Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

Sermon: Trinity: Fundamental to Christianity or Something Else?

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016


Diagram intended to explain the ‘trinity’

COGwriter

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

1:09:25

Trinity: Fundamental to Christianity or Something Else?

Did early Christians believe that God was a trinity? Is the trinity explained in the Bible? Does Matthew 28:19-20 and 1 John 5:7-8 prove a trinity? What was decided at the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D.? What did early Christians believe?

Here is a link to the sermon: Trinity: Fundamental to Christianity or Something Else?

Some items of related interest may include:

Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Is The Father God? What is the view of the Bible? What was the view of the early church?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Jesus is God, But Became Flesh Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what? Here is information in the Spanish language¿Es Jesucristo Dios?.
Virgin Birth: Does the Bible Teach It? What does the Bible teach? What is claimed in The Da Vinci Code?
Why Does Jesus Have Two Different Genealogies listed in Matthew 1 and Luke 3? Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38 seemingly list two different genealogies for Jesus. Why?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
What is the Holy Spirit? This is an article by Rod Reynolds.
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD. A brief video is also available: Three trinitarian scriptures?
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus? The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach this, and SDA Ellen White did, but does the Bible allow for this?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a longer article than the Binitarian View article, and has a little more information on binitarianism, and less about unitarianism. A related sermon is also available: Binitarian view of the Godhead.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Pope Francis promotes praying for the dead–Cardinal Burke wants to correct the Roman Pontiff

Thursday, December 1st, 2016


Day of the Dead decorations

COGwriter

Mike Gendron put out the following in his newsletter today:

Purgatory, Praying for the Dead, and Indulgences
Roman Catholics have special days set aside to remember deceased loved ones, to visit their graves, and to pray for their time to be shortened in Purgatory. According to a Catholic spokesman, ”When you pray for the dead and go to the cemetery, you actually gain an indulgence.” An indulgence is defined as an “extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys.” Catholics believe that … upon death … some are held in Purgatory, where they must have their sins purged for an unknown period of time.

Pope Francis has visited cemeteries for All Souls’ Day throughout his tenure. Recently he held a mass at Prima Porta Cemetery in Rome, tweeting beforehand, “With faith we visit the graves of our loved ones, where we can also pray for those who no one remembers.”

Mike’s Comment: Nowhere in the Bible do we ever see anyone of faith praying for the dead.

Of course, early Christians did not teach the doctrine of purgatory (see Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory?) or praying for the dead. Part of the reason I reported the above was because of something that happened yesterday:

Vatican City, Nov 30, 2016 / 05:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his last set of catechesis on mercy, Pope Francis focused on the works of praying for the living and the dead, as well as burying the dead, insisting that since we are all part of one family in Christ, we must remember to pray constantly for one another. …

When it comes to praying for the dead, Francis said this work is above all a recognition of the witness the deceased left for us, and of “the good that they did. It is a thanksgiving to the Lord for having given them and for their love and friendship.” http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/we-have-to-pray-for-both-the-living-and-the-dead-pope-francis-says-83574/

The Roman Catholic sanctioned “festivals of the dead” turn people away from God’s plan of salvation as laid forth by His Holy Days. And these death festivals encourage people to commune with, appease, serve and even worship the dead.

Regarding the Day of the Dead, Wikipedia reports:

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1 and 2, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world: In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.

The Day of the Dead is clearly a pagan holiday.

Christians who wish to remain faithful to the original apostolic faith will not observe All Souls’ Day, All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead nor endorse purgatory, but endorse God’s Holy Days (see also Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).

In his newsletter today, Mike Gendron also had the following:

The Pope May Not Be Infallible After All

Cardinal Burke says if Pope Francis won’t clarify a ‘serious error,” the Cardinals must make a ‘formal act of correction.’ It appears there is a plan for a formal statement against Francis for heresy or at least deviation from the Faith. The Cardinals are following the proper canonical process. As one writer noted, “The step of making a ‘formal act of correction’ would be the preliminary step, according to classical theology and Church discipline, of declaring someone – anyone – a formal heretic.”

This is an earth-shaking development! It is clear that the Cardinals’ intention is to safeguard the Catholic Faith, not simply to accuse anyone of heresy. What happens if the pope does not respond and fails to give the clarification of the Church’s teaching? Cardinal Burke said, “Then we would have to address that situation. There is, in the Tradition of the Church, the practice of correction of the Roman Pontiff. It is something that is clearly quite rare. But if there is no response to these questions, then it would be a question of taking a formal act of correction of a serious error.”

Proselytism Among Christians is a Grave Sin

Pope Francis has created a new sin by daring to say “every form of proselytism among Christians is sinful.” This is his latest effort to push his ecumenical agenda and to protect his 1.2 billion Catholics from being evangelized by Christians with the true Gospel. He thinks Christian unity is “a path” of walking together with Jesus despite theological differences. Ignoring the fact that Catholics and Christians believe a different Gospel, the pope said, “Proselytism among Christians, therefore, in itself, is a grave sin.” When asked why, he said, “Because it contradicts the very dynamic of how to become and to remain Christian.” In other words, the pope is seeking to prevent God’s people from making disciples by teaching them to observe everything Christ has commanded (Mat. 28:18-20).  Proselytism, which the pope calls a grave sin, is defined as the act of attempting to convert people to another faith.  …

Mike’s Comment: The pope’s statement is just one of many bizarre pronouncements he has made since taking over the papacy.

The reality is that Pope Francis has taken steps that are contrary to various traditions of the Church of Rome. I would also add that the idea that popes are infallible has been proven wrong historically.

Furthermore, Pope Francis’ push for his ecumenical and interfaith agendas is clearly wrong.

As far as Cardinal Burke goes, he has long been a critic of Pope Francis and may consider him to be an ‘antipope’ (watch Anti-Pope Francis?).

Despite this, the false ecumenical/interfaith agenda continues to be pushed by the Vatican.  And more, disappointingly, seem to be agreeing with that agenda.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls’ Day Are these original Christian observances? Does the Bible endorse them?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
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?
Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? This article provides some historical and biblical insight on this question.
Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? What does John 3:16, and other writings, tell us? Did a doctrine kept adopted from paganism? Here is a YouTube video titled Are humans immortal?
What Did Early Christians Understand About the Resurrection? Is there more than one future resurrection? Did early Christians teach a physical resurrection? Did early Christians teach three resurrections?
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–is it a dead of the dead? What do these days teach?
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? What about the use of the cross, by the early Church?
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.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants) Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
The Dangerous Rise of Preterists Has the Great Tribulation finished? What was the view of early Christians? Why is the preterist view dangerous?
Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this. There is also a video available: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
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!
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
The Last Pope Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Why might Pope Francis be the last pope? What happens if he is? Biblical and other prophecies help explain what to expect.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Amazon Book What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roman”? This 186 page book provides information and answers.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of the printed book which is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.


