Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

BBC: ‘Why people get more stupid in a crowd’

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017


Flash Mob Pillow Fight

COGwriter

BBC had a headline that got my attention:

Why people get more stupid in a crowd

The “wisdom of crowds” doesn’t always apply – sometimes group-think nudges people to make wrong-headed decisions.

The downstairs room of a central London pub is not where most psychologists would choose to stage an experiment in decision-making, but for Daniel Richardson it is ideal. A researcher at University College London, he is interested in how people’s thinking is influenced by those around them …

The decisions people make as a group tend to be more prejudiced and less intelligent than the ones they make individually. “When people interact, they end up agreeing, and they make worse decisions,” he says. “They don’t share information, they share biases. We’re trying to figure out why that is, and how we can make collective decisions better.” …

Group conformity stands in marked contrast to the “wisdom of crowds” effect, whereby aggregating the opinions of large numbers of people gives answers or predictions more accurate than those of any individual. This happens only when members of a crowd make their judgements independently of each other, and it is most effective when a crowd is diverse. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160113-are-your-opinions-really-your-own

One of the reasons I decided to post about this was that the journal Science ran an article a while back touting “crowdsourcing” as the way to solve “wicked problems’ facing humanity. So, I made a short video about that which you can watch: Crowdsourcing and Artificial Intelligence to solve “wicked problems”?

Getting back to the BBC article, it did not mention Satan the devil.

The Bible calls Satan “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) and his ‘broadcasts’ have impacted the world to walk the wrong way (Ephesians 2:1-3). Satan’s influence in the Garden of Eden affected Eve, who then in turn affected Adam to make the wrong choice (Genesis 3).

While the Bible teaches “in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14), it also teaches “You shall not follow a crowd to do evil” (Exodus 23:2).

Throughout history, people have followed the crowd to do evil.

The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9), where people got together in defiance to God’s instruction to replenish the earth (Genesis 9:1) as well as the golden calf idolatry of the children of Israel (Exodus 32:1-6) are two ancient events that come immediately to mind.

Jesus condemned a crowd of Jews in His day for following Satan’s lying influence instead of the truth (John 8:42-47).

But what about now?

Well, much that passes for Christianity is the result of following non-biblical traditions that crowd pressures seem to keep most deluded to follow.

There are many doctrines and traditions that people accept that they certainly did NOT independently find in the Bible that are false.

Basically, notice the following from the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God, many of which most who profess Christianity do not accept:

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

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

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

Birthdays were not celebrated by early Christians.

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

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

Church Governance was properly hierarchical.

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

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

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

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

Duties of Elders/Pastors were pastoral and theological, not predominantly sacramental–nor did they dress as many now do.

Easter per se was not observed by the apostolic church.

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

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

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

Heaven was not taught to be the reward of Christians.

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

Hymns were mainly psalms, not praises to Christ.

Idols were taught against, including adoration of the cross.

Immortality of the soul or humans was not taught.

Jesus was considered to be God by the true Christians.

The Kingdom of God was preached.

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

Lent was not observed by the primitive church.

Limbo was not taught by the original church.

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

Military Service was not allowed for true early Christians.

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

Monasticism was unheard of in the early Christian church.

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

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

Purgatory was not taught by the original apostolic church.

The Resurrection of the dead was taught by all early Christians

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The reason that most do not accept all of them is that they have accepted improper group-think that Satan has been able to influence (cf. Ephesians 2:1-3).

The Bible shows, however, that the time will come when people will realize that the religious traditions they accepted were false and that God will show them the truth:

19 O Lord, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, o you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say:

“Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit.20 Can man make for himself gods? Such are not gods!”

21“Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the Lord.” (Jeremiah 16:19-21, ESV)

Jesus taught:

37 I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice (John 18:37).

46 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 8:46-47).

24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24).

Truth, not preferred traditions, are what is important to God. Are you one who has a genuine love of the truth? If any of your traditions conflict with biblical teaching, will you change?

As far as being stupid goes, consider the following:

21 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)

Will you accept instruction? Or will you instead, follow the crowd to do evil?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Attending the Church of Choice This article discusses whose choice is important to worship God; should you attend the church of your choice or the church of God’s choice?
Unity: Which COG for You? Why so many groups? Why is there lack of unity in the Churches of God? Has it always been this way? What can/should be done about it? Here is a related article in the Spanish language: Unidad: ¿Cuál Iglesia de Dios para usted?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now essentially the most faithful in the Church of God, which is best represented by the Continuing Church of God.
Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of GodContend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3, NKJV), “Let brotherly love (Philadelphia) continue” (Hebrews 13:1) “…continuing stedfastly in the teaching of the apostles” (Acts 2:42 YLT). So, what does that really mean in terms of specific beliefs? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Declaración de las Doctrinas de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. Here is a related link in Tagalog: Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. Here is a related link in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明. Here is a related link in Kiswahili: KATIKA LUGHA YA KISWAHILI. Here is a related link in Dutch: Verklaring van geloofspunten van de Continuing Church of God. Here is a related link in Deutsche (German): Glaubenserklärung der Continuing Church of God. Here is a related link in Italiano: Dichiarazione del Credo della Continuing Church of God. Here is related link in the French language: Déclaration des croyances de L’Église Continue de Dieu.
Did God Create a Devil? If not, what happened? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did you know that Satanists are big believers in promoting birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations? A related sermon video is available and is titled: Birthdays, Christians, and December 25th.
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The 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?

