Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

Halloween: Are there 7 reasons for Christians to celebrate it? What about the Bible?

Monday, October 9th, 2017

COGwriter

Years ago, UCG had an article titled Can Halloween Be Christianized?:

The fundamental argument in favor of mixing ancient pagan customs and practices with the worship of God is that some believe it is an effective way to gradually win people over to Christian understanding. (Of course, in the present world we should ask ourselves why people who already see themselves as Christian would find any need to continue associations with pagan religious customs.)

This is sometimes a hotly disputed subject, and sincere people have concluded it indeed is useful to integrate the practices of ancient religious customs with the worship of God.

But perhaps we should address a fundamental question: What does God advise?

There is a scriptural precedent that offers guidance and direction for those who accept the Bible’s instruction. The Israelites were confronted with these issues as they settled and built a new nation in the Promised Land. They encountered many worshipers of pagan deities as they entered the land and for centuries faced the problem as they dealt with neighboring peoples.

Even before they entered the land, God revealed His thinking and told them how to handle this challenge. His directions were explicit: “When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed that you are not ensnared to follow them … Do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods … Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it” (Deuteronomy 12:29-32).

God’s instructions are crystal clear. He refuses to accept worship that is compromised and tainted by customs used in the worship of fraudulent religion. He expects His worshipers to revere Him in accordance with His commands, not their own imaginings.

Many centuries later the apostle Paul expressed a similar thought when correcting some in the church in Corinth for their poor judgment. “What partnership can righteousness have with wickedness?” he asked. “Can light associate with darkness? Can Christ agree with [the devil] …? Can there be a compact between the temple of God and idols? And the temple of the living God is what we are” (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).

The modern debate over Christianizing pagan worship customs could be resolved simply by reading and heeding God’s plainly expressed will.

No real Christian should be debating as to whether or not to keep Halloween. Real Christians know that they should not. Perhaps it should be added that even the Church of Rome now discourages Halloween (for details see Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians?).

Back in 1969 Anton Lavey wrote The Satanic Bible. On page 96 (in the 1976 version) it mentions Halloween:

After one’s own birthday, the two major Satanic holidays are Walpurgisnacht and Halloween (or All Hallows’ Eve). (Lavey A, Gilmore P. The Satanic Bible. Avon, September 1, 1976, p. 96–note it is on page 53 of an online version I found also).

It is interesting that Halloween is considered one of the three most important holidays to these Satan worshipers (birthdays are actually number one according to Anton Lavey’s book).

The Bible never encourages the celebration of Halloween or other pagan worship practices. Instead, it tends to speak in a negative manner concerning them (cf. Matthew 14:6-11; Jeremiah 10; 20:14-18).

Despite all of this, many Roman Catholics and Protestants observe it. Notice something from the improperly named publication called Christianity Today:

October 28, 2016

Here are four reasons you might want to go trick-or-treating tonight:

1. There is no other night in the year when people you have not met will be coming to your door. You want to be there, meet them, and visit with them. If you are at a Halloween alternative, you miss your neighbors.

2. There is no other night when you get to go to your neighbor’s door and introduce yourself without any awkwardness (only if you have kids—otherwise it’s creepy and you should stay home and pass out candy). Tonight, you will meet people at your door and at their door—what an amazing opportunity.

Halloween trick-or-treating might be the best opportunity you have to connect with the unchurched all year.

3. You don’t have to worship the devil to go up and ask your neighbor for candy. Choose your costume and your words carefully, and many Christians find this an opportunity, not an occult experience. I know the history of Halloween, but your neighbors don’t, so don’t assume they are participating in some dark ritual if it has lost all that meaning. (Now, if you are opposed to Easter eggs, Christmas trees, and the like, I would definitely not go out on Halloween or else you are being inconsistent to your convictions.)

4. You can meet more neighbors in one night than any other day of the year. Don’t miss the best opportunity you have each year to meet your neighbors. And, while you do, get their names and numbers and have them over for dinner. Get to know them, and start tonight. http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2016/october/new-lifeway-research-pastors-and-halloween.html

Well, you certainly are not setting a truly ‘Christian’ example for your neighbors by endorsing a pagan holiday. A holiday intended to honor the spirits, increase consumption of sweets, and one where many wear lewd costumes.

Neighbors pretty much do NOT want you to trick-or-treat and then try to convert them. But the author is right for implying that many holidays Catholics and Protestants observe are also filled with paganism (see also Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?)–but certainly multiple wrongs do not make a right.

Many claim Christians should celebrate it.

But what about the Bible?

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


1:14:04

Halloween: Are there 7 reasons for Christians to celebrate it? What about the Bible?

First Baptist Pastor Alan Rudnik has posted seven reasons he feels that a Christian should celebrate Halloween, which he ties to ‘All Saints’ Day’ as well as the Druids. In this sermon, Dr. Thiel challenges each of those seven reasons and gives biblical and historical rationale for Christians NOT celebrating Halloween, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, and the Day of the Dead. Dr. Thiel even mentions the ties to the Pantheon. While Alan Rudnik only cited one scripture, Dr. Thiel cites many and explains not only what the Bible teaches, but what the practices of the early Christians were related to holy days.

Here is a link to the sermon: Halloween: Are there 7 reasons for Christians to celebrate it? What about the Bible?

Some items of related interest may include:

Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? Here are some historical and biblical insight on this question. There are many cultures that have celebrations and observances that are similar to some associated with Halloween. What did the Druids do? Is Halloween one of the most important holidays for Satanists? Do the Japanese, Indians, and Chinese have any practices that are similar to some associated with Halloween? Does the Bible endorse or condemn practices that are associated with Halloween? Here are links to two related sermonette length videos: Halloween: Are there 7 reasons for Christians to celebrate it? and International ‘Halloween’ Should Christians observe Halloween?
All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls’ Day When did “All Saints Day” and the “Day of the Dead” begin? “What about All Soul’s Day”?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Infant baptism or the blessing of little children?

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Child being blessed

COGwriter

Traditionally, the Church of God has a ceremony, most often in the Fall in modern times, called the “blessing of little children” for infants and young children. At the Feast of Tabernacles this has occurred in the Continuing Church of God (watch The Blessing of Little Children Ceremony).

Greco-Roman faiths do not do that. Instead, groups such as Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Lutherans practice infant baptism. (Here is a link to this information in the Spanish language Bautismo de infantes o bendición de los niños pequeños.)

Which is scriptural?

Baptism of Infants/Children

Of the 100 or so times the terms Baptist, baptize, baptized, etc. are used in the New Testament, there is never one time that infants or young children are specifically mentioned as being baptized.

