Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

Angelic beings

Thursday, June 16th, 2016


Artist’s portrayal of a Cherubim

COGwriter

Do you know about angelic beings? Here is an article titled ANGELS SERVANTS OF GOD by Hugh Mauck that was put out by the old WCG:

When I was a teenager back in the late thirties and early forties, I wondered what it would be like to be invisible. I remember so well the movie The Invisible Man starring Claude Raines. It was the story of a chemist who had discovered a formula that made him invisible.

Although invisible, he could still be felt and sometimes heard when he did not wish to be. His footprints could be seen; an opening door would betray him; or he would fall over an unseen object. Unable to discover the antidote that would make him visible again, he soon became very unhappy; the novelty of being invisible became a tragedy.

The Invisible World

Science fiction and Hollywood aside, there is a very real, but invisible world – another dimension, as some choose to call it – existing along with our own – but absolutely undiscernible to our five senses. It is the spirit world of God and angels.

God tells us that He is a spirit (John 4:24); that spirit is invisible (John 3:8, Col. 1:15); and that He is the Father of all spirit beings (Heb.12:9).

God speaks of His son Jesus Christ, saying: “Who is’ the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be [or have] thrones, or dominions, or [whether they be] principalities [holders of high offices in heaven or on earth], or powers: all things were created by him, and for him. And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Col. 1: 15-17).

Angels are called God’s sons (Job 1:6; 38:7) because God created them. But they aren’t begotten sons as is Christ. They exist in a hierarchy below the God-plane level of God the Father and Christ (Heb. 1:5-14).

Paul speaks plainly of the angels of God in the first two chapters of Hebrews. He tells us that we are created a little lower than the angels; but we have the awesome potential of becoming far greater. We are called the sons of God – not sons by creation as they are, but begotten sons with a far greater future than they. We can be born into God’s very own family as fellow-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8: 17; Gal. 3:26-29).

God’s Angels Created Before Adam

God created angels and archangels before He created and placed Adam on this earth. They were here even before the foundation of the earth was laid. They shouted for joy when they first saw the earth in all its perfection (Job 38: 1-7).

That was prior to creation week, which took place sometime after the destruction on the earth caused by Lucifer’s rebellion (Isa. 14: 12-17). The earth was not created waste and in confusion, as we find it in Genesis I:2. God created the earth to be inhabited; He did not create it in the ruined state in which it later became (Isa. 45:18).

Angels are invisible, immortal spirit beings with superior power and knowledge (II Pet. 2: 11). They have seen all the activities of man on earth, and therefore know far more about the human mind, psychology, sociology, science and all the arts than any man living. And God has put them here with us as ministering spirits, to serve us! “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Heb. 1:14).

They are put here to help us along the road to eternal life, to save us from premature death, accident, etc., and to help us fight our battles and protect us from the devil and his demons. No wonder Elisha had no fear of his physical enemies when He saw one of God’s spirit armies standing upon the mountain (II Kings 6: 15-17).

God has had angels specifically assigned to supervise and protect His Church throughout all of its history (Rev. 1:4, 16, 20; 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 14). He has angels who continually walk through the earth to observe and report back to Him the overall conditions on earth (Rev. 5:6; Zech. 4: 10; II Chron. 16:9).

And God has angels specifically assigned to look after His begotten human children (Acts 12:15; Matt. 18: 10). God promises: “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways” (Ps.91:11).

Twelve of God’s angels will be the gatekeepers in the new city of Jerusalem (Rev. 21:12), one for each tribe of Israel. These same twelve are probably assisting the Archangel Michael now.

Angels were messengers to the patriarchs of old. They appeared to Abraham, Lot, Hagar, Moses, Manoah, Gideon, Elijah and many of the prophets and apostles.

Angels do exist.

Many are fascinated by angelic beings, but some improperly pray and speak with “their angel.” In most cases where there is believed to be a response, if this is not from their imagination, they are actually connecting to the demonic world.

There are also various types of angels and spirit beings. The article partially posted above later includes information on Cherubim and Seraphim (see Angels, Cherubim, and Seraphim).

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

Angels, Cherubim, and Seraphim This is information about various types of angelic beings.
Did Angels Marry Human Women? Many insist this is so and also that this mating caused giants to be born. Did this come from the ‘Book of Enoch’? What does Genesis 6:4 really mean? A related video is also available: Did Angels Marry Women and Produce Giants?
Did God Create a Devil? If not, what happened? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet.
Close Encounters of a ‘Spirit’ Kind discusses some experiences I believe were (demon) ‘spirit’ related.
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
Bible: Superstition or Authority? Should you rely on the Bible? Is it reliable? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.

Does God heal today?

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

COGwriter

Order of the Sacred Treasure

Decades ago, the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Hebert W. Armstrong, wrote a booklet on healing. Here are some excerpts:

Is the day of miracles PAST? We read in the New Testament that when Jesus Christ was on earth 1900 years ago, He HEALED THE SICK. It seems there are so MANY MORE sick today than there were then. Well, is the day of miracles past? WHAT ABOUT this thing we call divine healing?

I’ve encountered scores of folks who say, “Well, I know God can heal today if it’s His will, but HOW CAN WE KNOW WHETHER IT’S HIS WILL?”

Others say, “Well, I think God helps them that help themselves. I believe God works thru medical science. We should always call the doctor, and take his drugs and medicines, or submit to his knives, and then pray that God will cause this human means to heal.”

For OUR day, or Only for Time of Christ?
Some think Jesus Christ is like the professor Emeritus at the university — He USED to do great things, but now He’s grown old and feeble and doesn’t perform many miracles any more.

But, we read in I Corinthians 15:3-4: “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” and again in Hebrews 13:8 — “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever,” and in John 14:12 — “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”

Some think healing was only to prove JESUS was the CHRIST — the promised MESSIAH — but not for this day and age.

When Divine Healing Began
My friends, do you know when divine healing — healing direct by a miracle from ALMIGHTY GOD, as a result of believing PRAYER, really began? And incidentally, let me say I’m not referring to some modern MENTAL science, so called, or power or mind over matter, or hypnotism. I’m speaking only of physical healing performed directly by the Eternal Creator GOD, as a result of BELIEVING PRAYER. Do you know when this first began? Well, most of you are going to be surprised. It didn’t begin with the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth at all. It began MANY CENTURIES BEFORE THAT!

It began WHEN the CHURCH began! Most people think the CHURCH was first started after the resurrection of Christ — on the Day of Pentecost. That was merely the NEW Testament Church. But the Church started long before that — it started way back in the days of MOSES. Of course, that was the OLD Testament Church, but it was God’s CHURCH just the same.

Listen! Acts 7:28 — “This is He, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to Him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.”

Now physical healing by faith in God is something the Eternal placed in that Old Testament church, way back in the days of Moses!

Let me read to you the first account in all history of direct divine healing. Exodus 15:23-26 — “And when they, [the children of Israel], came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: and therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the Eternal and the Eternal showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken unto the voice of the Eternal thy God, and wilt do that which is right in His sight, and wilt give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Eternal that healeth thee.’”

