Archive for the ‘Doctrine’ Category

BibleNewsProphecy: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce the following video on our Bible New Prophecy YouTube channel:


19:28

Do you know much about Islam? What are some of its major differences from Christianity? What are some concerns Muslims have about Christianity? Is Islam right about any of its views about the Greco-Romans who claim to be Christian? Are there any similarities to the ContinuingChurch of God? Do any Islamic prophecies align with the Bible?

A written article of related interest is titled:  Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God.

Here is a link to our video: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? True religion should be based upon the true gospel.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
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 other British-descended dominated lands.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God and has articles in español/castellano.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.
Bible News Prophecy
channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them at that channel.

Unclean arguments overlook biblical and historical facts

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015


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

COGwriter

GoogleNews suggested the following for me today:

August 21, 2015

Jesus Declaration about Foods

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

Conclusion

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

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Apostle Peter added:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

According to the Liber Pontificalis, the acceptance of unclean meat came from the Roman Bishop Eleutherius:

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

The Catholic Encyclopedia states:

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

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

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

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

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

Consider that in the third century an elder named Pionius, who claimed to be part of the Catholic Church, refused to eat unclean meat:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes,” said Pionius.

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

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

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

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

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


Egg of Pork Tapeworm Taenia Solium

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

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

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

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

The Bible also teaches:

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

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

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

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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

StemExpress finds shipping baby heads humorous and efficient

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Unborn baby

COGwriter

StemExpress has a baby-part arrangement with Planned Parenthood (see StemExpress changes website, but still is selling baby body parts).  Late yesterday, a court has decided that it is acceptable to release what StemExpress’ CEO said about supplying baby-heads:

August 22, 2015

Yesterday, a court in Los Angeles finally dissolved a temporary restraining order against Center for Medical Progress that had kept the group from releasing any of its undercover videos involving the tissue broker that recently cut off its partnership with Planned Parenthood. CMP then promptly released a teaser from its Human Capital Project featuring a brief appearance by Cate Dyer, in which the StemExpress CEO says boxes shipping intact baby cadavers should come with a warning label. “Tell the lab it’s coming,” Dyer jokes, or they will “open the box and say, ‘Oh, God!’”  …

The Alliance Defending Freedom declared victory in the court fight yesterday:

The following quotes may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom allied attorneysrepresenting the Center for Medical Progress, regarding a Superior Court of the State of California decision Friday in StemExpress v. The Center for Medical Progress, which dissolves a temporary restraining order against the Center for Medical Progress, allowing them to release footage that features high-ranking StemExpress executives in California involved in selling fetal body parts:

“The First Amendment protects every American’s free speech, regardless of how damaging the truth is for scandal-ridden organizations like StemExpress and Planned Parenthood,” said Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund President Chuck LiMandri. “Our client has the right to expose StemExpress’ role in the potentially illegal sale of aborted babies’ body parts. The court was correct in lifting this gag order, which only served to protect StemExpress’ gruesome business.”

They may want to keep the champagne corked, however. The judge’s decision to dissolve the TRO also states that the court finds it likely that StemExpress will prevail in a lawsuit based on California’s all-parties wiretap law. The judge ruled that Dyer et al had a reasonable expectation of privacy, that this was not a public conversation, and that the recording therefore violated the law. Precedent, however, prevents the judge from restraining the release of the recordings, but the release will provide StemExpress with cause to sue CMP: http://hotair.com/archives/2015/08/22/video-cmp-teases-next-release-on-stemexpress-as-tro-is-dissolved/

August 21, 2015

Shipping boxes of aborted baby heads across the country is the best way to get brain and spinal cord tissues to labs intact.

In fact, the issue is apparently so funny to StemExpress CEO Catherine Dyer that a new uncover video has her bursting into laughter over the situation.

Dyer is founder and CEO of StemExpress, a company that worked with Planned Parenthood in the resale of the body parts of unborn babies until it announced it was severing ties only last week.

Her comments were released late Friday after a judge ruled that the undercover investigators who filmed the interview in a public restaurant had a First Amendment right to release the information…

On the video, she talks about handling multiple “intact cases,” which reportedly refers to fully intact fetal cadavers.

She also laughs and says, “Tell the lab it’s coming.”

The context was that the discussion was about how to ship neural tissues, which are concentrated in the brain and spinal cord.

“It’s so fragile,” the transcript has her saying. “It’s insanely fragile. And I don’t even know – I was gonna say, I know we get requests for neural, it’s the hardest thing in the world to ship.”

The undercover agent from CMP states, “You do it as the whole calvarium [the whole head].”

“Yeah, that’s the easiest way. And we’ve actually had good success with that,” Dyer said.

The “buyer” joked, “Make sure the eyes are closed!”

“Yeah! (laughter) Tell the lab it’s coming!” the transcript had Dyer saying. “They’ll open the box, go, ‘Oh God!’ (laughter) So yeah, so many of the academic labs cannot fly like that, they’re not capable.”  …

Dyer founded her multi-million dollar company in 2010. She began with just a $9,000 investment and started StemExpress in her home in El Dorado County. http://www.wnd.com/2015/08/baby-parts-harvester-jokes-about-shipping-human-heads/#D8g8Ibc8mDyky6GV.99

So, StemExpress profits by selling human tissues from aborted babies.  And certainly, opening a box full of severed baby-heads should be disturbing to human beings.

Let me add that finding news reports about this is not that easy.  GoogleNews, which is where I often look for major stories, did not have it come up on the main news page.  And when I did a search within GoogleNews, only relatively minor news sources came up covering this.  It is not that the mainstream will not cover the story, but that it seems to hope to treat it as a minor story.  Of course. most of the mainstream media support abortion, and abortion-killing is more gruesome than just selling the baby-parts.  Planned Parenthood also influences the media by handing out awards to those in the media who support it:

August 20, 2105

Planned Parenthood celebrated Tuesday night as the nation’s largest abortion provider recognized 16 journalists by bestowing upon them the coveted “Maggie Awards for Media Excellence,” named after the organization’s founder and eugenicist Margaret Sanger.

The awards event comes in the midst of a month of gruesome undercover investigative videos exposing Planned Parenthood’s top medical directors discussing the altering of abortions in order to keep intact certain baby body parts and organs that can be sold on the open market to biomedical companies. The most recent videos feature a whistleblower, a former StemExpress technician, who has described cutting through the face of a recently aborted baby — with a heart still capable of beating — in order to harvest its brain.  http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/08/20/planned-parenthood-recognizes-16-media-journalists-with-awards-amid-aborted-baby-organ-trafficking-videos/

StemExpress and Planned Parenthood want to suppress information about what they do and influence the media and others. Notice also:

August 21, 2105

Planned Parenthood tried lying about the videos from the Center for Medical Progress. Planned Parenthood tried hiring a PR firm and convincing their allies in the media to black out the story. And now Planned Parenthood is trying this.

Kevin Cirilli, The Hill:

Planned Parenthood is considering legal action against the pro-life organization that has released a series of secretly recorded videos scrutinizing the health provider’s fetal tissue donation program.

In an exclusive interview with The Hill, Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens said she believes the videos are illegal and that her organization is “considering everything” in going after the Center for Medical Progress, the group behind the videos.

“I absolutely do believe that they have violated laws in terms of how they secured these videos,” she said in an interview at the group’s Washington, D.C., headquarters. “But the fraud is also in how they have presented them and in the editing.”

