Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

Tips on ending financial worries

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

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 (it holds about 32% of all ‘sovereign debt’ on this planet, and that does not count unfunded liabilities and other debt). 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?

Sermon: Sacred Names: True or False Gospel?

Saturday, January 13th, 2018


Mesha Stele (c. 800 B.C.) contains the word translated as ‘Yahweh’ (Neithsabes)

COGwriter

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

1:14:34

What name did Jesus reveal to His followers? Can Christians use terms like Jesus, Lord, and God? Is the use of terms such as Yahshua or Yahweh essentially for salvation? What does the Bible teach? What did early Christians teach? What is the Tetragrammaton? Is the use of ‘sacred names’ something that was to be restored by the end time EliYah/Elijah for Philadelphian Christians? Is the name ‘Jesus’ a reference to Zeus? Was the New Testament written in Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew? What are the names/titles for deity in the Old and New Testaments? Dr. Thiel answers those questions and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: Sacred Names: True or False Gospel?

Some items of related interest may include:

The Bible, Church History, and Sacred Names What are ‘sacred names’? What is Jesus’ Old Testament name? Is the use of sacred names a subject of salvation or a false gospel? Must we refer to our Saviour as Yahweh or Yashua? A related sermon is available: Sacred Names: True or False Gospel?
Was the New Testament Written in Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic? What language was the New Testament written in? Does it make any difference? What about sacred names? Did the Apostle Paul ever teach in Greek?
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.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
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. There are links to literature is about 100 different languages there. 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? an CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia? Here is a written link to a version of that first 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.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Africa, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Canada, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Europe, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
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.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
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.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
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.

American ‘foods’ that ‘gross out’ foreigners

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

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?

Did Apollinaris hold Continuing Church of God or Church of Rome doctrines?

Monday, January 8th, 2018


Hierapolis, Turkey (Photo by Joyce Thiel)

COGwriter

The Catholics of Rome consider January 8th as the day to honor Apollinaris of Hierapolis. This should seem to be somewhat odd to them.

Why? Because the historical records that have been preserved show that Apollinaris held doctrines we are teaching in the Continuing Church of God, which are now opposed by the Church of Rome. He also did not hold Protestant views.

The Protestant scholars Roberts and Donaldson wrote this:

Apollinaris was bishop of Hierapolis on the Maeander, and, Lightfoot thinks, was probably with Melito and Polycrates, known to Polycarp, and influenced by his example and doctrine.” (Roberts and Donaldson pp. 772-773).

Like Melito, Polycrates, and Polycarp, Apollinaris would be considered a Quartodeciman. That is, one who held that the date of Passover must remain the 14th of Nisan. But by the time of Apollinaris, those associated with the Catholics of Rome and the “Orthodox” in Jerusalem and Alexandria kept Passover on a Sunday instead (as the Protestants generally do to this day).

Apollinaris Wrote About the Passover

Anyway, here is nearly all of what is available from what Apollinaris wrote:

There are, then, some who through ignorance raise disputes about these things (though their conduct is pardonable: for ignorance is no subject for blame — it rather needs further instruction), and say that on the fourteenth day the Lord ate the lamb with the disciples, and that on the great day of the feast of unleavened bread He Himself suffered; and they quote Matthew as speaking in accordance with their view. Wherefore their opinion is contrary to the law, and the Gospels seem to be at variance with them…The fourteenth day, the true Passover of the Lord; the great sacrifice, the Son of God instead of the lamb, who was bound, who bound the strong, and who was judged, though Judge of living and dead, and who was delivered into the hands of sinners to be crucified, who was lifted up on the horns of the unicorn, and who was pierced in His holy side, who poured forth from His side the two purifying elements, water and blood, word and spirit, and who was buried on the day of the passover, the stone being placed upon the tomb (Apollinaris. From the Book Concerning Passover. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors; American Edition copyright © 1885. Copyright © 2001 Peter Kirby).

Apollinaris is showing that the Passover is Nisan 14 and that it signifies the sacrifice of Christ, both of which are the positions of the Churches of God.

One Anglican scholar commented;

…there is no doubt that Apollinarius was a Quartodeciman…Those who kept Passover in the evening understood it to be a repetition of the Lord’s Supper (Stewart-Sykes A. Melito of Sardis On Pascha. St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood (NY), 2001, p. 81).

Quartodecimans held to the original position of the apostles.

Praised by Serapion of Antioch (called Seraphion of Antioch by the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch)

Apollinaris was praised by Serapion of Antioch:

I have sent you letters of the most blessed Claudius Apollinarius, who was made bishop of Hierapolis in Asia (Serapion of Antioch. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. From the epistle to Caricus and Ponticus. Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors; American Edition copyright © 1885. Copyright © 2001 Peter Kirby).

It is likely that this suggests that up until the time of Serapion, those in Antioch were also Quartodecimans. And this also seems to have been suggested by Polycrates of Ephesus (and the 4th century historian Eusebius), who wrote about the time of Serapion that the Churches in Asia kept the Passover on the 14th of Nisan, like the Jews, not like the Church of Rome (Eusebius. Church History. Book V, Chapters 23,25).

Apollinaris Taught the Millenium

Notice the following:

So Epiphanius, speaking on the notion of the millennium maintained by Apollinarius, says, “There is indeed a millennium mentioned by John…” (Panarion of Epiphanius, 77 in Bush G. The Millennium of the Apocalypse. 1842, p. 15).

The doctrines about Passover and the millennium pose severe problems for the Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholics.

Although both groups claim Apollinaris as one of their saints, the reality is that those groups have both severely criticized both of those beliefs.

Here is a writing from the Eastern Orthodox:

CHILIASM: Chiliasm, from the Greek word meaning “1000,” is a belief based on Revelation 20:2-7. In its classical form (which interprets the Revelation 20 verses verbatim), Chiliasm teaches that Satan will be bound by Christ for 1000 years, at which time Jesus and the Saints will reign on earth, and after which, Satan will be finally defeated and the Eternal Kingdom of God will be inaugurated. In modern times, Chiliasm has been “boiled down” to the teaching that the world will end after one thousand years (or a number of years that is a multiple of one thousand). Though some Ancient Church Fathers of the first three centuries AD had Chiliast leanings, the Orthodox Church formally denounced Chiliasm at the Second Ecumenical Council, in 381. The Church maintains that the 1000 year reign mentioned in Revelation 20 is symbolic of the era of the Christian Church’s ministry in this fallen world, which shall come to its completion at a time unknown to all but God the Father. (Orthodox Christian Beliefs and Practices. © 2006-2007 Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada. http://www.uocc.ca/en-ca/faith/beliefs/ 09/24/14).

In other words, Orthodox Church scholars know that early Christian leaders, which it calls, “Ancient Church Fathers” taught chiliasm (called millenarianism in Latin), yet it CHANGED that teaching AND CONDEMNED it in a church council and now think it is somehow symbolic (note: Many Russian and American Orthodox still teach the millennium, see Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God).

After Adolf Hitler’s “third reich,” which was supposed to be a millennial rule, was losing WWII, the Vatican decided to officially distance itself from millennial teachings. Notice the following:

Millenium {sic}: Since the Holy Office decreed (July 21, 1944) that it cannot safely be taught that Christ at His Second Coming will reign visibly with only some of His saints (risen from the dead) for a period of time before the final and universal judgment, a spiritual millennium is seen in Apoc. 20:4-6. St. John gives a spiritual recapitulation of the activity of Satan, and the spiritual reign of the saints with Christ in heaven and in His Church on earth. When Christianity triumphed over the Beast (in its sixth head, the pagan Roman empire) Satan was chained. With the re-appearance of the Beast in the anti-Christian world empire (the seventh head), he will be unchained, and muster all his forces against the Church until the peak of the persecution under Antichrist. Meanwhile, the church enjoyed its milleniun {sic} with Christ enthroned among the nations. (LeFrois, Bernard J. Eschatological Interpretation of the Apocalypse. The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. XIII, pp. 17-20; Cited in Culleton RG. The Reign of Antichrist, 1951. Reprint TAN Books, Rockford (IL), 1974, p. 9).

