speech by medical professionals

AB 2098 by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), will punish physicians and surgeons for “unprofessional conduct” for advocating for the potential benefits of early treatment with off-label drugs, or those who dare to ask questions about COVID vaccine safety.

Assembly Bill 2098 puts unconstitutional restrictions on free speech by medical professionals.

Laura Powell of Californians for Good Governance explains in a June opposition letter:

“There is no question that the bill is aimed at restricting speech based on its content. As such, it would be presumptively invalid and could only be upheld if the government could prove that the law is narrowly tailored to serve a compelling state interest. ‘This stringent standard reflects the fundamental principle that governments have no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content.’ While the state may be able to claim that providing the public with accurate information regarding Covid-19 is a compelling interest, it cannot possibly argue that the blunt weapon that AB 2098 represents is narrowly tailored to that interest.

It is a long-held precept of free speech jurisprudence that more speech is the appropriate remedy to false speech, rather than censorship. ‘The remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true. This is the ordinary course in a free society. The response to the unreasoned is the rational; to the uninformed, the enlightened; to the straight-out lie, the simple truth.’”

This is Stasi-level legislation. Under AB 2098, doctors would be subject to disciplinary actions by the Medical Board of California and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California if they do not adhere to the “approved COVID treatment consensus.”

Who approves the “consensus?”

Physicians would be punished simply for doing what they believe is best for their patients, and sharing legitimate information necessary for their patients to make a true risk/benefit analysis.

The bill is aimed at physicians who acknowledged the 1% mortality rate, questioned mandatory masks, school closures, and challenged the claim that the vaccine would shield patients from getting or spreading Covid. It is also aimed at physicians who chose to prescribe therapeutic treatments during COVID. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2022-09-27/california-legislature-opposes-free-speech

Decades ago, the legislature of the State of California would not approve a bill that would have allowed medical doctors to be able to recommend what they thought was best for their patients, so this new proposed bill is not a surprise.

Several years ago, the State of California proposed a ‘consumer protection’ bill that, if carried to its logical conclusions, would have banned the Bible.

Related to that, the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) put out the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:

Could we see a ban of the Holy Bible in North America? Have there been partial bans proposed and enforced by government officials in Canada? Do any USA politicians consider any biblical teachings as fraudulent and hence banning them is NOT a violation of the 1st amendment to the Constitution of the USA? Are there risks associated with AB 2943? Have politicians like Hillary Clinton and California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi called for long-held religious beliefs to change and “evolve with the times”? What about Jude 1:3 and 2 Timothy 3:14? Are there biblical prophecies about not being able to hear the word of God? Might we see more restrictions on explaining teachings of the Bible on the Internet and other forms of media? What are some of the verses that various government people do not want made public? Dr. Thiel provides facts on these issues and more.

Here is a link: Banning the Bible?

The Bible warns of:

18 … men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (Romans 1:18)

There is less and less freedom of speech, religion, and the press in the USA as unrighteous agendas are pushed.

The trend is to move away from truth to push governmental approved narratives.

The ‘famine of the word’ (Amos 8:11-12) is coming.

This will not end up well for the USA.

Items of possibly related interest may include:

Christian Health Matters Should Christians be concerned about their health? Does the Bible give any food and health guidelines? Here are links to two related sermons: Let’s Talk About Food and Let’s Talk About Health.
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; two short videos are also available: Did Jesus declare all animal flesh food? and COVID, Pandemics, and Unclean Meat.
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 are some related videos: GMO Risks and the Bible and GMOs, Lab meat, Hydrogenation: Safe or Dangerous?
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras?  Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues? A video of related interest is Half human, half pig: What’s the difference?  and Human-Monkey Embryos and Death.

Should Christians Smoke (or Chew) Tobacco or Marijuana?  Is smoking a sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change? What about marijuana? Here is a link to a related video: Should You Smoke? Would You Like Help to Quit?
Marijuana: Should a Christian Get High? There is increasing acceptance of the use of marijuana. How should Christians view this? Here is a related video titled How Should a Christian View Marijuana?
Alcohol: Blessing or Curse? This is an article from the old Good News magazine that attempts to answer this question.
Binge Drinking, Health, and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach? A related video is also available: Binge Drinking and the Bible.
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.
Should Christians Exercise? What does the Bible teach? What are some of the benefits and risks of exercise? Here is a link to a related video: The Plain Truth About Exercise.
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.
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.
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Could the USA be gone by the end of 2028 or earlier? There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. Two related sermon are available: Identifying the USA and its Destruction in Prophecy and Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin? A related sermon is also available: The Bible, the USA, and the King of the West.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Will Philadelphian Christians instruct many in the end times? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work. Here is a link to another: Preparing to Instruct Many.

Fasting is good spiritually and physically

Wednesday, September 28th, 2022


People Fasting in New Zealand

COGwriter

From sunset October 4th through sunset the 5th is the Day of Atonement–a day CCOG members, who can, fast.

As it turns out, for those that can, fasting aids longevity.

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/

January 6, 2020

The news continues to be very encouraging: intermittent fasting is good for you. I don’t have time or space here to discuss all the results, but I want to focus on one fasting strategy that has surprisingly good benefits.

It turns out that you can get many of the benefits of fasting without doing a 3-day fast, which for most people is really, really difficult to accomplish. https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2020/01/06/can-intermittent-fasting-reset-your-immune-system/#716ff3dd27ac

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.

Fasting is good for the immune system (see Reuters: Why is New Orleans’ coronavirus death rate seven times New York’s? Obesity is a factor; BNP: ‘How to Change Your Life in 5 Seconds’) and is something that the ‘public health officials’ should have encouraged people to do because of COVID-19. Fasting is something I repeatedly advised for those who could do it on this COGwriter Church of God News page many times this year (e.g. CNN: Faster test results and ‘robust’ immune response may offer hope of curbing the pandemic, experts say).

The author of the following wanted me to share some additional information on this:

The Benefits Of Fasting

Fasting is practiced from olden days and plays a major role in many different cultures. Fasting can be defined as the avoidance of all or some types of food and drinks for a set period of time. Health benefits include:

1. Fasting improves your ability to fight against inflammation. According to studies, fasting may decrease several markers of inflammation and is useful in treating inflammatory conditions. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4899145/)

2. Fasting helps to reduce insulin resistance and weight gain. Fasting triggers the shift of metabolism from lipid/cholesterol synthesis and fat storage to the mobilization of fat through fatty acid oxidation and fatty-acid derived ketones, which serve to preserve muscle mass and function. In turn liver glycogen stores are depleted and fatty acids are mobilized. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5783752/)

3. Fasting promotes heart health. According to studies, fasting brings a significant decrease and normalization of blood pressure, decreases the level of bad cholesterol, and thus enhances heart health. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17929537)

4. Fasting can delay the aging effects and increases life span. According to studies, fasting can effectively increase your longevity. But, more research is needed in this regard. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7117847/)

–Dr. Rashmi Byakodi, Best for Nutrition

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/fasting-benefits#rashmi

Fasting is a practice that has been associated with a wide array of potential health benefits, including weight loss, as well as improved blood sugar control, heart health, brain function and cancer prevention.

From water fasting to intermittent fasting and calorie restriction, there are many different types of fasting that fit nearly every lifestyle.

When coupled with a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle, incorporating fasting into your routine could benefit your health.

People who can benefit from fasting

There is some good scientific evidence suggesting that circadian rhythm fasting, when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle, can be a particularly effective approach to weight loss, especially for people at risk for diabetes. (However, people with advanced diabetes or who are on medications for diabetes, people with a history of eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia, and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not attempt intermittent fasting unless under the close supervision of a physician who can monitor them.)

Benefits of fasting

1. Promotes Blood Sugar Control by Reducing Insulin Resistance – Intermittent fasting and alternate-day fasting could help decrease blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance but may affect men and women differently.

2. Promotes Better Health by Fighting Inflammation – fasting could decrease several markers of inflammation and may be useful in treating inflammatory conditions, such as multiple sclerosis.

3. May Enhance Heart Health by Improving Blood Pressure, Triglycerides and Cholesterol Levels – Fasting has been associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and may help lower blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels.

4. May Boost Brain Function and Prevent Neurodegenerative Disorders – fasting could improve brain function, increase nerve cell synthesis and protect against neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s.

5. Aids Weight Loss by Limiting Calorie Intake and Boosting Metabolism – Fasting may increase metabolism and help preserve muscle tissue to reduce body weight and body fat.

6. Increases Growth Hormone Secretion, Is Vital for Growth, Metabolism, Weight Loss and Muscle Strength – fasting can increase levels of human growth hormone (HGH), an important protein hormone that plays a role in growth, metabolism, weight loss and muscle strength.

7. Could Delay Aging and Extend Longevity – fasting could delay aging and increase longevity, but human research is still lacking.

8. May Aid in Cancer Prevention and Increase the Effectiveness of Chemotherapy -fasting could block tumor development and increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy.

–Dr Chris Norris, Sleep Standards

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/fasting-benefits#chris

12 hours after its last nutrient intake (the last time somebody ate), the body will enter into a fasted state. During a fast, several things happen to the human body at the molecular and cellular level. Some of the benefits include:

1. Insulin sensitivity improves, and all levels of insulin drop. This can aid in reversing the effects of related diseases like diabetes, alongside making body fat stores more accessible. Extra energy will be released, meaning that athletic performance and perception of fatigue should improve.

2. Human Growth Hormone (HGH) levels increase, which can be quite drastic, with levels increasing by as much as a multiple of five. HGH is crucial for skeletomuscular maintenance and hypertrophy, so increased production will make muscle gains and strength adaptation that much more efficient.

3. Cells repair in the absence of the digestive process, including the digestion and removal of dysfunctional, old proteins that build up within cells. This can aid in offsetting some of the fatiguing side-effects of hard physical activity and should speed up recovery.

4. Several of the metabolic features improved by intermittent fasting can lead directly to improved brain health. This includes reduced oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as a reduction in blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Animal studies have shown that intermittent fasting may even assist the growth of new nerve cells, which could provide benefits to the brain’s synapse function.

5. The hormone BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) is also increased by intermittent fasting. A deficiency of BDNF has been linked with degenerative conditions and depression.

What kinds of people might it be recommended for?

Fasting can be very beneficial for those suffering digestive or gastric discomfort, as fasting periods allow the digestive tract to rest. It is good for those looking to overcome type II diabetes, due to the improved insulin resistance, for those looking to lose weight, put on muscle mass, or both, for a recomposition, and for those looking to increase mental alertness or wellbeing, due to the increase in BDNF.

–Michael Julom, ThisIsWhyImFit.com

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/fasting-benefits#michael

Fasting puts the body into autophagy. Autophagy repairs DNA and organelles (parts of the cell that have very specific functions) which allows cells to prepare for healthy replication.

Replication is important because it helps replace damaged organelles with healthy ones. Damaged organelles are contributing factors to chronic diseases, such as cancer and inflammatory diseases. AS we age, it is harder for our cells to replicate. That is why fasting is really great for the 50+ crowd.

Fasting will result in weight loss and that is why most people do it. But there are many other benefits.

One study conducted by the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, found that short-term fasting induced autophagy in the brain. This may reduce the risk for neurological conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

–Heather Donahue, CHN, Heather’s Health Habits

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/fasting-benefits#heather

Firstly, fasting promotes weight loss, which subsequently lowers your risk for comorbidities such as obesity, heart disease, and stroke. Fasting can also help improve symptoms of chronic diseases, such as https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/534318. Although I think anyone can benefit from practicing intermittent fasting – at least on occasion – I would strongly suggest people who are struggling with weight loss to try it. For many, it’s a simpler alternative to counting macros and nutrients and planning out an entire strict regiment of eating – fasting can kickstart your weight loss while you figure out your diet.

–Gabriello Ianniruberto, Anabolic Bodies

PERMALINK: https://outwittrade.com/fasting-benefits#gabriello

June 10, 2020 https://outwittrade.com/fasting-benefits

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 Keep 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. Two related sermons would be Which Spring Days should Christians observe? and Fall Holy Days for Christians.

Trumpets, Temple Institute, and Herbert W. Armstrong: Choose Life!

Saturday, September 24th, 2022


Temple Institute entrance
(Photo by Bob Thiel)

COGwriter

The Temple Institute had the following in a newsletter as a pre-Feast of Trumpets (which they call Rosh HaShana) message related to choosing life:

“Choose life!”

(Deuteronomy 30:`9)

Elul 26, 5781/September 3, 2021

“You are all standing this day before HaShem, your G-d the leaders of your tribes, your elders and your officers, every man of Israel, your young children, your women, and your convert who is within your camp both your woodcutters and your water drawers… “ (Deuteronomy 29:9-10)

“You are all” – all of you – all of us – each and every one of us – standing upright, equal, from the greatest to the least, the oldest to the youngest, the most powerful to the most vulnerable…

“Standing this day before HaShem, your G-d” – this day – today – the only day! Yesterday is gone and is no more. When tomorrow arrives it will be today. Today is the only day! When we stand before HaShem our G-d there is only one day – today – the here and the now. When we stand and share our presence before G-d’s presence, there is no past, good, bad or otherwise, and the future will only amount to the strength and integrity of our intentions today.

“You are all” – all of you – all of me, the individual! All of me is standing before HaShem my G-d this day – the best of me and the least of me. Me at my finest and me at my least fine, standing and being accounted for, standing and saying to G-d, “I am whom You have created, I am a work in progress, steadily working to improve and perfect my being, my north star being the Me that You intended when You first breathed life into the dust of my earthly being.”

