Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

What did the Apostle Paul teach about the Ten Commandments?

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

COGwriter

Many believe that the Apostle Paul did away with the Ten Commandments, but is that what the Bible teaches? What did the Apostle Paul actually teach about them?

What Paul actually wrote in the New Testament about the ten commandments is shown here in green.

There is only one only scripture that uses the “nailed it to the cross” expression (AV/NKJ), it is Colossians 2:13-14, in which Paul states, “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross“. Were the ten commandments the “requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us”? Let us examine the scriptures to see.

Commandment 1: Paul said, “God, who made the world and everything in it…they should seek the Lord” (Acts 17:24,27). Paul also said, “I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the Law” (Acts 24:14). “But then indeed, when you did not know God, you served those things which by nature are not God” (Galatians 4:8). “And what agreement has the temple of God have with idols?” (II Corinthians 6:16). “you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (I Thessalonians 1:9). “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

Commandment 2: “we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols” (Acts 15:20). “Now while Paul waited for them in Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols…Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said…’God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything‘” (Acts 17:16,22,24-25). “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four footed animals and creeping things” (Romans 1:22-23). “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is…an idolater” (I Corinthians 5:11). “Neither… idolators…will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-10). “And do not become idolaters as were some of them…Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry” (I Corinthians 10:7,14). “And what agreement has the temple of God have with idols?” (II Corinthians 6:16). “Now the works of the flesh are evident…idolatry” (Galatians 5:19,20). “For this you know that no…idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). “Therefore put to death…covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). “you turned to God from idols” (I Thessalonians 1:9).

Commandment 3: “they are all under sin…Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness” (Romans 3:9,14). “Let all…evil speaking be put away from you” (Ephesians 4:31). “But now you yourselves are to put off all Thessalonians e:…blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” (Colossians 3:8). “they may learn not to blaspheme” (I Timothy 1:20). But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be…blasphemers” (II Timothy 3:1,2).

Commandment 4: “Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures…And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks” (Acts 17:2;18:4 see also 13:14,27,42,44). “let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need” (Ephesians 4:28) and “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: ‘If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat‘” (II Thessalonians 3:10); (recall that the requirement to work is also part of the Sabbath command, thus even that portion of the commandment is repeated in the New Testament.) “And to whom did He swear they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?” (Hebrews 3:18). “For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all His works’” (Hebrews 4:4). “There remains therefore a rest (literally sabbatismos, ‘Sabbath rest’) for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:9-10).

Commandment 5: “being filled with all unrighteousness…disobediant to parents” (Romans 1:29,30). “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’, which is the first commandment with promise: that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth” (Ephesians 6:1-3). “the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience” (Colossians 3:6). “Children obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord” (Colossians 3:20). “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be…disobediant to parents” (II Timothy 3:1,2).

Commandment 6: “being filled with all unrighteousness…murder” (Romans 1:29). “You shall not murder” (Romans 13:9). “Now the works of the flesh are evident…murders” (Galatians 5:19,21). “the lawless and insubordinate…murders…manslayers” (I Timothy 1:9).

Commandment 7: “being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality” (Romans 1:29). “So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress” (Romans 7:3). “You shall not commit adultery” (Romans 13:9). “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral” (I Corinthians 5:11). “Neither… adulterers, nor homosexuals…will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body” (I Corinthians 6:18). Nor let us commit sexual immorality as some of them did” (I Corinthians 10:8). “Now the works of the flesh are evident…adultery, fornication” (Galatians 5:19). “For this you know that no fornicator…has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). “the lawless and insubordinate…fornicators…sodomites” (I Timothy 1:9,10). “fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

Commandment 8: “You shall not steal” (Romans 13:9). “nor thieves…will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:10). “I have been…in perils of robbers” (II Corinthians 11:25-26). “Let him who stole, steal no longer” (Ephesians 4:28).

Commandment 9: “You shall not bear false witness” (Romans 13:9). ‘I do not lie” (Galatians 1:19). “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each of you speak truth with his neighbor” (Ephesians 4:25). “Do not lie to one another” (Colossians 3:9). “the lawless and insubordinate…liars…perjurers” (I Timothy 1:9,10). “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy” (I Timothy 4:1-2). “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be…slanderers” (II Timothy 3:1,3). “God, who cannot lie” (Ti 1:2). “it is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18).

Commandment 10: “being filled with all unrighteousness…covetousness” (Romans 1:29).”You shall not covet” (Romans 7:7). “You shall not covet” (Romans 13:9). “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is…covetous” (I Corinthians 5:11). “nor covetous…will inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 6:10). “we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted” (I Corinthians 10:6). “you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). “For this you know that no fornicator…nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). “Therefore put to death…covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). “For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness” (I Thessalonians 2:5). “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have” (Hebrews 13:5).