Notice that the above suggests that Satan has been gone a thousand years. Does any thinking person believe that Satan was ever bound and away from the earth for 1,000 years after Revelation (which Catholics often refer to as the Apocalypse) was written? This has never happened literally or spiritually–though it will in the millennium (see also The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance). Nor have I seen any credible Catholic writer attempt to explain when planet Earth ever had one thousand years without being influenced by Satan.

And not only have both groups condemned millenarianism, it is the only supposed “doctrine of Antichrist” listed in the current Catechism of the Catholic Church (#676. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 194).

Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholics furthermore supported the Council of Constantinople, whose initiator Theodosius decreed the death penalty for any who would keep Passover on the 14th (see Passover and the Early Church and Persecutions by Church and State).

We in the Continuing Church of God observe Passover on the 14th as Apollinaris did and teach a literal millennial reign on the earth as Apollinaris did.

Despite any Catholic observance in Apollinaris’ honor, the reality is that based on what is actually known about Apollinaris, he had Church of God, not Church of Rome views.

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

Apollinaris of Hierapolis He was an early church leader that may have known Melito and Polycarp; he also wrote about the Passover.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? Two related sermons are available Millennial Utopia and The Millennium.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
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.
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they? A related sermon is titled Tradition and Scripture.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

Evolutionist retracts paper and admits bias

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

COGwriter

An evolutionist has retracted a ‘scientific’ paper and admitted his pro-evolutionary bias:

It was heralded as decisive proof of the theory of evolution. But Harvard biologist and Nobel Prize laureate Jack Szostak now has retracted a major paper that claimed to explain one of the most important questions about the origin of human life.

In 2016, Szostak published a paper claiming he had found a way for ribonucleic acid (RNA) to replicate itself.

Many proponents of evolutionary theory believe RNA was one of the first molecules to develop. However, RNA requires its own enzymes to replicate.

Szostak and others were looking for evidence of “non-enzymatic replication of RNA,” which could supposedly assemble by irradiating materials that would have been present on Earth in an earlier time.

If this could be created, it would show RNA could copy itself and could have evolved before DNA or proteins, bolstering the naturalistic explanation of life’s origins.

However, Szostak recently retracted his paper after colleague Tivoli Olsen couldn’t replicate the findings. Szostak said the debacle was “definitely embarrassing.”

“In retrospect, we were totally blinded by our belief [in our findings] … we were not as careful or rigorous as we should have been (and as Tivoli was) in interpreting these experiments,” Szostak told the publication Retraction Watch.

http://www.wnd.com/2018/01/oops-scientific-retraction-a-major-blow-to-evolution-theory/#RaHAhbyZIUTHfvHf.99

Of course, that paper is not the only false one about evolution and the beginning of life.

Most academics teach that in violation of the law of bio-genesis, primitive life somehow sprang up.

But what if we allow the impossibility of spontaneous primitive life to have actually occurred? The primitive life would have to die. Part of the reason for this is that even a single-cell is so complex, and so full of various biological subsystems, that scientists have learned that many systems are essentially necessary for life to exist or continue.

Science recognizes that living organisms must be self-contained, eat, digest, and reproduce to continue to exist. Spontaneously alive lined-up amino acids (with other substances coincidentally there) would die because:

1) All living organisms need biological structures such as organelles and membranes. Without a membranous structure, the proteins would ultimately diffuse and destroy the living organism. Living organism must be somewhat self-contained.

2) All living organisms need nourishment and direction. Since randomness would not have created the biological structure known as a DNA-containing nucleus (or some primitive equivalent), the cell would die. Even if it had some type of nucleus to provide direction, the nucleus would have to have come into existence with ability to determine what to eat and how to find food, another impossibility.

3) Even if the cell had all the above, it would die, because there would have been no reason for it to have spontaneously generated a digestive system in order to utilize the food.

4) Even if evolutionists are granted all the improbabilities and impossibilities this article discusses, the primitive life would quickly die out as there would have been no reason for it to have spontaneously generated an ability to reproduce, nor would it have any innate ability to do so.

Evolution is a scientifically impossible explanation of how life began. Since it is impossible, life did not begin that way.

It is in the Bible that we are told that when God made life He intended it to reproduce (Genesis 1:11,28,29).

The idea of an ‘intelligent design’ by a Spirit being is the only explanation that does not defy scientifically provable knowledge–for all other explanations result in something that must die out. And the scientific fact is that evolution as a model for explaining how life began makes no scientific sense.

So, no I do not believe in the “theory of evolution” as a viable explanation of the origin of life. Evolution requires simply too many impossibilities to make sense. And it only takes one impossibility to disprove a theory.

False papers do not prove the impossible either.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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

18 world/prophetic items to look at for 2018

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018


COGwriter

Are things changing?

Yes.

We seem to be in what Jesus called the “beginning of sorrows”:

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:4-8)
8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. (Mark 13:8)

We are seeing sorrows and troubles.

Yet, we have seen steps that are getting us closer. In the past year or so, we made many videos related to various world events that are aligning with biblical prophecy. Here are 18 events, most of which have related videos, you may wish to notice in 2018:

I. A highly indebted nation:

6 “Will not all these take up a proverb against him, And a taunting riddle against him, and say, ‘Woe to him who increases What is not his–how long? And to him who loads himself with many pledges’?

7 Will not your creditors rise up suddenly? Will they not awaken who oppress you? And you will become their booty.

8 Because you have plundered many nations, All the remnant of the people shall plunder you, Because of men’s blood And the violence of the land and the city, And of all who dwell in it. (Habakkuk 2:6-8)

The USA is the most indebted nation of all time and keeps increasing its debt (see Official USA debt up nearly $600 billion since Donald Trump’s inauguration and watch Land of ‘Free’ Abortions and Debt). The USA has more than doubled its national debt in the past 9 years–and it stands at over $20 trillion. When interest rates rise up, the USA will eventually face more consequences than most imagine.

II. The King of the North will get gold which end time Babylon will trade:

37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all.
38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things.
39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.
40 “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.
41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon.
42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.(Daniel 11:37-43)
10 … ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’
11 And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore:
12 merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble;
13 and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men.
14 The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all.
15 The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
16 and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!(Revelation 18:10-16)

Germany has been repatriating gold (watch Germany, Gold, and the US Dollar) and others are looking to use gold for trade to bypass the USA dollar (watch US Dollar being challenged by Gold-Petro-Yuan).

III. Distancing between the Europeans and the USA and UK:

1 How lonely sits the city That was full of people! How like a widow is she, Who was great among the nations! The princess among the provinces Has become a slave!
2 She weeps bitterly in the night, Her tears are on her cheeks; Among all her lovers She has none to comfort her. All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; They have become her enemies. (Lamentations 1:1-2). 

The USA and UK have been friends and allies of the Europeans.

Between Brexit (watch Brexit and the fate of Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, the UK, and the USA; for 2016 videos watch: Forbes’ Brexit Monster is the Beast of Revelation and/or Post Brexit Prophecy) and the statements and policies of Donald Trump (watch Trump Presidency: Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy?) Europeans are becoming more distant to both of them. The USA has even been labeled as a “rogue nation” (watch The USA Declared a ‘Rogue Nation’!).

