Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

Does God still heal people?

Monday, June 11th, 2018

COGwriter

Order of the Sacred Treasure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leave the Way and Time to God

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

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

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

The Scripture CANNOT BE BROKEN!

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

(The above scripture comes from Psalm 103:3.)

Does God still heal people today?

Yes.

I have received reports from various ones who have been healed in response to getting anointed cloths (cf. Acts 19:11-12) from the Continuing Church of God. God does still heal people today, in accordance to His will of what is best for the sufferer.

Several items of possibly related interest may include:

Does God Heal Today? This historical article is by Herbert Armstrong and provides his views on healing circa 1952, which he seemed to later modify, at least to some degree.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains how he is and should be viewed today.
The Seven Laws of Success Are there tips that can help people become successful.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
Is Smoking a Sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change?
Binge Alcohol Drinking and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach?
Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods? A related video would be Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy.
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
Why so much mental illness? Article by E.M. Walter goes into several of the causes of this.
ADHD diagnoses increasing Is diet a possible contributing factor in the increasing number of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactive disorder?
The Bible, Christians, and the Environment How should Christians view the environment? Does the Bible give any clues? What are some of the effects of air, water, and land pollution? Is environmental pollution a factor in autism and death? Do pollutants seem to double the autism risk? What will Jesus do? A YouTube video is available titled Air Pollution, Autism, and Prophecy.
UK Study Supports Daniel Diet Daniel and his companions looked better eating more vegetables and avoiding strange meats. Has modern science confirmed this?
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups

A different false gospel is taking hold: ‘Minister of climate change urges Earth’s salvation’

Sunday, June 10th, 2018


Patriarch Bartholomew, Pope Francis, & WCC’s Olav Tveit

COGwriter

Is there a false gospel?

Is there more than one false gospel?

Yes.

The Apostle Paul warned:

6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,
7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.
8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.
9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. (Galatians 1:6-11)

While historically there have been a variety of false gospels, perhaps starting with Simon Magus (cf. Acts 8:5-25) and then the Gnostics, in the past few decades a new one has been pushed by various religious leaders who claim Christianity.

It comes from men with the intent to please men.

Like other improper teachings, it is not entirely false.

There are elements of truth, but the way it is being pushed it is a false gospel.

Representatives of the world’s largest religious organizations claiming Christianity are pushing it as are leaders of some smaller organizations.

Notice, for one example, the following:

Minister of climate change urges Earth’s salvation

June 9, 2018

WILLIAMSTOWN — Jim Antal thinks that people of faith have a special obligation to combat climate change. Antal, leader of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ (UCC), has published “Climate Church, Climate World,” Rowman & Littlefield, 2018, and recently spoke at the First Congregational Church, Williamstown. Bill McKibben wrote the foreword and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, a blurb.

Although Antal is a Congregationalist, he sees this calling extending to all people with Judeo-Christian religious inclinations. For that matter, Eastern religions have always expressed the Biblical idea that “the earth is the Lord’s.” Antal believes that we have to take seriously that the earth does not belong to us.

“The continuity of God’s creation is in jeopardy” due to a warming world, so “God is calling the church to initiate a moral intervention.” We must act not just to save our own skins and those of our descendants, but because we understand that warming affects people with lesser means disproportionately and that we are destroying God’s gift to us. …

Too long, he said, have churches concentrated on individual salvation. They need to engage in collective salvation. Church leaders should lead in order to help their flocks overcome their fear. Ministers, rabbis, priests should engage in “prophetic preaching,” not just occasionally but often. He signaled out as models Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si” and the words of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Church leaders “have a crucial role to play in creating the moral conditions that will lead humanity to make the changes that science says we must if we want to maintain a habitable and governable world.” http://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/lauren-r-stevens-minister-of-climate-changeurges-earths-salvation,541785

Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew has been in the news for some time promoting the ‘climate change’ agenda:

June 6, 2018

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew — dubbed the “Green Patriarch” for his support of environmental causes — inaugurated the two-day conference.

“We have a strong sense of obligation when it comes to the modern crisis of the environment,” Bartholomew told Orthodox parishioners packed into a small chapel for a welcome service. …  Now age 78, Bartholomew has organized nine international conferences on the environment since the mid-1990s. http://www.morganton.com/news/world/ap/climate-change-campaigners-find-ally-orthodox-church-leader/article_08e660da-80e5-52cd-8282-de34ed8af32b.html

October 19, 2017

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I has called for “a fresh deliberation on the fate of the earth” while delivering a keynote speech during the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland.The assembly drew more than 2,000 participants from 50 countries, joined religious leaders with scientists, government officials, advocates, and indigenous people on Oct. 13-15.

Bartholomew recalled a time when religious people were relatively indifferent, and sometimes even hostile, to science.

“Today, however,” he said, “as some of those connections have become more perceptible and tangible, there is hardly a religious leader in the world who is not in one way or another concerned about the challenges posed by pollution and climate change.”

A conference organized by the World Council of Churches and hosted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland under the theme “Just Peace with Earth” was held in conjunction with the Arctic Assembly.

More and more people recognize that religious consciousness and environmental science are both concerned with the ultimate questions, said Bartholomew. http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/from-the-arctic-ecumenical-patriarch-calls-for-fresh-deliberation-on-fate-of-the-earth/60437.htm

Back in 2015, “The Ecumenical Patriarch … called for urgent action for climate justice ahead of the UN summit on climate change in Paris in December” (https://www.churchofengland.org/media-centre/news/2015/11/ecumenical-patriarch-calls-for-urgent-action-on-the-environment.aspx). So, he is not new to this. This is one way he seems to increase his international prestige.

Notice some of what Bartholomew said in an interview posted June 8, 2018:

Bartholomew: Every meeting with Pope Francis is another opportunity for us to re-register the good relations between our two churches and our will to continue the path towards unity. It is the encounter of two brothers, the successors of Peter and Andrew the First-Called, and every such event symbolizes our common heritage, but above all the common responsibility we share as pastors for the future of Christianity.

Our churches resist injustice and all powers that undermine social cohesion by putting forth the social content of the Gospel.

It is Pope Francis’s and our common belief that present ecological problems have to be approached in connection with the contemporary social crisis. It is this spirit that our Common Message with Pope Francis on the ‘World Day of Creation’ (Sept 1st, 2018) expresses. https://cruxnow.com/interviews/2018/06/08/patriarch-bartholomew-ecological-crisis-caused-by-human-interference/

Bartholomew thus tied the gospel in with climate change and the ecumenical movement.

The climate change agenda that he has been pushing is basically the same one that is in Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si as well as the same one adopted by the United Nations a couple of years ago called the New Universal Agenda by some, also called (by me) the New Catholic Agenda (as catholic means universal). The Vatican’s Pope Francis was the keynote speaker at the UN the day that the New Universal Agenda was adopted. This, then, got adopted as the Paris Accords. While this was pushed by then US President Barack Obama, current US President Donald Trump has opposed it and stated that the USA could not support it as written (see Donald Trump announces withdraw from Paris accords: A slap in the face to Pope Francis and the Europeans?).

Getting back to Patriarch Bartholomew, a couple of years ago, he and then Anglican Archbishop Welby put out a joint communique on the climate agenda:

The Ecumenical Patriarch and Archbishop of Canterbury, as spiritual leader of the 80-million strong Anglican Communion made a joint statement between Anglican and Orthodox Churches on the theology of the human person.

In a joint communiqué, the two leaders said that the agreement “celebrates what Anglicans and Orthodox affirm together about the human person, created in ‘the Image and Likeness of God.'”

They said it, “will form the theological foundation for forthcoming discussions on the practical consequences of these theological presuppositions for addressing the key themes, including the protection of the environment, medical interventions, and questions around family life and ethics.”