CGOM: It’s not in the Book!

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

COGwriter

A while back, a newsletter associated with Church of God Outreach Ministries had the following:

It’s not in the Book!

You turn up for an event—only to find it has been cancelled. You plan a picnic—and it pours. You look forward to a big night out—and go down with ‘flu. We are used to such disappointments—that’s life!

Then you get curious about some of your beliefs only to find they don’t fit the facts. The moon isn’t green cheese. The earth isn’t flat. Matter isn’t solid and can be in two places at once. And—you can’t find your long-held Christian beliefs in Christianity’s source Book—the Bible. Now that could present some longterm issues.

Let’s look at some misunderstandings. …

Sunday Observance
Sorry—not in the Book. The Book teaches observance of the seventh day, Saturday. It took more than three centuries for the pagan Sunday observance to supersede the day kept by Jesus, the apostles and the early church, with just a minority continuing to observe the seventh day. Millions of Christians now observe it. worldwide.

Christmas/Easter
Puzzling that neither gets a mention. Except for a brief reference in the Old Testament where God strongly condemns them, and some veiled warning references by the apostle Peter. But with clear evidence that God appointed festivals were and should still be observed.

Immortal soul
Not there. That’s the lie Satan taught to Adam and Eve: ‘…you shall surely not die’. God only is immortal. Those in whom resides God’s immortal Spirit will put on immortality at the first resurrection at the return of Christ.

Heaven
No—the saved do not go there. They remain in God’s care (as inert spirits) until Jesus returns, when they reign with him firmly on Earth. In the end, the Father comes from heaven to reside on Earth.

Law
No—it’s not ‘done away’. Jesus makes clear in the Scriptures that God’s Law undergirds all Christian behaviour. When the Father draws us to Jesus we are to set aside our law-breaking (‘repentance’) and are baptized by immersion as a symbol of our becoming a ‘new creature’ in Christ.

It is to God’s Word, the Christian Bible, all of it, that we must look for the authentic teaching of Jesus. He warned that many would pervert his message and urged us to be constantly on our guard for false teachings—and teachers!

Let me also state that not only are many doctrines that people think are Christian not in the Bible, they were not observed by Jesus’ early followers either. Furthermore, many of those teachings that many now accept were condemned by early professors of Christ.

For scriptural and historical proof, check out the following documented articles and videos:

Sunday and Christianity Was Sunday observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians? Who clearly endorsed Sunday? What relevance is the first or the “eighth” day? A related sermon is also available: Sunday: First and Eighth Day?
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 Easter? If not, when did this happen? Where did Easter come from? What do scholars and the Bible reveal? Here is a link to a video titled Why Easter?
Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? What does John 3:16, and other writings, tell us? Did a doctrine kept adopted from paganism? Here is a YouTube video titled Are humans immortal?
Did Early Christians Teach They Were Going to Heaven? What do the Bible and scholars teach? What about ‘near-death experiences’? Here are links to a related sermons: Heaven and Christianity and It’s not heaven.
Were the Ten Commandments Nailed to the Cross? Some have said so. This article provides some biblical quotes to answer this important question.
Which Laws were Superceded? Which Remain? What about the Ten Commandments? What about the 613 regulations (called 613 Mitzvot) in the Old Testament? Which were ‘done away’?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

Grand Junction Church of God on prophets

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016


Elijah in the wilderness

COGwriter

Someone from the Christian Church of God of Grand Junction, Colorado sent me a paper that included the following:

A Prophet is an inspired preacher, with particular insight into subjects related to current events and bible prophesy. A true prophet would inject into the prophecy stream a correlation between practical fact and world conditions. One such is regarded as a person through whom God is directly working. (Jas. 5:10; Luke 11:49; Rev. 10:7) As in 1st Cor.14:29-37 we read of what was spoken of as a relatively normal situation, messages by two and more ‘prophets’ during a service. In this described situation, it involved possible multi-lingual presentations; that these local ‘prophets’ were self-controlled, (logical / sensible) and weren’t necessarily officially ‘ordained’ by any authority structure. Verse 37 alludes to even a self-assessed situation!

While I would have written the above differently, it does show that some in the COG recognize that the New Testament does discuss prophets as well as some of what they would be expected to do.

Earlier, the Chicagoland Church of God sent out a magazine and the cover story article was titled Need Prophets More than Prophecy (see Shepherd’s Voice: COG needs more prophets).

As far as the need for prophets, this is interesting as my research has led me to realize that all the Laodicean COG groups that I am aware of have major flaws in understanding prophecy. So much so, unless they heed Jesus’ advice to repent (Revelation 3:14-20), they will not possibly know when the Great Tribulation will begin.

One thing that I have noticed is that the Laodiceans, as well as those of the Sardis Church, misunderstand end time prophecy.

As far as prophetic misunderstandings in various claimed COG groups that I have personally denounced, here is an abbreviated list:

