Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

Understanding YOUR destiny

Friday, May 29th, 2015

COGwriter

What is your destiny? Are you to rule the universe as a deified being with God?  Might God’s plan include YOU?

A Church of God doctrine that many Protestant seem to indicate identifies a group as a “cult” is the teaching that Christians are to become deified. Or worded another way, Christians are to become God.

Although this belief is often considered to be “unorthodox” and outside of “mainstream Christianity,” it probably should be pointed out that the Eastern Orthodox Church teaches this doctrine (and there are around 200-300 million of them), so the term “unorthodox” seems not to fit (the Catholics of Rome and certain others also teach versions of it).

The reality is that both the Bible and writings of early professors of Christ demonstrate that the idea that Jesus became human so that humans could become part of the family of God is not new nor “unorthodox.” However, since most who claim to be Christian are not familiar with most of the early writings, they simply do not realize that deification is not an “unorthodox” view and it was held by many.

This brief article will attempt to provide documented proof that this deification is both biblical and historical and is the intended destiny for converted Christians (you can also watch the video titled What is Your Destiny?).

Does the Bible Teach That Humans Will Become Part of the Family of God?

Jesus taught deification:

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods” ‘? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? (John 10:34-36, NKJV throughout except if otherwise noted).

And this was not only referring to His deification as He quoted from Psalm 82:6 which also is in the plural:

6 I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High…” (Psalm 82:6).

God wants godly offspring, and that is why God made humans male and female and created marriage, as the Prophet Malachi was inspired to write:

14…she is your companion And your wife by covenant. 15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. (Malachi 2:14-15)

Paul also taught that we are God’s offspring:

28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. (Acts 17:28-30)

Additionally about real Christians, the Apostle Paul specifically taught “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)–we do and strive to have that more.

Paul wrote that Jesus was to be the firstborn of many brethren:

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).

Notice that there are to be MANY brethren (see also Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis). The offer of salvation and deification are not going to be limited just to a few (Luke 3:6; though most will not receive their opportunity in this age, cf. Matthew 7:13-14).

As God is our Father, we are to be “conformed to the image of His Son,” Jesus is God, Jesus is our brother, are we not to be in the family of God and truly be deified?

Furthermore, the Bible teaches that “God is love” (1 John 4:8,16). Love is what life is all about (see also What is the Meaning of Life?).

Christians are to display the love of God towards their neighbor and strive to be perfect as God is perfect:

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)

Christians are to live as God wants them and to have the love of God (see also Living as a Christian: How and Why? and here is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?).

God is also holy and His people are to be to be as well:

15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15-16)

Notice what happened with Jesus is supposed to happen to us:

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures (James 1:18).

4 These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb (Revelation 14:4).

16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches (Romans 11:16).

Christians are to be firstfruits like Christ. As a firstfruit, Christ is divine.

Notice something Jesus prayed:

10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. (John 17:10-11)

Since both the Father and Son are divine beings, Jesus prayed for His followers to be one as He and the Father are–which means part of the God family. Lest anyone wish to interpret the above scripture to mean something else, Jesus continued His prayer and also prayed the following:

20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24 “Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” (John 17:20-26)

Jesus prayed that His followers would become one in the same way. He and His Father are one. And they are one divine family.

Furthermore, notice that the Bible does teach that there is a whole family which is named after God the Father, and that we are to know the love of Christ so that we can truly have the fullness of God:

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height — 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19).

If one is filled with “all the fullness of God” does not that suggest that they will be also God as part of the Family of God?

The Apostle Paul also taught:

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together (Romans 8:16-17, KJV).

17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

18 ‘I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)

Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:14-15).

Notice that “the children of God” are to be “glorified together” with Christ as “joint-heirs” and are to be transformed into the same image as God. And God will be a Father to His sons and daughters.

The Apostle John taught:

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name (John 1:12).

1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! 2 Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God (1 John 3:1-2a).

The children of people are people, the children of cows are cows. What are the children of God?

The Apostle Peter taught deification:

3 His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Are not those that are “partakers of the divine nature” somehow deified? And fully partaking of this nature does not happen until after the resurrection (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:50-53).

Ruling the Universe is Part of the Your Destiny

If you respond properly to God (either in this age, or if applicable, the age to come), then ruling the creation, the universe is part of your destiny. Notice:

21…the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:21-22)

As joint heirs with Christ, resurrected converted humans are to rule the universe :

2:5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying:

“What is man that You are mindful of him,Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels;You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”

For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying:

“I will declare Your name to My brethren;In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”

13 And again:

“I will put My trust in Him.”

And again:

“Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”

14 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.

3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. 3 For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. 5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. (Hebrews 2:5-3:6)

Ruling the universe is part of the destiny that God has in store for the vast bulk of humanity.

Deification and Human Destiny

The Bible makes it clear that God’s plan included making humans in the image of God and that ultimately the universe would be put under the control of deified humans. And nearly all humans who lived will ultimately be converted after they have been truly offered salvation (see Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis). Deification and ruling the universe will be the destiny of the bulk of humanity.

But it needs to be pointed out that just as the Son is subject to the Father, Christians will not be above either the Father or the Son. The Father is greater than the Son (John 14:28) and both will always be greater than spirit-born Christians. Jesus also is King of Kings (Revelation 19:16) and High Priest (Hebrews 6:20), thus He will always be above deified humans.

Also, while God is eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27), all humans have had a beginning and thus will always have been around for a finite time. Thus, deification does not mean that Christians will be truly equal to God, but will be His true sons and daughters (without gender issues).

The Bible teaches deification from Genesis through Revelation if one will simply believe what the Bible is actually teaching. And those who professed Christ in the early centuries after His resurrection also taught that. As have certain others since.

And the Continuing Church of God teaches that today. The view that Jesus became human so that humans could be in the family of God and rule in the Kingdom of God is not a cultic view, but is a biblical and historical one.

You may be thinking, “well I have heard some of this before from some religion,” what is MY purpose? Who am I? Why me?

YOU are unique. You are one who can give love in a unique way. Ultimately God has special plans for YOU personally. YOU are not the same as everyone else–YOU can be a deified being that has unique insights and abilities.

The Bible makes it clear that we are not all the same and are not to contribute the same way, and it uses the analogy of the body in 1 Corinthians 12:12-23 to do so:

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.

Yes, YOU, whether strong or weak, are necessary. God’s plan includes a plan for YOU! Yes, you. This point is also referred to in Ephesians by the Apostle Paul, and involves love:

15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ– 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love (Ephesians 4:15-16).

Yes, YOU have a part to do! You are important even if you are not sure your part is–God’s word says it is!

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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? What did early and later Christians teach? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
Overcoming Sin
What is sin? How are Christians suppose to overcome it? There is also a YouTube video titled How to Overcome Sin.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it?
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
History of Auricular Confession and the ‘Sacrament of Confession’ Did early Christians confess their sins to priests?
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?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

It’s been two years, but evolutionist prediction has still not come to pass

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

COGwriter

Notice the following about evolution that was posted just over two years ago:

NEW YORK — Richard Leakey predicts skepticism over evolution will soon be history.

Not that the avowed atheist has any doubts himself.

Sometime in the next 15 to 30 years, the Kenyan-born paleoanthropologist expects scientific discoveries will have accelerated to the point that “even the skeptics can accept it.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/27/richard-leakey-evolution-debate_n_1548766.html

Here is one point for each of the lines above, plus a final statement:

  1. He was right that the skepticism will be over within the next 30 years as presuming that Jesus returns by then, no foolish anti-creationist arguments will continue.
  2. While Richard Leakey may be an atheist, last year, the famous former-atheist Richard Dawkins, has realized that there could be a God (see Famous Atheist Actually an Agnostic). Perhaps there is hope for Richard Leakey too.
  3. Evolutionists, beginning with Charles Darwin, have claimed since the 19th century that the fossil records would finally prove their theory (which is not really a theory, but an inaccurate model). They know they have insufficient proof and continue to hope that some how, some day, they will have real proof. But alas, they still do not. Richard Leakey’s admission really means that evolutionists realize that they have insufficient proof.
  4. It has been two years and the ‘evolutionary debate’ continues. Why? Because the evolutionist continue to overlook the facts of science which eliminate evolution as a valid explanation for the beginning of life.

Notice also something that someone recently sent to me (after-the-fact):

State cancels Darwin Days events after Intelligent Design group asks to be included
KRQE News 13 – Feb 27, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) Not everyone embraces Darwinian evolution as a flawless science.

So when two former Sandia Labs engineers saw that the taxpayer-funded New Mexico Museum of Natural History was sponsoring a “Darwin Days” event, it raised a red flag.

It wasn’t that the Darwin Days event was happening. It was that the lectures, which spanned two days in February 2014, didn’t include any other viewpoints.

“It’s a very controversial issue, there’s a tremendous body of evidence against Darwinian evolution and we think people should be aware of that,” said James Campbell, a retired engineer with a Ph.D. with physics. …

No Darwin Days 2015

DCA says they have since changed their policies so staff are diligent to “clearly distinguish State events from private events.”

The Museum didn’t hold a Darwin Days event this year. It’s not what Campbell and Edenburn wanted.

“By cancelling Darwin Day, they have basically said, they will not be giving both sides of the story,” Edenburn said.

DCA told News 13 Darwin Days was not included in the Museum’s 2015 roster of events because of “workload and staffing issues.”

Campbell believes there are other factors involved.

“I think they just really don’t want those topics covered,” he said.  http://krqe.com/2015/02/27/state-cancels-darwin-days-events-after-other-groups-ask-to-be-included/

As a scientist, I have long known that proponents of evolution treat the subject more like a religious view than a scientific theory. This is somewhat also what the Ben Stein movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed revealed (see Ben Stein’s Expelled).

Which was?

Scientists who challenge too many claims associated with evolution are shunned by many academic institutions, as there is a tremendous amount of pressure at most “leading” academic institutions to squelch research that is not in support of evolution because it will affect their beliefs. Thus, many in the academic world accept, essentially like a false religion, that since many of their friends and colleagues believe the evolutionary nonsense, that it must have been proven true. But it has not been.

While species variation is something that God programmed in His creation, evolution, as the explanation for the origin of life, is unscientific and false. It also requires students to accept a belief that violates other known laws of biological science.

Actually it is impossible for the non-living to become alive as it violates the scientifically accepted law of bio-genesis (life only comes from life). But what if we allow the impossibility of spontaneous primitive life to have occurred?

The primitive life would have to die. Part of the reason for this is that even a single-cell is so complex, and so full of various biological subsystems, that scientists have learned that many systems are essentially necessary for life to exist or continue. Science recognizes that living organisms must be self-contained, eat, digest, and reproduce to continue to exist.