Notice that Paul clearly warns about not keeping each of the ten commandments.

Paul also wrote “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26). He also warned that those who break various of the ten commandments will not inherit the kingdom of God (Ephesians 5:4-5) and then said, “Let no man deceive you with empty words, for because of Thessalonians e things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them” (Ephesians 5:6-7).

Some have been confused about some of Paul’s writings, but as Peter warned, “Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of Thessalonians e things in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the scriptures” (II Pet 3:15-16). Perhaps the most confusing to some is, “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle the wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Ephesians 2:14-16).

It is clear that Paul could not be talking about the ten commandments as he mentions parts of at least eight of them as still being in existence in the same book (see above, the other two are alluded to as well, Ephesians 5:31–anger, which is like murder according to Jesus; plus the comment about being a prisoner of the Lord also would show the first commandment, Ephesians 4:1)

While some may try to reason around what Paul wrote, it is a fact that early Christians did believe that they needed to keep the Ten Commandments (for detailed proof, see The Ten Commandments and the Early Church). And real Christians believe that today.

Will you believe what the Apostle Paul actually wrote?

Some items of possible interest may include:

The Apostle Paul He was an apostle, early Christian leader, and wrote more books of the New Testament than anyone else. Do you know much about him?
What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments? This article quotes what Jesus actually said about them (His words are in red).
Were the Ten Commandments Nailed to the Cross? Some have said so. This article provides some biblical quotes to answer this important question.
What Did Paul Actually Teach About the Ten Commandments? Many say Paul taught against the ten commandments. Is this true? This article quotes Paul with his words in green.
Are the Ten Commandment Still in Effect? This article quotes the ten commandments and combines some of the previous articles into one article about the ten commandments. The commandments are shown at Mount Sinai, before Mount Sinai, in the teachings of Jesus, after the crucifixion, and in the teachings of Paul. It addresses the most common “traditions of men” regarding them as well.
Were the Pharisees Condemned for Keeping the Law or Reasoning Around it? Many believe that the Pharisees were condemned for keeping the law, but what does your Bible say? If they were not condemned for that, what were they condemned for?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time to Learn the Law The Bible teaches that every seven years that the law should be read at the Feast of Tabernacles. This is what I did at the first Feast site were I gave an actual sermon (as opposed to a sermonette) in 2006.

Some sermons on the Book of Deuteronomy may also be of interest:

Should YOU keep the Fall Holy Days?

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Blowing of a Shofar

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God has a sermon about the Fall Holy Days which is at its ContinuingCOG channel.

The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day?

Those of us faithful in the Continuing Church of God who are able, keep the Feast of Tabernacles and believe that it foreshadows the coming millennium.

Notice also that the Catholic, Orthodox, and Church of God Saint Polycarp of Smyrna kept the Fall Holy Days:

I will give the narration in order, thus coming down to the history of the blessed Polycarp…

So also he pursued the reading of the Scriptures from childhood to old age, himself reading in church; and he recommended it to others, saying that the reading of the law and the prophets was the forerunner of grace, preparing and making straight the ways of the Lord, that is the hearts, which are like tablets whereon certain harsh beliefs and conceptions that were written before perfect knowledge came, are through the inculcation of the Old Testament, and the correct interpretation following thereupon, first smoothed and levelled, that, when the Holy Spirit comes as a pen, the grace and joy of the voice of the Gospel and of the doctrine of the immortal and heavenly Christ may be inscribed on them. And he said that they could not otherwise receive the impression of the seal which is given by baptism and engrave and exhibit the form conveyed in it, unless the wax were first softened and filled the deep parts. So also he thought that the hearts of the hearers ought to be softened and yield to the impress of the Word. For he said that it unfolded and opened, like closed doors, the minds of recent comers; and accordingly the prophet was bidden by God, Cry out mightily and spare not, Raise thy voice as a trumpet. What must one say, when even He that was gentler than all men so appeals and cries out at the feast of Tabernacles? For it is written; And on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried saying, If any man thirsteth, let him come to Me and drink. (Pionius, Life of Polycarp (1889) from J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 3.2, pp.488-506.)

Polycarp, according to the above, seems to have endorsed the Fall Holy Day season which begins with the Feast of Trumpets, includes the Feast of Tabernacles, and ends on The Last Great Day. And while the Day of Atonement was not specifically mentioned above, it was mentioned in the Book of Acts, where it is referred to as the Fast (Acts 27:9).

During the Middle Ages the fall holidays were observed, though records are limited.

