Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

Astrology and Getting the Gospel Out in Mandarin

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014


Astrological Signs

COGwriter

Many are fascinated by astrology, but this it is not the source of truth or real knowledge of the future. While astrology is popular in the West, it is also popular in the far East.  The Continuing Church of God has information about astrology and its dangers is several articles as well as one video:

The Bible and Astrology Should Christians avoid participating in astrology or did God inspire it? Does the Bible encourage astrology? What does the Bible actually teach? What is astrology? How does astrology differ from astronomy? Should Christians Be Involved In Astrology?
OMENS? DIVINATION? HOROSCOPES? THE ORIGIN OF ASTROLOGY
Where did astrology come from? Should you read your horoscope?
Does Astrology Work? Many believe and follow astrology–but does it work?

To better reach the Chinese, the last article was recently translated by a Continuing Church of God member into Mandarin Chinese.  Here is a link: 占星术准确吗?.

Some do not seem to be concerned about people in the far east or other distant lands.  But Jesus taught:

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24:14)

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)

In August 1997, I had an article published in The Journal: News of the Churches of God  titled Getting the Gospel Out is Not Just a Local Job. The article has been updated a few times since, but is still available in English: Getting the Gospel Out is More than a Local Job.

Well it is also been recently made available in Mandarin Chinese thanks to the efforts of the same member who translated the astrology article.  Here is a link: 宣传福音不只是一个本地作业.

We in the Continuing Church of God are serious about reaching people in all nations (we have reached people in at least 221 nations/territories over the internet per AWstats; at least 208 nations/territories with our YouTube channels, and millions around the world via radio according radio statistics) and continue to try to provide more biblically accurate information to all who have interest, no matter where they may live.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Bible and Astrology Should Christians avoid participating in astrology or did God inspire it? Does the Bible encourage astrology? What does the Bible actually teach? What is astrology? How does astrology differ from astronomy? Here are links to two videos Astrology, the occult, tattoos, and pornography and  Should Christians Be Involved In Astrology?
OMENS? DIVINATION? HOROSCOPES? THE ORIGIN OF ASTROLOGY
Where did astrology come from? Should you read your horoscope?
Does Astrology Work? Many believe and follow astrology–but does it work? Here is a link to the article in Mandarin Chinese: 占星术准确吗? .
Close Encounters of a ‘Spirit’ Kind discusses some experiences I believe were (demon) ‘spirit’ related.
Angels, Cherubim, and Seraphim This is information about various types of angelic beings.
Did God Create a Devil? If not, what happened? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet.
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
Bible: Superstition or Authority? Should you rely on the Bible? Is it reliable? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
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?
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
Getting the Gospel Out is More than a Local Job Discusses Biblical rationale for doing an international, and not just a local, work. Here is a link to the article in Mandarin Chinese: 宣传福音不只是一个本地作业.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? A related sermon is available titled Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing?  This is a sermonette length video.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here is a sermon Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
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.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.

NFL admits nearly 1 in 3 players will develop cognitive problems

Monday, September 15th, 2014

COGwriter

For decades I have opposed the violent sport of American tackle football.  For years I have put some of those warnings in writing.  The sport is more dangerous than most people realize.

The National Football League (NFL) has finally released information showing how bad the sport is for at least one horrible effect on the brain–the greatly increased risk of dementia:

September 15, 2014

We all know guys in the NFL take a lot of heavy hits to the body but recent studies show hits to the head will leave a lot of them mentally crippled for life.

A report recently released by the National Football League revealed three out of every 10 former NFL players is likely to develop brain conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease at earlier ages compared to the general population.

Of the 19,400 former league players surveyed, some 28 percent or 6,000 men could develop Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia because of playing for the NFL.

The study also predicts 14 percent of all former NFL players will be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Another 14 percent is expected to develop moderate dementia.

About 31 players will be diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease or Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). A further 24 players will be afflicted with Parkinson’s disease during their lives, according to the study. http://www.chinatopix.com/articles/10588/20140915/nfl-brain-damage.htm

The NFL has revealed frightening details about players’ health that it spent many years denying.

Federal documents released in court stated that 1 in 3 retired players is expected to develop long-term cognitive problems, like Alzheimer’s or dementia, years earlier than the general population.

The New York Times published the story on Friday, September 12 – as roughly 5,000 former NFL players continue working to settle a lawsuit against the league for not providing adequate information that linked football-related head trauma to permanent head injuries.

Last year, it was announced that the NFL would pay as much as $765 million to those players, but that was rejected by a judge who said it wasn’t enough to cover the costs of the estimated 18,000 retired players under the agreement.

According to the CDC, each year U.S. Emergency departments treat more than 170,000 sport-related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions in young people. http://www.aol.com/article/2014/09/13/nfl-expects-30-percent-of-players-to-develop-dementia-or-alzheim/20961945/?icid=maing-grid7%7Chtmlws-main-bb%7Cdl40%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D528973

Christians should not be fans of behavior that causes problems like this.  And then there are back, neck, knee, chest, and other injuries.

Jesus taught not to intentionally hurt others, as it taught:

39… ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:39, NKJV)

The Apostle Paul wrote:

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

American tackle football does harm our neighbors.

Jesus also said:

20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. (John 3:20-21, NKJV).

Is encouraging American tackle football a deed that would be pleasing to God?

The Apostle Paul wrote:

12… they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.(2 Thessalonians 2:12)

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32, NKJV)

Is not football violent and often unmerciful?

So, if playing football is evil, should Christians approve of it?

Additionally, twice the New Testament refers to the good news message as “the gospel of peace”:

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15)

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (Ephesians 6:14-15)

Is not taking a stand against encouraging sports violence consistent with the gospel of peace and love? Or should ministers tell people that violent sports like American tackle football are not “inherently evil” as at least one minister has done?

Traditionally, early Christians (as well as some apostates who professed Christ) were opposed to watching violent sports.

While “love does no harm to a neighbor” (Romans 13:9), what do sports like American football and boxing do? Should Bible believers encourage this?

Unlike stories of violence in books or movies, American football involves actual violence and often physical injury–including brain damaging ones that are often not obvious for years.

The Bible forbids harming others or encouraging sin. Early professors of Christ would not watch violent games as they felt that watching was encouraging and participating in sin. Herbert W. Armstrong categorized American football as evil (see Is American Football Evil?).

