Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

1 in 10 US children claimed to have ADHD–what’s the cause?

Thursday, November 20th, 2014


COGwriter

A study shows the number of US children who have attention deficit hyperactive disorder is quite high:

One in every 10 U.S. children has been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the steady rise in cases has started to slow, a new government survey shows.

The 2011 poll of more than 95,000 parents showed that about 11 percent — or about 6.4 million — of children aged 4 to 17 had been diagnosed with ADHD. That’s up from a 2007 survey that found that 9.5 percent of youngsters in that age group had an ADHD diagnoses.

Nearly one in every five high-school age boys, and about one in every 11 high school age girls, was reported by their parents as being diagnosed with having ADHD, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report found. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2013/11/22/1-in-10-us-children-now-has-adhd-cdc-says

Some of this, at least related to boys, is probably teacher bias, but there is a problem in the USA.

What is the cause?

Diet and environment do play a role.

In the last century, the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

And so man IS just what he eats. Some of the most famous physicians and surgeons have said that 90% to 95% of all sickness and disease comes from faulty diet!…

Most degenerative diseases are modern diseases—penalties for eating foods that have been demineralized in food factories—usually an excess of starch, sugar (the carbohydrates) and fats. Others are caused by a type of malnutrition—lack of needed minerals and vitamins in foods. Then people try to put the “vitamins” back into their systems by buying pills at the drugstore! (More on this can be found in the article HWA: Third Law of Success: Good Health.)

My clinical experience suggests that environmental toxins, genetics, and problems with the food supply are causes of increased ADHD and similar problems. Nutritional support has sometimes been found to be helpful for this (http://www.healthresearch.com/add.htm).

But caution is advised as nearly all multi-vitamins sold are synthetic. And, yes, I mean nearly all sold in health food stores and through multi-level marketing groups. Those that buy them are normally deceived.

The Bible itself seems to warn of problems like ADHD as a curse for disobedience:

15 “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: 16 “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country. 17 “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 18 “Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks…20 “The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion (Deuteronomy 28:15-18,20)

And I believe that changes, at least partially due to greed, to the environment and the food supply are likely factors in increasing problems such as ADHD, as well as autism (Air Pollution More Than Doubles Autism Risk).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Third Law of Success: Good Health A writing by Herbert W. Armstrong.
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.
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.
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?
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?

Kirk Cameron’s Christmas movie seeks to save paganism

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

COGwriter

World News Daily reported the following about Kirk Cameron’s latest film Saving Christmas:

Cameron’s Christmas movie “Saving Christmas” was released in theaters last week for a limited two-week run.

“It’s a very pro-Christmas tree movie,” Cameron said. “It’s pro-St. Nicholas, pro-Christmas trees, pro-nativities and pro-feasting, dancing, celebrations, singing and laughing at Christmas. I do love it.”

In the movie, Cameron is charged with giving his brother-in-law a shot of Christmas spirit. Cameron’s sister, played by his real sister Bridgette Cameron, is throwing a Christmas party, complete with dinner and decorations. Her husband goes to sulk in the driveway because he thinks the party and modern day Christmas traditions take away from the true meaning of Christmas. http://www.wnd.com/2014/11/kirk-cameron-looks-to-save-christmas/#IW9XrsCi03VKDfuv.99

Christmas trees are pagan, Nicholas was not a real saint (see Catholic Saint Nicholas Day), the decorations associated with Christmas are pagan (see What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? ), and the whole period began as a big party to honor the sun god (Do You Practice Mithraism?).

So much so, that was the reason that December 25th was chosen.  December 25th was the date to honor the sun god Mithras (see Do You Practice Mithraism? and What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? ).

Christmas IS NOT a biblical holy day, nor did early Christians observe it.  The real meaning of Christmas is that many decided that they liked paganism and wanted to retain it, basically with a different name (the celebration had been called the Saturnalia as it also honored the pagan god Saturn).

Yet, Kirk Cameron thinks that the pagan aspects of it should be emphasized as good–but they are not.

Kirk Cameron likes compromises with paganism.  Notice his views on Halloween and other non-biblical holidays:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bible condemns pagan celebrations and early Christians did NOT dress up as witches and devils. Jesus was not even born on December 25th (see also How did December 25th become Christmas?).

Notice something that Jesus taught:

23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.  (John 4:23-24)

Christmas is a lie.  True worshipers will NOT be celebrating it.  To learn more about who the true Christians are, check out the following: Where is the True Christian Church Today?

Kirk Cameron, not only overlooks this, he seems to be a pushing more a more ‘ecumenical’ and anti-biblical view of what he calls Christianity.  This is wrong, and will NOT end well (cf. Revelation 18).

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
Hanukkah Originally a Jewish national holiday, has Hanukkah morphed into a Jewish Christmas?
Canadian & Philadelphian Mummers Parades: Another tie to Saturnalia In Canada there is a ’12 days of Christmas’ celebration involving Mummers. In Philadelphia, a parade is held on New Years. Does this come from the Bible or where?
Was Jesus Born in the Grotto of the Nativity? Was Jesus born in a below ground cave? Was Jesus born below the “Church of the Nativity”? Were the wise men there?
How did December 25th become Christmas? Was Jesus born then? If not, why December 25? Here is the article translated into Mandarin Chinese 12月25日最后是怎么被许多基督的信仰者采纳的.
Is Keeping Christmas a Sin? Is keeping Christmas acceptable for true Christians? What are some scriptures to consider?
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? This article provides some historical and biblical insight on this question.
International ‘Halloween’ Should Christians observe Halloween? There are many cultures that have celebrations and observances that are similar to some associated with Halloween. What did the Druids do? Is Halloween one of the most important holidays for Satanists? Do the Japanese, Indians, and Chinese have any practices that are similar to some associated with Halloween? Does the Bible endorse or condemn practices that are associated with Halloween? This is a video.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls’ Day When did “All Saints Day” and the “Day of the Dead” begin? “What about All Soul’s Day”?
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed?
COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of 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?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Continuing History of the Church of God This free pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

PCG’s position on when Satan was cast down and who has been the restrainer are wrong

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014


17th Century Depiction of Michael and Satan

COGwriter

A few hours ago, I watched the Key of David program of PCG’s Gerald Flurry (for probably the first time in over a decade).  Here is some of what he taught:

Satan cast down…It has happened…He had a war with God.

Revelation 12:13:
Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child.

He did in this end time…

Revelation 12:12… because he knows that he has a short time…Why does Satan have a short time?

About 5% of God’s people are doing the work in this end time…

There are two men…

The man of sin… there is no truth in him… He attacks God’s church…The son of perdition here is second Thessalonians 2…in all likelihood is possessed by the devil…That is why he shows himself that he is God. …

There is another man {2 Thessalonians 2:7} the mystery of lawlessness … only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way…

He was taken out of the way…The very day he was taken away, Satan was cast down. (Flurry G. Satan Cast Down (2014). November 16, 2014)

I know the above is a bit cryptic–yet he did not lay out the specifics of the identity of the two men in that video.  But based upon other items from Gerald Flurry, it is clear that he believes that Satan was (or probably was) cast down to the earth on January 16, 1986.

Why?

Two basic reasons.