Notice the following report:

Under the name of Passagini, we have the clearest sort of statement that these people, about 1200, observed the whole Old Testament law, including the Sabbath and FESTIVALS! People called Cathars at Cologne, Germany, kept a fall festival, called “Malilosa”, even before Waldo began to preach. Compare this unexplained name with Hebrew “melilah” (a harvested ear of grain — Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance) and the Biblical title “Feast of Ingathering” (Ex. 23:16). How much more we might have known about these Middle Ages’ Feasts of Tabernacles had not the Inquisitors so zealously burned the records! The three-part division of tithes paid the Waldensian Church is significant. Even in the 1500′s the same division continued. “The money given us by the people is carried to the aforesaid general council, and is delivered in the presence of all, and there it is received by the most ancients (the elders), and part thereof is given to those that are wayfaring men, according to their necessities, and part unto the poor” (George Morel, Waldensian elder, quoted by Lennard, “History of the Waldenses”). 1. Compare this practice with Num. 18:21 and Deut. 14:22-25, 28-29. Isn’t it exactly what the Bible commands?… Most authors have ASSUMED the “wayfaring men” were the traveling “barbel.” But THEIR expenses would have been paid from the money given the elders, at EVERY time of year, for the direct conduct of the Work — “first” tithe and offerings. Notice that in Numbers 18:21. What Morel then mentions is a “second” tithe, for those traveling to and from the festivals — wayfaring men; and following it, the “third” to the poor. See the explanation in Deut. 14. Feast goers who had more “second tithe” than they needed shared their excess with those who had need, even as they do today! (LESSON 51 (1968) AMBASSADOR COLLEGE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place …” Rev. 12:6).

Furthermore, Sabbath-keepers in Transylvania in the 1500s and probably later kept the Fall Holy Days such as the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Trumpets (called Day of Remembrance below):

The Sabbatarians viewed themselves as converted Gentiles..They held to the biblical holidays…The Day of Atonement was a day of fasting, although they emphasized that pentinence is more easily acheived by a peaceful and quiet meditation on the law and one’s life than by fasting. The Day of Remembrance (New Year, which they celebrated in the Fall of the year) was the day on which they thanked God especially for the creation of the universe. There is no mention of circumcision, so it is unlikely that they practiced circumcision (Liechty D. Sabbatarianism in the Sixteenth Century. Andrews University Press, Berrien Springs (MI), 1993, pp. 61-62).

And the Fall Holidays are still observed into the 21sth century by many Sabbath-keeping Church of God groups, such as the Continuing Church of God.

The biblical Holy Days (both Spring and Fall) were kept by early, faithful Christians, and this is clear from both scripture and early church records. And there is a scattering of later records showing that they have been kept by some professors of Christ throughout history.

The first Holy Day this Fall season is the Feast of Trumpets (called Rosh Hashanah by the Jews) which begins September 24th, 2014 at sunset until sunset September 25th.

The second Holy Day this Fall season is the Day of Atonement (called Yom Kippur by the Jews) which begin October 3rd, 2013 at sunset until sunset October 4th.

The seven day Feast of Tabernacles begins at sunset October 8th, continues until sunset October 15th, and is immediately followed by the Last Great Day, which ends October 16th, 2014 at sunset. Most people travel to attend the Feast of Tabernacles (here is a link to CCOG’s Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014). This has limited information on many Feast of Tabernacles locations for this Fall feast.)

Then, other than the weekly Sabbaths, after the Last Great Day there are no Holy Days until Passover in the Spring.

The early, faithful, Christians kept what many now refer to as “Jewish” holidays. Jesus, Paul, and the apostles did. They were part of “the faith once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 4).

Perhaps you should look into them more?

Several items of possibly related interest may include:

Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should you keep the Fall Holy Days?
Is Second Tithe and Third Tithe Still Valid Today? Should you save and use second tithe? Some in the COGs no longer teach payment of third tithe, is this biblically correct?
Offertory: Blow the Trumpet This is an offertory video for the Holy Days, and specifically was made for the Feast of Trumpets. It goes through various scriptures in Jeremiah Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, and Isaiah related to blowing trumpets. It also contains an audio clip of the blowing of a shofar. It discusses who is blowing the trumpet now. And provides statistics to back up that conclusion.
The Trumpet Release This is a sermon focused on the Feast of Trumpets for 2013. What is the Feast of Trumpets? How can this be part of God’s plan of salvation? Why do the Jews refer to it as Rosh Hashanah? What is the seventh year of release? Should it be restored and proclaimed? Did early Christians keep the Feast of Trumpets? Why should any one keep it now? What will happen with the seven trumpets of Revelation? Why do many not understand aspects of it?
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.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not?
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement”. Does it have any relevance for Christians today?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach?
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014 This is information on the expected Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God for 2014. The Feast in 2014 begins the evening of October 8.
Last Great Day study paper Was Jesus speaking about the 7th or 8th day of the Feast in John 7:37? UCG says the 7th, but what does the Bible teach? This extensive paper reviews UCG’s LGD study paper and includes comments as to where it erred.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it. Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near?
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。.
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
Michael’s Day of Atonement Quiz Another free on-line Bible quiz by my son Michael.
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
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?

