Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

Christ’s Gospel of the Kingdom is Being Preached to the World as a Witness

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014


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

COGwriter

Although humankind needs the return of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom, many in the world will not pay attention to this message in the 21st century, even though it is being proclaimed now. But the world will receive a greater witness.

Recall that 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)

Notice that the gospel of the kingdom will reach the world as a witness, then the end will come.

There are several reasons for this.

One is that God wants the world to hear the true gospel before the start of the Great Tribulation (which is shown to start in Matthew 24:21). Hence the gospel message is both a witness and a warning (cf. Ezekiel 3; Amos 3:7).

Another is that the gist of the message will be contrary to the views of the rising Beast, King of the North power, along with the False Prophet, the final Antichrist. They will basically promise peace through human effort, but it will lead to destruction (cf. 1 Thessalonians 5:3).

Because of signs and lying wonders associated with them (2 Thessalonians 2:9), the world will chose to believe a lie (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) instead of the gospel message.

The faithful Philadelphians (Revelation 3:7-13) will be telling the world what these worldly leaders will be up to. They will support telling the world the message that the Beast, King of the North power, along with the False Prophet, the final Antichrist, will ultimately destroy (along with some of their allies) the USA and the Anglo-nations of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (Daniel 11:39). That they will shortly thereafter destroy an Arabic/Islamic confederation (Daniel 11:40-43), function as instruments of the demons (Revelation 16:13-14), and will fight Jesus Christ upon His return (Revelation 16:14;19:19-20). The faithful Philadelphians (Revelation 3:7-13) will be announcing that the millennial kingdom will be coming soon.

Partially because the message of the people of the holy covenant, will enrage the upcoming prince/king of the North (Daniel 11:28-30). One or more associated with the Continuing Church of God will be identifying that the European “prince” (Daniel 9:26-27) who is rising up to become a king, will not be able to truly bring peace, but instead about bring war and will be in league with the final Antichrist. This will likely trigger major media coverage. Scrutiny of real, as well as claimed, COG literature will likely happen and various aspects of real and incorrect COG doctrines will likely be ridiculed.

Media coverage would then be expected to cover more the gospel message and this may be associated with the “short work” of Romans 9:28. Since the true COG is so small, it is highly likely that it getting significant media coverage will help fulfill Matthew 24:14. Some of the Philadelphia remnant will be explaining that it is Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God and not the rise of a militaristic leader that the world needs. According to Daniel 11:32 it is “the people who know their God [that] shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.” Hundreds of millions, if not billions, will receive at least a partial witness.

All of that will likely trigger the King of the North to take actions that lead to the end–this includes the persecutions, pre- (Daniel 7:25a, 11:29-36) and post-tribulation (Daniel 7:25b).

Since “Catholic” leaders have renounced the millennial portion of the gospel message, some of them will not want it to be broadcast into all the world in the 21st century (for some details, please see Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?). They will support the King of the North’s efforts to stifle the message, probably in the name of “tolerance” and/or calling parts of the message “hate speech.” A famine of the word is coming (Amos 8:11-12; cf. Romans 10:14-15). The Bible tells of a time, which to a degree we are now in, when a certain amount of self-censorship will be needed:

2 For I know your manifold transgressions
And your mighty sins:
Afflicting the just and taking bribes;
Diverting the poor from justice at the gate.
13 Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time,
For it is an evil time. (Amos 5:12-13)

And while some COG groups overly “keep silent,” hence pull-punches in proclamation, the reality is that there is not truly full freedom of truthful speech in countries like the USA without consequences.

However, the work will be done and it will trigger persecution. Until the work is done the most faithful will:

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)

That is what we are doing in the Continuing Church of God.  We are proclaiming Christ’s gospel of the kingdom.  But more will be reached in time.

Of course, no matter what some Laodiceans insist upon, the end has not yet come–the final phase of the work is not over. Jesus also does not want us to give up early:

44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing (Matthew 24:44-46).

And in the end these rising leaders (likely some ‘new’ type of top leader of Europe along with some type of pontiff) will not like that–they will not want the world to learn what they will really do (and may not even believe it themselves at first, cf. Isaiah 10:5-7). They and/or their supporters will also likely falsely teach that the faithful Philadelphians will be espousing a doctrine (millenarianism) of a coming antichrist. Whatever condemnations that they and/or their followers make towards the Philadelphian faithful and the Continuing Church of God will trigger persecution (Daniel 11:29-35, Revelation 12:13-15; see also Persecutions by Church and State). This will also lead to the end–the start of the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21; Daniel 11:39; cf. Matthew 24:15; Daniel 11:31) as well as a time of protection for the faithful Philadelphia Christians (Revelation 3:10;12:14-16; see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra).

The Beast and False Prophet will try force, economic blackmail, signs, lying wonders, murder, and other pressures (Revelation 13:10-17,16:14; Daniel 7:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10) to have control.

Yet, Jesus will return and the millennial kingdom of God will be established on the earth. God and the faithful Christians will win.

This kingdom will be based on the loving laws of God and a loving God as leader. This kingdom will include those truly in the Church of God, but no scripture states that the kingdom of God is actually the Church (Catholic or otherwise). The Church of Rome has opposed the millennial teaching, and its modified version will more powerfully oppose it as we get closer to the end.