First, Gerald Flurry taught the following:

Remember that Malachi is about an end-time messenger, like John the Baptist, who prepares the way for Christ’s Second Coming (Malachi 3:1-2). It all occurs just before “the great and dreadful Day of the Lord.” Common sense would tell us the events Malachi prophesied about couldn’t happen while Mr. Armstrong was alive. There was a type of it in the 1970s—but he stopped it, and as one pcg member said, that was the only time in recorded secular and biblical history that it ever happened! The only time! Mr. Armstrong restrained it (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7). (Flurry G. Malachi’s Message, Chapter 9. Copyright © 1990, 1995, 1999, 2004, 2008 Philadelphia Church of God)

Second, because Herbert W. Armstrong died of January 16, 1986, and that is the event that Gerald Flurry seemed to be alluding to in his video program.

Now, I do NOT believe that Herbert W. Armstrong could possibly be the restrainer in 2 Thessalonians 2:7–the restrainer would need to exist from the time of the Apostle Paul to now.  While a change from the Philadelphia to Laodicean church era may have happened then, I do not believe that Satan was cast down on January 16, 1986.

Notice what the old Radio Church of God taught about the restrainer:

One prominent writer attempts to prove that II Thessalonians 2:7-8…has not yet begun to be fulfilled…But notice the first part of verse 7:, “For the mystery of iniquity DOTH ALREADY WORK”–even in Paul’s day. (Hoeh H. The Secret Rapture: Fact or Fiction. Plain Truth, July, 1959, p. 30)

Read the rest of this alarming prophecy! “… sitteth in the temple of God, chewing himself that he is God… for the mystery of iniquity (a babylonish MYSTERY religion!) doth ALREADY work (yes, Paul said it had its insidious beginnings even then!) only he who now letteth (an old word meaning “restrains”) will let, until HE BECOME TO BE!” (The original Greek verb, “ginomai” has this sense, rather than “taken out of the way,” as it appears in the King James translation) “And then shall that WICKED (A WICKED ONE — ONE EVIL PERSON IN HIGH OFFICE — is the whole subject and content of this passage of scripture!) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming” (II Thess. 4:8). (Armstrong GT. And when you see the ABOMINATION… Plain Truth, July 1963)

The above is teaching that the restainer was restraining nearly two thousand years ago.  That understanding agrees with that of the Apostle Paul, the late Herbert W. Armstrong, and me (see also What is Restrained and Who is Restraining in 2 Thessalonians 2:7?).

Don Billingsley, of COG-FF, also has improperly taught that Herbert Armstrong was the restrainer:

Mr. Armstrong…He had to be taken out of the way by his death to make the fulfillment of them possible (II Thessalonians 2:7). (Billingsley D. Philadelphia Remnant, written January 16, 2007. http://philadelphiaremnant.com/).

The restrainer was at work during the Apostle Paul’s day–it was NOT Herbert W. Armstrong. See also What is Restrained and Who is Restraining in 2 Thessalonians 2:7?

Perhaps, I should mention that Gerald Flurry also teaches that Joseph Tkach was the man of sin.  He originally taught that it was Joseph Tkach Sr., who became in charge of the old Worldwide Church of God at the time of Herbert W. Armstrong’s death; Gerald Flurry later changed that to Joseph Tkach, Jr.  But neither of those are correct.  Other COG groups also misunderstand the identity of the “man of sin/son of perdition.”

To understand who that is, please check out Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?  and/or watch a related YouTube video titled Who is the Man of Sin?

PCG is again publicly proclaiming, though cryptically in its Key of David program, more error.  Hopefully those part of PCG will realize this soon.  Gerald Flurry is NOT God’s prophet nor apostle as he falsely claims to be.

Some items of related interest may include the following:

What is Restrained and Who is Restraining in 2 Thessalonians 2:7? Are sorceries being restrained until the future? What is the mystery of lawlessness?
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God Simply calling oneself ‘Philadelphia’ does not make one so (see Revelation 3:7-9), nor does Gerald Flurry calling himself “that prophet” make it so. This article provides many quotes from this group which tries to look faithful.

Western diet harming global human health and the environment

Sunday, November 16th, 2014


Western ‘fast food’ (ebru)

COGwriter

A report confirms something that I have long known:

The globalization of Western eating habits is bad for human health and for the environment, according to a new study in the journal Nature.

In the study, David Tilman, a University of Minnesota ecology professor, analyzed data from 100 countries to chart what people ate and how diet affected health. He noted a trend beginning in the 1960s: As nations industrialized, population increased and incomes rose. More people began to adopt the so-called Western diet, one high in refined sugar, fat, oil and meat.

People began to get fatter and sicker.

“The excess in the 15 richest nations of the world right now,” Tilman said, “is on the order of about 400 or 500 extra calories a day beyond what people need, and that leads people to gain weight.”

Overweight people are at greater risk for noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, Tilman said.

“Diabetes is shooting to very high rates in the United States and across Europe,” he said. “Heart disease is a major cause of mortality in the Western countries. And unfortunately, when people become industrialized, if they adopt this Western diet, they are going to have these same health impacts, and in some cases if you are Asian, you have them more severely than even happens in the West.”

Effect in China

That’s the case in China, where diabetes has skyrocked from less than 1 percent to 10 percent of the population having diabetes over a 20-year period.

“It has not leveled off yet. It is still going up,” Tilman said. “And that is happening all across the world, in Mexico, in Nigeria and so on, in nation after nation.”

The diet bad for humans is also bad for the environment, he said. …

Land use change also promotes species extinction and loss of biodiversity.

Tilman said reducing the Western diet’s adverse impact on human health and the environment is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity. http://www.voanews.com/content/study-western-diet-bad-human-health-environment/2520952.html

The study cited above did not really focus on Genetically-Modified Organisms (GMOs) as a part of the ‘Western’ diet, but this, of itself, is also a massive risk to human health and the planet (see GMOs and Bible Prophecy).

Having traveled around the world, I have been disappointed with seeing the relative success of junk foods and other items from the West.  I strongly recall how disappointed I was when our family was in Malaysia back in 1997 and I saw the amount of junk food that was consumed there.

The increase of problems such as diabetes and obesity in the West and other parts of the world is a result of consuming not only too much, but too much of highly processed “foods.”

As far as the environment goes (see also The Bible, Christians, and the Environment), a lot of Western farming practices are eliminating biodiversity.  This is dangerous for many reasons, including increased risk for disastrous famines that could be caused by pestilences and/or changes in the weather (see also Weather Blessings and Sorrows).

There are a lot of questionable items in the Western diet that are supposed to be food.

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.  And not too much.

The Bible itself warns about obesity, getting fat, and excessive eating.  Notice some of what Moses and Jeremiah wrote:

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

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

There are massive problems with obesity in the world today.

Many in the West are not setting the right example when it comes to diet and this does not bode well for the world in the future (Matthew 24:4-22; Revelation 6:5-8).  Not all outside the West care for certain aspects of Western diets (watch American foods that gross out foreigners), but sadly, many have picked up a lot of bad dietary habits which have had Western influence.