Spontaneously alive lined-up amino acids (with other substances coincidentally there) would die because:

1) All living organisms need biological structures such as organelles and membranes. Without a membranous structure, the proteins would ultimately diffuse and destroy the living organism. Living organism must be somewhat self-contained.
2) All living organisms need nourishment and direction. Since randomness would not have created the biological structure known as a DNA-containing nucleus (or some primitive equivalent), the cell would die. Even if it had some type of nucleus to provide direction, the nucleus would have to have come into existence with ability to determine what to eat and how to find food, another impossibility.
3) Proteins cannot survive without DNA and DNA cannot exist without proteins, hence there is no way both happened at the same time.
4) Even if the cell had all the above, it would die, because there would have been no reason for it to have spontaneously generated a digestive system in order to utilize the food.
5) Even if evolutionists are granted all the improbabilities and impossibilities this article discusses, the primitive life would quickly die out as there would have been no reason for it to have spontaneously generated an ability to reproduce, nor would it have any innate ability to do so.

Proteins cannot of themselves reproduce–they need DNA. “DNA cannot exist without proteins, and proteins cannot exist without DNA” (Pietzsch J. Understanding the RNAissance. c. 2003. http://www.nature.com/horizon/rna/background/understanding.html viewed 05/05/12). DNA can basically do nothing of itself, it needs proteins.

Does any scientifically rational person actually believe that they randomly developed and got together at the same time for life as we know it to exist without Divine intervention?

The answer should be obvious. No, unless they will overlook the facts.

It is in the Bible that we are told that when God made life He intended it to reproduce (Genesis 1:11,28,29). The idea of an ‘intelligent design’ by a Spirit being is the only explanation that does not defy scientifically provable knowledge–for all other explanations result in something that must die out.

By the way, God apparently expects humans to realize that He exists through various aspects of His creation. Notice:

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20).

Thus since life could not have randomly sprung forth, eaten, and reproduced, only a different type of entity (God) could have caused it to begin.

Evolution has led to the intentional ignorance of appropriate scientific methods. It became a religion for many in the 19th century, and remains one for many today.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?

Is the ‘Shroud of Turin’ really Jesus’ burial cloth?

Thursday, May 28th, 2015


Shroud of Turin, poster from 1898

COGwriter

For several weeks this Spring, for the first time in 5 years, the Shroud of Turin has been on public display:

Devotees believe the shroud, which is imprinted with the image of a man who appears to have been crucified, to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

Sceptics are just as adamant that it is nothing more than a Medieval forgery which scientists have carbon-dated to around 1300 years after Christ supposedly died on the cross.

Despite their certainty about the likely age of the most-talked-about length of linen in history, researchers have not been able to explain how the remarkable image was created, leaving space for theories of some sort of miraculous process to flourish.

The Church does not officially maintain that Christ’s body was wrapped in the shroud or that the image was the product of a miracle.

But it does accord the cloth a special status which has helped to sustain its popularity as an object of veneration. …

When the shroud was last presented to the public, in 2010, more than two million people filed past it.

Pope Francis decreed the latest exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of St John Bosco, a 19th Century monk who devoted his life to the education of poor children in newly-industrialised Turin. Francis, who has family roots in the region, is due to visit the city and the exhibition on June 20-21. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/features/article/relic-or-hoax-turin-shroud-pulls-million-strong-crowd-on-return-to-public-v#sthash.9RrPoCz2.dpuf

So, the Church of Rome will not say it is the real deal, but that it is fine to idolize (which is what the practical application of their veneration means).  As far as Don Bosco goes, we have a video related to him: Deceitful Year of Don Bosco.

From time-to-time I get questions about the Shroud of Turin.  Many have claimed it to be the burial cloth of Jesus.

But is it?

If not, why not?

Here are a few comments on the Shroud of Turin from the Answers.com article titled Is the Shroud of Turin true or fraud?:

There is no record of the shroud during the first centuries of the Christian era, it is first mentioned in the 14th century, having been found in the Diocese of Troyes…

The Gospel writers say that the body of Jesus, after being taken from the stake by Joseph of Arimathea, was wrapped in clean fine linen. (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56) The apostle John adds: Nicodemus also came bringing a roll of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds of it. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it up with bandages with the spices, just the way the Jews have the custom of preparing for burial. John 19:39-42…writers of the third and fourth centuries, many of whom wrote about a host of miracles in connection with numerous relics, did not mention the existence of a shroud containing the image of Jesus. What happened to it at this time, if it did exist, is unknown.

Let’s quote John 19:39-42 in its entirety:

39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby. (John 19:39-42)

Basically, strips of linen were placed on Jesus’ body somewhat like a mummy (this is also basically what happened to Lazarus, see John 11:43-44). If the Shroud of Turin was saturated with myrrh and aloes, it would by now be fairly stiff and would tend to look quite differently than it now does.

Notice furthermore that Jesus’ burial cloths, though mentioned in scripture, are basically only mentioned as being folded after the resurrection (and the description of multiple cloths also does not necessarily seem to quite match the Shroud of Turin):

6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. (John 20:6-10).

By the time the Apostle John wrote this, if there had been any real special powers, it would have seemed that he would have mentioned them, but he did not.

Notice also the following:

   Curiously enough, it was a Roman Catholic bishop who first branded the shroud a fraud. When, in the year 1356, the fourteen-by-three-and-a-half-foot piece of linen was exhibited at the obscure church of Lirey in central France — the first known historical record of its existence — it quickly became the subject of a lengthy memorandum to the Pope from Henry of Arcis, bishop of Troyes. Bishop Henry alleged that the Lirey canons had “falsely and deceitfully, being consumed with the passion of avarice and not from any motive of devotion but only of gain, procured for their church a certain cloth cunningly painted, upon which by clever sleight of hand was depicted the twofold image of one man, that is to say the back and the front, they falsely declaring and pretending that this was the actual shroud in which our Savior Jesus Christ was enfolded in the tomb.”

In Search of a Past

   ”I am convinced that this is the shroud that covered Jesus Christ after His crucifixion.” So declared Dr. Max Frei of the University of Zurich after painstakingly testing for pollen grains in the linen of the shroud and analyzing them.
“My analysis of pollen grains has been confirmed under the electron microscope beyond any reasonable doubt…. I isolated from the shroud more than a dozen pollen grains from plants growing in Jerusalem and surrounding deserts. They grow only in the Near East,” he said.
“The pollen most found on the shroud is identical to the most common pollen in the sediment of Lake Tiberias, in Israel” (National Enquirer, Nov. 29, 1977).
But even if we accept that the pollen proves the shroud once resided in Palestine, it would not necessarily connect it with Christ, for Dr. Frei also found in its fibers pollen from the area of southeastern Turkey! This finding would, perhaps, support Ian Wilson’s theory that the shroud itself is none other than the famous Mandylion (meaning “napkin” or “handkerchief’ in Arabic) which had been brought to Constantinople from Edessa in eastern Turkey. From there he postulates the Knights Templars took the shroud to the Holy Land before bringing it to France.

The Byzantine Connection

   Fifty years before the shroud enters history in the possession of Geoffrey deCharnay and the Lirey church, there was another Geoffrey deCharnay. This other Geoffrey is not provably related, but shroudists suspect that he was. This man was a famous knight of the Templar organization, which King Philip the Fair of France charged with secret “idol” worship of a disembodied head — the image on the shroud, says Wilson and Geoffrey was martyred, all the while denying there was any idol.
The Templars had sacked Constantinople (Byzantium) in 1204, which, as capital of the Byzantine Empire and center of its religion, had become glutted with relics and icons innumerable. Among the relics, according to extant records, was something called a burial cloth of Christ, which apparently bore a full length image, and also the famous Edessa image, the Mandylion, which had been taken by force from the Moslem rulers of its city in A.D. 944. These both disappeared in the looting — possibly taken to the Templars’ Palestine headquarters.
Ian Wilson speculates that both cloths were one and the same. He explains the double listing as possibly referring to copies of the original. A flourishing industry existed in Byzantium of making cloth and other images of “Christ.” Many of these were, like the Mandylion itself, regarded as miraculously produced.
The problem for Wilson’s theory is that the Edessa image is specifically described as a face only, appearing on a towel, a veronica napkin, while on the Turin shroud is undeniably a double full length figure. Wilson suggests the reason was that the shroud had always been kept folded in such a way that only the face was showing.
In any event, the image on the shroud has a long, sad face and long hair. A writer for the London Tablet was moved to observe: “The first thought likely to occur is: But how very strongly the figure resembles the Christ of any number of old masters [painters of the fifth century on]“‘ (quoted from Wilcox, p. 26).

What the Earlier Paintings Looked Like

   There is more to that statement than meets the eye.
The oldest pictures of Christ are paintings on the walls of the catacombs of Rome. Most date from the second and third centuries. It was against the teachings of the church to have such pictures (see box: The Early Church and Images). Nevertheless, those who sketched them only about 100 years after the apostles — were undoubtedly acquainted with individuals who were familiar with the general appearance of Christ that came by word of mouth from His own generation.
“… There is a painting of the Resurrection of Lazarus in which Christ is shown — youthful and beardless, with short hair and large eyes…. Although it is now only barely recognizable, this picture is of great interest since it is the oldest representation of Jesus that is preserved anywhere” (Roderic Dunkerley, Beyond the Gospels, p. 57).
In all of these early portrayals, “He is almost invariably boyish…. His hair is short” (Frederic William Farrar, The Life of Christ as Represented in Art, 1894, p. 43). Short hair was the predominant style among men in the Hellenized areas of the eastern Mediterranean (including Palestine) in Christ’s time. …

How Was Christ’s Body Really Wrapped?

   The shroud theory demands that Christ’s body was covered differently than was the custom in Jewish burial. The usual fashion was for the body to be wrapped cocoon-wise in strips of linen cloth which were bound at hands and feet. All representations of Christ’s burial in the first four centuries assumed this Egyptian-like style. “The [Jewish] corpse was wrapped in a shroud, and bandages soaked with resin were wound around the hands and feet: a cloth, the sudarium, was placed over the face (John 11:44). Finally the tomb was shut” (Bo Reicke, The New Testament Era, p. 187).
The account of the raising of Lazarus illustrates the method. “The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth.” It would appear that he was so enclosed and tied as to be scarcely able to walk until “Jesus said to them, `Unbind him, and let him go”‘ (John 11:44). Shroud of Turin theorists postulate that Joseph of Arimathea, not having time to bury Christ’s body properly, simply covered it, leaving the body lying amidst the rolls of cloth he had brought for the usual wrapping, perhaps intending to return and use them after the Sabbath. They suppose this may have been what Peter saw when he came into the tomb after the resurrection and saw “linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head… rolled up in a place by itself (John 20:6-7).
But Matthew tells us that “Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud” (Matt. 27:59). This shroud was obviously not merely a long flat cloth like the Turin shroud, laid out under the body, then folded over it from the head.
The Gospel of John plainly tells us that Joseph and his company actually “bound it [the body — not merely covered it] in linen cloths [plural] with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews” (John 19:40). This was done even before they carried the body to the tomb (verse 42). (Briggs LC. ICON SUPREME? THE SHROUD OF TURIN. Plain Truth, December 1978)

Even if the actual burial cloth of Jesus were the Shroud of Turin or some other similar relic, it should not be venerated by Christians. History records that the early Christians opposed venerating relics. Many do not seem to realize how negatively early Christians viewed such items.