BibleNewsProphecy: Half human, half pig: What’s the difference?

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

COGwriter

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


13:51

Half human, half pig: What’s the difference?

BBC reported about what it called an animal that would be half-human and half-pig. Is such a thing possible? Are chimeras for real? What about a “humanzee”? Are scientists really working on these type of creatures? Is this good? Can something truly be half human and half animal? How are humans different from animals? What is the ‘spirit in man’? What is man? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more with biblical-based responses.

Here is a link to our video: Half human, half pig: What’s the difference?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras? Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues? A related video is also available: Half human, half pig: What’s the difference?
What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? What is your ultimate destiny? What does the Bible teach? Is deification only a weird or cultic idea? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
GMOs and Bible Prophecy
What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats; a short video is also available: Did Jesus declare all animal flesh food?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Just What Do You Mean the Kingdom of God? A booklet that was written by Herbert Armstrong answers questions about the Kingdom.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
CCOG.ASIA
We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN
This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU
This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ
This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos
. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy
online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
Bible News Prophecy
channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them at that channel.
ContinuingCOG
channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Sermon: Strong Meat: James 1-2

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

 
First portion of the Epistle of James in Greek from a 12th century document

COGwriter

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

 
1:13:40

Strong Meat: James 1-2

What does the Bible teach about idols and icons? Is covetousness connected to idolatry? Is the command against them the first or second Hebrews 5 discusses that Christians should be able to handle “strong meat” (KJV) or “solid food” (NKJV) and not just the milk of the word.  Christians also should be able to teach. The Bible prophesies in the end that people who know their God will instruct many. What about tests and trials, faith and works, and true religion? Dr. Thiel explains some of Martin Luther’s objections to the Book of James.  He also read and goes over all the verse in the first two chapters of James’ Epistle. Can you handle strong meat?

Here is a link to the sermon: Strong Meat: James 1-2.

Some items of related interest may include:

Living as a Christian: Strong Meat Can you handle solid spiritual food?  A related sermon is available: Strong Meat: James 1-2.
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?
Elementary Doctrines of the Church: Hebrews 6 Seven doctrines are mentioned and discussed. A related sermon is also available titled: Basic Doctrines of Hebrew 6.
Are You Being Called by God? Norman Shoaf wrote various points to consider.
Is God Calling You? Alfred E Carrozzo wrote this.
What Did Christ Mean – Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen? This article was by Raymond McNair.
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
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 are also two YouTube video related to this: Living as a Christian: How and Why? and Living as a Christian: Pure Milk of the Word.
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.
Are the Ten Commandment Still in Effect? This article quotes the ten commandments and combines some of the previous articles into one article about the ten commandments. The commandments are shown at Mount Sinai, before Mount Sinai, in the teachings of Jesus, after the crucifixion, and in the teachings of Paul. It addresses the most common “traditions of men” regarding them as well. Here is a version in the Spanish language:.¿Están vigentes todavía los diez mandamientos?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

More Americans believe in UFOs than Jesus?

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

COGwriter

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

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

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

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

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

Secular Writers Taught That Jesus Existed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Second Century Writers Taught That Jesus is God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Melito of Sardis wrote:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Jesus is God, But Became Flesh Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what? Here is information in the Spanish language¿Es Jesucristo Dios?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
British and American Moral Decay Public nudity is becoming more prevalent in the Anglo-Saxon lands. What are some of the consequences?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2023 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Will God call everyone? Will everyone have an opportunity for salvation? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account? Related sermon videos include Universal Offer of Salvation I: God is love and Universal Offer of Salvation II: The Age to Come and the ‘Little Flock’ and Universal Offer of Salvation III: All Are to Know Jesus, But When? and Universal Offer of Salvation IV: Will the Guilty be Pardoned? and Universal Offer of Salvation V: All Israel Will be Saved?

Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?

Idolatrous ‘Black Nazarene’ festival in the Philippines

Monday, January 9th, 2017


‘Black Nazarene’ (Constantine Agustin)

COGwriter

One of the world’s largest idolatrous religious festivals has been going on in the Philippines:

10 January 2017

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Approximately 22 hours after leaving the Quirino Grandstand, the image of the Black Nazarene reached its home, Quiapo Church, escorted by hundreds of thousands of devotees who defied a terror threat Monday, January 9.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has not released the final figures of devotees who joined the Feast of the Black Nazarene on Monday, but the PNP said the number of devotees reached 1.4 million at one point.

The procession began at around 5:28 am at the Quirino Grandstand, around 30 minutes earlier than in previous years.

The image of the Black Nazarene arrived at the street in front of the gate of the church 21 hours later at around 3:10 am of Tuesday morning, January 10, and the gate was opened at around 3:20 am. http://www.rappler.com/nation/157836-black-nazarene-returns-quiapo-church-traslacion-2017

9 January 2017

Thousands of security forces stood guard as the huge procession made its way through the Philippines capital on Monday in a massive display of Catholic devotion. The event is one of the largest religious processions in the world.

Police estimated that at least a million people took part in order to touch, or at least glimpse, the Black Nazarene, a statue of a dark-skinned Jesus Christ believed to have miraculous powers. Devotees believe that touching the statue will grant them good fortune or relieve them of ailments.