If you can’t beat ’em, try to shut ’em up with legal threats. http://dailycaller.com/2015/08/21/planned-parenthood-threatens-to-sue-the-center-for-medical-progress/#ixzz3jYEAHacg

Today, rallies are planned outside of Planned Parenthood facilities to attempt to put the spotlight on what Planned Parenthood really does:

August 21, 2105

A coalition of abortion opponents are planning a nationwide protest against Planned Parenthood on Saturday in 47 states and more than 300 cities.

Protesters will gather outside at nearly 320 Planned Parenthood clinics across the country to call for cutting off the organization’s federal funding and — eventually — shutting it down. The demonstrations come after videos purportedly showing Planned Parenthood staffers discussing the sale of fetal tissue for profit. …

Members of Congress have called for an investigation into Planned Parenthood in response to the videos, which have been released by the Center for Medical Progress, a group that opposes abortion. A procedural vote in the Senate to cut all federal funding from the organization failed earlier this month.

Planned Parenthood executives say the organization has done nothing wrong, arguing the videos were unfairly edited. It is legal for companies to pay for the processing and transportation costs of donating fetal tissue, but the videos purportedly show officials trying to make a larger profit.

“These rallies are meant to intimidate and harass our patients, who rely on our non-profit health centers for basic, preventive health care,” said Eric Ferrero, vice president of Planned Parenthood, in a statement. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/08/21/nationwide-planned-parenthood-protests-set-saturday/32124049/

What Planned Parenthood does is sinful.  It can try to argue that it has done nothing wrong, but that is not the case.

The Bible tells the following about the last days:

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,  3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (2 Timothy 3:1-4, KJV)

Are not those that commit abortion without ‘natural affection’?  Are not those who profit from killing babies lovers of themselves, covetous, unholy, and lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God?

Are not those who wish to sue people for exposing fierce and this despisers of those who are trying to do good?

Are not those who claim that being in the baby-murder business being ‘proud’ and ‘high minded’ when they claim that they are the ones doing good?

Are not those engaged in killing human babies being traitors to humanity?

Political leaders, such as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (to name just two) are big supporters of abortion.

Here are comments related to Barack Obama’s Administration on this:

Obama backs Planned Parenthood in body-parts horror

…The Center for Medical Progress, an anti-abortion group, secretly filmed a senior director of Planned Parenthood talking about the sale of body parts of aborted embryos. That director at one point indicated that it’s possible to profit from these exchanges, an act that is against the law.

It is legal to donate fetal tissue from abortions, and Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, has defended the group’s actions as legal. She said the group doesn’t profit from these donations and that “the donation program – like any other high-quality healthcare providers’ – follows all laws and ethical guidelines.”

On Friday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the group’s explanation was good enough for the White House. http://www.wnd.com/2015/07/obama-backs-planned-parenthood-in-body-parts-horror/#QcoCKAcec68EH7q8.99

July 17, 2015

President Barack Obama’s top spokesman today defended the Planned Parenthood abortion business after a shocking new expose’ video caught Planned Parenthood’s top doctor describing how the abortion business sells the body parts of aborted babies.

As LifeNews reported, new undercover footage shows Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, describing how Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted unborn children and admitting she uses partial-birth abortions to supply intact body parts.

Now, Obama spokesman Josh Ernest is defending the abortion giant, despite not having seen the video. http://www.lifenews.com/2015/07/17/obama-spokesman-on-planned-parenthood-selling-aborted-baby-parts-they-say-theyre-ethical/

The idea that abortion places like Planned Parenthood follows truly biblical ‘ethical guidelines’ is absurd. Planned Parenthood is in the baby killing business.  I would also add that I did see parts of one of the earlier videos and the medical doctor bragged how she was able to save parts like livers for eventual sale. Her statements did not display biblically-appropriate ethics and sounded illegal to me (though I am not a lawyer and US law does not also work right).

The Bible tells of a time when humans and apparently their body parts will be sold in the end times, and it does not do so in a favorable light:

10…Babylon…11 And the merchants of the earth… 12 merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13 and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. (Revelation 18:10,12-13)

13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were your traders. They bartered human lives and vessels of bronze for your merchandise. 14 Those from the house of Togarmah traded for your wares with horses, steeds, and mules. (Ezekiel 27:13-14)

The passages in Revelation 18 condemn Babylon and warn that Christians should have no part in it (Revelation 18:4).

The Bible itself warns about leaders in the end times:

12…O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err, And destroy the way of your paths (Isaiah 3:12).

16 For the leaders of this people cause them to err, And those who are led by them are destroyed (Isaiah 9:16)…

One of the first acts of the Barack Obama Presidency in 2009 was to change an executive order to support increased abortion funding. The fact is that Barack Obama has clearly supported increased abortion access.

He has made numerous public statements supporting abortion. His U.S. Supreme Court appointees are believed to be supporters of on-demand abortion.

By encouraging and not discouraging aspects of immorality (such as abortion and homosexual unions), Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and other are setting the U.S.A. up for punishment (Isaiah 30:12-13; Romans 1:18-32).

Abortion is wrong. And promoting or simply approving sexual immorality is wrong (cf. Romans 1:18-32). One of the reasons that places like Planned Parenthood have support fetal-stem cell research and the selling of baby body parts is to try to claim that good comes from their wretched acts. They are not engaged in ‘highly ethical’ behaviors related to abortion, but sin promoting ones.

There are terrible consequences for sin, and instead of properly discouraging sexual immorality, encouraging abortion and selling baby parts increases the tendency towards sin. This does not bode well for the United States.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose Do you know what the Bible teaches on this? Has the Roman Catholic Church allowed abortions? What about the real Church of God? Some may also, or instead, wish to view the YouTube video Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt.
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught?
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
Hillary Clinton in Prophecy Prophecy, Hillary Clinton? Are there prophecies that Hillary Clinton may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that she has already helped fulfill? Could Hillary Clinton be apocalyptic? Could Hillary Clinton be the final Antichrist?
Prophecies of Barack Obama? Reasons why Barack Obama is apocalyptic and reasons why Barack Obama is not the Antichrist. This article includes many biblical and non-biblical prophecies, from around the world, that seem to discuss Barack Obama. Did Nostradamus predict Barack Obama dealing with the Antichrist? Might Barack Obama set the stage for the kings of the North and South as at least one Shiite prophecy suggests? Read it and decide for yourself if President Obama seems to be fulfilling various prophecies. Watch also the YouTube Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.

John 19-21: Do not only try, do what God wants

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015


Fragment from the Gospel Written by John (Ryland’s Papyrus c. 125 A.D.)

COGwriter

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

This is the seventh-part of a seven-part series covering the Gospel account written by the Apostle John. This part covers the 19th through 21st chapters. The death and resurrection of Jesus is covered. Dr. Thiel discusses that just making an effort several times, but compromising in the end is not what God wants. Dr. Thiel also discusses some personal trials he had related to keeping the Holy Days. (Note: You may need to adjust the volume several times while listening as there was an audio recording issue in parts.)

A written article of partially related interest is titled: Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour.

Here is a link to the first part of this video sermon series: John 1-3: Anti-unitarian, Wine, Being Born Again, & Heaven.

Here is a link to the second part of this video sermon series: John 4-6: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman, Miracles, and the Bread of Life.

Here is a link to the third part of this video sermon series: John 7-9: Feast of Tabernacles, Last Great Day, and the Blind.

Here is a link to the fourth part of this video sermon series: John 10-12: Sheep, Hirelings, Lazarus/Soul Sleep and ‘Palm Day.’

Here is a link to the fifth part of this video sermon series: John 13-15: Footwashing and the Words of Jesus.

Here is a link to the sixth part of this video sermon series: John 16-18: Truth, Trinity, and Pontius Pilate.