You may be telling yourself, well since my church does not (presuming you do not support a group like the Continuing Church of God which does) condemn football (and/or possibly encourages it) the Bible really does not apply here. If so, be careful about accepting that that type of tradition. Jesus Himself taught:

7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

8 “These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:7-9)

I am not a fan of American football. I consider that the sport is evil.

Do you believe that Jesus or the Apostle Paul would endorse it? This is something that Christians, and those that claim to be, should think and pray about.

Decades ago, the late evangelist Dibar Apartian wrote:

Be honest with yourself! Do you actually like to be corrected?

Hardly anyone does. Receiving correction in the right attitude is one of life’s most difficult responsibilities.

But a truly converted Christian should like — and even welcome — correction. It helps him or her grow. It’s easy, of course, to see someone else’s faults, but it is not so easy to recognize our own mistakes. We often resent being told about our shortcomings, especially if we see that the person who corrects us has his own problems to overcome.

The purpose of life is spiritual growth and change. But such growth is impossible without reproof and correction. “All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (II Tim. 3:16-17, Revised Standard Version).

What is reproof? What is correction? Do these words have clear, specific meanings to you? Check your dictionary and learn their definitions, because both are necessary for our “training in righteousness.”

Every one of us must study the Bible with an honest desire to be taught and corrected by it. Unfortunately, some in the Church have a self-righteous attitude when they read the Bible or hear a sermon. They are convinced that the admonishment applies to someone else and not them. So Bible study loses its effectiveness as far as they are concerned.
God says, “He who heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof [or correction] goes astray” (Prov. 10:17, RSV).

Are you on the “path to life,” or are you going astray because you reject reproof?

Not all want correction.  Jesus warned at the end time that there would be major groups of Christians who needed correction, but would generally not think they needed to:

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:14-19)

Are you willing to accept biblical correction?  The Laodicean Christians who are fans of American tackle football are NOT Philadelphians and will be subject to violence themselves as they will have to go through the Great Tribulation if they do not repent (Revelation 3:14-22). Encouraging violence in sports does not show brotherly/philadelphian love.

There is no doubt that American tackle football is violent.  There is no doubt that the fruits of American tackle football are evil.  Do you encourage this evil?  Or instead, are you willing to put the admonitions of the Bible above encouraging improper behavior in all aspects of your life?

For more scriptures, as well as the position of early Christians and others, please see the following:

Is American Football Evil? Is the most popular spectator sport in the USA something that Christians should watch? What do the Bible and early writings show? There is also a YouTube video available titled Should Christians watch American football?
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
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 the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.

Some Questions and Answers from Genesis

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Answers_From_Genesis

COGwriter

Many people have questions about the Bible in general and the first several chapters of the Book of Genesis in particular.

The first six chapters of Genesis present a sum­mary of vital high points of approximately the first 1600-1700 years of mankind — from Adam’s creation to just before Noah’s Flood (details on calculations can be found in the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

In this basic summary of events, many details have been omitted. However, God saw to it that what we really needed to know was preserved for us today. Enough was recorded to show that mankind was instructed of God in the way that would cause every good effect — peace, happiness, prosperity, comfort, an interesting life, abundant well­ being.

We in the Continuing Church of God have looked at various questions were taken from authentic letters emanating from Ambassador College sponsored programs and publications or received as emails by us. This particular set of questions and answer is an update strongly based upon those in the 1973 booklet (shown above) written by the late John Ross Schroeder, but with most answers partially updated by Dr. Bob Thiel in 2014.  Biblical quotes are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.

• “Can you give me information on prehistoric man? Did God make other men before Adam?”

As used by critical historians, “prehistoric time” is said to refer to earliest antiquity nowhere documented in written records. But the Bible records, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Here is a documented account reaching back to the beginning of time. “Prehistoric time,” in that sense, is therefore irreconcilable with Scripture. It should come as no surprise, therefore, to learn that biblical passages reveal occurrences prior to the time of man.

But so far as modern humans are concerned, the Bible plainly states that Adam was the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45), and he named his wife “Eve because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). Adam and Eve were therefore the first humans.  While there are fossil records of apes and other creatures that predate Adam, these creatures were not the same as modern humans as far God is concerned.

• “Were there really such people as Adam and Eve? Did they actually have children — Cain, Abel and Seth?”

For those of us who believe the Bible the answer is clearly “Yes.”

Interestingly, scientists tend to believe that modern humans had a common, at least female, ancestor, but there are debates about how far back common ancestry goes.  One report goes back to about the time of the biblical flood, while another claims it goes back 200,000 years.  The reality is that it actually goes back about 6000 years (see also Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

As far as children go, there is legal documentation of the murder of Abel, Cain’s trial before a judge, and Cain’s sentencing (Genesis 4:8-16). That legal document is the Bible!

The Old Testament is the only bona fide record which has been preserved down to our day telling of the lives of Adam and Eve — of the birth of Cain, Abel and Seth. It mentions what sort of personalities they had and the highlights of the times in which they lived. Christ’s own physical genealogy was reckoned through Seth back to Adam.

Physically, Adam and Seth both were Christ’s ancestors (Luke 3). Jesus Christ accepted the testimony of the Old Testament record as authoritative. He knew that Abel had existed — that he was a historical person. He referred to Abel’s murder by Cain. Notice what Christ said to the religious leaders of His time: “That upon you may come all the righteous bloodshed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar” (Matthew 23:35).

The apostles referred to famous early human beings more than fifteen times in the New Testament. Genesis has always been accepted by true Christians as a valid and highly accurate record of early history. It simply does not make sense to profess a belief in the teachings of Christ and the apostles, and then at the same time refuse to accept their verification of Genesis.

• “Would you associate God with science and why?”

The word “science” comes from the Latin word scien­tia meaning “knowledge.” What we call “science” seeks to know, explain, and classify knowledge of the material universe. God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, is also the Creator of true science. God, in His Word, encourages man to study the true sciences. “For the invisible things of him [God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20). Scripture also says, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Hence there is no conflict between true science and the true teaching of the Bible.

The Bible teaches that the prophet Daniel was wise and also trained in science (Daniel 1:4-6).