Preaching and understanding the gospel of the kingdom of God is an important theme of the Bible. Old Testament writers taught about it. Jesus, Paul, and John taught about it. The oldest Christian sermon to survive outside the New Testament taught about it. Early second century Christian leaders, like Polycarp and Melito, taught about it. We in the Continuing Church of God teach it (see also the YouTube sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom).

The kingdom of God is the first subject that the Bible shows Jesus preached about (Mark 1:13). It was also what He preached about after the resurrection (Acts 1:1-3).

The gospel is not just about the life and death of Jesus (though as scripture and early writings show, He is a major part of it), the emphasis of the gospel that Jesus and His followers taught was the coming kingdom of God. The gospel of the kingdom includes salvation through Christ, but it also does include the teaching of the end of human governments.

Furthermore, recall that Jesus taught that the end would not come until after the gospel of the kingdom was preached to the world as a witness to all the nations (Matthew 24:14); and various ones will not want to hear or believe it.

Yet, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God is an important subject. This is something that we in the Continuing Church of God are serious about, and are doing.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 will be fulfilled. 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.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
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 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.
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.
Just What Do You Mean the Kingdom of God? A booklet that was written by Herbert Armstrong answers questions about the Kingdom.
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.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
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 Tribulatino 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.

American ‘foods’ that gross out foreigners

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

COGwriter

While many realize that too much junk food can make one fat and increase risk for heart and diabetic diseases, a new study suggests that it may also make one lazy:

October 27, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

People should try to eat real, not artificial, foods.

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

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods?
Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy Are there disadvantages to being overweight? Is junk food really bad for you? Does the Bible discuss overeating and/or obesity? Is overeating having an effect on the US military? What are the ramifications of personal and national health for overeating? What should you eat? This is a sermonette-length YouTubevideo.
GMOs and Bible Prophecy What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras? Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues?
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
Does God Heal Today? What does the Bible teach? Herbert Armstrong tries to explain this.
UK Study Supports Daniel Diet Daniel and his companions looked better eating more vegetables and avoiding strange meats. Has modern science confirmed this?
The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
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.

Marriage in USA: 32 states defiled, 18 remaining?

Sunday, October 26th, 2014


Eric Holder

COGwriter

The US Federal government announced how successful it has been to push the homosexual agenda, through its Justice Department:

October 26, 2014

A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in early October not to entertain appeals from five states that wanted to retain their prohibition on same-sex marriages brought to 32 the number of states that recognize gay and lesbian weddings.

The latest to the list, which also includes the District of Columbia, are the states of Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming, Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Saturday. http://www.chinatopix.com/articles/18797/20141026/6-more-states-where-gays-lesbians-can-legally-marry-get-federal-benefits.htm#ixzz3HGKQ7UWZ

Attorney General Eric Holder announced Saturday that the federal government will now recognize same sex marriages in six more states.

They are Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Married gay couples will now qualify for a number of federal benefits, including Social Security and veterans’ benefits.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court refused to hear appeals to lower court rulings legalizing gay marriages in those six states.

The federal government now recognizes same sex marriages in 32 states and Washington, D.C.

Holder said with each new state where such marriages are legally recognized, the U.S. moves closer to achieving full equality for all Americans. http://www.voanews.com/content/federal-government-same-sex-marriage/2496622.html

Eric Holder wants all the states to defile marriage by claiming that homosexual unions are equal.  Pushing the homosexual agenda has been one of the ‘accomplishments” of the scandal ridden Holder led Justice Department since 2009.  On September 25, 2014, the Justice Department said Holder would resign as soon as his successor is confirmed, but that has not yet happened.

Condoning homosexuality defiles a nation.  Notice what the Bible actually teaches:

22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. 23 Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is perversion.

24 ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. 25 For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you 27 (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), 28 lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people. (Leviticus 18:22-29)

13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. (Leviticus 20:13)

The Bible warns about leaders who go the wrong direction:

12 As for My people, children are their oppressors, And women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths.” (Isaiah 3:12)

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

In the USA and elsewhere, the way the supporters of the homosexual agenda talk, homosexual marriage is all supposedly about fairness, love, and equality. The reality is that this is about morality, society, disease, and protection of children. Sexual immorality has been shown to be harmful, and according to the Bible it is sinful.

Biblically, a marriage exist as a relationship between a man and woman as God intended (Matthew 19:3-6). But, many in the USA, including its President, do not really care what the Bible teaches. And this is dangerous and will lead to destruction (cf. Romans 1:18-32).

Various ones, in and out of the USA and Scotland, can pretend that increasing “homosexual rights” is acceptable, but the Bible teaches otherwise.

Those who try to claim that the Bible does not clearly condemn homosexuality are intentionally misreading what it actually teaches. The Bible prohibits and condemns homosexual behavior–the Bible calls it an abomination!

The Bible also specifically warns against accepting and condoning practices such as homosexuality and lesbianism, which is something that the USA is doing:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness…

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

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

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 1:18,24-32)

The promotion of sexual immorality, including the ‘gay’ agenda, will end in destruction. Yet various leaders in the USA, including its President, Attorney General, and various judges, are doing just it. They apparently do not take the warnings of the Bible seriously.

The USA is in decline and will some day be eliminated–as will its Anglo-Saxon allies such as Canada, UK, and New Zealand which already allow homosexual marriage, and Australia which has ‘same-sex unions.’

Of course, it is not just the USA and the Anglo-Saxon nations that are doing this, many of the Europeans are engaged in this as well.