Here is a link to the seventh part of this video sermon series: John 19-21: Do not only try, do what God wants.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
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 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.
What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? What is your ultimate destiny? What does the Bible teach? Is deification only a weird or cultic idea? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

NBC: ‘Exposed in Ashley Madison Hack? Here’s What to Do Now’

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

COGwriter

The adultery-promoting Ashley Madison website keeps making the news because of a hack exposing the names of many who registered with it.  NBC has ‘advice’ for those exposed:

Exposed in Ashley Madison Hack? Here’s What to Do Now 

August 20, 2015

As details emerge about the hack of adultery website Ashley Madison, its users have a reason to be nervous.

“This breach has the potential to ruin the lives of millions of people,” Eric Chiu, co-founder of cloud security firm HyTrust, told NBC News.

It’s not clear exactly what was exposed. The hacker or hackers behind the breach, known as The Impact Team, said that it uncovered personal information on all of Ashley Madison’s 37 million users.

Don’t freak out …

Call the police if someone tries to blackmail you …

Don’t shy away from the truth …

Beware messages from divorce attorneys and hot dates …

Find a good divorce lawyer or marriage counselor

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/ashley-madison-hacked-n412586

Those that believe the Bible have a different view about what to do. God created marriage and condemns adultery or even getting close to it.

So, what should adulterers do, whether exposed or not?

Sin no more according to Jesus:

3 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery.

11… And Jesus said to her, “…go and sin no more.” (John 8:11)

The first thing adulterers should do is to STOP committing adultery.

Contrary to the ‘advice’ NBC is giving adulterers, the adulterers need to care about their spouses, not see how a divorce lawyer can minimize the negative impacts of being caught for the adulterer.  Physical adulterers also should get tested for sexually transmissible diseases and tell their spouses if they have exposed them.

It should also be noted that the Bible condemns even seriously considering adultery:

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

1 I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? (Job 31:1).

9 “If my heart has been enticed by a woman, Or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door, 10 Then let my wife grind for another, And let others bow down over her. 11 For that would be wickedness; Yes, it would be iniquity deserving of judgment. 12 For that would be a fire that consumes to destruction, And would root out all my increase. (Job 31:9-12).

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)

Websites like Ashely Madison are horrible and promote immorality.  I noticed a news article had a statement from the Ashley Madison website that it had over 30,000,000 anonymous users–of course, the recent hack has blasted that.  Notice that the Bible also indicates that adulterers hope to operate secretly:

15 The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, ‘No eye will see me’; and he disguises his face (Job 24:15).

Yet there are warnings in Bible:

2 Rise up, O Judge of the earth;
Render punishment to the proud.
3 Lord, how long will the wicked,
How long will the wicked triumph?

7 Yet they say, “The Lord does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob understand.”

23 He has brought on them their own iniquity,
And shall cut them off in their own wickedness;
The Lord our God shall cut them off. (Psalms 94:2-3,7,23)

23… your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23).

32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul.  (Proverbs 6:32)

12 For our transgressions are multiplied before You,
And our sins testify against us;
For our transgressions are with us,
And as for our iniquities, we know them:
13 In transgressing and lying against the Lord,
And departing from our God,
Speaking oppression and revolt,
Conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. (Isaiah 59:12-13)

10… For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.  11 For it is written:

“As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.  (Romans 14:10-13)

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, (Galatians 6:7-8).

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

Adulterers are deceiving themselves if they think that they are ‘getting away with it.’  There were other ‘Ashley Madison’ related stories in the news today, and several I saw named people who were of some notoriety–people who foolishly thought that they would never be found out.  One press report I heard on the radio today said that some with political ties were on the list of revealed names.

Notice also the following news report (posted 8/21/15):

8/21/15

The 20-gigabyte data dump reported on Thursday would be roughly double the size of the earlier one.

Despite the negative publicity surrounding the attack, demand for Ashley Madison’s services has been steady since the data breach first announced in July, said Mark Brooks, CEO of Internet dating consultancy Courtland Brooks.

“It just goes to say that all press is good press … The awareness of the brand is through the roof,” Brooks said.

US military, postal service probes

The data release could have severe consequences for U.S. service members. Several tech websites reported that more than 15,000 email addresses were government and military ones.

Hundreds of U.S. government employees—including some with sensitive jobs in the White House, Congress and law enforcement agencies—used Internet connections in their federal offices to access and pay membership fees to the website, The Associated Press reported.  http://www.cnbc.com/2015/08/21/ashley-madison-founder-emails-leaked-in-new-data-dump.html

The Bible has a long warning about adultery in the Book of Proverbs:

23 For the commandment is a lamp,
And the law a light;
Reproofs of instruction are the way of life,
24 To keep you from the evil woman,
From the flattering tongue of a seductress.
25 Do not lust after her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her allure you with her eyelids.
26 For by means of a harlot
A man is reduced to a crust of bread;
And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.
27 Can a man take fire to his bosom,
And his clothes not be burned?
28 Can one walk on hot coals,
And his feet not be seared?
29 So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
Whoever touches her shall not be innocent.

30 People do not despise a thief
If he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving.
31 Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold;
He may have to give up all the substance of his house.
32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding;
He who does so destroys his own soul.
33 Wounds and dishonor he will get,
And his reproach will not be wiped away. (Proverbs 6:23-33)

Adultery has a cost.  It is NOT something anyone should engage in.

Jesus cited adultery as a valid reason for divorce:

31 “Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’  32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32)

Adultery costs the family money, trust, and even health.  Just a one-time affair can result in disease and/or pregnancy.  Adultery is wrong.  Jesus taught:

20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’  (Luke 18:20)

Actually, one difference I held with the Living Church of God (LCG) is that its top leader did not believe that committing physical adultery once or twice was grounds for divorce–he stated publicly that it had to be repeated adultery–I doubt he would have that been as supportive about murder or stealing, but for some reason, he said that about adultery. I disagreed with his comments.  I also cited Jesus’ statements about this and his statements, and I tried to bring this up to the LCG ministry the last year or so I was with LCG, nothing changed (see also What About the Living Church of God? Are there Doctrinal Differences with the Continuing Church of God? and Why Bob Thiel Left the Living Church of God).

Adultery is a terrible sin that needs to be condemned:

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

Adultery is not good for society and should be publicly condemned.
The New Testament is clear that God created marriage from the beginning to involve one man and one woman:
4 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

Notice that God made humans male and female for marriage. The human body is not for sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 6:13).

God created marriage, for many reasons, including to increase the amount of love in the universe. Husbands and wives are to love each other:

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:25-33)

1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things — 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed. (Titus 2:1-5)

5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. (1 John 2:5)

Jesus’ word was for married couples to stay together, and He had the Apostle Paul record (as the above shows) that husbands and wives are to love each other.  Adultery is not love and harms.

As far as Ashley Madison goes, its owners want to sue to the hackers for exposing their clients.  The owners of Ashley Madison should instead repent and not be part of something that promotes sexual immorality.  The Apostle Paul wrote:

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

The owners of Ashley Madison are inventors of ‘evil things,’ unloving, filled with unrighteousness, promoters of sexual immorality, proud, undiscerning, and guilty of many of the other things the Apostle Paul warned about in Romans 1.

No one should participate in sexual immorality or promote it.  The Bible teaches that there are consequences.  “Your sin will find you out.”

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Making Your Marriage Work Marriage is not also 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?
Love, Marriage, and Sex It is important to get them in the right order.
Husbands Love Your Wives An article written by the late Selmer Hegvold.
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Can homosexuals change? A related video sermon is titled What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? Here is a link to a YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
Five Rules for Effective Parenting Do you know that there are five simple rules that can make you a more effective parent? There is also a 12 1/2 minute 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.
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.
Is the USA now an Evil Empire? Dr. Thiel gives many reasons to consider. A related video is also available: Is the USA an Evil Empire?