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream and God has a plan

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

COGwriter

51 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I have a dream” speech. Here is some of what Dr. King said on August 28, 1963:

Now is the time to lift our ion from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children…

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood…

I have a dream that my four little children will me day live in a nations where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…

I have a dream today . . . I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain will be made low. The rough places wild be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope.

Let me state that “God has a plan.” God, however, does sometimes also use dreams (see Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God), but that is not to say that God directly gave one to Martin Luther King, Jr.

God sent His Son who taught against racial injustice and who was willing to not only violate certain segregation practices (John 4:7-9), He also praised those of a race that the religious leaders shunned (Luke 10:30-37; 17:15-19).

God has a plan where former enemies will come together of different ethnicities (Isaiah 19:23-25).

God has a plan where people will be judged, not by outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7) nor power (Revelation 20:12), but by their character (1 Samuel 16:7; Romans 2:16) and works (Revelation 20:12-13).

God has a plan where:

4 Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain:

5 And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 40:4-5, KJV)

God has a plan which will result in people of every nation and race will be saved:

9…I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10)

God has a plan where people of every nation will be able to rule:

9…You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth. (Revelation 5:9-10)

God has a plan where “all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6).

God has a plan.

And His plan will come to pass (Acts 2:21; Proverbs 19:21; Isaiah 46:10).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God?
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?
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?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
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?

Certain Russian ‘artists’ oppose ban on profanity

Sunday, August 24th, 2014


Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersberg, Russia (A. Savin)

COGwriter

Back in May of this year, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin signed in a new law against foul language.  Certain artists have objected to it:

Artists Shun Russia’s Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws.

The link above goes to a video about this.  It mentions that Russia has put in place various morality laws to set it apart from the more ‘liberal’ West.  Apparently in Russia under this law, theaters can get fined $1400 if they allow profanity in acts.  Some Russian artists consider this a form of unnecessary censorship, while one interviewed favored the law and stated that it would lead to a better artist culture.

I would add here that sadly, many ‘artists’ do need to be censored as what passes for art if often vulgar, lust provoking, and/or otherwise immoral.  Nude shows are called ‘performance art’ as now is showing actual acts of homosexual intercourse in the West.  Now ‘soft pornography’ is considered as appropriate family entertainment by many in the Western media.  Even the President of the USA has endorsed a promoter of celebrity pornography.

It has been reported by some that Russia’s President Putin sees himself as the leader of a new “Holy Roman Empire” and is the political leader who is standing up for Orthodox Christianity and against the moral decline of the West. He has publicly denounced aspects of the homosexual agenda, and other matters, and is probably the most powerful political leader to do so in the past year or two.

As far as foul language goes, it should not be used by Christians. Notice scriptures from the Old and New Testaments:

11 ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (Deuteronomy 5:11)

28 “You shall not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people. (Exodus 22:28)

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Romans 12:14)

33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (1 Corinthians 15:33, KJV)

29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)

Foul language is unnecessary and should not be used.  Using ‘art’ as an excuse, does not excuse it.

While I do not believe that Vladimir Putin will lead the final revival of the “Holy Roman Empire” (see Putin claimed to be re-establishing ‘Third Holy Roman Empire,’ but that is happening elsewhere), I do believe that some of his public ‘moral’ statements are helping set the stage for the Beast who will lead it.

The amount of foul language tolerated in Western and other societies is excessive and should not be done.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的 .
Can those in the USA/UK see the Handwriting on the Wall? Is everything fine in the USA/UK or is it like the days of Noah? Can we learn from the handwriting that appeared on a wall thousands of years ago? Here is a link to a related YouTube video Can you see the ‘Handwriting on the Wall’?
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children.  What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on?  There is also a YouTube video on this, titled Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children.
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?
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? Here is a link to a YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
British and American Moral Decay Public nudity is becoming more prevalent in the Anglo-Saxon lands. What are some of the consequences?
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?
Is Russia the King of the North? Some claim it is. But what does the Bible teach? Here is a link to a video, also titled Is Russia the King of the North?
Russia and Ukraine: Their 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?
Ukraine in Prophecy? What is happening in Ukraine? What is known and what is unsure about its future? What is the origin of those who live in Ukraine? What does the Bible teach about the role of the Medes in the end times? Will Ukraine split? Why might part of Ukraine end up in the European Union? Why might part of Ukraine end up in the Eurasian Union? Is war in the prophesied future for Ukraine? What is the ultimate destiny for nearly all Ukrainians?
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.