The statement concluded six years of study on “what Anglicans and Orthodox can say together about the meaning of human personhood in the divine image,” the International Commission for Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue said when they agreed on the final text in September. http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/climate-change-action-needs-both-science-and-faith-says-ecumenical-patriarch-35518

It should be clear that the Eastern Orthodox and the Church of England have been working together for some time to see how they could find areas of agreement to promote.

Here are two items related to Pope Francis:

ROME — Three years ago, Pope Francis issued a sweeping letter that highlighted the global crisis posed by climate change and called for swift action to save the environment and the planet.

On Saturday, the pope gathered money managers and titans of the world’s biggest oil companies during a closed-door conference at the Vatican and asked them if they had gotten the message.

“There is no time to lose,” Francis told them on Saturday. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/09/world/europe/pope-oil-executives-climate-change.html

June 24, 2015

The Pope’s encyclical appears to focus on climate change and environmental degradation but the larger focus is his indictment of capitalism and the presumed greed that it spawns, leading Pope Francis to call for a global government solution. The language in the encyclical looks like it came from the UN’s Agenda 21 and the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth. Both were deeply flawed analyses of problems and solutions.  …

Pope Francis is especially harsh in his criticism of capitalism as if it is the cause of greed, selfishness, and a lack of concern for our fellow man.

That type of criticism is directly from the Socialism philosophy that holds that property be held in common and economic relationships be governed by political hierarchy.  History has demonstrated that Socialism, while intellectually appealing, fails in the real world. The tone and direction of the Pope’s condemnation suggests that he is enthralled by the writings of Thomas Malthus and the doomsayer Paul Ehrlich who has been consistently wrong in his predictions and prescriptions for saving the planet. …

And according to the Guardian, he seeks “changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem before the end of the century”. This is the language of Greenpeace and Earth First who are extreme by any definition.

The call for global governance is reminiscent of President Jacques Chirac’s 2000 statement that “For the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument (the Kyoto Treaty) of global governance, one that should find a place within the World Environmental Organisation which France and European Union would like to see established.”

The notion that the world should be run by an organization modeled after the UN or the European Commission and European Union is chilling and ought to lead to the prompt dismissal of the Pope’s philosophy but not his personal values or focus on reducing poverty. http://fuelfix.com/blog/2015/06/24/pope-francis-call-for-global-governance/

The Bible warns against the type of worldly government that Pope Francis and others are advocating:

17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” (1 Corinthians 6:17)
4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. (Revelation 18:4)

On September 7, 2016, Olav Fykse Tveit, Church of Norway Pastor, and the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, stated, “We all sin against the Holy Spirit if we ignore climate change.” Thus Tveit essentially declared that those who ignore ‘climate change’ are committing the ‘unpardonable sin’ against the Holy Spirit (watch The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’?).

Olav Tveit seemed to be referring to something Jesus said. Here are three Protestant and two Catholic translations:

31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.  32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matthew 12:31-32, NKJV)

31 Therefore I say to you: Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but he that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come. (Matthew 12:31-32, Douay Rheims)

10 “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven. (Luke 12:10, NKJV)

10 Everyone who says something against the Son of Man will be forgiven. But the person who dishonors the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. (Luke 12:10, God’s Word Translation)

10 and every one whoever shall say a word to the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven to him, but to him who to the Holy Spirit did speak evil, it shall not be forgiven. (Luke 12:10, Young’s Literal Translation)

10 ‘Everyone who says a word against the Son of man will be forgiven, but no one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will be forgiven. (Luke 12:10, New Jerusalem Bible)

The above is what has been called the “unpardonable sin .”

While humans are to tend the Earth and not destroy it, comparing ignoring climate change are committing blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is blasphemy itself.

The ecumenical and inter-faith movements are moving ahead, yet they WILL NOT RESULT IN A CLEAN CLIMATE NOR REAL AND LASTING PEACE. Yet, many Protestants are falling for it (see Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! and Pope Francis speaks of ecumenism to 52,000 Pentecostals and others).

The idea that humanity on its own will solve its problems is a false gospel. Yet, many religious leaders are promoting this. Bringing in terms such as “salvation,” “social gospel,” and “sin against the Holy Spirit.”  These ‘ministers’ are preaching a false gospel.

The Apostle Paul wrote:

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

The promoters of the climate change gospel are not God’s ministers. It is not that people should pollute, but promoting the climate agenda (which normally also has economic and political parts) is pushing a false gospel.

The Bible also shows that irrespective of whatever international agreements there may be, they will NOT save the environment–the Bible shows that it will take the return of Jesus and the establishment of the millennial Kingdom of God to do that (Matthew 24:21-22; Revelation 11:18; see also The Bible, Christians, and the Environment).

The Bible also clearly shows that the ecumenical/inter-faith movement will also end in destruction (Revelation 18 & 19). This is not something that Catholics or the Eastern Orthodox or the Protestants should want (see also Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? and Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction!)–yet many of their leaders are promoting this!

In our free booklet, The Gospel of the Kingdom of God (available in over 90 languages at www.ccog.org), this climate change false gospel is warned against.

I believe that the false climate change gospel will be part of the false gospel that the Beast and the final Antichrist will promote. They will deceive people on the earth (Daniel 11:23-24; Revelation 13:14).

The stage is being set for it now by many religious leaders. And the mainstream media keeps promoting that, so many are being taken in by it.

It will NOT work:

18 The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth. (Revelation 11:18)

Jesus would not need to destroy those that are destroying the earth if the climate change advocates would truly solve the problem.

They cannot as they do not seem to understand that sin and the rejection of following the real ways of the God of the Bible is the cause for environmental problems. Instead, many religious leaders are promoting a false agenda for human salvation.

Do NOT fall for the false climate change gospel.

Believe the real gospel which Jesus taught (Mark 1:14-15), which is the ONLY real source of salvation for humanity (cf. Acts 4:12).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’? On September 7, 2016, Olav Fykse Tveit, Church of Norway Pastor, and the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, essentially declared that those who ignore ‘climate change’ are committing the ‘unpardonable sin’ against the Holy Spirit. Are those two even related? In this video, Dr. Thiel answers that and explains from the Bible what the ‘unpardonable sin’ is and how you can avoid it. He also discusses aspects of Christianity and the environment in this video.
Ecumenism and the ride of the White Horse of the Apocalypse Instead of a celebration of a separation from Rome, many celebrated the 500 anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses as an ecumenical time to come together. Vatican, Eastern Orthodox, and and Protestant leaders made positive comments about the 500th anniversary. When does the Bible teach Christian unity is to come about? Is the ecumenical movement good or, instead consistent with something that Jesus warned about? Are Christians to come out of spiritual Babylon and be separate? Has the first seal of Revelation 6, related to the rider on the white horse of the Apocalypse, begun? Had it began before the 21st century? Are there several events that show that this seal may have been opened in September 2009? Or have we at least seen signs consistent with the ride of the white horse of religious deception and ecumenism since that time? What does the Catechism of the Catholic Church teach about other religions like Islam? What does it teach about the final Antichrist? Is the rider of the white horse either the final Antichrist or doing work consistent with the final Antichrist? This is a video.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
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.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son. Here is a link to a shorter video The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’?
The Bible, Christians, and the Environment How should Christians view the environment? Does the Bible give any clues? What are some of the effects of air, water, and land pollution? Is environmental pollution a factor in autism and death? Do pollutants seem to double the autism risk? What will Jesus do? Here is a link to a related sermon: Christians and the Environment (there is also YouTube video available titled Air Pollution, Autism, and Prophecy).
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]
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
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.
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
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 Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
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.
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? Former Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is now Pope Francis. According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? Could a Jesuit be “the black pope”?
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
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.