What did the Apostle Paul really teach about the Ten Commandments?

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

COGwriter

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

What Paul actually taught about the ten commandments are shown here in green.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some items of possible interest may include:

The Apostle Paul He was an apostle, early Christian leader, and wrote more books of the New Testament than anyone else. Do you know much about him?
GALATIANS Comments on Galatians Did the Apostle Paul do away with God’s law as some claim the Book of Galatians teaches? What is the false gospel? Related sermon videos related to Galatians are available: Galatians 1 and the False Gospel and Galatians 2 & 3: What Law was Added? What was Abolished? and Galatians 4 & 5: Who Does Not Inherit the Kingdom? and Galatians 5 & 6: The Gifts of the Spirit.
What Did Jesus Teach About the Ten Commandments? This article quotes what Jesus actually said about them (His words are in red).
Were the Ten Commandments Nailed to the Cross? Some have said so. This article provides some biblical quotes to answer this important question.
What Did Paul Actually Teach About the Ten Commandments? Many say Paul taught against the ten commandments. Is this true? This article quotes Paul with his words in green.
Are the Ten Commandment Still in Effect? This article quotes the ten commandments and combines some of the previous articles into one article about the ten commandments. The commandments are shown at Mount Sinai, before Mount Sinai, in the teachings of Jesus, after the crucifixion, and in the teachings of Paul. It addresses the most common “traditions of men” regarding them as well.
Were the Pharisees Condemned for Keeping the Law or Reasoning Around it? Many believe that the Pharisees were condemned for keeping the law, but what does your Bible say? If they were not condemned for that, what were they condemned for?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings.
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?

7th ‘law of success’ is contact with God

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

COGwriter

In his booklet, The Seven Laws of Success, the late Herbert W. Armstrong listed the following first “six laws of success”:

Here, then, is the first law of success:

FIX THE RIGHT GOAL!…

So, the SECOND law of success in time sequence, is EDUCATION, or PREPARATION

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

Take the FOURTH LAW. If you are motivated by GOD’S WORD, you’ll have DRIVE

Law Number 5—for Emergencies…RESOURCEFULNESS!…

Law number six, then, is PERSEVERANCE—stick-to-it-iveness!

Here is what he wrote related to the seventh law of success:

Still We Need Law Number 7!

Well now, it would certainly seem that if one follows these SIX laws of success, nothing more should be required!

But still, these “successful” men I have described followed these six principles. They gained their goals. They made money. They attained recognized status. They enjoyed the passing pleasures.

Still their lives were empty—they were never satisfied—they were discontented, they never found lasting, permanent, enduring happiness—they did not take their acquisitions with them when they died, and their fame died with them!

What they lacked—what ALL lack who fail of REAL success, application of Success Law number 7—the most important law of all! That is the ingredient that would have changed everything?

The Overlooked SEVENTH Law

I have reserved this all-important seventh Law till last to explain. But far from being least, it is first in vital importance!

I have held it till now because 1) it is the very last one that people will acknowledge and apply; and 2) being first in making possible real success, I want to state it last so it will remain stamped in the mind of the reader.

When serious illness strikes, people call the doctor. It is automatic for most to rely on human professional knowledge and skill—on material drugs, medicines and knives. But finally, when the attending physician—perhaps with specialists called in collaboration—gravely shakes his head and says there is no more that medical science can do—it is now in the hands of a higher Power—then, at last people cry out desperately to the Creator God!

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the person who does put this all-important seventh law last is very probably dooming his life to failure at the end.

Why of First Importance

Look again at the very first Law, as it has been listed here. It is not merely choosing a goal—any goal. It is setting as one’s life-aim the right goal.

The “successful” of this world all had goals. But their goals led to material ends. They sought happiness in vanity, pride of status, material acquisitions, physical activities and pursuits. They sought the approbation of people. But people are human, and their lives are temporary. Material objects, too, are not enduring, but wax old until consigned to disuse.

The main goals of those supposed to be successful in the world usually are two: Vanity—desire for status; and money with the material things it will buy. But happiness is not material, and money is not its source. Vanity, as Solomon observed is like a striving after wind!

These men I have mentioned made money. Their bank accounts may have been full, but their lives were empty. When they acquired money, it never satisfied, and always they wanted more. These monetary victories, these material acquisitions, gave, of course, a thrill of satisfaction—but it never lasted!

This life-long struggle—this constant striving “after wind”—striving after false values—left in its wake a trail of fears and worries, apprehensions, disappointments, heartaches, troubled consciences, discontent, empty lives, frustrations—and finally, DEATH!

Oh yes, of course there were pleasures, moments of excitement, periods of enjoyment. There were occasional thrills, temporary sensations of delight. But always they were followed by periods of depression. Always a gnawing inner soul-hunger returned. This in turn drove them to seek satisfaction in the thousand-and-one events in the world’s whirl of material pleasures and pastimes. Yet these never filled the void. They never satisfied the real inner hunger.

These people probably didn’t realize it, but the hunger was spiritual. And spiritual hunger is never satisfied by material food!

The “successful” of this world applied six of the success laws. But they left GOD out of the picture, and the happiness of real success out of their lives.

It seems almost no one, today, realizes HOW—and WHY—we were made. WHAT we humans are, and WHY we are. Why should we live in ignorance of these basics of knowledge?

Two basic and vital facts are overlooked:

1. While man was made a material being, of the dust of the ground, sustained by eating material food and drinking material water, he was made also to need spiritual food, and to drink of the “living water” of God’s Spirit. Without these spiritual needs man cannot be truly and continually happy. Nothing else really satisfies.

2. The Eternal Creator, who made us in His own likeness, is creator of ALL that is. Everything man needs to make life continuously and abundantly satisfying, must come from Him. He is the SOURCE OF SUPPLY. He is the GIVER of everything good. WHY must men ignore the true SOURCE, and try to obtain where there is nothing to be obtained? If I wish to draw clear, sparkling drinking water from a well, I will go to a well filled with such water, not to one that is empty. God says of our people: “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the FOUNTAIN of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).

And again He says: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? And your labour for that which satisfieth not?” (Isaiah 55:1-2.)

Once again, look at the first of the Success Laws. Stated another way, it is to DEFINE SUCCESS! And what constitutes real Success? Once you have learned the true meaning of Success, then you have found the only right goal.

The right goal sets the direction of your life’s journey. Success is the destination of that journey. Success is where you finally arrive—and true Success includes a happy and enjoyable journey along the way.

PURPOSE to Life?

Is there, after all, a PURPOSE to life?

If we were put here by a Creator, would He have put us here without a REASON? And a Creator with Mind and Power that could have designed and produced the human mind and body could have failed to make available for humans every tool, ingredient and facility needed to fulfill His Purpose!

Of course men cut off from God have no knowledge of that Purpose. For that knowledge is not material, but spiritual knowledge. And spiritual things cannot be seen—nor heard, felt, smelled or tasted. Spiritual knowledge can be transmitted only by revelation. And this world has rejected revelation. Men cut off from their Creator of necessity are spiritually blind and ignorant, groping in the dark. So they fail to seize the proper tools, ingredients and facilities.