The Torah reading of Nitzavim – Standing – is read every year just before Rosh HaShana, and its soaring message of accountability, of the potential for teshuvah – repentance and return to G-d – of the accessibility and nearness of G-d’s requirements, and of the open path toward life and happiness in the presence of HaShem, serves as a guide book for the day of Rosh HaShana and for the entirety of the holidays, (Rosh HaShana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot and Shmini Atzeret), which make up the month of Tishrei, the first month of the new year.

We are all G-d’s children, equal in His eyes, we all have the honor and distinction, the privilege and responsibility, of standing directly before G-d. We are all granted the limitless opportunities of standing before G-d today, with no past to weigh us down and a future that is ours to shape.

“For this commandment which I command you this day, is not concealed from you, nor is it far away. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us and fetch it for us, to tell it to us, so that we can fulfill it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us and fetch it for us, to tell it to us, so that we can fulfill it?’ Rather,this thing is very close to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can fulfill it.” (ibid 30:11-14) So close! So accessible! So achievable! G-d only asks of us what He knows we can fulfill, if only we set our hearts, our minds and our souls to it, if only we persist!

“I command you this day to love HaShem, your G-d, to walk in His ways, and to observe His commandments, His statutes, and His ordinances.” (ibid 30:16) To love, to walk and to observe! “To love HaShem, your G-d, to listen to His voice, and to cleave to Him. For that is your life and the length of your days” (ibid 30:20) To love, to listen, to cleave to!

Our Torah reading ends with a dramatic crescendo, a daunting challenge, and then – an insider’s tip from HaShem! “Behold, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil!” (ibid 30:15) What will we choose? The choice is ours, and on Rosh HaShana G-d opens up before us our Book of Life, opens it to a blank page, and hands to us the pen with which to write our own fate, our own destiny, our own purpose. And as G-d hands to us His pen, He whispers in our ear, each and every one of us, “Choose life!” (ibid 30:19)

In a radio broadcast, the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Hebert W. Armstrong, said the following about choosing life:

Now, there are laws, you’re going to have to choose every one of you. Now, if you neglect so great salvation, as God has offered you, you are choosing, you are choosing the wrong way and you are sentencing yourself to death!… the penalty of sin. YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE LIFE… and do it of your own will, voluntarily. Your own volition, your own FREE WILL, or you can never have salvation. No one can talk you into it, no salesman, no preacher… I don’t care how much he loves you, or how much he desires to see you saved, he can’t do it. You know long ago I learned that, and I’ve quit trying to talk people into it, I just preached the truth. I want to tell you, my friends, your whole relationship with God is a private personal relationship between you and God!! Now, I do not say for a minute that we are not influenced by circumstances, I fully understand that God can bring about circumstances that will bring us to a place where we look on things differently and where perhaps we’re going to choose the right way and be willing to do it, but still God doesn’t force you. No, He’s going to force you one way and that’s all and that is to make your own decision?.

Now,… God says in verse nineteen?… well, let’s go back to verse seventeen just a moment first, but if thine heart turn away so that thou wilt not hear — you see God allows us to turn away, He allows us to rebel, when He says, “IF”, — if He was forcing us to be saved, if He was forcing us to obey Him — He couldn’t say, ” if ” you do the other, so that wilt not hear but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely PERISH!

THERE IT IS. You are going to decide what is the outcome of YOUR life and your destiny. Are you going to inherit eternal life as God’s gift? Or are you going to perish? Are you going to die: the wages of sin is death, it isn’t eternal life, the wages of sin is death!
Now God says again in verse nineteen: I CALL HEAVEN AND EARTH TO RECORD THIS DAY AGAINST YOU, THAT I, GOD ALMIGHTY, THE RULER, HAVE SET BEFORE YOU LIFE AND DEATH, BLESSING AND CURSING, THEREFORE CHOOSE… God says, we have to choose and that’s an order. And God’s going to make you choose, and even if you try not to choose and neglect, you are choosing automatically. You’re choosing DEATH, you’re choosing to PERISH. You’re choosing the penalty. But you can choose life, it’s up to you.

Set Before You Life And Death

Now, God is the great ruler; He said here, I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing, therefore CHOOSE life. What does He want us to choose.. life. He even commands you to choose life, but He allows you to disobey. Now, He forces you to choose, He allows you to disobey. I think we better get these words between what God forces and what He allows straighten out — I really had to get it straighten out in my own mind here a little bit, and I want to make it plain to all of you listening in.

Now He wants you to choose life that thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest OBEY his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life. Ohhh, I tell you that’s wonderful when you come to see it. You know I’m glad that God has made us, free moral agents, and that God has decreed, with his SOVEREIGN rulership, that we have to make the decision. God will not make it for you, you must make it for yourself.

Now the Kingdom of God is a family, if you choose life my friends, you’ll first be begotten of God and later your going to be born of God.

Yes, God wants all to choose life and to live eternally and abundantly. More on God’s plan can be found in the free online book: The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You? Which is something Pope Francis’ statements last week show he does not understand (watch the short video: Does Pope Francis misunderstand the purpose for creation? Do you?).

As far as the Jews go, although they call the Feast of Trumpets Rosh HaShana, they admit that was not the biblical name:

“Rosh Hashana, which literally means head of the year” {it was} “not called Rosh Hashanah until Talmudic times” (Kramer, Amy J. Rosh Hashana Origins. Copyright © 1998-1999 Everything Jewish, Inc. http://www.everythingjewish.com/RoshH/RH_origins.htm 9/16/04).

The Feast of Trumpets has major Christian significance.

Here is a related sermon made for the Feast of Trumpets in 2021:

1:10:49 

The Bible tells of a Holy Day where trumpets are to be blown in the seventh month. When is the biblical seventh-month? This Feast of Trumpets is called Rosh Hoshana by the modern Jews. Jews believe that this is the day names are inscribed in the Book of Life. The New Testament also speaks of the Book of Life as well as a resurrection that occurs at the seventh and last trump when Jesus returns. Is this a day Christians have long observed? What are some of the lessons that it teaches us? How do you choose life? Are obedience and the Ten Commandments important? Do many who profess Christ not understand God’s plan of salvation because they do not observe this and other biblical Holy Days? Dr. Thiel address these issues and more in this sermon message.

Here is a link to the sermon: Trumpet Resurrection to Life.

Now, the Feast of Trumpets runs from sunset September 25th through sunset September 26th in 2022. It is coming soon.

Have you chosen the way of life so that you will observe it?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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: Fall Holy Days for Christians.
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? Related sermon videos include: The Last Trumpet and the Book of Life and 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? A related sermon is available: Seven Trumpets: Jesus Returns.
Trumpets: Christian and Jewish Views of that Feast Jews call it Rosh Hashanah and have various ideas about it. What are Christian views and scriptures about the meaning and purpose of this festival?
Born Again: A Question of Semantics? Many Protestants use the term born-again. Do they know where the concept came from or does it matter? Are you born or begotten upon proper baptism? Here is a link to a sermon video: Trumpets and Being Born Again.
Should You Keep 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. Two related sermon would be Which Spring Days should Christians observe? and Fall Holy Days for Christians.
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.
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? What is your ultimate destiny? What does the Bible teach? Is deification only a weird or cultic idea? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2022 This is information on the Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God in 2022. The Feast Services for 2022 are to begin the evening of October 9th and run (including the Last Great Day) until sunset October 17th.

Sermon: Fall Holy Days or Holidays?

Saturday, September 24th, 2022


COGwriter

The Fall Holy Days are almost upon us.

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

Which days did Jesus, His disciples, and early Christians observe that came in the Fall? Do we have any references from them in the Old and New Testaments? Might the gap between Pentecost in the 2nd chapter of the Book of Acts and the fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets symbolize the Christian church age? What about later Greco-Roman-Protestant holidays, Emperor Constantine, and Mithraism? Did early Christians keep the Day of Atonement or the Feast of Tabernacles? What about Christmas or Halloween? Does the Bible warn against combining demonic worship practices with biblical ones? Can Holy Days be observed outside of Jerusalem? What did John Chrysostom teach about the biblical Holy Days? Have the meanings of the Fall Holy Days been fulfilled in Christ? Should Christians accept traditions over the word of God? What is the basic meaning of the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, Feast of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Do Holy Days have anything to do with God’s plan of salvation? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our sermon video: Fall Holy Days or Holidays?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Should You Keep 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. Two related sermons are Which Spring Days should Christians observe? and Fall Holy Days for Christians.
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: Fall Holy Days for Christians.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2033, 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: OUeåf/y^v„W#eåÿ Ù‘Ìf/NNýy^v„W#eåeåS†NÎ2013^tó2024^t0.
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2022 This is information on the Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God in 2022. The Feast Services for 2022 are to begin the evening of October 9th and run (including the Last Great Day) until sunset October 17th.
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? Related sermon videos include: The Last Trumpet and the Book of Life and 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? A related sermon is available: Seven Trumpets: Jesus Returns.
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.
The Atonement Plan How does the Day of Atonement tie into God’s plan of salvation? Three sermons of related interest are available: Atonement, Jesus, and Satanand God’s Atonement and Fasting Plan and God’s Atonement Plan.
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.
Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The genuine Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White. Did Ellen White make prophetic errors? Did Ellen White make false prophecies? Here is a version in the Spanish language: SDA/COG Diferencias: La bestia de dos cuernos de Apocalipsis y 666. Here are two sermons in the English language: Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?and CCOG and SDA differences and similarities. Here is a link to an article in the Spanish language: Diferencias: SDA/CCOG: La bestia de dos cuernos de Apocalipsis y 666.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the Messiah, Prophecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and death, Jesus’ prophesied divinity, 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made, Why Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?, Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus
Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! Would you like Christian answers to give atheists? This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution. Two animated videos of related interest are also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator? and A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prop
hets’.
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.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. There are links to literature is about 100 different languages there.
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Africa, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Canada, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Europe, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.AFRICA This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
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.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
CG7.ORG This is a website for those interested in the Sabbath and churches that observe the seventh day Sabbath.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOG Animations YouTube channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs. Also available at BitChute COGAnimations https://www.bitchute.com/channel/coganimations/
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced hundreds of videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. You can find them at them on YouTube at BibleNewsProphecy https://www.youtube.com/user/BibleNewsProphecy, plus also on Vimeo at Bible News Prophecy https://vimeo.com/channels/biblenewsprophecy as well as on Brighteon Bible News Prophecy https://www.brighteon.com/channel/ccogbnp and Bitchute Prophecy https://www.bitchute.com/channel/prophecy/
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo. Also available at BitChute COGAfrica https://www.bitchute.com/channel/cogafrica/
CDLIDDSermones channel. This contains messages in the Spanish language
BibleNewsProphecy Podcast. This has audio-visual podcasts of the Bible News Prophecy channgel. It plays on i-Phones, i-Pads, and Windows devices that can play i-Tunes.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos. Also available at BitChute COGTube https://www.bitchute.com/channel/cogtube/
Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of GodContend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3, NKJV), “Let brotherly love (Philadelphia) continue” (Hebrews 13:1) ” & continuing stedfastly in the teaching of the apostles” (Acts 2:42 YLT). So, what does that really mean in terms of specific beliefs–the Statement gives answers? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Declaración de las Doctrinas de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. Here is a related link in Tagalog: Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. Here is a related link in Mandarin Chinese ~ç~íy^v„eYOv„OáNðXðf. Here is a related link in Kiswahili: KATIKA LUGHA YA KISWAHILI. Here is a related link in Dutch: Verklaring van geloofspunten van de Continuing Church of God. Here is a related link in Deutsche (German): Glaubenserklärung der Continuing Church of God. Here is a related link in Italiano: Dichiarazione del Credo della Continuing Church of God. Here is related link in the French language: Déclaration des croyances de L’Église Continue de Dieu. Here is a related link in the Chichewa language: ZIKHULUPIRIRO ZA MPINGO WA CONTINUING CHURCH OF GOD. Here is a link in Romanian: Declarația de credințe a continuării Bisericii lui Dumnezeu. Here is a link in Portuguese: Declaração de Crenças da Continuação da Igreja de Deus. Here is a link in Russian: Утверждение верований о продолжении Церкви Божьей. Here is a link to a related English-language sermon: Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God.

Linus of Rome was not over all Christendom

Friday, September 23rd, 2022

History of Early Christianity

COGwriter

September 23rd is the day recognized by the Catholics of Rome to honor Linus of Rome. Typically he is shown second on the list of bishops that purport to show the Roman Catholic pontiffs and is the claimed successor to the Apostle Peter. For information about him in the Spanish language, check out Linus no fue obispo de Roma.

There is an individual named Linus in the Bible. He is mentioned one time. Here is the only passage that mentions him:

Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick. Do your utmost to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren. The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen (2 Timothy 4:19-22).

The above was probably written, in approximately 67 A.D. – 68 A.D., by the Apostle Paul while in prison in Rome to the evangelist Timothy, who was in Ephesus.

This passage shows that Paul knew someone named Linus. Linus, therefore knew Paul, and was in Rome when Paul wrote this letter. It can probably be reasonably implied that Linus probably knew Timothy, and perhaps others in Ephesus. And based on Paul’s writings, it can be concluded that Paul, at that time, considered that particular Linus to be a Christian. It is probably logical to conclude that Linus met with Paul in prison on multiple occasions and probably, like the others, assisted him to some degree.

What it does not show is that Linus was to be the leader of those in Rome or ordained by Peter or the one to hold the leadership mantle of all Christendom. Others are listed before him, hence, at least at the time Paul wrote this letter, there is no preeminence for Linus in Rome (and it should be noted that one of the proofs that Rome often cites to prove that Peter had preeminence is that Peter was quite often listed first in various New Testament passages involving multiple people). Linus simply was one of many who knew and probably assisted the Apostle Paul. The lack of emphasis/preeminence in Paul’s writings would seem to suggest that Linus could not have been the one to become the “bishop of Rome” and the successor of Peter and Paul in 67 A.D. Especially since it is believed that the Apostle Paul probably did not die until 68 A.D.

