Archive for the ‘Old Testament History’ Category

More Genesis Q&As

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Answers_From_Genesis

COGwriter

Many people have questions about the Bible in general and the first several chapters of the Book of Genesis in particular.

The first six chapters of Genesis present a sum­mary of vital high points of approximately the first 1600-1700 years of mankind — from Adam’s creation to just before Noah’s Flood (details on calculations can be found in the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

We in the Continuing Church of God have looked at various questions that were taken from authentic letters emanating from Ambassador College sponsored programs and publications or received as emails by us. This particular set of questions and answer is an update strongly based upon those in the 1973 booklet (shown above) written by the late John Ross Schroeder, but with most answers partially updated by Dr. Bob Thiel in 2014. Biblical quotes are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.

We addressed some of this before, and here are five more questions and answers:

• “Where is the Garden of Eden today?”

It’s gone! Adam was ordered to dress and keep it (Genesis 2:15). He sinned and was driven out. We do not know how long it existed after the first humans were exiled, but if it was not destroyed earlier, the flood probably erased all traces of it. God planted this garden in Eden about 6,000 years ago.

Where was it located? John Ross Schroeder claimed:

The Bible does not dogmatically tell us. However, there is reason to believe that it existed somewhere in the area where much later Jerusalem was built God has consistently used this area of the Holy Land to work out His plan of salvation.

When Christ returns, the center of His earthly kingdom will be at Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:17; Jeremiah 3:17). Ezekiel 47:1-12 shows a river will be flowing out from Jerusalem during Christ’s future reign, just as it did from the ancient Garden of Eden (see Genesis 2:10-14). Since this is the time of the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21), we have a possible indication that God will re-establish His presence in the same locality as before (see Genesis 3:8, 23-24; 4:16).

The Bible itself seems to indicate that Eden was in the area known as Iraq.

Why?

Notice that Genesis 2:10-14 connects the Euphrates river with Eden:

10 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates. (Genesis 2:10-14)

The Euphrates is mainly now in Iraq and does not connect with Jerusalem. The prophecy concerning the drying up of the Euphrates river in Revelation 16:12 indicates that the biblical Euphrates river is the one currently in Iraq and Syria.

Either way, Eden is not currently on the earth.

• “Can you tell me where Cain got his wife?”

The answer becomes obvious when one considers the time factor of Genesis 4. Time obviously had elapsed since Adam’s and Eve’s creation. Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel were not the only human beings on the earth when Cain killed Abel.

By this time other children had been born to Adam and Eve. Genesis 5:4-5: “And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters: and all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” Notice that Adam begat daughters. It is quite obvious that Cain married one of his sisters — Adam’s daughter. There simply weren’t any unrelated females for him to marry.

Adam was the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45), and Eve was the mother of all humans with the exception of Adam (Genesis 3:20). Perhaps because of modern laws concerning marriage to those near of kin, many have not seen this obvious solution. But it was not wrong for brothers and sisters to marry at that early time in human history. Abraham married his half sister Sarah (Genesis 20:12). His brother Nahor married his brother Haran’s daughter (Genesis 11:29).

There was no genetic harm to the children. In fact, it was the manner in which the various racial characteristics were brought out of the original human stock. These early humans had great genetic variability, but as new generations appeared, mankind began to show definite racial groups and subdivisions.

As humans became more racially distinct, it has become genetically harmful for close blood relatives to marry (see Leviticus 18), and for the sake of future generations it should not now be done.

• “How many sons and daughters did Adam have?”

The Bible gives us an abbreviated account of the lives of Adam’s dominant children — Cain, Abel, and Seth — because of their profound effect on history. Aside from this we are only told that Adam “begat sons and daughters” (Genesis 5:4). No exact number is given. However, one Jewish tradition relates that Adam and Eve had 33 sons and 23 daughters.

• “What was Cain’s mark mentioned in the book of Genesis?”

This enigmatic question has puzzled many people for hundreds of years. The word “mark” in Genesis 4:15 in the King James Version of the Bible is a translation of the Hebrew word owth.

According to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the Hebrew word owth may be rendered “mark,” or “signal, flag, monument, sign, or beacon.” Young’s Analytical Concordance renders this word “sign.”

The Critical and Experimental Commentary by Jamieson, Fausset and Brown shows that this word can be translated “sign,” “token” or “pledge.” The Hebrew word owth could indicate a boundary marker that God set up to separate or segregate Cain and his descendants from the rest of mankind.