But the Maker has sent an instruction book along with the human mechanism He made. It contains all the real answers. It reveals life’s real PURPOSE—the potential destiny of man! That instruction book, as Bruce Barton aptly said, is the “book nobody knows.” Almost no one knows that 95% of the contents of that Book is virtually ignored by the professing Christian clergy. Most scientists and educators today suppose, erroneously and in ignorance of the facts, that the Bible is merely the book of an ancient race of Jewish people, striving to devise a concept of a god—in by gone days of ignorance and superstition. They don’t examine the Book, as they examine other data, to see what it says. They ignore it as something beneath their pride of intellect to consider.

The religious Bible-believing fundamentalists generally quote and use not more than some 5% of the Scriptures. Approximately one-third of the entire contents of the Bible is devoted to ADVANCE NEWS REPORTS, called, in religious terminology, prophecy. FEW pay any attention to this third of the writings—and most seem devoid of understanding.

What almost ON ONE realizes is that the ignored 95% of that great volume is the INSTRUCTION BOOK which the Maker sent along with His product—just as any manufacturer of a material commodity does. Yet some scholars today have been surprised and shocked to learn that this ignored, maligned, misrepresented Book contains THE ANSWERS to life itself—reveals the PURPOSE of life—the LAWS that govern it—the ANSWER to what IS Success, and how to achieve it!

It has been like discovering a gold mine of knowledge they did not know existed. They have found that it MAKES SENSE—that, indeed, IT IS THE VERY FOUNDATION of KNOWLEDGE in just about all areas—that it provides the only right approach to the acquisition of further discoverable knowledge.

This ultimate potential destiny is the only TRUE goal. It is your reason for being alive! It is the reason you were born!

Those who have worked, striven, fought their way to any other goal have been wasting their lives—living for naught! They have, in true fact, been going nowhere! And how many, since humans were first put here on earth, have really known that PURPOSE—that one right goal of life? Very few, indeed!

The time when we need divine guidance, enlightenment, and help, is at the very BEGINNING—at the time when a young man or woman chooses that RIGHT GOAL. Without divine guidance the wrong goal is always set.

That is why poor people possessing the least knowledge and material goods sometimes appear to be the happiest. Actually they were not happy. They merely are less discontented! They have not progressed as far in the WRONG DIRECTION as those who smugly and vainly supposed themselves to be their more intelligent betters!

Life has a PURPOSE. God has set in actual, inexorable motion definite LAWS to PRODUCE for man every happiness, security, and GOOD thing he desires—THE WAY OF LIFE that will fulfill God’s PURPOSE for our being!

LOOK! THINK! An automobile was designed and built by its human makers to transport passengers, and do it more speedily and in more comfort than the old horse and buggy. Would it not be ridiculous if the automobile had a mind and free volition of action, and it would say: “That’s silly! I don’t think I was made to transport people. I think I was made for some other purpose. I refuse to transport people. I want to be an instrument for viewing the stars in the heavens.”

Apparently it is only stupid, foolish man—with POTENTIAL mind power and CAPACITY for intelligence beyond any creature God has created—who says “WHY have you made me thus?”

WHAT, then is the PURPOSE for which we were put here?

Of this, mankind has totally lost all conception. To people spiritually drunk on the false material concepts of our day, the statement of that purpose would appear strange, absurd, impossible. It SO FAR transcends anything conceived by humanity in this blinded world that the statement of it would prove too great to be grasped and accepted.

Suffice it to say—and I shall leave it to another booklet to explain—man was put here for the PURPOSE of being conformed to, and finally stamped with the exact perfect CHARACTER of Jesus Christ! Write for the free booklet Why Were You Born?

Christ is now stamped with the identical CHARACTER IMAGE of God, as well as the shining, brilliant, glorified appearance of God! For a mortal human to be transformed into that perfect spiritual image means that we must be CHANGED!

The Bible pictures God as the Master Potter—us as the clay. Indeed we are, literally clay images of God—composed of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). As we now bear only the physical image of the “earthy,” we shall when changed, bear the spiritual image of the heavenly—of GOD (1 Corinthians 15:47-49). So we are clay images with human minds that are free moral agents. They may submit, or they may rebel. They have power of will, and of decision.

Free to Choose

Understand this! You are a free moral agent. God will never “cram” His religion down your throat.” He will never force you to decide His way or go His way. He not only allows you to choose the wrong way—He compels you to make your own decision. Otherwise His PURPOSE would be thwarted!

The living God has set two ways before us. One, His Way, the cause of all the good things you want here and now, plus eternal life in REAL SUCCESS continuously forever. The other the way of self-centeredness, vanity, greed, envy—the way mankind has gone, in rebellion against God and His Law—the way that causes all unhappiness, suffering, evils, and ends in death. And God compels you to choose! Yet He commands you to choose the Way that leads to REAL SUCCESS (see Deuteronomy 30:19).

You Need HELP

That ultimate TRUE Success is something you cannot attain to by yourself. The ingredient you lack is the GUIDANCE, the POWER and SPIRIT OF GOD.

You must make the decision. You must set this right GOAL. You must set your will. You must expend your full effort. You must WORK AT overcoming, growing and developing spiritually, and sticking with it. Yet GOD supplies the all-important ingredient—His power, His love, His faith—His guidance—HIS LIFE!

7th Law Changes Everything

Now look how DIFFERENT a whole life becomes when this SEVENTH SUCCESS LAW is utilized.

First, it will completely alter your overall major GOAL as I have just explained. Of course, you will have other minor goals—such as the profession or occupation to provide material needs, and HELP achieve the major goal. And these minor goals always must be compatible with and contributing to the major goal.

Your main goal, now, will be spiritual and not material. It will follow the WAY OF LIFE of the Ten Commandments. You will actually LIVE BY every Word of GOD—that is, the Bible!

Now re-examine the Second Law of SUCCESS.

Your EDUCATION and entire preparation will be DIFFERENT. You will seek to learn the TRUE VALUES of life—yes, of this life as well as the hereafter! This means your number one textbook will be the BIBLE. It will reveal to you the MIND OF CHRIST. This will provide your mental APPROACH in all education and practice.

Third, you will receive the KNOWLEDGE which God reveals about laws of HEALTH.

Take the FOURTH LAW. If you are motivated by GOD’S WORD, you’ll have DRIVE. God commands that you do what you do with your might! Apply yourself! Whatever is worth doing is worth doing the very best you can! Nine Biblical passages command that you apply your self with DILIGENCE! Ten other places in the Bible command us to BE DILIGENT. And 36 Scriptures command, or show the example of acting diligently! Many of these instruct us diligently to seek God’s guidance and help, several diligently to keep His commandments.

How about the businessman? “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before [obscure] men” (Proverbs 22:29).

The Bible does not condone laziness or shiftlessness. It counsels us to consider the ant and be wise. The Bible commands industriousness!

Solving Problems

Now, Law Number FIVE. No matter how intelligent, alert, or resourceful you may be, YOU NEED GOD’S WISDOM and HELP in solving the constant problems and meeting the recurring obstacles that beset life’s path. Whether it is in business, a profession, private life or what. The man who has CONTACT WITH GOD, who can take these matters—these emergencies—these problems—in the quietness of his private prayer room to the Throne of Grace and seek God’s counsel and advice IS GOING TO HAVE DIVINE GUIDANCE! That is, of course, provided he is submissive, obedient, diligent, faithful. WISDOM comes from GOD.

May I give you a personal example? God has blessed His Work, and caused it to grow into a tremendous worldwide activity, with offices around the world. God has set me in the position of human director and leader over this expanding enterprise, employing hundreds of people. We encounter problems of all kinds, constantly. I have problems to solve, obstacles to hurdle, policies to set, decisions to make which affect many lives—frequently involve many thousands of dollars, even millions. It is a weighty responsibility.