Sermon: First death, Second death

Saturday, June 9th, 2018


Cemetery in Estonia

COGwriter

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

1:10:08

First death, Second death

Can souls die? What is the first death? Can people physically die more than once? Is death like sleep? Did early Christians believe they were immortal? Did early Christians believe in a physical resurrection? Are there multiple resurrections? What happens when Jesus returns? What is the second death? Who is subject to the second death? Do the wicked become ashes or will they be tortured forever? What did the early Church believe? What do most Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestants believe? Do they or the Church of God hold to the original and biblical teachings on these matters? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and provides additional information on the first death, the second death, and even what happens afterwards.

Here is a link to the sermon: First death, Second death.

Some items of related interest may include:

The Second Death The New Testament speaks of something called the “second death.” Who will be subject to it? How does it end? Here is a link to a related sermon: First death, Second 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.
What Happens After Death? Is death like sleep, or is that a cultic idea? Can you speak to the dead? Here is a link to a related sermon: What really happens after death?
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? Here is a link to a related sermon: Understanding the 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.The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. There are links to literature is about 100 different languages there. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? an CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia? Here is a written link to a version of that first sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOG Animations channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
BibleNewsProphecy Podcast. This has audio-visual podcasts of the Bible News Prophecy channgel. It plays on i-Phones, i-Pads, and Windows devices that can play i-Tunes.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube sermonette videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
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.

Suicides: Can God save Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade?

Friday, June 8th, 2018

 
Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade

COGwriter

Like Kate Spade earlier this week, Anthony Bourdain committed suicide by hanging:

June 8, 2018

Just days after Kate Spade, 55, took her life in a tragic suicide by hanging herself in her apartment, moments ago CNN reported that Anthony Bourdain, award-winning celebrity chef, writer and CNN TV host who took viewers “around the world” has died at the age of 61, in an apparent suicide after hanging himself in Paris. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-08/anthony-bourdain-found-dead-after-commiting-suicide-hanging

From what I have been able to see and research, neither of these two suicide celebrities embraced Christianity.

Since there is only one name under heaven by which we can be saved (Acts 4:12), are these celebrities doomed?

Since I do not believe that either Anthony Bourdain or Kate Spade committed what could be called the “Unpardonable Sin,” God’s word says, “No!”

The Bible shows us that the vast majority of human beings who have lived in this present age—who have never heard the true Gospel of the Kingdom of God, who have lived and died while blinded by Satan (the “god of this age”  per 2 Corinthians 4:4)—will be raised again to physical life at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11). This will be their first time to truly see God’s plan of salvation. Most will accept God’s offer of salvation.

The Bible clearly teaches all will have an opportunity. Notice something that both the New Testament and the Old Testament teach:

6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. (Luke 3:6, NKJV throughout except as where otherwise indicated)

10 And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:10)

Still skeptical that offering salvation to all is part of God’s plan?

Well, have you checked out the article Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis?

Please check out the scriptures and believe what the Bible teaches.

As far as suicides go, suicides are up in the USA:

June 8, 2018

Suicide rates increased by 25% across the United States over nearly two decades ending in 2016, according to research published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty-five states experienced a rise in suicides by more than 30%, the government report finds.

More than half of those who died by suicide had not been diagnosed with a mental health condition, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC.
“These findings are disturbing. Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US right now, and it’s one of three causes that is actually increasing recently, so we do consider it a public health problem — and something that is all around us,” Schuchat said. The other two top 10 causes of death that are on the rise are Alzheimer’s disease and drug overdoses, she noted.
In 2016 alone, about 45,000 lives were lost to suicide. “Our data show that the problem is getting worse,” Schuchat said. https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/07/health/suicide-report-cdc/index.html

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is suicide a crime?…

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

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

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

Decades ago, a Worldwide Church of God minister told of experiences he had with three successive would-be suicides. Each time he said to them, “Well, go right ahead — but first you’d better learn what happens at the moment you die. So far as your consciousness goes, the next fraction of a second you will wake up in the resurrection — and if you commit this self-murder, you’ll still be facing all your problems, and the guilt of this SELF-MURDER crime in addition. Why not solve the problems NOW, before you commit this murder?” Not one of the three went through with his intended suicide!

While that may not work for everyone, the truth is that there’s nothing to gain by “ending it all,” thinking that is the easy way out. Death only brings instant awakening in the resurrection. You will know absolutely NOTHING from the second you die, till the second you awake in the resurrection. These men, the minister explained, had supposed that suicide would END IT ALL — and they’d be out of their troubles, but when they learned they would still have their troubles plus a MURDER charge against them in THAT JUDGMENT, it no longer seemed that suicide was the “quick way out of it all.”

No, death is not a friend to solve problems. Jesus came to DESTROY DEATH — to make a happy, peaceful, abundant life possible for all — for each in his own due time. He came that we might have LIFE, “and have it more abundantly.”

In today’s society, hopefully the depressed and disappointed will not turn to suicide. There is hope for those, however, who will turn to God–either in this age or the age to come.

Some items of possibly related concerns may include:

What Happens After Death? Is death like sleep, or is that a cultic idea? Can you speak to the dead? Here is a link to a related sermon: What really happens after death?
The Second Death The New Testament speaks of something called the “second death.” Who will be subject to it? How does it end? Here is a link to a related sermon: First death, Second 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?
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.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son. Here is a link to a shorter video The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’?
The Seven Laws of Success Herbert W. Armstrong had seven laws that he felt could help people become successful.
How to Overcome Depression and Discouragement This is an article by Paul Krautmann & John Siston.
Is God Calling You? This is a draft booklet discussing calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
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? Here is a link to a related sermon: Understanding the Resurrections.

Christian Success Does the Bible teach that Christians are to be successful? Are there at least seven laws of success that Christians should follow? How does the Bible teach we are to become successfully spiritually? Does the Bible really teach that Christians should be successful physically? This video answers these questions and more from the Bible. An outline of some of the scriptures used is here: Christian Success Outline.
Christians: Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, Biblical instructions on living as a Christian This is a scripture-filled booklet for those wishing to live as a real Christian. A related sermon is also available: Christians are Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
Do Christians Sin? This is an article by Herbert W. Armstrong.
Overcoming Sin What is sin? How are Christians suppose to overcome it? Here is a link to a version in Mandarin Chinese: 克服是重要的. Here is also a link to a video in English titled How to Overcome Sin.
How to Prevent Sin This is an article by Herbert W. Armstrong. Here is a version in Mandarin: 如何不犯罪
Real Conversion Many think that they are converted Christians. But are they? Would you like to know more about conversion.
False Conversion Have you really been converted? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this article on this important subject.
All About Water Baptism What is baptism? Would you like to know more about it. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. As far as early history, see also Baptism, the Early Church, and the Continuing Church.
God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? 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: 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.
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.

Good health as a law of success

Monday, June 4th, 2018

COGwriter

In his booklet, The Seven Laws of Success, the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the following related to the third law of success:

The Basic Third Law

The all-important law coming next in time order is GOOD HEALTH.

We are physical beings. The mind and the body form the most wonderful physical mechanism we know. But man is made of matter. He is basically 16 elements of organic, chemically functioning existence.

He lives by the breath of air—which is the breath of LIFE itself. If the bellows we call lungs do not keep inhaling and exhaling the oxygen-containing air, man won’t live to achieve any goal. You are only one heartbeat away from death! As the lungs pump air in and out, so the heart pumps blood through and intricate system of veins and arteries. These must be supported by food and water.

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

Most people are in utter ignorance of the fact that it does make a difference what we eat! Most people, and the customs of society, have followed a regimen of eating whatever tastes good to the palate.

Adults are babies grown up. Observe a nine-month-old baby. Everything that comes into his hands goes to his mouth!

My youngest brother may not like to read this in print, but I remember when he was about nine months old, and had managed to creep into the basement coal bin. We found him trying to eat little chunks of coal—his mouth and face well blackened!

You may laugh at babies trying to eat silver cups and chunks of coal. Or at people who dip small mice into a sauce, and, holding them by their tails, drop them as a delicious delicacy into their mouths.