  1. Many COG groups (ICG, CGI, UCG, COGaIC, CG7CBCG, CGG, CEM, etc.) do not officially teach and/or do not believe in the idea of Church eras (The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3), though they sometimes teach about the churches of Revelation.  They tend to take more of a preterist (past) view of those churches, despite the fact that many statements made to them had to have future prophetic ramifications (e.g. Revelation 1:19; 3:3; 3:10). Because of that they do not teach certain prophetic aspects of this, most do not see their own problems and will have to go through the Great Tribulation.
  2. Many COG groups do not believe that the Gospel of the Kingdom still needs to be preached to the world as a witness per Matthew 24:14 (e.g. GCW, PCG), do not really make that a high priority (e.g. COGWA, CGG), or do so in less than truly loving the truth (cf. Jeremiah 48:10; see Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God), hence do not have the real Philadelphian work. As only the Philadelphians are promised to be protected from the hour of trial that will come on the whole world, they will not understand when Matthew 24:14 is fulfilled or when to flee per Matthew 24:15. Hence they do not have or lead the Philadelphian work.  Only the Philadelphians are promised to be protected from the hour of trial that will come on the whole world (see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra ).  See also 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?
  3. At least three groups misunderstand the Gospel and COG doctrines so much (PCG, CGPfK, and RCG) that I question if their top leaders are actually converted members of the COG. Two of those leaders have had major predictions be proven false (CGPFK and RCG).
  4. Many, if not most, COG groups do not realize that the Great Tribulation begins with the King of the North invading the USA. UK, and/or their Anglo-Saxon descended allies (Daniel 11:39) (see Who is the King of the North?).
  5. Many COG groups misunderstand the identity of the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43), and some have the wrong prophetic sequence regarding the King of the South (see PCG and LCG do not understand the end-time King of the South sequence–do you?). This is not the order that Daniel 11 teaches (see Who is the King of the North?). This view overlooks the fact that since the Great Tribulation is the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), that it begins with the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies like the United Kingdom getting invaded (cf. Daniel 11:39).  Some of the groups cling to this sequential error, because it was once held by the late Herbert W. Armstrong, who changed his view by 1979 (Armstrong, Herbert W. The Time We Are In, Now. Pastor General’s Report-Vol 1, No. 15, November 20, 1979).  Since the King of the North will eliminate those of the strongest fortresses (the USA, Canada, etc.) in Daniel 11:39, prior to invading the King of the South in Daniel 11:40, those who hold to this view will not know when the Great Tribulation will begin until after it has started.
  6. Some (CEG, GCG-UK) teach that there is no biblically-required King of the South, while at least one group is unsure (CGF-NW)–but this is an error (see also Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?).  This error contributes to other prophetic errors that those groups have.
  7. Some have insisted that the final King of the South will be from the nation of Ethiopia. This is partially based upon a mistranslation in the KJV version of the Bible as well as a position that the late Herbert Armstrong held. However, he changed his position in the 1960s and 1970s to an Arabic-Muslim confederation. Those who insist that the final King of the South must be Ethiopia will not possibly realize that the Great Tribulation will begin until it is too late (RCG once held that position, but later changed it).
  8. Several COG groups (like CGG, RCG, PCG, COGWA) clearly misunderstand Daniel 9:27, the second half of which ties in with Daniel 11:31 and Jesus’ words in Matthew 24:15. Those who misunderstand it will not have a proper pre-warning of what is happening nor likely know when the Great Tribulation will begin. (see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).
  9. Various COG groups (UCG, COGWA, COGaIC, RCG, and CGOM, come to immediate mind, but they are not the only ones) have so many areas of undefined prophecy that they will not know what certain events will mean.  And groups who define matters wrongly will have problems that way as well (PCG and LCG come to immediate mind, but so do nearly all other COG claimed groups).
  10. A couple of groups, such as  Church of God-Preparing for the Kingdom of God and Triumph Prophetic Ministries, have been repeatedly proven wrong about their dates for the start of the Great Tribulation and the return of Jesus Christ.  Those who rely on the leaders of those groups really do not understand biblical prophecy.
  11. Certain groups teach improper interpretations of the 1335, 1290, and 1260 days of Daniel 12 (CGPFK is one) or have other problems with that (most other COG groups) that they will not understand when the Great Tribulation will start. Herbert Armstrong changed his view on this by 1979 and many never understood the change.
  12. Most COG groups fail to understand Habakkuk 2:2-8 and hence are not properly getting the warning out to the USA and UK (see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel).  PCG totally misses it, and LCG, while it once would teach it, has backed off because of what appears to be internal politics. The rising ‘time bomb’ of USA debt is something that needs to be pointed out and Habakkuk 2:2-8 points out the biblical threat that this poses. It should be proclaimed and we in CCOG are doing it. Many do not realize that Habakkuk 2:2-8 is related to fleeing and the start of the Great Tribulation, that the time will come when those Philadelphians who understand it in its proper timeframe will flee (see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra), and is one of the reasons for the attack against the indebted descendants of the tribes of Joseph.
  13. At least one group (LCG) is not longer certain that France or certain other Israelitish nations will support the Beast power (see Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?). This differs from the position specifically taught by the late Dibar Apartian (see The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben: France in Prophecy?) as well as what the Bible teaches (see Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?). Those who misunderstand this are likely to not possibly realize when the final Beast power has formed.
  14. Many COG groups have various ‘Elijah heresies.’ Because of this, they will not be able to recognize the final Elijah.  Some think it must have been Herbert Armstrong, despite the fact that he has been dead since 1986 and that death disqualifies him according to his writing about that (Mystery of the Ages. 1985, p. 349).  Some think that either there is no Elijah to come or that is the church and not an individual, which goes against Jesus’ teachings on the subject in Mark 9:12-13 (for more details, see The Elijah Heresies).
  15. Many groups do not understand the differing persecutions (and other matters) to come in Daniel 7:25, 11:30-39, Matthew 24:9-22, and Revelation 12:14-17, hence when the prophesied wave of persecution initially hits the Philadelphians primarily (and not them), they will not see this persecution as evidence that the Great Tribulation is about to begin. The old Radio Church of God specifically applied the persecuting scriptures of Daniel 11:32-35 to the end time Philadelphian church (see also Persecutions by Church and State).
  16. Most groups that came out of groups once led by the late Garner Ted Armstrong (ICG, CGI, CEM, etc.) do not seem to teach that there is a physical place of safety (despite what Revelation 12:14-16 teaches), hence they will not be inclined to flee towards one just prior to the start of the Great Tribulation (see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra).
  17. Most ‘independents’ do not believe that they need to ‘gather together’ prior to the time to flee despite what Zephaniah 2:1-3 teaches, hence it is not likely they will be inclined to flee together when a group they are not part of does just prior to the start of the Great Tribulation (cf. Revelation 12:14-17; see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra).
  18. At least one group (PCG) misunderstands the final Prince of Rosh.  Those who insist on a pre-return of Jesus Christ for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38 will be disappointed as that is in scriptural error.
  19. At least one COG group (CG7) basically teaches that most of the events of Revelation have already taken place and no one needs to worry about coming persecution.  Jesus warned those of Sardis to be careful about losing the doctrinal understandings they had (Revelation 3:1-6), and this loss of prophetic knowledge proves that those in Sardis will not know when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  20. At least one COG group (LCG) erroneously believes that the abomination of desolation of Daniel 11:31 occurs after the King of the North invades the King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43; see PCG and LCG do not understand the end-time King of the South sequence–do you?). Since this will not happen that way, those who hold to that position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  21. At least one group (RCG) totally misunderstands various prophecies in Haggai and Zechariah and expect a type of reunification that is not prophesied.  Those who rely on this and other misinterpretations will not know when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  22. At least one group (LCG) erroneously teaches that the ‘Falling Away’ warned about in 2 Thessalonians 2 has mainly to do with the world and Protestants and not the Church of God (see The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).  This improper emphasis seems to be leading to a falling away of certain prophetic understandings for those who hold to it.
  23. Some groups teach (RCG, UCG, COGWA, LCG) that the man of sin who sits in the temple of God (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4) is the Antichrist, not the Beast of the Sea. Yet, it is this Beast of the Sea, the final King of the North (Daniel 11:35-36; see also Who is the Man of Sin?). So, when this happens, those who hold to the wrong position will not understand its prophetic ramifications.  The identity of the ‘son of perdition’ is important to understand in the end times.
  24. At least one group teaches that the ‘man of sin’ is Joseph Tkach, Jr. (PCG).  This absurd position also partially leads to many other misunderstandings.
  25. A few teach that a Jewish temple in Jerusalem temple will be rebuilt before Jesus returns (CBCG, RCG, COGFF, CEG, and TPM teach this, as do some in LCG). While this is remotely possible it is not required (the “temple of God” in the New Testament has to do with a Christian, not a modern Jewish, location; see Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?). Since this will not happen as a few sometimes teach, those who hold to that position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  26. At least two groups (PCG and LCG) teach that the Beast power will consist of 10 or 11 current nations in the European Union (see Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?). The European Union has 28 nation members with several others hoping to join it. And while it may lose nations, the reality is that if the Beast power rises up when there are more than 11 nations in it, those who hold to that position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin. Under Herbert Armstrong, the old WCG taught in at least a dozen documents (Plain Truth, Good News, Tomorrow’s World, booklets, Co-worker letter, Bible Correspondence Course) that this passage referred to 10 nations or GROUPS OF NATIONS. Presuming it will be another number of nations, those who insist on 10 or 11 will not realize when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  27. At least one group (CBCG) teaches that the ten kings are to be in charge of ten regions around the world as opposed to being a primarily European power.  Insistence upon this would mean that such a group could not possibly understand when the Great Tribulation would begin.
  28. At least two groups seem to teach that the first verse in the Daniel 11 sequence relating to the beginning of the Great Tribulation is Daniel 11:40 (LCG does this in its Official Statement of Fundamental Beliefs, whereas PCG does it elsewhere. Instead they should teach that it begins with Daniel 11:39, which is shortly after Daniel 11:31, which is also consistent with the start of the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7; see also Who is the King of the North?). Those who hold to the Daniel 11:40 position will not understand when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  29. The leader of at least one group (GOI, James Malm) has claimed that the Great Tribulation could begin within a year for the last 6 or so years.  Since it does not recognize why this is in error, it will not truly know when the Great Tribulation will begin.
  30. Some independents and some groups (PCG comes to mind) insist that the late Herbert W. Armstrong was the final ‘Elijah to come’ even though that contradicts scripture and Herbert Armstrong’s own writings (see The Elijah Heresies).
  31. Leaders of at least two groups (CGPFK and RCG), who once insisted publicly that Herbert Armstrong must be the final Elijah, now falsely claim that they hold that role.
  32. Some groups either do not believe there is an Elijah to come (CGI comes to mind) or do not believe he needs to be a person (LCG comes to mind).
  33. At least one group has confused the final Elijah with the return of Jesus (LCG comes to mind).
  34. At least one group has publicly claimed that God has no prophets today and will not have any until the two witnesses are empowered (LCG comes to mind). This downplays how God works (cf. Ephesians 2:20) and that the Bible teaches, ” Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7) (see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).
  35. At least one group (CGG) teaches that the Beast power is not European.  Since the Beast power will arise in Europe, those who do not understand this will not realize when the Great Tribulation is about to begin (see also Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation).
  36. At least one group (LCG) teaches that the European Union will collapse like the old Roman Empire. But the lessons of history and the Bible contradict that (details are in the article Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?).