Sermon: Luke 23-24 and Jesus’ Words in Acts

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014


10th Century Representation of Gospel Writer Luke

COGwriter

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

This is the ninth and last sermon in a nine part sermon series by Dr. Thiel covering the Gospel account credited to Luke. This sermon covers chapters 23 through 24, as well also quoting all the words directly attributed to Jesus in the Book of Acts.  Dr.Thiel discusses Jesus’ betrayal, Pilate’s involvement, the third day, preaching repentance, calling Gentiles, Peter’s vision, the Apostle Paul’s vision, and it is more blessed to give than receive.

Here is a link to part one of this sermon series: Luke 1-2: John the Baptist, Mary, and the Census.

Here is a link to part two of this sermon series: Luke 3-6: John the Baptist, Jesus’ genealogy, Satan’s Influence, and the Sermon on the Mount.

Here is a link to part three of this sermon series: Luke 7-9: Miracles, Purpose of Parables, Kingdom of God, and Women Supporting the Ministry.

Here is a link to part four of this sermon series: Luke 10-11: The 70, Doing the Work, the Good Samaritan, Prayer, and Signs.

Here is a link to part five of this sermon series: Luke 12-13: Priorities, Delayed Fruit Bearing, Little Flock, Prophecy, and the Narrow Way.

Here is a link to part six of this sermon series: Luke 14-16: The Lost Sheep, the Prodigal Son, the Rich Man and Lazarus.

Here is a link to part seven of this sermon series: Luke 17-20: Faith, the Kingdom, Gathering, Prayer, & Rewards.

Here is a link to part eight of this sermon series: Luke 21-22: Giving, Sorrows, Persecution, Tribulation, Fig Tree, and Violence.

Here is a link to part nine of this sermon series: Luke 23-24 and Jesus’ Words in Acts.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats.
The Apostle Paul He was a later apostle, but also an early Christian leader.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2014, 2015, or 2016? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2013 o 2014? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? Marcus was a second century heretic condemned for having a ceremony similar to one still practiced by many who profess Christ. Might he also be in the apostolic succession list of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria? Where did the eucharistic host and IHS come from?
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.
The Rich Man and Lazarus What was Jesus teaching in Luke 16?
Parable of the Mustard Seed Jesus told many parables. Why? What might this one mean?
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.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

CCOG on Women in the New Testament

Thursday, August 21st, 2014


Artist’s interpretation of Mary Magdalene

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God has the following sermon on women at its ContinuingCOG channel.

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New Testament Women

What roles did women play in the ministry of Jesus and the apostles? Did Jesus and the Apostle Paul violate Jewish traditions regarding their dealings with women? Do women have any biblical limitations on their role in the Church? Were there female prophets? Do women have any special responsibilities in terms of how they dress? What does the New Testament really teach about women?

Here is a link to a written article titled: Women and the New Testament Church.

Here is another link to the related sermon: New Testament Women.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

True Womanhood: A Lost Cause? Is there still a place for being feminine? Here is an article from Herbert Armstrong about his thoughts relating to women and womanhood.
Women and the New Testament Church What roles did women play in the ministry of Jesus and the apostles? Did Jesus and the Apostle Paul violate Jewish traditions regarding their dealings with women? Do women have any biblical limitations on their role in the Church? Were there female prophets? Do women have any special responsibilities in terms of how they dress? What does the New Testament really teach about women? Here is a related sermon titled: New Testament Women.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy.

The origin of the universe and Richard Dawkins

Monday, August 18th, 2014


Richard Dawkins (Photo by Shane Pope)

COGwriter

Richard Dawkins did a video a while back. In the video he says ” “Something Pretty Mysterious MUST have given rise to the origin of the universe.”

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Something mysterious? People such as Richard Dawkins often like to act like that science has all the answers and that science without God can explain the origin of the universe.

But it cannot. And it seems like Richard Dawkins is admitting that.

Evolution as a model for the origin of life does not work, from a purely biological scientific basis. Scientific models for the origination of the universe without a Creator God also do not work as they rely on unproven assumptions and/or violate currently understood scientific laws of physics and/or chemistry.

As a scientist, I have long known that proponents of evolution treat the subject more like a religious view than a scientific theory. It is in the Bible that we are told that when God made the universe and the life on this planet (Genesis 1). The idea of an ‘intelligent design’ by a Spirit being is the only explanation that does not defy scientifically provable knowledge–for all other explanations result in violations of known science.