In what was the centerpiece of the ceremony, revelers braved the heat to take part in a day-long procession in which they traversed 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) across the city barefoot.

Philippine Red Cross staff said they’d treated more than a thousand people for dizziness, fainting and wounds on their feet, although there were no fatalities. Last year, two people died from heart attacks and seizures during the procession. http://www.dw.com/en/catholic-black-nazarene-procession-in-philippines-draws-huge-crowd/a-37065094

The idea of intentionally afflicting oneself with pain is pagan, but has been part of the beliefs of many in the Church of Rome for sometime. The ‘Lady of Fatima’ encouraged such demonic behavior (cf. Matthew 5:2-5; Mark 9:22).

Here is some of this ‘Black Nazarene’ idol’s secular history:

The statue was made by an anonymous Mexican sculptor, and the image arrived in Manila via galleon from Acapulco, Mexico, sometime in the mid-1600s. Traditional accounts attribute the colour to factors such as votive candles offered before the image, although the most widely held belief is that it was charred by a fire on board the galleon that brought it from Mexico.

Monsignor Sabino A. Vengco, Jr. from Loyola School of Theology meanwhile noted that the image was not charred but in fact dark through to its core, as it was carved from mesquite wood.(Black Nazarene. Wikipedia, accessed 01/10/15)

The truth is that Jesus did not have long hair, look like the ‘Black Nazarene’ image, nor did He ever carry a cross looking like that. The idea that touching idols is good is certainly not from the Bible.

People may be surprised to learn that a while back, the BBC addressed the fact that the commonly seen pictures claimed to be Jesus are false, but instead are a Byzantine version of Zeus:

Everyone knows what Jesus looks like. He is the most painted figure in all of Western art, recognised everywhere as having long hair and a beard, a long robe with long sleeves (often white) and a mantle (often blue).

Jesus is so familiar that he can be recognised on pancakes or pieces of toast.

But did he really look like this?

Probably not.

In fact this familiar image of Jesus actually comes from the Byzantine era, from the 4th Century onwards, and Byzantine representations of Jesus were symbolic – they were all about meaning, not historical accuracy.

They were based on the image of an enthroned emperor, as we see in the altar mosaic of the Santa Pudenziana church in Rome. …

Jesus is dressed in a gold toga. He is the heavenly ruler of all the world, familiar from the famous statue of long-haired and bearded Olympian Zeus on a throne . . . Byzantine artists, looking to show Christ’s heavenly rule as cosmic King, invented him as a younger version of Zeus. What has happened over time is that this visualisation of heavenly Christ – today sometimes remade along hippie lines – has become our standard model of the early Jesus. December 24, 2015 http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35120965

From the above, we can also conclude when we have reports of people who claim to have seen Jesus in various ways, those who claimed He had long hair, etc. clearly were not seeing Jesus.

Whatever healing powers are claimed for the ‘Black Nazarene,’ they do not come from the God of the Bible.

It is a version of the pagan deity Zeus that many people are bowing down before or otherwise venerating.

John, the last apostle believed to have died, wrote:

1 Little children, keep yourselves from idols (1 John 5:21).

14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam…to eat things sacrificed to idols (Revelation 2:14).

20 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow…My servants to…eat things sacrificed to idols (Revelation 2:20).

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

8 But …idolaters…shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).

15 But outside are…idolaters (Revelation 22:15).

Unless they repent, idolaters will be outside the Kingdom of God.

Many in the Philippines and elsewhere who profess Christianity should pay more attention to what God inspired the Apostle John and the others in the New Testament to write.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Jesus: Married with Children?
Was Jesus the Christ married? Did He have two children as some claim the so-called “Lost Gospel” teaches? Was He married to Mary Magdalene as the “Da Vinci Code” and others have stated? How many gospels are there? Are the supposed ‘historical records’ that Jesus was married, simply false? When were the gnostic gospel accounts written? Did Polycarp of Smyrna list any of the extra or so-called “lost gospels” in his letter? Does the Bible clearly contract the assertions of the book “The Lost Gospel”? This is a video.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations? A related sermon video is available and is titled: Birthdays, Christians, and December 25th.
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?
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! is a highly documented book by Bob Thiel for those interested in the real truth about Fatima and how future apparitions may affect the future. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The 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?
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon? A YouTube video of interest may be Is China THE Threat to the United States of America?
Islands and Bible Prophecy What’s ahead for islands? What does the Bible prophesy about them?
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.

Sermonette: Destined to be Kings and Priests

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

GOTKOG Book Cover 2016 BOTH FINAL

COGwriter

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


13:05

Destined to be Kings and Priests

Mr. Warren Savage discusses the destiny of true Christians.  What are we being prepared for in this life?

Here is a link to the sermonette: Destined to be Kings and Priests.

Some items of related interest may include:

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermons Why Teach the Kingdom of God, The Gospel of the Kingdom, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?
Elementary Doctrines of the Church: Hebrews 6 Seven doctrines are mentioned and discussed. A related sermon is also available titled: Basic Doctrines of Hebrew 6.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Sermon: Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons

Saturday, January 7th, 2017


Inside an icon shop in Athens (photos by Joyce Thiel)

COGwriter

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


1:25:19

The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons

What does the Bible teach about idols and icons? Is covetousness connected to idolatry? Is the command against them the first or second of the Ten Commandments? Did early Christians use crosses, images, or statues? Did Jesus look like the common portrayals of Him? What did early professors of Christ teach about images and statues? When and why did images and icons become common? What has been called “the victory of Orthodoxy”? Are there forms of idolatry that affect Christians in this age? Is a coming time of idolatry prophesied? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.