No one should be pushing the homosexual agenda, yet many in the West foolishly are–and this will be to their peril.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Can homosexuals change?
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children. What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on? There is also a YouTube video on this, titled Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children.
Love, Marriage, and Sex It is important to get them in the right order.
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? Here is a link to a YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
British and American Moral Decay Public nudity is becoming more prevalent in the Anglo-Saxon lands. What are some of the consequences?
Can those in the USA/UK see the Handwriting on the Wall? Is everything fine in the USA/UK or is it like the days of Noah? Can we learn from the handwriting that appeared on a wall thousands of years ago? Here is a link to a related YouTube video Can you see the ‘Handwriting on the Wall’?
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?
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
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 video The Great Tribulation Will Not Begin Before 2017.
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.

BibleNewsProphecy: Gambling: Is it a covetous sin?

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

COGwriter

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

Is gambling a sin? What is sin? The gambling industry calls itself the gaming industry. Basically, they like to indicate that they are in the entertainment industry. And while that is slightly true, many people who gamble are not just playing games, but focused on winning money and hoping not to lose it. Is it ever appropriate for Christians to gamble? Who wins in gambling? Who loses in gambling? Which nations lose the most? What about government lotteries? Are lotteries good for society or a tax on the poor?

Here is a link to our video: Gambling: A Covetous Sin?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Gambling and Sin: Is it a Sin for Christians to Gamble? What does the Bible reveal? A related video is Gambling: A Covetous Sin?
Tithing Questions and Some Answers Addresses some non-biblical arguments against tithing. Should people tithe?
Ending Your FINANCIAL WORRIES How can people help themselves and others financially? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. A video of related interest would be: Dealing With Financial Worries.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them at that channel.

Sermon: Christians and the Ten Commandments

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

COGwriter

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


1:17:47

Christians and the Ten Commandments

Are Christians supposed to keep the Ten Commandments? Were they ‘nailed to the cross’? What did Jesus teach about the Ten Commandments? What did the Apostle Paul teach about the Ten Commandments? What did Polycarp teach about the Ten Commandments? How are the Ten Commandments supposed to be numbered? What have past and present Protestant leaders taught about the Ten Commandments? Does the Bible teach that they be observed today?

Here is a link to the sermon: Christians and the Ten Commandments.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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.
Marcion: The First Protestant? Considered to have been an organized heretic, he taught against the Old Testament, the law, and the Sabbath. Some have considered him to be the first Protestant reformer. But was he?
Were the Ten Commandments in Effect Before Mount Sinai? Some have said not. This article provides biblical quotes to answer this important question.
Job and the Ten Commandments Was Job written prior to Mount Sinai? Did Job know about the ten commandments? This article provides biblical answers to those questions.
What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments? This article quotes what Jesus actually said about them (His words are in red).
Were the Ten Commandments Nailed to the Cross? Some have said so. This article provides some biblical quotes to answer this important question.
What Did Paul Actually Teach About the Ten Commandments? Many say Paul taught against the ten commandments. Is this true? This article quotes Paul with his words in green.
Are the Ten Commandment Still in Effect? This article quotes the ten commandments and combines some of the previous articles into one article about the ten commandments. The commandments are shown at Mount Sinai, before Mount Sinai, in the teachings of Jesus, after the crucifixion, and in the teachings of Paul. It addresses the most common “traditions of men” regarding them as well. Here is a version in the Spanish language:.¿Están vigentes todavía los diez mandamientos?
Were the Pharisees Condemned for Keeping the Law or Reasoning Around it? Many believe that the Pharisees were condemned for keeping the law, but what does your Bible say? If they were not condemned for that, what were they condemned for?
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?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church?
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.
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.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Paglalahad ng Mga Paniniwala ng Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos This is the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God in Tagalog, the primary language of the Philippines.
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.

Is Halloween for Christians?

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

COGwriter

Is Halloween for Christians? Actor Kirk Cameron thinks so:

In light of his new film “Saving Christmas,” Kirk Cameron is also speaking out on Halloween celebrations, urging Christians to get into the spooky spirit this year.

“Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas” hits select theaters on Nov. 14,… Cameron addressed the same theories as they are applied to Halloween, clarifying why Christians “should have the biggest Halloween party on your block.”

“The real origins have a lot to do with All Saints Day and All Hallows Eve,” the actor told The Christian Post. “If you go back to old church calendars, especially Catholic calendars, they recognize the holiday All Saints Day, with All Hallows Eve the day before, when they would remember the dead. That’s all tied in to Halloween.”

Moreover, the “Unstoppable” star went on to cite the meaning behind dressing up in frightening costumes on Halloween, clarifying the meaning of Oct. 31.

“When you go out on Halloween and see all people dressed in costumes and see someone in a great big bobble head Obama costume with great big ears and an Obama face, are they honoring him or poking fun?” Cameron asked.

“They are poking fun at him,” the actor said, answering his own question before comparing the concept of costumes to early Christianity.

“Early on, Christians would dress up in costumes as the devil, ghosts, goblins and witches precisely to make the point that those things were defeated and overthrown by the resurrected Jesus Christ,” Cameron continued. “The costumes poke fun at the fact that the devil and other evils were publicly humiliated by Christ at His resurrection. That’s what the Scriptures say, that He publicly humiliated the devil when He triumphed over power and principality and put them under his feet. Over time you get some pagans who want to go this is our day, high holy day of Satanic church, that this is all about death, but Christians have always known since the first century that death was defeated, that the grave was overwhelmed, that ghosts, goblins, devils are foolish has-beens who used to be in power but not anymore. That’s the perspective Christians should have. http://www.christianpost.com/news/kirk-cameron-on-halloween-christians-should-have-the-biggest-party-on-the-block-128345/

The perspective real Christians should have is what does the Bible teach and what did early Christians do?