There is no recorded instance that baptism was allowed unless there was some type of repentance or professed belief. The Roman Catholic Church (as well as other churches, like the Eastern Orthodox) understand that, but they changed the practice for infants.

Notice what a Catholic named Jodocus Tiletanus admitted:

We are not satisfied with that which the apostles or the Gospel do declare, but we say that, as well as before as after, there are divers matters of importance and weight accepted and received out of a doctrine which is NOWHERE SET FORTH IN WRITING. For we do blesse the water wherewith we baptize, and the oyle wherewith we annoynt; yea and besides that, him that is christened. And (I pray you) OUT OF WHAT SCRIPTURE have we learned the same? HAVE WE NOT IT OF A SECRET AND UNWRITTEN ORDINANCE? And further what scripture hath taught us to grease with oyle? Yea, I pray you, whence cometh it, that we do dype the child three times in that water? Doth it not come out of this hidden and undisclosed doctrine, which our forefathers have received closely without any curiosity, and do observe it still? (Harvet, Gentianus. Review of Epistles, PP. 19B, 20A, London 1598, as quoted by Hislop, A in The Two Bablyons, emphasis mine).

Hence it is known that infant baptism is not from scripture and that somehow it entered Catholicism from a ‘secret’ ordinance. Furthermore, the Catholic Church itself teaches the following about baptism:

Baptismal Vows The name popularly given to the renunciations required of an adult candidate for baptism just before the sacrament is conferred. In the case of infant baptism, they are made in the name of the child by the sponsors (Delany J.F. Transcribed by Janet Grayson. Baptismal Vows. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

1427 Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” In the Church’s preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and his Gospel. Also, Baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the Gospel and by Baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life. (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 398).

However, since a baby cannot repent nor confess belief in Christ, any statement by an adult sponsor cannot be imputed to the baby. That is one of the most important reasons why infant baptism is not appropriate. The Catechism of the Catholic Church sort of even admits that when it states:

1231…By its very nature infant baptism requires a post-baptismal catechumenate. Not only is there a need for instruction after Baptism, but also for the necessary flowering of baptismal grace in personal growth…

1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism…

1255 For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents help is important. So too, is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized–child or adult–on the road to the Christian life. There task is a truluy ecclesial function (officium) (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, pp. 342,351).

What is a required post-baptismal catechumenate? The statement does not make logical sense (as the dictionary definition of catechumenate does not seem to mean “godparents”, it seems to mean one new to the faith instead, which is about the same definition of a catechumen). More importantly, an infant does not have any faith to begin with, hence cannot have the faith that grows after baptism. An infant is incapable of repentance and no one can repent for someone else (the Bible, in Philippians 2:12 teaches, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”).

In addition, there is nothing in the entire Bible that suggests that any “godparents” are assigned to either children or adults after baptism (there also is no example of infant baptism in the entire Bible). How can “the role of the godfather and godmother” be an important and ecclesial function if it is not even mentioned in the Bible? It is also not mentioned in any early Christian writings.

Interestingly, Irenaeus says that the Valentinians had heretical views regarding baptism:

But there are some of them who assert that it is superfluous to bring persons to the water, but mixing oil and water together, they place this mixture on the heads of those who are to be initiated, with the use of some such expressions as we have already mentioned. And this they maintain to be the redemption (Irenaeus. Adversus Haeres. Book 1, Chapter 21, Verse 4).

Yet is this not close to what is done today within Roman Catholicism, as well as other groups, that practice infant baptism?

Blessing of Little Children is Scriptural

On the other hand, the Bible does enjoin the fact that infants/toddlers can be prayed for and blest. Notice what Jesus said and did:

14 “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, put His hands on them, and blessed them (Mark 10:14-16).

15 Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (Luke 18:15-17)

13 Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 15 And He laid His hands on them and departed from there. (Matthew 19:13-15)

It is likely that the worldly churches, who had read the accounts in the gospels and perhaps heard of it performed in the early COG, may have used that as part of their justification.

In fact, when I researched this further, I found that the Catholic Church does refer to this passage in Luke 18 & Matthew 19 as part of its justification for infant baptism (see article Baptism in The Catholic Encyclopedia). But sadly, they are confusing a blessing ceremony with baptism.

None of the children that Jesus laid hands on are recorded to have been immersed into water or sprinkled with water prior to Jesus blessing them (which is part of why I thought I should list all the accounts in the gospels on this).

Hence what Jesus did WAS NOT a form of infant baptism, but instead a ceremony that is retained by relatively few today, like those of us in the Continuing Church of God (you can also watch that ceremony The Blessing of Little Children Ceremony). But oddly, those groups that embrace infant baptism do not seem to have kept this.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Blessing of Children or Infant Baptism? Which does the Bible endorse? A video of related interest is available: The Blessing of Little Children Ceremony.
Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church Was it by immersion? Did it include infants? Does Polycarp prove infant baptism? Here is a link to some information in the Spanish language: Bautismo de infantes o bendición de los niños pequeños. A related sermon video is titled Baptism: What is it and how should it be done?
Did Real Christians Practice Nude Baptism? This is not a joke. Find out what was taught in the second and later centuries.
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.
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 and the Early Church.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

Sermon: Why Teach the Kingdom of God?

Saturday, October 7th, 2017


COGwriter

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


1:12:52

Does the world have the solutions to the problems facing humanity? What about the United Nation’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ and Pope Francis’ Laudato Si? What will the beast teach? Why does the Continuing Church of God teach the gospel of the kingdom of God? What did Jesus, Paul, and Peter teach? Did early Christians teach about the gospel of the kingdom of God? Are Christians to be God’s ambassadors? How are Christians to live? What about Matthew 24:14?

Dr. Thiel went over various items in newspapers this week to give additional reasons why the world truly needs the Kingdom of God.

Here is a link to the sermon: Why Teach the Kingdom of God?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God? Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical is titled ‘Laudato Si.’ In it, he goes over his views related to environmental, economic, social, moral, agricultural, and spiritual issues. He advocates international cooperation to solve various problems he believes are affecting humanity. Is that Pope’s agenda the solution? What about the Kingdom of God? does the Bible teach? Two related articles include Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? and Laudato Si: A call for a one-world government?
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I 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 I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
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? A related sermon is titled The Millennium.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Mistranslations and God’s Holy Days

Friday, October 6th, 2017

COGwriter

Since Jesus and the Apostles kept the Sabbaths and the Holy Days, why do most who profess Christ not observe them?