IV. The King of the North will get a great army:

25 He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the South with a great army. (Daniel 11:25)

The Europeans agreed to something called PESCO (see EU Creates New Defense Pact To Reduce Dependence On US: Brexit & Trump predictions are coming to pass and ‘PESCO helps to ensure a more secure Europe for its citizens’) and have taken other steps to get a great army (watch End of the Anglo-American Order and The New World Order Is Leaving the US Behind and Trump Presidency: Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy?). They want a military independent of the USA and NATO–though they will cooperate for a time.

V. The Beast will develop a marvelous military ability:

1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.
2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”(Revelation 13:1-4)

The “sea” is the Mediterranean Sea (Daniel 7:2-8; (Numbers 34:6-7; Joshua 1:4; 9:1; 23:4; Ezekiel 47:13-16). This is a European power. The Europeans have continued to develop technologies, including its Galileo system (see Europe’s Galileo system gained four more satellites) and Large Hadron collider, and is moving to be able to fulfill the prophecies about its military progress–which include eliminating the USA (Daniel 11:39; also see European Technology and the Beast of Revelation and watch Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation and Could the Large Hadron Collider lead to destruction?).

VI. Church-state alliance is starting to form:

1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters,
2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”
3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.
5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. (Revelation 17:1-5).

The United Nations, Vatican, World Council of Churches, and the European Union are pushing versions of this (watch The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’? and Europe and the ‘Holy Roman Empire’ and World Council of Churches Peace Plan).

VII. Weather problems:

8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows. (Mark 13:8)
7 “I also withheld rain from you, When there were still three months to the harvest. I made it rain on one city, I withheld rain from another city. One part was rained upon, And where it did not rain the part withered.
8 So two or three cities wandered to another city to drink water, But they were not satisfied; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord.
9 “I blasted you with blight and mildew. When your gardens increased, Your vineyards, Your fig trees, And your olive trees, The locust devoured them; Yet you have not returned to Me,” Says the Lord. …
12 “Therefore thus will I do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, (Amos 4:7-9)

The severe hurricanes and other weather issues are consistent with that (watch Hurricanes and Prophecy and Does God Use Weather?).

VIII. Earthquakes:

7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. (Matthew 24:7).

Even some scientists believe that in 2018 and later we will see more serious earthquakes (see Scientists predict increase in earthquakes for 2018). Earthquakes could trigger supervolcanoes (see Massive spike in Yellowstone earthquakes: Does Yellowstone pose a major risk? and watch Are supervolcanoes a real threat?) and cause other troubles (Mark 13:8).

IX. The rising ecumenical movement:

1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.”
2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (Revelation 6:1-2).

The celebration of the Reformation was highly focused on ecumenism as opposed to separation (watch Ecumenism and the ride of the White Horse of the Apocalypse). Popes have even changed Catholic teachings on Limbo and Purgatory, partially to make this cooperation easier (watch Popes Change on Limbo and Purgatory?). A spiritual ecumenical conquering has begun.

X. Censorship of the word of God:

4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. (John 9:4)
11 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 They shall wander from sea to sea, And from north to east; They shall run to and fro, seeking the word of the Lord, But shall not find it. (Amos 8:11-12)

Western governments are even going along with some of this (watch Canadian censoring of the Bible) as are private companies like Google, Facebook, and YouTube (watch also Internet Control, Famine of the Word, and 666).

XI. War and rumors of war:

6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. (Matthew 24:6-7)

Many rumors of war related to North Korea and the Middle East, to cite two examples, are happening (watch Donald Trump, Warmongering, and the Red Horse of War and Syria, North Korea, and Prophecy).

XII. Ethnic and regional strife:

7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (cf. Matthew 24:7;) (The original Greek word translated “nation” was “ethnos,” from which we get our word “ethnic.”)

The United Nations even issued a warning about racial civil unrest in the USA (see USA has too many liars, so relaxes standards to hire border control agents; UN issues civil unrest warning) while Europe had troubles in Spain (watch Ten Kings, Catalonia, and the Future of Europe).

XIII. For a time, Babylon will dominate world trade:

2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!
3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” (Revelation 18:2-3).

While ‘Babylon’ will not reign in 2018, with the USA pulling out of trade deals and/or wishing to change them, steps are occurring that are pushing Europe to dominate trade (watch Trade Wars: Are COG warnings coming to pass?). The Europeans have been working with Latin America, China, Russia’s Eurasian Union, and other areas of the world to try to set up its dominance of world trade as well as standards for world trade.

XIV. Control of buying and selling:

16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:16-18).

Between moves for cashlessness in Europe (watch Sweden going to ‘666’ cashlessness?) and the rise of cryptocurrencies (watch Blockchain, Karl Guttenberg, and 666), the ability to do this is now here. It was not possible in the 1st century when the Apostle John wrote about this back in the first century A.D. The world will not be cashless in 2018, but we are seeing steps towards the ability to control buying and selling.

XV. Europe to reorganize:

12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (Revelation 17:12-13).

Various ones are calling for a version of that in Europe (Ten Kings, Catalonia, and the Future of Europe). Even Pope Francis has called for Europe to be creative and think beyond national boundaries (see Catalonians want democracy to work; Pope Francis wants Europe to be more united). The prophesied reorganization will not happen in 2018, but expect calls to reorganize Europe.

XVI. The final time of the Gentiles:

         24 … Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:24)

See also Revelation 11:2.

More Gentile-dominated groups and projects are appearing to get the world to move away from an Anglo-American dominated world order (watch The Times of the Gentiles and End of the Anglo-American Order). Basically, part of the objective of the BRICS, EAEU, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and even the European Union is to establish a new world order (SCO, EAEU, and BRICS defining a ‘new world order’?)–an order no longer dominated by the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies, like the UK.

XVII. Armageddon:

13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. (Revelation 16:14-16).

With its One Belt, One Road (AKA Silk Road) project, China may be making roads that will transport troops to Armageddon (watch Is China paving roads to Armageddon?). China has over 60 nations involved and, on an inflation-adjusted basis, is expected to pour ten times the amount of money into this than the USA did for its Marshall Plan, which mainly helped 6 European nations.

The gathering of Armageddon will not happen in 2018, but some events to make that gathering happen will.

XVIII. The Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed:

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

While Matthew 24:14 will NOT be fulfilled in 2018, steps to help lead to that fulfillment will. Yet few seem to realize that the Great Tribulation does NOT start until right after the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is preached to the world as a witness (cf. Matthew 24:14, 21-22).

While many erroneously think that this has already happened, God has not seen it that way. Once He does, the end will come. The Philadelphian Christians will be supporting the work of Matthew 24:14.

World events are moving in the direction of properly understood biblical prophecy.

Of course, many scoff. But that, too, was prophesied:

3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts,
4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,
6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;
15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation–as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,
16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.
17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;
18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:3-18)

ALL THINGS ARE NOT GOING THE SAME FOR THE USA OR UK.

Few people were ready for the great flood of Noah’s time.

Relatively few people, and actually relatively few Christians, will be ready for the Great Tribulation as Jesus only promised protection to the remaining portion of the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God:

7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,’These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:
8 I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.
9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie–indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:7-10)
 Jesus told the bulk of the end time Christians to repent:
14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,’These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:
15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot.
16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked–
18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:14-19)

Jesus told all that would be His followers:

31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.
32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place.
33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:31-36)

Do not be like the scoffers. Pray, change, and support God’s work in these end times.