Some items of related interest may include:

What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
Mystery of Civilization Why is civilization like it is? How will it end? What will replace it? Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Mystery of Civilization and How it Will End.
Mystery of Iniquity What is the mystery of iniquity? How did it start? How will it end? Two related sermons are also available: The Mystery of Iniquity and The Mystery of Lawlessness.
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?
Were the Ten Commandments in Effect Before Mount Sinai? Some have said not. This article provides biblical quotes to answer this important question. A sermon of related interest is titled Were the Ten Commandments in Place prior to Mt. Sinai?
Job and the Ten Commandments Was Job written prior to Mount Sinai? Did Job know about the ten commandments? This article provides biblical answers to those questions.
What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments? This article quotes what Jesus actually said about them (His words are in red).
Were the Ten Commandments Nailed to the Cross? Some have said so. This article provides some biblical quotes to answer this important question.
What Did Paul Actually Teach About the Ten Commandments? Many say Paul taught against the ten commandments. Is this true? This article quotes Paul with his words in green.
Are the Ten Commandment Still in Effect? This article quotes the ten commandments and combines some of the previous articles into one article about the ten commandments. The commandments are shown at Mount Sinai, before Mount Sinai, in the teachings of Jesus, after the crucifixion, and in the teachings of Paul. It addresses the most common “traditions of men” regarding them as well. Here is a version in the Spanish language:.¿Están vigentes todavía los diez mandamientos?
Were the Pharisees Condemned for Keeping the Law or Reasoning Around it? Many believe that the Pharisees were condemned for keeping the law, but what does your Bible say? If they were not condemned for that, what were they condemned for? A related sermon is titled Jesus, Pharisees, and the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments: Cause and Effect Is everything random? Why do things happen? Should Christians keep the ten commandments?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

BBC: An animal that is half-human, half-pig

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

COGwriter

A month after British scientists called for human GMOs (see British scientists insisting on human GMOs), there is a proposal to make pig-human GMOs:

An animal that is half-human, half-pig

The quest to create animals with human organs has a long history – and it is now becoming a reality. Has science taken a step too far?

5 January 2017

“Frankenstein scientists developing part-human part-animal chimera,” exclaimed the UK’s Daily Mirror in May 2016. “Science wants to break down the fence between man and beast,” the Washington Times declared two months later, fearing that sentient animals would soon be unleashed on the world.

The hope is to implant human stem cells in an animal embryo so that it will grow specific human organs. …

For millennia, chimeras were literally the stuff of legend. The term comes from Greek mythology, with Homer describing a strange hybrid “of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle”. It was said to breath fire as it roamed Lycia in Asia Minor.

In reality, chimeras in science are less impressive. The word describes any creature containing a fusion of genetically-distinct tissues. This can occur naturally, if twin embryos fuse soon after conception, with striking results. …

The mixed bag of animals from Greek legends certainly cannot be found in nature. But this has not stopped scientists from trying to create their own hybrid chimeras in the lab. …

In 2010 Hiromitsu Nakauchi of Stanford University School of Medicine and his colleagues created a rat pancreas in a mouse body using a similar technique. Pigs are currently the preferred host, as they are anatomically remarkably similar to humans.If it succeeds, the strategy would solve many of the problems with organ donation today.

Some scientists are trying to grow human organs inside pigs …

A particularly emotive concern is that the stem cells will reach the pig’s brain, creating an animal that shares some of our behaviours and abilities. “I do think that has to be something that is taken into account and discussed extensively,” says Rossant. After all, she found that her chimeras shared the temperaments of both species. It would be truly horrific to create a human mind trapped in an animal’s body, a nightmare fit for Wells. …

John Evans, a sociologist at the University of California San Diego, US, points out that the very discussion of human-animal chimera focusses on their cognitive capacities.

For instance, we might decide that it is okay to treat them in one way as long as they lack human rationality or language, but that train of logic could lead us down a slippery slope when considering other people within our own species. “If the public thinks that a human is a compilation of capacities, those existing humans with fewer of these valued capacities will be considered to be of lesser value,” Evans writes.  http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20170104-the-birth-of-the-human-animal-chimeras

Some have claimed that ‘men are pigs’ and with more research, this could become more literally correct. Of course, this research will be promoted as something good and helpful.

Notice also the following:

—The Humanzee—

“Chimps share 98% of the human genome, and a fully mature chimp has the equivalent mental abilities and consciousness of a four-year-old human. Fusing a human and chimpanzee embryo—which researchers say is feasible—could produce a creature so human that questions regarding its moral and legal status would throw 4,000 years of ethics into chaos. Would such a creature enjoy human rights? Would it have to pass some kind of ‘humanness’ test to win its freedom? Would it be forced into doing menial labour or be used to perform dangerous activities?” —Jeremy Rifkin “Are you a man or a mouse?” March 15, 2005 The Guardian. Available online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1437701,00.html

Of course, those of us who believe the Bible should not be surprised that humans are going the wrong way with aspects of genetic research.