The Continuing Church of God does not consider that the Shroud of Turin is holy nor the burial cloth of Jesus.

Amongst other reasons, it is not supported by the historical record nor scripture. The image on the Shroud of Turin shows a long-haired male. Yet, Jesus did not have long hair.

Notice that even Catholic translations of the Bible support that:

14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but when a woman has long hair, it is her glory? (1 Corinthians 11:14-15a, New Jerusalem Bible)

While hair does grow after death, it does not grow quickly enough for the length that is on the Shroud of Turin. Jesus said He would be in the grave three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40), and that would not be enough time for long hair to appear.

Most do not know a lot about the Bible and know even less about early church history–and what many think they know is clouded by misinformation and misconceptions. And the Shroud of Turin does not provide helpful information into original Christianity, only for those who seem to prefer improper traditions of men over what the Bible teaches.

Those interested in early Christianity may wish to study the following documented items and presentations to learn more:

What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D.
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?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 Do they matter? Most say they must, but act like they do not. This article contains some history about the Church of God (sometimes referred to as the continuation of Primitive Christianity) over the past 2000 years.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? 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?

LCG says prophets are rare, but look at the fruits

Thursday, May 28th, 2015


Elijah in the wilderness

COGwriter

A previous edition of the Living Church News by the Living Church of God (LCG) is the following by its Dexter Wakefield:

Special Gifts

To serve the needs of the Church, God—through His Spirit—gives different members different gifts. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Corinthians 12:4–11).

Notice that each of these gifts is a practical tool for serving the needs of God’s Church and His Work. The much-misunderstood gift of “tongues” is not a matter of one person babbling and barking, while another “interprets” the noise. Rather, as happened on the first Day of Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection, the Spirit gave Christ’s followers the ability to speak and understand multiple languages they had not humanly learned. Similarly, the gift of “prophecy” is primarily the gift of inspired speech, and can be exercised in a strong sermon that covers no “new ground” but simply explains with clarity and power the meaning of Bible prophecy and end-time events. “Prophets” in the sense of Elijah are rare, and when we encounter a man who declares himself a prophet we had better be sure of his fruits before we listen to him. Most self-proclaimed “prophets” are deceived, or are cunning deceivers—or both—and those who have God’s Spirit have the ability, and the responsibility, to discern their fruits and their genuineness.

The Spirit of Revelation and of Prophecy

The Apostle Paul urged all of God’s people to use His Spirit for spiritual vision and the revealing of things that others cannot see.

Much of what he wrote above is correct.

Statement on 1 Corinthians

Let’s look at some of the statements in the order Dexter Wakefield wrote them. Let’s start with the following:

To serve the needs of the Church, God—through His Spirit—gives different members different gifts. “…to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits … the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually … (1 Corinthians 12:4–11)

Yes, as it states in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, there are differing gifts AND prophecy is one of them. But also notice that the discerning of spirits IS NOT taught as being given to all.

Gift of Prophecy

Let’s look at another of Dexter Wakefield’s statements:

Similarly, the gift of “prophecy” is primarily the gift of inspired speech, and can be exercised in a strong sermon that covers no “new ground” but simply explains with clarity and power the meaning of Bible prophecy and end-time events.

Dexter Wakefield is correct that for most of the time, one with a prophetic gift is properly explaining biblical prophecy and end time events. That occurs in the Continuing Church of God.

It should be noted certain leaders of other COGs (including in LCG in several instances) have disqualified themselves on certain matters of prophecy, especially when they insist on matters that are wrong, or at best questionable (see Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? and Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? and The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 and The Elijah Heresies and Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? and The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).

Furthermore, notice two other portions of the New Testament:

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? (1 Corinthians 12:27-29)

29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. (1 Corinthians 14:29-33)

6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith (Romans 12:6).

The Apostle Paul makes it clear that not all prophets. Prophet is an office and prophets are to prophesy. LCG’s position is that it has NO prophets (which is likely the case as I stopped attending late on 12/28/12).

But it should be noted that its top leader had repeatedly taught in the past that God may consider Bob Thiel to be a prophet (see How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).

Rarity Does Not Mean None

Dexter Wakefield continued with:

“Prophets” in the sense of Elijah are rare,

True. But rare does not mean that there are not and cannot be any. Now while Dexter Wakefield did not make that error, many have concluded that rare means none. The New Testament is clear that God has prophets who prophesy (1 Corinthians 12:28-30) and will do so in the last days (Acts 2:17-18). Those in LCG and all other COGs need to realize this.

As far as ‘Elijah,’ the position of the Church of God since the beginning is that there would be three biblical ‘Elijahs.’ The original Elijah (e.g. 1 Kings 17:1), John the Baptist (Matthew 7:12-13), and an Elijah to come at the very end of the church age (Malachi 4:4-6) to restore all things (Matthew 17:11).

LCG has taught that Elijah will either be a man younger than its Roderick C. Meredith (Meredith, Roderick C. The Elijah Question. VTE 131, May 19, 2001) or that the Elijah is not a person but an “Elijah-type work” fulfills the Elijah prophesies in Matthew 17:10-11 and Malachi 4:4-6 (Winnail D. The Mission of the Church. Living Church News, March-April 2006, p. 7). The Bible shows that ‘Elijah’ will be a person (see also The Elijah Heresies).

As far as rarity goes, I would ask, “How many people were told by an actual top evangelist in the Church of God that God may consider him to be a prophet?” In the 20th and 21st centuries, there is only one who comes to mind (details are in the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God). So, while prophets are “rare,” and being told one is a prophet by an ordained evangelist is also rare, rarity does not mean that there are none.

As far as “Elijah” goes, he is to “restore all things” (Matthew 17:11).

Even the Living Church of God has taught about restoration–yet LCG has NOT restored what it says should be done. Here are some items published and written by its Dr. Meredith:

RESTORE TRUE CHRISTIANITY!

What would it mean to restore the original Christianity of Christ and the apostles? What differences would we find if the “original Christianity” of the New Testament was genuinely taught and practiced once again?

Wow! This restoration would involve far more than most of you probably realize! (Meredith RC. Do You Live by What Christ Taught? Tomorrow’s World magazine, May-June 2006)

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE TRUTH?

This magazine can give you the genuine answers to these questions because we in this Work of the living God are earnestly trying to restore “Apostolic Christianity”the original Christianity of those who lived in the time of Jesus and the Twelve Apostles. We feel that although most modern churchgoers are sincere and well-meaning, they are absolutely deceived regarding the major issues of life, death and the hereafter. They are certainly deceived if they think for one minute that they are practicing true “biblical Christianity!” Meredith RC. What Happened to the Truth? Tomorrows World magazine, November-December 2003)

RESTORING ORIGINAL CHRISTIANITY…

Through this very Work, we are beginning to restore original Christianity. This is a major reason for this Work of the living God at the end of this age. All who respond to His teachings will certainly have a “head start” in preparing to be those kings and priests Christ is now training to assist Him in ruling all the world in the coming Kingdom of God. (Meredith RC. Restoring ORIGINAL Christianity! Tomorrow’s World magazine, July-August 2011)

The truth about early and apostolic Christians is that it is PROVABLY NOT IN LCG AND IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT than Dr. Meredith realizes (for details, check out October 2012 Emails Related to GCA Booklet). When I was in LCG in 2011, I was trying to help them restore much of it; Dr. Meredith agreed, but then failed to keep his word. Dr. Meredith’s failure to keep his word on that and other matters was a major reason that the Continuing Church of God had to form.

Where has the historical knowledge of early Church of God been most fully restored?

In the Continuing Church of God!

A booklet which has proof of that would be: Continuing History of the Church of God.

Does this mean that nothing else is left to be restored?

No. But it does mean that based upon the criteria published by the LCG that CCOG is the group that has done this restoration the best. CCOG has also restored aspects of faith in God’s word (see Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen), prayer (see Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach?), aspects of salvation (see Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis), and biblical prophecy better than LCG and other known groups (for a few example, see Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? and Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? and The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 and The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings and The Elijah Heresies).

Although I have not “restored all things,” nor am I insisting that I personally must be the prophesied Elijah like RCG’s David Pack falsely claims about himself, the reality is that I and CCOG have restored what Dr. Meredith repeatedly wrote needed to be.

Fruits

Dexter Wakefield continued with:

and when we encounter a man who declares himself a prophet we had better be sure of his fruits before we listen to him

I totally agree. The Bible talks about personal (Luke 3:8), doctrinal (Luke 6:43-45), prophetic (Matthew 7:16-20), and proclamation fruits (Matthew 7:16; John 15:16). The Bible encourages the production of “good fruits” (Matthew 7:16).

Would fruits of a real converted prophet include any of the following?

  1. Standing up against teaching wrong materials about Church of God history, some of which perpetuate Catholic myths? See October 2012 Emails Related to GCA Booklet.
  2. Standing up against publishing “Fundamental Beliefs” that are in error and opposed to scripture? See December 2011 Proposed changes to LCG’s Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs.
  3. Standing up against prophetic errors that are opposed to the Bible? See The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings and Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? and Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? and LCG and PCG insisting on 10 or 11 ‘nations’ for the Beast? What does the Bible teach?
  4. Boldly proclaiming the truth to the world as a witness? See Isaiah 58:1 and Matthew 24:14.
  5. Praying for decades for the gift of prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:1-5) and then unexpectedly being anointed for a double-portion of God’s spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-13).

Doing all of the above, as well as standing up against violent sports, made me unpopular in certain LCG circles. Because of that, improper statements were published about me (e.g. Roderick C. Meredith’s Accusatory Letter to Bob Thiel). Jesus taught:

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)

Contrary to scripture I was publicly and wrongly attacked in September 2012. Despite that I endured that and continued to try to work with LCG evangelists, ministers, and Council members. Despite this, I again was publicly and wrongly attacked (see Roderick C. Meredith’s Accusatory Letter to Bob Thiel) contrary to the Bible (Acts 23:5; Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1).