Philadelphian Christians (Revelation 3:7-13) truly realize, “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:12).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

18 items to prophetically watch in 2018 Much is happening. Dr. Thiel points to 18 in this article. Here is a link to a related sermon: 18 items to prophetically watch in 2018.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2018, 2019, or 2020? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation begin in 2018?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin?.
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill? Could a Donald Trump presidency be apocalyptic? A related video is titled: 13 Ways President-Elect Trump is Apocalyptic.
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
Might German Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg become the King of the North? Is the former German Defense Minister (who is also the former German Minister for Economics and Technology) one to watch? What do Catholic, Byzantine, and biblical prophecies suggest?
Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History Are the Germanic peoples descended from Asshur of the Bible? Have there been real Christians in Germanic history? What about the “Holy Roman Empire”? There is also a You-Tube video sermon on this titled Germany’s Biblical Origins.
Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy Does Assyria in the Bible equate to an end time power inhabiting the area of the old Roman Empire? What does prophecy say Germany will do and what does it say will happen to most of the German people? Here is a link to a video Is the USA Pushing Germany to Start WWIII?
Russia and Ukraine: Their Origins and Prophesied Future Russia in prophecy. Where do the Russians come from? What about those in the Ukraine? What is prophesied for Russia and its allies? What will they do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end? There is also a video sermon available: Russia in the Bible and in Prophecy and a video sermonette available: Ukraine in Prophecy?
Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach? Here is a link to a video, also titled Is Russia the King of the North?
Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day? Is Ezekiel 38 about to be fulfilled? A related video is available titled Ezekiel 38: For Russia, Ukraine, & Iran Now?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
WTO/TTIP and the Babylonian Beast Will international trade agreements like WTO/TTIP/CETA lead to the fulfillment of end time prophecies concerning the Babylonian Beast power that the Book of Revelation warns against? What does the Bible teach? A related video would be WTO Trade Deal and the Rise of the European Beast Power.
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2023 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
World War III: Steps in Progress Are there surprising actions going on now that are leading to WWIII? Might a nuclear attack be expected? Does the Bible promise protection to all or only some Christians? How can you be part of those that will be protected? A related video would be Is World War III About to Begin? Can You Escape?
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill? Could a Donald Trump presidency be apocalyptic? A related video is titled: 13 Ways President-Elect Trump is Apocalyptic.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

January 1st: Which god’s New Year?

Sunday, December 31st, 2017


Roman God Janus in Vatican Museum

COGwriter

Does God begin His new year on January 1st? If not, what is the origin of January 1st and New Year’s?

Back in 46 B.C., Julius Caesar declared that January 1st would mark the beginning of the new year. January was named after Janus, the god of gates and doors in Roman mythology. People prayed to Janus when they wanted something new in their lives (such as resolutions). Janus is normally represented with two faces, one looking to the past and the other looking to the future (the two faces also signified change that Janus would supposedly bring in, see Burchett B, Janus in Roman life and cult: a study in Roman religions, p. 15). The first day of the month of January was sacred to him.

It did not come from the Bible.

What About Resolutions?

Notice what the historian Tertullian wrote about winter celebrations, such as Saturnalia, in the late second century:

The Minervalia are as much Minerva’s, as the Saturnalia Saturn’s; Saturn’s, which must necessarily be celebrated even by little slaves at the time of the Saturnalia. New-year’s gifts likewise must be caught at, and the Septimontium kept; and all the presents of Midwinter and the feast of Dear Kinsmanship must be exacted; the schools must be wreathed with flowers; the flamens’ wives and the aediles sacrifice; the school is honoured on the appointed holy-days. The same thing takes place on an idol’s birthday; every pomp of the devil is frequented. Who will think that these things are befitting to a Christian master, unless it be he who shall think them suitable likewise to one who is not a master? (Tertullian. On Idolatry, Chapter X. Translated by S. Thelwall. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 3. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

But, however, the majority (of Christians) have by this time induced the belief in their mind that it is pardonable if at any time they do what the heathen do, for fear “the Name be blasphemed”…To live with heathens is lawful, to die with them is not. Let us live with all; let us be glad with them, out of community of nature, not of superstition. We are peers in soul, not in discipline; fellow-possessors of the world, not of error. But if we have no right of communion in matters of this kind with strangers, how far more wicked to celebrate them among brethren! Who can maintain or defend this?…By us,…the Saturnalia and New-year’s and Midwinter’s festivals and Matronalia are frequented–presents come and go–New-year’s gifts–games join their noise–banquets join their din! Oh better fidelity of the nations to their own sect, which claims no solemnity of the Christians for itself!…Not the Lord’s day, not Pentecost, even it they had known them, would they have shared with us; for they would fear lest they should seem to be Christians. We are not apprehensive lest we seem to be heathens! (Tertullian. On Idolatry, Chapter XIV. Translated by S. Thelwall. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 3. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

But “let your works shine,” saith He; but now all our shops and gates shine! You will now-a-days find more doors of heathens without lamps and laurel-wreaths than of Christians. What does the case seem to be with regard to that species (of ceremony) also? If it is an idol’s honour, without doubt an idol’s honour is idolatry. If it is for a man’s sake, let us again consider that all idolatry is for man’s sake; let us again consider that all idolatry is a worship done to men, since it is generally agreed even among their worshippers that aforetime the gods themselves of the nations were men; and so it makes no difference whether that superstitious homage be rendered to men of a former age or of this. Idolatry is condemned, not on account of the persons which are set up for worship, but on account of those its observances, which pertain to demons (Tertullian. On Idolatry, Chapter XV. Translated by S. Thelwall. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 3. Edited by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

What Tertullian seems to be saying is that observing New Year’s celebrations make Christians appear to be followers of pagan gods, and since the pagans would not intentionally celebrate days considered by many to be Christian, Christians should not celebrate days that are honored by the heathen. Specifically, he felt that those who profess Christ should not celebrate New Year’s or other pagan days, as even the observance is a form of idolatry. New Year’s was also observed in honor of the goddess Strenua/Strenia, the goddess of purification and well being. It may partially be because of her that New Year’s resolutions and vows are made.

The Bible teaches:

19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. (1 Corinthians 10:19-20)

New Year’s clearly has demonic origins.

The Catholic Encyclopedia reports:

Christian writers and councils condemned the heathen orgies and excesses connected with the festival of the Saturnalia, which were celebrated at the beginning of the year: Tertullian blames Christians who regarded the customary presents — called strenae (Fr. étrennes) from the goddess Strenia, who presided over New Year’s Day (cf. Ovid, Fasti, 185-90) — as mere tokens of friendly intercourse (De Idol. xiv), and towards the end of the sixth century the Council of Auxerre (can. I) forbade Christians strenas diabolicas observare. The II Council of Tours held in 567 (can. 17) prescribes prayers and a Mass of expiation for New Year’s Day, adding that this is a practice long in use (patres nostri statuerunt). Dances were forbidden, and pagan crimes were to be expiated by Christian fasts (St. Augustine, Serm., cxcvii-viii in P.L., XXXVIII, 1024; Isidore of Seville, De Div. Off. Eccl., I, xli; Trullan Council, 692, can. lxii). (Tierney, John. “New Year’s Day.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 27 Dec. 2011 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11019a.htm>)

The expression strenas diabolicas observare roughly translates from Latin to “observing the new time of the Devil.” It is likely that New Year’s resolutions are related to the purification and well being attributes of the pagan goddess. So, while a Roman Catholic council forbade the devil’s new year, many nowadays observe it.

Thus although many would be surprised to learn this, the celebration of New Year’s was originally opposed by claimed “Christian writers” according to the Church of Rome. Hence, it definitely should not be considered to be an original apostolic practice or even early tradition for the Catholics of Rome.

The Feast of Circumcision?