If you do, they will laugh back at you. They will tell you that mice eat clean grain and clean foods, while you dip slimy, slithery oysters and other scavenger seafoods into cocktail sauces, and consider them a delicacy!

You think adults have actually LEARNED any better than nine-month-olds babies? Go to your fancy grocer’s and you’ll find on his shelves canned eel and canned rattlesnake.

WHY? As I said, humans know nothing at birth! We have to learn! But most of us do not know that! And, again, what we don’t know, we don’t know that we don’t know! And somehow, ever since babyhood, most humans seem to have grown up putting everything into the mouth. Most have grown up eating just whatever seemed to taste good—and whatever they saw others eating. There has been little education or even study about WHAT we ought—or ought NOT—to eat.

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

A famous director of a “Physical Fitness” program, lecturing at Ambassador College, reminded us that the medical profession has made great strides toward eliminating communicable diseases, yet is having little success coping with the increase of the non-communicable diseases,–such as cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, kidney diseases. These latter are affected by faulty diet.

Of course there are other laws of health—sufficient sleep, exercise, plenty of fresh air, cleanliness and proper elimination, right thinking, clean living.

Right now “jogging” has become the physical fitness fad. Even men in their late forties read a book by a self-professing “expert,” and suddenly are straining their hearts running two miles every day. “More and more exercise!” cry the faddists.

Why do humans tend to go to extremes? Exercise is good—it profits a little—but like most things, it can be carried past the law of diminishing returns. You can get an overdose that can cause harm. We are prone to forget the admonition of TEMPERANCE in all things.

What is the value of this excessive exertion in running two miles a day? It induces blood circulation. It gets circulation even to the extremities. And that is good. Stimulating blood circulation is good. Stimulating blood circulation is important. But we can also DESTROY HEALTH by going to unwise extremes. There is as much danger in overdoing exercise as in neglecting it.

Circulation can be induced without over-exertion or danger. I have never forgotten a lecture I heard as a young man in the days of the Chautauqua. The lecturer had been physical trainer to President Howard Taft. Immediately following the close of the Taft administration, this physical trainer managed to secure a list of all—or nearly all—of the centenarians in the United States. He personally visited every one. He asked to what they attributed their long life. One never used tobacco, and gave that as the reason. But another used tobacco all his life and still lived past a hundred years. One “tee-totaled”—but another drank beer and brandy all his life. And so it went. When he had interviewed them all, he analyzed his notes and was surprised to learn that ONLY ONE THING was common to them all. Yet not one gave it credit for his long life. Every one had taken a vigorous daily rub-down. Some with a bath towel, following a daily bath. Some with a brush But in one way or another, each had stimulated blood circulation even to the extremities of toes and fingers by daily rubbing or massaging.

Many ask how I (now in my nineties) keep up the energy, vigor and drive. I’m sure there is more than one reason—but I do not “jog” or go in for fads. I WALK—the best exercise for one of my age. But ever since I heard that lecture, perhaps 60 or more years ago, I have taken a daily RUB-DOWN. Method? A generous-size bath towel, following a daily shower. I try to get enough sleep. I watch elimination (very important). I try to be careful about my diet. And I have a tremendous INCENTIVE—a driving PURPOSE in life, because I have learned what is life’s PURPOSE. That spurs to action! I have a mission to accomplish that is more important than my life. There’s not much time left—and it MUST and WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED! Besides all this I draw on a greater and higher Power. I think that gives the answer.

The average person has never stopped to realize that it is not natural to be sick. Sickness and disease come only from violation of nature’s laws of body and mine—the physical LAWS of health. Most people have not learned that there are any such laws! They suppose that occasional illness or disease is natural in the course of life. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Sickness should not be taken for granted. Some authorities go so far as to say that we do not catch a cold—we eat our colds and fevers! They explain that a cold or fever is merely the unnatural and rapid elimination of toxins and poisons stored up in the glands, resulting from improper diet.

Now what about the great and the near-great of the world? They usually do not know all there is to know about the laws of good, vigorous health with clear, alert minds. But, compared to the average of the population, they know a great deal. They have, as a rule, enjoyed, shall we say, comparatively good health!

As an example, the President of the United States always has a White House physician who is constantly watchful over the President’s physical condition. A President is virtually required to get in certain exercise. President Eisenhower played golf frequently. President Kennedy took a daily swim. President Taft had a physical trainer who watched the overweight President daily.

Yet, there are many things that even these important people do not know about the causes of sickness, disease, debility.

One factor I think has worked universally in favor of such men. Mental attitude does have considerable influence on physical condition. Most “successful” men—as the world evaluates success—do think constructively, positively, in a mental attitude of confidence. They do not allow themselves to think negatively or assume an attitude of fear, worry, or discouragement. They do not allow themselves to get into uncontrolled moods of griping, complaining. They enforce on themselves emotional balance. And, mindful of the responsibilities on their shoulders, they probably put more restraint on dissipation than most people.

Without health one is direly handicapped, if not totally cut off from achievement. The fourth Law of Success is largely dependent on good health.

Many factors, including genetics and environment, affect health. But so do choices. (BTW, the fourth Law of Success in The Seven Laws of Success is “drive”).

Over a decade ago, I wrote a book related to natural health (which is still available) titled Combining Old and New : Naturopathy for the 21st Century. In addition to going over various views of health, causes of illness, and naturopathic modalities, it includes basically two chapters written by the late Herbert W. Armstrong (which were public domain and hence usable in a commercial book) on aspects of health.

People can influence and improve their health by making better choices.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Does God Heal Today? This historical article is by Herbert Armstrong and provides his views on healing circa 1952, which he seemed to later modify, at least to some degree.
Faith for those God has Called and Chosen What is faith? Can faith be increased? Are you saved by faith? What about works? Do Christians need to keep the Ten Commandments? What is the ‘faith chapter’? How do the just live by faith? Is faith one of the weightier matters of the law? How does faith come? Here is a link to a pdf. booklet titled Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido.Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Faith for the Called and Chosen. Here is a link to shorter version of the written article in Mandarin Chinese 一篇关于信仰的小文章
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
Should Christians Smoke Tobacco or Marijuana?  Is smoking a sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change? What about marijuana?
Marijuana: Should a Christian Get High? There is increasing acceptance of the use of marijuana. How should Christians view this? Here is a related video titled How Should a Christian View Marijuana?
Alcohol: Blessing or Curse? This is an article from the old Good News magazine that attempts to answer this question.
Binge Drinking, Health, and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach? A related video is also available: Binge Drinking and the Bible.
Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods? A related video would be Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy.
Ten Simple Rules that Lead to Health Herbert Armstrong gives his opinions on this.
The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats.
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains who he was and how he should be viewed today.
The Seven Laws of Success Information that can help people become successful.
Combining Old and New : Naturopathy for the 21st Century. A book written by Dr. Thiel on natural health principles and modalities.

Are you sure you know the meaning of life?

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

COGwriter

What is the purpose of your life?

Are you sure you know the meaning of life?

Does God have a plan for you personally?

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

What is the meaning of life?

Why did God make YOU? What is YOUR purpose?

The Bible teaches:

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

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

God made you to share His love with YOU.

As a matter of fact,

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

Love is the main part of the meaning of life.

And YOU are also to love,

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

The Bible also shows,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus taught:

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

Jesus also taught:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is the true Christian meaning of life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Furthermore, notice the following:

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

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

We are to love and receive love.

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

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

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

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

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

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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

SDAs vs. Bible on the Millennium

Saturday, June 2nd, 2018

James and Ellen White
James and Ellen White

COGwriter

Is the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) position on the millennium in conflict with the Bible?

A while back, I came across the SDA Fundamental Beliefs at their official website. Here is what was listed as Fundamental Belief 27:

27. Millennium and the End of Sin:
The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Rev. 20; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18, 19.)

While I disagree that all sin will be gone then (cf. Isaiah 65:20, which happens after the millennium) and various other points of the SDA position, the main point I wish to go over is the view that the saints reign in heaven as opposed to on the earth at that time.