Whether or not this is the same individual named Linus that many Roman Catholics consider to be the first pope (the first “bishop of Rome”) to succeed Peter cannot be determined from the passages in 2 Timothy. This is confirmed by Catholic scholars, such as J.P. Kirsch, who wrote:

We cannot be positive whether this identification of the pope as being the Linus mentioned in II Timothy 4:21, goes back to an ancient and reliable source, or originated later on account of the similarity of the name (Kirsch J.P. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Linus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

But it seems that even if the Roman Catholics are referring to the same person, that he was not the one who was going to immediately become THE bishop of Rome–if he was, it would be logical that Paul would have given Linus some special mention. Instead, he is simply grouped in with several others in Rome at that time (nor is Linus even mentioned first).

There are several demonstrably incorrect claims made about him by some in the Church of Rome. For example, here is something from a book I purchased in Vatican City:

2. LINUS, ST. (67-76)…He was the first to take up the inheritance of St. Peter…He made disposition for women to be admitted to the holy places and attend functions with their heads covered…He was buried beside St. Peter in the first Vatican burial spot. It is certain that he did exist while some have thrown doubt on his election to the pontificate. (Lopes A. The Popes: The lives of the pontiffs through 2000 years of history. Futura Edizoni as sponsored by the Pontifical Administration, Roma, 1997, p. 1)

The main historical fact is that Linus’ name showed up on a list. Not that he was Peter’s successor.

Here is some of what the Roman Catholic scholar J.P. Kirsch wrote in The Catholic Encyclopedia about Linus:

The “Liber Pontificalis” asserts that Linus’s home was in Tuscany, and that his father’s name was Herculanus; but we cannot discover the origin of this assertion. According to the same work on the popes, Linus is supposed to have issued a decree “in conformity with the ordinance of St. Peter”, that women should have their heads covered in church. Without doubt this decree is apocryphal, and copied by the author of the “Liber Pontificalis” from the first Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians (11:5) and arbitrarily attributed to the first successor of the Apostle in Rome. The statement made in the same source, that Linus suffered martyrdom, cannot be proved and is improbable. (Kirsch J.P. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Linus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York)

Much about Linus is more than improbable.

Netherlands’ Priest Roderick Vonhögen is/was the Chief Executive Officer of a pro-Catholic media group (SQPN) which correctly teaches, “Pope Saint Linus…ancient documents about his papacy have proven to be inaccurate or apocryphal” (Pope Saint Linus. saints.sqpn.com/saintl23.htm, viewed 09/18/12).

Yet, Linus is claimed to have been the first successor of Peter and head of all Christendom by the Church of Rome.

Here is what John O’Malley, a Jesuit Priest and Catholic historian, published:

The earliest lists of popes begin, not with Peter, but with a man named Linus. The reason Peter’s name was not listed was because he was an apostle, which was a super-category, much superior to pope or bishop…

The Christian community at Rome well into the second century operated as a collection of separate communities without any central structure…Rome was a constellation of house churches, independent of one another, each of which was loosely governed by an elder. The communities thus basically followed the pattern of the Jewish synagogues out of which they developed. (O’Malley JW. A History of the Popes. Sheed & Ward, 2009, p. 11)

It should be pointed out that the Apostle John outlived Linus and some of the others considered to have been early “popes.” Thus, the above admission is consistent with the Church of God view that the leadership of the Christian church in the late first century was clearly in Asia Minor, and not Rome, as that is where the Apostle John was based.

The Apostle Paul noted that there were three leaders in Jerusalem during one of his visits there:

James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars (Galatians 2:9).

He likely listed James first because James was the leader who actually lived in Jerusalem (the others were mainly visiting then). But notice that Paul then listed Cephas, who is Peter, and then John. This may suggest that Paul considered that Peter, at that time, had higher authority, sometimes called primacy, than John then did. It also shows that Peter apparently conferred with John, hence Peter helped train him as a potential successor.

Now, possibly around 64-67 A.D., Peter was killed, hence he no longer held physical primacy over the remaining apostles.

As it turned out John greatly outlived Peter and is believed to have lived as late as 98-105 A.D. (he also outlived James).

John was an apostle, while the early leaders of Rome were only presbyters.

The Bible clearly teaches that apostles were first (1 Corinthians 12:28). Notice that even Roman Catholic scholars understand:

Unlike Peter, the pope is neither an apostle nor an eyewitness of the Risen Lord (McBrien, Richard P. Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI. Harper, San Francisco, 2005 updated ed., p.33).

Since that is true, it makes no sense that the Apostle John would be somehow subordinate to Linus, Anacletus, Clement, and Evaristus, all of whom have been claimed to have been “bishop of Rome” and supposedly had primacy over all Christianity after Peter died and while John was still alive. John would have held the mantle of Christian leadership.

Note that Paul wrote:

And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles (1 Corinthians 12:28).

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11).

And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and other some evangelists, and other some pastors and doctors: (Ephesians 4:11, Rheims New Testament).

And since the Bible teaches that the true church is first led by apostles and other positions are lower ranked, there is no way that the Apostle John would have been below any bishop (essentially a pastor) in rank–Note that although the Bible uses the Greek term for pastor more than the one for bishop, it seems to show that the terms are interchangeable (see 1 Peter 2:25).

Hence, after Peter died (as well as the other apostles), it is clear that the one true successor–who had been appointed by Christ Himself–would be the Apostle John (the last of the original apostles to die) and that true apostolic successors would probably have had contact with him. John was the successor to Peter. This is consistent with the Bible.

It should also be mentioned that none of the Roman Bishops took the title Pope until the late 4th century, so there is no way that Linus was Pope Linus. It is also not clear that the early leaders in Rome were called ‘bishop’ prior to Anicetus in the mid-second century A.D.

Furthermore, presuming Linus was a faithful Christian leader, he would have held beliefs much more consistent with the Continuing Church of God than the Church of Rome. Those interested in the beliefs of the earliest Christians may wish to read the free documented book: Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church.

That being said, there likely was a genuine Church of God Christian leader in Rome named Linus who may have been an elder. Since there is no contemporary biblical nor other historical evidence that Rome had a bishop over it then, etc. Linus was certainly not the “Bishop of Rome” who somehow supposedly succeeded the Apostle Peter. Catholics and others might be surprised to learn that the first known “Bishop of Rome” did not take that title until the mid-second century and that title “Pope” or Pontificus Maximus was not taken by the bishops of Rome until the late fourth century.

Some items of possibly related interest may including the following:

“Pope” Linus (67-76)…He is claimed to be the first to take up the inheritance from Peter, but he is omitted from Tertullian’s list. There is a Linus mentioned in the Bible. For some information about him in the Spanish language, check out Linus no fue obispo de Roma.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, Early Heresies and Heretics, Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List, Holy Mother Church and Heresies, and Lying Wonders and Original Beliefs.
Was Peter the Rock Who Alone Received the Keys of the Kingdom? How should Matthew 16:18-19 be understood?
The Apostle Peter He was an original apostle and early Christian leader. Where was Peter buried? Where did Peter die?
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the Nazarenes.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Laying on of Hands Succession and List Does the Church of God have laying on of hands succession? Does the Continuing Church of God have a list of leaders from the time of the apostles? Here is a link to a related sermon: Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession.
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter! Here is a link to a sermon: Claims of Apostolic Succession. Here is a related articlein the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
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.
Herbert W. Armstrong, the Philadelphia Church, & the Mantle Herbert Armstrong claims God had him raise the Philadelphia up. Are there reasons to believe that the Philadelphia mantle in now within the CCOG? Here is a link to a related sermon: Herbert W. Armstrong and the Philadelphia Mantle.
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups that Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups? A related sermon is also available Christianity: Two groups.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries 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.

Rosh Hashanah: But Jewish year 5783 is off by over 200 years!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

COGwriter

The Jews call the Feast of Trumpets Rosh Hashanah. Here is something from the Times of Israel:

Rosh Hashana (The Jewish New Year) for Hebrew Year 5783 begins at sundown on Sunday, 25 September 2022https://www.jewishnashville.org/community-calendar/calendars/master-calendar/rosh-hashana-0826272022

Originally, it was NOT called Rosh Hashanah:

“Rosh Hashana, which literally means head of the year” {it was} “not called Rosh Hashanah until Talmudic times” (Kramer, Amy J. Rosh Hashana Origins. Copyright © 1998-1999 Everything Jewish, Inc. http://www.everythingjewish.com/RoshH/RH_origins.htm 9/16/04).

Alongside special offerings in the Holy Temple, Torah assigns one single commandment to be performed on Rosh HaShana: The sounding of the shofar. In fact, Torah doesn’t refer to the first day of the seventh month as Rosh HaShana, (which is a later appellation), but merely as Yom Hatru’a – the Day of the Shofar Blast. (Shana Tova! The Temple Institute email newsletter. Elul 29, 5778/September 9, 2018)

Anyway, the Jews not only changed the name, they also changed the year.

The Jewish year claim confuses many people as the numbers do not add up with scripture.

The “Rabbinic chronology” is based on something called the Seder Olam. Here is some of what The Jewish Encyclopedia says about it:

SEDER ‘OLAM RABBAH: …

Earliest post-exilic chronicle preserved in the Hebrew language. In the Babylonian Talmud this chronicle is several times referred to simply as the “Seder ‘Olam” (Shab. 88a; Yeb. 82b; Nazir 5a; Meg. 11b; ‘Ab. Zarah 8b; Niddah 46b), and it is quoted as such by the more ancient Biblical commentators, including Rashi. But with the twelfth century it began to be designated as “Seder ‘Olam Rabbah,” to distinguish it from a later, smaller chronicle, “Seder ‘Olam, Zuṭa”; it was first so designated by Abraham ibn Yarḥi (“Ha-Manhig,” p. 2a, Berlin, 1855). …

The 420 years of the Second Temple are divided into the following periods: the domination of the Persians, 34 years; of the Greeks, 180 years; of the Maccabees, 103 years; of the Herods, 103 years. It will be seen that the allowance, contrary to historical facts, of only thirty-four years for the Persian domination is necessary if agreement with the Biblical text is to be insisted upon; for it is stated (Dan. ix. 24) that the second exile was to take place after seventy Sabbaths of years (= 490 years). If from this number the seventy years of the first Captivity be deducted, and the beginning of Alexander’s domination over Palestine be placed, in accordance with Talmudical evidence, at 386 years before the destruction of the Second Temple, there remain only thirty-four for the Persian rule. (Seligsohn M. Seder Olam. Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906)

So, even a century ago, The Jewish Encyclopedia saw that it has problems.

Here is something from Jewish scientist Saul Kullook in 2018:

“According to Seder Olam Rabbah and our current Hebrew calendar, the destruction of the First Temple took place in 442 BCE. This means that Seder Olam Raba and our current Hebrew calendar are out of synch with modern historical records concerning the destruction of the Temple. It introduces a difference of 164 years in relation to the scholarly counting for past historical events.” (Berkowitz AE. Scientist Claims Redemption May Be Much Closer Than You Thought. Breaking Israel News, June 28, 2018)

Notice also something that the Talmud says:

Rabba bar bar Ḥana said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “The fear of the Lord prolongs days, but the years of the wicked will be shortened” (Proverbs 10:27)? The fear of the Lord prolongs days; that is a reference to the First Temple, which stood for four hundred and ten years … (Yoma 9a)

And while I am not in agreement with the 410 years, that is the often repeated Jewish position on how long the first temple stood.

That being the case, consider that according to The Jewish Encyclopedia:

SOLOMON – Third king of all Israel; reigned from about 971 to 931 B.C (Hirsh EG, et al. Solomon. Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906).

Since the Temple was begun in the 4th year of Solomon’s reign (1 Kings 6:1) and it took 7 years to complete (1 Kings 6:37), if you take 410 years from (971-4-7) 960 you come up with 550 BCE. That is over 100 years off from 442 BCE that the Seder Olam points to.

Thus, ignoring even non-Jewish secular sources, the Jewish numbers do not add up.

Notice an admission from reportedly from Jewish Rabbi Simon Schwab related to some of this:

6. The gravity of this intellectual dilemma posed by such enormous discrepancies must not be underestimated. The unsuspecting students — including the pupils of our Yeshivoth and Beth Jacob High Schools — are faced with a puzzle that appears insoluble. How could it have been that our forebears had no knowledge of a period in history, otherwise widely known and amply documented, which lasted over a span of 165 years and which was less than 600 years removed in time from the days of the Sages who recorded our traditional chronology in Seder Olam? Is it really possible to assume that some form of historical amnesia had been allowed to take possession of the collective memory of an entire people? This should be quite like assuming that some group of recognized historians of today would publish a textbook on medieval history, ignoring all the records of, say, the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries of the Common Era. Would this not seem inconceivable even for those who, unfortunately, do not possess the necessary emunas chachomim to accept the world of our Sages?