The Bible condemns pagan celebrations and early Christians did NOT dress up as witches and devils.  Kirk Cameron, not only overlooks this, he seems to be a pushing more a more ‘ecumenical’ and anti-biblical view of what he calls Christianity.

As far as Halloween goes, the Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce a sermon which is at its ContinuingCOG channel.  It addresses the truth about this day.

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1:04:33

Halloween: Is it for Christians?

Although it is not a holiday in the Bible, some at ‘Christianity Today’ and others who profess Christ endorse Halloween. The Church of Rome endorsed it centuries ago, but later the Vatican seemed to have a somewhat different view. Various cultures seems to have some practices now associated with Halloween. Is Halloween appropriate for Christians and their children to celebrate? Does the Bible endorse or condemn practices that are associated with Halloween?

Here is another link to the sermon: Halloween: Is it for Christians?

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? This article provides some historical and biblical insight on this question.
International ‘Halloween’ Should Christians observe Halloween? There are many cultures that have celebrations and observances that are similar to some associated with Halloween. What did the Druids do? Is Halloween one of the most important holidays for Satanists? Do the Japanese, Indians, and Chinese have any practices that are similar to some associated with Halloween? Does the Bible endorse or condemn practices that are associated with Halloween? This is a video.
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. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls’ Day When did “All Saints Day” and the “Day of the Dead” begin? “What about All Soul’s Day”?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
Hanukkah Originally a Jewish national holiday, has Hanukkah morphed into a Jewish Christmas?
Canadian & Philadelphian Mummers Parades: Another tie to Saturnalia In Canada there is a ’12 days of Christmas’ celebration involving Mummers. In Philadelphia, a parade is held on New Years. Does this come from the Bible or where?
Was Jesus Born in the Grotto of the Nativity? Was Jesus born in a below ground cave? Was Jesus born below the “Church of the Nativity”? Were the wise men there?
How did December 25th become Christmas? Was Jesus born then? If not, why December 25? Here is the article translated into Mandarin Chinese 12月25日最后是怎么被许多基督的信仰者采纳的.
Is Keeping Christmas a Sin? Is keeping Christmas acceptable for true Christians? What are some scriptures to consider?
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
The 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?
Continuing History of the Church of God This free 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.

Pope Francis misunderstands Ezekiel 37–do you?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014


Valley of The Dry Bones of Ezekiel 37 rendering by Gustave Doré

COGwriter

Pope Francis spoke about Ezekiel 37 today:

October 22, 2014

In the Book of Ezechiel, there is a peculiar vision that is described, impressive, but capable of instilling confidence and hope in our hearts. God shows the prophet a valley of bones, detached from each other and dry. A desolate scenario. Imagine, an entire hill full of bones. God asks him, then, to invoke the Spirit upon them. At that moment, the bones begin to draw closer and unite, first the nerves grow on them and then the flesh and thus the body is formed, complete and full of life. (Ez. 37, 1-14). This is the Church! I  recommend, today when you are home, to read Ezechiel, Chapter 27. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/on-the-body-of-christ

While Pope Francis is correct that this is an impressive vision, this is a vision of those that are not now in the true Church.  This is a vision for the future.

Here is a little of what Jerold Aust taught about it:

That last and great day of the annual festival days foreshadows the greatest time of salvation for the greatest number of people at one time. How wonderful it is to know the truth! The prophet Ezekiel sheds light on those incredible numbers. The setting in Ezekiel 37 is postmillennial. Remember that the first resurrection, to occur as the Millennium begins, is to spirit essence (Rev. 20:4-6). The resurrection at the beginning of the White Throne Judgment, however, is to a physical state.

Here God resurrects the whole house of Israel, which had lived and died during mankind’s first six millennia (Ezek. 37:1-2, 11). Israel may number into the billions themselves. But what of all the greater numbers of gentiles who also lived and died during that same period of time and who, too, will be awaiting their one and only opportunity to be judged and saved (I Tim. 2:4)? They will also be resurrected at that precise time.

The opportunities extended to Israel will also be offered to the gentiles (Rom. 2:9-10, Isa. 19:24-25).

Thank God this is not the only day of salvation (Isa. 49:8, Revised Standard Version). (Aust J. What the Last Great Day Means for You. Good News, October-November, 1983)

Ezekiel 37 helps show that people who were dead and not in Christ will be resurrected to the flesh and have an opportunity for salvation. Notice what it actually teaches:

1 The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. 2 Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. 3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”

4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. 6 I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”‘”

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

9 Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”‘” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’” (Ezekiel 37:1-14)

Now will salvation be offered to all who ever lived?

Absolutely!

Notice what the New Testament and the Old Testament plainly teach:

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

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

Since most who claim some version of Christianity believe that what they teach is at least partially supported by scripture, this article which contains a listing of hundreds of verses in the Bible supporting apocatastasis, as well as related comments, may be helpful for those who wish to receive their doctrine from the Bible.

Micah 7:18-19 teaches:

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

Is your God going to pardon iniquity for a few or nearly all of the guilty? Does God retain His anger forever? No. Does He delight in mercy? Yes. Will He later give His truth to Jacob and mercy to Abraham? That is what the Bible teaches. Is this what your church teaches?