After the second attack, it was clear that further attempts at reconciliation would be futile as various evangelists had broken their word and it was not possible that LCG had the character to possibly hold the Philadelphia or lead the final phase of the work (cf. Acts 23:5).

What about proclamation fruits?

Through my writings on COGwriter and for the Continuing Church of God, I have reached millions of people in over 220 countries over the internet. According to how one views the Alexa independent internet popularity rankings, COGwriter is more popular than all the LCG websites combined. The Bible teaches that the work of God will be done, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6) and that is what has been happening through CCOG.

I have also reached millions regularly over radio interviews, plus have had hundreds of thousands of views of our videos on the Bible News Prophecy and ContinuingCOG YouTube video channels. Part of why I am using the term “I” because Dexter Wakefield said to look at the fruits of one claiming to be a prophet.

We have also sent printed literature around the world and I have been to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Pacific, North America, and South America to proclaim the gospel (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20). In most of those places, I have also been involved with baptisms.

The fruits are there. And those fruits are there WITHOUT THE DOCTRINAL HERESIES AND FALSE PROPHETIC PRONOUNCEMENTS OF OTHER COG GROUPS.

If I had been willing to compromise doctrinally while in LCG, I could have accepted a salary I was offered by Dr. Meredith on at least two occasions (it was not specifically predicated upon me being willing to compromise, it is just that I felt that unacceptable compromise would have been required if I was an employee of LCG). I did neither.

In terms of character issues, notice something that Jesus taught:

45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God. (John 8:45-47)

No one ever “convicted me” of sin in that type of context. Instead, like David was falsely accused of pride by an envious brother (1 Samuel 17:28), I, too, was on 12/28/14 in a letter from Dr. Meredith, and like David, I denied it (cf. 1 Samuel 17:29; Roderick C. Meredith’s Accusatory Letter to Bob Thiel). It should be noted that in violation of Matthew 18:15-17, Dr. Meredith made that accusation publicly despite the fact that neither Dr. Meredith nor my local minister had EVER raised that subject with me nor made that accusation. Which of us had the proper fruits? The one who tried to comply with Matthew 18:15-18 or the one who did not feel he was subject to those scriptures?

When I told LCG I would not be back on 12/28/12, I did so without having lined up groups to support me. Would not a prophet truly walk by faith and not by sight (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:7)? That is what what happened and believe that this should be considered as another proper fruit.

As far as my genuineness, the fact that I still do not take a salary for this work should demonstrate that I am not any type of a hireling (cf. John 10:12-13; Ezekiel 34:2-6).

But what about other fruits?

The Apostle Paul admonished Christians to pray for the gift of prophecy in 1 Corinthians 14:1-5. For decades, I obeyed that biblical admonition. On October 3, 2008, Dr. Meredith (Presiding Evangelist of the Living Church of God) called me and said to me, “God may consider you to be a prophet.” Notice that this came from a long-time evangelist and did not first come out from me. It was Dr. Meredith who first brought up the topic about Bob Thiel being a prophet. I had never mentioned my prayers related to this prior to that telephone conversation, and when I did then, he concurred that I had been doing what the Bible said to do.

Furthermore, although at least two LCG ministers told me that I did not need to have hands laid upon me to be a prophet, I was not convinced. So, I prayed that if I was a prophet that God would arrange something to happen in Charlotte, NC on a trip I was going to make there in mid-December 2011. God answered that prayer in a manner that I did not expect when LCG minister Gaylyn Bonjour anointed me and unexpectedly prayed that God would grant me a double-portion of His Spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-13). Later that day, LCG’s top three evangelists told me that they would correct the issues that I had been bringing up to them for years (some in accordance with Matthew 18:15-18). Yet, they did not resolve matters when they said that they would. What kind of fruits were they displaying?

Do you believe that answered prayer can be the fruit of a prophet? If not, then consider that you might not be willing to understand how God often works.

Despite many issues, I was not willing to leave LCG until I was convinced that LCG could no longer possess the mantle for the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15; Revelation 3:7-12).

The Bible says that prophets will sometimes be given a dream by God (Numbers 12:6). And I had a dream that was confirmed. So did another who also became part of CCOG. Also, there was a third dream from another who became part of CCOG in 2014 as well (see Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God).

As far as prophetic fruits, I have made hundreds of prophetic statements and explanations that have been confirmed by subsequent events. Regular readers at the www.cogwriter.com website can search this site to find many. There were also at least 33 associated with my book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect (those are listed in the beginning of the article titled End of Mayan Calendar 2012–Might 2012 Mean Something?).

For many, these are not dramatic enough or are always lucky guesses. If you believe that ALL of them are, that is your prerogative.

Yet, notice also something else that Jesus taught:

39 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. 42 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here. (Matthew 12:39-42)

Those Jesus was speaking to would not have considered that Jonah being in the belly of the ‘great fish’ was a prophetic type of the Messiah. The Jews expected a conquering military Messiah. And while Jesus will return as such (Revelation 19), that is not how He came the first time. Most people pointed to the wrong signs, despite the truths that Jesus taught and the miracles the Father allowed Him to do (cf. John 5:30; 8:45; 10:37; 14:11).

JESUS CAME NEAR THE WHEN MANY EXPECTED THE MESSIAH. YET, SINCE JESUS DID NOT APPEAR AS MANY EXPECTED AND THEY DISBELIEVED. SOME COUNTED ON SCRIPTURES THAT THEY WERE SURE WERE PROOF JESUS WAS NOT THE MESSIAH, BUT BECAUSE THEY DID NOT UNDERSTAND ALL ABOUT JESUS, THEY WERE WRONG.

Even great prophet John the Baptist (Luke 7:38) had doubts about Jesus (Luke 7:19-21), and Jesus then decided to say that those are blessed who were not offended because of Him (Luke 7:22-23). Some will be offended by the truth and not accept it–even many Christians.

Those in Jesus’ day expected something other than Jesus. Jesus (Matthew 23:29-35; Luke 11:49-50) and the martyr Stephen (Acts 7:52) made it clear that people who thought that they were God’s people repeatedly have not accepted God’s prophets–even though they thought that they would (Matthew 23:30).

The fact that I have correctly explained various aspects of end time prophecy that LCG originally agreed with me on but changed (e.g. Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?) is another prophetic fruit.

The Abilities of Those With God’s Spirit Vary

Here is Dexter Wakefield’s last statement above:

those who have God’s Spirit have the ability, and the responsibility, to discern their fruits and their genuineness.

Dexter Wakefield seems to be suggesting that this ability for discernment is universal among all Christians. That is flat out not the case. It also contradicts something he quoted from the Bible.

Let’s look at it again:

To serve the needs of the Church, God—through His Spirit—gives different members different gifts. “…to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits … the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually … (1 Corinthians 12:4–11)

Discernment is given individually. If all had the same discernment, there would not be the multitude of Church of God groups these days. Discernment is a blessing to those who have increasing love (Philippians 1:9), and that would seem to include having a growing love of the truth. If those in LCG would place a higher emphasis on loving the truth, they would be able to discern that LCG does not properly understand critical aspects of end time prophecy, and they would realize that unless LCG changes to what the CCOG is teaching regarding prophetic sequences and the start of the Great Tribulation, that those in LCG will NOT be subject to protection from a great tribulation LCG will not know will begin.

Jesus clearly taught that there would be different groups of Christians in the end times in Revelation 2 & 3, and that different ones had different strengths, needs, and abilities. Thus, there are differing degrees of discernment.

It should also be noted that while they may have the ability, those who are NOT Philadelphians are clearly shown by scripture to not actually discern this in the very end-times. The Bible only promises to protect the remaining “Philadelphia Christians” from the hour of trial that will come on the entire earth. LCG’s prophetic errors, unless they repent of them, will prevent them from knowing when that “hour of trial” will come (see, for example Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?). The non-Philadelphia Christians (and these are those who do have God’s Holy Spirit) will not be protected (Revelation 12:17) and instead will be turned over to the hand of the Beast power for a time, times, and 1/2 a time (Daniel 7:25b).

Jesus taught, to “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24), yet most these days seem to wish to use a different criteria. Jesus was misjudged by those who thought He did not meet criteria they strongly felt that they Bible required.

Consequences of Ignoring Prophetic Interpretations

Some in various COGs have called me a false prophet. But generally not because any false prophecies I supposedly made, but based on their criteria for prophets which differ from what the New Testament teaches (see How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).

Notice something from the late Herbert W. Armstrong:

PERSECUTORS HAVE CALLED me a “false prophet.” Now how would you KNOW whether the accusation IS true- or false?…

Actually, it probably is not very important to you to know whether my persecutors are right or wrong, when they call me dirty names, hurl epithets, resort to innuendo, impute sinister motives, strive to discredit, attempt character assassination. What is important to YOU is whether what you read in The PLAIN TRUTH really is the truth – whether what you hear over The WORLD TOMORROW broadcast is true- not whether I , as an individual, am true or false.

I think our readers know by now that we always say: ” DON’ T believe what we say because you believe in us.” We say ” Listen with open mind, without prejudice, then CHECK UP in your own Bible-prove whether it is true, and BELIEVE what you find proved!” I don’t seek to induce people to believe in ME- I seek to lead them to believe in JESUS CHRIST! (Armstrong HW. Personal from the Editor. Plain Truth, May 1966, pp. 2)

Notice some prophetic teachings, and ramifications of some teachings that LCG holds that differ from the Continuing Church of God:

  1. The Great Tribulation begins with or after the King of the North invades the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43) (see PCG and LCG do not understand the end-time King of the South sequence–do you?). This is not the order that Daniel 11 teaches (see Who is the King of the North?). LCG’s position is out of biblical sequence, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  2. The abomination of desolation of Daniel 11:31 occurs after the King of the North invades the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43; see PCG and LCG do not understand the end-time King of the South sequence–do you?). Since this will not happen, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  3. The ‘Falling Away’ warned about in 2 Thessalonians 2 has mainly to do with the world and Protestants and not the Church of God (see The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings ). LCG is thus not teaching its members many things that they need to know so that they will not be subject to falling away in the future. And while there will be COG supporters (in various groups, including likely CCOG) who will fall away (Daniel 11:30-35), LCG, in my view, is not properly preparing members for this.
  4. The man of sin who sits in the temple of God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) is the Antichrist, not the Beast. Yet, this is the Beast (see Who is the Man of Sin?). So, when this happens, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand its prophetic ramifications.
  5. A Jerusalem temple will be rebuilt before Jesus returns. While this is remotely possible (and not all in LCG insist on this), it is not required (the “temple of God” in the New Testament has to do with a Christian, not Jewish, location; see Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?). Since this will not happen as LCG sometimes seems to teach, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  6. The Beast power will consist of 10 or 11 current nations in the European Union (see Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?). The European Union has 28 nation members with others hoping to join it. And while it may lose nations, the reality is that if the Beast power rises up when there are more than 11 nations in it, those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin. Under Herbert Armstrong, the old WCG taught in at least a dozen documents (Plain Truth, Good News, Tomorrow’s World, booklets, Co-worker letter, Bible Correspondence Course) that this passage referred to 10 nations or GROUPS OF NATIONS. LCG should not have insisted on this as it recently did.
  7. The first verse in the Daniel 11 sequence relating to the beginning of the Great Tribulation is Daniel 11:40 (per LCG’s Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs; see also December 2011 Proposed changes to LCG’s Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs). LCG should teach that it begins with Daniel 11:39, which is shortly after Daniel 11:31, which is also consistent with the start of the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; see also Who is the King of the North?). Those who hold to LCG’s position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.