Some will come up with their preferred rational as why not to agree with the position of the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) on these matters.

It should be noted that leaders in the Living Church of God and/or the United Church of God confirmed to me personally that I was biblically correct on all the above points, despite the fact that their respective churches hold to several of the errors pointed out above. Those who rely too much on a compromised ministry (Ezekiel 34:7-10) to teach them prophecy that is not truly in accordance with scripture need to realize that according to Jesus’ words in Revelation 2 & 3 and Luke 21, only relatively few Christians will be protected from the hour of trial that will come upon the whole world.

There are also more prophetic differences that other COG groups have from the Bible. The reality is that without the right emphasis on the final phase of the work, holding the Bible in sufficiently high regard, practicing Philadelphian love, and ignoring one anointed like Elisha, the COG groups that ignore prophetic warnings are doing so to their peril.

While some discount prophecy, notice what Jesus admonished His faithful to do:

35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:35-36)

Are we not a lot closer to the end now than when Jesus stated that? Should you not be watching world events as properly explained in the light of Bible prophecy?

The various Laodiceans will not properly understand end time prophecy, and that will contribute to them NOT fleeing when they should (cf. Matthew 24:15-21; Revelation 12:14-17).

A video of related interest is titled 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.

In the Continuing Church of God:

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:19-21, KJV)

A detailed article about prophets in the Church of God is How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God. That article not only has scriptures, it also has historical COG writings that should help people who will believe the truth to be able to see the truth.

Years ago, I also gave a sermon titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God and it is available at the ContinuingCOG YouTube channel. Some may also find it of interest.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets, yet many overlook what the Bible teaches about how to recognize a true one. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? This article contains a scripture-based checklist to assist with this determination.
How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God This is a sermon on YouTube addressing a subject that most in the Church of God do not seem to have looked into very much. It discusses scriptures and dispels some improper assertions that some associated with the COG have made about prophets in this time.
Elijah: Past and Prophesied Information about the original Elijah and some information about the Elijah-related prophecies.
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong?
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had? What are some of the scriptural limits on ecclesiastical authority? Do some commit organizational idolatry? Here is a Spanish language version La Biblia, Policarpo, Herbert W. Armstrong, y Roderick C. Meredith sobre el gobierno de la Iglesia. Here is a link to a sermon titled Church Governance.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. 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。
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.

Second law of success: education/preparation

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

COGwriter

In his booklet, The Seven Laws of Success, the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the following related to the second law of success:

The Vital Second Law

And so, if you are to arrive at SUCCESS in LIFE, you must first set the right goal, and then comes the PREPARATION to achieve that goal.

So, the SECOND law of success in time sequence, is EDUCATION, or PREPARATION.

How can one expect to accomplish his purpose unless he acquires the know-how?

One thing we need to know about life—and many do not—is that humans do not come equipped with instinct.

To this extent, the dumb animals have a certain advantage over us. They do not have to learn. They never need weary their brains with book learning.

The new born calf does not have to be taught how to walk. It starts immediately to get up on its somewhat infirm and uncertain legs. It may fall down on the first or second attempt, but in a matter of a few moments it stands, even if a little unsteady at first. It does not require a year or two—not even an hour or two—the little calf starts walking in a few minutes! It does not need to reason out any goals. It requires no textbooks, nor teaching. It instinctively knows its goal—dinner! And it knows, also instinctively, the way. On its own four legs it proceeds immediately to the first meal!

I have repeated so many times: birds build nests—by instinct. No one teaches them how. Five generations of weaver birds, isolated from nests or nest-building materials, never saw a nest. When nest-building materials were made accessible, the sixth generation, without any instruction, proceeded to build nests! They were not crows’ nests or eagles’ nests. They were the same kind of nests weaver birds have built since creation. They had no minds to think out, imagine, design, and construct a different kind of nest.

Of course dogs, horses, elephants, dolphins, and some other animals can be taught and trained to do certain tricks. But they cannot reason, imagine, think, plan, design and construct new and different things. They do not acquire knowledge, perceive truth from error, make decisions, and employ WILL to exercise self-discipline according to their own reasoned wisdom and decisions. THEY CANNOT DEVELOP MORAL AND SPIRITUAL CHARACTER.