By the way, God apparently expects humans to realize that He exists through various aspects of His creation. Notice:

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 (Romans 1:20).

Evolution has led to the intentional ignorance of appropriate scientific methods. It became a religion for many in the 19th century, and remains one for many today.

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

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 Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?

Sermon: Luke 21-22: Giving, Sorrows, Persecution, Tribulation, Fig Tree, and Violence

Saturday, August 16th, 2014


10th Century Representation of Gospel Writer Luke

COGwriter

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

This is the eighth sermon in a multi-part sermon series by Dr. Thiel covering the Gospel account credited to Luke. This sermon covers chapters 21 through 22. Dr.Thiel discusses giving by the poor and the rich, sorrows, persecution, tribulation, the parable of the fig tree, Passover, the eucharist, violence, and Jesus’ betrayal. Dr. Thiel mentions that various ones do not accept the prophecies in Luke 21 as future events, but believe that they were fulfilled in 70 A.D.–something Dr. Thiel says the Bible disagrees with.  He also explains why the formation of the nation of Israel in 1948 should not be considered the fulfillment of Luke 21:29-33.

Here is a link to part one of this sermon series: Luke 1-2: John the Baptist, Mary, and the Census.

Here is a link to part two of this sermon series: Luke 3-6: John the Baptist, Jesus’ genealogy, Satan’s Influence, and the Sermon on the Mount.

Here is a link to part three of this sermon series: Luke 7-9: Miracles, Purpose of Parables, Kingdom of God, and Women Supporting the Ministry.

Here is a link to part four of this sermon series: Luke 10-11: The 70, Doing the Work, the Good Samaritan, Prayer, and Signs.

Here is a link to part five of this sermon series: Luke 12-13: Priorities, Delayed Fruit Bearing, Little Flock, Prophecy, and the Narrow Way.

Here is a link to part six of this sermon series: Luke 14-16: The Lost Sheep, the Prodigal Son, the Rich Man and Lazarus.

Here is a link to part seven of this sermon series: Luke 17-20: Faith, the Kingdom, Gathering, Prayer, & Rewards.

Here is a link to part eight of this sermon series: Luke 21-22: Giving, Sorrows, Persecution, Tribulation, Fig Tree, and Violence.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2014, 2015, or 2016? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2013 o 2014? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? Marcus was a second century heretic condemned for having a ceremony similar to one still practiced by many who profess Christ. Might he also be in the apostolic succession list of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria? Where did the eucharistic host and IHS come from?
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.
The Rich Man and Lazarus What was Jesus teaching in Luke 16?
Parable of the Mustard Seed Jesus told many parables. Why? What might this one mean?
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.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Smoking, Drunkenness, and Faith

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

FAITH Cover

COGwriter

Do Christians ever have a problem with smoking and drunkenness?  Some do.

Notice also the following from someone in the Continuing Church of God which he titled A Twist of Faith:

I have an unusual aspect of faith that I went through. I am a recovering alcoholic and smoker. When I first became a member of WCG in 1982 (I think), I smoked and drank. I knew I couldn’t continue in the Church without repentance and therefore quitting. I prayed to God regarding smoking (drinking wasn’t that bad in those days) and through His Word, I quit. After falling away (sometime in the late 90′s, I think), I started smoking again and drinking became quite severe. I longed for the days when God was in my life (I know I was the one that left) when a friend of mine with similar feelings found the CCOG. We both immediately felt God said, “OK, here you go. Seek and ye shall find”.

The problem was I was back smoking and drinking and knowing I couldn’t continue with those habits. I was actually afraid to pray to God to quit smoking and drinking because I KNEW HE WOULD DO IT! I was scared to death to go without tobacco. The thought of having to deal with the irritability associated with quitting until my body was functioning normally was more than I wanted to deal with. The thought of night sweats and raw nerves until my body readjusted to no alcohol was really scarey. These feelings were real and they kept me from turning to God. I tried to quit smoking on my own, every minute was an ordeal. I tried to quit drinking on my own, I was wringing wet with sweat at night and my legs screamed with “restlessness”. I lasted a couple of days at most each time I tried. It always reinforced my fear of praying to God for help because I knew He would help and I would have to go through the ordeal just described. I just kept putting off quitting because of fear.

I was so bothered by my behavior and knew I couldn’t continue with the way I was going that I finally asked God to make me quit. He did, just like I knew He would. I threw my burden on Christ and said “here it’s yours”. Now I waited for the irritability of no cigarettes and the dreaded night sweats. They never came.

In my fear I forgot how merciful God is. I thank Him hour by hour for stopping me from smoking and drinking. I use this experience to try to let go of my fears in other areas and let the gift of God increase my faith.