Some will come up with their preferred rational as why not to agree with CCOG. Yet, on most of those points, the old WCG taught what I believe that the Bible teaches on them (on the one or two that it did not, one is consistent with a November 1979 HWA writing and on the other an advisor to HWA told me that HWA would have agreed with me on that as well).

Additionally, at least one LCG evangelist, and normally multiple LCG ministers, told me that I was correct on each of those points when I was attending LCG. Instead of correcting its errors, LCG has instead insisted on positions that are in conflict with the Bible. LCG also has other doctrinal and character issues which are not appropriate fruits (see, for example, What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God?). LCG also has backed off of teaching that Habakkuk 2:6-8 is an end time prophecy (which Habakkuk 2:3 teaches it is “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak”).

Many will read this post and ignore it as they feel that they personally will not be affected by this or they will figure out prophetic matters on their own in the future. That will be a mistake:

1 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together,
O undesirable nation,
2 Before the decree is issued,
Or the day passes like chaff,
Before the Lord’s fierce anger comes upon you,
Before the day of the Lord’s anger comes upon you!
3 Seek the Lord, all you meek of the earth,
Who have upheld His justice.
Seek righteousness, seek humility.
It may be that you will be hidden
In the day of the Lord’s anger. (Zephaniah 2:1-3)

Those who do not ‘gather together’ to support the one with the highest ordained position who is truly a faithful Philadelphian leader will not be protected (watch also Zephaniah’s ‘Gather Together’ Prophecy). The time for all to humility is now and not hope to wait until later as that will not work.

The fact is that Laodiceans believe that they do not have need to listen to any of God’s end time prophets (Revelation 13:14-18). It astounds me how no one in LCG ever proved me false, but instead seem to prefer to believe false statements directed towards or about me. Or they have criteria for prophets that are not biblical.

Of course, most did not believe the great prophet John the Baptist (Luke 28:33), nor that Jesus was the Christ (Luke 28:34) as most of the people then had different criteria than God set (cf. Luke 28:35).

What about you?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Elijah: Past and Prophesied Information about the original Elijah and some information about the Elijah-related prophecies.
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong?
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets, yet many overlook what the Bible teaches about how to recognize a true one. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? This article contains a scripture-based checklist to assist with this determination.
How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God This is a sermon on YouTube addressing a subject that most in the Church of God do not seem to have looked into very much. It discusses scriptures and dispels some improper assertions that some associated with the COG have made about prophets in this time.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Does Revelation 17:12 teach ten nations or not? Why is this important to know?
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here is a sermon Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Behind the Work: Go Therefore and Make Disciples How is the Continuing Church of God making disciples. What has been happening in the Continuing Church of God related to this and aspects of the final phase of the work. This ‘behind the work’ video shows New Zealand, Africa, Jerusalem, Vatican City, the USA, and the United Kingdom as well as one from Asia. Teaching and baptisms are shown.
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 towards Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, German, 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.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God and has articles in español/castellano.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.

‘Does God Heal Today?’

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

COGwriter

Order of the Sacred Treasure

Decades ago, the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Hebert W. Armstrong, wrote a booklet on healing. Here are some excerpts:

Is the day of miracles PAST? We read in the New Testament that when Jesus Christ was on earth 1900 years ago, He HEALED THE SICK. It seems there are so MANY MORE sick today than there were then. Well, is the day of miracles past? WHAT ABOUT this thing we call divine healing?

I’ve encountered scores of folks who say, “Well, I know God can heal today if it’s His will, but HOW CAN WE KNOW WHETHER IT’S HIS WILL?”

Others say, “Well, I think God helps them that help themselves. I believe God works thru medical science. We should always call the doctor, and take his drugs and medicines, or submit to his knives, and then pray that God will cause this human means to heal.”

For OUR day, or Only for Time of Christ?
Some think Jesus Christ is like the professor Emeritus at the university — He USED to do great things, but now He’s grown old and feeble and doesn’t perform many miracles any more.

But, we read in I Corinthians 15:3-4: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” and again in Hebrews 13:8 — “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever,” and in John 14:12 — “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

Some think healing was only to prove JESUS was the CHRIST — the promised MESSIAH — but not for this day and age.

When Divine Healing Began
My friends, do you know when divine healing — healing direct by a miracle from ALMIGHTY GOD, as a result of believing PRAYER, really began? And incidentally, let me say I’m not referring to some modern MENTAL science, so called, or power or mind over matter, or hypnotism. I’m speaking only of physical healing performed directly by the Eternal Creator GOD, as a result of BELIEVING PRAYER. Do you know when this first began? Well, most of you are going to be surprised. It didn’t begin with the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth at all. It began MANY CENTURIES BEFORE THAT!

It began WHEN the CHURCH began! Most people think the CHURCH was first started after the resurrection of Christ — on the Day of Pentecost. That was merely the NEW Testament Church. But the Church started long before that — it started way back in the days of MOSES. Of course, that was the OLD Testament Church, but it was God’s CHURCH just the same.

Listen! Acts 7:28 — “This is He, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to Him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.”

Now physical healing by faith in God is something the Eternal placed in that Old Testament church, way back in the days of Moses!

Let me read to you the first account in all history of direct divine healing. Exodus 15:23-26 — “And when they, [the children of Israel], came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: and therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Eternal and the Eternal showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken unto the voice of the Eternal thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Eternal that healeth thee.’”

And do you know, that the same conditions, “If you will obey and keep my commandments,” etc. — apply today, and that’s one reason why a lot of people who have a little light on divine healing and believe in it are not being healed!

Let me read that to you over in the NEW Testament, my friends, I John 3:22 — “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him,” WHY? “because we keep His commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in His sight.”

Well, with so many telling the people, and so many people believing, that Jesus Christ did away with the commandments, it’s no wonder that many of us are not having prayers answered today! “Whatsoever we ask we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”

Yes, God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has not changed and the same conditions apply today that did back in the days of Moses. Obedience and faith. Jesus said, “According to your faith be it unto you.”

God the ONLY Real Physician
You will notice that God said, “I am the Lord [or the Eternal] that heals you.” He is a jealous God in a sense, so far as the prerogatives of God are concerned. And so, turn over to the 20th chapter of Exodus where God was giving the ten commandments to all the people. Moses didn’t give the people the ten commandments. God gave the people the ten commandments, and He said, “I am the Eternal thy God . . . Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”

He had said, “I am the God that heals you,” and now He says that you should have no other gods before Me.

You know, my friends, a doctor can’t heal! And any honest doctor will admit it. None of his drugs, or medicines, or knives can heal. There is no healing in any of them. There is only one kind of healing, and that is healing directly by the Almighty God! There is no other healing!…

Leave the Way and Time to God

One word of caution! You can’t dictate to God. He usually doesn’t do things OUR way or always in OUR time. Leave that to Him! He PROMISES to heal you. Accept His promise. STAND ON THE PROMISES! Expect the answer! You KNOW you’ll get it. Leave the “how” and the “when” to God. Let Him do it His way and in His time. Faith is the evidence of things NOT SEEN — not felt. Don’t pay any attention to how you feel, or what you see, after you have called upon God for healing. Just KNOW you are to have it, and that’s that!

In our many, many experiences, we have had healings in our own family and many other cases that were instantaneous. Then I’m thinking now of a woman who came to me and another minister for prayer for healing. After we noticed no change and she felt none. It was four days later that she was suddenly, instantly healed. I’ve known some to heal gradually. It was even so in Jesus’ own ministry, one began to mend from that hour.

Leave the “how” and “when” to God. KNOW His promise is SURE!

The Scripture CANNOT BE BROKEN!

“Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth ALL thy diseases!”

Note: The old Worldwide Church of God no longer exists and the group that took it over would not make Herbert Armstrong’s writings available, even when I offered to pay. So the above article is shown in the public interest and reflects the personal views of Herbert Armstrong and is shown as a public service. The most faithful remnant of his old church is the Continuing Church of God.

Several items of possibly related interest include:

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.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This contains 28 biblically-baed 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)?
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains how he is and should be viewed today.
The Seven Laws of Success Are there tips that can help people become successful.
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.
Why so much mental illness? Article by E.M. Walter goes into several of the causes of this.
ADHD diagnoses increasing Is diet a possible contributing factor in the increasing number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder?
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?
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.

7th Day Adventist Millennial Position and the Bible

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

James and Ellen White
James and Ellen White

COGwriter

A while back, I came across the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Fundamental Beliefs at their official website. Here is what was listed as Fundamental Belief 27:

27. Millennium and the End of Sin:
The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Rev. 20; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18, 19.)

While I disagree that all sin will be gone then (cf. Isaiah 65:20, which happens after the millennium) and various other points of the SDA position, the main point I wish to go over is the view that the saints reign in heaven as opposed to on the earth at that time.

Notice that the Book of Revelation makes it clear that God’s people will reign on the earth with Christ:

9…”You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).

Thus, a future physical reign on the earth is clearly prophesied. Not heaven.

Chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation clearly teaches that there will be a thousand year reign of Christ:

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

This millennial reign is essentially the “first phase” of the kingdom of God on the earth (more information can be found in the article The Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church).

But did early Christians teach that the thousand year reign was on earth?

Yes.

Notice what Papias, who was a hearer of John and allegedly a friend of Polycarp, in the early second century taught about the millennial reign on earth. Eusebius recorded that Papias (an early 2nd century leader) taught:

…there wil be a period of a thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth…(Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book III, Chapter XXIX, Verse 12, p. 69)

Here is another translation of the above:

… there will be a millennium after the resurrection from the dead, when the personal reign of Christ will be established on this earth (Fragments of Papias, VI. See also Eusebius, Church History, Book 3, XXXIX, 12).