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.  This is a video.  A partially related written post is titled American ‘foods’ that gross out foreigners.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods?
Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy Are there disadvantages to being overweight? Is junk food really bad for you? Does the Bible discuss overeating and/or obesity? Is overeating having an effect on the US military? What are the ramifications of personal and national health for overeating? What should you eat? This is a sermonette-length YouTubevideo.
GMOs and Bible Prophecy What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras? Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues?
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
Does God Heal Today? What does the Bible teach? Herbert Armstrong tries to explain this.
UK Study Supports Daniel Diet Daniel and his companions looked better eating more vegetables and avoiding strange meats. Has modern science confirmed this?
The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats.
The Bible, Christians, and the Environment How should Christians view the environment? Does the Bible give any clues? What are some of the effects of air, water, and land pollution? Is environmental pollution a factor in autism and death? Do pollutants seem to double the autism risk? What will Jesus do? A YouTube video is available titled Air Pollution, Autism, and Prophecy.
Weather Blessings and Sorrows Are weather problems a warning? What should be done? What does the Bible teach about weather? What about floods, droughts, heat, earthquakes, tornadoes, and solar storms? Here is a related YouTube video Does God Use Weather? A related item in the Spanish language would be Bendiciones y maldiciones del clima.
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon? A YouTube video of interest may be Is China THE Threat to the United States of America?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Edition for Second Obama Term This is a 160 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Barack Obama and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled (which the book documents in detail) and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also has a chapter about a Republican choice. This book is available to order at www.barackobamaprophecy.com. The physical book can also be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Barack Obama Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Kenyan, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Republican Leaders? Second Edition for Second Obama Term.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition.

Ferguson: More tension and police brace for more protests

Sunday, November 16th, 2014


Ferguson Protestors (Loavesofbread)

COGwriter

The situation is again tense in Ferguson, Missouri.  Here are a few items with a couple of different perspectives:

November 16, 2014

FERGUSON, Missouri — Activists protesting the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen by a white policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, expressed anger on Saturday after the city’s police chief said the officer could return to work if a grand jury does not charge him criminally.

The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, which saw weeks of sometimes violent protests after the Aug. 9 shooting, is on edge as the jury decides whether the officer, Darren Wilson, will face charges for the shooting of Michael Brown.

Wilson would likely be fired if he is indicted, but he could return to duty if he is not, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told MSNBC on Saturday, adding that he had not spoken with Wilson to know if he wanted to rejoin the department.

Wilson would still face an internal investigation even if the grand jury does not bring charges, Jackson said.  http://bangordailynews.com/2014/11/16/news/nation/ferguson-protesters-decry-report-officer-involved-in-teen-shooting-may-return-to-work/

November 15, 2014

Newly surfaced surveillance videos and dispatch calls from the day a Ferguson, Mo., police officer shot an unarmed 18-year-old contradict the police officer’s version of events, attorneys representing Michael Brown’s family said today.

The videos show Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson leaving for the hospital hours after he fatally shot Brown. The fatal shooting sparked weeks of protest in the Missouri city.

The videos, which were obtained by the St. Louis-Post Dispatch, show Wilson, 28, leaving the police station with another officer and a police union lawyer two hours after the shooting, the newspaper reported.

“Information was leaked from within the police department that Wilson was severely beaten and suffered an orbital eye socket ‘blowout,’ indicating that Michael Brown somehow deserved to die. From the video released today it would appear the initial descriptions of his injuries were exaggerated,” a statement from attorneys representing the Brown family said. http://abcnews.go.com/US/ferguson-videos-show-darren-wilson-fatally-shooting-michael/story?id=26936378

November 15, 2014

From Boston to Los Angeles, police departments are bracing for large demonstrations when a grand jury decides whether to indict a white police officer who killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

The St. Louis County grand jury, which has been meeting since Aug. 20, is expected to decide this month whether Officer Darren Wilson is charged with a crime for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown after ordering him and a friend to stop walking in the street on Aug. 9.

The shooting has led to tension with police and a string of unruly protests there and brought worldwide attention to the formerly obscure St. Louis suburb, where more than half the population is black but few police officers are.

For some cities, a decision in the racially charged case will, inevitably, reignite long-simmering debates over local police relations with minority communities.

“It’s definitely on our radar,” said Lt. Michael McCarthy, police spokesman in Boston, where police leaders met privately Wednesday to discuss preparations. “Common sense tells you the timeline is getting close. We’re just trying to prepare in case something does step off, so we are ready to go with it.”

In Los Angeles, rocked by riots in 1992 after the acquittal of police officers in the videotaped beating of Rodney King, police officials say they’ve been in touch with their counterparts in Missouri, where Gov. Jay Nixon and St. Louis-area law enforcement held a news conference this week on their own preparations.

“Naturally, we always pay attention,” said Cmdr. Andrew Smith, a police spokesman. “We saw what happened when there were protests over there and how oftentimes protests spill from one part of the country to another.”  http://www.scpr.org/news/2014/11/15/48100/cities-including-los-angeles-brace-for-protests-of/

November 16, 2014

The cops are preparing for the worst. And it may happen. And Sharpton, Jackson, Holder, and yes, Obama too, are shamefully silent.

Is Ferguson on the brink of war? With every fiber in my body I hope the answer is a resounding “No.” In light of recent events, however, a violent confrontation between protestors and law enforcement seems inevitable as a grand jury decides whether to indict a white police officer for the shooting death of a black teenager.

A few days ago I appeared on the Fox Business Network to discuss this question with anchor Lou Dobbs and former federal prosecutor Doug Burns. What struck me over the course of our conversation is that a violent conflict seems almost inevitable given a few startling revelations.

First, the local CBS News affiliate reported a few days ago that a Ferguson resident noted the town “is getting prepared for war” if the grand jury doesn’t indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of the 18-year-old Michael Brown. Never mind that the autopsy report that was recently released indicates wounds sustained by Brown are consistent with apparent statements by Wilson and six African-American eyewitnesses who claim the teen charged the officer and a scuffle for the gun ensued inside the patrol car. That these six eyewitnesses have remained anonymous for fear of their personal safety is revealing in and of itself.

In the same news account, civil rights activists from the Don’t Shoot Coalition have asked local prosecutors to provide them with a 48-hour advance notification of the grand jury decision to “help prevent widespread violence if they have 48 hours to prepare for protests.” The Coalition is comprised of labor unions, anti-war activists, clergy, and so-called black empowerment groups.

Question: Does anyone believe this coalition will use a 48-hour window to quell violence? Or will it or seek to incite it? I tend to believe the latter rather than the former given what we saw in the weeks following Brown’s tragic shooting. …

My question is simply this: where are the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in seeking to quell potential violence? The same is to be asked of our Attorney General, and of the President of the United States, both of whom had no problem calling for a civil rights probe of the shooting but have thus far failed to preemptively warn against potential protests from spiraling out of control.

Sharpton and Jackson have indeed spoken out about the situation in Ferguson—but in a manner that appears to inflame rather than calm matters. Just last weekend Sharpton returned to Ferguson for several days of events to call for “justice” for Michael Brown. At one such event Sharpton offered: “If there is not justice for this family, then we have not achieved the goals of this movement.” A less provocative approach would have been to appeal for calm and respect the rule of law and the grand jury’s deliberations regardless of its decision. Sharpton’s view of justice seems to be prejudged and preordained: if Officer Wilson isn’t indicted, justice will not have been served.  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/11/16/as-michael-brown-grand-jury-winds-down-is-ferguson-on-the-brink-of-war.html

There are reports that Michael Brown charged at and/or injured the police officer, which would be wrong. However, it would also seem that allegedly shooting Michael Brown six times for his actions would also be wrong.  Many believe that shooting was racially motivated, which if it was (and I have my doubts that it was) that would, of course, be wrong.