Notice that the Book of Revelation makes it clear that God’s people will reign on the earth with Christ:

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

Thus, a future physical reign on the earth is clearly prophesied. Not heaven.

Chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation clearly teaches that there will be a thousand year reign of Christ:

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

This millennial reign is essentially the “first phase” of the kingdom of God on the earth (more information can be found in the article The Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church).

But did early Christians teach that the thousand year reign was on earth?

Yes.

Notice what Papias, who was a hearer of John and allegedly a friend of Polycarp, in the early second century taught about the millennial reign on earth. Eusebius recorded that Papias (an early 2nd century leader) taught:

…there wil be a period of a thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth…(Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book III, Chapter XXIX, Verse 12, p. 69)

Here is another translation of the above:

… there will be a millennium after the resurrection from the dead, when the personal reign of Christ will be established on this earth (Fragments of Papias, VI. See also Eusebius, Church History, Book 3, XXXIX, 12).

Papias taught that it would be a time of great abundance:

In like manner, [He said] that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear would have ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds of clear, pure, fine flour; and that apples, and seeds, and grass would produce in similar proportions; and that all animals, feeding then only on the productions of the earth, would become peaceable and harmonious, and be in perfect subjection to man.” [Testimony is borne to these things in writing by Papias, an ancient man, who was a hearer of John and a friend of Polycarp, in the fourth of his books; for five books were composed by him…] (Fragments of Papias, IV).

The above is consistent with the view that we in the Continuing Church of God hold.

In the second century, Irenaeus, who though he ended up compromising with Rome, claimed to have met Polycarp of Smyrna. Here is some of what he wrote about this:

That the whole creation shall, according to God’s will, obtain a vast increase, that it may bring forth and sustain fruits such [as we have mentioned], Isaiah declares: “And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every prominent hill, water running everywhere in that day, when many shall perish, when walls shall fall. And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, seven times that of the day, when He shall heal the anguish of His people, and do away with the pain of His stroke.” Now “the pain of the stroke” means that inflicted at the beginning upon disobedient man in Adam, that is, death; which [stroke] the Lord will heal when He raises us from the dead, and restores the inheritance of the fathers, as Isaiah again says: “And thou shall be confident in the LORD, and He will cause thee to pass over the whole earth, and feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father.” This is what the Lord declared: “Happy are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching. Verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down [to meat], and will come forth and serve them. And if He shall come in the evening watch, and find them so, blessed are they, because He shall make them sit down, and minister to them; or if this be in the second, or it be in the third, blessed are they.” Again John also says the very same in the Apocalypse: “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.” Then, too, Isaiah has declared the time when these events shall occur; he says: “And I said, Lord, how long? Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses be without men, and the earth be left a desert. And after these things the LORD shall remove us men far away (longe nos faciet Deus homines), and those who shall remain shall multiply upon the earth.” Then Daniel also says this very thing: “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of those under the heaven, is given to the saints of the Most High God, whose kingdom is everlasting, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” And lest the promise named should be understood as referring to this time, it was declared to the prophet: “And come thou, and stand in thy lot at the consummation of the days.” Now, that the promises were not announced to the prophets and the fathers alone, but to the Churches united to these from the nations (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 34, Verses 2-3. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule; in [the times of] which [resurrection] the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and [with respect to] those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 35, Verse 1. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Thus Irenaeus clearly taught that there was to be a physical kingdom of God on the earth and that resurrected saints would reign in that kingdom. And that time frame is after the first resurrection, the time period of the millennium.

Nepos, who though the Catholics now claim him (they also claim Polycarp and others who renounced them), understood and taught that the saints would reign on the earth. Here is what The Catholic Encyclopedia reported:

An Egyptian bishop, Nepos, taught the Chiliastic error that there would be a reign of Christ upon earth for a thousand years, a period of corporal delights; he founded this doctrine upon the Apocalypse in a book entitled “Refutation of the Allegorizers” (Chapman, John. “Dionysius of Alexandria.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 14 Aug. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05011a.htm>.).

The following from Dionysius clearly shows that Nepos was still respected after he died (Nepos died prior to Dionysius’ mid-third century writing of the following) and really did not refute him from a biblical perspective:

But as they produce a certain composition by Nepos, on which they insist very strongly, as if it demonstrated incontestably that there will be a (temporal) reign of Christ upon the earth, I have to say, that in many other respects I accept the opinion of Nepos, and love him at once for his faith, and his laboriousness, and his patient study in the Scriptures, as also for his great efforts in psalmody, by which even now many of the brethren are delighted. I hold the man, too, in deep respect still more, inasmuch as he has gone to his rest before us. Nevertheless the truth is to be prized and reverenced above all things else. And while it is indeed proper to praise and approve ungrudgingly anything that is said aright, it is no less proper to examine and correct anything which may appear to have been written unsoundly. If he had been present then himself, and had been stating his opinions orally, it would have been sufficient to discuss the question together without the use of writing, and to endeavour to convince the opponents, and carry them along by interrogation and reply. But the work is published, and is, as it seems to some, of a very persuasive character; and there are unquestionably some teachers, who hold that the law and the prophets are of no importance, and who decline to follow the Gospels, and who depreciate the epistles of the apostles, and who have also made large promises regarding the doctrine of this composition, as though it were some great and hidden mystery, and who, at the same time, do not allow that our simpler brethren have any sublime and elevated conceptions either of our Lord’s appearing in His glory and His true divinity, or of our own resurrection from the dead, and of our being gathered together to Him, and assimilated to Him, but, on the contrary, endeavour to lead them to hope for things which are trivial and corruptible, and only such as what we find at present in the kingdom of God. And since this is the case, it becomes necessary for us to discuss this subject with our brother Nepos just as if he were present (Dionysius of Alexandria. From the Two Books on the Promises. Copyright © 2008 by Kevin Knight. Viewed 8/14/08).

In other words, Nepos knew his Bible, but did not hold to the same position that allegorists like Dionysius of Alexandria held. But those who held to Judaeo-Christian beliefs, while slightly chastised, simply were almost never condemned by the early allegorists. And he taught that the saints would reign on the earth. Nepos is one who I have long considered was part of the true Church of God and not part of the Greco-Roman confederation that was forming in his day. Nepos was one of several leaders that stood up against the allegorists who were rising up in his day.

Saints are to reign on the earth for a thousand years with Christ.

So, from the Bible, and the understanding of second (Papias) and third (Nepos) century Christians, as well as from some who knew actual Christians (Irenaeus) it is clear that the early Christians did believe and teach that the millennial reign would be on the earth.

Thus, those who are SDAs might wish to ask since their church does not teach this, if it truly was part of the original church or if it is (as I have long contended) basically a breakaway group that lost many of its original faithful teachings.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The genuine Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains some similarities, along with some prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White. Did Ellen White make prophetic errors? Did Ellen White make false prophecies? Here is a version in the Spanish language: SDA/COG Diferencias: La bestia de dos cuernos de Apocalipsis y 666.
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
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.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2026 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
What is the Appropriate Form of Biblical Interpretation? Should the Bible be literally understood? What do the writings of the Bible, Origen, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Augustine show?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
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.

Jesus FAQ and ‘Gay Pride Month’

Friday, June 1st, 2018


The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

COGwriter

A while back someone designated June ‘”Gay Pride Month.” A couple of years ago, someone sent an article to me titled Jesus and the Bible: FAQs for Gay Pride Month, by “Episcopal Priest Reverend Susan Russell.” The article was supportive of the homosexual agenda and misapplied scriptures. It had her top ten FAQs on the subject. Here is part of it, along with the first question and her answer:

June is Gay Pride Month. It is a time for parades and for festivals, for rainbow flags and for dance tents. …

So here’s the 2015 version of my Top Ten FAQs about God, Jesus, the Bible and LGBT People — offered in hope that together we truly can be the change we want to see in the world and offered in rebuttal to the rabid rhetoric of the anti-gay religious right that infuses our public discourse and infects our political process. Those who use God, Jesus and the Bible as weapons of mass discrimination do not speak for me. And they do not speak for my church.

1. Is being gay a sin?
No. Sins are acts that separate us from God and keep us from loving our neighbors as ourselves. Being gay is not a sin. Bullying is a sin. Being hateful to other people is a sin. Putting yourself in the place of God to judge others is a sin. Being gay is not. (Russell S. God, Jesus and the Bible: FAQs for Gay Pride Month. June 6, 2015 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-susan-russell/god-jesus–the-bible-faqs_b_7523704.html)

Susan Russell is correct if she is saying that not being heterosexual is not a sin. However, if she is saying that lusting after someone else to have sex with them is not a sin, she is incorrect–and that is what she seems to be actually teaching.

While sin often involves physical acts, it can happen in the mind. Notice the following (the first is directly from Jesus):

27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)

16 For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:16-17)

7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” (Romans 7:7)

12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:12-15)

So, if one covets a sexual relationship with one who is not their proper spouse, that is sin. This is the case with all practicing homosexuals, and those who wish to also do so.

Here is the second FAQ:

2. What did Jesus say about gay people?
Jesus said the same thing about gay people that he said about all people: God loves you beyond your wildest imagining and calls you to walk in love with God and with each other. He also said a whole lot about welcoming the stranger, embracing the outcast, ministering to the marginalized and loving – not judging – your neighbor.

Jesus did teach that one should love strangers and neighbors, but did not make positive statements about being ‘gay.’

Now, it is true that God loves all. But what is the love of God? Notice what the Bible teaches:

6 This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. (2 John 6)

3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (1 John 2:3-6)

How did Jesus walk?

Well, other than the fact that He did not sin (Hebrews 4:5), He taught that marriage was between a man and a woman:

6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mark 10:6-9)

From the beginning of creation marriage was to be between a man and a woman, a male and a female. Jesus never hinted that there was any type of same-sex marriage He would sanction.

It should be noted that the gospel accounts do not show that Jesus made a specific statement about people who were homosexual as none were mentioned as following Him nor listening to Him.

As far as Jesus supposedly not teaching to ever judge, notice what He actually taught:

24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment. (John 7:24)

The Bible teaches:

172…For all Your commandments are righteousness. (Psalms 119:172)

Jesus had the Apostle John make statements in the Book of Revelation that would include condemnation of those who practice homosexuality:

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)

Here are statements from two commentaries on what the term ‘dogs’ in Revelation 22:15 may mean:

κύνες, an archaic metaphor, coloured by the nomad’s hatred of hounds; cf. Arabia Deserta, i. 337, 339 (“only the dog has no citizenship in the nomad life”. “It is the only life mishandled by the gentle Arab, who with spurns and blows cast out these profane creatures from the tent.”) Here κύνες are not merely impure pagans, but the impudently impure, possibly in the special and darker sense of “sodomites” (cf. 1 Timothy 1:10; Deuteronomy 23:17-20, collated with πόρνη and βδέλυγμα). cf. on Revelation 21:8 and Cooke’s North Sem. Inscriptions, p. 68. Such loathsome practices were not uncommon in the Oriental cults. Expositor’s Greek Testament

For without are dogs,…. That is, without the holy city are such persons who are comparable to dogs for their filthiness, impudence, and voraciousness, as are persecutors, heretics, and apostates, Matthew 7:6. Some think Sodomites are intended, as in Deuteronomy 23:18. So Abarbinel and others interpret the law; and who abound in the Roman jurisdiction, called therefore Sodom, Revelation 11:8 and indeed all wicked men, who will be cast out into outer darkness, may be signified hereby. Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

Sodomy is a practice of male homosexuals. Even if the term translated as ‘dogs’ does not have to mean homosexuals, Revelation 22:14-15 condemns all sexual immorality, which includes homosexual relations.

Furthermore, notice what the Apostle Paul, who Jesus personally called (Acts 9:3-6), was inspired to write:

9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person.

12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)

Jesus would not have endorsed His followers fellowshipping with those who claimed to be His followers, yet were practicing sexual immorality.

Here is part of the third FAQ:

3. Does the Bible really condemn homosexuality?
The short answer is no, it does not. The handful of passages in the Old and New Testaments that talk about God condemning specific sexual acts have nothing whatsoever to do with sexual orientation and everything to do with contexts such as cultic prostitution or gang rape.

The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality and this is not limited to the context of cultic prostitution or gang rape. The verses she is referring to are mainly in Deuteronomy 23:17-18 (plus Judges 19:22-23 and 2 Kings 23:7-8), which means that she seemingly agrees that the statements in Deuteronomy are a reference to homosexuality, which confirms my response to her 2nd FAQ.

Now let’s read some direct statements from the Old Testament against homosexuality that are not made in the context of rape or cultic worship:

22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)

13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. (Leviticus 20:13)

Those who try to claim that the Bible does not clearly condemn homosexuality are intentionally misreading what it actually teaches. The Bible prohibits and condemns homosexual behavior–the Bible calls it an abomination!

Here are some statements from the New Testament related to sexual immorality and specifically homosexuality and practices associated with homosexuality:

9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

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

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

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:22-32)

The Bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong and is dangerous. Early Christian leaders, like Polycarp of Smyrna and Melito of Sardis, also condemned illicit sexual behaviors including homosexuality:

Knowing, then, that “God is not mocked,” we ought to walk worthy of His commandment and glory …For it is well that they should be cut off from the lusts that are in the world, since “every lust warreth against the spirit; ” and “neither fornicators, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, shall inherit the kingdom of God,” nor those who do things inconsistent and unbecoming (Polycarp. Letter to the Philippians, Chapter V. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885).

53. But in addition to this there were to be found among men many things still more monstrous and terrifying and brutal: father cohabits with his child, and son and with his mother, and brother with sister, and male with male, and each man lusting after the wife of his neighbor. (Melito’s Homily on the Passover)

Real Christianity does not condone homosexuality.

Here is some of the fourth FAQ:

4. How do I respond when people say “God hates f–s”?
First of all, God’s nature is to love, not to hate. We believe that what God cares about is not our sexual orientation but our theological orientation — and that the question that matters is not “who do you love?” but “do you love?”

The Bible says “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The Bible also teaches that God loves sinners and sent His son to die for them:

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

But, although Jesus died for sinners, He also taught:

14 Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you. (John 5:14)

1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?” 6 This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” 8 And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:1-11)

Those who practice sexual immorality of any kind are sinning and going contrary to what Jesus taught.

Here is the fifth FAQ:

5. What do I tell people when they say being gay is a sin and a choice?
Tell them that Jesus said absolutely nothing about being gay, but he said a lot of things about judging other people. Then tell them that while there is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation, there is consensus that sexuality is a continuum. So the “choice” is not to be gay, straight or somewhere in between; the “choice” is to build our own healthy relationships — and give other people the grace to build theirs.

People choose whether or not to sin. Unless being raped, people choose whether or not to engage is sexual activity or immorality. Participating in homosexual relations is a choice–a choice that the Bible repeatedly condemns in various ways throughout its books.

Being a former practicing homosexual or idolator is not a sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Being a current one is (cf. Revelation 22:14-15).

Here is the sixth FAQ:

6. How about transgender people? Where do they fit in?
The same place all God’s beloved children fit in: smack dab in the center of God’s care, love and desire for health and wholeness for every single human being.

It is true that God loves everyone. However, God’s word has statements against those who try to be ‘transgender’:

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

9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, (1 Corinthians 6:9, KJV)

The word translated as ‘effeminate’ above, μαλακοί, implies effeminacy, and by extension, homosexuality.

The Bible condemns cross-dressing, which many so-called transgendered people do, as an abomination.

Real Christian leaders, like Polycarp of Smyrna, also condemned acting in a transgendered way:

Knowing, then, that “God is not mocked,” we ought to walk worthy of His commandment and glory …For it is well that they should be cut off from the lusts that are in the world, since “every lust warreth against the spirit; ” and “neither fornicators, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, shall inherit the kingdom of God,” nor those who do things inconsistent and unbecoming (Polycarp. Letter to the Philippians, Chapter V. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1as edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885).

God loves all, but does not want people to be transgendered nor commit other abominations.

Here is the seventh FAQ:

7. How do I respond when politicians condemn my sexuality, citing their belief in the Bible?
Remind them that the First Amendment protects them in believing whatever they want to about what God does or does not bless, but it also prohibits them from using those beliefs to decide who the Constitution protects or doesn’t protect. Tell them to stop confusing their theology with our democracy. And then campaign for and donate to their opponent in the next election cycle.

The Constitution does not prohibit leaders from using their theology to help them understand the Constitution. The US Constitution was written by people who generally believed that biblically-based beliefs helped governance. The ‘founding fathers’ of the USA felt that marriage was to be a state, not federal issue, and none of them proposed that homosexuals had a right to marry each other.

Here is the eighth FAQ:

8. What about those who say they need “religious freedom laws” to protect their right to discriminate against LGBT people because of their religion?
They are wrong. The Constitution already protects their right to exercise their religion. It does not protect their right to impose their religion. Just as using the Bible to justify racial segregation was wrong in 1965 using it to justify LGBT discrimination is wrong in 2015.

The declaration of the above is wrong, though the US Constitution was to protect the right to exercise religion, various courts have sadly ruled against people acting in accordance with their religious beliefs. This has been worsening in recent years.

Historically, the Constitution has been interpreted to mean that people did NOT have to violate their religious conscious. From even before the time that the Constitution was adopted, hotel owners, to cite one example, were able to refuse to rent to people that they suspected might engage in sexual immorality. But that was not called ‘discrimination’ against fornication.

The Bible itself DOES justify religious segregation from those who claim to be true Christians, but who violate God’s laws regarding matters including sexual immorality:

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

The New Testament does not say that related to race (see also God’s Grace is For All).

One is born into one’s race. Unless being raped, one chooses whether or not to have homosexual relations. The two are not the same.

Furthermore, notice:

3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 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. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:3-7)

Many Protestant leaders are trying to deceive people with empty words that forms of sexual uncleanness are fine and should be allowed to be part of the Church–the Bible warns against this.

Here is part of the ninth FAQ:

9. So is your church in favor of marriage equality?
Yes. In 2012 the Episcopal Church adopted a resolution entitled “End Discrimination Against Same-Sex Marriages” urging the repeal the of DOMA and the extension of federal benefits to couples in a same-sex marriage.

If so-called ‘marriage equality’ is agreeing that same-sex marriage is as valid before God as a proper heterosexual marriage, then this is not the position of the Continuing Church of God. The only marriages sanctioned throughout the Bible were between a man and a woman.

Here is the tenth FAQ:

10. Should I try to “pray away the gay”?
No. If you need to pray away something, pray away homophobia. Homosexuality doesn’t need healing. Homophobia does.

The Bible condemns even the condoning of homosexual behavior (Romans 1:18-32)–if Susan Russell defines that as ‘homophobia,’ then she is specifically condemning the Bible.

The Bible says that true Christians can overcome practicing homosexuality:

13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)

13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

18 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

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

But in this age, many who claim to be Christians, do not believe that.

Of course, the Bible also does not endorse female priests (for details, see Women and the New Testament Church), but many do not believe that as well.

Encouraging the homosexual agenda is something that the Bible warns against:

9 The look on their countenance witnesses against them, And they declare their sin as Sodom; They do not hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought evil upon themselves. (Isaiah 3:9)

13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate. (Proverbs 8:13)

18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 7)

6…the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly (2 Peter 2:6)

So the Bible shows that Sodom was destroyed for many things including its pride and the committing of abominations. Homosexuality is an abomination. Sodom and Gomorrah were turned into ashes making them an example–but many leaders in the UK, USA, Scotland, Canada, New Zealand, and elsewhere do not wish to consider the ramifications of what they are doing. Much of the ‘extreme weather’ that has been going on lately appears related to the increasing acceptance of the homosexual agenda (cf. Amos 4:7-12).

Notice that not just participating in homosexual and lesbian acts are prohibited by the Bible, but that condemnation is also given to those who approve such acts per Romans 1:22-32.

Several Protestant denominations apparently do not know and/or care that the survival of many in the United States and the Anglo-Saxon lands is at risk! There are other sins of immorality, such as pornography and abortion, that are rampant and wrong in these lands as well.

More wrong arguments from Protestant leaders are also dealt with in the video sermon: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?

No one should be ignoring the warnings of the Bible. No one should be pushing the homosexual agenda. Yet, many in the West, judges included, foolishly are–and this will be to their peril.

While some hope that US President Donald Trump will stop that, that is an overly optimistic view of him. Though Donald Trump may slow some of its agenda, unless he truly repents, all should realize that he goes along with a lot that the LGBT crowd wants. This does not bode well for the USA.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Can homosexuals change? A sermon of related interest is titled What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children. What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on? There is also a YouTube video on this, titled Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children.
Weather Blessings and Sorrows Are weather problems a warning? What should be done? What does the Bible teach about weather? What about floods, droughts, heat, earthquakes, tornadoes, and solar storms? Here is a related YouTube video Does God Use Weather? A related item in the Spanish language would be Bendiciones y maldiciones del clima.
Love, Marriage, and Sex It is important to get them in the right order.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed?
Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose Do you know what the Bible teaches on this? Has the Roman Catholic Church allowed abortions? What about the real Church of God? Some may also, or instead, wish to view the YouTube video Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt.
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? Here is a link to a YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
British and American Moral Decay Public nudity is becoming more prevalent in the Anglo-Saxon lands. What are some of the consequences?
Can those in the USA/UK see the Handwriting on the Wall? Is everything fine in the USA/UK or is it like the days of Noah? Can we learn from the handwriting that appeared on a wall thousands of years ago? Here is a link to a related YouTube video Can you see the ‘Handwriting on the Wall’?
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.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2018, 2019, or 2020? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation begin in 2018?
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill?  Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill?  Is a Donald Trump presidency proving to be apocalyptic?  Two related videos are available: Donald: ‘Trump of God’ or Apocalyptic? and Donald Trump’s Prophetic Presidency.
Trump Presidency Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy? BBC reported that one might as well use a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’ to try to predict what will happen in the remaining time of Donald Trump’s presidency. What is a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’? Dr. Thiel not only explains that, but also briefly goes over 10 biblically-based warnings he wrote would happen if Donald Trump were elected that have already began to come to pass. He also goes over something he wrote back in 2008 that the Trump presidency is also helping lead to fulfillment. Should you trust Bible prophecy or not? Dr. Thiel says that Bible prophecy can be trusted, despite the view of skeptics and others that either overlook or despise the Bible. This is a video.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse This 188 page book is for people truly interested in prophecies related to Donald Trump and the United States, including learning about several that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon for $12.99 from the following link: Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition This electronic version of the 188 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition.

Mathematicians conclude that the Universe had a beginning

Thursday, May 31st, 2018


NASA Photo

COGwriter

Do any mathematicians realize that the universe had to have a beginning? Well some mathematicians from Tufts University have challenged some anti-biblical models of the origin of the universe and concluded that it did:

Mathematics of Eternity Prove The Universe Must Have Had A Beginning

Cosmologists use the mathematical properties of eternity to show that although universe may last forever, it must have had a beginning…

In recent years…cosmologists have begun to study a number of new ideas that have similar properties. Curiously, these ideas are not necessarily at odds with the notion of a Big Bang.

For instance, one idea is that the universe is cyclical with big bangs followed by big crunches followed by big bangs in an infinite cycle.

Another is the notion of eternal inflation in which different parts of the universe expand and contract at different rates. These regions can be thought of as different universes in a giant multiverse.

So although we seem to live in an inflating cosmos, other universes may be very different. And while our universe may look as if it has a beginning, the multiverse need not have a beginning…

Audrey Mithani and Alexander Vilenkin at Tufts University in Massachusetts say that these models are mathematically incompatible with an eternal past. Indeed, their analysis suggests that these three models of the universe must have had a beginning too.

Their argument focuses on the mathematical properties of eternity–a universe with no beginning and no end. Such a universe must contain trajectories that stretch infinitely into the past.

However, Mithani and Vilenkin point to a proof dating from 2003 that these kind of past trajectories cannot be infinite if they are part of a universe that expands in a specific way.

They go on to show that cyclical universes and universes of eternal inflation both expand in this way. So they cannot be eternal in the past and must therefore have had a beginning. “Although inflation may be eternal in the future, it cannot be extended indefinitely to the past,” they say.

They treat the emergent model of the universe differently, showing that although it may seem stable from a classical point of view, it is unstable from a quantum mechanical point of view. “A simple emergent universe model…cannot escape quantum collapse,” they say.

The conclusion is inescapable. “None of these scenarios can actually be past-eternal,” say Mithani and Vilenkin. http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/27793/?ref=rss

And if the physical universe had to have a beginning, then something that was not physical must have started it. And that leads to the logical conclusion that a non-physical being, like God, must have done so. And that is what the Bible teaches:

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5)

And while the mathematicians at Tufts did not go into biblical detail, their conclusion that the physical universe must have had a beginning is correct.

As far as the future role of resurrected human beings in the universe, notice the following passage from Hebrews:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interestingly, the same mathematicians at Tufts agree with this concept as they stated that the universe can, according to their mathematical model, continue to expand into the future, consistent with scripture (which, no, they did not cite).

As I have written here for some time, scripture and properly understood science are compatible (and I am not declaring that there cannot be any flaws in the Tufts’ mathematical model, though I agree with their conclusions that the physical universe had to have a beginning and that it can continue to expand forever).

While humans now are fairly insignificant in certain physical ways, God has a plan to involve humanity in ruling the universe. A universe that He began (Genesis 1:1).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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

Bill Nye has beliefs contrary to those of a real ‘science guy’

Thursday, May 31st, 2018

COGwriter

Some time back, Bill Nye, who still calls himself the ‘science guy,’ was interviewed about some of his evolutionary views:

Why Bill Nye Calls Evolution ‘Undeniable’ and Creationism ‘Inane’

Darwin’s theory explains so much of the world, from bumblebees to human origins, says the Science Guy. …

In his new book, Nye delights in how this fundamental discovery helps to unlock the mysteries of everything from bumblebees to human origins to our place in the universe.

Who do you hope will read this book?

Grown-ups who have an interest in the world around them, people coming of age who have an interest in science, people who still want to know how the world works. …

How and when did you first encounter creationism?

About 20 years ago. I was a member of the Northwest Skeptics, which is the Seattle-based skeptics organization. We met people who insisted that the Earth was 6,000 years old. The inanity took my breath away. When you understand anything about astronomy or have just a rudimentary understanding of radioactivity, the Earth is patently not 6,000 years old. It’s silly. …

What one or two points do you want people to take away from this book?

Evolution is a discovery. We discovered evolution. Two guys [Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace], at about the same time, reached the same conclusion about nature. …

Anything else?

Evolution fills me with reverence for our place within the cosmos, what I like to call “our place in space.” We’re the product of stardust, brought together by gravity—we’re at least one of the ways that the universe knows itself. That, to me, is astonishing. 01/24/15 http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2015/01/150125-bill-nye-science-guy-evolution-creation-book-talk-culture/

No true scientist can possibly accept evolution as the explanation as to how life began. It’s astonishing that anyone can say the universe formed by happenstance, which is what Bill Nye essentially teaches.

One law of human science is called “biogenesis”–life comes from life. Not from nothing, not from dead things, not from happenstance.

There have long been unscientific people claiming science on their side.

Even back in New Testament times, there were those who called error ‘science,’ which is what evolution as an explanation of the origin of life and the origin of the universe is.

Notice:

20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21)

Calling Creation “inane” is a false and vain babbling.

If Bill Nye was truly a scientist, he would admit that Darwin had no explanation of the origin of life that could be tested to be proven true.

Actually, all such attempts have failed to prove Darwin’s hypothesis. Though Bill Nye would have to know this.

If Bill Nye would truly consider that matter cannot self-generate and that energy runs out over time, he would realize that there is no current explanation of a creation without a spiritual Creator that makes sense.

Sadly, scientists who challenge too many claims associated with evolution are shunned by many academic institutions, as there is a tremendous amount of pressure at most “leading” academic institutions to squelch research that is not in support of evolution because it will affect their beliefs. Thus many ‘accept’ evolution and act like it is a scientific fact, when instead it is an unproven model that can scientifically be rebutted at various stages.

There is no real scientific doubt that evolution as the origin of life is false. It violates too many known laws of biology. It has gotten so bad, that some so-called ‘scientists’ have claimed that life on Earth probably came from Mars as the Earth did not have certain building blocks like Mars does (see BBC: Life may have come from Mars?). This is additional proof that some scientists who profess evolution as life’s origin realize that it does not hold up to true scientific scrutiny.

Various scientists know that the facts do not support that life could have spontaneously began on planet Earth, so they keep looking for other explanations that they hope are more plausible.

True science is compatible with the Bible–it is only that which is falsely called science that is not (cf. 1 Timothy 6:20-21, KJV). Atheistic scientists, according to the Bible, are fools:

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:20-22).

They have intentionally overlooked what should be obvious.

Evolution has led to the intentional ignorance of appropriate scientific methods. It became a religion for many in the 19th century, and remains one for many today. Shunning or insulting scientists who come out with the truth is one way that they hope to control public debate on the matter.

Notice that Charles Darwin wrote the following in his book The Origin of the Species:

If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down (Darwin C. The Origin of Species. In Chapter 6, Difficulties on Theory. Cricket House Books LLC, 2010, p. 124).

And although Charles Darwin did not believe that was demonstrated to his satisfaction when he wrote that, the truth is that cellular life was simply much more complex than he at that time realized.

Thus, even Charles Robert Darwin’s writings contain an admission that he understood that additional complexity would disprove his theory (perhaps it should be noted that the discovery of DNA would seem to qualify as sufficient complexity that he was unaware of). Of course, scientists know that random amino acids also do not come with DNA. And while this was not known at Darwin’s time, this is known now.

Darwin himself seemed to acknowledge that life could not have started on its own. He seemed to, some degree, rely on the biblical account in the Book of Genesis as he wrote:

There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one (The Origin Of Species By Charles Darwin, 2nd and subsequent editions).

Thus, apparently Darwin recognized the impossibility of life starting on its own without a Creator (God). But that is not something that people like Bill Nye like to bring up.

Not only can science not truly explain how life began without a creator, it never will be able to. The evolutionary claims about life starting violate too many known laws of biology.

Now, it should be noted that many ‘creationists’ are also not scientists and have views that are not consistent with the Bible. People like Bill Nye cling to those errors, but they also ignore much of what the Bible teaches about the creation (see also How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation?).

The truth is still the truth, as “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1), etc. Atheists hope to cloud that by insulting true scientists and hoping that they can influence people who do not realize many of the facts that disprove the evolutionary model. But they must violate science and common sense in order to do that. They are not true scientists.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution. An animated video of related interest is also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator?
Does it Make Physical Sense to believe in God? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Is There Another View of Evolution? and another titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.

How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon: Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?