It should be noted, however, that many called scientists tend to make a religion about certain beliefs which tends to cause them to ignore real science.  The Apostle Paul had that problem in his day:

20 Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

His advice still holds today.  There are positions held to be scientific that all false that have misled many, such as the idea of evolution as the source of life. Those ‘scientists’ who espouse evolution over creation have ignored science in order to promote something that is not true (see Is God’s Existence Logical? and Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II).

For more questions and answers, please check out the post: Questions and Answers from Genesis.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Questions and Answers from Genesis Many wonder about certain early events that this article discusses.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
Is 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?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
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?

Ted Cruz booed for his comments in support of Israel and walks off stage

Thursday, September 11th, 2014


Ted Cruz

COGwriter

Republican Senator Ted Cruz was disturbed about objections for some of his pro-Israel comments:

September 11, 2014

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, walked offstage at an event Wednesday evening after his remarks in support of Israel drew boos from some members of the audience.

Cruz was speaking at a dinner for In Defense of Christians (IDC), a group that aims to raise awareness of persecuted minority communities in the Middle East, particularly Christians.

According to The Daily Caller, it was Cruz’s assertion that “Christians have no greater ally than Israel” which drew the first negative reaction from some in the crowd, who booed and yelled, “stop it!”

As Cruz doubled down on his point – “those who hate Israel hate America,” he said – the interruptions grew.

“If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews,” Cruz said. “Then I will not stand with you. Good night, and God bless.” He left the stage.

“I came to this event [Wednesday] to help shine a light on the tragic persecution and slaughter of Christians by ISIS and Islamic radicals throughout the Middle East. American leaders have been far too silent as to this horrific evil,” Cruz said in a statement released after the event. “But bigotry and hatred have no place in this discussion. Anti-Semitism is a corrosive evil, and it reared its ugly head.”

He blamed a “vocal and angry minority of attendees” for what he called a “shameful display of bigotry and hatred” and said he had no choice but to leave.

IDC issued its own statement reprimanding “a few politically motivated opportunists” for choosing to cause division in the room.  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ted-cruz-walks-out-of-christian-event-after-being-booed/

Ted Cruz is considered to be a potential candidate for the USA presidency (see Ted Cruz emerges as a top potential candidate).

Although many Protestants and Catholics are pro-Israel, many who claim to be Christian are antisemitic.

Various notable leaders that Catholic and Protestants respect hated Jews.

Notice some statements from the antisemite John Chrysostom, Orthodox Bishop of Constantinople:

But do not be surprised that I called the Jews pitiable. They really are pitiable and miserable (John Chrysostom. Homily Against the Jews I:II:1. Preached at Antioch, Syria in the Fall of 387 AD. Medieval Sourcebook: Saint John Chrysostom (c.347-407) : Eight Homilies Against the Jews. Fordham University. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/chrysostom-jews6.html ).

So the godlessness of the Jews and the pagans is on a par. But the Jews practice a deceit which is more dangerous (I:VI:4).

Do you see that demons dwell in their souls and that these demons are more dangerous than the ones of old? (I:VI:7).

Since it is against the Jews that I wish to draw up my battle line, let me extend my instruction further. Let me show that, by fasting now, the Jews dishonor the law and trample underfoot God’s commands because they are always doing everything contrary to his decrees. When God wished them to fast, they got fat and flabby (VI:IV:2).

Indeed, the fasting of the Jews, which is more disgraceful than any drunkenness, is over and gone (VIII:I:5).

Notice some statements from the antisemite Martin Luther, a Protestant Reformer:

My heart is fuller of these thoughts than my tongue can tell. I have come to the conclusion that the Jews will always curse and blaspheme God as all the prophets have predicted. He who neither reads nor understands this, as yet knows no theology, in my opinion. And so I presume the men of Cologne cannot understand the Scripture, because it is necessary that such things take place to fulfill prophecy. If they are trying to stop the Jews blaspheming, they are working to prove the Bible and God liars (“Martin Luther’s to George Spalatin,” from Luther’s Correspondence and Other Contemporan, Letters, trans. by P. Smith (1913), Vol. 1, pp. 28-29).

Furthermore he wrote:

I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that those miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews and who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them…They are so blind and stupid that they see neither the words found in Genesis 17 nor the whole of Scripture, which mightily and explicitly condemns this lie…They are real liars and bloodhounds who have not only continually perverted and falsified all of Scripture with their mendacious glosses from the beginning until the present day. Their heart’s most ardent sighing and yearning and hoping is set on the day on which they can deal with us Gentiles as they did with the Gentiles in Persia at the time of Esther…The worse a Jew is, the more arrogant he is, solely because he is a Jew — that is, a person descended from Abraham’s seed, circumcised, and under the law of Moses. David and other pious Jews were not as conceited as the present-day, incorrigible Jews…I wanted to present this to us Germans so that we might see what rascals the blind Jews are and how powerfully the truth of God in our midst stands with us and against them (Medieval Sourcebook: Martin Luther (1483-1546): On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543)

Martin Luther advised his followers:

…to burn down Jewish schools and synagogues, and to throw pitch and sulphur into the flames; to destroy their homes; to confiscate their ready money in gold and silver; to take from them their sacred books, even the whole Bible; and if that did not help matters, to hunt them of the country like mad dogs (Luther’s Works, vol. Xx, pp. 2230-2632 as quoted in Stoddard JL. Rebuilding a Lost Faith, 1922, p.99).

Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is: First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss in sulphur and pitch (Martin Luther (1483-1546): On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543 as quoted from Luther’s Works, Volume 47: The Christian in Society IV, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971). pp 268­293).

Notice something from a Roman Catholic source:

In the Middle Ages, the Popes and the Councils were successful in destroying the Jewish revolutionary movements which appeared within Christianity in the form of false teaching and which were introduced by those who were Christians in appearance but Jews in secret. The latter then recruited upright and good Christians for the arising heretical movement by persuading the latter in a crafty way.

The secret Jews organised and controlled in secret manner the movements, which were the creative and driving force of wicked false teachings, such as those of the Iconoclasts, the Cathars, the Patarines, the Albigensians, the Hussites, the Alumbrados and others. (Pinay, Maurice. The Plot Against the Church, Part Four Chapter One. Translated from the German and Spanish editions of the same work. 1962)

The above book is still recommended by and for many Catholics (though some others distance themselves from it).