Anyway, I do not condone the use of excessive force by the government nor violent protests against the government. Multiple wrongs do not make a right and violence begets violence. After Jesus was being mistreated by semi-governmental authorities, one of His followers attempted to use a sword to try to change the situation. Notice what Jesus said:

52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (Matthew 26:52, KJV)

Vengeance belongs to God:

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:17-19, NKJV)

What is needed is peace:

9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)

As far as violence goes, the Bible also shows that God is against violence and that destruction will come because of it:

23 ‘Make a chain,
For the land is filled with crimes of blood,
And the city is full of violence.
24 Therefore I will bring the worst of the Gentiles,
And they will possess their houses;
I will cause the pomp of the strong to cease,
And their holy places shall be defiled. (Ezekiel 7:23-24)

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality…30…violent, proud, boasters,…31…unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:28-32)

8…And the violence of the land and the city, And of all who dwell in it. ( Habakkuk 2:8)

In my view, some of the protesters and some in the government turn too quickly to violence.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
Christian Soldiers How are Christians to be like soldiers? How are they to be different?
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?
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?

The Bible, Dreams, and the Continuing Church of God

Thursday, November 13th, 2014


Artist’s representation of Jacob’s ladder dream (Genesis 28:10-17)

COGwriter

Do dreams and prophets have any place in the Christian Church today? Are any related to the Continuing Church of God (which did not officially form as a declared entity until December 28, 2012)?

The Bible records that God often has used dreams to give messages (Genesis 20:3-7, 28:10-17, 31:10-13, 31:24, 37:5-10, 40:5-18, 41:1-32; Numbers 12:6; Judges 7:13-15; 1 Kings 3:5-15; Daniel 2:3-45, 4:4-27, 7:1-28; Matthew 1:20-25, 2:12, 2:13, 2:19, 2:22; Acts 16:9).

The Bible shows that God often chooses to work with prophets through a dream:

6 “Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6)

Notice that the above says that God will speak to His prophet in a dream. Notice also:

28 The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream (Jeremiah 23:28)

A few years ago I had a dream, which while I did not understand it at first, as it became more and more fulfilled over the years, I began to understand it and believe it was from God.

I was 50 at the time (which essentially makes me an ‘old man’ per Numbers 8:25; cf. John 8:57). In my dream, there seemed to be two parallel lines. Living Church of God (LCG) evangelist Roderick Meredith was on the top line and I was on the line much below. In the dream, I kept calling up to Dr. Meredith, but he never would respond. This lack of response made no sense to me during the dream. Then after what seemed to be a long time, the lines-crossed with his line dropping and my line going up.

One reason that I did not understand it at the time was that I was on relatively close speaking terms with Dr. Meredith then, so that aspect made of the dream made no sense. Also, since I had no intentions of leaving Living Church of God then (and certainly no plans to start a separate church), it was not clear what the dream was saying. Another reason I was unsure about the dream then was that I had not had any anointing for the Holy Spirit beyond baptism when I had it.

But these matters changed eventually. For one, I was unexpectedly anointed for a ‘double-portion’ of God’s Spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9) on December 15, 2011 by an LCG minister named Gaylyn Bonjour.

Furthermore, over time, Dr. Meredith became more distant from me, would not keep various promises to me, and ultimately stopped speaking with me. And after I got a letter from him on 12/28/12, it was clear to me that there was no way that the Philadelphia mantle could be with him or any of his leaders. These subsequent events showed me that the dream was being fulfilled.

Related to dreams, the Bible also teaches:

8 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:28-29)

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them,

“Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:14-18)

28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? (1 Corinthians 12:28-30).

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

Despite what the Bible supports, most Church of God groups do not seemingly accept that there are any prophets today, nor do they seem to accept that God actually sometimes speaks in dreams in the 21st century–some, oddly, seem indignant of the very idea. Part of the reason for this is that those self-proclaimed ‘prophets’ outside of the Continuing Church of God have tended to proven to be false (see also Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders?).

But that does not mean God doesn’t ever use dreams or have any in the office of prophet or ever pour out a ‘double-portion’ of His Spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-15) as happened when an ordained minister so prayed and anointed me on December 15, 2011 (see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).

The Bible shows that the Apostle Peter and the prophet Joel mentioned that there would be some with prophetic dreams in the end times.

But first, let us start here with something that the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about dreams:

Let me say here that in about 99,999 times out of 100,000, when people think GOD is speaking to them in a dream or vision in this day and age, it is pure imagination, or some form of self-hypnotism or self-deception. I have only come to believe that this dream was a bonafide call from God in the light of subsequent events. (Autobiography of Herbert Armstrong, Volume I, chapter 10)

And that is correct. Most dreams are not from God, even if people think that they are. Dreams from God are shown to be correct in the light of subsequent events (though just because a dream ends up being correct, that does of itself, not prove that it was from God as there can be other factors, cf. Deuteronomy 13:1-5, but God Himself does sometimes use dreams, Numbers 12:6; Acts 2:17-18).

Though many discount all dreams, many also forget that Herbert W. Armstrong believed that his wife Loma Armstrong had a dream from God, although it took him some years to accept the validity of it:

Within 30 or 60 days after our marriage God spoke to my wife in what might have been an intense unusual dream, or a vision — but it was years later before we came to realize that this really was a message from God. (Armstrong HW. Brethren and Co-worker letter, November 28, 1956; see also, Autobiography of Herbert Armstrong, Volume I, chapter 10).

So, there was a dream from a woman that preceded the start of the old Radio Church of God that Herbert W. Armstrong led.

A question to ponder is have there been any dreams from God in more recent years?

Fesilafai Fiso Leaana Has a Dream

In addition to my dream (which seemed consistent with Number 12:6 and Acts 2:17), there also seems to have been at least one other dream related to the Continuing Church of God that I would like to mention in some detail here that someone else had.

Unbeknownst to me until late September 2013, a woman named Fesilafai Fiso Leaana of New Zealand had a dream after going to bed on December 8, 2012. Here is a report that Fesilafai Fiso Leaana wrote about her dream:

A few months before my dream, my husband and I noticed a contradiction in practice, regarding the sabbath commandment in LCG, from there we started to pray continuously for God to lead us to where the truth is. It seems God has answered our prayers through the dream.

The dream began with myself and approximately 70 New Zealand Living Church of God brethren, then suddenly LCG vanished (I was wondering where is LCG?) and I was left standing with approximately 10 people excluding myself, on a very high building. We were standing on the very top of the building, where I couldn’t see the bottom, there were no other buildings, just this building. I could not see the bottom of the building but just clouds below the building and clouds surrounding the building which led to a beautiful white mountain – a mountain that had no ends on either side. The building was pretty close to the mountain, I could see the top of the mountain. The mountain was all white and so beautiful. I remember that I began to be filled with joy and peace. But also wondering how we got up on this building and confused why there were no other buildings but the clouds seemed like it was hiding the building and I felt protected or it felt like a safe place. I looked around there were still only about ten people there, the only person I could clearly recognize was Shirley constantly working, the approximate ten others were just sitting and standing around. So I walked around the building looking for the large crowd from LCG, but all I kept returning to was that Shirley was working and doing different types of work alone while the others were still sitting and standing around the building with me. I wondered why she was working a lot. I could not find LCG.

Then suddenly a message came to my mind: “There is a secret in the mountain”. And I was so happy to know that, I was still feeling elated and could still see the beautiful white mountain and wondered about the secret. Then I asked: “What is the secret?” Then the message said, nobody knows the secret in the mountain but only you have received this message that there is a secret in the mountain. Then I asked ‘what is the secret in the mountain?’ I received a message to my mind that told me that “the secret in the mountain is the Ark of the Covenant”. Then the dream abruptly ended because I woke up. And immediately, I woke up my husband and recounted the dream to him, and I told my husband that it reminded me of when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on the mountain and that the mountain was also covered with clouds.