But humans have it not quite so easy. Humans have to learn, or be taught. Humans have to learn to walk, to talk, to eat or drink.

We don’t come to these basic accomplishments instinctively and immediately like the dumb animals. It may take a little more time. It may come a little harder. But we can go on to learn reading, writing, and “rithmetic”!

Then we can go further, and learn to appreciate literature, music, art. We can learn to think and reason, to conceive a new idea, to plan, design, construct.

We can investigate, experiment, invent telescopes and learn something about outer space and far-off planets, stars, and galaxies. We invent microscopes and learn about infinitesimal particles of matter.

We learn about electricity, laws of physics and chemistry. We learn to use the wheel, construct highways, and roll over ground faster than any animal. We learn to fly higher, farther and faster than any bird. We learn how to take nature apart and make it work for us. We discover and utilize nuclear energy.

But we have to LEARN—to STUDY—to be EDUCATED—to be PREPARED for what we propose to do.

One if the first things we need to learn is –that we need to learn!

Once you have learned enough to CHOOSE A GOAL, the second step toward successfully accomplishing that goal is to LEARN THE WAY—to acquire the additional education, training, experience, to give you the know-how to achieve your goal.

Most people fail to set any definite goals. Having no specific aims, they neglect the specialized EDUCATION to make possible the attainment of their purpose.

Now all these men whose case histories I have recounted had goals. They had the overall purpose of acquiring possessions, attaining status, and enjoying the passing moments. As a means to this objective, they had the specialized goals of succeeding in banking, industry, politics, acting, writing, or whatever. They all EDUCATED THEMSELVES for their particular profession or calling.

They were broad enough to realize that education included not only book learning, but personality development, leadership, experience, knowledge form contacts and associations, and from observation.

Yet these “successful” people were not really successful. They not only chose an overall goal that led them in the way of false values, they also failed to equip themselves with the RIGHT education to make possible that REAL LASTING success—fulfilling the PURPOSE of life.

There is, then, a right and a false education.

These successful people were not lastingly successful. Their education failed to teach them the TRUE VALUES. They chose goals that led them in the way of false values that didn’t last.

The entire system of education in this world neglects to recapture the true values. Even the scholarly educators themselves too often devote themselves to arduous years of research into non-essential and useless channels.

The basic and most essential knowledge—the true values, the meaning and purpose of life, the WAY to peace, to happiness and abundant well-being—these basics are never taught. Because I was given to see this decadence in modern education—to recognize this tragic knowledge gap—I was led to found a college that fills this need.

Right education must teach that all things are a matter of cause and effect—that for every result, whether good or evil, there is a cause. True education will teach the CAUSE of this world’s evils—of personal or collective troubles—so that they may be avoided. Also it much instruct in the CAUSE of this world’s evils—of personal or collective troubles—so that they may be avoided. Also it must instruct in the CAUSE of the GOOD results, that we may know how to win them instead of the troubles. Right education must not stop at teaching TO LIVE! It must know, and teach, the PURPOSE of human life, and how to fulfill it.

Decadent education has spawned student revolt, which has, on occasion, plunged many colleges and universities into states of violence and chaos!

It’s another significant tragedy of our time!

This world is dissemination false education that has come down to us from the thinking, philosophizing, yet misguided pagans who lacked a knowledge of the true values and purposes of life! The true history of education is an eye-opening story in itself!

Despite media reports in the last year or so questioning the monetary value of education (and some of it should be questioned), becoming educated or otherwise prepared is important. Not only can the right education “open doors,” it helps many people become more productive. It helps people live up to more of their potential.

With so many world events happening that are aligning with end time prophecy, isn’t this the time to be sure that you have the right goal and understand the meaning of life so that your education can support that?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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?
What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? What is your ultimate destiny? What does the Bible teach? Is deification only a weird or cultic idea? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
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.
The Seven Laws of Success Information by Herbert W. Armstrong and I that can help people become successful.

Krampus: Paganism and drunkenness

Monday, November 28th, 2016


Krampus Movie Poster

COGwriter

Many probably have never heard of Krampus. But there have been a few movies focused on this creature.

Here is some of what National Geographic reported:

Who Is Krampus? Explaining the Horrific Christmas Devil

Krampus, whose name is derived from the German word krampen, meaning claw, is said to be the son of Hel in Norse mythology. The legendary beast also shares characteristics with other scary, demonic creatures in Greek mythology, including satyrs and fauns.

The legend is part of a centuries-old Christmas tradition in Germany, where Christmas celebrations begin in early December.

Krampus was created as a counterpart to kindly St. Nicholas, who rewarded children with sweets. Krampus, in contrast, would swat “wicked” children and take them away to his lair.

According to folklore, Krampus purportedly shows up in towns the night before December 6, known as Krampusnacht, or Krampus Night. December 6 also happens to be Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day, when German children look outside their door to see if the shoe or boot they’d left out the night before contains either presents (a reward for good behavior) or a rod (bad behavior).

A more modern take on the tradition in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic involves drunken men dressed as devils, who take over the streets for a Krampuslauf—a Krampus Run of sorts, when people are chased through the streets by the “devils.” …

Krampus is making a comeback now, thanks partly to a “bah, humbug” attitude in pop culture, with people searching for ways to celebrate the yuletide season in non-traditional ways. National Geographic has even published a book in German about the devilish Christmas beast. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/12/131217-krampus-christmas-santa-devil/

Notice also the following about Krampus:

1. The creature has more than one name. Other names for Krampus are Schmutzli, Perchten, Knecht Ruprecht, Certa, Black Peter, Pelznickel and Klaubauf.

2. Krampus is a pagan monster with roots in Germanic and Greek mythology … The name itself comes from the German word “krampen,” which means “claw.” In the myth, he is described as a demonic version of half-goat, half-man. To top it off, he is adorned with a chain and bells and a bundle of birch sticks with which to hit naughty children.

3. Krampus pre-dates Christianity. That means he’s older than Jesus Christ.

4. He doesn’t arrive on the same day as Santa Claus. Krampus gets Dec. 6, a night of his own. He shows up on Krampus Night, or Krampusnacht, which coincides with St. Nicholas Day. http://www.ibtimes.com/krampus-real-4-trivia-facts-about-mythical-christmas-demon-ahead-horror-movie-2090194

Krampus is some type of a pagan invention,

Pagan celebrations (since Krampus clearly has a non-Christian origin) is not something Christians should engage in:

29 When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, 30 take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ 31 “You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it (Deuteronomy 12:29-32, NKJV).

The LORD says, “Do not start following pagan religious practices… (Jeremiah 10:2, NET Bible).

2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen… (Jeremiah 10:2, KJV).