While social pressure, tradition, and twisted interpretation of scripture all play a role, one role that is overlooked by many is the fact that there are a few passages in the New Testament that have often been intentionally mistranslated.

But because of tradition and a lack of real love for the truth, most people who profess Christ do not care.

Colossians 2:16-17 and Galatians 4:8-10

The most common portion of the Bible that I have heard cited as “proof” that the biblical holy days are done away with is Colossian 2:16-17.

Here is one popular mistranslation of it:

16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17, NKJV)

The above gives a rendering that suggests that the holy days are not important, like they have no substance. But that is not what the Apostle Paul was actually saying.

So, let’s examine two other translations of those passages:

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: 17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17, KJV)

16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat or in drink, or in respect of a festival day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbaths, 17 Which are a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17, Douay-Rheims)

The above translations are closer than the NKJV. However, they both added a word that is not in the original Greek.

The word added is “is.” Truly literal translations leave it out as it is not in there. Notice the Strong’s words for verse 17:

3739. 2076 4639… 3588……. 3195 3588…… 1161 4983 9999 3588 5547
Which are a shadow of things to come; the…. but.. body ….is…. of… Christ.
(Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright (c) 1994 by Biblesoft).

It should be noted that 9999 means that there was no word in the biblical text–so oddly, even though they knew there was no word, even the Interlinear added something that the verse in Greek did not say. It should also be noted that #3588 is most often translated as “the.”

Because the same three Strong’s words (#4983, 3588, & 5547) are used four other times in the New Testament and in those times the KJV translates it as “the body of Christ” (Romans 7:4; 1 Corinthians 10:16; 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 4:12)–as does the NKJV (The Douay-Rheims translates it that way in three of those verses; in the one that it does not, 1 Corinthians 10:16, it translates it as “blood of Christ”).

Therefore, if all the translators were simply consistent with themselves, they would have translated Colossians 2:16-17 to state:

16 Therefore let NO MAN JUDGE YOU in eating and drinking or in respect of a festival or of an observance of the new moon or of a sabbath; 17 for those things are a shadow of the things to come, BUT THE BODY OF CHRIST.

Or in other words, do not let those outside the body of Christ (the church, Colossians 1:18) judge you regarding holy days, but only the church itself. Colossians 2:16-17 is not saying that the holy days are done away.

It is sad, but most in the Protestant and Catholic worlds have misunderstood Colossians 2:16-17 because translators who know better MISTRANSLATED it.

Even the early Orthodox bishop Ambrose of Milan recognized that Colossians 2:17 was referring to the “body of Christ” as he wrote the following comment about it:

Let us, then, seek the body of Christ…where the body of Christ is, there is the truth.
(Ambrose of Milan. Book II. On the Belief in the Resurrection, section 107. A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church: Socrates, Sozomenus: Church histories. Schaff P, Wace H, editors. Christian literature Company, 1896 Original from the University of Virginia Digitized Nov 11, 2008, p. 192).

It is sad that modern translators of the Greek have often ignored what the expression really meant. It is poor exegesis (biblical interpretation) to rely on a mistranslation to claim that the holy days are done away with.

Furthermore, when the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 5:8, “Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth,” this was likely properly believed to show additional scriptural support that the Holy Days were still enjoined upon Christians.

Another common objection to keeping the Holy Days is Galatians 4:8-10. Protestants, and some Catholics, tend to use this to say that no biblical dates are to be observed, so let’s look at that:

8 But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9 But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years. (Galatians 4:8-10, NKJV)

8 But then indeed, not knowing God, you served them, who, by nature, are not gods. 9 But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known by God: how turn you again to the weak and needy elements, which you desire to serve again? 10 You observe days, and months, and times, and years. (Galatians 4:8-10, Douay-Rheims)

There are two problems with using these passages as part of an anti-holy day argument.

The first is that the Galatians were Gentiles (although there were apparently some Jews addressed in later verses) and were NOT keeping the biblical Holy Days (plus, there is no way that the Bible would call biblical requirements as “beggarly elements”) .

The second is that Catholics/Protestants/Orthodox do observe various days and years (Sunday, Easter, Christmas, New Years), so they should not observe anything if they feel that no religious days are to be observed.

Galatians 4:8-10 is not doing away with the biblical Holy Days.

A Wrong Sabbath Argument

The NKJV improperly translates Hebrews 4:9 as follows:

9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. (Hebrews 4:9, NKJV)

Because of this (as well as similar mistranslations by others), many do not realize that the New Testament specifically enjoins keeping the Sabbath.

Decades ago, a Protestant told me that he did not keep the Sabbath because he claimed that “the ten commandments were nailed to the cross” (they weren’t, for scriptural proof please see Were the Ten Commandments Nailed to the Cross?) and that all the other commandments were repeated in the New Testament after the resurrection, except the Sabbath commandment, hence it was done away and not intended to be observed.

I informed him that the second commandment against bowing down before graven images was not explicitly so stated after the resurrection in the New Testament. So, I asked him if he should bow down before graven images, and he said no. I asked why. He said because it was wrong. And when I asked him based on what, he had nothing to say.

Since he claimed that the Sabbath commandment was not repeated in the New Testament after the resurrection, I had him read the following:

3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'” 4 And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience…9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience (Hebrews 4:3-6,9-11, NIV).

This clearly shows that the command to keep the seventh day Sabbath is in the New Testament. It also shows that only those who will not observe it because of their disobedience argue otherwise. And that is why Paul observed it. Despite the fact that the New Testament stated that the Sabbath was to be kept, he who claimed to believe the Bible, would not do it.

The Greek word in Hebrews 4:9 that the KJV/NKJV/Douay Rheims translates simply as “rest” is the word sabbatismós. It means keeping of the sabbath or sabbath-rest. The Greek word commonly translated as “rest” (meaning taking a break) a dozen times throughout of the New Testament is “anapaúsasthe.” Yet, that was not the inspired word in Hebrews 4:9. And Hebrews 4:9 should mention that a sabbath-rest or observance of the sabbath is being discussed.

Even the ancient Orthodox scholar Origen understood some of what Paul wrote in Hebrews as he wrote:

But what is the feast of the Sabbath except that which the apostle speaks, “There remaineth therefore a Sabbatism,” that is, the observance of the Sabbath, by the people of God…let us see how the Sabbath ought to be observed by a Christian. On the Sabbath-day all worldly labors ought to be abstained from…give yourselves up to spiritual exercises, repairing to church, attending to sacred reading and instruction…this is the observance of the Christian Sabbath (Translated from Origen’s Opera 2, Paris, 1733, Andrews J.N. in History of the Sabbath, 3rd editon, 1887. Reprint Teach Services, Brushton (NY), 1998, pp. 324-325).