And do you know, that the same conditions, “If you will obey and keep my commandments,” etc. — apply today, and that’s one reason why a lot of people who have a little light on divine healing and believe in it are not being healed!

Let me read that to you over in the NEW Testament, my friends, I John 3:22 — “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him,” WHY? “because we keep His commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in His sight.”

Well, with so many telling the people, and so many people believing, that Jesus Christ did away with the commandments, it’s no wonder that many of us are not having prayers answered today! “Whatsoever we ask we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”

Yes, God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has not changed and the same conditions apply today that did back in the days of Moses. Obedience and faith. Jesus said, “According to your faith be it unto you.”

God the ONLY Real Physician
You will notice that God said, “I am the Lord [or the Eternal] that heals you.” He is a jealous God in a sense, so far as the prerogatives of God are concerned. And so, turn over to the 20th chapter of Exodus where God was giving the ten commandments to all the people. Moses didn’t give the people the ten commandments. God gave the people the ten commandments, and He said, “I am the Eternal thy God . . . Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.”

He had said, “I am the God that heals you,” and now He says that you should have no other gods before Me.

You know, my friends, a doctor can’t heal! And any honest doctor will admit it. None of his drugs, or medicines, or knives can heal. There is no healing in any of them. There is only one kind of healing, and that is healing directly by the Almighty God! There is no other healing!…

Leave the Way and Time to God

One word of caution! You can’t dictate to God. He usually doesn’t do things OUR way or always in OUR time. Leave that to Him! He PROMISES to heal you. Accept His promise. STAND ON THE PROMISES! Expect the answer! You KNOW you’ll get it. Leave the “how” and the “when” to God. Let Him do it His way and in His time. Faith is the evidence of things NOT SEEN — not felt. Don’t pay any attention to how you feel, or what you see, after you have called upon God for healing. Just KNOW you are to have it, and that’s that!

In our many, many experiences, we have had healings in our own family and many other cases that were instantaneous. Then I’m thinking now of a woman who came to me and another minister for prayer for healing. After we noticed no change and she felt none. It was four days later that she was suddenly, instantly healed. I’ve known some to heal gradually. It was even so in Jesus’ own ministry, one began to mend from that hour.

Leave the “how” and “when” to God. KNOW His promise is SURE!

The Scripture CANNOT BE BROKEN!

“Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth ALL thy diseases!”

Note: The old Worldwide Church of God no longer exists and the group that took it over would not make Herbert Armstrong’s writings available, even when I offered to pay. So the above article is shown in the public interest and reflects the personal views of Herbert Armstrong and is shown as a public service. The most faithful remnant of his old church is the Continuing Church of God.

Several items of possibly related interest include:

Does God Heal Today? This historical article is by Herbert Armstrong and provides his views on healing circa 1952, which he seemed to later modify, at least to some degree.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains how he is and should be viewed today.
The Seven Laws of Success Are there tips that can help people become successful.
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?
Is Smoking a Sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change?
Binge Alcohol Drinking and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach?
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.
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
Why so much mental illness? Article by E.M. Walter goes into several of the causes of this.
ADHD diagnoses increasing Is diet a possible contributing factor in the increasing number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder?
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.
UK Study Supports Daniel Diet Daniel and his companions looked better eating more vegetables and avoiding strange meats. Has modern science confirmed this?
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.

Pentecost is today: Meaning and sermon

Sunday, June 12th, 2016


Artist Depiction of Pentecost (Cadetgray)

COGwriter

Today is the Day of Pentecost for 2016. Unlike other biblical holy days, some version of the Day of Pentecost is observed by a lot of mainstream churches, both Catholic and Protestant–though this year most observed it too early four weeks ago.

And of course, since Pentecost is a biblical holy day, it is observed by Church of God groups like the Continuing Church of God. Pentecost is the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in the shape of fire (Acts 2:3-4). Here is a sermon suggested for today: Pentecost Plan and here is a second sermon: Predestination and Pentecost.

Most groups that profess Christ consider that Pentecost marked the formal beginning of the New Testament church. And that is true.

Since the Holy Spirit was given on the Day of Pentecost, based upon the date and practices that God gave the children of Israel in the Old Testament, it is logical to conclude that the Old Testament can give us some insight into its meaning.

First of all the term Pentecost is a Greek term meaning 50th. That term is derived from the following Hebrew description of calculating the date:

And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath (Leviticus 23:15-16).

The Day of Pentecost has several names, and because of that, some have been confused about it. Its other names in the Bible include, the Feast of Harvest, the Feast of Weeks and the day of firstfruits:

… the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors (Exodus 23:16).

And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits (Exodus 34:22).

Also on the day of the firstfruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the LORD at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation (Numbers 28:26).

While some Protestant commentators (e.g. Radmacher E.D. ed. The Nelson Study Bible. Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1997, p213) refer to the wave sheaf offering as the feast of firstfruits, this is a misnomer. While “a sheaf of firstfruits” was offered then (Leviticus 23:10), as shown above, the Bible refers to the Feast of Weeks as the time of firstfruits (not simply one sheaf). And, as shown below, it refers to the time of counting fifty as being associated with firstfruits:

Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD (Leviticus 23:16-17).

Does the term firstfruits help us understand this day? It should.

The New Testament, also, does discuss some concepts associated with firstfruits.

Paul also wrote the following:

Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit (Romans 8:23).

Recall that it was the Holy Spirit that was first given on the Day of Pentecost. And that was a type of the firstfruits of the Spirit.

Who are the firstfruits?

These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb (Revelation 14:4-5).

In the Old Testament, God said:

“I found Israel Like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers As the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal Peor…” (Hosea 9:10).

So originally, physical Israel was like the firstfruits on the branches of a fig tree, but they were unfaithful. In the New Testament, Paul alludes to this and Christians when he wrote:

For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either (Romans 11:16-21).

So while physical Israel was intended to be firstfruits, it was replaced by Christians as the firstfruits. And those firstfruits began on Pentecost.

But what about Jesus? Wasn’t He a type of firstfruits?

Yes, He certainly was. Paul notes:

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

Christ is the fulfillment of the wave sheaf offering in Leviticus 23:10. He is the sheaf of firstfruits. He also fulfilled that role when He ascended into heaven on the Sunday (the wave sheaf offering was on a Sunday) after He was resurrected (John 20:1,17). But neither He nor His true followers observed what is now called Easter.

Also, James notes that Jesus brought us forth to also be a type of firstfruit:

Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures (James 1:18).

So while Jesus was the original firstfruit to represent the wave sheaf offering, true Christians are a kind of firstfruits, represented by the Day of Pentecost. “Firstfruits” mean that only a few will make it in this age–but they also imply that there will be a greater harvest–a time where all who never had an opportunity for salvation will later have an opportunity (for more scriptural references, please read the article Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).

Notice what the Apostle Peter stated on Pentecost:

Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses (Acts 2:29-32).

Notice that Peter, on Pentecost, referred to Jesus as fruit and that He was raised.

Now Jesus was not only the first of the firstfruits, He was also the firstborn among many brethren:

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).

Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead (Revelation 1:5).