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

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

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

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

Notice Daniel 12:2-4:

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

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

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

This is something that the Church of Rome does not understand.

At risk of possible gross oversimplification, there are many incomplete as well as inaccurate views of what God’s plan of salvation is that I will attempt to briefly summarize:

  • Evangelicals and Certain Other Protestants: God is trying to save everyone now through the name of Jesus. But since most have not heard the message of Christ, most who ever lived will be eternally lost.
  • Calvinist Protestants: God is not trying to save everyone now and never had a plan to truly offer salvation to all as all humans are sinners who deserve eternal punishment. Yet, God is so merciful He sent His son to die for a few (roughly 1-3% of the population) that were predestined to be called now and saved, and this shows that God has love. Nearly all who ever lived will be eternally lost.
  • Unitarians: God does not really care what you believe or do, but if you try to lead a decent life, He will save you. Note: This is not the position of unitarian groups like the Jehovah’s Witnesses and some others, but the position of those generally known as Unitarians (like a group I once visited near where I live).
  • Universalists: God loves everyone and will save everyone.
  • The LDS (Mormons) teach that God since will not condemn those who for no fault of their own have not accepted Christ, that He will save many through baptism for the dead. Hence they try to find the names of the dead through genealogical research and have people baptized in proxy for them.
  • Although the Eastern Orthodox tend to consider that God’s plan of salvation is highly sacramental, they tend to teach that God’s plan is not one terror and that somehow God may save people up through the time of the White Throne Judgment.
  • Catholic: God wants to save everyone, but most will not be saved. Despite not hearing the name of Christ, God has a plan and will save some from the pagan religions who strive to live right and will give salvation to Catholics who have gone through the right sacraments at the right time.

The Evangelicals and many other Protestants are right that it is only through the name of Jesus that one can be saved (Acts 4:10-12). But they normally limit when God can do this and do not understand about the age to come (Matthew 12:32; Mark 10:30; Luke 18:30; Hebrews 6:5).

The Calvinists are right that all are sinners (Romans 3:23) and that God has predestined some to be called in this age. But they neglect that since God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, KJV), that others who think that there hope is cut off will receive an opportunity (cf. Ezekiel 37:1-11).

The Unitarians are correct that God wants people to “live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12). But that is not how one is saved. For it is “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

The Universalists are right that God loves everyone and that God wants all saved. However, since some will intentionally reject God’s offer of salvation, not all will be saved (cf. Revelation 20:13-15).

The Mormons are right that God has a plan of salvation that involves the dead who have not committed the unpardonable sin (see also What is the Unpardonable Sin?). Yet the idea that this will happen because of ritualistic baptism for peoples names found in genealogical records is incorrect. Plus, since God is not a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34, KJV), one does not give the opportunity for salvation because one happens to have been part of a culture that maintained birth, marriage, death and/or other historical records.

The Eastern Orthodox are right that God’s plan is not really intended to be one of terror. And while God actually does intend the time of the White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-12) as part of His plan, since the Orthodox do not observe the Fall Holy Days they misunderstand much of the actual plan.  Up until just before they adopted ‘purgatory’ (see Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory?), the Church of Rome held a similar view to the Eastern Orthodox.

The Catholics are right that God does have a plan of salvation and that plan includes reaching out to those who have never known the God of the Bible. However, since every knee will bow to Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:9-11), all who will be saved will have to accept Him as savior. Plus, salvation is not mainly a sacramental process as the Catholic tend to emphasize (though the Bible does state that believers need to repent and be baptized as the Apostle Peter taught in Acts 2:38).

The biblical reality is that while God wants to repent (Acts 17:30), He knew that all would not. And so to reduce the number of humans who would commit the “unpardonable sin” (see What is the Unpardonable Sin? ) and thus not be eligible for future salvation, He allowed Satan to blind and deceive most in this age (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11; Revelation 12:9; 13:14).

We in the Continuing Church of God believe that the Bible teaches that God made everything and it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31) and that “this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3). And that God made humans upright (Ecclesiastes 7:29), but that humans felt that they could decide to disobey God’s commands (Genesis 3:6)–such disobedience is harmful to themselves as well as others and leads to death (Romans 6:23). Because of that disobedience, God stopped humans from having immediate access to the tree of life on their own (Genesis 3:22; John 6:44)–even though He had a plan of redemption from before “the foundation of the world” involving Jesus (Revelation 13:8, plus see the article Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).

We in the Continuing Church of God believe that God gave humans 6,000 years to live their own way (please see the article Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism and a 6000 Year Plan?). And that humans will mess things up so bad, “unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved” (Matthew 24:22).

But because God has a plan for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 13:38) and a God of love (1 John 4:8,16; John 3:16), that He will intervene and send Jesus to establish a millennial kingdom on earth (Revelation 11:15; 20:4). During this 1000-year reign the world will become beautiful again (Isaiah 35:1-10; 58:12) (see also Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).

After this thousand year reign, all who ever lived will be resurrected (Revelation 20:5). The judgment will begin (Revelation 20:12) and God will plead His case (Isaiah 3:13; Jeremiah 25:31). When humans see how they started out with a very good and beautiful earth and messed up and nearly completely destroyed it in their 6,000 years, it appears that they will realize that humankind that distanced itself from the true God cannot properly govern itself. However, when they see how when starting with a messed up and nearly completely destroyed earth at the end of the 6,000 years (please see the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?), that it was restored to being very good again, like Eden (Isaiah 51:3), because people obeyed the King of Kings during the millennium (please see Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?), then apparently nearly all who ever lived will repent of their ways, accept Jesus as the Christ, and will live God’s way of life.