Racial hatred is wrong. People should not be antisemitic.  There are many who are antisemitic.

Speaking in favor of the nation of Israel will likely both gain and cost Ted Cruz votes should he formally announce that he plans to run for his party’s nomination for president.

Some items of related interest may include:

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.
God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?
John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople and Antisemite This late fourth/early fifth century Bishop of Constantinople is considered to be a ‘saint’ and ‘doctor’ by the Church of Rome, Church of England, and the Eastern Orthodox, but he did not teach Christ’s love.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example? Here is a related sermon video: Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong: Reformers with Differences.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
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. A video of possible interest may be Will Will USA Spying Help the Beast Power?
Can you see the ‘Handwriting on the Wall’? Thousands of years ago, King Belshazzar saw a hand appear at a big party he was hosting. The hand wrote Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin. Shortly after the Prophet Daniel explained it, his empire was taken over and King Belshazzar died. Is this applicable today? Are there signs right before our eyes that show that the end is coming to the United States and its Anglo-descended allies. Do abortions, sexual immorality, celebrity pornography, and increased debt mean anything? What does the Bible show?
Hillary Clinton in Prophecy Are there prophecies that Hillary Clinton may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that she has already helped fulfill? Could Hillary Clinton be apocalyptic? Could Hillary Clinton be the final Antichrist?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2014, 2015, or 2016? 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 2013 o 2014? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Edition for Second Obama Term This is a 160 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Barack Obama and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled (which the book documents in detail) and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also has a chapter about a Republican choice. This book is available to order at www.barackobamaprophecy.com. The physical book can also be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Barack Obama Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Kenyan, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Republican Leaders? Second Edition for Second Obama Term.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition.

Why Prophecy? To keep us vigilant and to realize that the world will not end this year

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Island Called Patmos, Revelation 1:9
The island called Patmos is where the last book of the Bible was written in the late first century (see Revelation 1:9).

COGwriter

Should you pay attention to prophecy?  Some wonder about that.  Some consider that most prophecy is already fulfilled, which is a wrong and dangerous position to take (see The Dangerous Rise of Preterists).

I received an email newsletter today from a claimed Church of God (COG) group, which I will not identify, that basically claims because it reached 170 nations/territories over the internet that Matthew 24:14 has been fulfilled, its proclamation work is over, and the end is basically here now.  Yet, there are more nations/territories than that, and that group did not fulfill Matthew 24:14 (to put this in more perspective, COGwriter.com, for example, reached at least 221 nations/territories and with many times the number of visitors than that group did, and I still do not believe that Matthew 24:14 has been fulfilled yet–there is at least 3 1/2 more years, and at this stage, probably at least 4 1/2).  So that particular group, like certain others that misunderstand when the end is, is wrong.

Actually, nearly all the COG groups have significant prophetic misunderstandings.  The Sardis group CG7-Denver, for example, is preterist and thus believes many events that are prophesied for the future are already past, hence Jesus warned them “you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (Revelation 3:3). Nearly all the rest of the COG groups are Laodicean and hold to prophetic misunderstandings, that unless they repent as Jesus tells them to (Revelation 3:14-22), they will not possibly know when the Great Tribulation will be (details are in the article The Laodicean Church Era).

And then there are a variety of wrong prophetic position of Protestants and Catholics.

Since many are wrong, is paying attention to prophecy and and current events important?

Certainly.

In the first recorded sermon, the Apostle Peter tied current events in with biblical prophecy (Acts 2:14-40).  Partially because people were aware of the events that Peter discussed, many paid attention and thousands were converted (Acts 2:41).

Throughout the New Testament, Christian leaders did try to tie events to prophecy and other parts of the Bible to known events better reach their audiences (e.g. Acts 17:22-31).

The first message that it is recorded that Jesus preached (the gospel of the kingdom in Mark 1:14) and the last message Jesus gave (the Book of Revelation) were prophetic.  Various messages that He gave (e.g. Matthew 24, Luke 21) were tied to upcoming world events.

Does this mean that prophecy is the most important characteristic of the true Church? No, love is (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:1,8).

Yet, the pursuit of love is also tied in with prophecy in the Bible (1 Corinthians 14:1). Those who truly have the love of the truth, will be spared from some prophesied events according to 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.

Today, massive societal changes are taking place. Many of them are prophesied in the Bible. Even though between perhaps one-quarter to one-third of the entire Bible is prophetic, most simply do not understand that truth about various key prophecies in the Bible that Jesus urged His followers in the end to understand (e.g. Matthew 24:15).

Jesus wanted His followers to pay attention to when He would return. Notice also the following:

54 Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is. 55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is. 56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time? (Luke 12:54-56)

Various Jews knew that the Messiah was expected about the time that Jesus was on earth. Yet, the vast majority failed to properly recognize Him.

Well, we are in the time that Jesus called the beginning of sorrows (Matthew 24:4-8). More sorrows and troubles are ahead, many world events are aligning with properly understood biblical prophecy, and true believers should be willing to watch and discern the signs of this time.

Some, despite claiming to believe the Bible, either discount or overlook prophecy. But that is not supposed to be the case for true Christians:

29 “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:29-36)

Notice that Jesus taught that His followers will always to pay attention to events and prophecies related to His return. Jesus repeatedly told His followers to watch for world events that would fulfill prophecy in other scriptures such as Matthew 24:42, 25:13; Mark 13:9,33,34,35,37, and Revelation 3:3. Jesus did expect His followers to watch.  Jesus used prophecy to keep His followers vigilant–He wanted them to be ‘hot’ and not lukewarm (Revelation 3:14-22).

Jesus also taught that the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of truth,” would assist the faithful understanding all truth, including prophetic ones:

12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when …the Spirit of truth, has come, {it} will guide you into all truth; …will tell you things to come. (John 16:12-13)

Having the Holy Spirit and properly being led by the Holy Spirit helps us understand prophecy.

The Bible also teaches:

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. (1 Thessalonians 5:19-20)

Yet many do not seem to believe that God’s Spirit is currently working prophetically now. Many also tend to despise biblical prophecies as well as, often, their proper explanation(s).