On the same day after my dream, at church service Mr Penman warned us to be careful what we read from Bob Thiel’s Obama book, because they do not support everything he wrote in it. At the time I kept your name in my mind as I did not know who you were then.

Then 3 weeks later Shirley contacted me regarding your Chronology – the exit from LCG. Shirley had all of the Chronology and gave us all a print out of it and went over it with my husband and I. Shirley kept stressing the integrity of the LCG leadership and administration was compromised as proven by your Chronology account. Then my husband and I had to make a decision whether we would continue with LCG or go with Bob Thiel (you) since Shirley, John and Kayla had already decided to be with you :)

We decided to go with Bob Thiel and then left the meeting but a letter from Mr. Penman and a visit from the new New Zealand minister Paul attempted to obstruct our departure and tried to dissuade us from leaving LCG and coming with you. This forced us to carefully rethink our decision.

My husband and I were alone, that’s when my husband said to me, “remember your dream? This is what your dream means, that we need to leave this church and go with Shirley”. That’s when we knew what to do. And this dream is the reason most of us in the kiwi CCOG knew that we are in the right Church, God told us to come to this Church. We reaffirmed with Shirley and others that we were going to go with Bob Thiel and my husband told them the dream for the first time and that the dream is the reason my husband and I decided to come.

Not having all the details of the dream, Shirley then prayed about the dream. She asked God for more understanding on the dream. Then the next day she was reading the book of Psalm and Psalm 25:14 JUMPED out at her: “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.” (email 9/29/13)

Within several weeks of the dream, ten people in New Zealand, including Shirley Gestro (the Shirley above) began to attend the newly formed Continuing Church of God.

Biblically, mountains can symbolize government (Psalm 30:7; Isaiah 11:9; Daniel 2:35; Zechariah 4:7) and white purity or cleanness (Isaiah 1:18; Revelation 7:14, 19:14). Clouds around a mountain (or at least the top of it) could show a separation—maybe a separation that keeps many from seeing all of the truth (cf. Job 22:14; Lamentations 3:44) or recognizing top leadership?

The dream seemed to be a signal to confirm that the Philadelphia mantle was not with the Living Church of God, but instead was associated with someone that that had something to do with the ark of the covenant. Prior to the dream Fesilafai Fiso Leaana indicated that she had problems with how the leadership in LCG viewed the Sabbath, and that was one of the issues that I dealt within weeks of the formation of the Continuing Church of God.

Now, I (Bob Thiel) never heard of, nor learned of, this dream until after the start of the Feast of Tabernacles in September 2013 in New Zealand (which is where my wife Joyce and I began the Feast of Tabernacles in 2013).

Why is that potentially significant?

Back in 2006, when I was first asked to give a sermon at the Feast of Tabernacles, it occurred to me that never in WCG, GCG, nor LCG did I recall anyone actually fulfilling the requirement in Deuteronomy 31:10-13 about reading the “words of the law” in Deuteronomy every seven years at the Feast of Tabernacles (see also The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time to Learn the Law). So, when the opportunity to give a sermon came up (in Guatemala), I attempted to go through that book of the law. In 2012, it occurred to me that since this was to be done every seven years, that somehow I would need to do this in 2013 (seven years later), but I was not sure how this would be done. However, once the Continuing Church of God formed, I realized that how this would be done at the Feast of Tabernacles in 2013 (sermons were given related to that, links to which are found in the article Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2013).

After I began to cite Deuteronomy 31:10-13 and started reading the book of the law at the Feast of Tabernacles in New Zealand in 2013, Fesilafai Fiso Leaana came up to me and told me about her dream. We discussed some points about it and the ark of the covenant, etc. As it turns out, one of the items that was kept besides the ark of the covenant was the very same “Book of the Law” (Deuteronomy 31:26) that I was reading in its entirety publicly during that Feast of Tabernacles. This is a connection that, humanly speaking Fesilafai Leaana could not have known. (There are also other potential ramifications related to the ark of the covenant that I may attempt to publicly address in the future.)

Subsequent events, events that Fesilafai Leaana could not have known on December 8/9, 2012, confirmed her dream. She had no idea that the Continuing Church of God was going to form, and I had not made the decision to actually form it until after getting a letter on December 28, 2012. Fesilafai Leaana’s dream is another witness as to the proper start, etc. of the Continuing Church of God.

Senhor Pires Has a Dream

On March 28, 2014, I flew into London for a two night stopover, before heading to Kenya for a CCOG leadership conference.  Within an hour of arriving at my hotel, Senhor Pires came for baptismal counseling.  As we walked from the hotel lobby to my room, he wanted to tell me about a vision he saw in a dream that he had.

Here is what he said:

I had this dream. In it was a vision of a congregation of the Continuing Church of God inside a transparent glass bubble (like a balloon). And everyone, I mean everyone apart from the speaker, was black. The speaker was white. And I was asking myself inside that bubble…”why is everyone black here?”

It made no sense to me.  I wondered why I would see this.

When Senhor Pires told me the above, I began to laugh.  I said to him, “Didn’t you know that the vast majority of people in the Continuing Church of God were black?”

And he said, “No, I figured that most would be white.”

I then told him, “This is quite interesting. Your dream seems to be one of three or more directly related to the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) that has had confirmation.”

I also told him that I was to fly to Kenya in two days Sunday, and that those who were to attend a Continuing Church of God leadership conference from Kenya and Tanzania were also black, and that I, the main speaker, would be the only one who was white.  And that is what happened.

Also as it turns out, not only was Senhor Pires black, the others who came to attend Sabbath services with us the next day in the United Kingdom were also black.  Neither Senhor Pires nor I were aware of this until March 30, 2014.

While this may not seem to be a massive ‘earth-shattering’ dream, it is yet additional confirmation that God has used dreams/visions to communicate to at least three individuals who all later became part of the Continuing Church of God.  Dreams and visions are something that God intended to use during the end times (cf. Acts 2:17-18; Joel 2:28-29).  Elijah apparently once thought that God would be in something dramatic, but then only was in “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-13).

I believe that they are partial confirmations that the Continuing Church of God was to lead (two dreams happened prior to CCOG’s formation), and now is leading, the final phase of the work . The truths that we teach should be accepted as the other proof:

45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. (John 8:45)

Believe the truth, at least for the truth’s sake. Christians are to believe and know the truth (1 Timothy 4:3). The truth sets Christians free (John 8:32) from all types of error (including Laodicean ones, cf. Revelation 3:14-22).

Although some have chosen not to believe all the facts about how and why the Continuing Church of God began, recall that the Bible teaches:

16 ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ (Matthew 18:16)

19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. (1 Timothy 5:19)

Of course, since Gaylyn Bonjour always freely stated that he did the ‘double-portion’ anointing, there long had been a second witness (though various ones have their own opinion about how to interpret that).

Yet, in addition to various facts, the dream from Fesilafai Leaana looks like perhaps God was planning on making it clearer for true Philadelphians (who are in various organizations/fellowships) to see that the mantle location had truly changed.  And the one from Senhor Pires showing that God had a major plan for Africans within that.