Nor should Christians be part of drunken celebrations, like Krampus is in certain places:

13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:13-14)

And ‘Krampus’ is not the only one of those that many who claim Christ celebrate in violation of biblical guidelines.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Alcohol: Blessing or Curse? This is an article from the old Good News magazine that attempts to answer this question.
Binge Drinking, Health, and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach? A related video is also available: Binge Drinking and the Bible.
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?
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?
Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? Historical and biblical answers to this question about the world’s New Year’s day.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :) In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

Certain ‘American foods’ gross out foreigner; hot dogs can contain things humans should not eat; ‘sugar-free’ increases weight?

Monday, November 28th, 2016

COGwriter

Some foods commonly consumed by Americans in the USA and Canada gross foreigners out:

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.

Notice something from the German press about artificial sweeteners:

Sugar-free products stop us getting slimmer

Many people believe that synthetic sweeteners will help them lose weight. But it turns out that one common substitute for sugar actually blocks the function of an enzyme that is essential for preventing obesity. …

Subsequently, the researchers took four groups of mice. Two of them received a normal diet, the other two a high-fat diet. One of each of them received water to drink and the other an aspartame solution.

The amount of sweetener solution given to the normal diet group was equivalent to a human drinking three-and-a-half cans of soda a day. For the high-fat group it amounted to the equivalent of two cans.

In the end, there were hardly any noticeable differences between the two groups of mice that were fed a normal diet. But among the groups that received a high-fat diet, the mice that drank the sweetener solution became considerably heavier than those who drank plain water.

However, the blood sugar level was higher than normal in all of the mice that received sweetener solution. This is usually an indicator of glucose intolerance. All of these mice also experienced an increase of a protein called TNF-alpha in their blood. This protein is typically related to inflammations that are common in cases of metabolic syndrome.

What does that mean for humans? You’d be better off drinking plain water, or tea without sugar or sweetener, than grabbing a “zero-sugar” refreshment.  11/24/16 http://www.dw.com/en/sugar-free-products-stop-us-getting-slimmer/a-36504096

Phony foods are not food, but basically a form of deception.

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.

Notice also the following about hot dogs:

Americans love to eat hotdogs; they spent $2.5 billion on this processed food last year. But a food analytics lab has found that there are unwanted and potentially dangerous ingredients lurking in hotdogs that consumers are not aware of.

Clear Labs, a startup that uses genomic technology to analyze foods at a molecular level, looked at 345 hotdogs and sausages from 75 brands sold at 10 different food retailers. The company found that 14.4 percent of the products examined contained ingredients that were not disclosed on the label.

The DNA analysis revealed unexpected ingredients as well with some of the products found to contain meat not found on the label such as meat in vegetarian products. Human DNA was also found in 2 percent of the samples and even in some of the vegetarian samples. Some of the ingredients that were advertised on the labels were not likewise found.

“The food industry has been a black box for too long. Food consumers have to trust that food labels are accurate, but that isn’t always the case,” said Clear Labs CEO Sasan Amini. “We’ve found a 10 to 15 percent rate of discrepancy between labeled ingredients and actual ingredients across our internal tests to date.”

Some individuals opt for chicken and turkey sausages to avoid pork but there were evidences of pork substitution in 3 percent of the samples tested. Pork was found to make its way to chicken and turkey sausages.

“Pork is a particularly unwelcome substitution in any food when you consider that significant numbers of people do not eat pork for religious reasons,” the report reads “Pork substitution was an issue in products across the price spectrum being sold at a wide variety of retailers.”

Based on the analysis, Clear Labs recommended that consumers who want to avoid pork steer free of chicken products and opt for Kosher brands like Hebrew National as the Kosher products that were tested were found to be 100 percent pork-free. October 25, 2015. http://www.techtimes.com/articles/99306/20151025/hotdogs-may-have-undisclosed-ingredients-clear-labs-finds-mystery-meat-human-dna-in-sampled-brands.htm

False labeling is bearing false witness. This is a violation of the ninth commandment. No human should be eating humans or pork.

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:

American foods that gross out foreigners A study done in the Fall of 2014 found out which foods that non-USA Americans considered weird or gross that Americans eat. This video discusses those foods, ingredients in some of those foods, and warns against consuming ‘that which is not bread’ (Isaiah 55:2). Dr. Thiel also warns about synthetic vitamins and some of the issues associated with them. He also discusses something promoted by the late Seventh-day Adventist, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg.
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, History, and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats; a short video is also available: Did Jesus declare all animal flesh food?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
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.

Tips on ending financial worries

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

COGwriter

The stock markets around the world are jittery. Many around the world are concerned about international matters, including the presidential election in the USA.

The USA has the most debt any nation in world history has ever had, with the UK second in one list I recently saw. The per capita debt of those in the UK are amongst the highest of all time. The Eurozone has struggles between members, plus its own debt issues.

Those in Asia and South America have seen their economic standards of living generally rise, but great apprehension exists. There have been gains in some parts of Africa and the Middle East, but also great perils. Even the oil-exporting nations have concerns.

Instead of focusing on national and international finance (which I tend to post about a lot), this post will mainly consists of quotes from the late Herbert W. Armstrong about personal finance from a biblical perspective. Anyway, here is some of what he wrote:

Ending Your
FINANCIAL WORRIES

by Herbert W. Armstrong
©Copyright 1959

What are YOU most concerned about? Is it the threat of hydrogen bomb WAR that can blast all human life from off this planet? Is it the race to conquer SPACE? MOST are concerned not about these issues but about making ends meet. THINK OF IT! In the industrial nations about 25% of parents are “farming out” their children so that both parents can work! WHY are most families experiencing such desperate financial worry? WHY such worry and striving over MAKING ENDS MEET?

FINANCIAL worries Seem to plague us all! IT JUST DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!

When you stop to think about it, never in the history of this world were any nations so rich as the English-speaking and the western European nations today! Our peoples possess more developed resources and national wealth than any people ever had before.

Yet nearly every one of us is engaged in a constant STRUGGLE to make ends meet. Financial worries seem constantly to bear us down — rob us of real happiness and joy! WHY SHOULD THIS BE?

There is a reason! You CAN BE FREE from financial worry!

What Most People Don’t Know

There is something you probably don’t know about your income. If there is anything people are jealous of, it is the money they earn. They usually work hard for it. And they want full freedom in deciding for themselves what they do with it.

People say: “What I earn is MINE — I can do what I please with it!”

But is the money you earn really your own? Don’t be too sure. Notice these FACTS about your income you probably haven’t known!

What you earn is not yours!

The man who says, “What I do with the money I earn with my own labor is nobody’s business — I produced it — it belongs to me,” is mistaken.

What you earn, by work performed or investments made is not yours — not any of it — that is, not UNTIL …!

And here is what most people don’t know about their income!

There are two prior claims on your income. One, of course, is taxes.