New Year’s day did not become a holy day for the Roman Catholic Church until 487 A.D. when it was declared to be the Feast of the Circumcision (though it may have been also observed in the fourth century, but other sources suggest eighth century or later dates):

Our “New- Year’s Day, “the “Feast of the Circumcision,” was called the octave of Christmas as early as 487, AD, and was instituted by the Church to commemorate the ceremony of the Jewish law which the Saviour submitted. In the time of Numa the old Roman heathens dedicated the day to Janus, the double-faced deity…(Savage J., editor. The Manhattan and de la Salle monthly. New York Catholic Protectory, 1875 Original from the New York Public Library Digitized Jul 13, 2006, p. 2)

The Feast of the Circumcision has been observed in the Roman church since 487 and in the Anglican church since 1549. (Douglas GW, Compton HD. The American book of days: a compendium of information about holidays, festivals, notable anniversaries and Christian and Jewish holy days, with notes on other American anniversaries worthy of remembrance. H. W. Wilson Co., 1957 Original from the University of California Digitized Sep 25, 2008, p. 2)

This gave the Catholic, as well as Anglican, Church an eight-day festival with a ‘holy day’ at the beginning and the end, similar in that respect to the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34-35). It was determined that if Jesus was born on December 25th (even though he could not have been), since he was circumcised eight days later (Luke 2:21), he would have been circumcised on January 1st, hence the rationale for New Year’s being ‘the Feast of the Circumcision.’

It should be added that there is no indication in the Bible that Jesus’ circumcision should be celebrated.

What Happens?

So, how is New Year’s celebrated? Well customs do vary around the world. Various cultures believe that meeting with people, eating certain foods, or consuming certain drinks will help insure good luck for the year.

In the 1700s, notice a poem that was written to and about Janus from The poetical works of Jonathan Swift, Volumes 2-3, By Jonathan Swift, John Mitford, p. 120:

TO JANUS, ON NEW YEAR’S DAY, 1726.’

Two-faced Janus, god of Time!
Be my Phoebus while I rhyme;
To oblige your crony Swift,
Bring our dame a new year’s gift;
She has got but half a face;
Janus, since thou hast a brace,
To my lady once be kind;
Give her half thy face behind.

God of Time, if you be wise,
Look not with your future eyes;
What imports thy forward sight?
Well, if you could lose it quite.
Can you take delight in viewing
This poor Isle’s 2 approaching ruin,
When thy retrospection vast
Sees the glorious ages past?
Happy nation were we blind,
Or had only eyes behind!

So, some consider Janus to be the “God of Time”–but no real Christian would.

It seems, though, that Janus could have been mainly a side issue for the year to start then:

The connection between Janus and the ceremonies of January first may be still further illustrated by these lines from the Carmina Tria de Mensibus:

Hie Iani mensis sacer est: en aspice ut aris tura micent, sumant ut pia liba Lares. Annorum saeclique caput, natalis honorumpurpureos fastis qui numerat proceres.

which may mean, “This is the sacred month of January—sacred because of the ceremonies. January is the beginning of the year, because the purple-clad chiefs date their office from that month.” Although Janus is used here only as a personification of his month, yet some sanctity is reflected to the god himself from the ceremonies of the day. From the lines just quoted, it seems evident that Fastorum genitor parensque* means only, “Janus, i. e. January, is the beginning of the year, a fact to be emphasized by patriotic Romans, because the consuls assumed, or renewed, office on January first.” (Janus in Roman life and cult: a study in Roman religions … By Bessie Rebecca Burchett, p. 15)

In the US and many other Western cultures, vows called New Year’s resolutions are often made. From this authors research, while repentance is a good thing, he believes that this custom of resolutions is similar to the prayers made to Janus regarding desiring something new. According to most available research, most people break their New Year’s resolutions. Hopefully they are not making them before the true God whose word says, “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed–Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?” (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6).

Another activity which occurs in the US and elsewhere on New Year’s is heavy drinking of alcohol. Many who go to New Year’s parties get drunk. Paul warned Christians, “Do not be drunk” (Ephesians 5:18).

Germans Call it Silvester

A reader sent me the following today:

Why on earth do Germans call New Year Silvester?

No your friend isn’t planning to ring in the New Year with someone named Sylvester instead of you. Silvester is the German name for New Year’s Eve – owing to the fourth century Pope Sylvester I. Eventually made a saint by the Catholic Church, his feast day is observed on December 31.

St. Sylvester’s day became associated with New Year’s Eve with the reform of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, when the last day of the year was fixed at December 31. But despite the holiday’s Christian name, many German New Year’s traditions can be traced back to the pagan Rauhnächte practices of heathen Germanic tribes, which took place at the end of December and beginning of January.

Instead of recognizing a single day as the winter solstice, the Germanic tribes observed twelve Rauhnächte – hairy nights, so called due to the furry forms of the deep winter demons – or Rauchnächte – smoky nights, due to the practice of smoking the spirits out of one’s house on January 5. …

As in many other countries, the Germans celebrate Silvester with fireworks, champagne, and boisterous social gatherings. Making noise is key: the ruckus of fireworks, firecrackers, drums, whip-cracking and banging kitchen utensils has been driving away evil winter spirits since the days of the Germanic Teutons. One of the most famous German firework displays takes place at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Private celebrations with Böllern (firecrackers) are also common. …

The Rauhnächte were also a time when the future for the New Year could be divined. Silvester in Germany still calls for oracle traditions, which often take the form of party games. Bleigießen (lead pouring) is the most popular Silvester fortune-telling tradition. Party-goers melt small lead forms with a candle in an old spoon and pour them into cold water. The lead hardens into a shape that supposedly bears a certain meaning for the New Year. An eagle, for example, indicates career success, while a flower foretells that new friendships will develop. …

For those who go out on Silvester, good luck charms and New Year’s greetings are often exchanged. Acquaintances may give good luck charms to each other in the form of ladybugs, four-leaf clovers, horseshoes and pigs. The phrase Guten Rutsch! is another common Silvester greeting. While many Germans now use it to wish someone a good “slide” into the new year, the word Rutsch more likely comes from the Yiddish word Rosch – which means beginning or head. https://www.thelocal.de/20161230/16425

Anyway, this is NOT a Christian holiday.

God’s New Year Begins in the Spring

Is January 1st the beginning of the New Year God declared?

No.

When speaking of the Hebrew month of Abib, which occurs around late March/early April God declared,

“This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:2).

January 1st is not the beginning of the year for the true God, but only of certain false gods.

Now perhaps it should be mentioned that other cultures also accept that the new year begins in the Spring. And while those cultures have various non-biblical practices, it is certainly possible that because God’s year begins in the Spring that perhaps anciently these people were aware of it, and retained the correct season, but not the practices.

Not all have followed the practices of Julius Caesar (called “Julie” below):

For some thousands of years before Julie and the Roman Senate got involved, the new year was celebrated with the first edible crops of the season or the first new moon.

In much of India, Nava Varsha is celebrated in March or April, just as in the most ancient civilizations.

Sikhs celebrate Hola Mohalla in March; ditto for Persian Nowruz.

As celebrated in China and southeast Asia, Lunar New Year still has a floating date, the first day of the first lunar month. (Shore R. Pagan Party: New Year’s traditions that hail from the depths of antiquity The Vancouver Sun, Canada – Dec 26, 2008, http://www.vancouversun.com/Pagan+Party+Year+traditions+that+hail+from+depths+antiquity/1116320/story.html viewed 01/22/09)

From a biblical perspective, the new year begins in the Spring, and hence not January 1st. And it also begins with a new moon. The fact that even many non-Christian cultures realize that should make it easier for Christians to realize that they too, do not need to heed the later practices of the Romans.