7. This enormous discrepancy between sacred tradition and secular data would appear at first glance to frustrate any and all hope that it might be possible to compile a comparative chronology acceptable to Orthodox Jewry and secular historians alike. To faithful believers in the veracity of our most sacred literature, both Biblical and Rabbinic, there seems to be left only the following two alternatives between which to choose: One: Faithfully to put our trust in the superior wisdom of our inspired teachers of Torah who have arrived at the absolute Truth and, consequently, to reject categorically and absolutely the right of any secular scientist, even the most objective in his field to contradict our convictions. In this case, it would mean that we would have to declare that these 165 years which our Tradition has ignored are, in fact, non-existent, and have been conjectured by secular historians out of the clear blue sky. According to this method of reasoning, it would follow that all the historical developments reported in connection with the timetable of ancient history referring to that period are not history but fiction and based on misinterpretation and misleading evidence. Or Two: We might accept the unanimous opinion of secular historians as coming as close to the objective truth as that is possible, but make an ingenious attempt to interpret the Biblical data and to treat the traditional Rabbinic chronology as mere Aggadic homily which may lend itself to symbolic or allegorical evaluation. This dilemma is most unfortunate. For it would appear that the only course to take would be either to “correct” secular ancient history by 165 years which we would then have to call “fictitious” or else to declare that our traditional calendar is based not on historical calculations but on Aggadic pronouncements. Even centuries ago, in his “Me’or Eynayim” (35), Azariah de Rossi, a controversial figure in the annals of our people, criticized the puzzling texts of Seder Olam and of the Talmud, much to the righteous indication of contemporary and later Rabbinic scholars (cf. R. David Gans in Tzemach David (#3448) and R. Jacob Emden to Seder Olam 30). (Breuer M, Breuer J. Jubilee Volume Presented in Honor of the Eightieth Birthday of Rabbi Dr. Joseph Breuer. P. Feldheim, 1962, pp. 182-183)

Schwab reportedly also admitted:

4. The Torah-true historian is now confronted with a truly vexing problem. Ancient history of the Babylonian and Persian Empires presents us with completely different data. These figures can hardly be doubted for they appear to be the result of painstaking research by hundreds of scholars and are borne out by profound erudition and by ever increasing authoritative evidence. Sometimes small discrepancies of a year or tow at the most have yet to be accounted for, but complete agreement seems to be almost within reach at the present time…. Since according to Ezra (6:15) the Second Temple was completed in the sixth year of Darius I, the date following the secular chronology must have been 517 BCE; i.e., exactly 70 years after the date (again, established by secular historians) for the destruction of the First Temple (587 BCE). Consequently the first year of the era of the Second Temple was 517 BCE and not 351 BCE. As long as we cannot doubt the date given for the destruction of the Second Temple (70 CE) we are compelled to admit that the Bayis Sheini must have existed for no less than 586 years instead of the 420 years given by tradition. This amounts to a discrepancy of over 165 years compared with our Jewish way of reckoning!

5. Furthermore there are at least nine Persian kings beginning with Cyrus (seven of these reigned subsequent to the consecration of the Temple) until the beginning of the Greek Era, during a period of well over 200 years. Compare with these figures the statements of Seder Olam and of Talmudic-Rabbinic literature (Seder Olam 30, Rosh Hashanah 3b) which know of only four Median-Persians kings ruling over a period of not more than 52 years, of which only 34 years belong to the period subsequent to the building of the Second Temple. …

B. 1. There seems to be left, as yet unexplored, only one avenue of approach to the vexing problem confronting us. It should have been possible that our Sages — for some unknown reason — had “covered up” a certain historic period and purposely eliminated and suppressed all records and other material pertaining thereto. If so what might have been their compelling reason for so unusual a procedure? Nothing short of a Divine command could have prompted our Chazal, those saintly “men of truth” to leave out completely from our annals a period of 165 years and to correct all data and historic tables in such a fashion that the subsequent chronological gap could escape being noticed by countless generations, known to a few initiates only who were duty-bound to keep the secret themselves. 2. In the course of our inquiry, we do indeed find a Divine command conveyed by an angel to Daniel to “seal the words and close the book” at the end of a long prophesy which begins in Chapter 11:1 and ends at Chapter 12:4 in the Book of Daniel…. (Excerpts from Comparative Jewish Chronology (pp177-197) in Jubilee Volume for Rav Yosef Breuer by Rabbi Simon Schwab as cited in Avodah Mailing List Volume 11 : Number 018 Tuesday, May 27 2003. http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol11/v11n018.shtml accessed 06/05/16)

Perhaps it should be noted that allegedly a formal retraction of his “coverup theory” appeared in Schwab’s volumes of “Selected Writings” – but he insisted that even though the explanation was not tenable the problem remained.

Here is more about the changing of dates from a non-Jewish source:

Furthermore, the shortening as perpetuated in the Sedar Olam was deliberate!

While not openly admitting this, present day Jewish scholars acknowledge that there is something enigmatic about the Sedar Olam’s dating. For example, after stating that the commonly received dates from the Ptolemaic chronology “can hardly be doubted,” Rabbi Simon Schwab, nevertheless goes on to uphold his own tradition:

“It should have been possible that our Sages — for some unknown reason — had “covered up” a certain historic period and purposely eliminated and suppressed all records and other material pertaining thereto. If so what might have been their compelling reason for so unusual a procedure? Nothing short of a Divine command could have prompted our Chazal, those saintly “men of truth” to leave out completely from our annals a period of 165 years and to correct all data and historic tables in such a fashion that the subsequent chronological gap could escape being noticed by countless generations, known to a few initiates only who were duty-bound to keep the secret themselves.” (Emphasis Schwab’s)

This is an astonishing proposal. Schwab, along with other Jewish commentators, further suggests that the reason why God directed the sages of the 2nd century AD to become involved in falsifying the data was to confuse anyone who might try to use the prophecies of Daniel to predict the time of the Messiah’s coming.

This was supposedly done to honour Da 12:4: “shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end.” He adds that the reason the sages had adopted the non-Jewish Seleucid Era calendar was part of a scheme to do just that–to close up the words and seal the book of Daniel. Schwab also states that if the 165 years were included it would reveal “we are much closer to the the end of the 6th Millennium than we had surmised.” (Schwab mentions this date as the time when many rabbis expect Messiah to come.).

But can any sincere reader accept such a flimsy reason as justification for distorting history? It actually accuses God himself of perpetrating a dishonest deception.

Indeed, it is manifestly apparent that the real reasons for the deliberate altering of their own national chronology in the Seder Olam were: (1) to conceal the fact that the Da 9:25 prophecy clearly pointed to Jesus of Nazareth as its fulfillment and therefore the long awaited Messiah, and (2) to make that seventy week of years prophecy point instead to Simon Bar Kokhba! Rabbis in the century immediately following Christ Jesus had a tremendous problem with so direct a prophecy as Da 9:24-27. This chapter speaks of Messiah’s appearing 69 “weeks” (i.e., 69 sevens) or 483 years after the going forth of a commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. This 538 BC prophecy {Da 9:1} unmistakably points to the start of the ministry of Jesus Christ in 29 AD. Such must either be acknowledged and his person accepted or completely erased from Jewish consciousness. The latter could be accomplished if the 69 (or 70) weeks of years could some

how be made to apply to the century after the life of Christ. Then it would be possible for the rabbis to point to another messiah who, as circumstances would have it, was cut off in death some 100 years after the crucifixion of our Lord.

The 10th day of the month Ab (c. mid-August) is a great day of sorrow to Israel. On this day in 588 BC, the Babylonians destroyed Solomon’s Temple. Further, the second temple was laid waste by the Romans under Titus on the same day in 70 AD. And on this very day in 135 AD, at the conclusion of a 3 1/2-year revolt, the Romans crushed the army of the “messianic” Simon Bar Kokhba (also spelled “Cocheba”).

Bar Kokhba had been declared the long-awaited Messiah by the foremost Jewish scholar of that day, the highly venerated Rabbi Akiva (Akiba) ben Joseph. In 130 AD. Emperor Haddrian of Rome declared his intention to raise a shrine to Jupiter on the site of the temple, and in 131 he issued a decree forbidding circumcision as well as public instruction in the Jewish law. Having preached peace all his life, the 90-year-old Akiva gave his blessing to the revolution by proclaiming that Bar Kokhba was the “star out of Jacob” and the “sceptre out of Israel.” {Nu 24:17}

In his 98th year, Akiva was eventually imprisoned and condemned to death by the Romans. Among the many accolades heaped upon Akiva, that which elevated him as a pre-eminent authority, was the acknowledging of him as “the father of the Mishnah.” Such prominence gave great weight to the messianic expectancy Akiva placed upon Bar Kokhba.

Akiva’s students became some of the most prominent sages of the following generation. Among these was Yose (Josi) ben Halafta. Akiva’s influence on Halafta is apparent from a statement made concerning his education; it was merely said that Rabbi Akiva had been his teacher. As his mentor Akiva’s regard for Bar Kokhba would have been thoroughly imbedded in Yose.

The preceding overview explains why the Seder Olam is held in such veneration and why the Jews still use it for their national dating. Yet the fact remains that it is a dishonest attempt to conceal the truth with regard to the Da 9:24-27 prophecy.

By removing the 164 (or 165) years from the duration of the Persian Empire, Rabbi Halafta was able to make the 483 year Da 9:24-27 prophecy fall reasonably close to the years prior to the 132 AD revolt during thich Bar Kokhba rose to prominence as Israel’s military and economic leader. Then with Akiva proclaiming, “This is the King Messiah” followed by “all the contemporary sages regarding him as the King Messiah,” the Jewish populace united around this false hope. (Jones F. Appendix G: The Seder Olam Rabbah — Why Jewish Dating is Different.In: Pierce L, Pierce M, editors. The Annals of the World. Master Books. Copyright 2003. ISBN: 089051-360-0, pp. 932-933)

While I do not agree with all that is asserted in the above, the author is correct that the dating issue with the Jews seemed to be deliberate. Consider also the following prophecy:

4 … Their lies lead them astray, Lies which their fathers followed. (Amos 2:4)

4 … And their lies have caused them to err, After which their fathers did walk. (Amos 2:4, JPS)

4 … their lies caused them to fall into error and live the way their ancestors did. (Amos 2:4, CJB)

Many peoples have chosen to rely on lies, sometimes called tradition (though not all traditions are based on lies), instead of acting on the truth.

Many Jewish scholars realize the errors in the Seder Olam (e.g. Berkowitz AE. Scientist Claims Redemption May Be Much Closer Than You Thought. Breaking Israel News, June 28, 2018; First M. Jewish History in Conflict. Jason Aronson, Inc. Jerusalem, 1997, pp. 44-80), and several admit that the errors seemed to be to affect the interpretation of Daniel 9:24-26 (ibid). According to Michael First, some of the modern Jewish scholars in the latter category appear to include Hayyim Shvilly (ibid, p. 70), Benny Isaacson (p. 71), Ben Zion Wacholder (pp. 73-74), Jay Braverman (p. 74), Joseph Tabori (pp. 76-77), and Henry Guggenheimer (p. 78). Berel Wein are said to have admitted that “the Jewish way of counting is off 166 years” (p. 78), whereas Samuel Hakohen admitted that Jewish sages provided an incorrect chronology “to accurately predict the time of the coming of the Messiah” (pp.78-79). Michael First also lists Jewish scholars in the 8th through 15th centuries (such as Pirkei De-Rabbi Eliezer, Josippon, Moses ben Samuel ka-Kohen Gikatilla, Rashi, Zerahiah ben Isaac ha-Levi Gerondi, Abraham ben David ha-Levi Ibn David, David Kimhi, Samuel ben Nissim Masnut, Isaac ben Joseph Israeli, Isaac Abravanel) who had problems and/or wrote in contradictions related to one or more parts of the Jewish chronology of the Seder Olam (pp. 183-198).

In the case of Akiva, he apparently believed so much in Bar Kochba that he felt he had to make a change in chronology that many Jews now follow. Notice something else related to him from the Jewish Talmud where he tried to tie Bar Kochba to a passage in Numbers 24:17:

Rabbi Shimon ben Yohai taught: Rabbi Akiva would expound, A star has risen from Jacob – “Kozba [Bar Kokhba] has risen from Jacob.” When Rabbi Akiva would see bar Kozba, he would say: “This is the anointed King – the Messiah.” Rabbi Yohanan ben Tortah said to him: “Akiva, grass will sprout from your cheeks and still the Messiah will not arrive.” (Yerushalmi, Taanit 4:5)

Yes, Bar Kochba was not the Messiah, but believing that he was (and that Jesus was not) seems to have influenced the ‘dating of the world.’ Akiva actually changed Bar Kosiba’s name (suggesting he was a disreputable son) to Bar Kochba, which for a time, seemed to prolong the myth he was Messianic. He led a revolt against Rome from 132 until his death in 135–like that Temple reference, this was off about 100 years from Jesus’ time–that does not seem to be a cooincidence.

Notice another Jewish observation about Bar Kochba:

The Sages called him not Bar Kochba (the son of a star) but Bar Koziba (the son of a lie). His real name was neither; it was Bar Kosiba. (Hammer H. One triumph and two tragedies. The Jerusalem Post, November 29, 2012 http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Judaism/One-triumph-and-two-tragedies accessed 08/01/16)

Yet because of their ‘greatest sages,’ Akiva tried to make others believe Bar Kosiba was really the Messiah, many Jews seemed to accept/make calculation changes.

Now, is there any other Jewish indication that the Jews changed their calculations?