Papias taught that it would be a time of great abundance:

In like manner, [He said] that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear would have ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds of clear, pure, fine flour; and that apples, and seeds, and grass would produce in similar proportions; and that all animals, feeding then only on the productions of the earth, would become peaceable and harmonious, and be in perfect subjection to man.” [Testimony is borne to these things in writing by Papias, an ancient man, who was a hearer of John and a friend of Polycarp, in the fourth of his books; for five books were composed by him...] (Fragments of Papias, IV).

The above is consistent with the view that we in the Continuing Church of God hold.

In the second century, Irenaeus, who though he ended up compromising with Rome, claimed to have met Polycarp of Smyrna. Here is some of what he wrote about this:

That the whole creation shall, according to God’s will, obtain a vast increase, that it may bring forth and sustain fruits such [as we have mentioned], Isaiah declares: “And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every prominent hill, water running everywhere in that day, when many shall perish, when walls shall fall. And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, seven times that of the day, when He shall heal the anguish of His people, and do away with the pain of His stroke.” Now “the pain of the stroke” means that inflicted at the beginning upon disobedient man in Adam, that is, death; which [stroke] the Lord will heal when He raises us from the dead, and restores the inheritance of the fathers, as Isaiah again says: “And thou shall be confident in the LORD, and He will cause thee to pass over the whole earth, and feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father.” This is what the Lord declared: “Happy are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching. Verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down [to meat], and will come forth and serve them. And if He shall come in the evening watch, and find them so, blessed are they, because He shall make them sit down, and minister to them; or if this be in the second, or it be in the third, blessed are they.” Again John also says the very same in the Apocalypse: “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.” Then, too, Isaiah has declared the time when these events shall occur; he says: “And I said, Lord, how long? Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses be without men, and the earth be left a desert. And after these things the LORD shall remove us men far away (longe nos faciet Deus homines), and those who shall remain shall multiply upon the earth.” Then Daniel also says this very thing: “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of those under the heaven, is given to the saints of the Most High God, whose kingdom is everlasting, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” And lest the promise named should be understood as referring to this time, it was declared to the prophet: “And come thou, and stand in thy lot at the consummation of the days.” Now, that the promises were not announced to the prophets and the fathers alone, but to the Churches united to these from the nations (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 34, Verses 2-3. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule; in [the times of] which [resurrection] the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and [with respect to] those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 35, Verse 1. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Thus Irenaeus clearly taught that there was to be a physical kingdom of God on the earth and that resurrected saints would reign in that kingdom. And that time frame is after the first resurrection, the time period of the millennium.

Nepos, who though the Catholics now claim him (they also claim Polycarp and others who renounced them), understood and taught that the saints would reign on the earth. Here is what The Catholic Encyclopedia reported:

An Egyptian bishop, Nepos, taught the Chiliastic error that there would be a reign of Christ upon earth for a thousand years, a period of corporal delights; he founded this doctrine upon the Apocalypse in a book entitled “Refutation of the Allegorizers” (Chapman, John. “Dionysius of Alexandria.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 14 Aug. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05011a.htm>.).

The following from Dionysius clearly shows that Nepos was still respected after he died (Nepos died prior to Dionysius’ mid-third century writing of the following) and really did not refute him from a biblical perspective:

But as they produce a certain composition by Nepos, on which they insist very strongly, as if it demonstrated incontestably that there will be a (temporal) reign of Christ upon the earth, I have to say, that in many other respects I accept the opinion of Nepos, and love him at once for his faith, and his laboriousness, and his patient study in the Scriptures, as also for his great efforts in psalmody, by which even now many of the brethren are delighted. I hold the man, too, in deep respect still more, inasmuch as he has gone to his rest before us. Nevertheless the truth is to be prized and reverenced above all things else. And while it is indeed proper to praise and approve ungrudgingly anything that is said aright, it is no less proper to examine and correct anything which may appear to have been written unsoundly. If he had been present then himself, and had been stating his opinions orally, it would have been sufficient to discuss the question together without the use of writing, and to endeavour to convince the opponents, and carry them along by interrogation and reply. But the work is published, and is, as it seems to some, of a very persuasive character; and there are unquestionably some teachers, who hold that the law and the prophets are of no importance, and who decline to follow the Gospels, and who depreciate the epistles of the apostles, and who have also made large promises regarding the doctrine of this composition, as though it were some great and hidden mystery, and who, at the same time, do not allow that our simpler brethren have any sublime and elevated conceptions either of our Lord’s appearing in His glory and His true divinity, or of our own resurrection from the dead, and of our being gathered together to Him, and assimilated to Him, but, on the contrary, endeavour to lead them to hope for things which are trivial and corruptible, and only such as what we find at present in the kingdom of God. And since this is the case, it becomes necessary for us to discuss this subject with our brother Nepos just as if he were present (Dionysius of Alexandria. From the Two Books on the Promises. Copyright © 2008 by Kevin Knight. Viewed 8/14/08).

In other words, Nepos knew his Bible, but did not hold to the same position that allegorists like Dionysius of Alexandria held. But those who held to Judaeo-Christian beliefs, while slightly chastised, simply were almost never condemned by the early allegorists. And he taught that the saints would reign on the earth. Nepos is one who I have long considered was part of the true Church of God and not part of the Greco-Roman confederation that was forming in his day. Nepos was one of several leaders that stood up against the allegorists who were rising up in his day.

Saints are to reign on the earth for a thousand years with Christ.

So, from the Bible, and the understanding of second (Papias) and third (Nepos) century Christians, as well as from some who knew actual Christians (Irenaeus) it is clear that the early Christians did believe and teach that the millennial reign would be on the earth.

Thus, those who are SDAs might wish to ask since their church does not teach this, if it truly was part of the original church or if it is (as I have long contended) basically a breakaway group that lost many of its original faithful teachings.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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.
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? A related sermon is titled The Millennium.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2022 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
What is the Appropriate Form of Biblical Interpretation? Should the Bible be literally understood? What do the writings of the Bible, Origen, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Augustine show?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 c. 31 A.D. to the 21st century. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Mathematicians realize that the universe had a beginning

Monday, May 25th, 2015


NASA Photo

COGwriter

Do any academics realize that the universe had to have a beginning?  Well some mathematicians from Tufts University have challenged some anti-biblical models of the origin of the universe:

Mathematics of Eternity Prove The Universe Must Have Had A Beginning

Cosmologists use the mathematical properties of eternity to show that although universe may last forever, it must have had a beginning…

In recent years…cosmologists have begun to study a number of new ideas that have similar properties. Curiously, these ideas are not necessarily at odds with the notion of a Big Bang.

For instance, one idea is that the universe is cyclical with big bangs followed by big crunches followed by big bangs in an infinite cycle.

Another is the notion of eternal inflation in which different parts of the universe expand and contract at different rates. These regions can be thought of as different universes in a giant multiverse.

So although we seem to live in an inflating cosmos, other universes may be very different. And while our universe may look as if it has a beginning, the multiverse need not have a beginning…

Audrey Mithani and Alexander Vilenkin at Tufts University in Massachusetts say that these models are mathematically incompatible with an eternal past. Indeed, their analysis suggests that these three models of the universe must have had a beginning too.

Their argument focuses on the mathematical properties of eternity–a universe with no beginning and no end. Such a universe must contain trajectories that stretch infinitely into the past.

However, Mithani and Vilenkin point to a proof dating from 2003 that these kind of past trajectories cannot be infinite if they are part of a universe that expands in a specific way.

They go on to show that cyclical universes and universes of eternal inflation both expand in this way. So they cannot be eternal in the past and must therefore have had a beginning. “Although inflation may be eternal in the future, it cannot be extended indefinitely to the past,” they say.

They treat the emergent model of the universe differently, showing that although it may seem stable from a classical point of view, it is unstable from a quantum mechanical point of view. “A simple emergent universe model…cannot escape quantum collapse,” they say.

The conclusion is inescapable. “None of these scenarios can actually be past-eternal,” say Mithani and Vilenkin. http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/27793/?ref=rss

And if the physical universe had to have a beginning, then something that was not physical must have started it. And that leads to the logical conclusion that a non-physical being, like God, must have done so. And that is what the Bible teaches:

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5)

And while the mathematicians at Tufts did not go into biblical detail, their conclusion that the physical universe must have had a beginning is correct.

As far as the future role of resurrected human beings in the universe, notice the following passage from Hebrews:

6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”

For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:6-10)

So, the entire universe was made for humankind, but is not yet under human subjection, but will be first under Jesus. And then, later under humankind.

But there is more. Notice something else that the Bible teaches:

33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:33)

6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end…(Isaiah 9:6-7)

This seems to mean that either the physical dimensions of Christ’s kingdom will always be increasing (hence perhaps more and more planets, stars, and galaxies) and/or their will a continual increase in the number of beings in Christ’s kingdom.

Interestingly, the same mathematicians at Tufts agree with this concept as they stated that the universe can, according to their mathematical model, continue to expand into the future, consistent with scripture (which, no, they did not cite).

As I have written here for some time, scripture and properly understood science are compatible (and I am not declaring that there cannot be any flaws in the Tufts’ mathematical model, though I agree with their conclusions that the physical universe had to have a beginning and that it can continue to expand forever).

While humans now are fairly insignificant in certain physical ways, God has a plan to involve humanity in ruling the universe. A universe that He began (Genesis 1:1).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon: Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Questions and Answers from Genesis Many wonder about certain early events that this article discusses.
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
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?
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? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?

Pope Francis’ ‘Jubilee’ and claim about the Kingdom

Sunday, May 24th, 2015


Logo for Roman Catholic Jubilee 2000

COGwriter

A reader sent me a link to the following from Pope Francis from his Bull of Indiction related to his Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy:

At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the Church; a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective.

The Holy Year will open on 8 December 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This liturgical feast day recalls God’s action from the very beginning of the history of mankind. After the sin of Adam and Eve, God did not wish to leave humanity alone in the throes of evil. So he turned his gaze to Mary, holy and immaculate in love (cf. Eph 1:4), choosing her to be the Mother of man’s Redeemer.  http://www.iubilaeummisericordiae.va/content/gdm/en/bolla.html

Let me clearly state that the date that Mary was conceived on (which no one really knows, though Rome has settled on December 8th) is NOT of some prime importance.  Catholic saints such as Bernard of Clairvaux, Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas opposed it, and it was not an original Christian festival according to The Catholic Encyclopedia (see Feast of the Immaculate Conception?).

Now, I posted about this Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy back in March (see Pope Francis announces an additional ‘holy year’: any ramifications?).  But later, Pope Francis made other comments.  Here are some more comments from his Bull of Indiction:

I have chosen the date of 8 December because of its rich meaning in the recent history of the Church. In fact, I will open the Holy Door on the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. The Church feels a great need to keep this event alive. With the Council, the Church entered a new phase of her history.