While some discount the importance of prophecy, notice what the Apostle Paul taught:

11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:11-14)

Are we not a lot closer to the end now than when Paul wrote that?  Paul also taught that true Christians were not to be like others who would not know near when Jesus would return (1 Thessalonians 5:4).

The Apostle Peter wrote:

11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Peter 3:11-13)

Properly paying attention to prophetic events helps one to be ready for Jesus (Luke 21:36;).  Additionally, the reality of prophecy and world events is also intended to be a reflective exercise to get Christians to examine their lives enough to change as they should (cf. Romans 13:11-14; 2 Peter 3:10-13).

Another reason to pay attention to prophecy and events is so that you will not be carried away with false prophetic and other teachings.  That is also part of the reason that there is a ministry, including prophets:

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ —  16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.  (Ephesians 4:11-16)

Throughout the years, various ones have claimed that the end was sooner that it was.  One of most famous in the 21st century were the pronouncements of the now deceased Harold Camping.  But those who properly understood current events in the light on biblical prophecy could easily prove he was in error (for details, see Harold Camping’s Teachings About the End of the World Do Not Agree with the Bible).

There are others as well.

But no matter what anyone says, the world will not end this year, or next year, or even the year after.

How can I be sure?

Well, for one reason, the Apostle Peter wrote:

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).

This is the case with the Continuing Church of God.  (Details about what biblical signs to watch for and WHY the end cannot happen this year, etc. are in the article When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?)

Part of the reason to watch events and understand Bible prophecy is so that we will not affected by those who promote false doctrines or claim that the end can come before the Bible allows it (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:2; Ephesians 4:14).

Prophecy also assures us that God is in charge and that His will will be done. The faithful do not have to fear what humans can say or do. Notice what Jesus said in one of the most reassuring of the prophecies:

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

The Bible is clear that certain events need to occur before the end comes. And that includes us all growing in “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18, NKJV).

Part of that knowledge is prophetic. And part of that biblical knowledge tells us that the world will not end this year.

Several items of possibly related interest may include:

When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2014, 2015, or 2016? 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 2013 o 2014? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? A related sermon is titled The Millennium.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2021 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
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 sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
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.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Blood Moons and Prophecy There are four ‘blood moons’ expected in 2014 and 2015. Do they signal the Day of the Lord or the return of Jesus Christ? A related YouTube video is also available: Blood Moons, Prophecy, 2014, and 2015.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? A related sermon is available titled Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing?  This is a sermonette length video.
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 the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.

Sermon: Priority of the Philadelphia Work

Saturday, September 6th, 2014


Herbert W. Armstrong Taught Matthew 24:14

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce its latest sermon which is at its ContinuingCOG channel:


1:18:14

Priority of the Philadelphia Work

Should the top priority of proclaiming Christ’s gospel of the kingdom remain for the remnant of the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God?  What does the Bible teach?  What did the late Herbert W. Armstrong teach?  Many believe that because of statements from and attributed to Herbert Armstrong that the priority should be changed to primarily be one of ‘feeding the flock.’  Does proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom help develop Philadelphian/brotherly love?  How will those who accept Jesus’ priorities in Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20 be dealt with according to the Bible?  What about those who do not truly value the word of God or the work?  When is the organized proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom expected to be completed?

A written article of directly related interest would be: Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work?

Here is a link to the sermon: Priority of the Philadelphia Work

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing?  This is a sermonette length video.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety?  Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
The 18 Restored Truths: Do You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made? Some have said healing, others other subjects, but probably the first change had to do with eliminating being part of the Philadelphia era. This article documents what those changes were and compares the Tkach list of restored truths to Herbert W. Armstrong’s list of restored truths. It contains many quotes from Herbert W. Armstrong.
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains who he was and how he should be viewed today.
Philadelphia Remnant Beliefs Here are many of the beliefs of the Philadelphia remnant of the Church of God.
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.
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.

NFL 2014: Should you be watching?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

COGwriter

Later today, the National Football League (NFL) is scheduled to begin its official season for this violent sport. Many do not wish to seriously consider that American football is harmful, despite the facts, and would prefer that I not post about it.

The Bible suggests otherwise:

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

More and more finally realize and will report that American tackle football is dangerous.  Notice the following:

September 3, 2014

The NFL reported 228 cases of diagnosed concussions in the 2013 season. Research has revealed prolonged head injuries suffered playing football have lead to dementia, cognitive decline, ALS and Parkinson’s among its players. http://keranews.org/post/study-think-football-brain-health-and-ethical-uncertainty

Football Players At All Levels At Concussion Risk

September 3, 2014

Concussions and traumatic brain injury don’t just affect former NFL players, they strike high school players and college players as well. …

More than a dozen former NFL players have filed concussion injury lawsuits against the NFLPA.  These players claim the Players Association was aware of concussion dangers for decades, but ignored and hid the risks from players.

According to the Complaints filed against the NFLPA, the players association “had unparalleled access to and knowledge of data relating to the relationship between head impacts on football players and cognitive decline.  This access to and knowledge of data [came] from the NFLPA’s awareness of the growing body of scientific literature on the subject, its own medical consultants, its own requested and commissioned studies on the subject, its participation in the Retirement Board of the Bert Bell/Peter Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan (“Retirement Plan”), and its participation in the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee (the “MTBI Committee”).”

The claims brought against the NFLPA are different from those alleged against the NFL itself in other litigation.  Players with claims against the NFL are not precluded from bringing claims against the NFLPA and may participate in both cases. …

Florio, writing for NBC Sports, went on to note that “ammunition for attacking the NFLPA has existed from the moment the notion of suing over concussions first gained traction….  Indeed, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith admitted during testimony to Congress in 2009 that the union had a role in alleged resistance to efforts of doctors and others to wake football up to the perils of head injuries.”

“Sadly, the players association knew for years about the medical science behind the dangers of the game, and in spite of their promises to do what was in the best interest of their members, they joined the league in hiding those dangers from everyone.  These former pro players should be proud of themselves for stepping up, because they’re standing up and saying that they would have behaved differently if the players association hadn’t been complicit with the league in hiding their full knowledge from them. If this action through the court system would have been available to me when I was just out of the league, I would have been alongside them as part of the lawsuit.”