Since God is love (1 John 4:16), we in the Continuing Church of God believe that He has a plan that takes into account how human beings would have rebelled against Him (cf. 1 Peter 1:20-21). We also believe that God is smart enough to have developed a plan that does not result in the vast majority of humanity having to suffer endless torment. Thus we believe it is logical that His plan will result in nearly everyone who ever lived, no matter what their religion or background was, to be saved. And that there are hundreds of verses in the Bible that show this—and this is God’s will (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16-17). This plan is also consistent with writings about Christianity throughout history—though most in modern times seem to wish to overlook that fact. And a little known fact is that there are hundreds of verses in the Bible that show this (documentation is in the article Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).

We believe that the biblical Holy Days reveal God’s loving plan of salvation (see article Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible?), yet because most who profess Christ keep non-biblical days such as Christmas and Easter, they simply do not understand that God has a plan which will result in nearly everyone who ever lived to be saved.

We believe that since God is a God of love that He wanted to reproduce Himself and share His joy to all that He could and that His plan of salvation accomplishes this. This concept of God “reproducing Himself” for us to be truly part of His family is not totally foreign to what passes for mainstream “Christianity” as even the Catholic and Orthodox “Saint” Athanasius (fourth century) taught of Jesus, “For He was made man that we might be made God” (Athanasius. On the Incarnation of the Word, Chapter 54, Verse 3) (for additional details on this doctrine, please see Deification: Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God?).

Jesus was clear that only a few will find this way in this age:

23 Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?” And He said to them, 24 Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able (Luke 13:23-24).

14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it (Matthew 7:14).

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

So only some few will be called in this age. And there is an “age to come” (Matthew 12:32) where even infamous sinners will have an opportunity (cf. Matthew 10:15;11:22).

Jesus said His True Church would be a “Little Flock” that would be around until He returns. As mentioned before, the Continuing Church of God is such a little flock that traces its history from the Book of Acts, throughout the ages, and into the 21st century, and we are proclaiming His return.

The Bible clearly teaches:

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

Those who did not truly see and understand this plan of salvation will have it explained to them. And that is what the Last Great Day pictures.

Notice what Jesus taught:

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38)

The Last Great Day helps demonstrate that all who ever lived will have an opportunity for salvation–an opportunity most will accept (John 7:37-39; Romans 11:25-26; Ezekiel 37:11-14; Hebrews 9:27-28). Those who do not observe the same Holy Days that Jesus and His disciples did, normally do not truly understand God’s plan of salvation.

A major reason that I originally became part of the Church of God is that in addition to proving all things from the Bible, I truly believe that since “God is love” (1 John 4:16) that He has a plan of salvation that will ultimately result in everyone being called and nearly every one who ever lived being saved.

That is part of what Ezekiel 37 is all about.

A related sermon is available: Last Great Day.

Some items of related interest may include:

The Last Great Day: Shemini ‘Azeret What is the ‘eighth day’ of the Feast? What does it help picture? A sermon on this topic is also available: Shemini Azaret: The Last Great Day.
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.
John Calvin, Calvinism, TULIP, and What is Predestination? Who was John Calvin? Did he believe in sola Scriptura or did he hold to unbiblical doctrines? TULIP analyzed.
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?
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Will God call everyone? Will everyone have an opportunity for salvation? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account? Related sermon videos include Universal Offer of Salvation I: God is love  and Universal Offer of Salvation II: The Age to Come and the ‘Little Flock’ and Universal Offer of Salvation III: All Are to Know Jesus, But When? and Universal Offer of Salvation IV: Will the Guilty be Pardoned? and Universal Offer of Salvation V: All Israel Will be Saved? A version of the main article was also translated in the Spanish language: Oferta universal de salvación: Hay cientos de versículos en la Biblia que apoyan la verdadera doctrina de la Apocatastasis.
Some Dissimilarities Between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and the Continuing Church of God The Continuing Church of God is not related to the Mormons and this article explains some differences and a couple of similarities.
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?
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.
Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory? Is there a place called purgatory? Does God have a plan to help those who did not become saints in this life?
What is Limbo? Is There Such a Place as Limbo? What Happens to Babies When They Die? When did Limbo start being taught? What is the truth about dead babies?
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?
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
The Night to Be Observed What is the night to be much observed? When is it? Why do Jews keep Passover twice and emphasize the wrong date? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled The Night to Be Observed.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here is a YouTube video intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread: Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2? Many “Christians” somewhat observe Pentecost. Do they know what it means? It is also called the Feast of Harvest, the Feast of Weeks, and the day of firstfruits. What about “speaking in tongues” and led by the Holy Spirit? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Pentecostés: ¿Es más que Hechos 2? plus one by Herbert Armstrong HWA sobre Pentecostés). Here is a YouTube sermon titled Pentecost: Feast of Firstfruits.
Should you keep God’s Holy Days or pagan holidays? A brief summary article about God’s Holy Days and holidays that others keep.
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not? What does the Feast of Trumpets, which the Jews call Rosh Hashanah, help teach? A related sermon video would be The Trumpet Release.
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? A sermon of related interest may be Day of Atonement: How Jesus fulfilled His part for the Atonement.
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? Here is a link to a sermon about Last Great Day.
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 :)

Here is a link to a sermon about Last Great Day.