Now I should add that although certain “modern” translators put their own word in instead (usually “rest”), the reality is that Origen began writing relatively close to when the New Testament was written and lived in a time when he should have been able to understand what the Greek word sabbatismós actually meant.

Acts 13:42-44 shows what Paul did:

…the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. Now when the congregation had broken up, many of the Jews and devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God. On the next Sabbath almost the whole city came together to hear the word of God.

Also Acts 18:4 states:

And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeks.

Hence the New Testament is clear that Paul kept the Sabbath, regularly preached on the Sabbath, and that he wrote that there remains “a Sabbath-rest for the people of God.”

The Apostle Peter warned:

14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation — as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. (2 Peter 3:14-16)

Many rely on mistranslations, and thus can be considered as part of the “untaught” that Peter warned about. And many have not only twisted what the Apostle Paul wrote, several scholars have likely intentionally mistranslated what he wrote, which results in even more inaccurate twisting of scriptures. But those that are diligent can see through this if they are willing to submit to the truth of God’s word and His plan.

Another verse whose meaning has sometimes been twisted is Revelation 1:10– details on it can be found in the article Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord?

The following is normally not mistranslated, but seems to be misunderstood, especially within the Protestant world:

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:14-15, NKJV)

Believing and relying on mistranslations instead of the actual word of God is consistent with loving and practicing a lie. True Christians would not want to do that.

Both the seventh-day Sabbath and the biblical Holy Days were kept by Jesus and His disciples. And they should be kept by those who wish to be faithful today.

The Continuing Church of God has a sermon online for today.


1:15:43

Christians, the Day of Atonement, and Fasting

What is the Day of Atonement? When is it? Does this Atonement have anything to do with Christianity? What scriptures discuss this in the Old Testament? Are there scriptures that discuss the Atonement in the New Testament? Did Jesus and the Apostle Paul keep the Day of Atonement? What true Christians kept the Day of Atonement throughout history? How is Satan involved? Are there health benefits to fasting? How does the Day of Atonement fit in God’s plan of salvation? Dr. Thiel addresses these questions and more.

Again, here is a link to the sermon video: Christians, the Day of Atonement, and Fasting.

Here is a link to a related offertory: Atonement Offerings?

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
The Dramatic Story of Chinese Sabbathkeepers This reformatted Good News article from 1955 discusses Sabbath-keeping in China in the 1800s.
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
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 Christians keep the Fall Biblical Holy Days?
Is Revelation 1:10 talking about Sunday or the Day of the Lord? Most Protestant scholars say Sunday is the Lord’s Day, but is that what the Bible teaches?
Sunday and Christianity Was Sunday observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians? Who clearly endorsed Sunday?
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they? A related sermon is titled Tradition and Scripture.
Another Look at the Didache, Ignatius, and the Sabbath Did Ignatius write against the Sabbath and for Sunday? What about the Didache? What does the actual Greek reveal? Are mistranslations of these early writings relied on for false doctrinal positions?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.

Sermon: A Walk In The Garden with Adam and Eve

Friday, October 6th, 2017

COGwriter

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

Steve Dupuie takes us on a walk in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. He discusses the deception of Adam and Eve, how the deception came about and the result of that deception. Steve then takes a look at what we would have done if we were in the Garden instead of Adam and Eve. He uses the expression ‘pain less’ associated with theoretical pre-sinning childbirth–by which he means ‘less pain’ not that there would not possibly have had any possible pain or discomfort.

Again, here is a link to the sermon: A Walk In The Garden with Adam and Eve .

Some items of related interest may include:

Mystery of Civilization Why is civilization like it is? How will it end? What will replace it? Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Mystery of Civilization and How it Will End.
Mystery of Iniquity What is the mystery of iniquity? How did it start? How will it end? Two related sermons are also available: The Mystery of Iniquity and The Mystery of Lawlessness.
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?
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?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

The Feast of Tabernacles has begun, so . . .

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

COGwriter

The Feast of Tabernacles has begun around the world. Here is a link to a sermon for today: Christianity and the Feast of Tabernacles.

What should you do if you wish to obey God?

Those who can will travel (Deuteronomy 14:23-26) and go to a Feast site. If you are at, near, or can get to one of the Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2017,  you should attend church services there every day.

But if you are not able to physically attend those locations, what should you do?

Those who cannot may wish to consider the possibility to not sleep in their houses during the time of the Feast. If they are physically and financially able, they may wish to try to sleep in some type of temporary dwelling like a hotel, motel, camper, or a tent (including perhaps one in one’s own home). In ancient Israel, those who did not travel (as well as native Israelites that did) made ‘booths’ of branches on top of their roofs (Leviticus 23:40) and slept in them for the seven days of the Feast (Leviticus 23:42), and some slept in them for the entire eight days (though the Bible only mentions seven days). Staying in ‘temporary dwellings,’ of whatever sort, helps convey that this age is temporal and a new millennial age is coming.

The first day of the Feast of Tabernacles is kept like a Sabbath, as it is also a day of rest and a holy convocation as is the eighth day, also known as the Last Great Day (John 7:37). Christians should pray and attend services and/or watch messages on each of the eight days. An offering is normally also taken up on the first and eighth day (cf. Deuteronomy 16:16). But the other days are NOT kept like the Sabbath, meaning that one can engage in regular physical work on those days.

The Bible teaches that the children of Israel were to have offerings for every day of the Feast (Leviticus 23:36. And while we in the Continuing Church of God do take up offerings on the First Day of the Feast and the Last Great Day, we do not take up financial offerings on the other days. But one way for you to fulfill what God expects is for you to attend or at least watch church services each day and give offerings.

Notice something that the Apostle Paul wrote:

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

Viewing services each day is a way for you to offer yourself as a living sacrifice which is your reasonable service. We have sermons posted at the www.ccog.org website and many specifically given at the Feast of Tabernacles in the article: Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2017. If you are not able to physically attend, hopefully you will be able to watch at least one sermon and other message every day.

Here is a sermon about the Feast of Tabernacles: Christianity and the Feast of Tabernacles.

Here is information on an offertory:

  9:06

This year, my wife and I are beginning the Feast of Tabernacles in New Zealand, and plan to finish it in San Diego, California.

Most people only go to one site (for a listing of sites check out Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2017), but because of the need to visit and speak, we have had to go to two sites most years we have been in the CCOG.