Yes, as the first century Jewish historian Josephus wrote the following:

6. When therefore the generals of Antiochus’s armies had been beaten so often, Judas assembled the people together, and told them, that after these many victories which God had given them, they ought to go up to Jerusalem, and purify the temple, and offer the appointed sacrifices. But as soon as he, with the whole multitude, was come to Jerusalem, and found the temple deserted, and its gates burnt down, and plants growing in the temple of their own accord, on account of its desertion, he and those that were with him began to lament, and were quite confounded at the sight of the temple; so he chose out some of his soldiers, and gave them order to fight against those guards that were in the citadel, until he should have purified the temple. When therefore he had carefully purged it, and had brought in new vessels, the candlestick, the table [of shew-bread], and the altar [of incense], which were made of gold, he hung up the veils at the gates, and added doors to them. He also took down the altar [of burnt-offering], and built a new one of stones that he gathered together, and not of such as were hewn with iron tools. So on the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, which the Macedonians call Apeliens, they lighted the lamps that were on the candlestick, and offered incense upon the altar [of incense], and laid the loaves upon the table [of shew-bread], and offered burnt-offerings upon the new altar [of burnt-offering]. Now it so fell out, that these things were done on the very same day on which their Divine worship had fallen off, and was reduced to a profane and common use, after three years’ time; for so it was, that the temple was made desolate by Antiochus, and so continued for three years. This desolation happened to the temple in the hundred forty and fifth year, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Apeliens, and on the hundred fifty and third olympiad: but it was dedicated anew, on the same day, the twenty-fifth of the month Apeliens, on the hundred and forty-eighth year, and on the hundred and fifty-fourth olympiad. And this desolation came to pass according to the prophecy of Daniel, which was given four hundred and eight years before; for he declared that the Macedonians would dissolve that worship [for some time]. (Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews. Book XII, Chapter 7, Verse 6).

The reason this is relevant as it shows that in the first century, at least one Jewish scholar said a period of time of 408 years elapsed from a prophecy of Daniel (probably Daniel 9:1-2) and the time that Antiochus desecrated the Temple, whereas the Seder Olam uses a much shorter amount of years for this span. Even Jewish scholars recognize this. Notice one:

In Summary, Josephus … is working from a different chronology then Seder Olam. (Shulman M. Daniel 9 – Its Chronology and Meaning. © Moshe Shulman 2010. p. 22. http://www.judaismsanswer.com/Daniel%209%20Chronology.pdf accessed 07/30/16)

According to the date assigned in the Seder Olam to the reign of Darius the Mede as beginning 374 B.C. (per the interpretation of Pierce L, Pierce M, editors. The Annals of the World. Master Books. Copyright 2003, p. 932), and since Antiochus is well known to have made that destruction in 167 B.C., there is over a 200 year difference here. And although Josephus may himself have too much time (that is hard to determine as the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede is debated, though more often presumed to be in the 6th century B.C. instead of the 4th century B.C. as the Seder Olam seems to point to). Thus, this reduction of time seems intentional in the Seder Olam, and likely is related to the rise of Christianity as the Seder Olam, did not come out until a generation after Josephus.

Speaking of Josephus, it has been speculated that one of his writings (Contra Apion, I, 8) support the view that the Jews tried to minimize the importance of the Book of Daniel (Derstine T. Anti-Messianic Basis of Jewish Chronology. Are We Living in the Year 5770? Persian Chronology in the Seder Olam. 2009; see also The Original Order of the Books of the Bible).

Sadly, about a century after rejecting Jesus, Jews accepted Simon Bar Kokba as their messiah, partially based on an erroneous pronouncement and miscalculation from a rabbi.

Unlike Jesus, Simon was militaristic. Cassius Dio claimed that 580,000 Jews were slaughtered and more died from the resulting plagues and famines related to the Bar Kokba revolt (Mor M. The Second Jewish Revolt: The Bar Kokhba War, 132-136 CE, Brill, 2016, p. 328).

Unlike with Jesus, Jews were massively slaughtered when they relied on their traditions about the Messiah.

Their highly respected rabbis were wrong.

Those who reject Jesus as the prophesied Messiah are still wrong today.

Why is that important?

Because presuming that Jesus will come at the end of the 6000 years, the Jews are off by over 200 years.

Jews who believe in the 6000/7000 year plan will not be looking for Him.

Yet because one of their ‘greatest sages,’ Akiva, tried to make others believe Bar Kosiba was really the Messiah, many Jews seemed to accept/make calculation changes to the age of the world.

It is not just the Jews that misunderstand years. Related to a period that some, like the Messianic Protestant Jonathan Cahn, say that starting last evening, we entered a Shemitah year and this supposedly has prophetic implications. Related to that, we put together the following video:

14:10

2022-2023 Shemitahs: Destruction/Reset?

Modern Jews claim that the period of time from sunset September 6, 2021 through sunset September 25, 2022 is a ‘Shemitah year.’ Some claim that this and the year that begins when this one ends (the claimed ‘jubilee’ is being called a ‘super shemitah”) and runs through 2023 may cause destruction or the Great Reset. Is this possible? Is Messianic Jew, Jonathan Cahn (of the Harbinger fame) a prophet of God as Pat Robertson has said or a false prophet? Was he right about the financial collapse of the USA in 2015? Are the Jews right about their Shemitah year being year 5982, or is 5991 closer? What about the beginning of sorrows? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: 2022-2023 Shemitahs: Destruction/Reset?

What about the New Testament and trumpets?

The book of Revelation outlines God’s future use of trumpets. This message is for the entire world, and concerns events before and including the return of Jesus Christ, who will soon return to rule this earth with God’s government (see also the free online booklet: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God).

We in the Continuing Church of God are working to perform as that modern-day watchman today (watch also Go, Set a Watchman). We boldly tell of sins of society and how world events are aligning with properly understood prophecy–which we also explain (see the free online booklet Where is the True Christian Church Today? and/or the article The Laodicean Church Era).

Revelation shows book that has seven seals:

1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?’ (Revelation 5:1-2)

The opening of the fifth seal is the start of the Great Tribulation:

9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. (Revelation 6:9-11)

The Bible shows that the saints that are not protected during the great tribulation (cf. Revelation 12:14-17), will be persecuted for 3 1/2 years:

4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. (Revelation 13:4-7)

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

This 42 months of persecution includes time associated with the sixth seal:

12 I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. 13 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. 14 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. 15 And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, 16 and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” (Revelation 6:12-17)

So, the opening of the sixth seal ushers in the time of the Day of the Lord. Here are some mentions of this in the Hebrew scriptures:

8 For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance,
The year of recompense for the cause of Zion. (Isaiah 34:8)

12 For the day of the Lord of hosts
Shall come upon everything proud and lofty,
Upon everything lifted up —
And it shall be brought low —
13 Upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up,
And upon all the oaks of Bashan;
14 Upon all the high mountains,
And upon all the hills that are lifted up;
15 Upon every high tower,
And upon every fortified wall;
16 Upon all the ships of Tarshish,
And upon all the beautiful sloops.
17 The loftiness of man shall be bowed down,
And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low;
The Lord alone will be exalted in that day,
18 But the idols He shall utterly abolish.

19 They shall go into the holes of the rocks,
And into the caves of the earth,
From the terror of the Lord
And the glory of His majesty,
When He arises to shake the earth mightily.

20 In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver
And his idols of gold,
Which they made, each for himself to worship,
To the moles and bats,
21 To go into the clefts of the rocks,
And into the crags of the rugged rocks,
From the terror of the Lord
And the glory of His majesty,
When He arises to shake the earth mightily. (Isaiah 2:12-21)

Notice also:

1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. (Isaiah 61:1-3)

While Jesus fulfilled Isaiah 61:1-2a (Luke 4:17-21), it may be that He will have His two witnesses fulfill verses verses 1-3.

Anyway, we see the term one year associated with the Day of the Lord.

There is also a gap of time between the opening of the sixth seal and the blowing of trumpets in Revelation 8–which starts after the opening of the seventh seal.

Presuming that the first of the seven trumpets begins on the Feast of Trumpets, this would mean that the last one would be less than a year later. For this reason, while we in the Continuing Church of God teach that Jesus returns at the last trumpet, we do not specifically teach that will be on the Feast of Trumpets.

Consider also the following from Jesus:

22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:22)

20 And unless the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, whom He chose, He shortened the days. (Mark 13:20)

Now, this calls for some speculation. IF humans were created on or near the Feast of Trumpets (which is the position that many Jews hold) and God is working out a 6,000/7,000 year plan (see Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?), we know that somehow the time will be shortened. Presuming the first trumpet is blown on the Feast of Trumpets and the seventh trumpet is blown prior to the following Feast of Trumpets, then the DAYS WILL HAVE BEEN SHORTENED–which Jesus said would be necessary for humanity to survive. Otherwise, the 6,000 years would have ended on the Feast of Trumpets (or technically, the day before).

Anyway, this message about God’s end-time use of trumpets begins with the opening, in heaven, of Revelation’s seventh seal. Seven angels are given seven trumpets to blow. The blowing of these trumpets represents God’s intervention in world affairs just after the world has endured Satan’s wrath and the heavenly signs. Seven angels will sound seven trumpets, representing seven consecutive colossal world events. These are to be physical punishments from God as warnings to the nations not to go further into national and personal sins.

As far as the specific trumpets of Revelation go, here is information on the first six trumpets (italics shown below are not in the Bible, but were added by commentators/editors):

8:1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. 6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

First Trumpet: Vegetation Struck

7 The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up.

Second Trumpet: The Seas Struck

8 Then the second angel sounded: And something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. 9 And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

Third Trumpet: The Waters Struck

10 Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. 11 The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter.

Fourth Trumpet: The Heavens Struck

12 Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night. 13 And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!”

Fifth Trumpet: The Locusts from the Bottomless Pit

9:1 Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. 3 Then out of the smoke locusts came upon the earth. And to them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. 4 They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. 5 And they were not given authority to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. 6 In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them. 7 The shape of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle. On their heads were crowns of something like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. 8 They had hair like women’s hair, and their teeth were like lions’ teeth. 9 And they had breastplates like breastplates of iron, and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. 10 They had tails like scorpions, and there were stings in their tails. Their power was to hurt men five months. 11 And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon. 12 One woe is past. Behold, still two more woes are coming after these things.

Sixth Trumpet: The Angels from the Euphrates

13 Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16 Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17 And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke, and brimstone. 18 By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed — by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths. 19 For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm. (Revelation 8:1-13, 9:1-19)

So, a lot of trumpets are blown in the Book of Revelation, and a lot were to be blown on the Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:24)–hopefully many can see the connection.

Notice what happens when the first four trumpets are blown:

  • At the sound of the first trumpet supernatural fire will burn the grass and one third of the earth’s trees.
  • At the sound of the second trumpet God will kill a third of all sea life. People will no longer freely sail the oceans. Dead, bloated, stinking carcasses of sea creatures will abound.
  • After this, a third trumpet is blown and a third of the earth’s fresh water will turn bitter. The result? The death of many humans.
  • Finally a fourth trumpet is blown, and one third of the light from the sun, moon and stars will be eliminated (verses 7-12).

These terrible plagues are released on the earth by a righteous God, who, essentially will be forced to shake carnal, rebellious humanity to its senses!

We come now to the final three trumpet plagues or “woes” (Revelation 8:13).

When the fifth trumpet is blown, the bottomless pit is opened (Revelation 9:1-11). What emerges is the beast power described in Revelation 17:8-14, the final resurrection of the ‘Holy Roman Empire.’ This beast will have ensnared the world in its satanically inspired, Babylonian religious and political system. And with the sixth trumpet, angels that are to kill a third of humankind are released.

And yet, as unbelievable as it may seem, despite the trumpet plagues, humankind still will not repent:

20 But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, silver, brass, stone, and wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk. 21 And they did not repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts. (Revelation 9:20-21)

The third “woe” — God’s final trumpet plague — is yet to occur.

While people may wonder why most of the world will not repent, the reality is that most Christians will not properly repent to be saved from the coming hour of trial (see also Does the CCOG have the confirmed signs of Acts 2:17-18?).

Now, the most important, in a sense, trumpet could be considered to be the last, the seventh one. Here is what Revelation 11 teaches (again, italics not in the Bible, but added by commentators/editors):

The Witnesses Killed

7 When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. 10 And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

The Witnesses Resurrected

11 Now after the three-and-a-half days the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. 12 And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” And they ascended to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies saw them. 13 In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe is coming quickly. (Revelation 11:7-14)

Notice that a third woe is coming. Revelation 11 continues with:

Seventh Trumpet: The Kingdom Proclaimed

15 Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. 18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth.” 19 Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail. (Revelation 11:15-19)

The coming Kingdom of God is some of what Jesus wants His servants to proclaim now and then the end will come (Matthew 24:14).

While this is good news for Christians, many in the world will not think so. That is part of why this, the seventh trumpet, is the third woe!

Jesus Christ will return in power and resplendent glory to seize control of this world (Revelation 19:11-21) and the saints will be resurrected to eternal life to rule with Christ (I Corinthians 15:51-52, Revelation 5:10).

These are those whose name is written in the Book of Life. The Apostle Paul wrote:

3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life (Philippians 4:3).

Notice also:

22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect (Hebrews 12:22-23).

John recorded:

5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels (Revelation 3:5).

Thus, it is the saints are the ones who are written in the Book of Life. And these saints are those that are resurrected at the last trumpet.

As far as when that could be, consider:

  1. If as the School of Elijah taught, that God inspired Elijah to state that the world as we have known it would last 6,000 years, to be followed by a thousand year sabbatical time, which Jewish tradition (Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin [97a]) and early Christian traditions records (e.g. Irenaeus, a hearer of Polycarp. Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 30:4), then we are getting close to the end of that time.
  2. And if, consistent with scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments, we can apply the concept that a thousand years is as a day to God (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8).
  3. And if, as generally understood in the Church of God that Jesus was killed and resurrected no later than the Spring of 31 A.D. on Passover.
  4. And if we can presume that the “last days” of a 7,000 year prophetic week began AFTER the middle day (day 4), then the last days prior to the “sabbatical” time, which some would refer to as the millennial Kingdom of God would last two thousand years.
  5. And if when Peter referred to being in the last days (Acts 2:17-18) and since Hebrews 1:1-12 teaches that “God … has in these last days spoken to us by His Son.”
  6. Then adding 2,000 years to a period of time leads to the end of the 6,000 years no later than 2031 (and it could be earlier than that).

Here are two videos of possibly related interest:

34:10

Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028?