What kind of songs did early Christians sing?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

The Hymnal of the Continuing Church of God Consists Mainly of Psalms and Biblical Passages Set to Music

COGwriter

Having attended both Roman Catholic and Protestant church services while growing up, one of the things I noticed that was different about the true Church of God was the type of hymns that were sung.

While Catholics and Protestants tended to sing songs that had religious messages, the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG) mainly sung hymns which were extracted from the Psalms in the Bible. Most of those of us in groups with ties to the old WCG still do.

And while we have been criticized for that (see Praises to Jesus Christ or Biblical Hymns: Which Should Christians Primarily Sing?), the fact is that the practice of the Churches of God appear to be the same as those of the earliest professors of Christ.

The Book of James teaches:

Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms (James 5:13).

The Apostle Paul noted:

Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm (1 Corinthians 14:26).

The noted historian K.S. Latourette observed:

From a very early date, perhaps from the beginning, Christians employed in their services the psalms found in the Jewish Scriptures, the Christian Old Testament. Since the first Christians were predominantly Greek-speaking, these psalms were in a Greek translation. We hear of at least one form of service in which, after the reading from the Old Testament, the “hymns of David” were sung…Until the end of the fourth century, in the services of the Catholic Church only the Old Testament Psalms and the hymns or canticles from the New Testament were sung…Gradually there were prepared versical paraphrases (Latourette K.S. A History of Christianity, Volume 1: Beginnings to 1500. Harper Collins, San Francisco, 1975, pp. 206,207).

Because of fears of gnostic influence, Christians did not add outside poetic phrases or non-biblical lyrics until well after the second century (Ibid).

On the Roman date of 7 March 203, Tertullian records that while being prepared for martyrdom:

Perpetua sang psalms (Tertullian. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 3. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Here is a quote from a fourth century publication known as the Apostolic Constitutions :

Be not careless of yourselves, neither deprive your Saviour of His own members, neither divide His body nor disperse His members, neither prefer the occasions of this life to the word of God; but assemble yourselves together every day, morning and evening, singing psalms and praying in the Lord’s house: in the morning saying the sixty-second Psalm, and in the evening the hundred and fortieth, but principally on the Sabbath-day. And on the day of our Lord’s resurrection, which is the Lord’s day, meet more diligently, sending praise to God that made the universe by Jesus, and sent Him to us, and condescended to let Him suffer, and raised Him from the dead (Apostolic Constitutions (Book II, Chapter LIX). Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight).

Isn’t this astounding? Even in the Church that was ruled by Rome, psalms were mainly sang on the Sabbath. This is most likely due to the continuance of the practice that the early (before Rome increased its influence) church had.

It appears likely that the Sunday practice of singing songs of praise to God ultimately led to the practice of shifting the primacy of psalm singing to praises towards Jesus in what we now consider to be the Protestant world (as they got Sunday from the Romans). A 21st century book on early biblical and church practices states:

Modern New Testament scholarship is studying extensively the early church in its relationship to Judaism. It is certainly without question that Judaism is Christianity’s mother religion…

The Book of Psalms, as the temple hymnbook, continued to be used in Jewish congregations as well as Christian congregations (Roberts T. From Sacral Kingship to Sacred Marriage: A Theological Analysis of Literary Borrowing. Vantage Press. New York, 2003, pp.138-139).

Hence evidence does support the idea that psalms were the main types of hymns that the early Christians sang on the Sabbath (as that is when the early Christians, did in fact meet–Sunday worship is not alluded to in any historical literature prior to the 2nd Century–and the first clear mention of Sunday worship was by Justin Martyr: A Saint, Heretic or Apostate?).

The songbook of the Continuing Church of God (as well as the old Worldwide Church of God) is almost exclusively English-translations of the Book of Psalms and other parts of the Bible set to music. The actual hymnal (called The Bible Hymnal) used by the Continuing Church of God consists of all the songs that were part of the 1974 edition of ‘The Bible Hymnal’ used by the old Worldwide Church of God, plus ten other hymns that Herbert Armstrong approved that were written by Ross Jutsum. The songs in this book are essentially the Psalms and other passages in the Bible set to music.

In non-English speaking areas, Church of God congregations basically sing the same hymns translated into other languages such as Spanish, Kiswahili, Dholuo, Ekegusii, French, German, etc.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Praises to Jesus Christ or Biblical Hymns: Which Should Christians Primarily Sing? This biblical article on music is in response to an advertisement critical of WCG’s 1974 The Bible Hymnal. It also address early church practices here.
Overview: How Does the Church of God Agree and Disagree with Other Faiths Professing Christ? This overview answers that and explains what the Church of God basically stands for. In the appendices provides information about certain complaints and as well as an overview about many COG-related groups.
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?
Continuing History of the Church of God This free 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 Bible Hymnal via Amazon. This is the paperback edition of the hymnal used by the Continuing Church of God. It consists of all the songs that were part of the 1974 edition of ‘The Bible Hymnal’ used by the old Worldwide Church of God, plus ten other hymns that Herbert Armstrong approved that were written by Ross Jutsum. The songs in this book are essentially the Psalms and other passages in the Bible set to music. Amazon sells The Bible Hymnal for $8.99.