Since Jesus is the firstborn, this certainly implies that there will become others who are to be like Him. Thus, becoming like Jesus Christ is also part of the message of Pentecost.

In addition to marking the beginning of the NT church, Pentecost helps us better understand God’s plan of salvation. Most who profess Christ and observe this day seem not to realize how “firstfruits” tie in with this holy day.

Suggested Pentecost Services

Here is our suggested format for Pentecost services this Sunday:

For those who wish two services, here is a second suggested service:

Another possible sermon recommended for today is Pentecost: Its Biblical Meaning and Date.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2? Many “Christians” somewhat observe Pentecost. Do they know what it means? It is also called the Feast of Harvest, the Feast of Weeks, and the day of firstfruits. What about “speaking in tongues” and being led by the Holy Spirit? Here is a link to a video sermon titled Predestination and Pentecost.
Pentecost Quiz This is a Pentecost quiz based upon the Old and New Testaments in the Bible.
Pentecost is Part of God’s Plan. This combines a couple of articles from the 1980s, plus additional scriptures and modern comments about Pentecost. Here is a related sermon: Pentecost Plan.
Predestination: Does the Bible Teach It? Booklet by Herbert Armstrong. A related video is Predestination and Pentecost.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :) In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Will God call everyone? Will everyone have an opportunity for salvation? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account? Related sermon videos include Universal Offer of Salvation I: God is love and Universal Offer of Salvation II: The Age to Come and the ‘Little Flock’ and Universal Offer of Salvation III: All Are to Know Jesus, But When? and Universal Offer of Salvation IV: Will the Guilty be Pardoned? and Universal Offer of Salvation V: All Israel Will be Saved? A version of the main article was also translated in the Spanish language: Oferta universal de salvación: Hay cientos de versículos en la Biblia que apoyan la verdadera doctrina de la Apocatastasis.
Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory? Is there a place called purgatory? Does God have a plan to help those who did not become saints in this life?
What is Limbo? Is There Such a Place as Limbo? What Happens to Babies When They Die? When did Limbo start being taught? What is the truth about dead babies?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Continuing Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.

Pentecost quiz, Study the Bible Course, and Bible games

Saturday, June 11th, 2016

Game Seat

By COGWriter

So, you have two Sabbaths in a row and perhaps you wonder what you and/or your family should do?

Well, in addition to study, prayer, and church services, there are various quizzes and Bible games at the COGwriter website.

One is the Pentecost Quiz, developed by Michael Thiel.

A very popular one is the Who Wants to be a Biblical Millionaire? quiz, also developed by Michael Thiel.

It is an interesting game and Michael is always adding more questions to it. The game has over 1,000 different questions. Think of it as an entertaining way to assist your doctrinal memory.

Also, since it is the Pentecost season, perhaps you may wish to take Michael’s earlier (less sophisticated technically) Pentecost Quiz.

I believe that the quizzes and animations help reach a wider audience than just the doctrinal and news articles here.

We also have the Study the Bible Course available. Here are links to the lessons that are currently available:

Here is a: link to Lesson 1: Why Study the Bible?
Here is a: link to Lesson 2: Here’s good news…the MESSAGE sent from Heaven
Here is a: link to Lesson 3: Christ Will Stop World Suicide!
Here is a: link to Lesson 4: How to Study the Bible

Here is a link to Study the Bible Course: Test 1, for Lessons 1-4

Here is a: link to Lesson 5: The Millennium
Here is a: link to Lesson 6: Utopia!
Here is a: link to Lesson 7: Ending Your FINANCIAL Troubles
Here is a: link to Lesson 8: Why Are Natural Disasters Increasing?

Here is a link to Study the Bible Course: Test 2, for Lessons 5-8

The Bible teaches that there is a “time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Hence, there are new items, games, lessons, and other materials than simply doctrinal and prophetic ones at the www.cogwriter.com website.

Michael’s Free Bible Quizzes and Public Domain Animations.

Self Grading Bible Quiz 15 questions and a report card when you finish.
The Good Samaritan A public domain claymation for younger people.
Paul in Damascus Not a quiz, but a Lego-animation.
John 21 Not a quiz, but (other than a Lego suggesting a long-haired Jesus) a biblical story for young people.
David vs. Goliath A higher level animation for older young people.
Solomon’s Temple This is a a 5 minute animated film that shows one artist’s understanding of the details about Solomon’s temple.
Bible Crossword Puzzle
Who Wants to be a Biblical Millionaire?
A sophisticated quiz. Now with over 1,000 questions to help challenge and build your knowledge of the Bible.
Pentecost Quiz This is a Pentecost quiz based upon the Old and New Testaments in the Bible.
The Antichrist Quiz Do you really know much about the Antichrist?
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
The Ten Commandments Quiz Developed by my son Michael.
Michael’s Day of Atonement Quiz Another free on-line Bible quiz by my son Michael.
Bible Hangman Michael’s most interactive Bible game to date. Another one of his free online Bible games.

CCOG vs. COR on confession and repentance

Friday, June 10th, 2016

COGwriter

The Bible does say to confess sins, but has the Church of Rome (COR) taken this beyond the practices recorded in the Bible or any found in early Christian documents?

What do the Bible and the Continuing Church of God (CCOG) teach?

Let’s start by reading a passage from the Douay-Rheims Bible (a Catholic version, abbreviated herein as DRB):

16 Confess therefore your sins one to another: and pray one for another, that you may be saved. For the continual prayer of a just man availeth much. (James 5:16, DRB)

Notice that this was not a command to confess sins to the clergy.

For those who prefer a more modern version, the following is the same verse from the New Jerusalem Bible (another Catholic version, abbreviated herein as NJB):

16 So confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another to be cured; the heartfelt prayer of someone upright works very powerfully. (James 5:16, NJB)

Both versions teach confession of sins to lay members of the church as opposed to auricular (essentially audible) confession to a priest.

Here is the other time the Bible specifically talks about confessing sins:

7 But if we walk in the light, as he also is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:7-10, DRB)

The above says that Christians are to confess sins, and Jesus will forgive them. There is no discussion of penance here or in James 5:16.

According to other scriptures, God/Jesus again is the one we are to confess to:

11 For it is written: As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 Therefore every one of us shall render account to God for himself. (Romans 14:11-12, DRB)

1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly vocation, consider the apostle and high priest of our confession, Jesus (Hebrews 3:1, DRB)

14 Having therefore a great high priest that hath passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God: let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we have not a high priest, who can not have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin. 16 Let us go therefore with confidence to the throne of grace: that we may obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid. (Hebrews 4:14-16, DRB)

Notice also the following:

18 And many of them that believed, came confessing and declaring their deeds. 19 And many of them who had followed curious arts, brought together their books, and burnt them before all; and counting the price of them, they found the money to be fifty thousand pieces of silver. (Acts 19:18-19, DRB)

The above people apparently repented of their sins and destroyed certain wicked books, but this was not penance in the sense that the Church of Rome now advocates.

Since the Bible has a different view, than Rome now has, has the Roman Catholic Church changed its position? Well, yes it has, even though it has suggested otherwise in the past.