Genetic modification of plants and animals sometimes involves placing genes from one species into another. In ancient times, the combination of humans and animals were called ‘chimeras.’

Some have suggested, and have tried to, put human DNA into other species. It may be for reasons like this that God confounded the languages of people back at the Tower of Babel:

6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:6-9)

Notice some prophecies for the last days:

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

13 … evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:13)

As far as what constitutes being human, the Bible teaches:

8 But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. (Job 32:8)

21 Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth? (Ecclesiastes 3:21)

There are humans and there are animals. There will not truly be half-human half-animals. But what many scientists are working on should not be done.

God has a plan for humans–and that plan is not for animals.

Consider that there are differences between animals and humans. Notice something from the old Worldwide Church of God:

Have you ever wondered why? Have you ever thought about the vast difference between animal brain and human mind, and what could possibly account for it?

Animal Brain vs. Human Mind

There is a great, uncrossable GULF between animal brain and human mind. The evolutionary theory assumes that humans are animals. But one thing evolution can never explain is the total difference between animal brain equipped with instinct, and the human mind with creative reasoning powers of intellect and devoid of instinct in the strict sense that animals possess it.

Some animals have physical brains as large or larger than man’s brain, and with similar cerebral cortex complexity — but none has the powers of intellect, logic, self-consciousness and creativity.

The physical brain of a dolphin, whale or elephant is larger than the human brain, while a chimp’s is slightly smaller.

Qualitatively the difference between them and the human brain is very little — not enough to remotely account for the vastly superior intelligence and output of the human brain. The gap between animal brain and human mind is incredibly vast!

When God molded Adam out of the dust of the ground, he was made in the “likeness” — the out ward form and shape — of GOD himself (Gen. 1:26). God didn’t make any of the other creatures to be an exact clay replica of himself. This unique form and shape was given to man alone. This is because man was created with the potential to become God!

Each animal was created with a brain suited for its particular animal kind. But animals do not have the potential of MIND and CHARACTER that God gave only to man. No animal was ever given the gift of mind power — ability to think, to reason, to make choices and decisions as was man!

It is this very SPECIAL ATTRIBUTE OF MIND AND CHARACTER that separates men from animals!
Animals possess what we call instinct. Their brains are programmed, so to speak, by God with particular instinctive aptitudes to live and perform in a certain way. They follow instinctive habit patterns in their feeding, nesting, migration and reproduction. Thus beavers build dams, birds build nests. These aptitudes are inherited — they are not the result of logical, cognitive or thinking processes.

For example, thousands of birds flock south each year as winter approaches in the northern hemisphere. They don’t stop to reason why, they don’t ask themselves whether they should, they don’t plan ahead an itinerary for the trip. At a given internal signal — like the preset alarm of a clock — they leave their summer feeding grounds in the north and travel thousands of miles south. Scientists don’t fully understand why — they merely observe the operation of this animal instinct.

Each species or kind of bird builds different types of nests, feeds on specific kinds of foods, and migrates at different times to various destinations. But none of these actions is planned in advance by the birds as humans would. Birds merely have the capability and proclivity to do that which Almighty God built into the instinct of each at creation.
But man’s mind is vastly different from animal instinct. Man is able to devise various ways to do any one thing or to achieve a predetermined goal. Man can acquire knowledge and reason from it. He can draw conclusions, make decisions, will to act according to a thought-out plan.

Man can design and build different types of houses, using different designs and different building materials. Some houses are built of wood, some of brick or stone, and some people living near the North Pole even live in ice houses called igloos. Men also eat different foods, prepared in many different ways. Men may live entirely different life-styles from one another.

And if a man wants to change his way of life — he can! Man is not subject to instinct. He is not governed by a set of predetermined habit patterns as animals are.

Man can choose — he has free moral agency. He can devise codes of conduct and exercise self-discipline. Man can originate ideas and evaluate knowledge because he has a MIND that is patterned after God’s own mind! Man can devise, plan and bring his plans to fruition because he has been given some of the very creative powers of God!

Man alone can wonder, “Why was I born? What is life? What is death? Is there a purpose in human existence?” Man, unlike the animals, not only “knows” how to do certain things, but he also KNOWS that he knows — that is, he is aware that he has “knowledge. ” He is conscious of the fact. He is self-conscious, aware of his own existence as a unique being.

These attributes of mind and character make man God’s UNIQUE physical creation. God has shared some of his own qualities with man. And God expects man to develop and become conformed to the spiritual “image” of God’s perfect mind and holy character (Matt. 5:48) — just as man now is formed in the physical “image” of God.

“Human” Spirit Makes the Difference!

Man was created to have a special relationship with God that is utterly nonexistent with animals. Man was made in the similitude of the GOD kind. He was made in God’s image so that he might one day be born into God’s divine family!
God’s purpose in making mortal man after his own likeness demanded mind power in man patterned after God’s own mind. That is why the most remarkable thing about man is his mind.

What is it then that separates humankind from the animal kingdom? What gives him this God-plane power of intellect?

It all boils down to a nonphysical component in the human brain that does not exist in animal brain. It is this nonphysical component that makes man so vastly different from animals. It is what makes man truly UNIQUE!
Man does not have an immortal soul within him that enables him to live on apart from his body after death (remember man is a mortal soul). But the Bible nevertheless does speak of a “spirit IN man” (Job 32:8, 18; Zech. 12:1:1 Cor. 2:11).