A point made and missed about Halloween

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

COGwriter

A while back an anti-COG website re-ran something from former WCG Plain Truth writer, Keith Stump, about Halloween:

October is quickly flying by, meaning it’s time for the traditional Christian hand-wringing over that most “demonic” of holidays, Halloween! In anticipation of the usual anti-Halloween propaganda, I offer the following observations about this alleged “satanic festival of evil”:
First, there’s no need to point out that Halloween is not found in Leviticus 23. (Duh.) Leviticus 23 is obsolete and irrelevant anyway. Second, forget the lengthy dissertation about how the papacy (the alleged “image of the beast” and “great whore”) instituted the Roman Catholic celebrations of “All Hallows Eve” and “All Saints Day”. That, too, is irrelevant. Today’s Halloween has nothing to do with honoring Christian saints. For most, Halloween long ago ceased being viewed as a religious observance—and never was, by Americans.The Halloween that many of us know today is largely an American phenomenon. And it’s a purely secular observance.

Yet some of Halloween’s customs do have roots in pre-Christian (“pagan”) practices.

Halloween came from pagan sources, promotes pagan concepts, and is not in any way endorsed by the Bible. The point that is missed by Keith Stump that I would like to make now is that it is not a Christian holiday and should not be enjoined by Christians. The fact that Keith Stump believes that Leviticus 23 and other scriptures are no applicable is sad, but happens to many who turn back from professing belief in the biblical faith.

Jesus and Paul did not observe Halloween. They, and the early faithful Christians, observed the biblical Fall holy days such as the Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement , and the Feast of Tabernacles, which are also mentioned in Leviticus 23.

Which should a Christian truly support? Obviously not Halloween. It is not a Christian holy day, but a pagan holiday.

Several articles of possibly related interest may include:

Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? This article provides some historical and biblical insight on this question.
International ‘Halloween’: Should Christians observe Halloween? There are many cultures that have celebrations and observances that are similar to some associated with Halloween. What did the Druids do? Is Halloween one of the most important holidays for Satanists? Do the Japanese, Indians, and Chinese have any practices that are similar to some associated with Halloween? Does the Bible endorse or condemn practices that are associated with Halloween? This is a video.
All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls’ Day When did “All Saints Day” and the “Day of the Dead” begin? “What about All Soul’s Day”?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? Did they? Did Jesus? Did Paul? Should you?

Some More Questions and Answers from Genesis

Monday, October 20th, 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?).

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.

We previously asked and answered three here.  So, here are three more:

• “Could you please help me with something that has me really confused? From the time God created the heaven and earth until now is about 6,000 years. How then do they find trees and fossils that are claimed to be millions and millions of years old? Why did God have to create the earth if all these things were here? Please help me to clear this up.”

According to biblical chronology, God created Adam and Eve around 6,000 years ago. However, biblical and geological evidence make it clear that the earth itself — not man — has existed for a longer time.

The key to comprehending this little-known fact lies in the correct understanding of Genesis 1:1-2. Something tremendous is indicated to have occurred between what is stated to have been the original creation of the earth (verse 1) and the statement in verse 2: “And the earth was [or as it could be better translated, "had become"] without form [Hebrew: tohu] and void.” The Hebrew word tohu means “ruin, confusion, emptiness” (see any Hebrew-English lexicon). Yet Isaiah 45:18 shows that God did not create the earth in “vain” (same Hebrew word, tohu). So something occurred between Genesis 1:1 — the original creation of the earth — and Genesis 1:2 which introduces the creation week.

What occurred between events and conditions described in these two verses is revealed in other biblical passages. What is described in the seven 24-hour days of Genesis 1:2-31 is actually a new creation and a restoring to order (see Psalm 104:30). God made the earth a fit habitation for humankind.

A more complete study of this subject is available in our free article How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation?

• “How do we know how many hours were in a whole day at the time of creation week?”

Theistic evolutionists and even theologians often say that the “days” described in the first chapter of Genesis are really “epochs” of time each perhaps representing a thousand or more years in length. A look at the creation account and a simple knowledge of nature clearly show how long they were. Notice that plants were created on the third day. But the sun did not shine in full strength on the earth’s surface until the fourth day. If these “days” were thousands of years long, then how could the plants have survived all that time without sunshine? Furthermore, the insects which pollinate many of these plants were not created until the sixth day! Each day of creation week is not some long epoch, but exactly what the scripture says, a day and night of 24 hours. Each day is an evening and a morning — that is, nighttime and daytime.

A more complete study of this subject is available in our free article: How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation?

• “Genesis 2:19 seems to indicate that God created the beasts of the field after He created Adam. Yet Genesis 1 definitely implies just the opposite. Would you explain?”

Genesis 2, sometimes referred to as “the second account” of Creation, is a reiteration of Genesis 1 from a different viewpoint. Genesis 2 emphasizes the reason and purpose behind the creation of Adam and Eve, and describes God’s method of creating as well as other conditions extant at the time. The purpose of verse 19 is not to explain when God created the animals, but how, and to point out Adam’s responsibility in naming each kind. God used the naming of these animals as an opportunity to show Adam that he — unlike the animals — lacked a female counterpart. Likewise, that is why verses 21-25 only concern themselves with telling us why and how the woman was created.

It’s obvious that Genesis 1 and 2 both speak of the same events and they mutually amplify each other. Genesis 1:24-31 tells us that God made mankind and other life forms on the sixth day. Genesis 2:19 is completely agree­ able with this order of creative events on the sixth day.

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?