The Council of Trent in the 16th century made a variety of statements about auricular confession. Perhaps the first one to deal with is the following:

CANON VI.–If any one denieth, either that sacramental confession was instituted, or is necessary to salvation, of divine right; or saith, that the manner of confessing secretly to a priest alone, which the Church hath ever observed from the beginning, and doth observe, is alien from the institution and command of Christ, and is a human invention; let him be anathema. (The Council of Trent The Fourteenth Session The canons and decrees of the sacred and oecumenical Council of Trent, Ed. and trans. J. Waterworth (London: Dolman, 1848), 92-121. Hanover Historical Texts Project Scanned by Hanover College students in 1995. http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct14.html 05/19/12)

Of course, the above is wrong as this most certainly was not the practice of the early Christians nor the Church of Rome from the beginning. And lest someone claim that I am “anathema” for teaching this, the reality is that even the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that the “sacrament of forgiveness” was changed:

1447 Over the centuries the concrete form in which the Church has exercised this power received from the Lord has varied considerably. During the first centuries the reconciliation of Christians who had committed particularly grave sins after their Baptism (for example, idolatry, murder, or adultery) was tied to a very rigorous discipline, according to which penitents had to do public penance for their sins, often for years, before receiving reconciliation. To this “order of penitents” (which concerned only certain grave sins), one was only rarely admitted and in certain regions only once in a lifetime. During the seventh century Irish missionaries, inspired by the Eastern monastic tradition, took to continental Europe the “private” practice of penance, which does not require public and prolonged completion of penitential works before reconciliation with the Church. From that time on, the sacrament has been performed in secret between penitent and priest. This new practice envisioned the possibility of repetition and so opened the way to a regular frequenting of this sacrament. It allowed the forgiveness of grave sins and venial sins to be integrated into one sacramental celebration. In its main lines this is the form of penance that the Church has practiced down to our day. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1447. Imprimi Potest + Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Image Books by Doubleday, NY 2003)

So, it took until the 7th century for the modern practice to develop widely, but it seems to have been related to Callistus’ actions combined with a syncretic adaptation of scripture and non-biblical practices that took time to develop (along with the general acceptance of the Greco-Romans to be willing to utilize practices of non-Christian religions with theirs). But the fact is that the Council of Trent was wrong–and this Council put forth many dogmas, all of which had papal approval–thus the Council of Trent disproves the idea of papal infallibility. Catholics really need to realize that.

So, it took until the 7th century for the modern practice to develop widely.

Of course, repentance was taught for becoming a Christian, and acknowledging our sins to God is taught for remaining one:

8 If we say, ‘We have no sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves, and truth has no place in us; 9 if we acknowledge our sins, he is trustworthy and upright, so that he will forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all evil. (1 John 1:9, NJB)

And while the Bible advocates repentance, penance is from outside of sacred scripture as well as the earliest traditions of the true Church of God.

While some Catholics believe that sins cannot be forgiven without the “sacrament of confession,” this is not the case. And, as the Catechism admits (#1447) the current “sacrament of confession” was not an original apostolic practice.

Penance vs. Repentance

The true Church of God which existed since the beginning (see, for example, the page The History of Early Christianity) is not Protestant (see, for example, the article Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants). It bases its beliefs primarily upon the Bible, which teaches:

38 ‘You must repent,’ Peter answered, ‘and every one of you must be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38, NJB)

Repentance was taught for becoming a Christian, and acknowledging our sins to God is taught for remaining one:

8 If we say, ‘We have no sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves, and truth has no place in us; 9 if we acknowledge our sins, he is trustworthy and upright, so that he will forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all evil. (1 John 1:9, NJB)

Christians are not to inflict punishment on ourselves, thinking that this will force God to hear our prayers (Isaiah 58:2-7). God is not interested in penance, but repentance and change. We should not be like certain Muslims and whip our backs, while effectively saying, “Look at our suffering, God, so hear us.”

And while the Bible advocates repentance, penance is from outside of sacred scripture as well as the earliest traditions of the true Church of God. While the Church of Rome tends to claim that its beliefs come from sacred scripture or the traditions of the original apostles, the idea of auricular confession and penance did not come from either source–they are late heresies, essentially adopted from non-Christian sources.

The Bible teaches against a worldly repentance:

10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)

Here is something that the late Herbert Armstrong wrote related to that:

Admit Your Sins

Prayer and fasting aren’t the only requirements in seeking God. If you will read back over the examples of Daniel and Nehemiah as well as any of the other prophets of God, you will notice that in every case they FREELY ACKNOWLEDGED their own sins and shortcomings. It takes a deeply sincere man to say, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23-24).

If we are earnestly seeking God and His way, this is the attitude we will be reflecting. We will freely admit our own sins and shortcomings and be earnestly importuning God to show us the right way. Jeremiah said, “O Lord, I know that THE WAY OF MAN IS NOT IN HIMSELF: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing” (Jer. 10: 23-24).

We as individuals do not know how to live. Once we begin to learn that lesson, and look to God to show us how to live and how to change our lives, we are on our way to real repentance.

The steps are simple. Yet it is not easy to completely give of yourself, to admit your own faults and sincerely ask for God’s forgiveness.

Turn From Own Ways

The people of this world outwardly follow many of these steps and yet fall short in the final, most important of all the steps — TURNING FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS. That is why it is so hard to distinguish between the believer and the non-believer. That is why the “distance between our professed faith and our daily performance is astronomical.” So many people of this day and age profess to be repentant — profess Christianity and yet still live in all the wretchedness of their sinful ways. So, finally, one of the most important of all the steps in coming to true repentance is to STOP SINNING! Millions CLAIM membership in a church. They loudly proclaim their belief in Jesus Christ. They testify for Christ, BUT THE FRUIT IS NOT THERE.

All too often our repentance is the worldly repentance spoken of in II Corinthians 7:10. What we really need to come to see and understand is the kind of repentance God speaks of. “Therefore also now, saith the Eternal, Turn ye even to me WITH ALL YOUR HEART, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and REND YOUR HEART, and not your garments, and turn to the Eternal your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil”. (Joel 2:12-13).

No, God doesn’t want the worldly kind of repentance which is manifested by a trip down the sawdust trail. No, He doesn’t just want your name on the membership rolls of some church. What God wants and what you should come to deeply desire is to SINCERELY acknowledge your sins and ask forgiveness. God wants you to say, “I’M SORRY” — and mean it! He wants you to repent of breaking and to begin obeying His LAW. (Armstrong HW. Just What Do You Mean — Repentance?)

Notice, he taught that sins are to be acknowledged and behavior changed. More on this subject is also covered in the article When You Sin: Do You Really Repent?

All Sins that Are Repented of Can Be Forgiven

While some Catholics believe that sins cannot be forgiven without the “sacrament of confession,” this is not the case. And, as the Catechism admits (#1447) the current “sacrament of confession” was not an original apostolic practice.

While some people erroneously believe that God could not forgive them and that they have possibly committed the “unpardonable sin,” those who feel that way pretty much can be assured that they have not committed it–recall that scripture teaches:

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity. (1 John 1:9, DRB)

For more details about the “unpardonable sin,” please see the article What is the Unpardonable Sin?