Many passages of Scripture show that there is a “spirit” IN man! This spirit is not the man — it is something that is IN the man. Joined with the physical brain of the man, it forms human MIND. It imparts to man’s brain his unique powers of intellect and personality — the ability to think rationally and make freewill decisions. It imparts the ability to learn mathematics, languages or other types of knowledge such as music, art, carpentry, flying.

But that’s all. The spirit that is IN man has no consciousness of itself. It is not an “immortal soul.” This spirit is not the “man.”

The spirit that is IN man can be called “human” spirit, for it is in each human, even though it is spirit essence and not matter. It is not a “ghost,” spirit being, or the Holy Spirit. It is not the man, but spirit essence IN the man. It is NOT a soul — the physical human is a soul.

The human spirit, added to every human being at birth, does not supply human life — the human life is in the physical blood, oxidized by the breath of life (Lev. 17:11). But the spirit in man does impart the power of intellect to the human brain. This nonphysical component in the human brain does not exist in the brains of animals.

The spirit in man is spirit essence; just as in the material world air is a gaseous essence. But this “human” spirit cannot see. The physical brain sees through the eyes. The human spirit in a person cannot hear. The brain hears through the ears. This human spirit cannot think. The brain thinks — although the spirit imparts the power to think far above the level of brute animals’ brain function. Without such spirit animals cannot do original thinking.

The “human” spirit acts as a computer. Whatever knowledge enters the brain through the five senses is instantly stored (memorized) in the spirit within the person. It enables the brain to have instant recall of stored-up knowledge in the spirit, and thus enables the brain to utilize bits of related knowledge in the process of THINKING and REASONING.

The human spirit imparts the power of intellect to the physical brain in two ways: 1) it gives the brain instant recall of whatever the brain calls for in the knowledge stored in this memory — or “human computer”; 2) it supplies the brain whatever energy is needed to cause it to think — that is, to put the pieces of information stored in the spirit together in the process we call “thinking,” “reasoning” and “drawing conclusions. ” The human spirit also is the means God has instilled to make possible a personal relationship between human MAN and divine GOD. (Sedliacik R. WHAT IS MAN? and what makes him unique? Plain Truth, November-December 1982)

There is a difference between humans and animals that those that do not understand the Bible do not understand. Many ‘wise of the world’ are fools:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 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, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:18-25)

Furthermore, let me add that I believe that the whole field of genetic-modification is fraught with dangerous risks, and often other moral issues, that proponents wish to ignore (the loss of monarch butterflies comes to immediate mind: see also Government looking into devastation of bees and butterflies: GMOs and pesticides are factors).

Notice something else about humans:

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.” (Hebrews 2:6-8)

Humans were made a little lower than the angels are to rule over the creation, including the animals.

When God created everything in Genesis 1, He said everything He made was good:

31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)

Notice how God made the creation:

20 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:20-22)

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:24-25)

Chimeras are about humans producing the creation in their own distorted image and stopping life from reproducing after its own kind. This clearly violates Genesis 1:22. But that is what chimeras are about.

The use of GMOs is likely to be part of a ‘perfect storm’ that will result in the end of the UK and its allies like the USA.

Humans are NOT animals. Human DNA should not be mixed with animal DNA.  This is unholy (cf. Ezra 9:2; Isaiah 6:13), unnatural, and not good.

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? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
GMOs and Bible Prophecy
What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras? Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues?
The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats; a short video is also available: Did Jesus declare all animal flesh food?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Just What Do You Mean the Kingdom of God? A booklet that was written by Herbert Armstrong answers questions about the Kingdom.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?

Ethics, Scandals, and Barack Obama

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

COGwriter

The Bible teaches:

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! 6 For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, 7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

Thus it is of no surprise that there are ethical problems in these days.

The Bible also teaches:

43 The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower (Deuteronomy 28:43).

12 … Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths.” (Isaiah 3:12)

16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed (Isaiah 9:16).

There was a big outcry a few hours ago about Congressional Republicans who wanted to reduce the ability of an ethics’ committee to do its job:

January 3, 2017

A day of pageantry to open the 115th Congress and usher in a new period of Republican governance was overtaken Tuesday by an embarrassing reversal on ethics oversight, with the GOP gripped by internal division and many lawmakers seeking to shield themselves from extensive scrutiny.

The 19 hours of tumult was set in motion the night before behind closed doors at the Longworth House Office Building, where Republican lawmakers decided over the objections of Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) to amend House rules to effectively gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics.

They awoke Tuesday to an intense public outcry. Social media lit up with criticism of representatives trying to rein in the ethics office created a decade ago in the aftermath of scandals. Angry constituents inundated their representatives’ offices with calls of protest. Journalists peppered lawmakers with questions. The halls of the Capitol felt chaotic.

Then, at 10:30 a.m., came the loudest objection of all: A pair of tweets from President-elect Donald Trump scolding Congress for making the weakening of the ethics watchdog its “number one act and priority.” He punctuated his second tweet with the hashtag “DTS” — shorthand for “drain the swamp,” one of his campaign-trail mantras. https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/a-day-of-chaos-at-the-capitol-as-house-republicans-back-down-on-ethics-changes/2017/01/03/50e392ac-d1e6-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.abb9680780cf

January 3, 2017

House Republican lawmakers dropped plans Tuesday to gut the independent authority of an ethics panel on the opening day of a new session of Congress, just hours after President-elect Donald Trump assailed their effort.