The above was made in 2021.


25:03

Jewish Year 5779 or 5990?

The above was made three years ago.

The above was made several days ago.

The end is getting closer and people who do not understand aspects of history and prophesy will not know until it is too late to take enough action.

The trumpets look to be blown, probably, not later than 2031 and Jesus would return with the blowing of the seventh one.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? Are there major problems with the Seder Olam? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2031 or 20xx? There is also a video titled 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
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? Related sermon videos include: The Last Trumpet and the Book of Life and The Trumpet Release. The article has links to hear shofar blasts and refers to Shemitah year claims.
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.
Might the U.S.A. Be Gone by 2028? Are there prophetic reasons to believe that the USA will not last two complete presidential terms? Yes. There is a tradition attributed to the Hebrew prophet Elijah that humanity had 6,000 years to live before being replaced by God’s Kingdom. There are scriptures, writings in the Talmud, early Christian teachings that support this. Also, even certain Hindu writings support it. Here is a link to a related video: Is the USA prophesied to be destroyed by 2028? In Spanish: Seran los Estados Unidos Destruidos en el 2028?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2022, 2023, or 2024? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede la Gran Tribulación comenzar en el 2020 o 2021? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? A related video is: Great Tribulation: 2026 or 2027? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation start in 2022 or 2023? Here is a video in the Spanish language: Es El 2021 el año  de La Gran Tribulación o el Grande Reseteo Financiero.
Is a Great Reset Coming? Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum has proposed a societal change that has been basically endorsed by the Vatican and many world leaders. Does the Bible prophesy a major reset? Here is a link to a related video: Will there be a “Great Reset”?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2033, 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。.
Should You Keep 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. Two related sermons would be Which Spring Days should Christians observe? and Fall Holy Days for Christians.

Satan’s role in sin and his destiny

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022


(Unsplash photo)

COGwriter

Satan the devil does exist.

Satan plays a major role in sin.

Here is something that the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote related to that:

The Azazel Goat Not Our Sin-Bearer

Let us get this straight!

Is there justice with God? Is not God a God of justice, as well as of compassion and mercy? Who is the real author of our sins? The devil is the author of them, even as Christ is the author of our salvation. Jesus took our guilt our blame our sins upon Himself as an innocent substitutionary sacrifice. He was an innocent victim. He loved us, and was willing to die for us. Our guilt our sins, were borne by Him, and Him alone and God forgives them when we repent and accept His sacrifice. And yet, is this, if we stop there, full justice?

The real cause the actual author of those sins was Satan the devil. Is it justice for Christ to bear guilt that is not His, while the devil goes off scot-free? Do you not suppose GOD’S great plan will finally work full justice by placing that original blame and guilt right where it belongs?

Now mark carefully this distinction. Christ bore our guilt. For we have been guilty, even though the devil was the original cause of it all. But justice certainly demands that God place right back on the head of the devil his guilt not our guilt, but his own guilt for leading us into sin. We were guilty, too and our guilt Christ bore yet all our sins belong right back on the devil as his own guilt!

Now notice another point. The Azazel goat carries away the sins of all the people already forgiven. These sins already were fully paid for by Christ’s substitute sacrifice, symbolized by the killing of the innocent goat before those same sins were finally laid on the live goat. They had been previously paid for by the death of the slain goat.

The devil is the real author of all sin. Can we, then, be finally made at one with God, as long as this instigator of sin is with us? Can we not see he must first be driven away? And there would not be justice with God unless his own guilt in our sins were placed right back on his head? Is it justice for Christ to bear the devil’s guilt, as well as our own guilt, for our sins? Christ has carried our sins, but must He continue to carry them? Should they not be removed entirely from us, and from the presence even of God?

Thus the killing and sprinkling of blood of the first goat visibly set forth the means of reconciliation with God, through the substituted sacrifice of an innocent victim. So finally the sending away of the second goat, laden with those sins, the expiation of which had been signified by the first goat, no less vividly sets forth the effect of that sacrifice, in complete removal of those expiated sins from the presence of God!

Satan the Accuser

Satan is the accuser of the brethren. His power over men is founded on sin. When all these sins, of which he is the author, are laid back on him, after being removed from us by Christ, then Satan shall have lost his claim on us. And no longer can he accuse us!

Thus, finally, as the acceptance of the blood of the first goat (Christ) symbolized complete propitiation, and pardon of Israel’s sins, so the sending of Azazel bearing away those expiated sins symbolizes the complete removal of all sins deliverance by the atonement from the power of the adversary.

The sacrifice of the first innocent victim was the means of reconciliation with God, but not yet complete justice.

The driving away of the second live goat shows the final atonement, by placing the sins on their author where they belong, and the complete removal of the sins and their author from the presence of God and His people and thus the complete deliverance of the people from the power of Satan.

Webster says to atone means to set at one. To join in one to form by uniting. We shall not be completely joined in one, and united with God, until this is done.

Before leaving this, notice, too, that after laying both his hands on the live goat, Azazel, Aaron had to wash and cleanse himself before coming in contact with the people. So, too, the “fit man” also had to wash his clothes and bathe himself after coming in contact with the Azazel goat, before he came into the presence of the people. The symbolism is certainly that of having come in contact with the devil!

Notice, now, this act of putting these already expiated and forgiven sins on the head of this live goat does not take place until after the high priest returns from the Holy of Holies within the veil so this typified an act to take place after the Second Coming of Christ to this earth!

But if the live goat represented the resurrected Christ, then the sins Christ bore on the cross were placed by another, typified by the high priest, back on Christ, after His resurrection. Would this make sense? Is the theory of the Azazel goat being Christ consistent? No, but the plain simple meaning does fit at every turn, and IS consistent. The first goat represented the innocent Jesus who died for our sins the high priest represented the risen Christ going within the veil to the mercy seat, or throne of God in heaven, for over 1900 years and the high priest returning to place the sins finally upon the head of the live goat represented the return of Christ who will place the sins He bore on their author, the devil, and who will send him away alive into a desolate uninhabited wilderness the “bottomless pit” or abyss of Revelation 20:3.

In the 19th chapter of Revelation, we have the prophecy of the Second Coming of Christ. At the beginning of the 20th chapter, what is to happen?

Exactly what the 16th chapter of Leviticus shows. The devil is sent away the symbol here used is the “bottomless pit” symbol of an uninhabited desolate wilderness (Revelation 18:2) and he is sent there by a FIT man an ANGEL from heaven. Now the devil is not killed. He does not die. He is still alive a thousand years later after the Millennium (Revelation 20:7).

Now a few points that will come to mind. Both goats were “presented before the Lord.” Can Satan be presented before the Lord? Job 1:6 and 2:1 says he has presented himself before the Lord. Note, too, Azazel was driven away from the Holy of Holies, a symbol of God’s presence.

And so the annual Day of Atonement was instituted forever to keep continually before God’s children and His Church the plan of redemption, to occur after the Second Coming of Christ.

And we find this annual holy day recognized in the New Testament. In Acts 27:9, when Paul was on his perilous sea voyage to Rome, it is recorded that “when sailing was now dangerous, because the fast was now already past. . . .” See the margin in your Bible. The fast refers to the Day of Atonement the 10th day of the seventh month. Now this day could not then have been past on that particular year unless that day was still in full effect and force and existence. Otherwise the Holy Spirit surely could never have inspired those words! Surely this strongly indicates that this day was still in existence and being recognized thus by the Holy Spirit. (Armstrong HW. Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days Which?)

The goat ceremony was part of the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). Christians have kept the Day of Atonement throughout the church age (see The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance).

For 2022, the Day of Atonement runs from sunset October 4th through sunset October 5th.

Satan does not want people to be in the Kingdom of God.

Christians are to resist Satan and draw close to God:

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:7-9)

Christians are not to be double-minded, but are to:

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 2:5)

Notice also:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:5-7)

Just as with Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:6), Satan wants you to be wise in your eyes.

Do not fall for that–resist Satan and ask God to help you overcome your vanity.

The late evangelist Dibar Apartian wrote the following that was originally published old the Good News magazine in May 1983 of the old Worldwide Church of God:

How to Escape Satan’s Three Major Snares

What causes a seemingly solid, balanced, deeply converted Christian to turn from God’s way of life? Could it ever happen to you?

From time to time, sad to say, we all hear of cases in which true Christians burn out, sour on God’s Work or are caught up in some problem or movement that takes them out of God’s true Church.

Many of us probably even know people — perhaps former close friends — to whom it has happened.

When it occurs, we are shocked and disheartened. In disbelief, we ask ourselves, Why?

But it would, perhaps, be more appropriate if we asked ourselves, Can this ever happen to me?

Can it, really? Is there any possibility that you, too, would one day turn away from the Christian way of life — reject the calling God has given you? What assurance do you have that you are firmly rooted in God’s true Church? How can you be sure — absolutely sure — that you are immune to such tragedy?

Can’t serve two masters

No matter how converted we are, it is possible for everyone of us to become preoccupied with the cares of the world. Then, we are easy prey for Satan’s snares. We overlook Satan’s relentless efforts to tempt us and attack us on our weakest points. Without realizing it — and certainly without wanting to — we are actually trying to serve two masters.

Christ said: “No one can serve two masters [that’s a dogmatic statement!]; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24).

The more deeply you are involved in God’s Work and in the aims and activities of God’s true Church, the less likely you are to fall to Satan’s snares. It’s a matter of setting your priorities right.

Strangely enough, those who leave often spend more time thinking about the Church than some of us who are still in the Church! But the concern of dissidents is destructive; they seem to want to fill their minds only with what they imagine is wrong with the Church. They want to find ways to hurt and destroy the Church.

Our focus must be the exact opposite. We must constantly look for ways to build up God’s Church and God’s people — constantly work toward unity, harmony and peace.

Have you taken time to find out what other master you may actually be trying to serve? Could it be your ego, perhaps? Your vanity? Your ambitions? Your job? A close friend or one of the other members of your own family? When you are facing trials and tribulations, do you begin to doubt your calling? Do you want to turn away from God’s Church? Do you start to seek other ways to satisfy your desires or solve your problems?

Let’s look at three broad areas through which Satan works to trap and destroy God’s people — cause them to lose out on their chance at salvation!

The spirit of rebellion

Satan, the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10), is rebellious toward authority. He wants you to be like him and to follow his example. He will set all kinds of stumbling blocks before you to make you fall.

Swayed by his own ambition, he turned against God, fought and lost (Isa. 14:12-14). He also wants you to turn against God, fight and lose!

He will, therefore, do anything in his power to make you rebel against authority — whether at home, at work or in God’s Church. He will do everything he can to work on your emotions and put all kinds of doubts in your mind.

In the name of freedom, people all through history have turned against authority — chosen rebellion. Mankind has not understood that there is no place for rebellion in true freedom. Only God’s way leads to true freedom — to peace, joy and happiness. The apostle Paul wrote: “Because the carnal mind [a mind set on worldly things] is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7-8).

Is your mind set on worldly things? What preoccupies you most, day after day? Physical things or spiritual things?

Pride will befriend you with Satan, but will put a wall of separation between God and you. Is your pride worth that tragic price? Will you turn your back to God because of your own vanity?

Of course, you need to take care of yourself, as well as the needs of your family. That has nothing to do with serving two masters. What Christ meant is something totally different — you cannot have other gods before the true God. You cannot be slave both to God and to the ways of the world.

Actually, in a world where Satan is still god (II Cor. 4:4), you don’t need too much encouragement to set your mind on rebellion. Satan knows this better than anyone else. He is always available to give you the push you need. He will help you to be more carnal — to become enslaved to the works of the flesh.

In Numbers 16, God tells us the story of Korah as an example of rebellion. Korah and his men, 250 strong, turned against Moses and rose up before him in protest, saying, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy” (verses 1-3).

Is this the way you sometimes reason? Whenever you wonder whether you should submit to authority, remember the fate of Korah and his group: “And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, ‘Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment'” (verses 20-21).

God was truly angry with the people. It was only because of the fervent intervention of Moses and Aaron that the whole congregation didn’t perish.

Moses strongly pleaded with God, saying: “‘O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and You be angry with all the congregation?’ So the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Speak to the congregation, saying, “Get away from the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram”‘” (verses 22-24).

Notice what happened: “And a fire came out from the Lord and consumed the two hundred and fifty men who were offering incense” (verse 35).

There is a great lesson for all of us to learn. We too, stirred up by Satan, can sometimes nurture similar thoughts. We judge and criticize. “Why should I obey that order?” we may say. “I don’t agree with it.”

When you look at the world today, you can see how hard Satan is at work. Everything he does, in one way or another, is directed toward rebellion. Satan’s attacks are primarily directed toward God’s Church, however — that’s where he wants to do the most damage.

In a society based on Satan’s principles of selfishness and vanity, obedience doesn’t always seem pleasant or easy, but with God’s help we can overcome Satan’s snares: “Submit to God,” wrote the apostle James. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4:7).

This is a strong commandment. But what should you do in order to resist the devil? And how can you submit yourself to God?

James gives the answer: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (verse 8). In other words, you can draw closer to God by submitting yourself more and more to Him, by hungering and thirsting for His Word and His way of life. If you always put God first in your life, you will not be serving two masters.

The snare of pride

Another of Satan’s snares, one that affects us all, is pride. Satan will tempt you by working on your pride and vanity.

You don’t always realize it, but pride is potentially one of your biggest pitfalls. It makes you unable to recognize your faults — unwilling to apologize when you are wrong. You want to maintain your own ways because of pride. And Satan loves that, because he himself maintains his own ways and does not recognize his sins.

The apostle James, in the course of telling us to get closer to God in order to resist Satan, states that “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jas. 4:6).