At the CCOG Feast of Tabernacles sites around the world in 2014, the vast majority were black (although this was not the case for the two sites in the USA–blacks did attend, but they were not the majority).

Of course, some will discount dreams and their confirmation as proper proof of anything they do not wish to believe. Many want more dramatic signs (Matthew 12:38; 1 Kings 19:11-12), but God does not always do it that way (Matthew 12:39-42; 1 Kings 19:12-14).

Can you believe?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work.
Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God?
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 will be fulfilled. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.

Are Signs and Wonders the Reason to Support the Eastern Orthodox?

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Orthodox Church, Santorini (Photo by Joyce Thiel)

COGwriter

Some time back, I received an email that included the following information:

I saw you writing about Orthodox Church.
I don’t know if you are aware but the yearly miracles of Early Church like Holy Light, Jordan River going back, Cloud on Mount Tabor and such happen yearly in Orthodox Church until today…You may not know, but like prophets of Old Time Orthodoxs today have a way of speaking with God., namely Jesus prayer.

Anyway, there was a recommended website in the email which I visited.

The website had a photo that someone claims includes an angel. And this is supposed to be part of the proof of the validity of Eastern Orthodoxy. After discussing the “miracles” and selected abbreviated histories, the website also states:

The general idea is that Protestants and Catholics should clearly look into coming home at Orthodox Church.

Well, there are three problems with the above statement.

The first is that Catholics and Protestants claim to have a variety of signs and wonders themselves. But some “Catholics” who had visions, stigmatas, and other visible signs also made pronouncements. supposedly on God’s authority, that were clearly later shown to be false.

Notice one such example concerning Therese Neumann:

Therese Neumann (1898-1962) mystic and stigmatist of Germany. She did not eat, drink, sleep, or have body functions for 40 years–a well documented fact in light of being so contemporary. She lived solely on the Eucharist. When asked in 1945 after World War II if America would ever be destroyed or invaded by war, she responded,

“No, at the end of this century America will be destroyed economically by natural disasters.” (Flynn Ted and Mary. The Thunder of Justice. MaxKol Communications, Inc. Sterling (VA), 1993, p. A259)

The Protestants have their own problems with signs and wonders which I will not go into right now.

The second problem is that the Orthodox themselves teach that they should not be swayed by signs and wonders, even if they supposedly involve apparitions of Mary (who the Orthodox clearly venerate). Here is what once Orthodox priest wrote:

Given these Roman Catholic “evangelistic methods” of more than a century ago, it is it any wonder that contemporary “apparitions” of Mary are invariably accompanied by ecumenistic messages promoting the idea that all religions are equally valid and Orthodox Christianity is but one “path” among many?…

Today, as heterodox Christians become more and more ecumenist and work toward creating a “One World Church,” the search has begun for a Mary of universal recognition, one who will appeal not only to those who bear the name Christian, but apprently to Muslims and others as well, just as attempts are likewise being made to identify the “new Christ” with the Muslim concept of their coming Mahdi and with the Messiah still awaited by the Jews. This, of course, will be no Christ at all but the antichrist.

(Jackson P. ORTHODOX LIFE., No. I, 1997., Brotherhood of Saint Job of Pochaev at Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, N.Y. pp. 18-22. http://fr-d-serfes.org/orthodox/theotokos.htm viewed 05/11/09)

The reality is that it is likely that false apparitions, claiming to be “Mary” may be among the signs and lying wonders that the Bible warns are coming:

9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

So, if the Orthodox teach that they themselves should NOT listen to seemingly clear signs from Catholic sources, then they should realize that Catholics will not be inclined to accept any signs (clear or otherwise) from the Orthodox.

But the third problem is that the Orthodox, Catholics, and Protestants all should realize that none of them hold to the teachings of the original apostles or their immediate successors. Hence the Eastern Orthodox is NOT the place to come home to.

Those who wish to look into will realize that many of the early Christian leaders that the Orthodox, Catholics, and Protestants consider to have been saints held positions that agree with the Continuing Church of God, but contradict the current teachings of those other groups.

It isn’t that there is no place for signs and interventions from God (Acts 2:17-18; see also Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God?), but what a group teaches MUST agree with the Bible or the signs and wonders should not be relied upon.

This, as well as information related to Marian apparitions, can be determined by prayerful honest study of the following documented information:

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. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers?
Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God?
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?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter!
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

BibleNewsProphecy: American foods that gross out foreigners

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce our latest video on our Bible New ProphecyYouTube channel:

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.

A partially related written post is titled American ‘foods’ that gross out foreigners.

Here is a link to our video: American foods that gross out foreigners.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods? A related video would be Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy.
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?
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
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.
Can those in the USA/UK see the Handwriting on the Wall? Is everything fine in the USA/UK or is it like the days of Noah? Can we learn from the handwriting that appeared on a wall thousands of years ago? Here is a link to a related YouTube video Can you see the ‘Handwriting on the Wall’?
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Edition for Second Obama Term This is a 160 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Barack Obama and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled (which the book documents in detail) and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also has a chapter about a Republican choice. This book is available to order at www.barackobamaprophecy.com. The physical book can also be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Barack Obama Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Kenyan, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Republican Leaders? Second Edition for Second Obama Term.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them at that channel.

Rome has an official day to honor ‘relics’

Friday, November 7th, 2014


Statue at Fatima Chapel and Image of That the Children Saw

COGwriter

November 8th is the day that the Church of Rome claims is for ‘Holy Relics’ and partially cites the Council of Trent from the 16th century as proof this is acceptable:

Feast of the Holy Relics

Protestantism pretends to regard the veneration which the Church pays to the relics of the Saints as a sin, and contends that this pious practice is a remnant of paganism.

The Council of Trent, on the contrary, has decided that the bodies of the martyrs and other saints who were living members of Jesus Christ and temples of the Holy Ghost, are to be honored by the faithful. This decision was based upon the established usage of the earliest days of the Church, and upon the teaching of the Fathers and of the Councils. http://saints.sqpn.com/pictorial-lives-of-the-saints-the-feast-of-the-holy-relics/ viewed 11/06/13

Holy relics?

There are a few points to consider.

The first is that the Bible is opposed to the idea of ‘holy relics.’ Here is one admonition from the Apostle John:

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

The second is that those that the Church of Rome consider to have been early ‘Fathers’ and saints were opposed to them as well.

After John died, his disciple, Polycarp of Smyrna became perhaps the most well-known Christian leader in the second century.

Even though the Roman Catholics and Orthodox leaders consider that Polycarp was an important saint, note what Polycarp wrote in the mid-second century:

I exhort you, therefore, that ye abstain from covetousness, and that ye be chaste and truthful. “Abstain from every form of evil.” For if a man cannot govern himself in such matters, how shall he enjoin them on others ? If a man does not keep himself from covetousness, he shall be defiled by idolatry, and shall be judged as one of the heathen. But who of us are ignorant of the judgment of the Lord? (Polycarp. Letter to the Philippians, Chapter XI. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885).

Thus, Polycarp says that those who practice idolatry, even if they profess Christ, will be judged as a heathen!

In the early-mid second century there was an apologist named Marcianus Aristides who wrote the following to the emperor:

But it is a marvel, O King, with regard to the Greeks, who surpass all other peoples in their manner of life and reasoning, how they have gone astray after dead idols and lifeless images. And yet they see their gods in the hands of their artificers being sawn out, and planed and docked, and hacked short, and charred, and ornamented, and being altered by them in every kind of way. And when they grow old, and are worn away through lapse of time, and when they are molten and crushed to powder, how, I wonder, did they not perceive concerning them, that they are not gods? And as for those who did not find deliverance for themselves, how can they serve the distress of men?