Human governments, by virtue of MAN-made laws, are able forcibly to extract from your incomes not one tenth, but an average of over ONE QUARTER, a vast amount of which is mis-spent. Jesus said we are to pay taxes — render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s — be subject to the powers that be. Governments, therefore, have exercised a PRIOR right to one quarter of your income — and in the case of salary or wages, governments take it out BEFORE YOU get your pay.

But the first claim is GOD’S claim. You probably never realized this fact before — but it is a fact. God Almighty the living CREATOR-RULER of the universe claims it all — every dollar — every pound — every franc — every mark. Your Maker who gives you the very air you breathe tells you it all belongs to Him, not to you!

But didn’t you earn it? Didn’t YOU produce it?

Not exactly! Everything produced — money, and all that money can buy — comes out of the earth. You didn’t produce that! God created that. You merely applied certain energy in physical action and in thinking to what God had created and owned. And God created even that energy you expended — He created your thinking processes. He not only created, originally, but He sustains what He created, including all force and energy.

So, after all, it was GOD’S LABOR of creating and sustaining that really produced all. God’s claim to its ownership of all you have THOUGHT YOU produced is valid. It is prior to yours.

God Almighty says, in His written Word: “The earth is the Eternal’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods” (Psalm 24:1-2). These inspired words are repeated in I Corinthians 10:26.

“Whatsoever is under the whole heaven is MINE,” claims God (Job 41:11).

“Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the ETERNAL’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is” (Deut. 10:14). “All the earth is MINE” (Ex. 19:5).

“If I were hungry,” says God (Psalm 50:12), “I would not tell thee; for the world is MINE, and the fulness thereof.” “For every beast of the forest is MINE, and the cattle upon a thousand hills” (verse 10).

Yes, even the money — even the gold and silver: “The silver is MINE, and the gold is MINE, saith the ETERNAL of hosts” (Hag. 2:8).

DARE any man deny this claim of God? These same words of God are the words by which every man shall be JUDGED at the last. If any man deny God’s claim, the decision will be rendered against him, in the judgment! God’s claim stands! Admit, then, your income BELONGS TO GOD! It’s HIS to do with as HE wills.

How God’s Law Regulates It

However, God is a God of love. He knows your need. God is concerned about you. He is not selfish. He has your interest and welfare in mind. Therefore God has made A LAW respecting that portion of HIS WEALTH which your thinking, and your labor has extracted and worked upon.

Get this fixed thoroughly in your mind. Your wages, your salary, your profit, your income BELONGS TO GOD, not to you. Probably you never realized this before. This may seem like a new idea to you. But it is not an idea — it is a fact.

GOD IS THE OWNER OF WHAT YOU WORK ON AND HAVE A PART IN PRODUCING. You could produce nothing apart from God’s matter which He created — apart from the use of laws of force and energy which God set in motion and sustains.

Therefore GOD HAS A RIGHT to take, or dispose of what you regard as your income AS HE WILLS. He OWNS it. It is not yours, it is HIS!

So God, the rightful OWNER of your income, has MADE A LAW respecting its disposal and its use. By virtue of being Creator and Sustainer of the earth and all in it, God is supreme RULER and LAWGIVER.

God’s LAW respecting what you earn is in fact a DEAL He has made with you. He allows you to work on HIS EARTH, to use a part of the earth or what is in it or on it, and of its forces and energies, and to extract from it food, materials, supplies, metals, wood, oils, coal, or whatever — or to work on or with that which others have extracted from the earth, in manufacturing, distributing, selling, buying, investing — whatever may be your occupation or job or profession — and so, whether you have realized it or not YOU HAVE BEEN WORKING IN PARTNERSHIP WITH GOD.

The farmer or gardener may plant seed, plow, and expend his labor in raising food. But WHO supplied the SOIL? WHO created the living process that makes the seed sprout and grow? Who sends the rain, or provides water for irrigation? Who set the sun in the sky and causes it to shine and warm the earth? Who causes the plant to drink out of the soil the minerals, vitamins, and good elements, and to grow into the vegetable, the grain, or the fruit? Did YOU perform this part of the business of raising the food you eat?

When we sit down and really THINK, we shall see that God supplies about NINE parts of everything man makes or produces, and man’s thinking, planning, and working supplies only about ONE part. But God does not take nine tenths of the proceeds, or the income. He doesn’t take even eight tenths, or seven, or even three or two tenths. God is GENEROUS. God has reserved for HIS use only one little tiny tenth of what is produced out of His earth through His forces and energies!

God takes only ONE tenth. And after you have been honest in PAYING God’s tenth to God’s chosen representative, then — AND NOT UNTIL THEN — God has decreed that the other NINE tenths becomes legally YOURS!

THAT’S GOD’S LAW! Not a penny of what you earn, or a penny’s worth of the value of what you produce, is YOURS — it ALL belongs to God to do with as HE directs. But God has legally directed that after you have honestly paid Him the one little, small tenth He requires for His use, then the other NINE tenths He gives to YOU. Then, and not until then, you can rightfully claim OWNERSHIP over that nine tenths. Then and thereafter it is YOURS to do with as YOU decide.

When we get our thinking straight — when we get UNDERSTANDING — when we stop to realize HOW MUCH of what we have was provided by GOD — then we realize how LOVING, how GENEROUS, how solicitous for our welfare God is.

How to HAVE MORE

But that’s only part of the story.

What does God want with that first TENTH? How does He use it? He requires that small fraction of what is produced out of HIS earth for the purpose of disseminating to the people HIS MESSAGE OF THE WAY OF LIFE that will free them from fears and worries, give them peace of mind and happiness, give them joy and success and LIFE ETERNAL!

Yes, even this tenth which God withholds for His use is expended for HUMAN GOOD! For proclaiming His gospel of peace, and happiness and joy and salvation! For letting people know God will heal them when they are sick — that God will deliver them from every trouble — supply their every need! Give them Eternal Life! (You can click the following for the rest of the article: Ending Your FINANCIAL WORRIES)

I will simply add that God is faithful and that one can live in this age as a tithe payer. No modern currency is going to last over a few decades from now. Do not put your faith in it.

Remember what Jesus taught:

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

The world will pass away, but God’s word will not (cf. Matthew 24:35).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Tithing Questions and Some Answers Answers questions about tithing and also addresses some non-biblical arguments against tithing. Should people tithe? Here is a link to a related video sermon Tithing Answers from the Bible.
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.
Gambling and Sin: Is it a Sin for Christians to Gamble? What does the Bible reveal? A related video is Gambling: A Covetous Sin?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?