- Jim Kearney, starting safety for the Super Bowl IV Champion Kansas City Chiefs

http://www.legalexaminer.com/head-brain-injuries/football-players-at-all-levels-at-concussion-risk/

There is no doubt that American tackle football is dangerous to health.  While some in the world consider it watching it to be an ‘ethical uncertainty,’ true Philadelphia Christians (as well many who are not) realize that something that this sport is physically harmful and should not be encouraged.

After a post I made before about American football (see Should Christians watch American football?), a reader sent me an email, that in part stated:

Hello Dr. Thiel,
It took a while, but your recent article “Should Americans Watch Football?” finally convinced me the answer is “NO”. I can see why I stubbornly held out. I think it is ADDICTION that causes football lovers to cover their eyes from the truth. Who can deny the thrill and ectasy of cheering on our super talented sports heroes and winning teams. Who can give up the hamburgers, hot dogs , potato chips, soda and beer along with it? I admit I have been a big sports addict especially to American football!
Well, what turned me off the most was the Super Bowl ads on t.v. years ago. I started refusing to watch the Super Bowl with my family (it was too embarrassing) or with church friends.

From the violence on the field, to the under-clothed cheerleaders, to some of the half-time antics, there is a lot wrong with American football.

Jesus taught not to intentionally hurt others, as it taught:

39… ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:39, NKJV)

The Apostle Paul also wrote:

29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it (Ephesians 5:29, NKJV)

Also, notice what John the Baptist taught soldiers:

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

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

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

Jesus also said:

20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God. (John 3:20-21, NKJV).

Is watching American football a deed that would be pleasing to God?

The Apostle Paul wrote:

12… they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.(2 Thessalonians 2:12)

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32, NKJV)

Is not football violent and often unmerciful?

So, if playing football is evil, should Christians approve of it?

Additionally, twice the New Testament refers to the good news message as “the gospel of peace”:

“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15)

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (Ephesians 6:14-15)

Is not taking a stand against encouraging sports violence consistent with the gospel of peace and love? Or should ministers tell people that violent sports like American tackle football are not “inherently evil” as at least one minister has done?

Traditionally, early Christians (as well as some apostates who professed Christ) were opposed to watching violent sports.

While “love does no harm to a neighbor” (Romans 13:9), what do sports like American football and boxing do? Should Bible believers encourage this?

Unlike stories of violence in books or movies, American football involves actual violence and often physical injury–including brain damaging ones that are often not obvious for years.

The Bible forbids harming others or encouraging sin. Early professors of Christ would not watch violent games as they felt that watching was encouraging and participating in sin. Herbert W. Armstrong categorized American football as evil.

You may be telling yourself, well since my church does not (presuming you do not support a group like the Continuing Church of God which does) condemn football (and/or possibly encourages it) the Bible really does not apply here. If so, be careful about accepting that that type of tradition. Jesus Himself taught:

7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:

8 “These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:7-9)

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:14-19)

I do not watch American football. I consider that it is evil (also, no Christian can really defend how professional football cheerleading females are often publicly dressed and displayed). Others want to falsely act like there is nothing wrong with watching it.

Some may not wish to hear about any of the evils of violent sports, and instead prefer smooth things, but hopefully I have tried to follow the Apostle Paul who declared:

26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men. 27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:26-27)

The bodies and blood of those who engage in violent sports is important. It does not show Philadelphia love.

Regarding American football, do you believe that Jesus or the Apostle Paul would endorse it? This is something that Christians, and those that claim to be, should think and pray about.

Those Laodicean Christians who are fans of American tackle football are NOT Philadelphians and will be subject to violence themselves as they will have to go through the Great Tribulation if they do not repent (Revelation 3:14-22).  Encouraging violence in sports does not show brotherly/philadelphian love.

For more scriptures, as well as the position of early Christians and others, please see the following:

Is American Football Evil? Is the most popular spectator sport in the USA something that Christians should watch? What do the Bible and early writings show? There is also a YouTube video available titled Should Christians watch American football?
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? Here is a link to a YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
British and American Moral Decay Public nudity is becoming more prevalent in the Anglo-lands. What are some of the consequences?
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 the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.

What did the Apostle Paul teach about the Ten Commandments?

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

COGwriter

Many believe that the Apostle Paul did away with the Ten Commandments, but is that what the Bible teaches? What did the Apostle Paul actually teach about them?

What Paul actually wrote in the New Testament about the ten commandments is shown here in green.

There is only one only scripture that uses the “nailed it to the cross” expression (AV/NKJ), it is Colossians 2:13-14, in which Paul states, “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross“. Were the ten commandments the “requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us”? Let us examine the scriptures to see.

Commandment 1: Paul said, “God, who made the world and everything in it…they should seek the Lord” (Acts 17:24,27). Paul also said, “I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law” (Acts 24:14). “But then indeed, when you did not know God, you served those things which by nature are not God” (Galatians 4:8). “And what agreement has the temple of God have with idols?” (II Corinthians 6:16). “you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (I Thessalonians 1:9). “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

Commandment 2: “we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols” (Acts 15:20). “Now while Paul waited for them in Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols…Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said…’God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything‘” (Acts 17:16,22,24-25). “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four footed animals and creeping things” (Romans 1:22-23). “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is…an idolater” (I Corinthians 5:11). “Neither… idolators…will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-10). “And do not become idolaters as were some of them…Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry” (I Corinthians 10:7,14). “And what agreement has the temple of God have with idols?” (II Corinthians 6:16). “Now the works of the flesh are evident…idolatry” (Galatians 5:19,20). “For this you know that no…idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). “Therefore put to death…covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). “you turned to God from idols” (I Thessalonians 1:9).

Commandment 3: “they are all under sin…Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness” (Romans 3:9,14). “Let all…evil speaking be put away from you” (Ephesians 4:31). “But now you yourselves are to put off all Thessalonians e:…blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8). “they may learn not to blaspheme” (I Timothy 1:20). But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be…blasphemers” (II Timothy 3:1,2).