Pope Francis has an ecumenical agenda and that is part of why he declared his Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. Here are some more comments from his Bull of Indiction:

The Jubilee year will close with the liturgical Solemnity of Christ the King on 20 November 2016. On that day, as we seal the Holy Door, we shall be filled, above all, with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving to the Most Holy Trinity for having granted us an extraordinary time of grace. We will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lordship of Christ, asking him to pour out his mercy upon us like the morning dew, so that everyone may work together to build a brighter future. How much I desire that the year to come will be steeped in mercy, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God! May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst!

The above is the reason a reader sent me a link.  The reader wanted it pointed out that Pope Francis seems to think that the Kingdom of God is already here.

It is not.

The Kingdom of God will not be here until after it has been sufficiently proclaimed to the world as a witness (Matthew 24:14) and Jesus returns to establish the millennial kingdom.  However, since the Church of Rome now strongly teaches against the millennial kingdom, it tends to indicate that the Kingdom of God is here.  It is not, though some who are to be in it are.

BTW, the reason I choose to put up the year 2000 Jubilee logo is that although the same reader sent me a link to the logo for the ‘extraordinary jubilee’ is that I considered that it was too blasphemous.  Of course, I should add that I do not believe that Pope Francis can make anything or any year holy.

That being said, a ‘holy year’ tends to excite more Roman Catholics. There is also a chance that this coming extra ‘holy year’ could be a time when we may see more signs and lying wonders.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
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. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? A related sermon is titled The Millennium.
Pope Francis and the Famine of the Word Pope Francis made some comments indicating that violence is appropriate when one is offended and that freedom of expression should not offend the religions of others. Is that biblical? What will his interfaith agenda lead to? Might his comments be a factor in the prophesied ‘famine of the word’ that the Prophet Amos wrote of? Should Christians refrain from making statements that might offend other? What did Jesus and His disciples do? What should you do? This is a video. A written article of related interest is: Pope Francis pushing for limits of speech and seemingly justifies violence.
Blood Moons and Prophecy There were four ‘blood moons’ expected in 2014 and 2015. Now two remain. Might they signal the Day of the Lord or the return of Jesus Christ? A related YouTube video is also available: Blood Moons, Prophecy, 2014, and 2015.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman” An Irish bishop allegedly predicted something about 112 popes in the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI was number 111. Francis would be number 112–if he is that one–and if so, he is to reign until Rome is destroyed. May he be an antipope/final Antichrist?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future?
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? A related video would be United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they? A related sermon is titled Tradition and Scripture.
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against?
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.
The Last Pope Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Why might Pope Francis be the last pope? What happens if he is? Biblical and other prophecies help explain what to expect.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Amazon Book What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roman”? This 186 page book provides information and answers.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of the printed book which is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Pentecost today: Sermon and meaning

Sunday, May 24th, 2015


Artist Depiction of Pentecost (Cadetgray)

COGwriter

Today is the Day of Pentecost for 2015. Unlike other biblical holy days, some version of the Day of Pentecost is observed by a lot of mainstream churches, both Catholic and Protestant. And of course, since Pentecost is a biblical holy day, it is observed by Church of God groups like the Continuing Church of God. Pentecost is the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in the shape of fire (Acts 2:3-4). Here is a sermon suggested for today: Predestination and Pentecost; here is another sermon suggested for today: Pentecost: Feast of Firstfruits.

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

Since the Holy Spirit was given on the Day of Pentecost, based upon the date and practices that God gave the children of Israel in the Old Testament, it is logical to conclude that the Old Testament can give us some insight into its meaning.

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

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

The Day of Pentecost has several names, and because of that, some have been confused about it. Its other names in the Bible include, the Feast of Harvest, the Feast of Weeks and the day of firstfruits:

… the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors (Exodus 23:16).

And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits (Exodus 34:22).

Also on the day of the firstfruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the LORD at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation (Numbers 28:26).

While some Protestant commentators (e.g. Radmacher E.D. ed. The Nelson Study Bible. Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1997, p213) refer to the wave sheaf offering as the feast of firstfruits, this is a misnomer. While “a sheaf of firstfruits” was offered then (Leviticus 23:10), as shown above, the Bible refers to the Feast of Weeks as the time of firstfruits (not simply one sheaf). And, as shown below, it refers to the time of counting fifty as being associated with firstfruits:

Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD (Leviticus 23:16-17).

Does the term firstfruits help us understand this day? It should.

The New Testament, also, does discuss some concepts associated with firstfruits.

Paul also wrote the following:

Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit (Romans 8:23).

Recall that it was the Holy Spirit that was first given on the Day of Pentecost. And that was a type of the firstfruits of the Spirit.

Who are the firstfruits?

These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb (Revelation 14:4-5).

In the Old Testament, God said:

“I found Israel Like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers As the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal Peor…” (Hosea 9:10).

So originally, physical Israel was like the firstfruits on the branches of a fig tree, but they were unfaithful. In the New Testament, Paul alludes to this and Christians when he wrote:

For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either (Romans 11:16-21).

So while physical Israel was intended to be firstfruits, it was replaced by Christians as the firstfruits. And those firstfruits began on Pentecost.

But what about Jesus? Wasn’t He a type of firstfruits?

Yes, He certainly was. Paul notes:

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

Christ is the fulfillment of the wave sheaf offering in Leviticus 23:10. He is the sheaf of firstfruits. He also fulfilled that role when He ascended into heaven on the Sunday (the wave sheaf offering was on a Sunday) after He was resurrected (John 20:1,17). But neither He nor His true followers observed what is now called Easter.

Also, James notes that Jesus brought us forth to also be a type of firstfruit:

Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures (James 1:18).

So while Jesus was the original firstfruit to represent the wave sheaf offering, true Christians are a kind of firstfruits, represented by the Day of Pentecost. “Firstfruits” mean that only a few will make it in this age–but they also imply that there will be a greater harvest–a time where all who never had an opportunity for salvation will later have an opportunity (for more scriptural references, please read the article Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).

Notice what the Apostle Peter stated on Pentecost:

Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses (Acts 2:29-32).

Notice that Peter, on Pentecost, referred to Jesus as fruit and that He was raised.

Now Jesus was not only the first of the firstfruits, He was also the firstborn among many brethren:

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).

Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead (Revelation 1:5).

Since Jesus is the firstborn, this certainly implies that there will become others who are to be like Him. Thus, becoming like Jesus Christ is also part of the message of Pentecost.

In addition to marking the beginning of the NT church, Pentecost helps us better understand God’s plan of salvation. Most who profess Christ and observe this day seem not to realize how “firstfruits” tie in with this holy day.

Suggested Pentecost Services

Here is our suggested format for Pentecost services this Sunday:

For those who wish two services, here is a second suggested service:

Again, a sermon recommended for today is Pentecost: Its Biblical Meaning and Date.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2? Many “Christians” somewhat observe Pentecost. Do they know what it means? It is also called the Feast of Harvest, the Feast of Weeks, and the day of firstfruits. What about “speaking in tongues” and being led by the Holy Spirit? Here is a link to a video sermon titled Pentecost: Feast of Firstfruits.
Pentecost Quiz This is a Pentecost quiz based upon the Old and New Testaments in the Bible.
Pentecost is Part of God’s Plan. This combines a couple of articles from the 1980s, plus additional scriptures and modern comments about Pentecost.
Predestination: Does the Bible Teach It? Booklet by Herbert Armstrong. A related video is Predestination and Pentecost.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :) In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Will God call everyone? Will everyone have an opportunity for salvation? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account? Related sermon videos include Universal Offer of Salvation I: God is love and Universal Offer of Salvation II: The Age to Come and the ‘Little Flock’ and Universal Offer of Salvation III: All Are to Know Jesus, But When? and Universal Offer of Salvation IV: Will the Guilty be Pardoned? and Universal Offer of Salvation V: All Israel Will be Saved? A version of the main article was also translated in the Spanish language: Oferta universal de salvación: Hay cientos de versículos en la Biblia que apoyan la verdadera doctrina de la Apocatastasis.
Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory? Is there a place called purgatory? Does God have a plan to help those who did not become saints in this life?
What is Limbo? Is There Such a Place as Limbo? What Happens to Babies When They Die? When did Limbo start being taught? What is the truth about dead babies?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Continuing Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.

Shepherd’s Voice on the results of the world’s sexual immorality; what about ‘climate change’?

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

COGwriter

Norman Edwards has the following in an edition of Shepherd’s Voice magazine:

This is the first commandment God gave to Adam and Eve:

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (Genesis 2:24-25).

Mankind has, to a large degree, obeyed this command through the centuries, though too often out of order. Today, it is common for young people to do it backwards: get naked and have sex (“one flesh”), then think about getting married and/or being able to afford to leave mother and father. Such a practice is absolutely devastating to family and future. But it essentially taught in most public schools. Most secular counselors today teach sex between consenting adults (and maybe teens) is fine as long as love is involved. But what does God say?

Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Ob – scene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes — these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God. You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do (Ephesians 5:1-7, NLT).

The goal of public school sex education is to help teens make “informed choices” and practice “safe sex”—avoiding diseases and unwanted pregnancy. But after decades of that kind of education, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention tells us there are still 110 million Americans with Sexually Transmissible Infections. Also, in round numbers, there are about 2 million unwanted babies born in the USA each year. Half of them are aborted, the other half are raised by somebody who may or may not love them: maybe both parents, but more likely one parent, a grand parent, a friend, a foster family or a combination of the above.

The Tough Lessons of Reality

These unplanned children are the focal point of family fights, custody battles, child support cases, abuse, government assistance cases, and so many other things that make their lives and our lives unhappy. This writer has worked in a ministry to homeless people for the past four years and has experience first-hand the children—some now adults—who grew up knowing they were unwanted by one or both parents.

In our brief experience helping homeless single women with unplanned pregnancies, we have experienced nearly the full spectrum of difficulties: The mother wants to keep her baby and her family wants him (babies are “him” for clarity) aborted. Her family wants the baby but her mother wants him aborted. The mother wants the baby and the father does not—and vice versa. A women wants a baby so bad they are willing to get pregnant by almost anyone—because she wants someone to love and hopes the baby will love her. The mother wants a baby to get his government assistance and child support. A woman wants a baby, but frequently leaves him with family and friends for extended periods of time— sometimes without warning. Some men do not care about child support because they never planned to work. Our courts often do become wise to these situations and terminate current and future parental rights to these irresponsible parents.