The Bible, like the Continuing Church of God, says to confess sins to one another but mainly to Jesus Christ. Scripture does not say to do so to a priest, nor does the Bible ever authorize penance for sin. For more details, check out the new article History of Auricular Confession and the ‘Sacrament of Confession’

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

History of Auricular Confession and the ‘Sacrament of Confession’ Did early Christians confess their sins to priests?
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it?
Was Celibacy Required for Early Bishops or Presbyters? Some religions suggest this, but what does the Bible teach? What was the practice of the early church?
Did the Early Christian Church Practice Monasticism? Does God expect or endorse living in a monastery or nunnery?
Were the Early Duties of Elders/Pastors Mainly Sacramental? What was there Dress? Were the duties of the clergy primarily pastoral or sacramental? Did the clergy dress with special liturgical vestments? Can “bishops” be disqualified as ministers of Christ based on their head coverings?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

What is the meaning of life?

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

COGwriter

What is the purpose of your life? Does God have a plan for you personally?

Yes, but it is different than what many have believed.

What is the meaning of life?

Why did God make YOU? What is YOUR purpose?

The Bible teaches:

15 God is love (1 John 4:16).

7 The LORD is good (Nahum 1:7).

God made you to share His love with YOU.

As a matter of fact,

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:16-17).

Love is the main part of the meaning of life.

And YOU are also to love,

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:7-8 7).

The Bible also shows,

20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also (John 4:20-21).

29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (Mark 12:29-34)

If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well (James 2:8).

He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. (John 14:21)

The Sabbath, for example, reflects love towards others as well as God’s love toward humanity–as it is clear that God intended Divine rest from the beginning. The Bible does teach that real love and ethics are found in the law of God. For more on the Bible and love, please read the article The Ten Commandments Reflect Love.

Jesus taught:

31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise (Luke 6:31).

Jesus also taught:

It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)

Since we are to be blessed (Matthew 25:34), this means that we are to be givers.

You may be thinking, “well I have heard some of this before from some religion,” what is MY purpose? Who am I? Why me?

YOU are unique. You are one who can give love in a unique way. Ultimately God has special plans for YOU personally. YOU are not the same as everyone else. Everything you have been through and will go through will help prepare you for what you will be able to do eternally.

The Bible makes it clear that we are not all the same and are not to contribute the same way, and it uses the analogy of the body in 1 Corinthians 12:12-23 to do so:

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.

Yes, YOU, whether strong or weak, are necessary. God’s plan includes a plan for YOU! Yes, you.

If you are having trouble now and wonder if your life is not going as it should, you may wish to read a booklet, based upon biblical principles, titled The Seven Laws of Success.

You are to receive love and you are to give love.

This is the true Christian meaning of life.

In the Old Testament, Job understood that God had a plan for him when he stated to God, “You shall desire the work of Your hands (Job 14:15). What Job meant was that after he was resurrected (this is discussed in the verses prior) Job knew that God had a meaning of life for him personally.

In the New Testament, Jesus taught the same thing. When He taught,

In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself (John 14:2-3).

Jesus was saying that He would prepare a place for YOU if you were one of the Father’s children. God will work with you and you will not ever be forsaken:

6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6)

5…For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Furthermore, notice the following:

But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked (1 John 2:5-6)

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:9-11).

We are to love and receive love.

Those who are depressed about the suffering in today’s world need to understand that the Bible teaches,

God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:3-4).

And the happiness we will experience will be beyond that which humans can imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9).

God’s plan for you is to show you love through the forgiveness of sins, to ultimately reveal His loving plan of salvation to all, to give you more than you can even imagine, and for you to be able to show love to others throughout eternity.

God does have a plan for you. God loves you and wants you to love others.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading. Here is a link in Mandarin Chinese: 读圣经 Here is a link in the Spanish language: Lea la Biblia.
Bible: Superstition or Authority? Should you rely on the Bible? Is it reliable? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? What is your ultimate destiny? What does the Bible teach? Is deification only a weird or cultic idea? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?

Patriarch Kirill: Soviet Union preserved ‘Christian morality’ and President Putin is a ‘miracle of God’

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016


Patriarch Kirill (Kremlin.ru)

COGwriter

Russian Patriarch Kirill made the news:

June 8, 2016

MOSCOW—The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, recently said that the Soviet Union preserved Russia’s Christian morality – a claim that raised more than a few eyebrows. Omitting any mention of the Soviet government’s mass persecution of religious institutions, Kirill’s words appeared to some as an attempt to reconcile Russia’s conservative Orthodox traditions with its Soviet past. …

‘Miracle of God’

Patriarch Kirill, whose secular name is Vladimir Gundyayev, was installed as patriarch after the death of his predecessor, Alexei II.  Since Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin for a third presidential term in 2012, the patriarch, who has called the Russian president’s rule a “miracle of God,” has been seen as a close ally of the Russian president, as Putin himself has increasingly used the Orthodox Church to try to legitimize his actions. …

Supporter of controversial bills

The Russian Orthodox Church also supported other controversial bills, such as the ban on adoption of Russian children by American citizens and the so-called “gay propaganda law,” which bans the “promotion” of “non-traditional relationships” to minors.

The new laws were believed to be an attempt to bolster Putin’s image of Russia as a bastion of “traditional values” and Christianity.

As for critics who express concern for human rights in Russia, Patriarch Kirill has a rebuttal. Speaking after a service in March of this year, the patriarch called belief in human rights that contradict the Bible a “global heresy.”

“Many Christians have accepted these views and gave more priority to human rights than the word of God,” he said. “We must protect Orthodoxy from the heresy of our times.” http://www.voanews.com/content/head-of-russian-orthodox-church-says-soviet-union-preserved-christian-morality/3367287.html

While the old Soviet Union was considered puritanical by some, it was officially atheistic, so for Patriarch Kirill to credit it for preserving what he calls ‘Christian morality’ seems odd (for information about history of the faithful church, see Continuing History of the Church of God).

As far as Vladimir Putin goes, he is the highest level political leader in any of the Greco-Roman churches to come out publicly against expanding the LGBT agenda. And while I would NOT refer to him as ‘miracle of God’ (anymore than other people could be considered) it is refreshing that he stood against the trend in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA to promote that agenda.  This, in my view, is something that caused the Obama Administration to distance itself from Russia and likely was a factor in the USA supporting the overthrow of the democratically elected president on Ukraine a few years ago.

Perhaps, it should also be mentioned that Pope Francis has publicly honored Vladimir Putin as well (e.g. Russia’s Putin and Pope Francis both kiss Marian icon).

Notice also something from the past about Vladimir Putin:

22 September 2014

Well, it is true, is it not, that President Vladimir Putin stands virtually alone among national leaders of the major powers in publicly proclaiming his Christian identity, and in condemning homosexual “marriage” — while leaders of the so-called Christian West have adopted the politically correct line that these unnatural unions are now sacrosanct? And is it not true that Putin and the Russian government have been spending hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild hundreds of Russian Orthodox churches destroyed during the militant atheism of the Soviet era? Has he not restored sacred holidays of the Julian Christian calendar? Did he not sign a national law last year outlawing advertisements for abortion? To which we must answer: yes, yes, yes, yes; true, true, true, true.