Some items of related interest may include:

Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? Historical and biblical answers to this question about the world’s New Year’s day. A video of related interest is also available: God’s or Satan’s New Year?
Canadian & Philadelphian Mummers Parades: Another tie to Saturnalia In Canada there is a ’12 days of Christmas’ celebration involving Mummers. In Philadelphia, a parade is held on New Years. Does this come from the Bible or where?
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.
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 There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days of the Bible mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
Mardi Gras: The Devil’s Carnival? Is Mardi Gras Christian? Do you know that in Bolivia the carnival/Mardi Gras time is part of a celebration known as the Devil’s Carnival? Where did it come from? There is also a related YouTube video Mardi Gras & Carnaval: Are they for Christians?
Should Christians Smoke Tobacco or Marijuana? Is smoking a sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change? What about marijuana?
Marijuana: Should a Christian Get High? There is increasing acceptance of the use of marijuana. How should Christians view this? Here is a related video titled How Should a Christian View Marijuana?
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.
Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods? A related video would be Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? 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.

Marijuana: Selling out health in California

Thursday, December 28th, 2017


Marijuana, Cannibis sativa

COGwriter

USA Today reported the following:

December 28, 2017

A new gold rush is sweeping California as the state prepares to launch legal marijuana sales Monday, bringing the powerful and largely underground economy finally into public view.

Marijuana has long been one of California’s most important cash crops, albeit one many visitors would never see amid the vineyards and avocado farms. Now, tens of thousands of entrepreneurs are rushing to carve out a slice of an about-to-be-legal market that has grass-growing cannabis evangelists colliding with out-of-state suits eager to make a now-legal buck.

And there’s a lot to be made: The state’s existing marijuana black market is worth $13.5 billion, according to cannabis financial analysis firm GreenWave Advisors, while the legal market could be worth $5.1 billion in 2018.

“You’re taking an industry that was completely underground and making it the most regulated product of all time,” said Jessica Lilga, who runs a medical cannabis distribution service in Oakland, Calif., and hopes to expand into recreational pot. “It’s just insane.” https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/12/28/legal-marijuana-arriving-california-after-decades-underground-dealing/975323001/

The insanity is that people are expected to buy so much of that harmful weed.


Short-term bodily effects of marijuana, Cannibis sativa

Studies have shown that marijuana is frequently addictive and harmful.

The State of California hopes that it will make a lot of money because of marijuana, as do many California cities.

The Bible warns:

10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:10)

Notice what the National Institute of Health says about marijuana:

How Does Marijuana Affect the Brain?

When marijuana is smoked, THC rapidly passes from the lungs into the bloodstream, which carries the chemical to the brain and other organs throughout the body. It is absorbed more slowly when ingested in food or drink.

However it is ingested, THC acts on specific molecular targets on brain cells, called cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are ordinarily activated by chemicals similar to THC that naturally occur in the body (such as anandamide; see picture, above) and are part of a neural communication network called the endocannabinoid system. This system plays an important role in normal brain development and function.

The highest density of cannabinoid receptors is found in parts of the brain that influence pleasure, memory, thinking, concentration, sensory and time perception, and coordinated movement. Marijuana overactivates the endocannabinoid system, causing the “high” and other effects that users experience. These effects include altered perceptions and mood, impaired coordination, difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and disrupted learning and memory.

Marijuana also affects brain development, and when it is used heavily by young people, its effects on thinking and memory may last a long time or even be permanent. A recent study of marijuana users who began using in adolescence revealed substantially reduced connectivity among brain areas responsible for learning and memory. And a large long-term study in New Zealand showed that people who began smoking marijuana heavily in their teens lost an average of 8 points in IQ between age 13 and age 38. Importantly, the lost cognitive abilities were not fully restored in those who quit smoking marijuana as adults. Those who started smoking marijuana in adulthood did not show significant IQ declines.

What Are the Other Health Effects of Marijuana?

Marijuana use may have a wide range of effects, particularly on cardiopulmonary and mental health.

Marijuana smoke is an irritant to the lungs, and frequent marijuana smokers can have many of the same respiratory problems experienced by tobacco smokers, such as daily cough and phlegm production, more frequent acute chest illness, and a heightened risk of lung infections. One study found that people who smoke marijuana frequently but do not smoke tobacco have more health problems and miss more days of work than those who don’t smoke marijuana, mainly because of respiratory illnesses. It is not yet known whether marijuana smoking contributes to risk for lung cancer.

Marijuana also raises heart rate by 20-100 percent shortly after smoking; this effect can last up to 3 hours. In one study, it was estimated that marijuana users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug. This risk may be greater in older individuals or in those with cardiac vulnerabilities.

A number of studies have linked chronic marijuana use and mental illness. High doses of marijuana can produce a temporary psychotic reaction (involving hallucinations and paranoia) in some users, and using marijuana can worsen the course of illness in patients with schizophrenia. A series of large studies following users across time also showed a link between marijuana use and later development of psychosis. This relationship was influenced by genetic variables as well as the amount of drug used, drug potency, and the age at which it was first taken—those who start young are at increased risk for later problems.

Associations have also been found between marijuana use and other mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts among adolescents, and personality disturbances, including a lack of motivation to engage in typically rewarding activities. More research is still needed to confirm and better understand these linkages.

Marijuana use during pregnancy is associated with increased risk of neurobehavioral problems in babies. Because THC and other compounds in marijuana mimic the body’s own endocannabinoid chemicals, marijuana use by pregnant mothers may alter the developing endocannabinoid system in the brain of the fetus. Consequences for the child may include problems with attention, memory, and problem solving.

Additionally, because it seriously impairs judgment and motor coordination, marijuana contributes to risk of injury or death while driving a car. A recent analysis of data from several studies found that marijuana use more than doubles a driver’s risk of being in an accident. The combination of marijuana and alcohol is worse than either substance alone with respect to driving impairment.

Inhaling or ingesting marijuana basically makes someone drunk.

The Bible repeatedly condemns drunkenness and activities associated with it:

18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)

21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty (Proverbs 23:21)

11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. (1 Corinthians 5:11)

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

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)

Becoming intoxicated by marijuana is sinful and not something that Christians should do.

The increased acceptance of marijuana is not good.

There are more problems with marijuana than many wish to accept.

Mankind’s problems will not be solved by money.

Some items of possibly related interest include:

Marijuana: Should a Christian Get High? There is increasing acceptance of the use of marijuana. How should Christians view this? Here is a related video titled How Should a Christian View Marijuana?
Should Christians Smoke? Is smoking a sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change? What about marijuana?
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
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?
Overcoming Sin What is sin? How are Christians suppose to overcome it? Here is also a link to a video titled How to Overcome Sin.
How to Prevent Sin This is an article by Herbert W. Armstrong.
Just What Do You Mean Conversion? Many think that they are converted Christians. But are they? Would you like to know more about conversion. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
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: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
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?

DW reports events that did and did not take place today

Monday, December 25th, 2017

COGwriter

The German publication Deutsche Welle (DW) ran the following

 

  • Sol invictus relief from the National Museum in Rome (imago/Leemage)

    Sol Invictus – the Invincible Sun

    There is virtually no evidence that Jesus of Nazareth was born on December 25th. The date was likely picked for convenience, as it was already celebrated by other major religions as the supposed day of winter solstice. One of these religions was the Roman Sol Invictus cult, officially set up by Roman Emperor Aurelian on December 25th 274 AD. The god is shown on the left of this ancient relief.

     

  • A portrait of Charlemagne based on a painting by Albrecht Dürer (DW/P.Böll)

    Charlemagne is crowned

    The mighty Frankish King Charlemagne united much of Europe under his banner even before being crowned emperor in 800 AD. On Christmas that year, Pope Leo III named him “emperor of the Romans,” marking the legendary leader as a successor to ancient Roman caesars. Charlemagne’s rule ushered in an age of prosperity and Christian expansion. http://www.dw.com/en/what-other-historical-events-happened-on-christmas/g-41923369

Yes, the birthday of Sol Invictus, as well as the sun god Mithras, was celebrated on December 25th (some say they were two different gods, though Emperor Constantine seemed to treat them as the same one).