Always—and I can remember it from at least age 5—I have desired to have UNDERSTANDING. But more than fifty years ago, I discovered that I sadly lacked, yet sorely needed WISDOM. Having dedicated my life to live, literally, according to every word of God’s Instruction Book—the Bible—I obeyed this command of God: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God. . . and it shall be given” (James 1:5). He has given me wisdom. Of course He has allowed me to make mistakes—but never a major mistake that could threaten His great Work.

Wisdom must be applied to every specific circumstance individually. I learned many years ago the need of getting all of the facts bearing on a case before making a decision. But it requires more. God’s Word says that in multitude of counselors there is safety. In any important decision I call in the most competent possible counselors, specialists in the field involved.

You simply cannot know, if you have never had this divine help, how very, very much it means! We have been saved hundreds, of times from costly blunders. We are saved from worries and the “headaches” most businessmen have to suffer over such problems. We can proceed in CONFIDENCE—that assurance that is FAITH! What a blessing! What a comfort, and a joy!

It PAYS Off

People trying to live without the living CHRIST in their lives are missing the most practical and valuable asset they could have. In the language of our day, “IT PAYS OFF!” Of course, we have to expend our own effort. We have to really THINK. We use all our own effort. We have to really THINK. We use all our own resources and natural resourcefulness. But we have that added SECURITY of divine GUIDANCE. Often God simply works out CIRCUMSTANCES. He literally gives us “the breaks”! IT PAYS!

Finally, now, look at Success Law Number SIX. Perseverance—Stick-to-it-iveness—Enduring—Never quitting or giving up.

The Maker’s Instruction Book seems full of this. Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seed showed the four classes. All heard God’s Message. All were given the opportunity. Three classes GAVE UP. One never really got started. Two started out with joy and a great flourish, but let former friends, the cares of this material life, pleasures, choke them off, and discourage them. The other class of quitters simply did not have the depth of strength of character within themselves to stay with anything. They were just naturally quitters. Even of those who went on, and endured, some were more diligent, more resourceful, better prepared, more careful of health, and consequently developed farther in accomplishment than others. Theirs will be the greater reward!

Jesus Christ said, plainly, “He that endureth unto the END, the same shall be SAVED” (Matthew 24:13).

Yes, these Seven Laws are the WAY, not only to business and economic SUCCESS—they are THE LAWS that lead to rich, rewarding, interest-filled, abundant living and, in the end, to ETERNAL LIFE AND GLORY in the Kingdom of God.

It teaches you to choose the RIGHT GOAL. It teaches you to STUDY, to show yourself approved to your Maker. It teaches you to acquire KNOWLEDGE, right and true education—preparation for success. It teaches you to watch your health. It teaches diligence—drive—dedication, persistent application. It teaches resourcefulness, and offers you divine help in applying it—and it teaches STAYING WITH IT TO THE END!

WHAT A HAPPY LIFE God haw made available! What blessedness,–what JOY! What SECURITY, this life of implicit living FAITH—reliance on the Creator—GOD!

I know! I’ve been enjoying this life for more than fifty years! It’s a BUSY life—but it’s interesting, thrilling, happy, abundantly REWARDING! And to constantly look forward to the OVERALL GOAL—an eternity in THE KINGDOM OF GOD!

I want to SHARE that life with you! You may enjoy it too!

Christians should pray, study the Bible, and rely on God.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
What Should I Pray About? An old article by Lynn Torrance on prayer.
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?
The Seven Laws of Success Information by Herbert W. Armstrong that can help people become successful.

Should Christians smoke?

Saturday, August 15th, 2015


(Photo by Geierunited)

COGwriter

Should Christians smoke?

Does smoking show love to self or neighbor?

Tobacco use is believed to kill about six million people each year.

Smoking is dangerous and hurts the smoker and those around the smoker. Can or should smokers quit?

Here is information about his own smoking and views on it by the late Hebert W. Armstrong from his Autobiography:

In order to keep up with the job, due to inadaptability and resultant slowness, it became necessary to work nights. I established a system. I worked alternately one night until ten, the next until midnight, rising at 5:30 every morning. Time had to be taken out to walk the one or two miles from my room to the mill, and also to walk over to the boarding house where I took meals. I kept awake on the job nights by smoking a pipe — my first habitual smoking. In just six months this overwork and loss of sleep exacted its toll, and I was sent to the hospital with a very severe case of typhoid fever…

I had taken up pipe smoking during those long and frantic night hours at Wiggins, Mississippi, as an aid to staying awake while I worked over the books. I had smoked, moderately, ever since. However, I will say that I was never a heavy smoker. Never more than one cigar a day, or three or four cigarettes in a day. That’s the reason I did not have the battle many men have had in breaking the habit, when I saw that it had to be broken…

{Later} I was baptized, the matter of smoking had to be settled. Of course the Quaker church, in which I had been reared as a boy, taught that smoking was a sin. But I had been unhappily disillusioned to see that in so many basic points the Bible teaching is the very opposite of what I had absorbed in Sunday school. “I’ve got to see the answer to the tobacco question IN THE BIBLE!” I said to myself. Until I found the answer in the Bible, I decided I would continue as before — smoking mildly. I had continued to smoke lightly, averaging three or four cigarettes a day, or one cigar a day. I had never been a heavy smoker.

Now I had to face the question: Is smoking a SIN? I wanted the BIBLE answer, for I had learned by this time that Christ had said we must live by EVERY WORD OF GOD. The BIBLE is our Instruction Book on right living. We must find a BIBLE reason for everything we do. I knew, of course, there is no specific command, “Thou shalt not smoke.” But the absence of a detailed prohibition did not mean God’s approval. I had learned that GOD’S LAW is His WAY OF LIFE. It is a basic philosophy of life.

The whole Law is summed up in the one word LOVE.

I knew that love is the opposite of lust. Lust is self-desire — pleasing the self only. Love means loving others. Its direction is not inward toward self alone, but outgoing, toward others. I knew the Bible teaches that “lust of the flesh” is the way of SIN.

So now I began to apply the principle of God’s Law. I asked myself, “WHY do I smoke?” To please others — to help others — to serve or minister to or express love toward others — or only to satisfy and gratify a desire of the flesh within my own self? The answer was instantaneously obvious. I had to be honest with it. My only reason for smoking was LUST OF THE FLESH, and lust of the flesh is, according to the BIBLE, sin! I stopped smoking immediately.

This beginning of overcoming was not too difficult, for it had not been a “big habit” with me. Once weaned, I was able to see it as it is — a dirty, filthy habit. And today we know it is a serious and major contributing cause of lung cancer! God designed and created the human body. He designed the LUNGS to take in FRESH AIR to fire and oxidize the blood, and at the same time to filter out of the blood the impurities and waste matter the blood has picked up throughout the body. Befouled smoke, containing the poisons of nicotine and tars, reduces the efficiency of the operation of this vital organ.

The physical human body is, God says, the very TEMPLE of His Holy Spirit. If we defile this TEMPLE — this physical body — God says He will destroy us! God intended us, if we are to be COMPLETE, to live happy, healthy and abundant lives, and to gain eternal life, to take in HIS SPIRIT — not poisonous foreign substances like tobacco.

Hebert W. Armstrong died on January 16, 1986, at age 93 1/2. His reasons for quitting smoking make biblical sense to me. People should not smoke. It harms them and others around them.

He concluded, correctly, that Christians should not smoke.

(Those interested in learning more about Herbert W. Armstrong, should read the article Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today?)

Notice some of what the New Testament teaches:

19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

37…”‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Consider that smoking does not glorify God in your body–it harms your body. Consider that smoking also does not show love towards one’s neighbor–it harms your neighbor. Smoking is a sin against the body, and sometimes more than that.