Here is a sermon given in New Zealand today:

 1:17:16

Other sermons are also available at the ContinuingCOG channel. Some from 2017 are also expected to be uploaded to the ContinuingCOG channel throughout the Feast of Tabernacles.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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? Here is a link to the sermon: Christianity and the Feast of Tabernacles.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
How to Keep God’s Festivals Many have heard of God’s Holy Days and wonder how they are kept in the 21st century. This is an overview article. A related sermon is also available titled: How to Keep God’s Feasts.
Tabernacles Offertory: Sojourning Now for the Kingdom to Come Are Christians pilgrims and sojourners? What is the pilgrim feast? Are Christians to worry or seek first the kingdom? Should an offering be taken up on the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles? What does the Bible seem to teach about that? Dr. Thiel goes over scriptures and facts related to this.
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.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2017 This is information on the Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God in 2017. The Feast in 2017 Services will begin the evening of October 4th.
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?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
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。.

Gross ‘foods,’ junk foods, and synthetics

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

COGwriter

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

Our food doesn’t exactly have a good reputation abroad; we might be best-known for exporting McDonald’s Big Mac hamburgers overseas.

Business Insider reports that Reddit recently asked its non-American users which U.S. foods they consider gross or weird.

From grits to Velveeta cheese and Hershey’s chocolate, the foods that made the icky list turn out to be kitchen staples in many American kitchens.

Cheese Whiz, a cheese-like product that squirts out of a can, topped the list.

One user reported, “It tastes like plastic and cancer.”

Another Reddit user couldn’t believe that Pop-Tarts, rectangular pre-baked toaster pastries with a sugary filling, were considered a morning meal.

“They were revolting,” homovore wrote. “People actually eat them for breakfast?”

Red Vines candy also made the list for tasting like “soap”, supermarket bread was deemed “too sweet”, and casseroles using Campbell’s soups were likened to a “sodium bomb.”

Root Beer floats — root beer soda with a scoop of ice cream in it — are a special treat to many Americans, but one foreigner called it “disgusting”. To be fair, many Americans might agree with the latter opinion.

President Obama has been photographed eating number 11 on the list. The most powerful man in the world might enjoy a snow cone — crushed ice with sugary, flavored syrups poured over it — but the rest of the world doesn’t appear to share his tastes.

And while many American children love the colors and treats that come in sugary cereals, our overseas friends do not.

“It has all these different colors and weird tastes, and there are marshmallows in some of it too,” wrote a user called TheInsaneDane. “That’s not ideal for a breakfast meal. No wonder why many kids struggle with obesity.”

Other foods on the gross list as selected by non-Americans include Twizzlers candy, beef jerky, grits, corn dogs, biscuits and gravy, meatloaf and bacon. http://blogs.voanews.com/all-about-america/2014/10/27/17-all-american-foods-that-foreigners-find-gross/

There is a lot of questionable items that Americans eat. I have never tasted Cheese Whiz. Grits, which once were made of ground, whole organic corn, are now made with degerminated GMO corn, ‘fortified’ with synthetic vitamins. After corn was ‘degerminated’ many people in the Southern USA died from a disease called pellagra. Instead of going back to whole corn, chemically-derived synthetic vitamins were added, which I consider to be dangerous.

As far as sodas go, they are not healthy and most should avoid them.

As far as bacon (biblically unclean), biscuits, and gravy go, a study came out last year that the typical Southern diet (which tends to contain those) was unhealthy and increased risk for strokes (see Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible).

Furthermore, the Bible warns about eating things that are not really food:

2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good (Isaiah 55:2).

Refined processed “breads,” refined and artificial sweeteners, chemical additives, and some other items commonly associated with junk foods and hydrogenated fats would seem to be consistent with that warning.

Breakfast cereals used to be one of the original ‘health foods’ when Dr. Kellogg first introduced Corn Flakes at his clinic in Battle Creek, Michigan. It was basically made of whole organic corn. Now, it seems to be made with GMO corn (its label does not state otherwise, which in the USA means the corn source is almost always genetically-modified) and is ‘fortified’ with synthetic vitamins.

Many other breakfast cereals, especially the ones targeted towards children are made of refined, degerminated grains, synthetic vitamins, a lot of sugar, and artificial colors. Pop-Tarts made of refined, degerminated grains, synthetic vitamins, fruit, sugar, gelatin (probably biblical unclean; see also The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats), and artificial colors.

Many Americans (and others) consume synthetic vitamins that they tend to consider to be “health food.” Synthetic vitamins are often in forms that are foreign to the human body (i.e. there is no such thing as isolated thiamin hydrochloride (thiamin HCL) in a natural food, but that is one form that refined foods are ‘fortified’ with–foods mainly contain vitamin B-1 as thiamin pyrophosphate. Most USP vitamins are petroleum derivatives and/or processed with formaldehyde and/or acetone.

Synthetic/USP (United States Pharmacopoeia) vitamins are not only isolates, they tend to be crystalline in structure. Vitamins complexed in foods appear rounder. Notice some electron microscope photos of food and synthetic vitamins:


Food Thiamin vs. USP Thiamin HCL


Food Vitamin C vs. USP Ascorbic Acid

Perhaps I should comment that most minerals Americans (and others) purchase are basically ground up industrial rocks with acids added to them. While plants can properly convert rocks into food, humans are supposed to eat food. Unless people consider bones or shells to be foods (which do contain hard mineral salts), foods simply do not contain the type of two word mineral salts that are used in most vitamin-mineral formulas.

Here are electron microscope photos of food and rock zinc:


Food Zinc vs. USP Zinc Chloride

Most people consuming minerals are consuming ground up rocks. The chemical forms of these mineral salts can be ‘natural,’ but they are not natural for humans to eat. Actually, eating ground up rocks/dirt is considered as a medical condition called ‘pica.’ Yet, many ‘health food’ supplements contain these substances for minerals that are totally foreign to human foods.

An Iowa study involving over 30,000 older women found that those that regularly consumed a synthetic vitamin pill died years before women that did not. In 2017, a study found that smokers who took high doses of synthetic vitamins B6 and B12 had a significantly  increased risk of developing lung cancer than smokers who did not.

Synthetics are not good!

What should you eat? You should eat real food and be careful about your quantities.

2…Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good (Isaiah 55:2).

People should try to eat real, not artificial, foods. And if you take vitamins and minerals, take the type whose nutrients are 100% food (which is what I personally do).