But even the writers and philosophers among them have wrongly alleged that the gods are such as are made in honour of God Almighty. And they err in seeking to liken (them) to God whom man has not at any time seen nor can see unto what He is like. Herein, too (they err) in asserting of deity that any such thing as deficiency can be present to it; as when they say that He receives sacrifice and requires burnt-offering and libation and immolations of men, and temples. But God is not in need, and none of these things is necessary to Him; and it is clear that men err in these things they imagine (Marcianus Aristides. TRANSLATED FROM THE GREEK AND FROM THE SYRIAC VERSION BY D. M. KAY. Apology of Aristides the Philosopher, Chapter XIII. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 9. Edited by Allan Menzies, D.D. American Edition, 1896 and 1897. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight).

It should be noted that Marcianus Aristides argued against the concept that it was acceptable to believe that the idols only represented God–he clearly teaches that God was not to be worshiped with idols.

Melito also wrote against idols. Melito was a bishop of Sardis and is considered to be a saint by both the Catholics of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox.

Here is what Melito wrote around 170 A.D.:

We are not those who pay homage to stones, that are without sensation; but of the only God, who is before all and over all, and, moreover, we are worshippers of His Christ, who is veritably God the Word existing before all time (Melito. Translation by Roberts and Donaldson. From the apology addressed to Marcus Aurelius Antoninus. Online version copyright © 2001 Peter Kirby. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/melito.html 11/18/06).

For there are some men who are unable to rise from their mother earth, and therefore also do they make them gods. from the earth their mother; and they are condemned by the judgments of truth, forasmuch as they apply the name of Him who is unchangeable to those objects which are subject to change, and shrink not from calling those things gods which have been made by the hands of man, and dare to make an image of God whom they have not seen…

Who is this God? He who is Himself truth, and His word truth. And what is truth? That which is not fashioned, nor made, nor represented by art: that is, which has never been brought into existence, and is on that account called truth. If, therefore, a man worship that which is made with hands, it is not the truth that he worships, nor yet the word of truth…”

There are, however, persons who say: It is for the honour of God that we make the image: in order, that is, that we may worship the God who is concealed from our view. But they are unaware that God is in every country, and in every place, and is never absent, and that there is not anything done and He knoweth it not. Yet thou, despicable man! within whom He is, and without whom He is, and above whom He is, hast nevertheless gone and bought thee wood from the carpenter’s, and it is carved and made into an image insulting to God. To this thou offerest sacrifice, and knowest not that the all-seeing eye seeth thee, and that the word of truth reproves thee, and says to thee: How can the unseen God be sculptured? Nay, it is the likeness of thyself that thou makest and worshippest. Because the wood has been sculptured, hast thou not the insight to perceive that it is still wood, or that the stone is still stone? The gold also the workman: taketh according to its weight in the balance. And when thou hast had it made into an image, why dose thou weigh it? Therefore thou art a lover of gold, and not a lover of God…

Again, there are persons who say: Whatsoever our fathers have bequeathed to us, that we reverence. Therefore, of course, it is, that those whose fathers have bequeathed them poverty strive to become rich! and those whose fathers did not instruct them, desire to be instructed, and to learn that which their fathers knew not! And why, forsooth, do the children of the blind see, and the children of the lame walk? Nay, it is not well for a man to follow his predecessors, if they be those whose course was evil; but rather that we should turn from that path of theirs, lest that which befell our predecessors should bring disaster upon us also. Wherefore, inquire whether thy father’s course was good: and, if so, do thou also follow in his steps; but, if thy father’s course was very evil, let thine be good, and so let it be with thy children after thee. Be grieved also for thy father because his course is evil, so long as thy grief may avail to help him. But, as for thy children, speak to them thus: There is a God, the Father of all, who never came into being, neither was ever made, and by whose will all things subsist…

And then shall those who have not known God, and those who have made them idols, bemoan themselves, when they shall see those idols of theirs being burnt up, together with themselves, and nothing shall be found to help them (Melito. Translation by Roberts and Donaldson. A DISCOURSE WHICH WAS IN THE PRESENCE OF ANTONINUS CAESAR, AND HE EXHORTED THE SAID CAESAR TO ACQUAINT HIMSELF WITH GOD, AND SHOWED TO HIM THE WAY OF TRUTH. Online version copyright © 2001 Peter Kirby. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/melito.html 11/18/06).

Notice that Melito taught against the use of images/idols/icons AND then taught NOT to accept them even if it was handed down by fathers (in other words, do not rely on traditions that say that idols are correct). Since Melito is considered to be both a saint and a ‘father’ of the Church by those Roman Catholics and Orthodox, then they should heed what he said.

About the same time that Melito was around, Theophilus also was a church writer. Theophilus of Antioch is not only considered to have been a saint by the Catholics and Orthodox, he also is in the Orthodox list of successors from the apostles. Here is a little bit of what he wrote about idols:

The divine law, then, not only forbids the worshipping of idols, but also of the heavenly bodies, the sun, the moon, or the other stars; yea, not heaven, nor earth, nor the sea, nor fountains, nor rivers, must be worshipped (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book 2, Chapter XXXV. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume II. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

And concerning piety He says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I am the LORD thy God” …Of this divine law, then, Moses, who also was God’s servant (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book III, Chapter IX. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Other second century writers, though they were not in the true Church of God, such as Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Athenagoras, and Tertullian also wrote against idols.

Notice that Irenaeus actually wrote that when God was going to call Gentiles (basically quoting quoting Isaiah 17:7-8), that they would no longer have or worship idols:

And that these promises the calling from among the Gentiles should inherit, to whom also the new testament was opened up, Isaiah says thus:

These things saith the God of Israel: In that day a man shall trust in his Maker, and his eyes shall look to the Holy One of Israel: and they shall not trust in altars, nor in the work of their own hands, which their fingers have made. For very plainly this was said of such as have forsaken idols and believed in God our Maker through the Holy One of Israel. And the Holy One of Israel is Christ: and He became visible to men, and to Him we look eagerly and behold Him; and we trust not in altars, nor in the works of our hands.

(Irenaeus, St., Bishop of Lyon. Translated from the Armenian by Armitage Robinson. The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, Chapter 91. Wells, Somerset, Oct. 1879. As published in SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN CO, 1920).

The Catholic Encyclopedia calls Athenagoras a “Christian apologist of the second half of the second century”. Here is some of what he wrote:

Because the multitude, who cannot distinguish between matter and God, or see how great is the interval which lies between them, pray to idols made of matter, are we therefore, who do distinguish and separate the uncreated and the created, that which is and that which is not, that which is apprehended by the understanding and that which is perceived by the senses, and who give the fitting name to each of them—are we to come and worship images? If, indeed, matter and God are the same, two names for one thing, then certainly, in not regarding stocks and stones, gold and silver, as gods, we are guilty of impiety. But if they are at the greatest possible remove from one another— as far asunder as theartist and the materials of his art— why are we called to account? (Athenagoras the Athenian. A Plea for the Christians, Chapter 15. Translated by B.P. Pratten. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0205.htm>).