Additional “facts” can be cited to paint an even more striking image of Putin as pious champion of Christianity: crossing himself and kissing the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary that he presented to Pope Francis during his 2013 visit to the Vatican; numerous appearances with (and blessings and endorsements from) Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church and other Christian church leaders; signing into law a “ban on the propaganda of homosexuality and pedophilia” directed at children, while President Obama promotes the LBGT agenda at every level and every opportunity; speaking out against the persecution and murder of Christians by Islamic jihadists in Syria and Iraq. …

In his current ruse as Defender of the Faith, Putin is not only channeling Stalin, but also Lenin, that original Bolshevik persecutor of the church. Lenin was the supreme pragmatist, happily willing to use “whatever works,” and constantly at odds with rigid communist “purists” who failed to grasp the necessity of operational flexibility in the pursuit of the final objective.  http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-news/europe/item/19162-putin-defender-of-christian-faith-and-morality

While many in the West do not trust him, Vladimir Putin is being seen as the military hope for many non-Muslims in Syria and Iraq.  This should be especially distressing for the USA as it spent a lot of time and money, plus has loss of life of its troops in Iraq, and without the USA seemingly to care much for the fate of non-Muslims there.

Of course, the Bible teaches that the Kingdom of God should be the hope for Christians, but for most people in the world, they place their hope in the military, and Vladimir Putin is coming through for some that way at this time.

Various ones have suggested that Vladimir Putin is a defender of his faith.

Vladimir Putin has long wanted to be the ruler of his version of the Russian side of the ‘Holy Roman Empire’ (Putin claimed to be re-establishing ‘Third Holy Roman Empire,’ but that is happening elsewhere).  Notice also:

As Putin slowly expands the borders of the Russian Federation and recovers ancient territory of imperial Russia, he believes he is expanding the Third Holy Roman Empire.  http://www.westernjournalism.com/onward-christian-russian-soldiers-putin-believes-resurrecting-third-holy-roman-empire/#Cp5aggpzGoQqYEwJ.99

In recent years, Russia annexed Crimea, has been involved in the conflict in Ukraine & Syria, and his Eurasian Union officially began.

Vladimir Putin wants his version of the Roman Empire and is working on it.

Some religious leaders have provided him support. Do not be surprised to see some type of deal between Russia and the Vatican in the future.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy Is there a Eurasian union that will be formed? Is one being formed right now? Are any leaders working on that in the 21st century? Does the Bible teach that there will be a Eurasian union? If some type of Eurasian union is formed, who might it benefit and who will it destroy? A related video would be Is The Eurasian Union Rising?
Russia and Ukraine: Origins and Prophesied Future Where do the Russians come from? What about those in the Ukraine? What is prophesied for Russia and its allies? What will they do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end? You can also watch the short video Ukraine in Prophecy?
Russia in the Bible and in Prophecy Is Russia mentioned in the Bible? It it is where is it? Is there any evidence of a people moving to the land that the Russians now occupy? What do Catholic and other prophecies say about Russia? What does the Bible teach? How are Protestants often in error on this? Is there more in biblical prophecy for Russia than war? Does God have a plan to save Russia and her allies? Does Russia have a history involving Sabbath keepers? Does scripture tie Russia in with Armageddon? Will Russia help defeat the end time Babylonian power? What did the Apostle John, and the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel, write about Russia? This is a sermon-length video.
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?
Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day? Is Ezekiel 38 about to be fufilled? A related video is available titled Ezekiel 38: For Russia, Ukraine, & Iran Now?
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’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
Might German Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg become the King of the North? Is the former German Defense Minister (who is also the former German Minister for Economics and Technology) one to watch? What do Catholic, Byzantine, and biblical prophecies suggest? A video of related interest would be: Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg and Europe’s Future.
Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History Are the Germanic peoples descended from Asshur of the Bible? Have there been real Christians in Germanic history? What about the “Holy Roman Empire”? There is also a You-Tube video sermon on this titled Germany’s Biblical Origins.
Germany in Biblical Prophecy Does Assyria in the Bible equate to an end time power inhabiting the area of the old Roman Empire? What does prophecy say Germany will do and what does it say will happen to most of the German people? Here are links to two sermon videos Germany in Bible Prophecy and The Rise of the Germanic Beast Power of Prophecy.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video of related interest could be Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
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.
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against?
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?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
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? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.Mexico, Central America, South America, Brazil, and the Caribbean in Prophecy [Español: México, América central, Suramérica, Brasil y el Caribe en la profecía] [Português: México, América Central, Ámérica do Sul, e Brasil na profecia] What will happen to those of Latin America? Will they have prosperity? Will they cooperate with Europe? Will they suffer in the future? What role might the various Caribbean nations/territories play?
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2016, 2017, or 2018? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives. A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation Start in 2016?
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? Could Francis be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? Could a Jesuit be “the black pope”?
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?
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? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The Last Pope Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Why might Pope Francis be the last pope? What happens if he is? Biblical and other prophecies help explain what to expect.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Amazon Book What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roman”? This 186 page book provides information and answers.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of the printed book which is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.

Boy wins all state honors at girls’ track meet

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

COGwriter

The  ‘transgender agenda’ is starting to impact girls’ sports:

June 6, 2016

A male won the all-state honors in girls’ high school track and field — and his female competitors are saying he had a disqualifying advantage.

Haines High School senior Nattaphon “Ice” Wangyot, a biological male who self-identifies as female, is the first trans woman in Alaskan history to compete against females in a girls’ track and field state championship, according to local reporters. …

Peyton Young, who competed in a different event, said Wangyot’s advantage boils down to science.

“It’s the DNA. Genetically a guy has more muscle mass than a girl, and if he’s racing against a girl, he may have an advantage,” Young said.

Alaska School Activities Association adopted a policy on transgender athletes about two months ago that allows schools to decide at a local level whether competitors in each sport are decided by their biological or identified gender.

The Haines Borough School District policy states: “For the purposes of gender identification for interscholastic activities, the district will consider the gender identity based on the student’s consistent declaration of gender identity, their actions, attitude, dress, and mannerisms,” according to Chilkat Valley News.

Alaska Family Action president Jim Minnery held a protest “to ensure that female athletes are not denied the playing opportunities and scholarships otherwise available to them and to make the playing field even again.”

About a dozen supporters stood behind Minnery as he explained the risk of teenage girls getting short-changed if they’re forced to compete against male athletes.

“Allowing students to play on teams of the opposite sex disproportionately impacts female students, who will lose spots on track, soccer, and volleyball teams to [biologically] male students who identify as female.” http://www.lifezette.com/quickzette/trans-student-wins-girls-track-field-championship/

This absurdity was easy to predict because of what is happening with the gender confusion that many governments in the USA are promoting.  Actually, I brought the point up that the transgender agenda could devastate girls’ sports when I did the short video a few weeks ago titled: USA pushing gender confusion.  And this is starting to happen.