Do Not Fear

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

FAITH Cover

COGwriter

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

Are you fearful? Are Christians supposed to be full of fear? What did Jesus tell His “little flock’? What does God’s word state is the fate of the cowardly? Have you read many biblical passages about fear? Jay Chiang addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to his message:s Do Not Fear.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Christian courage vs. cowardice As you courageous? What biblically is cowardice? Do YOU really understand this? Two sermons related to this article are available and are titled Courage and Cowardice and Cowardice and Overcoming Fear. A Spanish language article is also available: Valor Cristiano vs Cobardía.
Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen What is faith? Can faith be increased? Are you saved by faith? What about works? Do Christians need to keep the Ten Commandments? What is the ‘faith chapter’? How do the just live by faith? Is faith one of the weightier matters of the law? How does faith come? Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido. In German: Glaube für die von Gott Berufenen und Auserwählten. In French: La Foi pour ceux que Dieu a Appelés et Choisis. Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Faith for the Called and Chosen.and here is a link to another sermon Faith and Courage. Here is a link to shorter version of the written article in Mandarin Chinese 一篇关于信仰的小文章.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
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.

SDA’s Ellen White and Jehovah’s Witnesses misidentified the archangel Michael

Friday, November 25th, 2016


Michael in the Hebrew language

COGwriter

Did you know that the Seventh-day Adventist ‘prophetess’ Ellen White taught that the archangel Michael was Jesus?

Did you know that the Jehovah’s Witnesses still teach that?

Recently, one raised as a Seventh-day Adventist told me that Ellen White held that view and that he found it blasphemous. When I asked him for citations, he sent the following that Ellen White taught:

Patriarchs and Prophets page 761—Again: Christ is called the Word of God. John 1:1-3. He is so called because God gave His revelations to man in all ages through Christ. It was His Spirit that inspired the prophets. 1 Peter 1:10, 11. He was revealed to them as the Angel of Jehovah, the Captain of the Lord’s host, Michael the Archangel.

Prophets and Kings page 572—For three weeks Gabriel wrestled with the powers of darkness, seeking to counteract the influences at work on the mind of Cyrus; and before the contest closed, Christ Himself came to Gabriel’s aid. “The prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days,” Gabriel declares; “but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.” Daniel 10:13.

Early Writings page 164—Moses passed through death, but Michael came down and gave him life before his body had seen corruption. Satan tried to hold the body, claiming it as his; but Michael resurrected Moses and took him to heaven. Satan railed bitterly against God, denouncing Him as unjust in permitting his prey to be taken from him; but Christ did not rebuke His adversary, though it was through his temptation that the servant of God had fallen. He meekly referred him to His Father, saying, “The Lord rebuke thee.”

The Story of Redemption page 206—Moses passed through death, but Michael came down and gave him life before his body had seen corruption. Satan tried to hold the body, claiming it as his; but Michael resurrected Moses and took him to heaven. Satan railed bitterly against God, denouncing Him as unjust in permitting his prey to be taken from him; but Christ did not rebuke His adversary, though it was through his temptation that the servant of God had fallen. He meekly referred him to His Father, saying, “The Lord rebuke thee.”

19 Manuscript release 106.2—Jude presents the example of Christ. He says, “Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil He disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee” (As cited in an Email to COGwriter@aol.com 11/06/16)

Those in the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) believe that Michael is simply an archangel, not divine. Nowhere does the Bible teach that Jesus was once Michael.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses still teach that Jesus was the archangel Michael:

The foremost angel, both in power and authority, is the archangel, Jesus Christ, also called Michael. (1 Thessalonians 4:16; Jude 9) Under his authority are seraphs, cherubs, and angels. (The Truth About Angels. Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site. Appeared in The Watchtower November 1, 1995. http://www.watchtower.org/library/w/1995/11/1/article_02.htm 07/09/07)

Michael is a name given to Jesus in his role as a heavenly Ruler (Pay Attention. p. 289).

Michael [another name for Jesus] and his angels battled with the dragon…Revelation 12 (What Does the Bible Really Teach?Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Brooklyn, 2005, p. 89).

The Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe that Jesus is God, but the CCOG does.

The Bible is clear that Jesus was not an angel and that God did not exalt any angel like Jesus was exalted.

Notice what the Book of Hebrews teaches:

1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

5 For to which of the angels did He ever say:
“You are My Son,Today I have begotten You”?

And again:
“I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son”?

6 But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says:
“Let all the angels of God worship Him.”

7 And of the angels He says:
“Who makes His angels spirits And His ministers a flame of fire.”

8 But to the Son He says:

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

10 And:
“You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. 11 They will perish, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; 12 Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.”

13 But to which of the angels has He ever said:
“Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”?

14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation? (Hebrews 1:1-14)

Angels, including archangels are ministering spirits–they are not part of the Godhead. For more details, see also Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus?

More information on the Godhead can be found in the following:

Binitarian View: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning Is binitarianism the correct position? What about unitarianism or trinitarianism?
Is The Father God? What is the view of the Bible? What was the view of the early church?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Jesus is God, But Became Flesh Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what? Here is information in the Spanish language¿Es Jesucristo Dios?.
Virgin Birth: Does the Bible Teach It? What does the Bible teach? What is claimed in The Da Vinci Code?
Why Does Jesus Have Two Different Genealogies listed in Matthew 1 and Luke 3? Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38 seemingly list two different genealogies for Jesus. Why?
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
What is the Holy Spirit? This is an article by Rod Reynolds.
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD.
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a longer article than the Binitarian View article, and has a little more information on binitarianism, and less about unitarianism. A related sermon is also available: Binitarian view of the Godhead.

The archangel Michael is not Jesus, our Saviour.

Some items of related interest may include:

Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus? The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach this, but does the Bible allow for this?
What is Restrained and Who is Restraining in 2 Thessalonians 2:7? Are sorceries being restrained until the future? What is the mystery of lawlessness? Could Michael be the restrainer? Here is a related article in Spanish: ¿Qué es lo que se restringe y quién lo está restringiendo en 2 Tesalonicenses 2:7?
SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The genuine Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White. Did Ellen White make prophetic errors? Did Ellen White make false prophecies? Here is a version in the Spanish language: SDA/COG Diferencias: La bestia de dos cuernos de Apocalipsis y 666. Here is a sermon in the English language: CCOG and SDA differences and similarities.
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
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.
Similarities and Differences Between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to represent the original Christian faith.  Do you know much about them? Both groups have some interesting similarities, but many major differences. Would you like information on how to deal with Jehovah’s Witnesses? A related sermon is also available: Jehovah’s Witnesses: Right and Wrong Teachings?
Close Encounters of a ‘Spirit’ Kind discusses some experiences I believe were (demon) ‘spirit’ related. A video is also available titled: Poltergeists and Lying Wonders.
Angels, Cherubim, and Seraphim This is information about various types of angelic beings.
Did Angels Marry Human Women? Many insist this is so and also that this mating caused giants to be born. Did this come from the ‘Book of Enoch’? What does Genesis 6:4 really mean? A related video is also available: Did Angels Marry Women and Produce Giants?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Jesus is God, But Became Flesh Was Jesus fully human and fully God or what? Here is information in the Spanish language¿Es Jesucristo Dios?