No, Jesus was not born on December 25th–that is fake news. Here is a link to our most recent sermon on that: James’ Ossuary, Fake News, and Jesus’ Birth.

Notice also that the The Catholic Encyclopedia freely admits that Christmas on December 25 was not celebrated by the early church and that it was Mithra whose birthday was observed anciently on December 25th:

Mithraism A pagan religion consisting mainly of the cult of the ancient Indo-Iranian Sun-god Mithra…Sunday was kept holy in honour of Mithra, and the sixteenth of each month was sacred to him as mediator. The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigours of the season (Arendzen. J.P. Transcribed by John Looby. Mithraism. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume X. Published 1911. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church (Martindale C. Transcribed by Susanti A. Suastika. Christmas. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III. Copyright © 1908 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, November 1, 1908. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

(For more information on this, please see the article What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days?)

As far as Charlemagne goes, he is considered the standard, in a sense, for a true European. Sadly, that is NOT fake news. And consider that DW reported, “Charlemagne’s rule ushered in an age of prosperity and Christian expansion.”

There is a “Charlemagne Prize” awarded annually in Europe for the one that does the most to encourage European unity. Pope Francis received it once (Pope Francis given ‘Charlemagne Prize;’ EU leaders worried about EU’s future) and France’s President Macron is to receive it next year (see France’s President Macron to receive the Charlemagne Prize: Any relationship between Charlemagne and the Beast of Revelation?).

Notice some of what the old Worldwide Church of God reported about Charlemagne:

New King Pepin dies in 768. His sons Charles (Karl) and Carloman jointly succeed to the Frankish throne.

In 771, Carloman dies suddenly, and Charles becomes sole king of the Franks.

Though only 29 years old, Charles is an imposing figure. He literally exudes power and authority!

Charles is 7 feet tall — well over a foot above average height — and robust. He is stately and dignified in bearing, but is known for his warm-heartedness and charity. He speaks a type of Old High German.

But most important, he is a zealous and dedicated Catholic Christian!

Now in undisputed possession of the Frankish throne, Charles directs his efforts against the enemies of his kingdom. His great goal is to reestablish the political unity that had existed in Europe before the invasions of the fifth century.

He first launches a campaign against the fierce Saxons, who are threatening his frontiers. The Saxons are the last great pagan German nation. During the next three decades, Charles will wage 18 campaigns in his costly and bitter struggle against the stubborn Saxons. In 804 they will finally be Christianized at the point of the sword and incorporated into his empire.

Charles also undertakes campaigns against the Bavarians, Avars, Slavs, Bretons, Arabs and numerous other peoples. During his long career, he will conduct 53 expeditions and war against 12 different nations! And in the process he will unite by conquest nearly all the lands of Western Europe into one political unit. (Stump K. THE HISTORY OF EUROPE & THE CHURCH Part Four CHARLEMAGNE AND THE NEW EUROPE. Plain Truth, October 1983)

Charlemagne brought unity and prosperity through trade, war, and the threat of war–that is similar to what the Beast of Revelation will do as well! Charlemagne was at least partially Germanic as will be that Beast (cf. Isaiah 10:5-14; see also Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy). Despite the fact that early Christians were not militaristic (for details, see Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence?), Charlemagne and Constantine were.

Europe wants to be a united power. The murderous Charlemagne is one of its major heroes.

The Bible says a European dictatorial leader will rise up with promises of peace:

25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Daniel 8:25, KJV).

23 And after the league is made with him he shall act deceitfully, for he shall come up and become strong with a small number of people. 24 He shall enter peaceably, even into the richest places of the province; and he shall do what his fathers have not done, nor his forefathers: he shall disperse among them the plunder, spoil, and riches; and he shall devise his plans against the strongholds, but only for a time. (Daniel 11:23-24, NKJV)

The Bible teaches that leader will actually be militaristic, despite the promises of peace (Revelation 13:1-4; Daniel 11:39-43).

Europe is now working on its own independent military (see PESCO: The making of a European Defence Union and PESCO moving forward with technology).

Much in the past year in Europe, partially as a reaction to Brexit and Donald Trump, is pushing Europe towards a type of ‘Charlemagnian unity’ that will not be good.

That is real news. And it is NOT getting much coverage by the mainstream press.

Several items of possibly related interest may include:

Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
The Large Hadron Collider has Military Potential Some say this European project is only peaceful. So why is it working on capturing antimatter? Here is a link to a related video: Could the Large Hadron Collider lead to destruction?
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
Might German Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg become the King of the North? Is the former German Defense Minister (who is also the former German Minister for Economics and Technology) one to watch? What do Catholic, Byzantine, and biblical prophecies suggest? A video of related interest would be: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Europe’s Future.
Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History Are the Germanic peoples descended from Asshur of the Bible? Have there been real Christians in Germanic history? What about the “Holy Roman Empire”? There is also a You-Tube video sermon on this titled Germany’s Biblical Origins.
Germany in Biblical Prophecy Does Assyria in the Bible equate to an end time power inhabiting the area of the old Roman Empire? What does prophecy say Germany will do and what does it say will happen to most of the German people? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: Alemania en la profecía bíblic. Here are links to two English language sermon videos Germany in Bible Prophecy and The Rise of the Germanic Beast Power of Prophecy.
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: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
Post Brexit Prophecy On June 23, 2016, the voters of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) chose to leave the European Union. Now with this BRitish EXIT (Brexit) vote, what is prophesied to happen to the UK? Will the UK do well or be taken over and made slaves? Dr. Thiel explains from biblical prophecies what is ahead for the UK, Europe, and even the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill?  Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill?  Could a Donald Trump presidency be apocalyptic?  A related video is titled: Donald: ‘Trump of God’ or Apocalyptic?
Trump Presidency Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy? BBC reported that one might as well use a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’ to try to predict what will happen in the remaining time of Donald Trump’s presidency. What is a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’? Dr. Thiel not only explains that, but also briefly goes over 10 biblically-based warnings he wrote would happen if Donald Trump were elected that have already began to come to pass. He also goes over something he wrote back in 2008 that the Trump presidency is also helping lead to fulfillment. Should you trust Bible prophecy or not? Dr. Thiel says that Bible prophecy can be trusted, despite the view of skeptics and others that either overlook or despise the Bible. This is a video.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse This 188 page book is for people truly interested in prophecies related to Donald Trump and the United States, including learning about several that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon for $12.99 from the following link: Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition This electronic version of the 188 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. 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 Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition.
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.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they? A related sermon is titled Tradition and Scripture.
Was Jesus Born in the Grotto of the Nativity? Was Jesus born in a below ground cave? Was Jesus born below the “Church of the Nativity”? Were the wise men there?
How did December 25th become Christmas? Was Jesus born then? If not, why December 25? Here is the article translated into Mandarin Chinese 12月25日最后是怎么被许多基督的信仰者采纳的.
Is Keeping Christmas a Sin? Is keeping Christmas acceptable for true Christians? What are some scriptures to consider?
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations? A related sermon video is available and is titled: Birthdays, Christians, and December 25th.
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should you keep the Fall Holy Days?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
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.

Catholic and biblical warnings about ‘Christmas trees’

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

COGwriter

What does the Bible teach about using trees in worship? Have Catholic writers made warnings against Christmas trees?

First, notice that the Bible has a lot of warnings about trees:

2″Do not learn the ways of the nations
or be terrified by signs in the sky,
though the nations are terrified by them.
3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless;
they cut a tree out of the forest,
and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel.
4 They adorn it with silver and gold;
they fasten it with hammer and nails
so it will not totter.
5 Like a scarecrow in a melon patch,
their idols cannot speak;
they must be carried
because they cannot walk.
Do not fear them;
they can do no harm
nor can they do any good.” (Jeremiah 10:2-5, NIV).