Commandment 4: “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures…And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 17:2;18:4 see also 13:14,27,42,44). “let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need” (Ephesians 4:28) and “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: ‘If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat‘” (II Thessalonians 3:10); (recall that the requirement to work is also part of the Sabbath command, thus even that portion of the commandment is repeated in the New Testament.) “And to whom did He swear they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?” (Hebrews 3:18). “For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’” (Hebrews 4:4). “There remains therefore a rest (literally sabbatismos, ‘Sabbath rest’) for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:9-10).

Commandment 5: “being filled with all unrighteousness…disobediant to parents” (Romans 1:29,30). “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-3). “the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience” (Colossians 3:6). “Children obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord” (Colossians 3:20). “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be…disobediant to parents” (II Timothy 3:1,2).

Commandment 6: “being filled with all unrighteousness…murder” (Romans 1:29). “You shall not murder” (Romans 13:9). “Now the works of the flesh are evident…murders” (Galatians 5:19,21). “the lawless and insubordinate…murders…manslayers” (I Timothy 1:9).

Commandment 7: “being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality” (Romans 1:29). “So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress” (Romans 7:3). “You shall not commit adultery” (Romans 13:9). “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral” (I Corinthians 5:11). “Neither… adulterers, nor homosexuals…will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (I Corinthians 6:18). Nor let us commit sexual immorality as some of them did” (I Corinthians 10:8). “Now the works of the flesh are evident…adultery, fornication” (Galatians 5:19). “For this you know that no fornicator…has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). “the lawless and insubordinate…fornicators…sodomites” (I Timothy 1:9,10). “fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

Commandment 8: “You shall not steal” (Romans 13:9). “nor thieves…will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:10). “I have been…in perils of robbers” (II Corinthians 11:25-26). “Let him who stole, steal no longer” (Ephesians 4:28).

Commandment 9: “You shall not bear false witness” (Romans 13:9). ‘I do not lie” (Galatians 1:19). “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each of you speak truth with his neighbor” (Ephesians 4:25). “Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:9). “the lawless and insubordinate…liars…perjurers” (I Timothy 1:9,10). “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy” (I Timothy 4:1-2). “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be…slanderers” (II Timothy 3:1,3). “God, who cannot lie” (Ti 1:2). “it is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18).

Commandment 10: “being filled with all unrighteousness…covetousness” (Romans 1:29).”You shall not covet” (Romans 7:7). “You shall not covet” (Romans 13:9). “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is…covetous” (I Corinthians 5:11). “nor covetous…will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:10). “we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted” (I Corinthians 10:6). “you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). “For this you know that no fornicator…nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). “Therefore put to death…covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). “For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness” (I Thessalonians 2:5). “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have” (Hebrews 13:5).

Notice that Paul clearly warns about not keeping each of the ten commandments.

Paul also wrote “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26). He also warned that those who break various of the ten commandments will not inherit the kingdom of God (Ephesians 5:4-5) and then said, “Let no man deceive you with empty words, for because of Thessalonians e things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them” (Ephesians 5:6-7).

Some have been confused about some of Paul’s writings, but as Peter warned, “Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of Thessalonians e things in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the scriptures” (II Pet 3:15-16). Perhaps the most confusing to some is, “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle the wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Ephesians 2:14-16).

It is clear that Paul could not be talking about the ten commandments as he mentions parts of at least eight of them as still being in existence in the same book (see above, the other two are alluded to as well, Ephesians 5:31–anger, which is like murder according to Jesus; plus the comment about being a prisoner of the Lord also would show the first commandment, Ephesians 4:1)

While some may try to reason around what Paul wrote, it is a fact that early Christians did believe that they needed to keep the Ten Commandments (for detailed proof, see The Ten Commandments and the Early Church). And real Christians believe that today.

Will you believe what the Apostle Paul actually wrote?

Some items of possible interest may include:

The Apostle Paul He was an apostle, early Christian leader, and wrote more books of the New Testament than anyone else. Do you know much about him?
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.
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?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time to Learn the Law The Bible teaches that every seven years that the law should be read at the Feast of Tabernacles. This is what I did at the first Feast site were I gave an actual sermon (as opposed to a sermonette) in 2006.

Some sermons on the Book of Deuteronomy may also be of interest:

Should YOU keep the Fall Holy Days?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Blowing of a Shofar

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God has a sermon about the Fall Holy Days which is at its ContinuingCOG channel.

The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day?

Those of us faithful in the Continuing Church of God who are able, keep the Feast of Tabernacles and believe that it foreshadows the coming millennium.

Notice also that the Catholic, Orthodox, and Church of God Saint Polycarp of Smyrna kept the Fall Holy Days:

I will give the narration in order, thus coming down to the history of the blessed Polycarp…

So also he pursued the reading of the Scriptures from childhood to old age, himself reading in church; and he recommended it to others, saying that the reading of the law and the prophets was the forerunner of grace, preparing and making straight the ways of the Lord, that is the hearts, which are like tablets whereon certain harsh beliefs and conceptions that were written before perfect knowledge came, are through the inculcation of the Old Testament, and the correct interpretation following thereupon, first smoothed and levelled, that, when the Holy Spirit comes as a pen, the grace and joy of the voice of the Gospel and of the doctrine of the immortal and heavenly Christ may be inscribed on them. And he said that they could not otherwise receive the impression of the seal which is given by baptism and engrave and exhibit the form conveyed in it, unless the wax were first softened and filled the deep parts. So also he thought that the hearts of the hearers ought to be softened and yield to the impress of the Word. For he said that it unfolded and opened, like closed doors, the minds of recent comers; and accordingly the prophet was bidden by God, Cry out mightily and spare not, Raise thy voice as a trumpet. What must one say, when even He that was gentler than all men so appeals and cries out at the feast of Tabernacles? For it is written; And on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, If any man thirsteth, let him come to Me and drink. (Pionius, Life of Polycarp (1889) from J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 3.2, pp.488-506.)

Polycarp, according to the above, seems to have endorsed the Fall Holy Day season which begins with the Feast of Trumpets, includes the Feast of Tabernacles, and ends on The Last Great Day. And while the Day of Atonement was not specifically mentioned above, it was mentioned in the Book of Acts, where it is referred to as the Fast (Acts 27:9).

During the Middle Ages the fall holidays were observed, though records are limited.