“With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority,” Trump said in a Twitter message after the Republican lawmakers met behind closed doors Monday night to put the ethics group under their own control in the House Ethics Committee.

Trump said the lawmakers should “focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!” and urged them to “drain the swamp” of influence peddlers in Washington. …

The ethics change was part of a rules package the full House was expected to vote on as its 438 members were sworn in for new two-year terms.

The 119-74 vote among Republicans for the change was a reflection among some lawmakers that the independent panel had unfairly targeted them while investigating complaints from the public of wrongdoing.

Under fire

But House leaders dropped the ethics change after Trump, Democrats and outside watchdog groups attacked it.

“People didn’t want this story on opening day,” said one Republican leader, Congressman Tom Cole of Oklahoma.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, “Republicans claim they want to ‘drain the swamp,’ but the night before the new Congress gets sworn in, the House [Republicans have] eliminated the only independent ethics oversight of their actions. Evidently, ethics are the first casualty of the new Republican Congress.” http://www.voanews.com/a/house-republicans-vote-gut-independent-ethics-office/3660845.html

The Republicans were embarrassed.

As far as ethics and scandals go, notice the following related to the Obama Administration:

January 2, 2017

“The president prides himself on the fact that his administration hasn’t had a scandal,” Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s close friends and longtime adviser said during a Sunday interview on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” http://www.wnd.com/2017/01/what-me-scandals/#jXPeQvppuiwrmB57.99

Notice the following:

Squeaky clean, huh? Obama forgot about these 25 scandals

  1. Obama’s Iran nuke deal
  2. Obama knew about Hillary’s private email server
  3. Obama IRS targets conservatives
  4. Obama’s DOJ spies on AP reporters
  5. Obamacare & Obama’s false promises
  6. Illegal-alien amnesty by executive order
  7. Benghazi-gate
  8. Operation Fast & Furious
  9. 5 Taliban leaders for Bergdahl
  10. Extortion 17
  11. ‘Recess ‘ appointments – when Senate was in session
  12. Appointment of ‘czars’ without Senate approval
  13. Suing Arizona for enforcing federal law
  14. Refusal to defend Defense of Marriage Act
  15. Illegally conducting war against Libya
  16. NSA: Spying on Americans
  17. Muslim Brotherhood ties
  18. Miriam Carey
  19. Birth certificate
  20. Executive orders
  21. Solyndra and the lost $535 million
  22. Egypt
  23. Cap & Trade: When in doubt, bypass Congress
  24. Refusal to prosecute New Black Panthers
  25. Obama’s U.S. citizen ‘hit list’

Details about each of those is in the link: http://www.wnd.com/2017/01/what-me-scandals/#jXPeQvppuiwrmB57.99

And then there is the international promotion of abortion, support of baby-selling Planned Parenthood, the near doubling of national debt, the disaster in Syria, and the bias towards taking Islamic refugees.

Between the IRS scandals (see Scandals in the US government), espionage scandals (see It’s not paranoia: The USA government is engaged in massive surveillance on its citizens and others; Germany applauds Snowden.), Benghazi (see Scandals in the US government), debt crisis (see USA ‘budget deal’ problems and ramifications), being repeatedly involved in military conflicts around the world, promoting violence in sports and entertainment (see Is American Football Evil?), exporting pornography (see Celebrity Porn: AOL Please Stop Featuring It and Entertainment has a growing pornography problem and British and American Moral Decay), trying to promote and fund abortion internationally (Obama’s First 100 Days), trying promoting homosexuality internationally (USA government promoting homosexual pride parades internationally and Corruption reportedly up worldwide; Obama’s immoral views denounced in Kenya), etc., the USA is not setting the right example.

Barack Obama’s Administration is not scandal-free.

Sadly, we will also see issues with the incoming Donald Trump Administration.

Without national repentance (cf. Hosea 11:3a, 5b-7), the USA is doomed (cf. Isaiah 10:5-11; Habakkuk 2:6-8; Daniel 11:39).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?
Is the USA now an Evil Empire? Dr. Thiel gives many reasons to consider. A related video is also available: Is the USA an Evil Empire?
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future.
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West?
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?
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’?
Just What Do You Mean Conversion? Many think that they are converted Christians. But are they? Would you like to know more about conversion. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
False Conversion Have you really been converted? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this article on this important subject.
World War III: Steps in Progress Are there surprising actions going on now that are leading to WWIII? Might a nuclear attack be expected? Does the Bible promise protection to all or only some Christians? How can you be part of those that will be protected? A related video would be Is World War III About to Begin? Can You Escape?
Wars, rumors of wars, and the Apocalypse Jesus foretold a time before the end where there would be wars and rumors of wars. The Apocalypse (the Book of Revelation) warns of the red horseman of war. Now, even secular writers, like Larry Edelson, are worried that wars and rumors of war are the most menacing problem that now haunts the earth? Are they right? What is the solution? This is a sermonette-length video.
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill? Could a Donald Trump presidency be apocalyptic? A related video is titled: 13 Ways President-Elect Trump is Apocalyptic.
Prophecies of Barack Obama? Reasons why Barack Obama is apocalyptic and reasons why Barack Obama is not the Antichrist. This article includes many biblical and non-biblical prophecies, from around the world, that seem to discuss Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist?  Might Barack Obama set the stage for the kings of the North and South as at least one Shiite prophecy suggests?  Read it and decide for yourself if President Obama seems to be fulfilling various prophecies. Watch also the YouTube Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.