2 Thus saith our Lord: According to the ways of the Gentiles learn not: and (a) of the signs of heaven, which the heathen fear, be not afraid:
3 Because the laws of the people are vain: because the work of the hand of the artificer hath cut a tree out of the forest with an axe.
4 with silver and gold he hath decked it: with nails and hammers he hath compacted it, that it fall not asunder.. .(Jerermie/Jeremiah 10:2-4, The Original And True Douay Old Testament Of Anno Domini 1609. Prepared and Edited by Dr. William von Peters, Ph.D. Copyright © 2005, Dr. William G. von Peters. Ph.D. 2005 copyright assigned to VSC Corp.).

29 When the Lord thy God shall have destroyed before thy face the nations, that thou enterest in to possess, and thou shalt possess them, and dwell in their land:
30 beware left thou imitate them, after they be subverted at thy entering in, and thou require their ceremonies, saying: As these nations have worshipped their Gods, so will I also worship.
31 Thou shalt not do in like manner to the Lord thy God. For all the abominations, that our Lord doeth abhor, have they done to their Gods, offering their sons and daughters, and burning them with fire (Deuteronomy 12:29-31, DOT).

While the trees themselves cannot harm us, God says that they cannot do any good.

And nowhere in the Bible is there any hint that trees should be associated with the birth of Jesus Christ. Much of what is promoted that is related to December 25th is not biblical (watch also Fake News, Jesus, and His Birth).

Catholics used to warn that because of Martin Luther’s promotion of Christmas trees, that this form of idolatry made Protestantism the “Tannenbaum religion” (tannenbaum literally means “fir tree” and is the German term for Christmas tree.

The “Venerable” Cesare Baronius, a Catholic of the 16th century, wrote about a practice of using lights (which are commonly used on Christmas trees):

If the candles which were formerly distributed at the Saturnalia are now identified with the feast of the Purification of our Lady? What, I ask, is there so surprising if holy bishops have allowed certain customs firmly rooted among pagan peoples, and so tenaciously adhered to by them that even after their conversion to Christianity they could not be induced to surrender them, to be transferred to the worship of the true God?” (Baronius, “Annales”, ad ann. 58, n. 77). (as cited in Thurston, Herbert. “Lights.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. Nihil Obstat. October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 21 Dec. 2009 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09244b.htm>)

Thus, Baronius seems to be saying that Saturnalia lights are a pagan practice, yet using them is acceptable. The period of Saturnalia coincides with the Christmas-New Year’s period in modern times.

But even the Rheims‘ version of the New Testament (a Catholic approved translation) states the following about pagan practices:

15. And what agreement with Christ and Belial? or what part hath the faithful with the infidel? 16. And what agreement hath the temple of God with Idols? For you are the temple of the living God. as God saith, Then I will dwell, and walk in them, and will be their God: and they shall be my people. 17. For the which cause, Go out of the midst of them, and separate yourselves. saith our Lord, and touch not the unclean: and I will receive you (2 Corinthians 6:15-17, The Original And True Rheims New Testament Of Anno Domini 1582. Prepared and Edited by Dr. William von Peters, Ph.D. Copyright © 1998, Dr. William G. von Peters. Ph.D. 2004, copyright assigned to VSC Corp.).

So unclean practices associated with idols are prohibited by God. Does not that include celebrating as the idolaters celebrate, like using evergreen trees?

Even the the old Roman Saturnalia and Persian Mithraism (which have been somewhat combined in the Greco-Roman religions) were an adaption of an even earlier mystery religion – the Babylonian mystery cult. The ancient Babylonians celebrated the rebirth of Nimrod as the newborn Tammuz by worshipping an evergreen tree (like the ‘modern’ Christmas tree). The Babylonians also celebrated this rebirth during the time of the winter solstice. Despite biblical admonitions against the use of green trees (Jeremiah 3:12-13), many seem to think that this is fine.

Notice, however, that using green trees as part of worship was condemned by God thousands of years ago:

2 ‘You must completely destroy all the places where the nations you dispossess have served their gods, on high mountains, on hills, under any spreading tree; 3 you must tear down their altars, smash their sacred stones, burn their sacred poles, hack to bits the statues of their gods and obliterate their name from that place. (Deuteronomy 12:2-3, New Jerusalem Bible, NJB, a Catholic translation)

2 Destroy all the places in which the nations, that you shall possess, worshipped their gods upon high mountains, and hills, and under every shady tree: 3 Overthrow their altars, and break down their statues, burn their groves with fire, and break their idols in pieces: destroy their names out of those places. 4 You shall not do so to the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 12:2-4, DOT, a Catholic translation).

16 Beware lest perhaps your heart be deceived, and you depart from our Lord, and serve strange Gods, and adore them (Deuteronomy 11:16, DOT).

12 So go and shout words towards the north, and say: “Come back, disloyal Israel, Yahweh declares, I shall frown on you no more, since I am merciful, Yahweh declares. I shall not keep my anger for ever.

13 Only acknowledge your guilt: how you have rebelled against Yahweh your God, how you have prostituted yourself with the Strangers under every green tree and have not listened to my voice, Yahweh declares. (Jeremiah 3:12-13, NJB)

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

Catholic translations of the Bible show that spreading shady trees, like evergreens, were not to be part of the worship of the true God–and that people should not be deceived and observe such strange practices. The truth is that Christmas reminds us that people are often unwilling to worship God as He intended, but instead often prefer pagan substitutes that they rationalize as somehow acceptable if they pretend the holiday is about Jesus.

Those who truly believe Jesus’ words, “Human beings live not on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4, NJB) will not celebrate a compromised pagan holiday such as Christmas because it contains practices and symbols (see also What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons?) warned against in the Bible and was never enjoined upon true believers to practice.

And although many Catholics now have Christmas trees, notice something from the Vatican:

Rome, Dec. 22: Sant Claus, and Christmas trees, have been condemned in an editorial in the Vatican weekly newspaper, “L’Osservatore della Domenica.” The editorial describes Santa Claus as a “monstrous substitute” for the Christ Child, and says that the idea of Santa “is offensive to the faith” and “will not and must not be accepted or tolerated by Christians.” The use of Christmas trees — which have only recently become a part of the Italian Christmas — is condemned as “an attempt to substitute the Crib ….. with a certain feeling of naturalism and paganism.” (http://www.deccanchronicle.com/dc50/vatican-paper-disfavours-santa-claus-684)

No one should be using Christmas trees, Santa Claus, etc. And even some in the Vatican are telling people that.

The Catholics once considered that having a decorated fir tree in one’s house, which of course is not a symbol associated with the birth of Jesus in the Bible, during the Christmas season was a form of idolatry.

However, over time, as the use of trees gained more universal acceptance, those of the Catholic faith decided to no longer decry their use.

The Bible, Church of God sources, and Catholic sources have warned about the use of objects like Christmas trees. Since the use of them most certainly does not come from the Bible, no Christian should wish to have one. For more information, here is a link to the sermon: Fake News, Jesus, and His Birth.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs 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! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
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.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example? Here is a related sermon video: Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong: Reformers with Differences.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity?
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? What about the use of the cross, by the early Church?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity?
Was Jesus Born in the Grotto of the Nativity? Was Jesus born in a below ground cave? Was Jesus born below the “Church of the Nativity”? Were the wise men there?
How did December 25th become Christmas? Was Jesus born then? If not, why December 25? Here is the article translated into Mandarin Chinese 12月25日最后是怎么被许多基督的信仰者采纳的.
Is Keeping Christmas a Sin? Is keeping Christmas acceptable for true Christians? What are some scriptures to consider?
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?