Christians can ask God for assistance in stopping smoking. Christians need to have faith in God God wants people to change/repent (Acts 17:30)–which means that, despite its difficulties it can be done (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13). The sooner one starts the better one will be.

The latest free pdf booklet from the Continuing Church of God is available online and is titled Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen.

Several items of possibly related interest include:

Should Christians Smoke Tobacco? Is smoking a sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change? What about marijuana?
Marijuana: Should a Christian Get High? There is increasing acceptance of the use of marijuana. How should Christians view this? Here is a related video titled How Should a Christian View Marijuana?
Alcohol: Blessing or Curse? This is an article from the old Good News magazine that attempts to answer this question.
Binge Alcohol Drinking and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach?
Faith for those God has Called and Chosen What is faith? Can faith be increased? Are you saved by faith? What about works? Do Christians need to keep the Ten Commandments? What is the ‘faith chapter’? How do the just live by faith? Is faith one of the weightier matters of the law? How does faith come? Here is a link to a pdf. booklet titled Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen. Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Faith for the Called and Chosen. Here is a link to shorter version of the written article in Mandarin Chinese 一篇关于信仰的小文章
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.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
Overcoming Sin What is sin? How are Christians suppose to overcome it? Here is also a link to a video titled How to Overcome Sin.
How to Prevent Sin This is an article by Herbert W. Armstrong.
Just What Do You Mean Conversion? Many think that they are converted Christians. But are they? Would you like to know more about conversion. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.

Robin Williams and the suicide ‘epidemic’

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014


Robin Williams (photo by Eva Rinaldi)

COGwriter

Comedian Robin Williams is believed to have committed suicide:

August 13, 2014

The suicide by a famous celebrity, such as Robin Williams on Monday, tends to be jarring because it adds a public element to what is an irrational decision based on private misery…

There was an illusion that Williams, 63, had things under control even though he shared his problems with depression and substance abuse through his comedy routines.

“We tend to think that people who have it all don’t deal with problems like the rest of us, and then we question how could they do this to themselves,” Andy Hagler, executive director of The Mental Health Association in Forsyth County, said Tuesday. “People think that because celebrities have wealth, they have avenues for help the rest of us don’t.

“However, the pain — both mentally and physically — does not discriminate. It is oftentimes associated with depression, along with co-occurring substance use, such as alcohol and/or drug use.”

According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 90 percent of Americans who commit suicide experienced a combination of depression and substance abuse.  http://myfox8.com/2014/08/13/forsyth-co-mental-health-advocates-hope-robin-williams-suicide-will-spark-public-action/

There is almost an epidemic of suicide today:

Warm, funny Robin Williams wasn’t so alone when he died in an apparent suicide on Monday, leaving behind his grieving family and a nation of bewildered fans. Recently self-harm has been taking more lives annually around the world than war, murder, and natural disasters combined. In more advanced countries, only three causes of death steal more years of life expectancy, according to data prepared last spring by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

And yet suicide remains a largely silent epidemic, the rare top-10 cause of death that fails to inspire celebrity sing-alongs, bake-sales, and all-night telethons. Last year the Centers for Disease Control flagged self-harm as “an increasing public health concern.” But even with grabby data—like the fact that U.S. suicide deaths now outnumber deaths by automobile accident—the subject drifted off the op-ed pages and out of the public mind. …

The suicide rate—the number of people per 100,000 who kill themselves each year—dropped in developed countries between 1990 and 2010, according to the University of Washington data. In the United States, meanwhile, the rate has jumped almost 20 percent in the last decade, according to the CDC. …

The suicide rate among Americans 45 to 64 has jumped more than 30 percent in the last decade, according to the CDC, and it’s possible to slice the data more finely than that. Among white, upper-middle-aged men, the rate has jumped by more than 50 percent, according to the public data. If these men were to create a breakaway territory, it would have the highest suicide rate in the world. …

Williams was depressed, his publicist said on Monday…http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/robin-williams-death/deadly-stigma-robin-williams-suicide-exposes-silent-epidemic-n179206

The Bible teaches to ‘choose life’ and not the way of death (Deuteronomy 30:19).

The late Herbert W. Armstrong noted that some who seemed successful in this age, truly were not successful.  Here is some of what he wrote decades ago:

Every two minutes someone in the United States attempts suicide. Each day nearly 70 persons succeed—but is that success? The World Health Organization estimates that some one thousand people commit suicide in the world—every day!

Suicides now outnumber murders. Now various organizations for the prevention of suicide are a reality! But the cause is individual failure!