Do you grasp the meaning of this verse? Pride will befriend you with Satan, but will put a wall of separation between God and you. Is your pride worth that tragic price? Will you turn your back to God because of your own vanity?

One of the most important lessons God gave to His people through Moses was to command them to remain humble: “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord. … Beware that you [all of us] do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest — when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses… your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage … then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth'” (Deut. 8:3-17).

This warning applies to us today as much as it did to our forefathers. It is only by the grace of God that we have whatever we possess.

Pride will also incite you to judge and criticize; it will make you think you know better and that your opinions are wiser. Christ said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3).

Think of it — there is no place for the carnally proud in the Kingdom of Heaven!

Don’t {wrongly} judge. Don’t {unnecessarily} criticize. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (Jas. 4:10).

The more you know God and study His Word, the more you will realize just how little you actually are.

Always be ready to admit your faults. Correct them and forgive those of your neighbors. When you return good for an evil deed, you will have God for your partner. He will be your friend, and will help you solve your problems the right way.

Continuing in James: “Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law” (verse 11).

Covetousness

The third major snare of Satan is covetousness. Satan wants you to covet — to go after something that is not yours, or to which you are not entitled. Humanly speaking, covetousness appeals to our nature. We want to get rather than give, to have and keep for ourselves rather than share.

God actually spelled out, in the Tenth Commandment, a whole list of items after which we should not covet (Ex. 20:17). Be sure to read the article entitled “Beware of Covetousness!” beginning on page 17 for a full explanation of this Tenth Commandment of God.

In Satan’s world, everything is geared toward lust — false publicity, sex, material wealth. The media encourage you to covet: You are given many vain but appealing reasons to buy things you don’t really need, or to lust after things that are neither right nor good for you.

Are you guilty of breaking the Tenth Commandment? Are you deceived by Satan’s snare of encouraging you to covet?

There is danger in much wealth, just as there is danger in much poverty. In both instances Satan can effectively use this tool of covetousness.

God has promised to never forsake you. If you let Him fight your battles… you will never have to fear Satan’s snares. They will have no power over you. Satan will be powerless…

Agur said, under God’s inspiration: “Two things I request of You (deprive me not before I die): Remove falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches — feed me with the food You prescribe for me; lest I be full and deny You, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal, and profane the name of my God” (Prov. 30:7- 9).

Do you pray this way when you are asking God to supply your needs? If you have everything you want, you may deny God and turn away from Him, claiming you don’t need Him anymore! And if you have too little, you may allow Satan to make you judge and condemn, and you may even end up stealing.

Christ taught us to ask God for our daily bread — just what we need from day to day (Matt. 6:11 ).

This will help us not to fall into temptation. It will teach us to trust God — and not to set our hearts on material things, which are temporary (Eccl. 5:10).

Remember Christ’s warning: You cannot have two masters. If you lust after wealth or anything else, you will actually be trying to serve two masters.

The apostle Paul wrote, “Keep your life free from love of money [covetousness], and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never fail you nor forsake you'” (Heb. 13:5, Revised Standard Version).

Be courageous

God has promised to never forsake you. If you let Him fight your battles, and if you resist evil with His Spirit, you will never have to fear Satan’s snares. They will have no power over you. Satan will be powerless — totally disarmed.

Perhaps you had not thought of it before, but those who leave God’s Church let themselves fall victim to these three major snares of Satan: They rebel against God’s authority; they are too proud to admit they are wrong; and they covet power, material possessions or personal glory.

Be courageous! Act and live as a true Christian. Ask God daily to help you, and do your part in fighting against Satan’s three major snares: the spirits of rebellion, pride and lust.

Your victory over them will put you on the way to the Kingdom of God!

Yes, you can, with Jesus’ help overcome the snares of Satan and become part of the coming Kingdom of God.

As far as Satan’s fate goes, the Continuing Church of God put out the following sermon on its ContinuingCOG channel by the late deacon Richard Close:

1:41:10

Is Satan immortal? Does he have eternal life? Or will he perish? Will you believe what the Bible says about this? Richard Close examines many scriptures indicating that Satan’s final fate has been revealed.

Here is a link to the sermon: Destiny of Satan.

Some items of perhaps 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.
Lies Where did they originate? What was really the first lie? What happens for lies? Here is a link to it in Mandarin Chinese {,NN*ŒŠTŒWúwc_’v„aTs
Christian courage vs. cowardice As you courageous? What biblically is cowardice? Do YOU really understand this? Two sermons related to this article are available and are titled Courage and Cowardice and Cowardice and Overcoming Fear. A Spanish language article is also available: Valor Cristiano vs Cobardía.
Ten Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear This is a vastly expanded version of a shorter article by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh on getting past fear. Here is a link to a related sermon: Ten Plus Steps to Rid Yourself of Fear.
Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen What is faith? Can faith be increased? Are you saved by faith? What about works? Do Christians need to keep the Ten Commandments? What is the ‘faith chapter’? How do the just live by faith? Is faith one of the weightier matters of the law? How does faith come? Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido. In German: Glaube für die von Gott Berufenen und Auserwählten. In French: La Foi pour ceux que Dieu a Appelés et Choisis. Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Faith for the Called and Chosen.and here is a link to another sermon
Faith and Courage. Here is a link to shorter version of the written article in Mandarin Chinese N{ÇQsNŽOáNðv„\e‡zà. Here are links to the sermons Christian Faith and Increasing Faith.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available:
What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
Did God Create a Devil? If not, what happened? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet.
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 four related sermons:  The Fantastic Gospel of the Kingdom of God!, The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

Are women supposed to give sermons?

Tuesday, September 20th, 2022


Artist’s interpretation of Mary Magdalene

COGwriter

Should women be able to preach sermons in church services?

Years ago, the old The Journal: News of the Churches of God had the following as part of its paid advertising by Tina Engelbart:

Corinthians 14:34-35. Here are the two verses in the King James Version. “Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak, but they are commanded to be under obedience [Gr. hupotasso], as also saith the law. And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home; for it is a shame [Gr. aischros] for women to speak in church” (Emphasis added).

First, some observations: The italicized phrase “they are commanded” was an addition by the translators; it is not in the original Greek. Further, hupotasso is more correctly translated “submission” rather than “obedience.” And the word translated as “shame” in verse 35 is the Greek word aischros— the same word translated as “ filthy” elsewhere, as in “ filthy lucre” (1 Timothy 3:8).

Most churches, and most Churches of God, and Mr. Mokarow say this means women must be silent in the church. UCG specifically said in their paper The Biblical Role of Women: “Women should not speak,” that is, preach or teach before the congregation (emphasis added). It is interesting that women are allowed to sing before the congregation, which is not exactly being silent. …

There is only one law that specifically forbids women to speak in the assembly — and that is the Oral Law of the Jews, later written down and known as the Talmud.

What a shame that our churches, in imposing the silence injunction on our women, are actually following the dictates of the Talmud instead of the Apostle Paul!

Let me make a few points.

First, while Tina Engelbart is entitled to her opinion about what she thinks the Greek means, the reality is that there is no record of Christian women preaching in either the New Testament nor in early Christian writings. While it is possible that the apostate Simon Magus may have had a female preach, and maybe some of the other apostates did, people who understood koine Greek at the time apparently did not feel that the Apostle Paul was allowing women to preach.

Second, UCG is correct that women should not be preaching. This is confirmed by the following passage that is in the Bible (hence, even allowing for a different translation of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, this is not something only to be derived from the Talmud as Tina Engelbart indicates):

11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. (1 Timothy 2:11-12).

It is also a historically accurate position as the early COG did not have women preaching in services.

Third, as far as the Talmud goes, Tina Engelbart needs to consider that the Jews DID allow women to sing and hence the prohibition they had related to women speaking before the assembly did not include singing. That is the same in the Christian church as well.

Fourth, I would add that instead of focusing on what women should not be doing, it is important to understand what they should be doing. For some details, here is a link to a written article titled: Women and the New Testament Church.

In the Continuing Church of God we do not believe that women are to preach. But some are deaconesses. Furthermore, for the CCOG, some edit, manage websites, manage Facebook pages, do translations, maintain our online radio presence, host groups where we have no males. They also sing, provide music, help put together items related to the Study the Bible Course, and do some writing.

We also have the following sermon on women’s roles at our ContinuingCOG channel:

1:23:54

What roles, rights, and responsibilities do Christian women have? Did Jesus break Jewish traditions related to women? What did various women do in the New Testament? Can women be prophetesses or deaconesses? What about pastors and preachers? Do women have the same spiritual potential as men? Are women listed in the Book of Life? Will women be subject to persecution prior to the start of the Great Tribulation? Will women be wives or kings and priests in the coming kingdom of God? What are some of the roles women have in supporting the work in the Continuing Church of God? Dr. Thiel provides answers to those and other questions.

Here is a link to the sermon: Women’s Roles in the Church.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Women and the New Testament Church What roles did women play in the ministry of Jesus and the apostles? Did Jesus and the Apostle Paul violate Jewish traditions regarding their dealings with women? Do women have any biblical limitations on their role in the Church? Were there female prophets? Do women have any special responsibilities in terms of how they dress? What does the New Testament really teach about women? Here are links to two related sermons: Women’s Roles in the Church and New Testament Women.
True Womanhood: A Lost Cause? Is there still a place for being feminine? Here is an article from Herbert Armstrong about his thoughts relating to women and womanhood.
What was the Liturgy of the Early Church? Were early church services mainly scriptural, emotional, or sacramental? Who follows the basic original liturgy today? A related video is also available: What were early Christian church services like?
Veils and Other Head Coverings Do women need to wear veils or similar coverings while praying or attending church services? What does the Bible teach about hair length? What about going around bald? Here are some scriptures on that subject.
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.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy.

Sermon: Let’s Talk About Food

Saturday, September 17th, 2022


(Unsplash photo)

COGwriter

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

1:11:59

The Bible says to eat what is good. Does the Bible give any information on what to eat and not eat? What happened in the Garden of Eden? What about Noah? What are clean and unclean animals? Did early Christians avoid biblically-unclean animals? What are some of the health risks associated with eating pork, shellfish, and bats? Are pigs associated with the flu? Could bats have been involved related to the corona virus pandemic? Should humans consume blood? What are enzymes? Can raw foods aid in health? Is the typical US diet deadly? What about processed foods? Is eating refined sugar necessary? How were vitamins discovered? What about United States Pharmacopeia (USP) vs. food vitamins? Are most mineral supplements composed of processed rocks? What about genetically-modified organisms (GMOs)? What about sodas and other beverages? Dr. Thiel addresses these matters and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: Let’s Talk About Food.

Items of possibly related interest may include:

Christian Health Matters Should Christians be concerned about their health? Does the Bible give any food and health guidelines? Here is a link to a related sermon: Let’s Talk About Food.
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; two short videos are also available: Did Jesus declare all animal flesh food? and COVID, Pandemics, and Unclean Meat.
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 are some related videos: GMO Risks and the Bible and GMOs, Lab meat, Hydrogenation: Safe or Dangerous?
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras?  Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues? A video of related interest is Half human, half pig: What’s the difference?  and Human-Monkey Embryos and Death.

Cannibalism is Wrong, But it is Coming! Is it logical to eat human flesh? Or is it a curse that will return? Here is a link to a related video: Cannibalism is prophesied!
Should Christians Smoke (or Chew) Tobacco or Marijuana?  Is smoking a sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change? What about marijuana? Here is a link to a related video: Should You Smoke? Would You Like Help to Quit?
Marijuana: Should a Christian Get High? There is increasing acceptance of the use of marijuana. How should Christians view this? Here is a related video titled How Should a Christian View Marijuana?
Alcohol: Blessing or Curse? This is an article from the old Good News magazine that attempts to answer this question.
Binge Drinking, Health, and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach? A related video is also available: Binge Drinking and the Bible.
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.
Should Christians Exercise? What does the Bible teach? What are some of the benefits and risks of exercise? Here is a link to a related video: The Plain Truth About Exercise.
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.
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.
Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the Messiah, Prophecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and death, Jesus’ prophesied divinity, 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made, Why Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?, Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus. Plus the links to two sermonettes: Luke’s census: Any historical evidence? and Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah, but
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection. A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! Would you like Christian answers to give atheists? This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution. Here is a link to a related sermon: Evolution is NOT the Origin of Life. Two animated videos of related interest are also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator? and A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?
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.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God? , Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, and What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, and Early Heresies and Heretics, and Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, and Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, and Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN: Why Did God Create Anything? Why Did God Make You? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, Mystery of Race, and The Mystery of YOU. Here is a link to a video in Spanish: El Misterio del Plan de Dios.
Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to four related sermons: The Fantastic Gospel of the Kingdom of God!, The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. There are links to literature is about 100 different languages there.
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Africa, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Canada, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Europe, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
CG7.ORG This is a website for those interested in the Sabbath and churches that observe the seventh day Sabbath.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOG Animations YouTube channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs. Also available at BitChute COGAnimations https://www.bitchute.com/channel/coganimations/
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced hundreds of videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. You can find them at them on YouTube at BibleNewsProphecy https://www.youtube.com/user/BibleNewsProphecy, plus also on Vimeo at Bible News Prophecy https://vimeo.com/channels/biblenewsprophecy as well as on Brighteon Bible News Prophecy https://www.brighteon.com/channel/ccogbnp and Bitchute Prophecy https://www.bitchute.com/channel/prophecy/
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo. Also available at BitChute COGAfrica https://www.bitchute.com/channel/cogafrica/
CDLIDDSermones channel. This contains messages in the Spanish language
BibleNewsProphecy Podcast. This has audio-visual podcasts of the Bible News Prophecy channgel. It plays on i-Phones, i-Pads, and Windows devices that can play i-Tunes.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos. Also available at BitChute COGTube https://www.bitchute.com/channel/cogtube/
Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of GodContend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3, NKJV), “Let brotherly love (Philadelphia) continue” (Hebrews 13:1) ” & continuing stedfastly in the teaching of the apostles” (Acts 2:42 YLT). So, what does that really mean in terms of specific beliefs–the Statement gives answers? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Declaración de las Doctrinas de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. Here is a related link in Tagalog: Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. Here is a related link in Mandarin Chinese ~ç~íy^v„eYOv„OáNðXðf. Here is a related link in Kiswahili: KATIKA LUGHA YA KISWAHILI. Here is a related link in Dutch: Verklaring van geloofspunten van de Continuing Church of God. Here is a related link in Deutsche (German): Glaubenserklärung der Continuing Church of God. Here is a related link in Italiano: Dichiarazione del Credo della Continuing Church of God. Here is related link in the French language: Déclaration des croyances de L’Église Continue de Dieu. Here is a related link in the Chichewa language: ZIKHULUPIRIRO ZA MPINGO WA CONTINUING CHURCH OF GOD. Here is a link in Romanian: Declarația de credințe a continuării Bisericii lui Dumnezeu. Here is a link in Portuguese: Declaração de Crenças da Continuação da Igreja de Deus. Here is a link in Russian: Утверждение верований о продолжении Церкви Божьей. Here is a link to a related English-language sermon: Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God. Here is a link to a booklet titled: Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God.