Notice also the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The American and Anglo-Saxon descended nations are not setting the right example when it comes to diet and obesity and this does not bode well for them in the future (Proverbs 12:24; Daniel 11:39).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

American foods that gross out foreigners A study done in the Fall of 2014 found out which foods that non-USA Americans considered weird or gross that Americans eat. This video discusses those foods, ingredients in some of those foods, and warns against consuming ‘that which is not bread’ (Isaiah 55:2). Dr. Thiel also warns about synthetic vitamins and some of the issues associated with them. He also discusses something promoted by the late Seventh-day Adventist, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg.
Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods?
Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy Are there disadvantages to being overweight? Is junk food really bad for you? Does the Bible discuss overeating and/or obesity? Is overeating having an effect on the US military? What are the ramifications of personal and national health for overeating? What should you eat? This is a sermonette-length YouTubevideo.
GMOs and Bible Prophecy What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras? Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues?
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
Does God Heal Today? What does the Bible teach? Herbert Armstrong tries to explain this.
UK Study Supports Daniel Diet Daniel and his companions looked better eating more vegetables and avoiding strange meats. Has modern science confirmed this?
The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats; a short video is also available: Did Jesus declare all animal flesh food?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
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?

Sermon: What really happens after death?

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017


Military cemetery in Estonia

COGwriter

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


1:15:06
What really happens after death?
There are many views about what happens after death, but only one true authority, the Holy Bible. Does the Bible teach ‘soul sleep’ or the immortality of the soul? What did early Christians believe? Did anyone ever return from the dead? What about ‘near death experiences’? Can you communicate with your dead loved ones? What will happen to the dead? What, if anything, are the dead up to now? What happens to those who commit suicide? Can souls die? What is the ‘second death’? How many resurrections are ahead? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: What really happens after death?

Some items of related interest may include:

What Happens After Death? Is death like sleep, or is that a cultic idea? Can you speak to the dead? A related sermon is titled What really happens after death?
Are The Wicked Tormented Forever or Burned Up? How does one explain Revelation 14:11 in light of Malachi 4:3? What happens to the incorrigibly wicked?Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? What does John 3:16, and other writings, tell us? Did a doctrine kept adopted from paganism? Here is a YouTube video titled Are humans immortal?
The Rich Man and Lazarus What was Jesus teaching in Luke 16?
Where are Enoch and Elijah? Booklet by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh.
Did Early Christians Teach They Were Going to Heaven? What do the Bible and scholars teach? What about ‘near-death experiences’? Here are links to a related sermons: Heaven and Christianity and It’s not heaven.
What Is the Place that Jesus Is Preparing? Dr. Herman Hoeh wrote this and answered whether the saints go to heaven upon death.
Did the “Thief on the Cross” enter PARADISE immediately? Dr. Herman Hoeh wrote this and answered whether one killed with Jesus entered Paradise before Jesus could have.
Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? What does John 3:16, and other writings, tell us? Did a doctrine kept adopted from paganism? Here is a YouTube video titled Are humans immortal?
Born-Again originally meant being born at the resurrection, not at the time of conversion.
What Did Early Christians Understand About the Resurrections? Is there more than one future resurrection? Did early Christians teach a physical resurrection? Did early Christians teach three resurrections?
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?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Unclean meat arguments overlook biblical and other facts

Monday, October 2nd, 2017


Peter’s vision of a sheet as painted by Domenico Fetti, 17th century

COGwriter

A while back, GoogleNews suggested the following for me written by a Protestant pastor:

Jesus Declaration about Foods

When God was trying to convince Peter to rise, kill, and eat unclean foods, Peter said that he had never eaten anything unclean in his life (Acts 10:11-14) God said “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” (Acts 10:15) meaning that the gospel is now intended for the Gentiles too and not just for the Jewish people. In similar fashion, Jesus said “There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him” (Mark 7:15) and His disciples asked what this meant (Mark 7:17). Jesus replied, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him” (Mark 7:18-20). In other words, what we eat doesn’t defile a person…it is not what goes into the mouth but what comes out of the mouth that defiles a man and a woman. Besides, Jesus did away with the old Mosaic dietary laws when He went to Calvary. There was no need to avoid certain foods anymore since these dietary laws were written specifically to Israel just like the old animal sacrificial system was also voided due to Jesus’ one-for-all sacrifice of Himself on the cross. …

Conclusion

Today we have liberty to eat what we desire and our diets are not restricted by what God commanded the nation of Israel. We cannot pick and choose what we believe out of the Bible. It is not a buffet of what we want to believe; I’ll have a little of that and some of this but none of that. We must look at the context, to what verses were written to whom, and not judge others for what the Bible clearly shows they have liberty in.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. August 21, 2015

(GoogleNews once had a section where it puts news items that it believes it has tailored to the individual, and this is one of two items it suggested when I went to it before.)

The Bible warns about those who love and believe a lie:

15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Revelation 22:15)

And, in my view, those who believe that God’s people are to eat biblically unclean animals are accepting a lie. They are also ignoring biblical, historical, and other facts. Consider, for example, that dogs are biblically-unclean animals that eat any type of animal and that they are not to be emulated according to the last chapter of the last book of the Bible.

All should realize that the Apostle Paul did not want Gentile Christians to participate in uncleanness and that is something that they should repent of. Paul also wrote:

For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them (Ephesians 5:5-7).

Is eating biblically prohibited foods or not eating them a sign of disobedience? Is not consuming what the Bible prohibits covetous?

Although some feel that Christians can eat unclean meats, Paul wrote:

7 For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness (I Thessalonians 4:7).

The Apostle Peter added:

9…the Lord knows how…10 to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority (II Peter 2:9-10).

Some, sadly, despise biblical authority to eat whatsoever they lust after.

Most who profess Christianity, however, will claim to believe that Jesus declared all animals to be clean to eat, even though He did not.

Now, while Jack Wellman is correct that the vision to the Apostle Peter was about accepting that God was calling Gentiles, Peter himself obviously did not believe that Jesus declared all animals as clean meat as he never ate it. Peter knew Jesus and the other disciples and none of them came to the same conclusion that certain Protestant and Catholic leaders have come to.

The primary “proof” text many use is Mark 7:18-19 in which Jesus declares:

18 Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods? (NKJV throughout except as otherwise noted).

There are at least seven problems using this as a “proof” text.

First of all, “thus purifying all foods” is not in all manuscripts, such as the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament Text and thus may have been improperly added, nor is that the proper translation. This addition is NOT in the Textus Receptus (from whence the KJV and NKJV are translated, nor is it in the Rheims’ New Testament (the one-time Roman Catholic standard English translation). Furthermore , Peter made it clear in Acts 10:14 that he still had not eaten anything unclean–hence he did not rely on this spurious verse. Also, verses in Revelation (16:3; 18:2) clearly show that unclean animals remained unclean after Mark 7.