Smoking is wrong and it kills people. God wants people to change/repent (Acts 17:30)–which means that, despite its difficulties it can be done (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:13). The sooner one starts the better one will be. Christians should strive to not smoke and should strive to be healthy.

Several items of possibly related interest include:

Should Christians Smoke Tobacco? Is smoking a sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change? What about marijuana?
Marijuana: Should a Christian Get High? There is increasing acceptance of the use of marijuana. How should Christians view this? Here is a related video titled How Should a Christian View Marijuana?
Alcohol: Blessing or Curse? This is an article from the old Good News magazine that attempts to answer this question.
Binge Alcohol Drinking and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach?
Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods? A related video would be Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy.
Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today?
Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains how he is and should be viewed today.
Overcoming Sin What is sin? How are Christians suppose to overcome it? Here is also a link to a video titled How to Overcome Sin.
How to Prevent Sin This is an article by Herbert W. Armstrong.
Just What Do You Mean Conversion? Many think that they are converted Christians. But are they? Would you like to know more about conversion. Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.

John 16-18: Truth, Trinity, and Pontius Pilate

Saturday, August 15th, 2015


Fragment from the Gospel Written by John (Ryland’s Papyrus c. 125 A.D.)

COGwriter

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

In John 16-18 Jesus frequently mentions truth. He also gives information that demonstrates that the normal trinitarian and unitarian views of the Godhead are in error. Dr. Thiel explains this, explains some writings of Theophilus of Antioch, and gives information on Pontius Pilate in this sixth part of a seven part series on the Gospel account from John.

A written article of partially related interest is titled: Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour.

Here is a link to the first part of this video sermon series: John 1-3: Anti-unitarian, Wine, Being Born Again, & Heaven.

Here is a link to the second part of this video sermon series: John 4-6: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman, Miracles, and the Bread of Life.

Here is a link to the third part of this video sermon series: John 7-9: Feast of Tabernacles, Last Great Day, and the Blind.

Here is a link to the fourth part of this video sermon series: John 10-12: Sheep, Hirelings, Lazarus/Soul Sleep and ‘Palm Day.’

Here is a link to the fifth part of this video sermon series: John 13-15: Footwashing and the Words of Jesus.

Here is a link to the fifth part of this video sermon series: John 16-18: Truth, Trinity, and Pontius Pilate.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Theophilus of Antioch This is one of the second century leaders of some Christians in Antioch and is considered a Patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch.
Did Early Christians Think the Holy Spirit Was A Separate Person in a Trinity? Or did they have a different view?
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD.
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Did the Archangel Michael become Jesus? The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach this, but does the Bible allow for this?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a longer article than the Binitarian View article, and has a little more information on binitarianism, and less about unitarianism. A related sermon is also available: Binitarian view of the Godhead.
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 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.
What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? What is your ultimate destiny? What does the Bible teach? Is deification only a weird or cultic idea? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
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 c. 31 A.D. to 2014. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Differences between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong

Friday, August 14th, 2015


Herbert W. Armstrong and Martin Luther

COGwriter

Most people are familiar with the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther.  And most people who come to this News page regularly are familiar with the late COG leader Herbert W. Armstrong.

While both men had issues in their personal lives, I would like to highlight a couple of their doctrinal similarities and a couple of doctrinal differences.

Ten Commandments

Regarding the Ten Commandments, Martin Luther claimed that:

God threatens to punish all who break these commandments…Therefore, we should also love and trust in Him and gladly do what He commands” (Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1986, p.12).

The fruits of this sin are afterwards the evil deeds which are forbidden in the Ten Commandments…we hold that the Law was given by God, first, to restrain sin by threats and the dread of punishment, and by the promise and offer of grace and benefit (Luther Martin. The Smallclad Papers. 1537. Translated by F. Bente and W. H. T. Dau Published in: _Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Ev. Lutheran Church_. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921), pp. 453-529).

…teach them first of all these articles, namely the ten commandments…But as for those that will not learn, let them be told that they deny Christ and are no Christians…(Luther M.  The Short Catechism, 1529.  Cited in  Bettenson H, ed., Documents of the Christian Church. London: Oxford University Press, 1943, p. 225).

Furthermore the Christian Questions and Their Answers section of that book states (it is unclear he Martin Luther actually wrote that section, though it is ascribed to him),

“1. Do you believe that you are a sinner? Yes, I believe it, I am a sinner. 2. How do you know this? From the Ten Commandments, which I have not kept…The Ten Commandments are the law of God” (Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1986. pp.39-40,53).

Martin Luther wrote,

…whoever wishes to know and to do good works needs nothing else than to know God’s commandments. Thus Christ says, Matthew xix, “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” And when the young man asks Him, Matthew xix, what he shall do that he may inherit eternal life, Christ sets before him naught else but the Ten Commandments (Luther M. Treatise on Good Works, March 29, 1520).

For even if a Moses had never appeared and Abraham had never been born, the Ten Commandments would have had to rule in all men from the very beginning, as they indeed did and still do (Luther, M. Against the Sabbatarians:Letter to a Good Friend, Part II, 1538).

Similarly, Herbert Armstrong taught,

“The ten commandments were first made known to ADAM in the Garden of Eden…We read the answer in Romans 5:12, ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and DEATH BY SIN; so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.’ And in verse fourteen, ‘Death reigned FROM ADAM TO MOSES’. ‘Sin is NOT imputed when there is NO law,’ you read in the 13th verse. Yet sin was imputed because death did reign from Adam to Moses. There must then have been a law from Adam’s time…What is sin? Is there a BIBLE definition? Is there any place in the Bible where it says, “Sin is . . . and then follows the definition? The answer is in 1 John 3:4, ‘Sin is the transgression of the law.’ ” (Armstrong, H. Were the TEN COMMANDMENTS in force before Moses? Circa 1956).

An article of related interest may be The Ten Commandments and the Early Church.

State of the Dead

They even had similarities on the state of the dead.

The immediate cause of Luther’s stand on the sleep of the soul was the issue of purgatory, with its postulate of the conscious torment of anguished souls. While Luther is not always consistent, the predominant note running all through his writings is that souls sleep in peace, without consciousness or pain. The Christian dead are not aware of anything—see not, feel not, understand not, and are not conscious of passing events. Luther held and periodically stated that in the sleep of death, as in normal physical sleep, there is complete unconsciousness and unawareness of the condition of death or the passage of time.† Death is a deep, sound, sweet sleep.‡ And the dead will remain asleep until the day of resurrection (Martin Luther and William Tyndale on the State of the Dead pp. 571-572).

Martin Luther specifically taught:

It is probable, in my opinion, that, with very few exceptions indeed, the dead sleep in utter insensibility till the day of judgment… On what authority can it be said that the souls of the dead may not sleep out the interval between earth and heaven… (Luther M. Translated by W. Hazlitt. The life of Luther written by himself. M. Michelet, ed. Bohn’s Standard Library. G. Bell, 1904, p. 133).

Herbert Armstrong taught,

“The Bible teaching contrary to much religious and church teaching – that is the WORD OF GOD teaching – is that the dead ARE DEAD – utterly unconscious. Notice the inspired wisdom of Solomon: “For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything…” – the RSV translates it “the dead KNOW NOTHING” (Eccl.9:5)… I Corinthians 15:49: “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall [future - resurrection] also bear the image of the heavenly” (verse 49). As we are now flesh, we shall be SPIRIT – at the resurrection, that is, when we shall be “BORN AGAIN” – when we shall see, enter into, the Kingdom of God – when we are Spirit – at the resurrection! ‘Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot Inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [be dead], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we [the then living] shall be changed (verses 50-52)’” (Armstrong HW. Incredible Human Potential. Chapter 12).