Pope Francis does not understand WHY God made anything, but you can

Thursday, September 15th, 2022


COGwriter

A while back, Pope Francis spoke on the Roman Catholic view of why God made the world:

‘The World Was Made to Communicate the Glory of God,’ Says Pope Francis

September 1, 2020

“The world was made to communicate the glory of God.”

Pope Francis gave this reminder in his message for the 6th World Day of Prayer for Creation …

In the message, Francis called for long term action to help the planet, and underlined specific initiatives and areas where he believes steps must be taken.

“Today we hear the voice of creation admonishing us to return to our rightful place in the natural created order,” he said, saying, “to remember that we are part of this interconnected web of life, not its masters. The disintegration of biodiversity, spiralling climate disasters, and unjust impact of the current pandemic on the poor and vulnerable: all these are a wakeup call in the face of our rampant greed and consumption.”

“Particularly during this Season of Creation,” he prayed, “may we be attentive to the rhythms of this created world. For the world was made to communicate the glory of God, to help us to discover in its beauty the Lord of all, and to return to him. The earth from which we were made is thus a place of prayer and meditation.” https://zenit.org/2020/09/01/the-world-was-made-to-communicate-the-glory-of-god-pope-francis-message-for-world-day-of-prayer-for-care-of-creation/

By calling the message a “reminder,” this supports the view that this has long been the Roman Catholic view.

It is consistent with something called the “beatific vision” that the Church of Rome and many others hold to, but that the Church of God does not.

Here is information on that and related matters from my free online book The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you?:

Notice one Protestant view of why God made humans:

Why Did God Create Humans?

He did so to give himself glory. God created us to live and enjoy relationships as he did. Jesus said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11). …

To bring glory to God—that is, to exalt him, lift him up, give him praise, to reflect upon him honorable—is in fact our purpose in life. (Bell S. Josh McDowell Ministry. posted April 11, 2016)

We in the CCOG would disagree. God did not create us because He is some ego-driven spiritual entity that needed people to give Him glory. Nor is giving glory to God the purpose of human life. But it is true that God wanted to increase joy. …

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

293 Scripture and Tradition never cease to teach and celebrate this fundamental truth: “The world was made for the glory of God.”134 St. Bonaventure explains that God created all things “not to increase his glory, but to show it forth and to communicate it”,135 for God has no other reason for creating than his love and goodness: “Creatures came into existence when the key of love opened his hand.”

Some feel that eternity will be spent primarily gazing upon the face of God. This is known as the ‘Beatific Vision.’

While the Bible teaches we can see God’s face forever (Psalm 41:12), the Beatific Vision is taught by some as the Christian reward and purpose of the creation.

Here is how the New World Encyclopedia describes it:

The Beatific Vision is a term in Catholic theology describing the direct perception of God enjoyed by those who are in Heaven, imparting supreme happiness or blessedness. In this view, humans’ understanding of God while alive is necessarily indirect (mediated), while the Beatific Vision is direct (immediate). …

Thomas Aquinas explained the Beatific Vision as the ultimate goal of human existence after physical death. Aquinas’ formulation of beholding God in Heaven parallels Plato’s description of beholding the Good in the world of the Forms, which is not possible while still in the physical body. …

The philosophy of Plato hints at the concept of the Beatific Vision in the Allegory of the cave, which appears in the Republic Book 7 (514a-520a), speaking through the character of Socrates:

My opinion is that in the world of knowledge the idea of good (the Good) appears last of all, and is seen only with an effort; and, when seen, is also inferred to be the universal author of all things beautiful and right, parent of light and of the lord of light in this visible world, and the immediate source of reason and truth in the intellectual (517b,c).

For Plato, the Good appears to correspond to God in Christian theology. …

St. Cyprian of Carthage (third century) wrote of the saved seeing God in the Kingdom of Heaven:

How great will your glory and happiness be, to be allowed to see God, to be honored with sharing the joy of salvation and eternal light with Christ your Lord and God… to delight in the joy of immortality in the Kingdom of Heaven with the righteous and God’s friends. …

In the thirteenth century, philosopher-theologian Thomas Aquinas, following his teacher Albertus Magnus, described the ultimate goal of a human life as consisting in the intellectual Beatific Vision of God’s essence after death. According to Aquinas, the Beatific Vision surpasses both faith and reason. …

Hindu and Buddhist thought have long spoken of the experience of samadhi, in which the soul finds union with the divine while still in the body. The mystical tradition in Islam speaks of literally seeing with God’s eyes: “When I love him, I am his hearing by which he hears; and his sight by which he sees; his hand by which he strikes; and his foot by which he walks” (Hadith of An-Nawawi 38).

George Fox and the other early Quakers believed that direct experience of God was available to all people, without mediation. (Beatific Vision. New World Encyclopedia, 2013. http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Beatific_Vision accessed 04/16/19)

Note: The Bible is clear that God will come down to the earth (Revelation 21:1-3), hence scripture negates the view of a beatific vision in heaven.

The editor of the Lutheran Journal of Ethics wrote:

But the end goal of God’s purpose for the human creature shines through an eschatological understanding of sanctification, where we are promised the beatific vision of holiness and full communion with God in eternity. (Santos C. Editor’s Introduction: Lutherans and Sanctification. © September/October 2017. Journal of Lutheran Ethics, Volume 17, Issue 5)

Many Protestants that believe in the Beatific Vision lean toward the view that this vision is a spiritual, not physical sight (e.g. Ortlund G. Why We Misunderstand the Beatific Vision. First Baptist Church of Ojai, September 26, 2018).

Those who accept versions of the Beatific Vision as the end goal tend to think that seeing God will fill them with His or their own happiness.

Here is an opposing view of that vision from a onetime Church of God writer:

If eternity is to be spent gazing blissfully up into God’s face, or having our every wish immediately fulfilled — as many religions teach — after a few months (or after a few octillion years, it doesn’t really matter), life would get boring. And once life got boring, it would be sickeningly and fiendishly terrifying. Because there would remain nothing but an unending eternity of boredom to come — with death a wonderful but impossible way of escape (see Luke 20:35-38). This would indeed be the ultimate torture.

But our Eternal Father has a better idea. He has designed a plan in which eternity will not grow progressively more boring. But, as unbelievable as it seems, eternity will grow progressively more exciting, more scintillating, and more enjoyable as each eon follows eon. (Kuhn RL. The God Family – Part Three: To Inhabit Eternity. Good News, July 1974)

Yes, God made what He did so that eternity could be better. Notice something from a deceased Church of God writer:

The God who put this world together did so with a plan in mind. That plan was not the hopeless Nirvana of one major religion of the world which promises you will become an unconscious part of the great whole of nothing with no worries forever — because you have no individual consciousness forever. It is not the bliss of slumbering in a hammock slung between two date palms in an oasis, being fed by voluptuous maidens forever, the promise of which the followers of Allah are assured. It is not walking the golden streets with golden slippers, strumming on a harp with your only worry being how to keep your halo straight, as seems to be the promise of the majority of Protestant groups. It is most certainly not the promise of finally being able to look into the face of God and appreciate the beatific vision (whatever that is), as is the promise to those who follow the Catholic faith: What the God who created everything proposes is to bring you into His very family. To be God as God is God! Not just to be a God in the euphemistic sense of us all being brothers and sisters with God as our figurehead Father, but to share His divine nature completely. …

God’s real plan is practical. He says of His family Kingdom that there will never be an end to its expansion. His plan is to continue adding sons and daughters who look, feel, act like Him and who are composed of the same self-regenerating eternal spirit life as He is, forever! That is why the goal God has set before Himself is a hope that not even He will ever fulfill. Endless, eternal, forever creating an ever-expanding family to enjoy and rule the great creation He has already made — and to have you and me share in future creations without end. A busy, practical, interesting, challenging, ongoing plan that gives an eternal reason to live.

There is no boredom in that plan. Never a time when your interest will run out. No mythical, religious-sounding folderol about some spiritual never-never land where you do nothing forever — but an eternal job of creating, governing! problem-solving with visible benefit. … He has the power to resurrect you … (Hill DJ. What the World Needs Now Is…HOPE. Plain Truth, February 1979)

Notice something from a late Church of God leader:

“If a man die, shall he live again?” (Job 14:14). This should be a time of HOPE, because even if THIS WORLD dies — and it shall — there will follow a RESURRECTION of a new and better world — a world at PEACE — a world of contentment, happiness, abundance, JOY! God help us to comprehend! Not merely continuous existence — but the full, happy, interesting, ABUNDANT life! Yes — and that for ALL ETERNITY! (Armstrong HW. What Is the Purpose of the Resurrection? Good News, March 1982)

Because many do not fully understand scripture, they have promoted views, like how they teach the beatific vision, which are not fully consistent with God’s plan.

Us looking at God does not, of itself, make eternity better. Though Him blessing us forever certainly will do that (cf. Psalm 72:17-19).

All Things Created for Jesus

The New Testament teaches this related to Jesus and the creation:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:15-16)

2 … His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, (Hebrews 1:2-3)

Now, were we simply created to look at Jesus for eternity?

No.

Notice why Jesus said He came:

10 … I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)

By have “life” and having it “more abundantly,” Jesus is teaching that He came so that we could have a better eternity and that we could help make eternity better.

God did not create humans for the purpose of humans staring at Him for all eternity.

God is not an egotist as He made the world so eternity would be better. Here is a link to a related sermon: Mysteries of God’s Plan,

Sadly, most do NOT know why God created anything or God’s purpose for making humans.

Now, you may want to know why did God make you?

God made humans so that they could develop their own unique talents in this age so that they would be able to give love in such a way as to make eternity better for themselves and others.

Related to that, the Continuing Church of God put together the following sermon on its ContinuingCOG channel:

1:14:43

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

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

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

We in Continuing Church of God put together the booklet The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? so, for those interested in the truth, “that they may have all the riches that assurance brings in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God” (Colossians 2:2, NET).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The MYSTERY of GOD’s PLAN Why Did God Create Anything? Why did God make you? This free online book helps answers some of the biggest questions that human have, including the biblical meaning of life. Here is a link to three related sermons: Mysteries of God’s Plan, Mysteries of Truth, Sin, Rest, Suffering, and God’s Plan, and The Mystery of YOU.
Beliefs of the Original Catholic Church. Did the original “catholic church” have doctrines held by the Continuing Church of God? Did Church of God leaders uses the term “catholic church” to ever describe the church they were part of? Here are links to related sermons: Original Catholic Church of God?, Original Catholic Doctrine: Creed, Liturgy, Baptism, Passover, What Type of Catholic was Polycarp of Smyrna?, Tradition, Holy Days, Salvation, Dress, & Celibacy, Early Heresies and Heretics, Doctrines: 3 Days, Abortion, Ecumenism, Meats, Tithes, Crosses, Destiny, and more, Saturday or Sunday?, The Godhead, Apostolic Laying on of Hands Succession, Church in the Wilderness Apostolic Succession List, Holy Mother Church and Heresies, and Lying Wonders and Original Beliefs.
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? What is your ultimate destiny? What does the Bible teach? Is deification only a weird or cultic idea? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
Christians are to Rule Are Christians really to rule? If so, how will that turn out? A related sermon is titled A sermon of related interest is titled Are Christians really supposed to rule?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available:
Going on to perfection and building character.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?
Biblical Keys to Happiness This is an article for those interested in biblical teachings about being happy. A related sermon is available and is titled: 14 Biblical Keys to Happiness.

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?
Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism The CCOG is NOT Protestant. This free online book explains how the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants. Several sermons related to the free book are also available: Protestant, Baptist, and CCOG History; The First Protestant, God’s Command, Grace, & Character; The New Testament, Martin Luther, and the Canon; Eucharist, Passover, and Easter; Views of Jews, Lost Tribes, Warfare, & Baptism; Scripture vs. Tradition, Sabbath vs. Sunday; Church Services, Sunday, Heaven, and God’s Plan; Seventh Day Baptists/Adventists/Messianics: Protestant or COG?; Millennial Kingdom of God and God’s Plan of Salvation; Crosses, Trees, Tithes, and Unclean Meats; The Godhead and the Trinity; Fleeing or Rapture?; and Ecumenism, Rome, and CCOG Differences.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is are links to related sermons: Christian Election: Is God Calling YOU? and Predestination and Your Selection. A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.

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.