We have known people who told partners they were infertile so that they could have unprotected sex—but were actually lying. Our homeless ministry once housed three women who were all told a similar story by the same man—and who had all gotten pregnant by him. On the opposite side, we have seen women claim to be pregnant when they were not—either hoping a man would marry her thinking she had his baby, or simply because others would give things to a poor single mom. All of these lies just make it more difficult for people to practice the truth of God and to care for the real babies and mothers who honestly want help, and who often got into such a mess without knowing what they are doing. Indeed, some of them grew up with their parents frequently lying to them and having sex with whoever was convenient at the moment.

Men have long-term consequences as well as women. Once a court orders a man to pay child support, if he gets behind in his payments, he is likely to have his wages or bank account garnished or his driver’s license suspended—anywhere in the country. This is in some ways like the biblical requirement for a single man who has sex with a single women—me must pay the “bride price” no matter what, but the woman’s father can refuse him as a husband (Ex 22:16- 17). Needless to say, immoral men who are able to earn a good living do not like the prospect of paying child support for 18 years to someone they do not really care about.

One future-thinking immoral man we knew, when a girl friend told him she was pregnant by him, committed a burglary and used the proceeds to pay for their baby’s abortion. He was sentenced to a couple years in prison for the burglary, but the abortion was legal. Another woman who previously stayed with us had an immoral boyfriend who was not so future-thinking. She obtained court- ordered child support, so he moved to another state hoping to avoid it. When back child support payments caught up with him, his solution was to come back and kill their baby. He is now doing a life sentence in prison. This is just part of the mess that grows out of unmarried sex. Our nation, legislature and our courts will some day be judged for telling our mothers and fathers it is all right to kill their babies—as long as they do it before they are born. But so many young people simply do not think about any of these complications when they want sex without commitment.

Almost as sad, are some of the parents who decide to keep and love their unplanned children, but simply are not able to. Some of them have so little knowledge of the things they need: how to build good relationship, why a lifelong marriage is important, how to get a job, how to work hard at a job, how to keep their home organized, how to teach and train a child, etc. Most of them are running on the media’s teaching that sex and relationships are fun, and the “sex education” they had in high school.

Sex education teaches “informed choices”, but sometimes all of the choices are bad. A parent with an unwanted child is often left to choose between:

1) Abort (kill) the baby.
2) Raise the baby knowing one or more people will likely be forever angry at the baby (because of child support payments or because the baby will remind them of someone’s illegitimate sex).
3) Put the baby up for adoption (which may be a disaster for the parent who loves the baby—and a future nightmare when the child later decides to find out who are his or her real parents and who abandoned him or her).

The “sex education” method to prevent this problem is to better educate them to practice “safe sex”. But that goes against the nature of sex. It is so powerful; it is so emotional. When sex is awesome, one’s logical processes give way to one’s passion. And that is good. People should experience sex to the fullest. God said it was very good (Genesis 1:31). But that is why He said sex belongs in marriage—where there are loving, committed parents to raise any babies that come along— planned or not. But when sex is outside of marriage, when powerful passions cause people not to remember the pregnancy prevention they learned in high school, the result is millions of unplanned pregnancies and STIs. Sure, there are many birth control methods that boast over 95% effectiveness. This writer has met individuals who claimed to have gotten pregnant while using nearly every one of the different available “foolproof” methods.

Even if sex education programs had 10 times the budget and could become 10 times as effective, they would still be failures. 11 million Americans with STD’s and 200,000 unwanted babies born every year would still be way too many.

Many of those stories Norman Edwards relates are heartbreaking.

All need to heed the following from the Apostle Paul:

13 Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body… 1 Corinthians 6:18

18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:13,18; KJV)

8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:8-13)

Jesus taught:

27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)

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

The body and mind are not for fornication. That is a way that leads to misery and destruction.

Climate Change

I would also add that I believe abortion is a factor in USA debt and the increased acceptance of pornography and the homosexual agenda is a factor in difficult weather.  This is consistent with many biblical prophecies (many of which are listed in the article Weather Blessings and Sorrows).

The United Nations and others have repeatedly brought up ‘climate change,’ which they used to refer to as ‘global warming’:

September 25, 2014

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns of ‘turbulence’ ahead, with wars, refugees, disease and climate change

WHEN the Secretary-general of the United Nations says the world seems to be falling apart, perhaps we should sit up and listen.

The United Nations chief last night gave his “state of the world” address. Put simply, he thinks it’s awful.

“This year, the horizon of hope is darkened” were his exact words. …

“The world’s ‘fasten seat belt’ light is illuminated. Turbulence is testing the multilateral system, national institutions and people’s lives.”

In other words, prepare for a rough ride. …

“Not since the end of the Second World War have there been so many refugees, displaced people and asylum seekers. Never before has the United Nations been asked to reach so many people with emergency food assistance and other lifesaving supplies,” he said in his address at the opening of the UN General Assembly’s annual ministerial meeting. …

He called for world leaders to join together to ease the plight of nearly unprecedented numbers of refugees, the displaced and victims of violence and disease.

“But leadership is precisely about finding the seeds of hope and nurturing them into something bigger,” the UN chief told presidents, prime ministers, monarchs and ministers from the UN’s 193 member states.

“That is our duty,” Ban said. “That is my call to you today.”  http://www.news.com.au/world/un-secretarygeneral-ban-kimoon-warns-of-turbulence-ahead-with-wars-refugees-disease-and-climate-change/story-fndir2ev-1227069828195

Faith-based Organizations Can Help Deliver United Nations Message for Renewed Cooperation to Tackle Climate Change, Other Crises, Secretary-General Says

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message, delivered by Under-Secretary-General Vijay Nambiar, Chef de Cabinet, to the Ninth Annual Orthodox Prayer Service for the United Nations Community, presided over by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in New York, today, 26 October:

I send greetings to His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and to all the participants in this annual prayer service.

As a secular organization, the United Nations has no common religion.  But as humanitarians we, too, like all major faiths, work on behalf of the weak, the disadvantaged, and those who are vulnerable to violence, disease and disaster.  And we share the same ethical foundation:  a belief in the inherent dignity of all individuals.

If ever there were a time for unity among religions and peoples, it is now.  We must be united in purpose, united in action…

Let us work together for a safer, healthier more equitable future for all.  http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2009/sgsm12567.doc.htm

Notice that Ban Ki-Moon essentially called on world governmental and religious leaders to unite to prevent the situation from getting worse and put his hope in that.

The Vatican seems to share the UN’s climate change/global warming agenda.

May 12, 2015

Pope Francis’ closest adviser castigated conservative climate change skeptics in the United States Tuesday, blaming capitalism for their views.

Speaking with journalists, Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga criticized certain “movements” in the United States that have preemptively come out in opposition to Francis’s planned encyclical on climate change.

“The ideology surrounding environmental issues is too tied to a capitalism that doesn’t want to stop ruining the environment because they don’t want to give up their profits,” Rodríguez said, according to the Boston Globe’s Crux blog.Rodríguez’s comments came at the beginning of the annual meeting of Caritas Internationalis, an association of Catholic charitable groups.

He said many individuals both inside and outside the Catholic Church are awaiting Francis’s encyclical “with hope,” and especially watching how it might impact the United Nations’s December meeting that seeks to reach an agreement on an international climate change pact.

That is Francis’s top stated goal for the encyclical, to encourage Catholics to fight climate change and influence the U.N.’s process. http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/241769-popes-top-adviser-blasts-us-climate-skeptics

Sadly, Pope Francis’ stated goal is not to get people to repent and live as Jesus taught.

We are having climate problems and that was expected. Back in 2009, my book, 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect mentioned the following was about to happen:

The world is actually in a berserk transition, as the real age of peace is not yet here. It may be a period of chaos. It is the beginning of sorrows Matthew 24:8

The problems that the world is now facing should be a wake-up call to repent (see also Weather Blessings and Sorrows).  The ‘trumpet’ warnings are going out, but many prefer to put their trust in humankind and not God to solve the problems.

Pushing the homosexual agenda and other sins as various ones in the UN and various governments have been doing results in ‘climate change.’  But that is not something that many people wish to seriously consider.

The Bible is clear that humans would destroy the earth and the Jesus has to come before humans do so:

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. (Revelation 11:18)

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)

The Bible is clear that various aspects of weather will be used by God prior to Jesus’ return. As warnings and as punishments.

Much of the world in the 21st century sees that there have been various forms of ‘climate change.’ What should be done? Notice what Solomon prayed:

26 “When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against You, when they pray toward this place and confess Your name, and turn from their sin because You afflict them, 27 then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of Your servants, Your people Israel, that You may teach them the good way in which they should walk; and send rain on Your land which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.

28 “When there is famine in the land, pestilence or blight or mildew, locusts or grasshoppers; when their enemies besiege them in the land of their cities; whatever plague or whatever sickness there is; 29 whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows his own burden and his own grief, and spreads out his hands to this temple: 30 then hear from heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of the sons of men), 31 that they may fear You, to walk in Your ways as long as they live in the land which You gave to our fathers. (2 Chronicles 6:26-31)

The solution to various weather-climate matters is to pray (see also Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach?) and to repent and properly obey God (see also Where is the True Christian Church Today?).

The United Nations and others have a different plan. But their plan will NOT work:

8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory…every island fled away (Revelation 16:8-9, 20). (Revelation 16:8-9).

Sadly, people will not properly repent and turn to the God of the Bible, so ‘global warming’ will happen beyond what most now think is possible.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? A related video would be United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Making Your Marriage Work Marriage is not also easy, but it pictures a divine relationship. How can you make your marriage work? Here is a link to the video sermon: You Can Make YOUR Marriage Work.
Love, Marriage, and Sex It is important to get them in the right order.
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? Here is a link to a YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
British and American Moral Decay Public nudity is becoming more prevalent in the Anglo-Saxon lands. What are some of the consequences?to a YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose Do you know what the Bible teaches on this? Has the Roman Catholic Church allowed abortions? What about the real Church of God? Some may also, or instead, wish to view the YouTube video Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt.
Weather Blessings and Sorrows Are weather problems a warning? What should be done? What does the Bible teach about weather? What about floods, droughts, heat, earthquakes, tornadoes, and solar storms? Here is a related YouTube video Does God Use Weather? A related item in the Spanish language would be Bendiciones y maldiciones del clima.
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality
“Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Can homosexuals change?
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children. What should you do?
Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on? There is also a YouTube video on this, titled Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children.
Can those in the USA/UK see the Handwriting on the Wall? Is everything fine in the USA/UK or is it like the days of Noah? Can we learn from the handwriting that appeared on a wall thousands of years ago? Here is a link to a related YouTube video Can you see the ‘Handwriting on the Wall’?