Watch also the short video: Did Jesus declare all animal flesh food?

Secondly, even if the above addition should be part of scripture, it is more literally to be translated as purging all the foods as the Greek term for “the” is in the text that contains the rest of that statement.

Here is how J.P. Green’s Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (a standard scholarly reference) literally translates Mark 7:18-19:

18 Do you not perceive that everything having entered from the outside into the man is not able to defile him? 19 (This is) because it does not enter into his heart but into the belly, and goes out through the toilet bowl, purging all the foods.

Hence, Jesus (presuming that the Greek words relating to purging are actually what He said) appears to be saying that the digestive tract purges all the foods that go into it. He is NOT saying that all unclean meats are therefore clean.

Thirdly, notice that Jesus is asking a question in either verse 19 or 20 according to the translators. He did not make a declaration that unclean meats are clean or are food.

Fourthly, the context of Mark 7 was the Pharisees complaint that Jesus’ disciples did not wash their hands in the tradition of the elders (Mark 7:1-3)–it had nothing to do with unclean meats. If it did, the Pharisees would have most likely raised this charge against Jesus when they brought Jesus before Pilate. In case Jesus’ meaning was unclear, in Matthew’s synoptic account he plainly taught what He meant: “to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man” (Matthew 15:20).

Fifthly, Jesus did not consider all animals to be food, nor did He ever eat any unclean animals. If Jesus declared all animals to be clean, would the Bible still use unclean animals as symbols of uncleanliness?

In Matthew 13:47-48, Jesus tells a parable about fishing with a net and catching “every kind” and then separating the good from the bad; possibly meaning the clean from the unclean–there would be no “bad” if Jesus was declaring all meats as clean.

In Luke 11:11-12, Jesus teaches that bread, fish, and eggs, but not stones, serpents (snakes, an unclean animal), or scorpions are good for food (see parallel account in Matthew 7:9-11).

Jesus clearly knew what unclean meats were and clearly taught that they were not fit to be food.

Actually, unclean animals are never mentioned as food anywhere in the New Testament–they are either mentioned as beasts of burden (John 12:15) or mentioned in a negative fashion (Matthew 7:9-11; Luke 11:11-12; Revelation 16:13; 18:2).

Sixthly, after the incident in Mark 7 (and Matthew 15) Jesus said, “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel” (Matthew 23:24).

Thus Jesus apparently still considered gnats and camels to be unclean, thus this verifies that He never declared all animals to be clean.

Seventhly, Peter and others apparently did not understand that they could eat unclean meat from this or Peter would not have objected to it in Acts 10:14 where he says he never had eaten any unclean meat (he also would have known nothing was unclean IF he thought that was what Jesus was teaching in Mark 7). Even the Orthodox scholar and teacher Origen realized that as he wrote:

Peter himself seems to have observed for a considerable time the Jewish observances enjoined by the law of Moses, not having yet learned from Jesus to ascend from the law… Peter “went up into the upper room to pray about the sixth hour. And he became very hungry, and would have eaten”…Peter is represented as still observing the Jewish customs respecting clean and unclean animals. (Origen. Contra Celsus, Book II, Chapter 1)

I would also add that even Roman Catholic scholars realize that it was not until about a century and a half after Jesus was resurrected that their church accepted the consumption of unclean animals.

According to the Liber Pontificalis, the acceptance of unclean meat came about 150 years AFTER Jesus was resurrected and was pushed by the Roman Bishop Eleutherius:

He also decreed that no kind of food in common use should be rejected especially by the Christian faithful, inasmuch as God created it; provided it was a rational food and fit for human kind (Book of the Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis) 2nd edition. Translation by Raymond Davis. Liverpool University Press – Translated Texts for Historians, Liverpool, 2001, p.17).

The Catholic Encyclopedia states:

The “Liber Pontificalis” ascribes to Pope Eleutherius a decree that no kind of food should be despised by Christians (Et hoc iterum firmavit ut nulla esca a Christians repudiaretur, maxime fidelibus, quod Deus creavit, quæ tamen rationalis et humana est).

It should be noted that Roman bishops were not called Popes that early (that did not happen until the late fourth century). Anyway, according to Lopes book The Popes, Eleutherius was bishop of Rome from 175-189 AD. This book (which I purchased at the Vatican itself) states this about Eleutherius:

He dispensed with the obligations of Christians to follow dietary laws of Judaic origin (page 5).

The above book should have said the obligations of biblical origin as the dietary restrictions began with God and not Jews (the distinction between clean and unclean animals was known by at least Noah’s time, since God so declared in Genesis 7:2-3). Perhaps it needs to be stated that no one called of God in the Old Testament is ever shown to have consumed unclean meat. Hence the Catholics (and the Protestants that follow this edict) are relying on a possible pronouncement of a bishop of Rome for justification of eating unclean meats more than they may realize. And this alleged decree did not happen until about 150 years after Jesus was resurrected.

Now, I should add that the Liber Pontificalis was composed in the fifth/sixth centuries and has a reputation, even among Roman Catholic scholars, for arbitrarily assigning events with certain “popes” (some of this is documented in the article What Does Rome Actually Teach About Early Church History?). It would seem, however, that this could not have been assigned any earlier than 175 A.D. because of Irenaeus’ writings. Hence, it is clear that well into the second century, the laws concerning clean and unclean meats were considered to have been in force for Christians in general (exceptions including the apostates in Alexandria and the apostate Justin). And that it is due to a later Catholic tradition that unclean animals became food for Roman supporters.

Consider that in the third century an elder named Pionius of Smyrna, who claimed to be part of the ‘catholic church,’ refused to eat unclean meat:

3. It was Saturday and after they had prayed and taken the sacred bread with water, Polemon the temple verger came in on them with his men in order to seek out the Christians and drag them off to offer sacrifice and to taste forbidden meats. “Surely you are aware,” said the verger, “of the emperor’ edict commanding us to sacrifice to the gods.” “We are aware,” said Pionius, “of the commandments of God ordering us to worship him alone.”

Polemon said: “Come then to the market-place; there you will change your minds.”

Sabina and Asclepiades said: “We obey the living God.” He led them off then without restraint and as they walked along everyone saw that they were wearing their chains, and such a crowd rushed up in haste as it were for a strange sight, that they jostled one another. As they came into the forum, by the eastern Stoa and the double gate, all the forum and the upper storeys of the porches were crowded with Greeks, Jews, and women. They were on holiday because it was a great Sabbath. They drew near, looking towards the tribunal steps and the voting urns.