Parental obesity negatively affects development of children

Monday, January 2nd, 2017


Obese male

COGwriter

A newly released study finds that if a parent is obese, this has negative consequences on childhood development:

January 2, 2017

(CNN) Being overweight may impact not only your health but your future child’s development as well, a new study suggests.

Children of obese parents may be at risk for developmental delays, says the study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics. …

“Our study is one of the few that also includes information about fathers, and our results suggest that dad’s weight also has significant influence on child development,” said lead researcher Dr. Edwina Yeung, an investigator at the institute.

Effects differ based on the heavier parent

The researchers looked at 4,821 children from 4 months old to the age of 3, between 2008 and 2010, and found specific effects on children, depending on which parent is obese.

Compared with normal or underweight mothers, children of obese mothers were more likely to have difficulty using small muscles, such as those in their fingers or hands.

Paternal obesity was associated with increased risk of failing at personal-social activities, such as feeding themselves, playing and undressing themselves. Those born to extremely obese couples also were more likely to fail problem-solving tests. http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/02/health/parental-obesity-child-development/

So, now there is an additional reason for parents and prospective parents to not be overweight. This does not bode well for the future of the USA.

Parents, love your children:

4 “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant,
Which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel,
With the statutes and judgments.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet
Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
6 And he will turn
The hearts of the fathers to the children,
And the hearts of the children to their fathers,
Lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (Malachi 4:4-6)

Parents need to be concerned about their children and obey the Bible.

The Bible opposes obesity.

Here is what Moses and Jeremiah were inspired to write about obesity thousands of years ago:

15 You grew fat, you grew thick,
You are obese!
Then he forsook God who made him,
And scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation.
16 They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods;
With abominations they provoked Him to anger. (Deuteronomy 32:15-16)

11 “Because you were glad, because you rejoiced,
You destroyers of My heritage,
Because you have grown fat like a heifer threshing grain,
And you bellow like bulls,
12 Your mother shall be deeply ashamed;
She who bore you shall be ashamed.
Behold, the least of the nations shall be a wilderness,
A dry land and a desert. (Jeremiah 50:11-12)

The idea that one should not be obese is not a new one.

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

20 Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;  21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty (Proverbs 23:20-21)

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

Do not overeat. Avoiding artificial sweeteners, chemical additives, excess refined sugar, and some other items commonly associated with junk foods would seem to be consistent with the warning to eat what is good.

Many people do not often eat what is good. Many eat too many chemically-laced highly processed foods. Many eat a lot of white bread, which is really not real bread as it has had the wheat germ and other natural components removed. This makes an inferior product which then is sprayed with synthetic B vitamins and other “nutrients” to “fortify” it. If you notice “B vitamins” added to “fortify” refined grain products or in so-called “natural” vitamin supplements (like thiamin mononitrate, thiamin HCL, folic acid, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, cyanocobalamin), realize that these are basically petroleum derivatives and are not the same form of vitamins that are actually found in real, natural, food.

But most in Westernized areas consume the synthetics, chemicals, and refined grains.

People should try to eat real, not artificial, foods. Soda consumption should be almost non-existent, essentially a very rare treat. People should not drink sodas every day.

And while they do not like to believe this, almost all obese people also need to eat less.

That being said, losing weight can be very, very difficult. But real Christians should believe the following:

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

With prayer and proper determination, breaking away from being obese can happen.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Obesity, processed foods, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned?
Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy This is a video. Are there disadvantages to being overweight? Is junk food really bad for you? Does the Bible discuss overeating and/or obesity? Is overeating having an effect on the US military? What are the ramifications of personal and national health for overeating? What should you eat?
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras? Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues?
Five Rules for Effective Parenting Do you know that there are five simple rules that can make you a more effective parent? There is also a 12 1/2 minute YouTube video on this, also titled Five Rules for Effective Parenting.
What Psychologists do not Know About Child Rearing This is an article by Herbert Armstrong that was used as the introduction to the pdf booklet The Plain Truth About Child Rearing.
The Plain Truth About Child Rearing This is a pdf booklet that the old WCG put out.
Elijah: Past and Prophesied Information about the original Elijah and some information about the Elijah-related prophecies.
Where are Enoch and Elijah? Booklet by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh.
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong? Two related sermons are  available Elijah: Prophecies and Heresies and Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong, and CCOG.
American foods that gross out foreigners A study done in the Fall of 2014 found out which foods that non-USA Americans considered weird or gross that Americans eat. This video discusses those foods, ingredients in some of those foods, and warns against consuming ‘that which is not bread’ (Isaiah 55:2). Dr. Thiel also warns about synthetic vitamins and some of the issues associated with them. He also discusses something promoted by the late Seventh-day Adventist, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg.
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
Does God Heal Today? What does the Bible teach? Herbert Armstrong tries to explain this.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
GMOs and Bible Prophecy What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
Does God Heal Today? What does the Bible teach? Herbert Armstrong tries to explain this.
UK Study Supports Daniel Diet Daniel and his companions looked better eating more vegetables and avoiding strange meats. Has modern science confirmed this?
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.