This action is not good. The transgender agenda is evil, but people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are promoting it.

The Bible warns:

20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; (Isaiah 5:20)

The transgender agenda is evil. Many, if not most, transgender people ‘cross-dress,’ yet that is condemned as an abomination in the Bible:

5 A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 22:5)

The Bible clearly condemns cross-dressing. The Bible also condemns males acting effeminate:

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10, KJV)

Males are not to act like they are female.

Perhaps it should be added that it is getting to be considered wrong for someone to call a male a boy if he wants to be considered as a girl. While ‘truth’ is supposed to be a defense for speech, those associated with the transgender agenda have also redefined truth to mean what they say.  And they will ignore biological truth to do so.

The time will come when the USA, and likely some private companies, will apparently stop the efforts of websites like this one to tell the biblical truth of various matters (see also Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word).

Consider the following prophecy:

13 Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, For it is an evil time. (Amos 5:13)

The above indicates that even those that are doing nothing wrong will need to be silent at the coming of a more evil time.

Yet, currently, it is still time to:

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

Which is what we in the Continuing Church of God are doing.

The Bible warns against not only sexual immorality, but approving it:

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

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

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

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:20-32)

The USA is not benefiting from homosexuality or the transgender agenda. This will not end well for the USA and its Anglo-Saxon descended allies (cf. Daniel 11:39) nor the rest of the West (cf. Daniel 11:44-45).

God made humans male and female:

27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

Nowhere in the Bible is any human considered to be any sex/gender other than male and female. And those who act otherwise are warned against (Deuteronomy 22:5; 1 Corinthians 6:10-12; Romans 1:18-32). One is not a different gender than their actual genitalia.

But now the USA government and various others have their own, antibiblical ideas. Yet:

33 God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33)

The transgender agenda encourages and exploits confusion. It is NOT good for those who consider themselves transgendered. Nor is it good for female sports.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

USA pushing gender confusion On May 13, 2016, the Obama Administration sent notices to school districts around the USA on how it wants them to deal with toilets, lockers, sports, and other issues of interest to the LGBT crowd. The Obama Administration has redefined the word ‘sex’ as written in the 1964 Civil Rights Act as expanded in 1972. Does the Bible teach transgenderism? Are accommodations for those considering themselves transgendered helpful or evil? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing and other transgender issues? Does the Bible warn of terrible consequences for those who merely approve the LBGT agenda? This is a video.
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children. What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on? There are also two YouTube videos related to this, titled Transgender ‘Woe to those who call evil good’ and Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children.
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? A related sermons is titled: Pornography, False Comfort, and False Religion. Here a shorter YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Can homosexuals change? A related video sermon is titled: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Making Your Marriage Work Marriage is not always easy, but it pictures a divine relationship. How can you make your marriage work? Here is a link to the video sermon: You Can Make YOUR Marriage Work.
Love, Marriage, and Sex It is important to get them in the right order.
Husbands Love Your Wives An article written by the late Selmer Hegvold.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2016, 2017, or 2018? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives. A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation Start in 2016?
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?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West?
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.
Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States This is a 188 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Hillary Clinton and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also discusses Republicans. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Hillary Clinton Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Hopi, and other America-Related Prophecies? $11.99.
Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version of the 188 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon Kindle edition.

‘Science’ has concluded that 1/2 of what is called science is probably false

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016


Chart of ‘Science’ (Efbrazil)

COGwriter

How scientific is the modern science community? Well, two readers sent me links related to the following that suggests perhaps half of what is considered as science is not:

Editors of World’s Most Prestigious Medical Journals: “Much of the Scientific Literature, Perhaps HALF, May Simply Be Untrue”
June 1, 2015

Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine are the two most prestigious medical journals in the world. It is therefore striking that their chief editors have both publicly written that corruption is undermining science.

The editor in chief of Lancet, Richard Horton, wrote last month:

Much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness. As one participant put it, “poor methods get results”. The Academy of Medical Sciences, Medical Research Council, and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have now put their reputational weight behind an investigation into these questionable research practices. The apparent endemicity [i.e. pervasiveness within the scientific culture] of bad research behaviour is alarming. In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world. Or they retrofit hypotheses to fit their data. Journal editors deserve their fair share of criticism too. We aid and abet the worst behaviours. Our acquiescence to the impact factor fuels an unhealthy competition to win a place in a select few journals. Our love of “significance” pollutes the literature with many a statistical fairy-tale. We reject important confirmations. Journals are not the only miscreants. Universities are in a perpetual struggle for money and talent, endpoints that foster reductive metrics, such as high-impact publication. National assessment procedures, such as the Research Excellence Framework, incentivise bad practices. And individual scientists, including their most senior leaders, do little to alter a research culture that occasionally veers close to misconduct.

***

Part of the problem is that no-one is incentivised [to offer incentives] to be right.

Similarly, the editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell, wrote in 2009:

It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.

In her must-read essay, Dr. Angell skewers drug companies, university medical departments, and medical groups which set the criteria for diagnosis and treatment as being rotten with corruption and conflicts of interest.

And we’ve previously documented that the government sometimes uses raw power to cover up corruption in the medical and scientific fields.

Postscript: Corruption is not limited to the medical or scientific fields. Instead, corruption has become systemic throughout every profession … and is so pervasive that it is destroying the very fabric of America.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-06-01/editors-world%E2%80%99s-most-prestigious-medical-journals-%E2%80%9Cmuch-scientific-literature-perhap

June 1, 2015

Those who think science is the measure of all truth might want to check the data first.

Here’s a quote for you: “A lot of what is published [in scientific journals] is incorrect.” Care to guess where those words appeared? Not on a website that questions the “consensus of experts on climate change.” Nor do they appear in a publication associated with intelligent design or other critiques of Neo-Darwinism.

They appeared in the April 11, 2015, issue of the Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal.

The writer, Richard Horton, was quoting a participant at a recent symposium on the “reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research.” Specifically, the symposium discussed one of the “most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations.”

And he’s referring to scientific research—the research that not only purports to tell us how the world works, but, increasingly, how people should order their lives and societies.

As Horton told Lancet readers, “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

He continues, “In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world.”

We recently saw an example of this in a story about a much-publicized study purporting to show that voters were likely to change their minds about same-sex marriage if they were visited by gay pollsters who shared their stories with them.

Researchers seeking to reproduce the findings found discrepancies in the data and asked the original researcher for the original data. The researcher was unable to produce the original data. This led the lead researcher to request that the study be withdrawn. Even supporters of same-sex marriage acknowledged that the study and the conclusions drawn from it were fraudulent. http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/12/27474?spMailingID=11525872&spUserID=OTQ0MjM5NDU2S0&spJobID=560044991&spReportId=NTYwMDQ0OTkxS0

The actual percentage is probably more than half. A lot more than half.

As a scientist, I have seen first-hand how biases, money, ‘political correctness,’ and corruption have affected the scientific community. Researchers who do not promote the product that they are funded to research have a tendency to lose future funding.