Notice the following report:

Under the name of Passagini, we have the clearest sort of statement that these people, about 1200, observed the whole Old Testament law, including the Sabbath and FESTIVALS! People called Cathars at Cologne, Germany, kept a fall festival, called “Malilosa”, even before Waldo began to preach. Compare this unexplained name with Hebrew “melilah” (a harvested ear of grain — Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) and the Biblical title “Feast of Ingathering” (Ex. 23:16). How much more we might have known about these Middle Ages’ Feasts of Tabernacles had not the Inquisitors so zealously burned the records! The three-part division of tithes paid the Waldensian Church is significant. Even in the 1500′s the same division continued. “The money given us by the people is carried to the aforesaid general council, and is delivered in the presence of all, and there it is received by the most ancients (the elders), and part thereof is given to those that are wayfaring men, according to their necessities, and part unto the poor” (George Morel, Waldensian elder, quoted by Lennard, “History of the Waldenses”). 1. Compare this practice with Num. 18:21 and Deut. 14:22-25, 28-29. Isn’t it exactly what the Bible commands?… Most authors have ASSUMED the “wayfaring men” were the traveling “barbel.” But THEIR expenses would have been paid from the money given the elders, at EVERY time of year, for the direct conduct of the Work — “first” tithe and offerings. Notice that in Numbers 18:21. What Morel then mentions is a “second” tithe, for those traveling to and from the festivals — wayfaring men; and following it, the “third” to the poor. See the explanation in Deut. 14. Feast goers who had more “second tithe” than they needed shared their excess with those who had need, even as they do today! (LESSON 51 (1968) AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place …” Rev. 12:6).

Furthermore, Sabbath-keepers in Transylvania in the 1500s and probably later kept the Fall Holy Days such as the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Trumpets (called Day of Remembrance below):

The Sabbatarians viewed themselves as converted Gentiles..They held to the biblical holidays…The Day of Atonement was a day of fasting, although they emphasized that pentinence is more easily acheived by a peaceful and quiet meditation on the law and one’s life than by fasting. The Day of Remembrance (New Year, which they celebrated in the Fall of the year) was the day on which they thanked God especially for the creation of the universe. There is no mention of circumcision, so it is unlikely that they practiced circumcision (Liechty D. Sabbatarianism in the Sixteenth Century. Andrews University Press, Berrien Springs (MI), 1993, pp. 61-62).

And the Fall Holidays are still observed into the 21sth century by many Sabbath-keeping Church of God groups, such as the Continuing Church of God.

The biblical Holy Days (both Spring and Fall) were kept by early, faithful Christians, and this is clear from both scripture and early church records. And there is a scattering of later records showing that they have been kept by some professors of Christ throughout history.

The first Holy Day this Fall season is the Feast of Trumpets (called Rosh Hashanah by the Jews) which begins September 24th, 2014 at sunset until sunset September 25th.

The second Holy Day this Fall season is the Day of Atonement (called Yom Kippur by the Jews) which begin October 3rd, 2013 at sunset until sunset October 4th.

The seven day Feast of Tabernacles begins at sunset October 8th, continues until sunset October 15th, and is immediately followed by the Last Great Day, which ends October 16th, 2014 at sunset. Most people travel to attend the Feast of Tabernacles (here is a link to CCOG’s Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014). This has limited information on many Feast of Tabernacles locations for this Fall feast.)

Then, other than the weekly Sabbaths, after the Last Great Day there are no Holy Days until Passover in the Spring.

The early, faithful, Christians kept what many now refer to as “Jewish” holidays. Jesus, Paul, and the apostles did. They were part of “the faith once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 4).

Perhaps you should look into them more?

Several items of possibly related interest may include:

Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should you keep the Fall Holy Days?
Is Second Tithe and Third Tithe Still Valid Today? Should you save and use second tithe? Some in the COGs no longer teach payment of third tithe, is this biblically correct?
Offertory: Blow the Trumpet This is an offertory video for the Holy Days, and specifically was made for the Feast of Trumpets. It goes through various scriptures in Jeremiah Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, and Isaiah related to blowing trumpets. It also contains an audio clip of the blowing of a shofar. It discusses who is blowing the trumpet now. And provides statistics to back up that conclusion.
The Trumpet Release This is a sermon focused on the Feast of Trumpets for 2013. What is the Feast of Trumpets? How can this be part of God’s plan of salvation? Why do the Jews refer to it as Rosh Hashanah? What is the seventh year of release? Should it be restored and proclaimed? Did early Christians keep the Feast of Trumpets? Why should any one keep it now? What will happen with the seven trumpets of Revelation? Why do many not understand aspects of it?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not?
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement”. Does it have any relevance for Christians today?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach?
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014 This is information on the expected Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God for 2014. The Feast in 2014 begins the evening of October 8.
Last Great Day study paper Was Jesus speaking about the 7th or 8th day of the Feast in John 7:37? UCG says the 7th, but what does the Bible teach? This extensive paper reviews UCG’s LGD study paper and includes comments as to where it erred.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it. Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :) In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
Michael’s Day of Atonement Quiz Another free on-line Bible quiz by my son Michael.
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
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?

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream and God has a plan

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

COGwriter

51 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech. Here is some of what Dr. King said on August 28, 1963:

Now is the time to lift our ion from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children…

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood…

I have a dream that my four little children will me day live in a nations where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…

I have a dream today . . . I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain will be made low. The rough places wild be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope.

Let me state that “God has a plan.” God, however, does sometimes also use dreams (see Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God), but that is not to say that God directly gave one to Martin Luther King, Jr.

God sent His Son who taught against racial injustice and who was willing to not only violate certain segregation practices (John 4:7-9), He also praised those of a race that the religious leaders shunned (Luke 10:30-37; 17:15-19).

God has a plan where former enemies will come together of different ethnicities (Isaiah 19:23-25).

God has a plan where people will be judged, not by outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7) nor power (Revelation 20:12), but by their character (1 Samuel 16:7; Romans 2:16) and works (Revelation 20:12-13).

God has a plan where:

4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40:4-5, KJV)

God has a plan which will result in people of every nation and race will be saved:

9…I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10)

God has a plan where people of every nation will be able to rule:

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

God has a plan where “all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6).

God has a plan.

And His plan will come to pass (Acts 2:21; Proverbs 19:21; Isaiah 46:10).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?
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?
Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God?
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?
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?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
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?