Notice some of what Tertullian wrote:

The principal crime of the human race, the highest guilt charged upon the world, the whole procuring cause of judgment, is idolatry…

God prohibits an idol as much to be made as to be worshipped. In so far as the making what may be worshipped is the prior act, so far is the prohibition to make (if the worship is unlawful) the prior prohibition. For this cause–the eradicating, namely, of the material of idolatry–the divine law proclaims, “Thou shall make no idol;”…All things, therefore, does human error worship, except the Founder of all Himself. The images of those things are idols; the consecration of the images is idolatry.

(Tertullian. On Idolatry, Chapters 1,4. 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).

Furthermore, there is no evidence that any who professed Christ had idols/icons, such as what are seen in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, or even endorsed them in the second century. Thus, the early church was always against the use of idols and icons. Actually, they realize this as well as The Catholic Encyclopedia notes:

Long before the outbreak in the eighth century there were isolated cases of persons who feared the ever-growing cult of images and saw in it danger of a return to the old idolatry. We need hardly quote in this connection the invectives of the Apostolic Fathers against idols (Athenagoras “Legatio Pro Christ.”, xv-xvii; Theophilus, “Ad Autolycum” II; Minucius Felix, “Octavius”, xxvii; Arnobius, “Disp. adv. Gentes”; Tertullian, “De Idololatria”, I; Cyprian, “De idolorum vanitate”), in which they denounce not only the worship but even the manufacture and possession of such images. These texts all regard idols, that is, images made to be adored (Fortescue A. Transcribed by Tomas Hancil. Veneration of Images. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VII. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Furthermore, notice an accusation against those who professed Christ in the second/third century (date uncertain):

Why have they no altars, no temples, no acknowledged images? (Minucius. Octavius. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 4, Chapter 10. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

It should be noted that no Christian prior to the late second or early third century is ever described as carrying an idol, having images in any worship services, or even wearing a cross (though some apostates started to advocate crosses in the second and third centuries).

The third point to mention is that it took councils of men to accept the relics for the Church of Rome.

It was not until the ninth century that the arguments over idols were resolved between the Roman Catholics and Orthodox (the Orthodox generally wanted them, but many Roman bishops/pontiffs up until that time fought against them). The Orthodox Church teaches this:

The Seventh Ecumenical Council (787 and 843) decreed the use of icons, following in the main the teaching of St. John of Damascus” (Litsas FK. A Dictionary of Orthodox Terminology – Part 2. http://www.goarch.org/en/ourfaith/articles/article9152.asp 8/27/05) .

…within Christianity itself there had always existed a ‘puritan’ outlook, which condemned icons because it saw in all images a latent idolatry…The final victory of the Holy Images in 843 is known as ‘the Triumph of Orthodoxy’…One of the distinctive features of Orthodoxy is the place which it assigns to icons. An Orthodox church today is filled with them…An Orthodox prostrates himself before these icons, he kisses them and burns candles in front of them…Because icons are only symbols, Orthodox do not worship them, but reverence or venerate them…icons form a part of Holy Tradition…The Iconoclasts, by repudiating all representations of God, failed to take to full account the Incarnation” (Ware T. The Orthodox Church. Penguin Books, London, 1997, pp. 31-33).

Notice that the Orthodox call that acceptance of icons as “the victory of Orthodoxy” over those of anti-idol professing Christian faiths (the date appears to have been March 11, 843).

However, since the use of idols and icons was not the position of the first or even second century church, it is truly not orthodox to use idols and icons. (More information on the Orthodox Church can be found in the article Some Similarities and Differences Between the Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God.)

One Protestant scholar noted:

For the Jews and the early Christians, all attempts to create a likeness of God were prohibited…Gradually this reluctance faded, and at the beginning of the eighth century we find images in widespread use in the East; in the West they were less common (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, p. 212).

But why did idols win for the Greco-Romans? It is my opinion that the Romans felt that they needed unity with the Orthodox in order to put up a united front against Islam. Islam was properly against idols, and apparently Rome felt that its sometimes historically correct position against idols portrayed a divided “Christianity,” hence this was one additional major compromise for it.

The fourth point is that not only are the relics not holy, they often are not what people think.

At the beginning of this post are two statues. The first one is one normally in Fatima, Portugal, that Pope Francis had flown to Rome last month to bow and pray before it. My wife and I saw this particular statue when we visited Fatima. While millions have bowed down before and/or prayed to this statue, I will mention again to all who will hear that the statue IS NOT DRESSED like what the three children at Fatima (Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta) claimed the ‘Lady of Fatima’ looked like in 1917. What they described was a young female with a short skirt as also shown at the beginning of this post. There is no possible way that Mary, the mother of Jesus, appeared in Fatima, Portugal before Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta in 1917. Suggesting that the first image, which is not even an approximate representation of what was seen in Fatima, was somehow holy is wrong.  It should also be pointed out that the relics of the Apostle Peter are also not in the Vatican according to various Catholic-related sources.

The Bible shows that the use of images will be forced upon the world in the end:

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. (Revelation 13:11-15)

This will not end well for Vatican (Revelation 17:15-17) nor for the rest of the world (Revelation 18).

The Bible does NOT endorse the ‘Feast of Holy Relics’ day.

For more information, please check out the following:

What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians?
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! provides concerned Christians with enough Catholic-documented facts to effectively counter every false Marian argument.
Fatima Shock! YouTube Dr. Thiel highlights a few points of why no one would support Fatima, etc. as discussed in the documented book Fatima Shock!
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers?
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
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 Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman” An Irish bishop allegedly predicted something about 112 popes in the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI was number 111. Francis would be number 112–if he is that one–and if so, he is to reign until Rome is destroyed. May he be an antipope/final Antichrist? Here is a related YouTube video The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman”.
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? Former Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is now Pope Francis. According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? This is a YouTube video.
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good?
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?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church. There is also a YouTube sermon on the subject titled Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Lying hurts your health

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

COGwriter

Lying is hazardous to your health:

When we lie, blood pressure in the heart rises — and polygraphs pick up the change. Lying often enough, long enough can damage the heart and arteries.

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame carried out a 10-week honesty experiment with 110 people, half of whom were instructed to stop telling major and minor lies during the test. The rest got no special instructions about lying.

Both groups went to a lab each week to complete health and relationship surveys and to take a polygraph test assessing the number of major and “white” lies they had told that week.

“We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health,” Anita Kelly, the psychology professor who led the study, said in a statement after presenting her findings to the American Psychological Association…http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/health/liars-face-health-consequences-research-shows#ixzz2D9dMn7dt

Lying causes lots of problems. Often for those lied to and always for those doing the lying. T he Bible teaches “love truth” (Zechariah 8:19) and that those who do not have the “love of the truth” will perish (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

Those of us who believe the Bible, have read the Bible, and believe in keeping the Ten Commandments have long realized that telling the truth contributes to happiness. Notice the following:

18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law. (Proverbs 29:18)

14 Happy is the man who is always reverent (Proverbs 28:14).

And since lying is a violation of the law, logic dictates that those who lie are less happy than those who do not.

Jesus condemned Satan as the father of lies:

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.  45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me.  46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?  47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God. (John 8:44-47)

And the final Antichrist will be influenced  by Satan as have all antichrists throughout church history.  Not only do lies hurt individual health, they also hurt civilization and will be factors in leading to its destruction (Mystery of Civilization).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Lies Where did they originate? What was really the first lie? What happens for lies?
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mystery of Civilization Why is civilization like it is? How will it end? What will replace it?Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Mystery of Civilization and How it Will End.
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?
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.
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?
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?