Many medications have serious problems that studies tend to overlook. A reality that few wish to admit is that in most cases, so-called ‘double-blind’ studies are not ‘double-blind’ as the researchers often know the ‘real’ (what is being tested) vs. placebo (something that supposedly appears identical but in reality contains nothing believed to be helpful) prior to the end of the trial when they are supposedly ‘blindly’ collecting data.

Notice also the following from Dana Ullman:

Is modern medicine actually “scientific”? The gold standard for modern medicine is the double-blind and placebo-controlled trial. But there are serious problems with these studies, unknown to most, but widely acknowledged by researchers.

Scientists can easily set up a study that shows a drug is effective for a very limited period of time. Most studies of drugs for psychiatric conditions last only six weeks. What happens after that? Do they still work? Do they start to cause terrible side effects?

The studies will not tell you.

“One of the things that have come out recently about some of the antidepressant research is that it’s amazing how many studies had negative results but they are almost never published. Only the ones with the positive results are published and according to the FDA, drug companies only need to have two positive studies.

They can have 18 negative studies but if you have just two positive studies, that’s enough for acceptance. That’s a serious problem.” http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/22/lies-damn-lies-and-medical-research.aspx accessed 06/03/15

Dr. Mercola (MD) reported:

Back in 2005, Dr. John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at Ioannina School of Medicine, Greece, showed that there is less than a 50 percent chance that the results of any randomly chosen scientific paper will be true.

Then, in 2008, Dr. Ioannidis again showed that much of scientific research being published is highly questionable.

According to his study:

“Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true.”

He noted problems with experimental and statistical methods as the main culprits, including factors such as small sample sizes, poor study design, researcher bias and selective reporting.

The newer study, meanwhile, suggested that economic conditions, such as oligopolies, artificial scarcities and the winner’s curse, are largely to blame for incorrect research.

Because of the way this system runs, journals may be more likely to publish studies that show dramatic results, positive results, or results from “hot” competitive fields. For instance, a Cochrane Collaboration review and analysis of published flu vaccine studies found that flu vaccine studies sponsored by industry are treated more favorably by medical journals even when the studies are of poor quality.

None of this, of course, has anything to do with scientific merit or accuracy. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/22/lies-damn-lies-and-medical-research.aspx accessed 06/03/15

But it is not just a problem with conventional medicine.

The nonsense about evolution being ‘scientific’ has long been a joke. Some claims about the science related to that are so bizarre (see New Times: ‘There is no other side to evolution’) no right thinking real scientist could accept them (see also Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical?).

Much of the medical research that is published is bought and paid for by pharmaceutical companies interested in promoting unnatural products for human consumption.

Even in the days of the Apostle Paul, certain ‘knowledge’ was falsely called ‘science.’ Here are two translations:

20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge — 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.
Grace be with you. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:20-21, NKJV)

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

Problems of contradictions of what is called ‘knowledge/science’ exist to this day. If there ever is an apparent contradiction between the Bible and ‘science’ remember that the Bible teaches:

160 The entirety of Your word is truth, (Psalms 119:160)

17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)

The Bible is scientific and reliable. Not all ‘scientists are.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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

Universe may be expanding faster than scientists have thought

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

COGwriter

The universe could be expanding faster than many scientists thought:

June 3, 2016

WASHINGTON — Astronomers thought they had a handle on how the universe ticks, but the cosmos may be toying with them.

A team of astronomers has calculated that the universe seems to be expanding faster than what scientists previously figured. If the new research is right, then science’s basic understanding of what’s been happening to the universe in the past 13.8 billion years after the Big Bang could be just a bit off kilter.

“This is really an end-to-end test the universe gives us; it’s sort of our final exam,” said Nobel laureate and study lead author Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute . “We get a D-plus probably because things don’t match up.”

Astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to measure the distance of 2,400 stars to calculate the rate the universe is expanding. The number they came up with is 5 to 9 percent faster than other scientifically accepted measurements that calculate the expansion rate based on cosmic background radiation from 380,000 years after the Big Bang. The new study was released Thursday by NASA and is to be published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Either one set of calculations is wrong – which outside scientists say is the most likely possibility, though they can’t find something wrong yet – or the expansion rate has speeded up since 13.8 billion years ago. And if that’s the case, as Riess advocates, then our understanding of the universe is not quite right. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-the-universe-expanding-even-faster-than-we-thought-big-bang-theory/

Despite the confidence that the media and certain scientists portray about ‘scientific knowledge,’ much of it is shakier than the public is often led to believe.

What if science appears to contradict the Bible?

20 … avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:  21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21, KJV)

4 … let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4, NKJV the rest of this article)

Now, related to the universe, notice something from back in 2013:

Data Shows Universe Could Collapse Any Minute

Our universe is at even greater risk of collapse than has been previously thought, according physicists in Denmark.

Not only are the scientists predicting the end of the world… but the end of the universe!

The prediction that the universe will collapse and compress into a small hard ball isn’t something new. Physicists have been predicting a calamity for a long time.

Does this mean we should immediately cancel any long-term plans? The Danish scientists really don’t know when the universe will collapse. They say it could happen tomorrow–or a billion years from now.

Writing in the Journal of High Energy Physics, the University of Southern Denmark physicists said new calculations led them to speculate there will be a sudden and drastic change within the forces of the universe one day that will make every atom in the universe become enormously heavy.

Everything, from the tiniest grain of soil to all of the planets within our solar system to every galaxy contained within the universe, will suddenly become billions and billions of times heavier than they are now.

The theory holds that the sudden increase in weight will force all of the material within the universe to compress into a “small, super-hot heavy ball” which will cause the end of the universe as we know it. http://blogs.voanews.com/science-world/2013/12/16/data-shows-universe-could-collapse-any-minute/

Should any Christian have believed that?

No!

On December 18, 2013, I posted the following here as my comments related to those Danish ‘scientists’:

Is that possible?

According to the Bible the universe cannot collapse now. Notice the following:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:18-23)

The universe (the “creation” above) is not going away now despite some signs of stresses. Scientists who ignore such scriptures have come to a wrong conclusion.

Notice the following about Jesus:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:15-18)

Jesus has control, random events are not about to destroy the universe. (Thiel B. Danish scientists conclude that the universe could collapse any minute now–is that really possible? December 18, 2013)

Consider also the following passage from the Book of Hebrews:

6 But one testified in a certain place, saying: “What is man that You are mindful of him, Or the son of man that You take care of him? 7 You have made him a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands. 8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”

For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (Hebrews 2:6-10)

So, the understand that the entire universe was made for humankind, but is not yet under human subjection, but will be first under Jesus. And then, later under humankind.

So, resurrected humans will at some time rule all the planets of the universe. It will not collapse.

But there is more. Notice something else that the Bible teaches:

33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. (Luke 1:33)

6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end…(Isaiah 9:6-7)

This seems to mean that either the physical dimensions of Christ’s kingdom will always be increasing (hence perhaps more and more planets, stars, and galaxies) and/or their will a continual increase in the number of beings in Christ’s kingdom.

A expansion of the universe will continue.  And at whatever pace God decides.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Is There Another View of Evolution? and another titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Were the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon: Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2023 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2016, 2017, or 2018? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives. A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation Start in 2016?