6. There was a lawyer by the name of Alexander, a wicked man, who spoke: “Listen to us, Pionius.”

“You should be concerned,” said Pionius, “to listen to me. What you know, I know; but what I know, you are ignorant of.” Alexander was minded to make sport of him, for he said to him ironically: “Why are you wearing these chains?” “First of all,” said Pionius, “so that though we are passing through your city, we mlght not be suspected of having come to eat forbidden foods…

9. Then he interrogated him for the sake of the record, while a notary took everything down. “What is your name?” he asked him.

“Pionius,” was the answer. “Are you a Christian?” asked Polemon

“Yes,” said Pionius.

Polemon the verger said: “What church do you belong to?”

“The Catholic Church,” was the answer; “with Christ there is no other.” (The Martyrdom of Pionius and his Companions, Chapters 3,6, & 9. Text from H. Musurillo, The Acts of the Christian Martyrs (Oxford, 1972), 137-167. http://archive.is/abf7S accessed 07/25/15)

While some associated with the Greco-Romans, like Justin, apparently ate unclean meat, Pionius (who seems to have had a connection to Polycarp of Smyrna) did not. (As far as the ‘Catholic Church’ goes, the first two times this appears in the literature it is a reference to the Church of God in Smyrna. It was not until the late 4th century that the Church of Rome and its Eastern Orthodox confederation had it for its exclusive legal use because of a decree of the Emperor Theodosius related to the Council of Constantinople he called for in 381. Pionius was obviously NOT part of the Roman Catholic Church since he would not eat unclean meat decades after Bishop Eleutherius supposedly authorized it, plus he also kept biblical Holy Days, etc.) I should also add that the Church of Rome considers that the presbyter Pionius was a saint, hence the fact that he did not even wish to be accused of eating it in the mid-third century should show that those that considered themselves faithful Christians did NOT eat biblically unclean meats in the third century.

Real Christians DID NOT come to the same conclusion that people like Jack Wellman have. Believing what God’s word says on this is NOT picking and choosing, it is those that refuse to obey God’s word or follow the example of early Christians that are choosing to disobey.

Perhaps it should be mentioned that there REMAIN health problems associated with eating bats (Ebola transmission) pork and many other biblically-unclean animals.


Egg of Pork Tapeworm Taenia Solium

In at least three books of the Bible, eating the flesh of pigs (an unclean animal) is prohibited–and a couple of references in the Book of Isaiah are negative and prophetic–that means that unclean meats are still unclean.

Thus, the prohibitions against pork were NOT nailed to the cross or otherwise done away with (see also Which Laws were Superceded? Which Remain?). Jesus’ death did NOT change the flesh of pork or reduce its ability to pass on health problems (more details are in the article The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats.

It may also be of interest to note that in the New Testament, Jesus also makes negative comments towards pigs/swine. Notice:

6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces. (Matthew 7:6)

The Bible also teaches:

2…Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good (Isaiah 55:2).

God did not intend pork to be a food for human beings.

Even the Church of Rome admits that early Christians did not consume pork (some details are in the article The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats). We in the Continuing Church of God do not consume pork–and the Bible supports this position.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats.
Did Jesus declare all animal flesh food? Many have claimed that Jesus declared all animal flesh as food in Mark 7. Mulvane Brethren Pastor Jack Wellman cited this verse as partial proof that Jesus declared that all animals were clean for Christians. Is this what Jesus really said? What did early Christians believe about this? Were faithful Christians still avoiding unclean meats after Jesus was resurrected? What did the Apostle Peter do? What did the third century martyr Pionius do? When did the Church of Rome claim it changed to allow promotion of biblically unclean animals? Were any unclean animals mentioned in the New Testament after Mark 7?
American foods that gross out foreigners A study done in the Fall of 2014 found out which foods that non-USA Americans considered weird or gross that Americans eat. This video discusses those foods, ingredients in some of those foods, and warns against consuming ‘that which is not bread’ (Isaiah 55:2). Dr. Thiel also warns about synthetic vitamins and some of the issues associated with them. He also discusses something promoted by the late Seventh-day Adventist, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. This is a video. A partially related written post is titled American ‘foods’ that gross out foreigners.
Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods?
Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy Are there disadvantages to being overweight? Is junk food really bad for you? Does the Bible discuss overeating and/or obesity? Is overeating having an effect on the US military? What are the ramifications of personal and national health for overeating? What should you eat? This is a sermonette-length YouTubevideo.
GMOs and Bible Prophecy What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras? Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues?
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
Does God Heal Today? What does the Bible teach? Herbert Armstrong tries to explain this.
UK Study Supports Daniel Diet Daniel and his companions looked better eating more vegetables and avoiding strange meats. Has modern science confirmed this?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]
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.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

The First Four Commandments: Loving God

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

COGwriter

Some Protestant leaders consider that the Ten Commandments are a burden. Others, at least state that they should be observed. The fact is that the Ten Commandments show love.

And the first four show love towards God (and so do the last six, but in other ways).

Jesus clearly taught that the Ten Commandments showed love:

“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40); in other words the law of God is involved in showing love to God and your neighbor!

Perhaps that is why Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15) and “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) and “He who does not love Me does not keep My words (John 14:24) as well as “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10).

For further proof, Jesus said of the future, “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold” (Matthew 24:12). Breaking the law (lawlessness) is linked to lack of love. Jesus magnified the law by explaining its direct link to love or evil! The fact He was to exalt the law was even prophesied! “He will exalt the law and make it honorable” (Is 42:21). Since Jesus was to “exalt the law and make it honorable”, should His followers violate it?

Jesus also taught:

Commandment 1You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37). “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” (Mark 12:30).

Commandment 2God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). “Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow…My servants to…eat things sacrificed to idols..Now to you I say…who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden” (Revelation 2:20,24).

Commandment 3 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man” (Matthew 15:19-20). “…blasphemy…All these evil things come from within and defile a man” (Mark 7:22-23).

Commandment 4Therefore, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:11-12). “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath…Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy? (Luke 6:5,9). “‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’…And they could not answer Him regarding these things” (Luke 14:3,6). “are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?” (John 7:23).

For a more indepth discussion of each of these commandments, please see the ContinuingCOG YouTube sermon video titled: The Ten Commandments: Loving God.

Some items to assist in your studies 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
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
The Philadelphia Remnant: It’s All About Love This is what CCOG teaches. It is important to remember.
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? 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?
Elementary Doctrines of the Church: Hebrews 6 Seven doctrines are mentioned and discussed. A related sermon is also available titled: Basic Doctrines of Hebrew 6.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.