While some criticize this teaching and call it “soul sleep”, it was held by the earliest Christians. Please check out the article Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality?

Both men had a lot of dissimilarities, personal and professional. But, this article will not focus on personal dissimilarities, but rather on a few of the doctrinal dissimilarities. Because, from the perspective of biblical truth, those are the primary dissimilarities which should count.

Is the Bible Fallible? Does the Bible Contradict Itself?

Martin Luther seems to think so as he wrote about the Book of James,

In the first place it is flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture in ascribing justification to works. It says that Abraham was justified by his works when he offered his son Isaac; though in Romans 4 St. Paul teaches to the contrary that Abraham was justified apart from works, by his faith alone, before he had offered his son, and proves it by Moses in Genesis 15…But this James does nothing more than drive to the law and to its works. Besides, he throws things together so chaotically that it seems to me he must have been some good, pious man, who took a few sayings from the disciples of the apostles and thus tossed them off on paper. Or it may perhaps have been written by someone on the basis of his preaching. He calls the law a ‘law of liberty’, though Paul calls it a law of slavery, of wrath, of death, and of sin (Luther, M. Preface to the Epistles of St. James and St. Jude, 1546; originally 1522).

As the following quotes show, Martin Luther did not care for several books in the Old Testament either:

Job spoke not as it stands written in his book, but only had such thoughts. It is merely the argument of a fable. It is probable that Solomon wrote and made this book…Ecclesiastes ought to have been more complete. There is too much incoherent matter in it…Solomon did not, therefore, write this book…I am such an enemy to the book of Esther that I wish it did not exist, for it Judaizes too much…The history of Jonah is so monstrous that it is absolutely incredible. (as quoted in O’Hare, p. 202).

For additional information, please read the article, Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther: What Did Martin Luther Actually Teach about the Bible?

Yet WCG under Herbert Armstrong taught,

The Bible is true not only scientifically, but historically. Again, though the Bible is not a history book, what ever is mentioned as history in the Bible is always true…Is the Word of God infallible? It certainly is (Is the Bible Infallible? Good News Article – Dec. 1980).

Are All the Books of the New Testament Proper?

Martin Luther had a fairly low view of the Books of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation as he wrote,

Up to this point we have had the true and certain chief books of the New Testament. The four which follow have from ancient times had a different reputation. In the first place, the fact that Hebrews is not an epistle of St. Paul, or of any other apostle, is proved by what it says in chapter 2 (Luther, M. Prefaces to the Epistle of the Hebrews, 1546; originally1522).

Martin Luther wrote,

Concerning the epistle of St. Jude, no one can deny that it is an extract or copy of St. Peter’s second epistle, so very like it are all the words. He also speaks of the apostles like a disciple who comes long after them and cites sayings and incidents that are found nowhere else in the Scriptures. This moved the ancient fathers to exclude this epistle from the main body of the Scriptures. Moreover the Apostle Jude did not go to Greek-speaking lands, but to Persia, as it is said, so that he did not write Greek. Therefore, although I value this book, it is an epistle that need not be counted among the chief books which are supposed to lay the foundations of faith (Luther, M. Preface to the Epistles of St. James and St. Jude, 1546; originally 1522).

Martin Luther taught,

Which are the true and noblest books of the New Testament? From all this you can now judge all the books and decide among them which are the best. John’s Gospel and St. Paul’s epistles, especially that to the Romans, and St. Peter’s first epistle are the true kernel and marrow of all the books…Therefore John’s Gospel is the one, fine, true, and chief gospel, and is far, far to be preferred over the other three and placed high above them. So, too, the epistles of St. Paul and St. Peter far surpass the other three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In a word St. John’s Gospel and his first epistle, St. Paul’s epistles, especially Romans, Galatians, and Ephesians, and St. Peter’s first epistle are the books that show you Christ and teach you all that is necessary and salvatory for you to know, even if you were never to see or hear any other book or doctrine. Therefore St. James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw, compared to these others, for it has nothing of the nature of the gospel about it (Luther, M. Prefaces to the New Testament. LW 35:357-362, 394-399 Preface to the New Testament, 1546; originally 1522).

Under Herbert Armstrong, WCG taught,

The Bible is true not only scientifically, but historically. Again, though the Bible is not a history book, what ever is mentioned as history in the Bible is always true…Is the Word of God infallible? It certainly is” (Is the Bible Infallible? Good News Article – Dec. 1980).

” ‘To bind up’ comes from the Hebrew word meaning ‘to complete.’ The apostles were used ‘to complete’ the testimony of Jesus Christ. The New Testament Church has “the testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 12:17). It was also through Jesus’ disciples that God’s seal of approval was placed on those laws which are eternally binding on Christians. Yes, we can know! The Bible is COMPLETE! Not one book of the Bible has been lost. Not one is missing. The books of the Bible as you find them in your King James Version constitute the complete Bible! (Do We Have The COMPLETE BIBLE? Copyright 1959, 1974 Ambassador College).

Two articles of possibly related interest may be The Old Testament Canon and The New Testament Canon – From the Bible Itself.

It may be of interest to also realize that while Martin Luther wrote, “John’s Gospel is the one, fine, true, and chief gospel, and is far, far to be preferred over the other three and placed high above them”, he (unlike HWA) ignored much of what it taught. The plain truth is that much of the Gospel According to John had to do with two holy day seasons: the final Passover season (Chapters 13-21) and one particular Feast of Tabernacles‘ season (Chapters 7-9)–times that Martin Luther did not observe like the original Christians did, but that Herbert Armstrong did.

Baptism of Infants/Children

“Why are babies to be baptized? A. Babies are to baptized because they are included in the words ‘all nations’ (Luther’s Small Catechism with Explanation. Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, 1986, p.202).

Furthermore, Martin Luther got these statements confirmed,

Article IX: Of Baptism. Of Baptism they teach that it is necessary to salvation, and that through Baptism is offered the grace of God, and that children are to be baptized who, being offered to God through Baptism are received into God’s grace. They condemn the Anabaptists, who reject the baptism of children…Article XII:…They condemn the Anabaptists, who deny that those once justified can lose the Holy Ghost. (The Confession of Faith: Which Was Submitted to His Imperial Majesty Charles V. At the Diet of Augsburg in the Year 1530. by Philip Melanchthon, 1497-1560. Translated by F. Bente and W. H. T. Dau. Published in: Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books of the Ev. Lutheran Church. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, pp. 37-95.)

Thus Martin Luther not only encouraged infant baptism, he condemned those who opposed infant baptism.

The Apostle Peter taught, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38) “Then those that gladly received his word were baptized” (Acts 2:42).

Herbert Armstrong taught,

Should Children Be Baptized? One cannot be baptized until after he has fully REPENTED. Only those who BELIEVE, both the true GOSPEL (the Message Jesus preached, which is the Kingdom, or Government of God) and on JESUS CHRIST as personal Saviour, can be baptized (see Acts 2:38; 8:37; 16:31). Children have not reached that maturity where they have the self-discipline to truly repent, and believe (Armstrong H. All About Water Baptism. 1948, 1954, 1972 edition).

There is no recorded instance of any babies being baptized in the Old or New Testaments. An article of related interest may be Baptism and the Early Church.

Herbert W. Armstrong had many doctrines closer with the teachings of the Bible and early Christianity than Martin Luther did.  See also Continuing History of the Church of God.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example? Here is a related sermon video: Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong: Reformers with Differences.
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
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?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would 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. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
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?