Only a minority, of course, go to this extreme, but the overwhelming majority do end their lives in failure…

People will ignore all their lives any idea of divine guidance and help—yet if one should find himself on a foodless and waterless raft after a shipwreck in mid-ocean, it is remarkable how quickly he would begin to believe there really is a living God! In last-resort desperation most people will cry out to Him whom they have ignored, disobeyed, and set at naught all their lives.

Wouldn’t it seem axiomatic that, if there is a compassionate beneficent Creator standing ready and willing to give us emergency help as a last resort, it would have been more sensible to have sought His guidance and help all along? Yet some have acquired wealth, lived luxuriously, and then, suddenly losing all, turned finally to God in their economic distress. Others have committed suicide…

Is it possible that the living GOD might be a factor in determining the success or failure of one’s life? Few have thought so.

People will ignore all their lives any idea of divine guidance and help—yet if one should find himself on a foodless and waterless raft after a shipwreck in mid-ocean, it is remarkable how quickly he would begin to believe there really is a living God! In last-resort desperation most people will cry out to Him whom they have ignored, disobeyed, and set at naught all their lives.

Wouldn’t it seem axiomatic that, if there is a compassionate beneficent Creator standing ready and willing to give us emergency help as a last resort, it would have been more sensible to have sought His guidance and help all along? Yet some have acquired wealth, lived luxuriously, and then, suddenly losing all, turned finally to God in their economic distress. Others have committed suicide. Few, it seems, will ever rely on their Maker and life-Sustainer until they feel helpless and in desperate need. Even then the motive too often is selfish.

Yet, if we are to enjoy the good things of life—freedom from fears and worries, peace of mind, security, protection, happiness, abundant well-being—the very SOURCE of their supply is the Great God! Since all comes from Him anyway, why not tap the SOURCE from the very beginning?

But in our day of modern science, sophistication and vanity, it has not been fashionable to believe in a Maker. In this deceived world, knowledge of God has found little or no place in modern education.

The ALL-IMPORTANT seventh Law of Success, nevertheless, is having contact with, and the guidance and continuous help of GOD!

And the person who does put this all-important seventh law last is very probably dooming his life to failure at the end.  (Armstrong HW. The Seven Laws of Success,)

The Bible teaches that one is not to murder (Exodus 20:13). And that includes murdering oneself. Notice also the following:

Is suicide a crime?…

God commands: “THOU SHALT NOT KILL” (the sixth commandment). Webster defines the word kill as “to deprive of life.” To commit suicide, then, is breaking one of the Ten Commandments -and is definitely condemned by God. Paul admonishes us saying, “Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

If any man DESTROY (KJV margin) the temple of God, him shall God DESTROY; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are” (1 Cor. 3 : 16, 17 ) . “What, know you not that your BODY is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?” (I Cor. 6: 19). No murderer-or suicide-has eternal life abiding in him (I John 3: 15). He has no hope unless and until in the general resurrection after the millennium he repents of his sin (Matthew 11 :20-24). (Plain Truth. January 1960, pp. 15-16)

It is sad  and disturbing when people commit suicide or commit other forms of murder.

In today’s society, hopefully the depressed will not follow Robin Williams’ example and turn to drugs and then suicide.  There is hope for those, however, who will turn to God.

Some items of possibly related concerns may include:

The Seven Laws of Success Herbert W. Armstrong had seven laws that he felt could help people become successful.
How to Overcome Depression and Discouragement This is an article by Paul Krautmann & John Siston.
Marijuana: Should a Christian Get High? There is increasing acceptance of the use of marijuana. How should Christians view this? Here is a related video titled How Should a Christian View Marijuana?
Alcohol: Blessing or Curse? This is an article from the old Good News magazine that attempts to answer this question.
Binge Drinking, Health, and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach?
Christian Success Does the Bible teach that Christians are to be successful? Are there at least seven laws of success that Christians should follow? How does the Bible teach we are to become successfully spiritually? Does the Bible really teach that Christians should be successful physically? This video answers these questions and more from the Bible. An outline of some of the scriptures used is here: Christian Success Outline.
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?
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? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
Do Christians Sin? This is an article by Herbert W. Armstrong.
Overcoming Sin What is sin? How are Christians suppose to overcome it? Here is a link to a version in Mandarin Chinese: 克服是重要的. Here is also a link to a video in English titled How to Overcome Sin.
How to Prevent Sin This is an article by Herbert W. Armstrong. Here is a version in Mandarin: 如何不犯罪
Real Conversion Many think that they are converted Christians. But are they? Would you like to know more about conversion.
False Conversion Have you really been converted? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this article on this important subject.
All About Water Baptism What is baptism? Would you like to know more about it. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. As far as early history, see also Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church.
God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? Here is a link to a video The Ten Commandments: Loving God.
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings.