Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

Similarities and Differences between the Seventh-day Adventists and the Continuing Church of God

Saturday, April 7th, 2018

COGwriter

Today, I received an email asking about some of the differences between the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) and the Continuing Church of God from a member of the SDA church.

But before going to them, let me point out some doctrinal similarities:

  1. Both claim to believe that the whole Bible, Old and New Testaments, is the Word of God (see also Read the Bible and the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God).
  2. Both believe that salvation is by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ (see also Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God).
  3. Both believe that all of the Ten Commandments are standards for God’s people today and that the seventh-day Sabbath is to be observed on Saturday. See also The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast and The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad.
  4. Both believe there is no consciousness for humans between death and resurrection. Though we have some major differences in understanding the resurrections. See Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? and What Did Early Christians Understand About the Resurrections?
  5. Both believe that Jesus Christ will soon return physically to the earth. Though, again, there are some major differences (see also The Gospel of the Kingdom of God).
  6. Both believe that the wicked will finally be annihilated, not suffer eternal torment. See The Second Death.
  7. Both believe that Christians should not eat biblically unclean meats (see The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats), though, because of the teachings of Ellen White, many SDAs take this further and avoid all meat.

There are, however, more differences than similarities.

Here are some of the differences:

  1. The SDAs accept Ellen White as God’s prophetess. CCOG does not. We see her as false on many points. Hence, CCOG sees no need to heed her pronouncements from a biblical perspective as some are in conflict with scripture and reality (see SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666).
  2. Ellen White seemingly taught that the angel Michael became Jesus. CCOG strongly disagrees (see Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus?).
  3. Ellen White falsely taught that the Day of Atonement was October 22 in 1844, whereas in 1844, the Day of Atonement began at sunset September 22 and ran through sunset September 23rd (see http://www.hebcal.com/hebcal/?year=1844&v=1&month=x&yt=G&nh=on&nx=on&o=on&s=on&vis=on&a=on&D=on&d=on&set=on&heb=on&c=off&zip=&m=72).
  4. SDAs believe 1844 has a significance that CCOG says the Bible does not support (see SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666).
  5. The SDAs changed to accept the Greco-Roman trinity. CCOG does not (see Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity?).
  6. The SDAs changed to accept pagan holidays like Christmas. CCOG does not (see What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days?).
  7. The SDAs consider themselves Protestant and the Protestants as Christians. CCOG does not (see Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants).
  8. SDAs do not keep God’s holy days. CCOG does (see Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).
  9. CCOG keeps Passover annually in accordance with the scriptures, whereas the SDAs keep some version of it quarterly, which is not biblical. See also Passover and the Early Church.
  10. SDAs do not understand God’s plan of salvation. CCOG does as we understand that God will offer salvation to all that ever lived (see Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).
  11. SDAs teach the USA is the two-horned Beast of the Earth. CCOG teaches that leader is the final Antichrist (see also Some Doctrines of Antichrist).
  12. SDAs do not clearly teach that 666 is the European Beast of the Sea, but CCOG does (see also Who is the King of the North?).
  13. SDAs do not believe that saints will be on the Earth during the millennium, CCOG does (see also Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism?).
  14. SDAs use crosses as part of the symbols for their religion, whereas CCOG does not (see also What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?).
  15. CCOG teaches the good news of the Kingdom of God and we do not believe the SDA church understands the full gospel or that it teaches it (see also The Gospel of the Kingdom of God).
  16. CCOG’s priorities are essentially Matthew 24:14 and 28:19-20, while the SDAs do not consider those the same way as CCOG. (see Behind the Work 2016: All Nations, Tribes, People, and Tongues and also MATTHEW Here are links to twelve sermons covering the 28 chapters of Matthew: Matthew 1-2: Greek or Aramaic, Jesus, and the Star?, Matthew 3-5: John the Baptist, Temptations, and the Beatitudes, Matthew 6-7: Charitable Deeds, the Rosary, Prayer, the Golden Rule, and Faith, Matthew 8-10: Married Clergy, Faith, Coming Persecution, and the Ecumenical Agenda, Matthew 11-12: John the Elijah, Sodom, Unpardonable Sin, & 3 Days and 3 Nights, -14: Parables, Mustard Seeds, Birthdays, and Faith, Matthew 15-16: Tradition, Signs of the Times, and The Rock & Peter, Matthew 17-18: Transfiguration, Elijah to Come, Taxes, and Forgiveness, Matthew 19-20: Transgender? Divorce? Purgatory? The first shall be last?, Matthew 21-23: ‘Palm Sunday,’ Come as You Are?, and the Greatest Commandments, Matthew 24: Temple Destruction, Sorrows, Tribulation, and the Return of Jesus, and Matthew 25-28: Midnight Cry, False Christians, Resurrection, & Teaching what Jesus Taught.
    MARK Here is a link to a sermon covering all of Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Mark: What did Jesus teach in the Book of Mark? Here is a link to six sermons covering all the verses in the Gospel of Mark: Mark 1-2: Author, Prophecy, & Miracles, Mark 3-5: Healing, Demons, and Parables, Mark 6-9: Tradition, John’s beheading, Elijah, and Restoration, Mark 10-12: Marriage, Divorce, Needle Eye, Greatest Command, & Taxes, Mark 13: Temple, Four Horsemen, Troubles, Great Tribulation, and Gospel Proclamation, and .
    LUKE Here are links to eight sermons covering the entire ‘Gospel of Luke’: Luke 1-2: John the Baptist, Mary, and the Census, Luke 3-6: John the Baptist, Jesus’ genealogy, Satan’s Influence, and the Sermon on the Mount, Luke 7-9: Miracles, Purpose of Parables, Kingdom of God, and Women Supporting the Ministry, Luke 10-11: The 70, Doing the Work, the Good Samaritan, Prayer, and Signs, Luke 12-13: Priorities, Delayed Fruit Bearing, Little Flock, Prophecy, and the Narrow Way, Luke 14-16: The Lost Sheep, the Prodigal Son, the Rich Man and Lazarus, Luke 17-20: Faith, the Kingdom, Gathering, Prayer, & Rewards, and Luke 21-22: Giving, Sorrows, Persecution, Tribulation, Fig Tree, and Violence. The last sermon also covers Jesus’ words in the Book of Acts.
    JOHN Here are links to a seven-part sermon series covering the entire ‘Gospel of John’: John 1-3: Anti-unitarian, Wine, Being Born Again, & Heaven, John 4-6: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman, Miracles and the Bread of Life, John 10-12: Sheep, Hirelings, Lazarus/Soul Sleep and ‘Palm Day’, John 13-15: Footwashing and the Words of Jesus, John 16-18: Truth, Trinity, and Pontius Pilate, and John 19-21: Do not only try, do what God wants.
    REVELATION
    This is a link to a sermon covering words Jesus spoke as recorded in the Book of Revelation and in first and second Corinthians: Revelation: Jesus’ Final Words.)
  17. CCOG traces its history from Acts 2 to present. The SDA church does not really do that. See also Continuing History of the Church of God.
  18. The SDAs remnant teaching is mistaken as the ‘remnant’ taught about in Revelation 12:17 are non-Philadelphian Christians who are not protected in a place in the wilderness during the Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord (see also There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Near Petra).
  19. The CCOG teaches more fully the meaning of life than the SDAs (see also What is the Meaning of Life?).
  20. CCOG seems to more clearly teach deification than the SDAs (see The Laodicean Church Era and also What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God?).
  21. The CCOG teaches more fully how to live as a Christian than the SDAs (see also Living as a Christian: How and Why?).

Just because both groups do accept the seventh-day Sabbath does not make them very similar.

There are significant and major differences.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church is NOT part of the Church of God (though some few of their members possibly could be). Nor do we in the Continuing Church of God trace our history through that church.

Some items of related interest may include:

COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of God?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries 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.
Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus? The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach this, and SDA Ellen White did, but does the Bible allow for this?
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 two 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. Here is a sermon in the English language: CCOG and SDA differences and similarities.

7DULB: Overcoming sin

Friday, April 6th, 2018


“The Crossing of the Red Sea” by Nicolas Poussin c. 1634

COGwriter

Today is the last day of unleavened bread.

Here is some information on it from the old Radio Church of God:

Over 3450 years ago, more than three million Israelites crossed the Red Sea dry shod! In this unusual photo the Red Sea stretches as a barrier between the desolate wilderness of Egypt in the foreground and the peaks of the Sinai peninsula which rise hazily on the horizon. …

Did God Almighty get His people safely across the Red Sea before daylight? Exodus 14:21-27. 10. Then on the daylight part of Wednesday, the seventh and last day of Unleavened Bread, was there great rejoicing? Since the seventh day of Unleavened Bread was an annual Sabbath, was there a Sabbath meeting in which newly composed congregational hymns were sung in memoriam and thanksgiving to God? Ex. 15:1-18, 20-21. (Lesson 34 – Days of Unleavened Bread – Your Part In God’s Master Plan, Ambassador College, 1965)

After finally escaping Egypt, by crossing the Red Sea dry shod on the seventh day of Unleavened Bread (Lesson 35 – Feast of Pentecost – The Church In God’s Master Plan, Ambassador College, 1965)

Here is some information about it from a Jewish source:

Exodus … On the seventh day after leaving Egypt, “the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold! the Egyptians were advancing after them. They were very frightened, and the children of Israel cried out to HaShem.” (ibid 14:10) All of a sudden, following orders was no longer an option. The Egyptians were closing in. This, as far as Israel was concerned, was not part of the plan. Something had to be done! This was a brand new reality for Israel, and they scrambled as they tried to wrap their collective brain around the threat to their continues existence. The people cried out to G-d, but then they quickly turned to Moshe: “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us to die in the desert?” (ibid 14:11) At first glance this appears to be a feeble attempt at gallows humor, a cynical rebuke of Moshe. But on second thought, it is actually a very logical and insightful question: Would the G-d that wrought miracles in Egypt on our behalf, and humbled the greatest power on earth, do it all for naught? There must be some way out of here! …

And now Israel is looking to Moshe for instruction. This is also a new reality for Moshe. Up till now he has been confronting Pharaoh, a most powerful despot, to be sure, but a man, who by his own admission, doesn’t know and doesn’t recognize HaShem, the G-d of Israel, placing Moshe in a distinct advantage. But now Moshe must confront his own people whom he loves, who like him, know and trust in the G-d of Israel. Moshe seeks to console the people: “Don’t be afraid! Stand firm and see HaShem’s salvation that He will wreak for you today, for the way you have seen the Egyptians is only today, but you shall no longer continue to see them for eternity. HaShem will fight for you, but you shall remain silent.” (ibid 14:13-14) What Moshe says is true, but G-d reproaches him: “Why do you cry out to Me? Speak to the children of Israel and let them travel!” (ibid 14:15) The children of Israel turn to Moshe, Moshe turns to G-d and G-d turns right back to Moshe, saying, what you have told Israel may be true, but it is not a matter of what they need to hear, but a matter of what they need to do: to extricate themselves form this situation, to move on, to overcome their adversaries, to overcome their own self-doubts. They need to make the first move. They need to move forward. They need to trust themselves before they can believe in me!

And so it was, on the seventh day after leaving Egypt forever, Israel found itself in an impossible situation, the impassable sea before them, and the world’s largest, most powerful army closing in behind them. This might seem like a familiar situation to us today, nothing unusual, especially to those who read the daily headlines, a situation that Israel finds itself in time after time. But this was very new to Israel at the time, a nation of seven days, a babe in the woods, whose great faith in G-d, and ultimately, great trust in themselves, G-d would immortalize with these words: “Go and call out in the ears of Jerusalem, saying: so said HaShem: I remember to you the lovingkindness of your youth, the love of your nuptials, your following Me in the desert, in a land not sown.” (Jeremiah 2:2) G-d had already understood what the infant nation of Israel had yet to begin to realize: Their great trust and faith in HaShem, and their great trust and faith in themselves, the children of G-d, the nation chosen by HaShem to bear witness to His great presence in our world. “Let them travel!” G-d told Moshe. Let them be free! Let them be independent! And as surely as I am your G-d, I will open before them a path to the future, a path to the promised land, to Jerusalem, to the Holy Temple! Chag Sameach! A joyful Seventh Day of Passover to all! (“Speak to the children of Israel and let them travel!” (Exodus 14:15). Temple Institute, Nisan 20, 5778/April 5, 2018 )

The Bible calls this day the seventh day of unleavened bread, not the seventh day of Passover:

15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. For whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.
16 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat–that only may be prepared by you.
17 So you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, (Exodus 12:15-16, NKJV throughout unless otherwise noted)

Christians need to overcome the world and its sinful ways.

As far as the sequence of events, Passover was after sunset on the 14th of Nisan/Abib (Exodus 12:6) and the death angel passed-over at midnight (Exodus 12:23-29). During the early daylight hours on the 14th of Nisan/Abib, the children of Israel received gold and precious things from the Egyptians (Exodus 12:35-36). They left Egypt at night of the 15th of Nisan/Abib (Exodus 12:42; Deuteronomy 16:1). Late on the 16th of Nisan/Abib, the children of Israel arrived in Succoth (Exodus 12:37). Later, apparently on the 18th of Nisan/Abib, Pharaoh decided to pursue them (Exodus 14:5). On the 20th of Nisan/Abib, Pharaoh’s armies get near the children of Israel (Exodus 14:9). On the 21st of Nisan/Abib, God parted the Red Sea and the children of Israel crossed it on dry land (Exodus 14:20-22,29). During the daylight hours of the 21st, the Egyptian army pursues and is destroyed (Exodus 14:23-28).

The children of Israel had to fully leave the area where Egypt had influence. As Christians, we realize that we are to flee sin (e.g. 1 Corinthians 6:18) and to want its influence to remain in the past (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Peter 4:1-4).

Christians realize that Jesus died for our sins. The Bible makes this clear:

3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3).

3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. (Galatians 1:3-5)

Through biblical observances such as Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread (it is currently the Days of Unleavened Bread in 2018), Christians are better able to learn the price of sin through Jesus’ sacrifice, the prevalence of sin in the world, and the necessity to put sin out of our lives.

Just like the children of Israel had to leave the bondage of physical Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:6), Christians need to leave the bondage of spiritual Egypt (Revelation 11:8) of this present evil world (Galatians 1:4). Christians need to come out of sin, but they need God’s help in overcoming sin.

Verses to Memorize to Help with Overcoming Sin

Before going into sin and repentance, there are some portions of scripture that perhaps should be shown first. These are also verses that you really should memorize.

Here is the first:

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Nearly every day I pray a slightly modified version of the above more or less as follows:

Father in heaven, let us trust in You with all our hearts and lean not to our own understandings. In all our ways help us acknowledge You and You will direct our paths.

If you sin, at the time you do so you are not obviously trusting in God with all your heart.

Interestingly, notice the verse that comes immediately after Proverbs 3:6:

7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:7)

So, we see that not trusting in God, but trusting in ourselves (vanity) can lead to evil. But that fearing and trusting God is the way to depart from evil.

Christians should also consider the following words of Jesus:

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:31-33)

I would suggest that all memorize at least the first half of Matthew 6:33.

If you are truly seeking first the kingdom of God, this will help you overcome sin–unlike the children of Israel who did not seek God’s righteousness (cf. Romans 10:1-3).

There is another verse that all should memorize, and it is bolded below:

1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.

12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 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 10:1-13)

The children of Israel saw the miracles, but although they went along with God’s physical plan, they did not truly repent. We, as Christians, all must however.

Putting Sin Out Requires the Help of Jesus

During the Days of Unleavened Bread we are to have no sin in our lives, symbolically, by having no leaven in our dwellings (see also Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread). This annual reminder helps Christians better focus on the need to try to live without sin.

Just as you are not to have a little leaven then, you are not to have a little sin as it affects you (cf. Galatians 5:9; 1 Corinthians 5:7; James 2:8-13)

Christians, however, still sin, but upon confessing them, Jesus will forgive them:

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10)

But that does not mean we are to deliberately and intentionally sin and remain in it:

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. (Hebrews 10:26-27)

Sometimes the sin is so within one that it seems to defy human will. Notice some of what the Apostle Paul wrote:

15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:15-25)

Jesus also said, “with men it is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

We all have lost the struggle with sin at times, but through Christ we can overcome.

Jesus was tempted as we are and understands:

14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

No matter how much you feel you messed up, you still can boldly go to the throne of grace to obtain mercy.

Do Not Put Yourself in a Place that You Are Tempted to Sin

There are also practical, physical, considerations that can help you overcome sin.

When you pray, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13, KJV), the implication is that you do not intentionally place yourself in areas to be tempted.

For example, if one is inclined to overly gamble, one should avoid going to casinos or visiting cities such as Las Vegas.

One who is inclined to smoke should not hang out with others who smoke. Nor should they ever buy cigarettes. However, since smoking is a very difficult habit to break, sometimes one may find replacement behaviors or some other physical item helpful to break the habit. But if someone wants to stop smoking, they really need to stop buying cigarettes. They should also repent and ask forgiveness of their sins each time they smoke (or commit any other sin).

As far one’s diet goes, God tells His people to “eat what is good” (Isaiah 55:2), thus Christians should be careful about their diets and not eat that which is not good for them.

Jesus lived without sin (Hebrews 4:5) and the Bible teaches that we do not have to allow sin in our lives either, but we are to put on Christ:

13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Romans 13:13-14)

When it comes to alcohol, one should not hang out with those that overly drink. Notice what the Apostle Peter wrote:

1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles — when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. (1 Peter 4:1-4)

Peter even warns that some will think it strange if you stop such improper behaviors, but that is what Christians are to do. Furthermore:

33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (1 Corinthians 15:33).

Christians are not to run with the crowd and go along with the world. Sin grows (James 1:15) and spreads (Romans 5:12).

When it comes to sexual immorality, the Apostle Paul wrote:

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. (1 Corinthians 6:18)

One flees sexual immorality by not getting oneself in a situation that could be somewhat expected to possibly lead to it, or immediately leaving a situation if it appears possible.

And Jesus taught:

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. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish (Matthew 5:27-29)

So, it is not just doing something wrong that is sin, but also wishing to do the sin is a sin. And if internet pornography is a problem for someone, then they should avoid the internet completely–at least for a while. They also should not go to improper movies, have or buy improper magazines, etc.

But you have to do more than avoid temptation: you are supposed to do good (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:35).

Now you may say that you do not have a problem with gambling, alcohol, drugs, fornication, or pornography, and if you do not, then that is good. But probably all of us have been guilty of the type of murder that Jesus warned against:

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger (Matthew 5:21-22)

And furthermore, notice what Jesus called the greatest commandment:

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.” (Mark 12:29-31)

I would submit that this first commandment is the commandment that is violated the most, by probably everyone on the planet, Christian and non-Christian alike. Anytime you sin, you show God that you love something more than Him. The second is also violated a lot.

Basically, humans have a very difficult time getting sufficiently serious about God and His ways to put Him and them above EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME, in their lives.

As Christians, it is not just enough not to sin, we are to do the work of God. Furthermore, consider that when you pray God is not limited to what He can give you–in other words do not neglect to pray for major change, not to just not sin, but to do and support His work.

Pray, study the Bible, meditate, fast, and live life as a Christian (see also Living as a Christian: How and Why? and/or the video version Living as a Christian: How and Why?).

If you have a problem to overcome, pray.

But you probably are telling yourself, I have done that before and still have not overcome.

So, then what should you do?

Pray.

And if that does not seem to help enough, then, pray more.

Take a lesson from those who successfully lose weight and keep it off. Surveys have found that the number 1 rule of successful weight-loss is to keep doing the right thing, even when it looks like one is failing. The scale might say someone is failing, but if they do the right thing anyway, and keep doing it, they are the ones that will be successful. Do not give up when discouraged or it looks like you keep failing. Even if you actually are faling, keep trying to do the right thing.

The Apostle Paul wrote that Christians are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It may be for whatever problem you need to overcome you may need to pray more than you have.

I will also add that if you are on your knees praying, that, at least for many problems, stops you from engaging in the improper behavior you need to overcome. Remember that although God’s thoughts are not your thoughts (Isaiah 55:7-8)–He knows best.

Jesus taught and warned:

25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:25-27)

Christians need to do the true work of God no matter what it costs. This involves personal growth, trusting and loving God, loving others, and supporting God’s end time work.

But there are rewards for doing so:

3 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
4 Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass. (Psalms 37:3-5)

We Christians must truly trust God and commit our ways to God.

6 Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God. (Psalms 20:6-7)

If Christians truly trust in God, and not themselves, they will be saved.

That is part of why Jesus taught:

9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:9-10)

Notice it is God’s will that is to be done and what we are to pray for, as well as His kingdom to come.

Notice what God really wants:

8 He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8)

Satan’s problem was that he refused to walk humbly. He was the anointed cherub (Ezekiel 28:14)–he had it all–but his pride got in the way (cf. Ezekiel 28:17). Humans often let their pride get in the way (Proverbs 29:33)–and pride puffs people up (cf. 1 Timothy 3:6).

Yet, Christians are to try to think like God:

5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:5-7)

Jesus had more than we humans can imagine, yet He was humble enough to give it up to serve and die for us. That is the attitude to have to truly overcome.

Here is a suggested service for the Last Day of Unleavened Bread:

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Overcoming Sin What is sin? How are Christians suppose to overcome it? Here is a link to a version in Mandarin Chinese: QKg f/‘͉v„. Here is a link to a version in Spanish: Vencer al pecado. Here is also a link to a video in English titled How YOU Can Overcome Sin.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here are two YouTube videos intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread:Leaven and Sin and Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
EXODUS Exodus sermons include Exodus 1-4: Jewish Myths or Lessons for Christians Today?, Exodus 5-7: Serpents, Blood, and Revelation, Exodus 8-9: Plagues and Prophecy, Exodus 10-12: The Last Plagues & 21st Century Prophecies, and Exodus 13-15: Passover Protection and Armageddon. There is also more, such as the arrticle: When was the Exodus? Did it Happen? Some deny the biblical account of the Exodus. Was Ramses II the pharaoh then? When did the Exodus occur?  Is there proof outside of the Bible that there was an Exodus? Here is a related article in the Spanish language: ¿Cuándo fue el Éxodo? ¿Ocurrió realmente? Also: Reasons, Proofs, and Ramifications of the Ten Plagues of Exodus What do you know about these plagues? What happened to the ‘gods of Egypt’? Is there any confirmation outside the Bible? Might something worse be coming? A related two-part sermon is available: Egypt and the Plagues (Part 1) and Exodus Plagues and Prophecy (Part 2). Also: Exodus and the Days of Unleavened Bread This article discusses parts of the Book of Exodus with some connections to the Days of Unleavened Bread. Related sermons are available Exodus 1-4: Jewish Myths or Lessons for Christians Today?, Exodus 5-7: Serpents, Blood, and Revelation, Exodus 8-9: Plagues and Prophecy and Unleavened Bread: Lessons in Exodus. Another sermon is Exodus, Judgments, and Jesus. Also Exodus 4:24, Why would God have sought to kill Moses? What did Moses do wrong? Do you have a similar problem?
Are You Being Called by God? Norman Shoaf wrote various points to consider.
Is God Calling You? Alfred E Carrozzo wrote this.
What Did Christ Mean  Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen? This article was by Raymond McNair.
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
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.
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’?
History of Auricular Confession and the ‘Sacrament of Confession’ Did early Christians confess their sins to priests? A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
What is the Meaning of Life?
Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? 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.

Do you die at death or is your soul immortal?

Thursday, April 5th, 2018


Cemetery in Estonia

COGwriter

What happens after you die?

Do you have an immortal soul? Did those who professed Christ in the period shortly after the Bible was completed teach that humans possessed immortality? Or did they teach that this was something that God would later give? What really happens after death?

Notice some of what the Apostle Paul was inspired to write:

29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. (1 Corinthians 11:29-30)

12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. 15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up — if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. 20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. (1 Corinthians 15:12-23)

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-54).

14 Therefore He says:

“Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” (Ephesians 5:14)

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18)

It is proper for Christians to teach and believe that death is like sleep. Christians are to be comforted by God’s plan, which includes the dead being asleep until they are resurrected (a article of related interest would be What Happens After Death?).

How did early Christians understand these passages in the Bible?

Historical records give us many clues.

After the apostles died (John being the last around 100 A.D.), there were early church writers who continued to teach at least parts of what the apostles taught, which is what is in the Old and New Testaments.

Here is something from what is believed to be “the oldest complete Christian sermon that has survived” (Holmes M.W. Ancient Christian Sermon. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations, 2nd ed. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, 2004). This Ancient Christian Sermon contains these statements about it:

Now I do not think that I have given any mean council respecting continence, and whosoever performeth it will not repent thereof, but will save both himself and me his councilor. For it is no mean reward to convert a wondering and perishing soul, that it may be saved (15:1).

For if we have received commands, that we should make this our business, to tear men away from idols and to instruct them, how much more is it wrong that a soul which knoweth God already should perish! (17:1).

It was understood that since souls can perish, they cannot be immortal.

Notice something from the Letter to the Corinthians, often called 1 Clement:

On this account He shall inherit many, and shall divide the spoil of the strong; because His soul was delivered to death, and He was reckoned among the transgressors (Chapter 16).

Notice this from Ignatius’ Letter to the Ephesians:

For this end did the Lord suffer the ointment to be poured upon His head, that He might breathe immortality into His Church (Chapter 17).

Especially [will I do this] if the Lord make known to me that ye come together man by man in common through grace, individually, in one faith, and in Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David according to the flesh, being both the Son of man and the Son of God, so that ye obey the bishop and the presbytery with an undivided mind, breaking one and the same bread, which is the medicine of immortality, and the antidote to prevent us from dying, but [which causes] that we should live for ever in Jesus Christ (Chapter 20).

Ignatius is essentially teaching that Christ suffered to give immortality to the Church and we in the Church when we properly partake of Passover can live forever in Christ–otherwise we would die.

Be sober as an athlete of God: the prize set before you is immortality and eternal life, of which you are also persuaded (Ignatius. Letter to Polycarp, Chapter 2).

Polycarp of Smyrna (mid-2nd century) taught that the body and soul were to be resurrected, hence he taught against the immortality of the soul doctrine:

I bless you for because you have considered me worthy of this day and hour, that I might receive a place among the number of martyrs in the cup of your Christ, to the resurrection to eternal life, both of soul and of body, in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit (The Martyrdom of Polycarp, 14:2. In Holmes M.W. The Apostolic Fathers, Greek Texts and English Translations. Baker Books, Grand Rapids (MI), 2004, p.239).

Though the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch now lists him in their succession list, around 170 A.D. Theophilus of Antioch wrote a position that seems to differ from current Eastern Orthodox doctrine on immortality:

When thou shalt have put off the mortal, and put on incorruption, then shall thou see God worthily. For God will raise thy flesh immortal with thy soul; and then, having become immortal, thou shalt see the Immortal, if now you believe on Him; and then you shall know that you have spoken unjustly against Him (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book 1, Chapter VI. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

For if He had made him immortal from the beginning, He would have made him God…so that if he should incline to the things of immortality, keeping the commandment of God, he should receive as reward from Him immortality, and should become God…For God has given us a law and holy commandments; and every one who keeps these can be saved, and, obtaining the resurrection, can inherit incorruption (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book 2, Chapter XXVII. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

But God at least, the Father and Creator of the universe did not abandon mankind, but gave a law, and sent holy prophets to declare and teach the race of men, that each one of us might awake and understand that there is one God. And they also taught us to refrain from unlawful idolatry, and adultery, and murder, fornication, theft, avarice, false swearing, wrath, and every incontinence and uncleanness; and that whatever a man would not wish to be done to himself, he should not do to another; and thus he who acts righteously shall escape the eternal punishments, and be thought worthy of the eternal life from God (Theophilus of Antioch. To Autolycus, Book 2, Chapter XXXIV. Translated by Marcus Dods, A.M. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Probably prior to 180 A.D., Melito of Sardis, a famous church leader and writer, wrote:

He killed death which had put man to death (Melito. Homily On the Passover, Verse 66. Translation from Kerux: The Journal of Online Theology, http://www.kerux.com/documents/KeruxV4N1A1.asp 09/14/05). .

And by this, Melito is teaching that Jesus could provide immortality, as humans did not possess it (he obviously is not referring to physical death, as Christians have died throughout history).

Even though he held some heretical views, Irenaeus is considered to have been an important early theologian by Catholics and Protestants (around 180 A.D.) wrote, that:

Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King…may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book 1, Chapter 10, 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 did understand the idea that humans do not possess immortality and that it is a gift of God. And this gift is only given to those that have kept His commandments.

He also understood that the resurrection was physical:

We therefore have formed the belief that [our] bodies also do rise again. For although they go to corruption, yet they do not perish; for the earth, receiving the remains, preserves them, even like fertile seed mixed with more fertile ground. Again, as a bare grain is sown, and, germinating by the command of God its Creator, rises again, clothed upon and glorious, but not before it has died and suffered decomposition, and become mingled with the earth (Irenaeus. Fragments of Irenaeus, Fragment VII. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors); American Edition copyright © 1885. Electronic version copyright © 1997 by New Advent, Inc.).

And even though he was not part of the true Church of God, Justin wrote:

For let even necromancy, and the divinations you practise by immaculate children, and the evoking of departed human souls, and those who are called among the magi, Dream-senders and Assistant-spirits (Familiars), and all that is done by those who are skilled in such matters —let these persuade you that even after death souls are in a state of sensation; and those who are seized and cast about by the spirits of the dead, whom all call dæmoniacs or madmen (Justin. First Apology, Chapter 18).

The second century apologist Tatian and associate of Justin wrote:

The soul is not in itself immortal, O Greeks, but mortal. Yet it is possible for it not to die. If, indeed, it knows not the truth, it dies, and is dissolved with the body, but rises again at last at the end of the world with the body, receiving death by punishment in immortality (Tatian. Translated by J.E. Ryland. Tatian’s Address to the Greeks, Chapter XIII . Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 2. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Polycrates of Ephesus in the late second century wrote and told the Roman Bishop Victor:

Why need I mention the bishop and martyr Sagaris who fell asleep in Laodicea, or the blessed Papirius, or Melito, the Eunuch who lived altogether in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis, awaiting the episcopate from heaven, when he shall rise from the dead? (Eusebius. Church History, Book V, Chapter 24, Verse 5. Translated by Arthur Cushman McGiffert. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series Two, Volume 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. American Edition, 1890. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Thus immortality was something to be obtained, not something inherent. And the idea of man’s destiny to become God was known in the second century.

Tertullian was a second century religious leader outside the Church of God. And although he held doctrines that we in the COGs would find to be heretical, he is considered to have been an important early theologian by Roman Catholics. Tertullian wrote:

The resurrection is first, and afterwards the kingdom. We say, therefore, that the flesh rises again, but that when changed it obtains the kingdom. “For the dead shall be raised incorruptible,” even those who had been corruptible when their bodies fell into decay; “and we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. For this corruptible”–and as he spake, the apostle seemingly pointed to his own flesh–” must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” in order, indeed, that it may be rendered a fit substance for the kingdom of God. “For we shall be like the angels.” This will be the perfect change of our flesh–only after its resurrection. Now if, on the contrary, there is to be no flesh, how then shall it put on incorruption and immortality? Having then become something else by its change, it will obtain the kingdom of God, no longer the (old) flesh and blood, but the body which God shall have given it. Rightly then does the apostle declare, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;” for this (honour) does he ascribe to the changed condition which ensues on the resurrection (Tertullian. Against Marcion, Book V, Chapter 10. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 3. Edited by Philip Schaff, D.D., LL.D. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight).

Thus, he is correctly teaching that we are not now immortal and we are not now fit for the kingdom of God–this occurs after the resurrection.

Hippolytus was a third century religious leader outside the Church of God. And although he held doctrines that we in the COGs would find to be heretical, he is considered to have been one of the greatest early theologians by Roman Catholics.

Hippolytus wrote:

Let us believe then, dear brethren, according to the tradition of the apostles, that God the Word came down from heaven, (and entered) into the holy Virgin Mary, in order that, taking the flesh from her, and assuming also a human, by which I mean a rational soul, and becoming thus all that man is with the exception of sin, He might save fallen man, and confer immortality on men who believe on His name (Hippolytus. Against Noetus, Chapter 17. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight).

Notice that Hippolytus taught that Jesus needed to come in order to confer immortality on men. He would not have to do that if humans were immortal.

Hippolytus also wrote:

For concerning the general resurrection and the kingdom of the saints, Daniel says: “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” And Isaiah says: “The dead shall rise, and those in the tombs shall awake, and those in the earth shall rejoice.” And our Lord says: “Many in that day shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live” (Hippolytus. On the End of the World, Chapter XXXVI. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 5. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight).

Notice that Hippolytus is showing that death is like sleep and the dead must be raised.

Victorinus (ca. late third century) wrote:

“To him that overcomes I will give the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone.” The hidden manna is immortality; the white gem is adoption to be the son of God; the new name written on the stone is “Christian.” (Victorinus. Commentary on the Apocalypse. Translated by Robert Ernest Wallis. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0712.htm> viewed 12/27/08)

There would be no reason to give immortality if it was possessed upon birth.

Pertaining to peoples in the third century, Eusebius wrote about what some in Arabia thought:

They said that during the present time the human soul dies and perishes with the body, but that at the time of the resurrection they will be renewed together (Eusebius. Church History, Book VI, Chapter 37).

A spurious document apparently from the second or early third century may have been used to introduce the immortality heresy into the Alexandrian Orthodox:

Now, the proof that the soul is immortal will be put past doubt, not from what it says, or from what I hear, but from what I see: for seeing it with my eyes, I shall ever after hold the surest conviction of its immortality; and no fallacy of words or uncertainty of hearing shall ever be able to disturb the persuasion produced by sight. (The Recognitions of Clement, 1.5. In the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Rev. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors, Vol. VIII. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing Company, reprinted 1995. Note: This text is considered to have been spurious and probably not written by Clement of Alexandria. It seems to be a second century document and could have impacted the views of Gregory the Wonder Worker and others.)

Since it is believed that Origen referred to this work c. 231, he would have been familiar with it, though some believe passages may have been added to it in the fourth or even later centuries (Smith T. Introductory Notice to The Recognitions of Clement. ANTE-NICENE FATHERS VOLUME 8. The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementina, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First Ages Edited by ALEXANDER ROBERTS, D.D., and JAMES DONALDSON, LL.D. Revised and Chronologically Arranged, with Brief Prefaces and Occasional Notes by A. CLEVELAND COXE, D.D. T&T CLARK EDINBURGH, pp. 73-74).

But it should be noted that in the mid-late third century a mystic often now referred to as Gregory the Wonder Worker, who studied under Origen in Alexandria Egypt, may have been the first of the Greco-Roman bishops to teach that the soul was immortal:

We prove, then, that the soul is simple…that what is simple is immortal…If, therefore, the soul is not corrupted by the evil proper to itself, and the evil of the soul is cowardice, intemperance, envy, and the like, and all these things do not despoil it of its powers of life and action, it follows that it is immortal. (Gregory Thaumaturgus. On the Soul, Chapters 5, 6. Translated by S.D.F. Salmond. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 6. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886. Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0608.htm> viewed 06/05/11)

And while this was not commonly accepted for a while, his change did get accepted (though to a significant degree because of others, but also likely some he at least indirectly affected). But it never should have been accepted. in Ezekiel 18:4 the Douay-Rheims Bible (a well known Roman Catholic rendition of scripture into the English language) teaches ” the soul that sinneth, the same shall die” and “The soul that sinneth, the same shall die” in Ezekiel 18:20.

Yet, most who profess Christ in the 21st century do not agree as most believe that humans are immortal. But the Bible teaches otherwise.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? What does John 3:16, and other writings, tell us? Did a doctrine kept adopted from paganism? Here is a YouTube video titled Are humans immortal?
Born-Again originally meant being born at the resurrection, not at the time of conversion. A sermon that includes some of this is: John 1-3: Anti-unitarian, Wine, Being Born Again, & Heaven.
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 Resurrection? Is there more than one future resurrection? Did early Christians teach a physical resurrection? Did early Christians teach three resurrections?
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.
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?

Are you spiritually growing during these ‘days of unleavened bread’?

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018


Unleavened Bread

COGwriter

The days of unleavened bread are mainly over for this year. Did you learn anything from them?

The Apostle Peter wrote that Christians were to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).

What do the Days of Unleavened Bread picture?

The Bible makes various comments about these days as well as comments about what leaven pictures.

Perhaps before going further, I should quote and comment on 1 Corinthians 5:7:

Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

Notice clearly that the Corinthians must have been observing the Days of Unleavened Bread because the Apostle Paul stated “you truly are unleavened.” The problem that the Corinthians had was that they were not unleavened spiritually. That is why Paul continued and told them to also spiritually be unleavened “with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” This is what the Bible shows that the Apostle Paul was teaching.

Furthermore, in Romans 3:25 it states, “in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.” Does this mean we are to continue in sin?

Of course not!

A few verses later Paul wrote, “On the contrary, we establish the law” (Rom 3:31). So while most understand that the Passover pictures a remembrance of Jesus Christ and his sacrifice (I Corinthians 11:24-26), many seem to not understand that we are not to continue in sin.

Why?

Maybe one of the reasons is that they do not observe the Days of Unleavened Bread.

Here is a sermon from the ContinuingCOG channel:


1:14:11

How YOU Can Overcome Sin

Jesus died for our sins. Do you know what the Bible says sin is? Can you overcome sin? What if you have failed in the past? How should you handle various temptations? Does the Bible teach us how to overcome sin? Is there a “weight-loss secret” that can help? Are Christians supposed to overcome in this age? Can the Holy Days, like the Days of Unleavened Bread, assist us in learning how to overcome sin? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues as he teaches from the Bible how you can overcome sin. Can you trust God and do so?

Here is a link to the sermon: How YOU Can Overcome Sin.

Leaven

In the world, leaven is all around. Not only is it in baked goods, it is now in many other products. Leaven spreads and most of the items it becomes part of crumble. In the Bible, leaven normally pictures malice, wickedness, and hypocrisy (I Corinthians 5:8; Mat 16:6,12; Luke 12:1), while unleavened bread pictures sincerity and truth (I Corinthians 5:8). The Old Testament states, “no leaven shall be seen among you” (Deut 16:3), whereas the New Testament states, “His Son cleanses us from all sin” (I John 1:7) and that “sin is lawlessness” (I John 3:4).

Leaven pictures the teachings of the Pharisees (Mat 16:6,12; Luke 12:1) whom Jesus called hypocrites (Mat 23:23,25,27,29). According to Strong’s, the Greek word Jesus used that was translated as hypocrite means, “an actor under an assumed role”. The Pharisees were false religious leaders who pretended to keep God’s law, but really did not (Mat 15:3-9).

Notice that leaven is a symbol of false doctrine and hypocrisy that Jesus warned against:

6 Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”

7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have taken no bread.”

8 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? 9 Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? 10 Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? 11 How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? — but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees. (Matthew 16:6-12)

Jesus further described the Pharisees by saying, “you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Mat 23:28). Jesus thus tied leaven (the Pharisees teachings, Mat 16:12) to false religion (being hypocrites) and sin (since “sin is lawlessness,” 1 John 3:4).

Physically, leavening agents include yeast, bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), and baking powder. Physically, leavening agents “puff up” grain containing products and make them look larger than they would be otherwise. Since the Bible teaches:

15 On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses (Exodus 12:15).

Those who attempt to obey God follow this and remove most breads, crackers, etc. from their houses, clean out their toasters, and otherwise remove physical leaven from their lives just prior to the start of the Days of Unleavened Bread each year. Since the removal involves work, and the term for day in Exodus 12:15 is Miyowm (Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc.) which is different than the Hebrew term for day, Uwbayowm, in Exodus 12:16 (despite the fact that Strong’s uses the same number, 3117, for both words)–this suggests that the removal perhaps should be done before the start of the first day, which is a holy convocation. And this is consistent with other statements in Exodus such as for all of the “seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses” (Exodus 12:19) and “Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven days. And no leavened bread shall be seen among you, nor shall leaven be seen among you in all your quarters” (Exodus 13:7). The only way for no leavened bread to be seen in one’s quarters for those seven days is if it is gone prior to the start of those seven days.

In Exodus it states that the Days of Unleavened Bread, “shall be a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD’s law may be in your mouth” (13:9). Keeping seven days of unleavened bread pictures that we are to live in sincerity and truth by keeping God’s law–that we are not to continue in false religion, not to continue in sin.

Why seven days?

In the Bible God seems to use the number seven to show completeness. There are seven days in a week (Exodus 20:6), seven days of creation (Genesis1), seven Churches in Rev 2&3, seven candlesticks (Rev 1:20), seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34), etc. The seven Days of Unleavened Bread seem to picture that after our sins have been forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus (Rom 3:25, I Corinthians 5:7)), that we are to no longer continue in the old ways but to walk in the true ways of the Bible (I Corinthians 5:8). The Days of Unleavened Bread help us to understand that sin is to be put out of our lives; throughout the year it reminds us that false religion is all around and needs to be avoided.

People who do not keep the Days of Unleavened Bread are not reminded about false religion and sin through this symbol during the year; maybe they do not want to be.

A Warning

Now it is interesting to note that Jude warned that, “For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4).

This is interesting because in the next verse he ties this problem with deliverance (from Egypt) during the Days of Unleavened Bread (which should be kept as an annual reminder of sin and deliverance, Exodus 13:3-10, I Corinthians 5:8).

“But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe” (Jude 5). In like manner, just because of the sacrifice of Jesus “God had passed over the sins that were previously committed” (Rom 3:25), he may afterward destroy “those who did not believe”. How do you know if you truly have faith and believe? By doing what God says.

James warned, “You believe there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe–and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead (James 2:19-20). In a similar way Paul wrote, “for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified” (Rom 2:13). Paul also warned, “For if we sin willfully after we have received knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation” (Heb 10:26-27).

Like the Old Testament (Exodus 12:15,19), the New Testament teaches us “Therefore purge out the old leaven” I Corinthians 5:7. From a physical standpoint it is easy to not obey these teachings. Physically it is easier not to purge or remove all the leaven from our dwellings. But spiritually, by not keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread, many fail to understand that they have to live the way of life that Jesus taught–many accept a false outward religion! Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). By not keeping the Days of Unleavened Bread, many have fallen for a religion based upon traditions of men instead of God’s commands!

The Bible vs. ‘Traditions of Men’

Believe it or not Jesus ran into the same problem in His day. The religious rulers (the Pharisees) were condemned because “you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition” (Mathew 15:6). Although traditions of men say that Jesus condemned the Pharisees for keeping the law, the opposite is true. Remember that Jesus said to them that “inside you are filled with lawlessness and hypocrisy” (Matthew 23:28). Actually, they pretended that they believed the Bible, but taught that their understandings (hermeneutics in modern terms) were more important than the literal commands in the Bible (Mark 7:8-9).

Nowadays, the prevailing “tradition” is to NOT keep the days of unleavened bread.

So the problem of the Pharisees exists even to our day.

The Days of Unleavened Bread last until sunset Friday. Are you keeping them? If not, why not start now?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here are two YouTube videos intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread:Leaven and Sin and Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Offertories: Unleavened Offering and 7th Day of Unleavened Bread Offertory for 2018.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
Overcoming Sin What is sin? How are Christians suppose to overcome it? Here is a link to a version in Mandarin Chinese: QKg f/‘͉v„. Here is a link to a version in Spanish: Vencer al pecado. Here is also a link to a video in English titled How YOU Can Overcome Sin.
Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? Marcus was a second century heretic condemned for having a ceremony similar to one still practiced by many who profess Christ. Might he also be in the apostolic succession list of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria?
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? Where did Easter come from? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Why Easter? Did early Christians observe Easter? What are the origins of Easter? What does Easter have to do with the goddess Ishtar. Where did the word Easter come from? Where do Easter eggs come from? What do rabbits have to do with Easter? Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday? This is a video.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

Could Jesus really have been resurrected on a Sunday?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018

COGwriter

Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday? Is that possible?

What does the Bible teach? (For some information about the ‘crucifixion’ in Spanish, please click on ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?)

Here is one explanation, primarily using New Testament texts, about the day of the crucifixion and the day of the resurrection, from the 1952 booklet of the old Radio Church of God titled The RESURRECTION was NOT on Sunday by the late Herbert W. Armstrong explaining this:

It is commonly supposed, today, Jesus was crucified on FRIDAY, and that the resurrection occurred about sunrise on Easter Sunday morning.

It would seem that no one, until recently, ever thought to question or to PROVE this “Good-Friday-Easter” tradition. Yet the Bible tells us to PROVE all things. And you will be literally astounded by this proof.

For PROOF there is but one dependable authority; a sole historical record — the Bible…

The doubting Pharisees were asking Jesus for a SIGN– a supernatural evidence — in proof of His Messiahship.

Jesus answered: “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man be THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the heart of the earth.” (Matt. 12:38-40). Now consider, please, the tremendous import — the overwhelming significance — of Jesus’ statements!

He expressly declared that the ONLY SIGN He would give to prove He was the Messiah was that He should be just THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the rock-hewn sepulchre in “the heart of the earth.”

The Significance of the Sign

These Christ-rejecting Pharisees demanded PROOF. Jesus offered but one evidence. That evidence was not the fact of the resurrection itself — it was the LENGTH OF TIME He would repose in His grave, before being resurrected.

Think what this means! Jesus staked His claim to being your Saviour and mine upon remaining exactly THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the tomb. IF He remained just three days and three nights inside the earth, He would PROVE Himself the Saviour — if He failed in this sign, He must be rejected as an imposter!

No wonder Satan has caused unbelievers to scoff at the story of Jonah and the “Whale!” No wonder the Devil has set up a tradition that DENIES Jesus is the Messiah!…

The BIBLE Definition

But the BIBLE definition of the duration of “nights and days” is simple.

Even these same higher critics admit that in the HEBREW language, in which the book of Jonah was written, the expression “three days and three nights” means a period of 72 hours — three twelve-hour days and three twelve-hour nights.

Notice Jonah 1:17: “And Jonah was in the belly of the fish THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS!” This, they admit was a period of 72 hours. And Jesus distinctly said that AS Jonah was three days and three nights in the great fish’s belly, So He would be the same length of time in His grave!

As Jonah was in the “GRAVE” (see marginal reference, Jonah 2:2) 72 hours, after which he was supernaturally resurrected by God, by being vomited up, to become a saviour to the people of Ninevah upon proclaiming the warning to them, so should Jesus be 72 hours in His grave, thereupon being resurrected by God to become the saviour of the world!

Did Jesus know how much time was in a “day” and in a “night”? Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in a day … but if a man walk in the NIGHT, he stumbleth.” (John 11:9-10).

Notice the BIBLE DEFINITION of the expression, “THE THIRD DAY.” Text after text tells us that Jesus rose THE THIRD DAY. See how the BIBLE defines the time required to fulfill “THE THIRD DAY.”

In Genesis 1:4 God “divided the LIGHT from the DARKNESS. And God called the LIGHT Day, and the DARKNESS He called Night. And the evening (darkness) and the morning (light) were THE FIRST DAY … and the evening (darkness) and the morning (light) were THE SECOND DAY, … and the evening (now three periods of darkness called NIGHT – three nights) and the morning (now three periods of light called DAY — three days) were THE THIRD DAY.” (Gen 1:4- 13).

Here we have the ONLY BIBLE DEFINITION which explains and COUNTS UP the amount of time involved in the expression “THE THIRD DAY.” It includes three dark periods called NIGHT, and three light periods called DAY — three days and three nights, and Jesus said they contained TWELVE HOURS for each period — a total of 72 hours!

That ought to be conclusive! Any seven-year old, near the end of the second grade, could figure it easily. We praise God that His plain truths are revealed UNTO BABES, and hidden from the wise and prudent!

What Is Wrong?

What is wrong with these plain, simple words of Jesus? How do these wise and prudent theologians KNOW Jesus was crucified “Good Friday” and rose “Easter Sunday?”

The simple answer is, THEY DO NOT KNOW IT — for IT IS NOT TRUE! It is merely TRADITION — a tradition we have been taught from childhood, and carelessly ASSUMED! Jesus warns against making “the Word of God of none effect through your TRADITION.” (Mark 7:13).

We have examined two scriptural witnesses, in Matthew and in Jonah, both setting the duration of the body of Jesus in the tomb as three days and three nights, which the Scriptures plainly define as 72 hours of time. Now let us examine four other Scriptural witnesses the PROVE THE SAME THING.

Notice Mark 8:31 “And He began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and AFTER three days rise again.”

Our young second grader can figure this. IF Jesus had been killed on Friday, and then AFTER one day He had risen, the resurrection would have occurred on Saturday evening. IF AFTER TWO DAYS, it would have occurred Sunday evening, and if AFTER THREE DAYS, it would have occurred MONDAY EVENING!

Examine this text carefully. You cannot, by any process of arithmetic, figure any less than a full 72 hours — three days and three nights — in a resurrection which occurred three days AFTER the crucifixion! If Jesus was in the grave only from Friday sunset to Sunday sunrise, then this text too, must be torn out of your Bible or else you must reject Jesus Christ as your Saviour! If He rose AFTER THREE DAYS, it might have been more than 72 hours, but it could not have been a second less!

Notice now Mark 9:31. “… they shall kill him; and AFTER that he is killed, he shall rise THE THIRD DAY.” The duration expressed here must be between 48 and 72 hours. It could not be one second PAST 72 hours, and Jesus still rise THE THIRD DAY. And it could not be Friday sunset to Sunday sunrise, because that is only 36 hours, carrying us into the middle of the second day, AFTER He was killed.

In Matthew 27:63 Jesus is quoted as saying, “AFTER THREE DAYS I will rise again.” This cannot possibly be figured as less than 72 full hours.

And in John 2:18-22, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and IN three days I will raise it up … but HE spake of the temple of his body.” To be raised up IN three days after being destroyed, or crucified and buried, could not be more than 72 hours.

If we are to accept all the testimony of THE BIBLE, we must conclude that Jesus was exactly three days and three nights — three full 24-hour days — 72 hours in the grave or the only supernatural proof He gave must fail.

The TIME OF DAY of the Resurrection

Now notice carefully this fact: In order to be three days and three nights — 72 hours — in the tomb, our Lord had to be resurrected at exactly THE SAME TIME OF DAY that His body was buried in the tomb!

Let us realize that very vital fact.

If we can find the TIME OF DAY of the burial, then we have found the TIME OF DAY of the resurrection! If the burial, for instance, was at sunrise, then in order to be left an even three days and three nights in the tomb, the resurrection likewise had to occur at sunrise, three days later. If the burial were at noon, the resurrection was at noon. If the burial was at sunset, the resurrection was at sunset, three days later.

Jesus cried on the cross soon after “the ninth hour” or three o’clock in the afternoon. (Matt. 27:46-50; Mark 15:34-37; Luke 23:44-46).

The crucifixion day was called “the preparation,” or day before “the Sabbath.” (Matt. 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14). This day ended at sunset, according to Bible reckoning (Lev. 23:32).

Yet Jesus was buried before this same day ended — before sunset. (Matt. 27:57; Luke 23:52-54). John adds, “There laid they Jesus, therefore, because of the Jews’ preparation day.” According to the laws observed by the Jews all dead bodies must be buried before the beginning of a Sabbath or feast day. Hence Jesus was buried BEFORE SUNSET on the same day He died. He died shortly after 3 p.m.

Therefore — notice carefully — the BURIAL OF CHRIST’S BODY WAS IN THE LATE AFTERNOON! It was between 3 p.m. and sunset as these Scriptures prove.

And since the RESURRECTION had to occur at the SAME TIME OF DAY, three days later, THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST OCCURRED, not at sunrise, but IN THE LATE AFTERNOON, near sunset! Startling as this fact may be, it is the PLAIN BIBLE TRUTH!

If Jesus rose at any other time of day, He could not have been three days and three nights in His grave. If He rose at any other time of day, He failed to prove, by the only sign He gave that He was the true Messiah, the Son of the living Creator! Either He rose near the END of a day near sunset, or else He is not the Christ! He staked His claim on that one and only sign!

So a time-honored tradition must be shattered! Let us praise God for His TRUTH which has been preserved through the dark ages, so that the true light may now shine forth, if our hearts and minds are still willing to receive it! Praise His name! Do you LOVE the TRUTH as it is revealed, or despise it and love the traditions you have heard? “Whosoever despiseth the Word shall be destroyed!” Let us say with David, “How precious also are THY thoughts unto me, O God!”

What Day Was the Resurrection?

Now which DAY OF THE WEEK was the resurrection day? The first investigators, Mary Magdalene and her companions, came to the sepulcher on the first day of the week (Sunday) very early, while it was yet dark, as the sun was beginning to rise, at dawn. (Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1).

Now here are the texts most people have SUPPOSED stated the resurrection was at sunrise Sunday morning. But they do not say that!

When the women arrived, the tomb was already OPEN! At that time Sunday morning while it was yet dark — JESUS WAS NOT THERE! Notice how the angel says “HE IS NOT HERE, BUT IS RISEN!” See Mark 16:6; Luke 24:3; John 20:2; Matt. 28:5-6.

Jesus was ALREADY RISEN at sunrise Sunday morning! Of course He was. He rose from the grave IN THE LATE AFTERNOON, near SUNSET!

And since we know the resurrection was just shortly prior to that Sunday morning, and that it occurred in the late afternoon of the day, we now may know THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST OCCURRED LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

The Sabbath day ended at sunset. It was late on that day, before the beginning of the first day of the week. It was not, then, a Sunday resurrection at all — it was a Sabbath resurrection!

Three days prior to Saturday afternoon is Wednesday afternoon. Hence, since Jesus was killed on a Wednesday and resurrected on a Saturday, there is no biblical reason for “Easter” to be on a Sunday. The resurrection was not on Sunday.

Some have claimed that one of following scriptures (vs. 21) proves a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday resurrection:

13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

19 And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:13-27)

But it does not. The strongest evidence in favor of Wednesday as the crucifixion is Jesus’ own words about being in the grave three days and three nights, plus the fact that the Sabbath He was interned prior to was a high day. As far as the counting of three, different people use different expressions to mean things. For example, in modern times, to say something will happen next Sunday may mean tomorrow or a week from tomorrow, hence I do not believe that the “third day since” argument is adequate to discount Wednesday.

Furthermore, notice this explanation from the late Herbert W. Armstrong:

Another passage that might confuse is Luke 24:21: “… And beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done.” “These things” included all the events pertaining to the resurrection — the seizing of Jesus, delivering Him to be tried, the actual crucifixion, and, finally, the setting of the seal and the watch over the tomb the following day, or Thursday. Study verses 18-20, telling of “these things” and also Matthew 27:62-66. “These things” were not completed until the watch was set, Thursday. And the text says Sunday was the third day since these things were done. Sunday truly was the third day since Thursday. But it was not the third day since Friday, so this text could not prove a Friday crucifixion. (The RESURRECTION was NOT on Sunday, Radio Church of God, 1952)

Notice that “these things” were not limited to placing Christ in the tomb. Yet some have erroneously concluded otherwise.

Notice the following:

62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard. (Matthew 27:62-66).

The day “which followed the Day of Preparation” was a Thursday and the third day since that would be Sunday.

Even some Protestant scholars have long realized that there is biblical support that Jesus’ resurrection may have been on Saturday. Notice what one wrote in 1907:

…the Bible nowhere says or implies that Jesus was crucified and died on Friday. It is said that Jesus was crucified on “the day before the Sabbath“…Now, the Bible does not leave us to speculate which Sabbath is meant in this instance; for John tells us, in so many words, in John 19:14, that the day on which Jesus was tried and crucified was “the preparation of the Passover” (emphasis added). In other words, it was not the day before the weekly Sabbath (that is, Friday), but it was the day before the Passover Sabbath, which came that year on Thursday–that is to say, the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified was Wednesday. John makes this as clear as day… To sum it all up, Jesus died just about sunset on Wednesday. Seventy two hours later, exactly three days and three nights, at…Saturday at sunset, He arose again from the grave. (Torrey R.A. Difficulties in the Bible. Originally published 1907; Whitaker House; Updated edition, October 2003, pp. 168-169, 173).

Furthermore, see what the late Jerry Falwell, a Sunday-keeper, and others have admitted:

The Bible is actually silent on the precise moment of resurrection. Jesus’ followers came to His tomb before dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday), but they did not witness Him coming back to life. They merely found an empty tomb. Even the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, a Sunday-keeper and chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., agreed with that timetable, telling WND in 2001, “I personally believe He was crucified on Wednesday evening … and rose after 6 p.m. Saturday evening.” Most Christians today think Jesus died on a Friday and rose on Sunday. They point to Scriptures indicating a Sabbath day followed Jesus’ execution. But Sabbath-keepers claim it was not the weekly Sabbath of Saturday approaching. Rather, they say it was an annual Sabbath, a “high” holy day in the Hebrew calendar known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which supposedly occurred on a Thursday the week Jesus was killed. The Gospel of John mentions that Sabbath was the annual type. “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) … .” (John 19:31) In other words, Sabbatarians say there was more than one day of rest that week. Their timeline has Jesus slain on Wednesday – the day before the “high day” annual Sabbath on Thursday. They believe Jesus was in the grave for a full three days and three nights, finally arising Saturday evening, the second Sabbath of the week. The mention of “three days and three nights” is important for many, as Jesus used that phrase to prove His divine identity: “For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so I, the Son of Man, will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.” (Matthew 12:40, New Living Translation) (Kovac, Joe. ‘Deception’: Christians war over worship day. Posted: March 16, 2008 5:24 pm Eastern. WorldNetDaily).

Hence, some do know the truth. And it is not just some Protestants. It is interesting to note that even into the 19th century, there was a ceremony in Rome that indicated a Saturday resurrection. Notice:

This ceremony is thus graphically described by the authoress of Rome in the 19th Century:”…the Pope himself, who walked beneath a crimson canopy, with his head uncovered, bearing the Host in a box; and this being, as you know, the real flesh and blood of Christ, was carried from the Sistine chapel through the intermediate hall to the Paulina chapel, where it was deposited in the sepulchre prepared to receive it beneath the altar…I never could learn why Christ was to be buried before He was dead, for, as the crucifixion did not take place till Good Friday, it seems odd to inter Him on Thursday. His body, however, is laid in the sepulchre, in all the churches of Rome, where this rite is practised, on Thursday forenoon, and it remains there till Saturday at mid-day, when, for some reason best known to themselves, He is supposed to rise from the grave amidst the firing of cannon, and blowing of trumpets, and jingling of bells…*” * The above account referred to the ceremonies as witnessed by the authoress in 1817 and 1818. It would seem that some change has taken place since then, caused probably by the very attention called by her to the gross anomaly mentioned above; for Count Vlodaisky, formerly a Roman Catholic priest, who visited Rome in 1845, has informed me that in that year the resurrection took place, not at mid-day, but at nine o’clock on the evening of Saturday. This may have been intended to make the inconsistency between Roman practice and Scriptural fact appear somewhat less glaring. Still the fact remains, that the resurrection of Christ, as celebrated at Rome, takes place, …on the day of Saturn…(Hislop, Alexander. Two Babylons. Loizeaux, Neptune (NJ), Second American Edition, 1959–originally expanded in 1858).

Whether the above ceremony still exists, this writer does not know. But it is interesting that at least one Roman ceremony involving the pope acknowledged a Saturday resurrection that late. Perhaps, this ceremony was originally adopted by Rome partially because the early Romans knew that Jesus was actually resurrected on Saturday. Irrespective of that celebration, it is clear that there is evidence outside the Bible that among those that professed Christ, there were some who understood that the crucifixion was on a Wednesday and the resurrection was on a Saturday.

Some items of related interest may be include:

What Happened in the ‘Crucifixion Week’? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?) A sermon of related interest is titled What did and did not happen in the ‘Crucifixion week’?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? Where did Easter come from? What do scholars and the Bible reveal? Here is a link to a video titled Why Easter?
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?
Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
The Night to Be Observed What is the night to be much observed? When is it? Why do Jews keep Passover twice and emphasize the wrong date? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled The Night to Be Observed.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here is a YouTube video intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread:
Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
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.

A new open door: CCOG Animations presents ‘First Date: Worldly vs. Christian’

Sunday, April 1st, 2018

COGwriter

Announcing a New Door: Animations

In order to help get information out to a wider audience, we in the Continuing Church of God have decided to produce some short animations that we plan to initially put up on YouTube.

This may be somewhat unique to us as I personally have never been part of a church that used a lot of animations (I only remember a two-minute animation in the 1970s used once as part of a World Tomorrow telecast related to Gehenna fire). The first CCOG animation is related to dating and our forthcoming booklet on the subject.

Currently, I have written three scripts for the animations, and am working on others. Some will mainly promote booklets we already have, but we also will need additional ones.

Now, because of this animation door, this seems to be the time to produce some other booklets on subjects I had in mind to write (God’s existence, Christian living, God’s calling as Ambassadors for the Kingdom of God, baptism, prophecy, etc.). So, I have been working on a couple of those as well.

We are striving to implement ways to better reach the audience in the 21st century. That is consistent with the following teachings from Jesus and the Apostle Paul:

12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12, NKJV throughout, unless otherwise noted)

19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. (1 Corinthians 9:19-22)

To try to reach all, we must also consider their demographics. Younger people are looking for more short bursts of information, and people are more used to being entertained in modern times.

There is a place for ‘milk’ as well as ‘strong meat’:

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

So, while we will continue to have sermons, long articles, etc. (stronger meat), we are looking to provide some basic information (milk, starter food) in forms that more would be comfortable to start with. Plus, everyone who has been around for a long times does not always need strong meat. God made a variety of physical foods, and in CCOG we are trying to provide a variety of spiritual foods (magazines, websites, sermonette videos, sermon videos, personal contacts, visits around the world, baptizing trips, youth camps, church and holy day services, radio appearances, and now also animation videos). Radio appearances, of which I have done over 100 since CCOG formed, should be considered mainly along the “milk of the word” line.

Consistent with biblical admonitions, we need to “Memorize his laws and tell them to your children over and over again” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, CEV) as well as “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:6).

Since very young children tend to have their hearts turned towards their parents and vice versa, I have long believed we need to, in addition to teaching parents (which is something we have always striven to do), better reach young people in their teens and above. Animations look to be one way to do that (and yes, church youth camps, which we have each year are also another specific step we have taken).

But let it be understood that while the use of animations is mainly focused on people from age 13 to 30, animations should also be effective for people of almost all ages.

Notice something that the late Pastor General of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert W. Armstrong, had in the last letter sent out before his death:

It may be that the Work that God has given me to do is complete, but not the Work of God’s Church, which will be faithfully doing God’s Work till Christ, the True Head of this Church, returns … Remember brethren, this is not the work of Herbert W. Armstrong … The greatest work lies ahead … Never before in the history of the Church has it been possible to reap so great a harvest. It has only been made possible through modern technology, beginning with the printing press, radio, television ... Each of you must commit yourself to support God’s Work … God’s work must push ahead as never before. God is opening up new doors in television (Letter, 1/10/86).

The use of animations looks to be a door that we can use to reach others that we may not otherwise reach as well as those not as likely to want to read long articles and/or watch long sermons. Hopefully, after watching animations, many will want to learn more.

The use of online television services like YouTube, and modern computer software to make animations, is a NEW DOOR IN TELEVISION.

My hope and prayer is that the short animations, combined with relevant free book offers, will help others develop more interest in true Christianity. This is another way to get the witness out to the world.

We plan to announce each of the animations shortly after they come available.

We also are expecting to make some of them available in other languages.

Now, as far as YouTube goes, yes we are aware that they censor and may one day block our content–it suspended a CCOG sermon by Steve Dupuie once and has blocked non-CCOG people (see YouTube censorship of ‘conservative’ content). However, since more and more people can watch YouTube on televisions in their homes, it is still the least expensive way to reach a broad television audience. Unless something better comes along, we plan to utilize the ‘door’ of YouTube until it closes. Which, one day, it will.

Until then, putting animations online, in addition to our sermons and sermonettes, via YouTube is an exciting development that I ask all of you to pray about. We hope to have the first one finished and available within weeks.

Anyway, the Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce the following video on our new CCOG Animations channel:

Should a first date be between two experienced pickup artists interested in fornication? Or should it be between a man and a woman who would like to actually know each other better? Does the Bible give any guidelines that Christians who date should pay attention to? If so, what are some? This brief animation shows a worldly pickup date at a bar, and an inelegant, but appropriate request for a date in a more open environment. Dating should be fun and involve communication, and not regrets. So, check out our animation on worldly vs. Christian dating. A free online book with more information on dating is available and titled: Dating: A Key to Success in Marriage, a practical guide for Christians.

Here is a link to our video: First Date: Worldly vs. Christian.

Our second animation is in process and has to do with the musing called the “Big Bang Theory.”

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Dating: A Key to Success in Marriage This booklet is a practical dating guide for Christians. It discusses many aspects of dating, as well as who to not consider for marriage. A short animation is also available: First Date: Worldly vs. Christian.
Love, Marriage, and Sex It is important to get them in the right order.
God Created Marriage Some falsely claim that God did not create marriage and that fornication is fine.  What does the Bible really teach? Here is a version in Mandarin Chinese y^R ZZYû.
Making Your Marriage Work Marriage is not always easy, but it pictures a divine relationship. How can you make your marriage work? Here is a link to the video sermon: You Can Make YOUR Marriage Work.
Here’s the Plain Truth About OLD TESTAMENT POLYGAMY by Herbert Armstrong. Here is a related article in the Spanish language: ¿Es la poligamia una senda de Dios?
Husbands Love Your Wives An article written by the late Selmer Hegvold.
Five Rules for Effective Parenting Do you know that there are five simple rules that can make you a more effective parent? Here is a link to a version in Mandarin Chinese N”ga{€SUg eHv„[PYsQ{€²‰ÄR. There is also a 12 1/2 minute English language YouTube video on this, also titled Five Rules for Effective Parenting.
What Psychologists do not Know About Child Rearing This is an article by Herbert Armstrong that was used as the introduction to the pdf booklet The Plain Truth About Child Rearing.
The Plain Truth About Child Rearing This is a pdf booklet that the old WCG put out.
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children.  What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on?  There are also three YouTube videos related to this, titled Transgender ‘Woe to those who call evil good’ and Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children and USA pushing gender confusion.

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, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Africa, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Canada, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Europe, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG Animations channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs.
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.
Bible News Prophecy
online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
Bible News Prophecy
channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them at that channel.
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.

Sermon: Leaven and Sin

Saturday, March 31st, 2018


Unleavened Bread

COGwriter

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

1:07:41

What is leaven? What, according to the Bible, is sin? Did Jesus indicate that leaven was like sin? What are some of the similarities between leaven and sin? Are the Days of Unleavened Bread just some practice of the ancient Hebrews or were they also enjoined upon God’s people in the New Testament? Did early Christians keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Should you avoid leaven and eat unleavened bread on each of the seven days of unleavened bread? What can you do to help put sin out of your life?

Here is a link to the sermon: Leaven and Sin.

Here is an offertory sermonette:

13:54

Do you know what offering that God calls the most holy? Should you give offerings during the Days of Unleavened Bread? What did Jesus teach about giving? What did the Apostle Paul teach? Was leaven to be offered? How can one give an offering? Dr. Thiel addresses these matters and more. A page that can assist those who wish to give is titled ‘Donations’ URL: http://www.ccog.org/donations/

Here is a link to the sermonette Unleavened Offering.

Some items of related interest may include:

Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here are links to two sermons: Christians, Change, and the Days of Unleavened Bread and Leaven and Sin.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
Overcoming Sin
What is sin? How are Christians suppose to overcome it? Here is a link to a version in Mandarin Chinese:
QKg f/‘͉v„. Here is a link to a version in Spanish: Vencer al pecado. Here is also a link to a video in English titled How YOU Can Overcome Sin.
Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? Marcus was a second century heretic condemned for having a ceremony similar to one still practiced by many who profess Christ. Might he also be in the apostolic succession list of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria?
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? Where did Easter come from? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Why Easter? Did early Christians observe Easter? What are the origins of Easter? What does Easter have to do with the goddess Ishtar. Where did the word Easter come from? Where do Easter eggs come from? What do rabbits have to do with Easter? Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday? This is a video.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
Unleavened Bread recipes A Serbian COG member, now CCOG elder, sent these recipes for those who would like more ways to prepare unleavened bread.
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.
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.
Continuing Church of God, Africa, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Canada, Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
Continuing Church of God, Europe, 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.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
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.

This is the night to be observed

Friday, March 30th, 2018


Some Proposed Routes of the Exodus

COGwriter

Tonight after sunset is the 15th of Nisan. While certain Jews will celebrate the Passover tonight, Passover was actually last night (see Passover on the 14th or 15th?). Tonight, however, is a biblical celebration and it does resemble the Jewish celebration in that the emphasis is on a meal and the departure from Egypt (representing the sinning world for Christians).

Anyway, notice what the Bible calls tonight’s celebration:

42 It is a night to be much observed unto the LORD for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the LORD to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations (Exodus 12:42, KJV).

And it is a time to reflect on Christ’s Passover sacrifice and that Christians are to come out of the world and not be part of it. Here is some of what Jesus taught about that:

19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you (John 15:19, NKJV).

Exodus chapter 12 contains the account of the first Passover. It begins with God instructing Moses and Aaron about what they were to teach the people and what was going to happen. This instruction included the taking out of a lamb on the tenth day of this first month, called Abib, and saving it up until the 14th day when it was to be killed at twilight — the beginning of the 14th. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled The Night to Be Observed.

Here are some of the biblical instructions about the Passover:

Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your families, and kill the Passover lamb. And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin. And none of you shall go out of the door of his house until morning. (Exodus 12:21-22)

The expression “til morning” comes from the Hebrew word meaning “the breaking through of daylight,” “coming of daylight,” or the “coming of sunrise.”

So, Israelites did not go out of their homes until after dawn. What happened that night?

And it came to pass at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of livestock. So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, “Rise and go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the LORD as you have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also.” And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.”(Exodus 12:29-33)

Notice that Moses and Aaron did NOT go out during the night – that is an incorrect assumption (see Exodus 10:28-29) that many various ones have:

Then Pharaoh said to him, “Get away from Me! Take heed to yourself and see my face no more! For in the day you see my face you shall die!” And Moses said, “You have spoken well. I will never see your face again.” (Exodus 10:28-29)

After the death of the firstborn, the Israelites had a number of tasks to complete before leaving Egypt. They were to stay inside their houses until morning, the breaking of daylight, then burn the remains of the lambs that had not been eaten, go to the villages and cities where the Egyptians lived and ask them to give them silver, gold, and clothing, gather and load up whatever possessions they were to carry and, with their herds and flocks, travel on foot, for some as much as twenty miles, to Rameses where their organized journey out of Egypt was to begin. Notice:

And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneadingtroughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians. And the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot that were men, beside children. And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any victual. (Exodus 12:34-39 –King James Version)

The Night to be Much Observed

Then they left.

Exodus 13:18 tells us, “the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.”

It’s remarkable that they were able to accomplish this all by the night after the Passover. Now notice:

Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years — on that very same day — it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night of solemn observance to the LORD for bringing them out of the land of Egypt. This is that night of the LORD, a solemn observance for all the children of Israel throughout their generations.(Exodus 12:40-42)

Notice how to differentiate Passover night from Night to be Much Observed by looking at the date each was supposed to fall on (14th or 15th):

On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD: seven days you must eat unleavened bread. (Leviticus 23:5-6)

These are the journeys of the children of Israel, who went out of the land of Egypt by their armies under the hand of Moses and Aaron. Now Moses wrote down the starting points of their journeys at the command of the LORD. And these are their journeys according to their starting points: They departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the day after the Passover the children of Israel went out with boldness in the sight of all the Egyptians. For the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn, whom the LORD had killed among them. Also on their gods the LORD had executed judgments. (Numbers 33:1-4)

Passover teaches us our need for the sacrificial Lamb, Jesus Christ, but this is only the beginning of God’s plan of salvation.

The Night to Be Observed reminds us that we have our part in our ultimate salvation. We must repent of sin and walk out of spiritual Egypt. This night pictures the beginning of that journey. We learn from this Feast that we cannot stay in Egypt. We are not to be part of this present evil world. Even as God separated His people from Egypt, we must be separated from modern day Egypt with all of its lures and attractions. Just as ancient Israel had to put forth effort to get out of bondage, so we too must put forth effort to remove ourselves from the bondage of this world.

The Night to Be Observed begins after sunset on March 30,. 2018. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled. The Night to Be Much Observed.

The next morning continues the official first day of unleavened bread, and is observed by faithful Christians as it has been for centuries (Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread?).

Some items of related interest may include:

The Night to Be Observed What is the night to be much observed? When is it? Why do Jews keep Passover twice and emphasize the wrong date? A related video is available and is titled The Night to Be Much Observed.
EXODUS When was the Exodus? Did it Happen? Some deny the biblical account of the Exodus. Was Ramses II the pharaoh then? When did the Exodus occur?  Is there proof outside of the Bible that there was an Exodus? Here is a related article in the Spanish language: ¿Cuándo fue el Éxodo? ¿Ocurrió realmente? Also: Reasons, Proofs, and Ramifications of the Ten Plagues of Exodus What do you know about these plagues? What happened to the ‘gods of Egypt’? Is there any confirmation outside the Bible? Might something worse be coming? A related two-part sermon is available: Egypt and the Plagues (Part 1) and Exodus Plagues and Prophecy (Part 2). Also: Exodus and the Days of Unleavened Bread This article discusses parts of the Book of Exodus with some connections to the Days of Unleavened Bread. A related sermons are available Exodus 1-4: Jewish Myths or Lessons for Christians Today? and Unleavened Bread: Lessons in Exodus. Another sermon is Exodus, Judgments, and Jesus. Also Exodus 4:24, Why would God have sought to kill Moses? What did Moses do wrong? Do you have a similar problem?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
How to Keep God’s Festivals Many have heard of God’s Holy Days and wonder how they are kept in the 21st century. This is an overview article. A related sermon is also available titled: How to Keep God’s Feasts.
Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread How should Christians keep Passover, especially if they are by themselves. Why does the Church of God not require lambs for Passover? How does one keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? For a step-by-step video for Christians to keep it, check out CCOG Passover Service. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: Guardando la Pascua y los Días de los Panes sin Levadura.
Preparing for Passover The Apostle Paul taught that Christians should examine themselves prior to taking Passover. This YouTube video sermon gives suggestions on how to prepare.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers.
Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread What does the Bible teach about the Days of Unleavened Bread? Did the apostles such as John, Paul, and Philip keep it? What is leaven? Does history show that true Christians kept the Days of Unleavened Bread? Who condemned these days? Should you live like the Pharisees that relied more on tradition or the teachings of the Bible? This YouTube was intended to be viewed on the first day of unleavened bread.
Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread How should Christians keep Passover, especially if they are by themselves. Why does the Church of God not require lambs for Passover? How does one keep the Days of Unleavened Bread?
What Happened in the Crucifixion Week? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
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?

Passover is tonight! Guardando la Pascua y los Días de los Panes sin Levadura.

Thursday, March 29th, 2018


Artist’s portrayal of Peter and John
going to prepare for the Passover

COGwriter

Tonight, after sunset, is the 14th day of Nisan on the Hebrew calendar. Christian groups, such as the Continuing Church of God, will observe tonight as the Christian Passover. In addition to information on how to keep it in English (read Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread and/or watch the step-by-step instructions in the video CCOG Passover Service) we now also have an article on how to keep it translated into the Spanish language: Guardando la Pascua y los Días de los Panes sin Levadura.

As most everyone knows, Jesus kept the Passover, from the time of His youth. Luke records:

41 His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. 42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast (Luke 2:41-42).

Jesus continued to keep the Passover throughout His entire life. He kept it once per year. Passover was an annual event for Him and others (Exodus 13:10) and was observed on the fourteenth day of the first month (called Abib in Deuteronomy 16:1 or Nisan in Esther 3:7):

5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover (Leviticus 23:5).

And Jesus had his disciples also keep it and told them to keep it as a remembrance to Him:

7 Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. 8 And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.” 9 So they said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare?” 10 And He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house which he enters. 11 Then you shall say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room where I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”‘ 12 Then he will show you a large, furnished upper room; there make ready.” 13 So they went and found it just as He had said to them, and they prepared the Passover. 14 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. 15 Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 16 for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” 17 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; 18 for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” 19 And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 20 Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:7-20)

On Jesus’ last Passover as a human being, He changed many of the practices associated with the Jewish version of it. But He in no way suggested that it was not an annual Passover, nor did He change the time of day until the morning.

Even the Emperor Constantine understood that Passover was to be a one-time, annual event when, according to the fifth century historian Theodoret, he declared:

“For we could never tolerate celebrating the Passover twice in one year. But even if all these facts did not exist, your own sagacity would prompt you to watch with diligence and with prayer, lest your pure minds should appear to share in the customs of a people so utterly depraved. It must also be borne in mind, that upon so important a point as the celebration of a feast of such sanctity, discord is wrong. One day has our Saviour set apart for a commemoration of our deliverance, namely, of His most holy Passion” (Theodoret of Cyrus. Ecclesiastical History (Book I), Chapter IX. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Volume 3. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. American Edition, 1892. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight).

It may be of interest to note that, even in the 21st Century, the Roman Catholics still teach that this Passover (which they call the Last Supper) was kept by Jesus on a Tuesday night and that He was betrayed on a Wednesday (Zanchettin L, ed. Meditations, Tuesday, April 11, Wednesday April 12. the WORD among us–The #1 Monthly Devotional for Catholics. 2006; Volume 25, Number 4, pp. 63-64).

The Apostle Paul realized that Jesus was a substitute for the Passover lamb that the Jewish people used. He also taught that Christians should still continue to observe Passover:

Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1 Corinthians 5:7-8).

The medieval historian and Catholic Priest Bede (also known as “the Venerable Bede”) recorded from a Catholic Abbot named Wilfrid that the Apostle John kept Passover on the 14th:

Far be it from me to charge John with foolishness: he literally observed the decrees of the Mosaic law when the Church was still Jewish in many respects, at a time when the apostles were unable to bring a sudden end to that law which God ordained…So John, in accordance with the custom of the law, began the celebration of Easter Day in the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month, regardless of whether it fell on the sabbath or any other day (Bede (Monk). Edited by Judith McClure and Roger Collins. The Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Oxford University Press, NY, 1999).

Thus, the last of the original apostles kept Passover on the 14th of Nisan.

Apparently, some in the second century wanted to observe the 15th (like most Jews now do), but Apollinaris (a church leader of Hierapolis in Phrygia of Asia Minor) wrote the following around 180 A.D.:

The fourteenth day, the true Passover of the Lord; the great sacrifice, the Son of God instead of the lamb, who was bound, who bound the strong, and who was judged, though Judge of living and dead, and who was delivered into the hands of sinners to be crucified, who was lifted up on the horns of the unicorn, and who was pierced in His holy side, who poured forth from His side the two purifying elements, water and blood, word and spirit, and who was buried on the day of the passover, the stone being placed upon the tomb (Apollinaris. From the Book Concerning Passover. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors; American Edition copyright © 1885. Copyright © 2001 Peter Kirby).

There are some today, who still erroneously cling to the 15th, but they seem to misunderstand scripture and early church history; see TPM: Passover on the 14th or 15th?.

The fourth century historian Epiphanius even admits that “the church” used to observe the 14th when he wrote:

Audians…they choose to celebrate the Passover with the Jews–that is they contentiously celebrate the Passover at the same time as the Jews are holding their Festival of Unleavened Bread. And indeed that this used to be the church’s custom (Epiphanius. The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Books II and III (Sects 47-80), De Fide). Section VI, Verses 8,11; 9,2. Translated by Frank Williams. EJ Brill, New York, 1994, pp. 410-411).

The fifth century historian Socrates Scholasticus noted:

In Asia Minor most people kept the fourteenth day of the moon…Moreover the Quartodecimans affirm that the observance of the fourteenth day was delivered to them by the apostle John (Socrates Scholasticus. Ecclesiastical History, Book V, Chapter XXII. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Volume 2. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. American Edition, 1890. Online Edition Copyright © 2005 by K. Knight).

In the introduction to his English translation of The Key of Truth, F.C. Conybeare provides this information on the practices of the Paulicians in the Middle Ages and later:

John of Otzun’s language perhaps implies that the old believers in Armenia during the seventh century were Quartodecumans, as we should expect them to be (Conybeare F.C. The Key of Truth: A Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1898, p. clii).

We know from a notice preserved by Ananias of Shirak {Shirak is a province of Armenia} that the Pauliani, who were the same people at an earlier date, called Quartodecumans, and kept Easter {Passover} in the primitive manner on the Jewish date…

But the Paulini also keep the feast of the Pascha on the same day (as the Jews), whatever be the day of the full moon, they call it Kuriaki, as the Jews call it Sabbath, even though it be not a Sabbath (Conybeare F.C. The Key of Truth: A Manual of the Paulician Church of Armenia. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1898, p. clii).

Here is a report about a church in Rhode Island in the 17th and 18th centuries:

The church in Rhode Island was founded the year 1671, and Ephreta, Pennsylvania, May, 1725, with numerous other congregations throughout the eastern states as previously mentioned in this work. During these early colonial days congregations were at first isolated because of distance and a lack of means of travel with no roads between them. Thus being isolated from fellowship with one another, we find companies in one place called the Church of Christ, and the Church of God, while in other communities they were simply called “Sabbatarian Congregations,” but the belief was practically the same. They stood for the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, observing the true Sabbath, keeping the Lord’s Supper yearly on the 14th of the first month, with other tenets of faith in harmony with the true faith today. Owing to the isolation of these scattered companies they were known by different names which evidently gives rise to the Scriptural statement relative to the Sardis period, “I know thy works, that thou hast a NAME,” Revelation 3:1 (Dugger AN, Dodd CO. A History of True Religion, 3rd ed. Jerusalem, 1972 (Church of God, 7th Day). 1990 reprint, pp. 252-253).

The Church of God, Seventh Day kept the Passover on the fourteenth of Nisan in the 19th and 20th centuries (and still does so today–I verified that last year with the Denver branch, though they tend to call it the ‘Lord’s Supper’).

The pre-1986 Worldwide Church of God did so in the 20th century.

The Continuing Church of God, and certain other groups, have always kept the Passover on the 14th of Nisan, and continue to do so in the 21st century.

Thus, from the time of Christ and throughout history, small groups of people trying to be faithful Christians observed Passover on the 14th of Nisan, which in 2017 is tonight. Tomorrow night is the night to be much observed (a related, but separate event). Here is a link to an article Passover and the Early Church, here is a link to a YouTube titled History of the Christian Passover, here is a link to a YouTube titled Preparing for Passover, here is a link to how one should be Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread, here is a link to a Passover Service. Real Christians have always kept Passover on the 14th of Nisan.

Jesus kept the final Passover just after sunset on the 14th of Nisan, which will be this evening. He told His followers to continue to do so, if you are one, will you?

The Continuing Church of God is pleased to make available its suggested Passover service: CCOG Passover Service, available online at its ContinuingCOG channel.

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CCOG Passover Service

This is a step-by-step Passover service for baptized Christians to follow if they are unable to attend a live Passover service. Passover is normally to be on the 14th of the month of Nisan in the Hebrew calendar. This service is by the overseeing pastor of the Continuing Church of God (CCOG). Leaders of the local Passover service (even if there is only one person) should have some unleavened bread, wine, a towel, and one or more water basins available.

After conducting His last Passover service, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray and await His arrest (Mark 14).

For those who have limited internet speed access and/or prefer a written outline to follow for Passover, the article Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread contains step-by-step insructions for Christians to keep it. There is also a link to a related article in the Spanish language: Guardando la Pascua y los Días de los Panes sin Levadura.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread How should Christians keep Passover, especially if they are by themselves. Why does the Church of God not require lambs for Passover? How does one keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? For a step-by-step video for Christians to keep it, check out a CCOG Passover Service. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: Guardando la Pascua y los Días de los Panes sin Levadura.
Examine Yourself before Passover This article goes into some of why real Christians are to do this. A related sermon is titled Passover Examination.
Preparing for Passover The Apostle Paul taught that Christians should examine themselves prior to taking Passover. This YouTube video sermon gives suggestions on how to prepare.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
How often should we partake of THE LORD’S SUPPER? Herbert Armstrong answers that question.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Hebrew Calendar This writing helps explain why we in the Continuing Church of God use the calendar that we do and answers such questions as “Did Jesus Observe the Postponements?”
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
TPM: Passover on the 14th or 15th? While the real COG observes Passover on the 14th, some observe it on the 15th. Why is the 14th correct? A related sermon is titled Is Passover on the 14th or 15th for Christians?
The Night to Be Observed What is the night to be much observed? When is it? Why do Jews keep Passover twice and emphasize the wrong date? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled The Night to Be Observed.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers.
Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread What does the Bible teach about the Days of Unleavened Bread? Did the apostles such as John, Paul, and Philip keep it? What is leaven? Does history show that true Christians kept the Days of Unleavened Bread? Who condemned these days? Should you live like the Pharisees that relied more on tradition or the teachings of the Bible? This YouTube was intended to be viewed on the first day of unleavened bread.
Offertory: What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? How has the Continuing Church of God been trying to fulfill Matthew 28:19-20? How has it been trying to “feed-the-flock” and proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God? What are the results? Why does the Continuing Church of God use the internet and radio interviews? What does the Bible say about offerings on the Holy Days and the attitude that Christians should have about them?
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.

Was Jesus executed on ‘Good Friday’ or a Wednesday?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2018

COGwriter

What day of the week was Jesus killed on? Was He killed on “Good Friday” or perhaps on a Wednesday?

Does the Bible give us enough information to figure this out?

When the scribes and Pharisees asked Him for a sign, Jesus answered with:

39 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. (Matthew 12:39-40)

While most people assume that Jesus was killed on a Friday and rose before sunrise on a Sunday morning, those who have “done the math” realize that this does not add up to three days and three nights. The Bible also teaches that He was killed on a tree (Acts 5:30).

Although “the last supper” is often observed on a Thursday, most people do not seem to realize that even certain Greco-Roman sources taught that Jesus observed that meal (Passover) on a Tuesday (which is the third day of the week). The following was written around the late second/early third century:

For when we had eaten the passover on the third day of the week at even, we went forth to the Mount of Olives; and in the night they seized our Lord Jesus. (Didascalia Apostolorum, Chapter 21, verse 14. R. Hugh Connolly, version Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1929).

So, that ancient source says the last Passover of Jesus was on a Tuesday night.

In the third century, the Catholic bishop and saint Victorinus wrote:

Now is manifested the reason of the truth why the fourth day is called the Tetras, why we fast even to the ninth hour, or even to the evening, or why there should be a passing over even to the next day…

The man Christ Jesus, the originator of these things whereof we have above spoken, was taken prisoner by wicked hands, by a quaternion of soldiers. Therefore on account of His captivity by a quaternion, on account of the majesty of His works,–that the seasons also, wholesome to humanity, joyful for the harvests, tranquil for the tempests, may roll on,–therefore we make the fourth day a station or a supernumerary fast (Victorinus. On the Creation of the World. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 7. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

The day commonly now called Wednesday is the fourth day of the week. The above account shows that the fasting occurred the fourth day (tetras means fourth) at the ninth hour (3:00 pm). That is the precise time of the death of Christ according to the Bible. Victorinus is admitting that later that day, there was the Passover time (as does the Bible). He also clearly states that Jesus was arrested on Wednesday. And that is correct (what is not correct is that the Bible does not allow that Jesus did not die until Friday, with a Wednesday arrest, which is what these sources seem to believe).

It may be of interest to note that, even in the 21st century, many of the Roman Catholics still teach that this Passover (which they call the Last Supper) was kept by Jesus on a Tuesday night and that He was betrayed on a Wednesday (Zanchettin L, ed. Meditations, Tuesday, April 11, Wednesday April 12. the WORD among us–The #1 Monthly Devotional for Catholics. 2006; Volume 25, Number 4, pp. 63-64). Many, however, seem to think that He was held for two days before He was killed, which differs from the biblical account.

I will state here that Jesus was not just arrested on a Wednesday, He was crucified then too, just before the first day of unleavened bread. As that Sabbath was a high day according to the Bible (John 19:31), and since the day before the high day was considered to be a preparation day, it was that day, and not a Friday, that Jesus was crucified on. If more professing Christians would keep the Holy Days, more would realize that.

It was also known, even by Roman supporters in the second century, that Jesus was buried for three days. Irenaeus wrote:

For the Judge of the whole world is thus proclaimed, who, having been hidden in the heart of the earth in a tomb for three days (Irenaeus. Fragments of Irenaeus, Fragment XXXI. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors); American Edition copyright © 1885. Electronic version copyright © 1997 by New Advent, Inc.).

Since the Bible clearly shows that Jesus was resurrected well before sunrise Sunday morning (when the women came to His tomb Sunday morning, “it was still dark” per John 20:1), there is simply no way that there were three days from Friday afternoon to prior to sunrise Sunday–let alone three days AND three nights. He had to have been killed on a Wednesday.

Jesus clearly taught that the sign He would give to prove who He was was that He would “be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” Three days prior to the sunrise of a Sunday would be prior to a sunrise on a Thursday. And since Jesus was killed and buried when it was still light out (John 19:31), that means that Jesus had to have been killed on a Wednesday.

Some Protestant scholars have long realized that there is biblical support that Jesus’ resurrection may have been on Saturday with a Wednesday crucifixion. Notice what one wrote in 1907:

…the Bible nowhere says or implies that Jesus was crucified and died on Friday. It is said that Jesus was crucified on “the day before the Sabbath“…Now, the Bible does not leave us to speculate which Sabbath is meant in this instance; for John tells us, in so many words, in John 19:14, that the day on which Jesus was tried and crucified was “the preparation of the Passover” (emphasis added). In other words, it was not the day before the weekly Sabbath (that is, Friday), but it was the day before the Passover Sabbath, which came that year on Thursday–that is to say, the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified was Wednesday. John makes this as clear as day…

To sum it all up, Jesus died just about sunset on Wednesday. Seventy two hours later, exactly three days and three nights, at…Saturday at sunset, He arose again from the grave. (Torrey R.A. Difficulties in the Bible. Originally published 1907; Whitaker House; Updated edition, October 2003, pp. 168-169, 173).

Furthermore, see what the late Jerry Falwell, a Sunday-keeper, and others have admitted:

The Bible is actually silent on the precise moment of resurrection. Jesus’ followers came to His tomb before dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday), but they did not witness Him coming back to life. They merely found an empty tomb.

Even the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, a Sunday-keeper and chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., agreed with that timetable, telling WND in 2001, “I personally believe He was crucified on Wednesday evening … and rose after 6 p.m. Saturday evening.”

Most Christians today think Jesus died on a Friday and rose on Sunday. They point to Scriptures indicating a Sabbath day followed Jesus’ execution. But Sabbath-keepers claim it was not the weekly Sabbath of Saturday approaching. Rather, they say it was an annual Sabbath, a “high” holy day in the Hebrew calendar known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which supposedly occurred on a Thursday the week Jesus was killed. The Gospel of John mentions that Sabbath was the annual type.

“The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) … .” (John 19:31)

In other words, Sabbatarians say there was more than one day of rest that week. Their timeline has Jesus slain on Wednesday – the day before the “high day” annual Sabbath on Thursday. They believe Jesus was in the grave for a full three days and three nights, finally arising Saturday evening, the second Sabbath of the week.

The mention of “three days and three nights” is important for many, as Jesus used that phrase to prove His divine identity:

“For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so I, the Son of Man, will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.” (Matthew 12:40, New Living Translation) (Kovac, Joe. ‘Deception’: Christians war over worship day. Posted: March 16, 2008 5:24 pm Eastern. WorldNetDaily).

For Christians around the globe, Good Friday is one of the most important days of the year. And the Easter resurrection of Jesus Christ is not just the foundation of the entire faith, but a cultural touchstone.

But a new book that investigates Passion Week has reached the shocking conclusion Jesus Christ wasn’t actually crucified on that Friday at all.

“The Great Christian Lie,” by James C. DeSelms, argues Christ was crucified on Wednesday, the 13th of Nisan on the Jewish calendar.

DeSelms presents a detailed breakdown of everything Jesus and His disciples did during Passion Week, including an in-depth medical examination of exactly what Messiah endured during His crucifixion. He argues the resurrection took place on the Feast of First Fruits, showing a deep connection between the life of Christ and the biblical calendar and indicating the Passion of Messiah was the culmination of many of the biblical feasts.

Indeed, “The Great Christian Lie” is an invaluable guide for any believer who wants to understand the most important week in human history. It’s also a formidable assemblage of many of the prophetic proofs Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. 03/26/17 http://www.wnd.com/2017/03/stunner-about-passion-week-and-good-friday/#GYU9e7HwlutdIV20.99

Jesus was killed late afternoon on the 14th of Nisan which was a Wednesday in 30/31 A.D.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What Happened in the ‘Crucifixion Week’? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?) A sermon of related interest is titled What did and did not happen in the ‘Crucifixion week’?
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
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.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here is a YouTube video intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread: Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?