Genesis 4:12, 16 shows that God banished Cain to the land of Nod (Nod meaning land of “wandering”) east of Eden or the Holy Land. The owth — mark or sign — that God made for Cain could also have been something to carry on his person, perhaps around his neck — from which the ancient and modern custom of wearing a charm or talisman for protection may be derived.

The Jewish Publication Society translation renders Genesis 4:15, “And the Lord said unto him [Cain]: ‘There­fore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.’ And the Lord set a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should smite him.” The original Hebrew conveys both meanings — a mark on the person of Cain, or a sign set up to segregate him from others. Some have thought that Cain’s mark involved skin color. Cain’s mark was not the changing of his skin color. Cain, in accordance with certain West African traditions, may well have been dark, but his sin was a matter of character.

God created ALL races — white, yellow and black, to serve and glorify Him with their own particular abilities. God intended races from the very beginning by putting within Adam and Eve the genetic material to begin various races. Racial differences are not due to the “mark of Cain.” Remember God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth . . .” (Acts 17:26). And He is no respecter of persons (Romans 2:11).

God’s race is for all (see also the article God’s Grace is For All).

• “Why did God create different races?”

God likely created different races for the same reason that He created different kinds of birds, or varieties of roses. Each has a special beauty, usefulness and contribution to make. The racial problem we see today is not a skin problem, but one of the human heart. Prejudice and hatred come from the mind. God created the different races to serve and help one another.

The racial problem is but one more evidence that humans needs a change of heart. Only then will everyone see that variety is the spice of life and racial differences were put there by a loving Creator to add to human happiness.

Some additional questions and answers are found in the article: Questions and Answers from Genesis.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Questions and Answers from Genesis Many wonder about certain early events that this article discusses.
Did Angels Marry Human Women? Many insist this is so and also that this mating caused giants to be born. Did this come from the ‘Book of Enoch’? What does Genesis 6:4 really mean? A related video is also available: Did Angels Marry Women and Produce Giants?
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon: Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?

Book of Jasher: Scripture or Pseudepigrapha?

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

COGwriter

Amazon.com has the following about the alleged Book of Jasher:

There are 13 ancient history books that are mentioned and recommended by the Bible. The Ancient Book of Jasher is the only one of the 13 that still exists. It is referenced in Joshua 10:13; 2 Samuel 1:18; and 2 Timothy 3:8. This volume contains the entire 91 chapters plus a detailed analysis of the supposed discrepancies, cross-referenced historical accounts, and detailed charts for ease of use. As with any history book there are typographical errors in the text but with three consecutive timelines running though the histories it is very easy to arrive at the exact dates of recorded events. It is not surprising that this ancient document confirms the Scripture and the chronology given in the Hebrew version of the Old Testament, once and for all settling the chronology differences between the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek Septuagint. The Ancient book of Jasher is brought to you by Biblefacts Ministries, Biblefacts.org

While the Book of Jasher has information that often aligns with the Bible, what Amazon.com is selling there is NOT the version from (plus or minus) three thousand years ago.

Despite having a biblical name, the Book of Jasher, is really part of what is called pseudepigrapha.

The pseudepigrapha are books that attempt to imitate scripture that were written under false authorship. Many such books were written between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. The term pseudepigrapha comes from the Greek pseudo, meaning “false,” and epigraphein, meaning “to inscribe.” Basically, a pseudonymous writing is one where an author is falsely claimed to have written it, when in truth someone else wrote it and tries to deceive by putting a (normally) famous person’s name on it.

The “Book of Jasher” popped up much later than most other pseudepigrapha and sometimes has been claimed to be the Book of Jasher referred to in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18. Despite Amazon’s hint, it was not.

Now, the “Book of Jasher” is a long book. Here is how it starts:

1 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and God created man in his own image.

2 And God formed man from the ground, and he blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul endowed with speech.

3 And the Lord said, It is not good for man to be alone; I will make unto him a helpmeet.

4 And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and he took away one of his ribs, and he built flesh upon it, and formed it and brought it to Adam, and Adam awoke from his sleep, and behold a woman was standing before him.

5 And he said, This is a bone of my bones and it shall be called woman, for this has been taken from man; and Adam called her name Eve, for she was the mother of all living.

6 And God blessed them and called their names Adam and Eve in the day that he created them, and the Lord God said, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

7 And the Lord God took Adam and his wife, and he placed them in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it; and he commanded them and said unto them, From every tree of the garden you may eat, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.

8 And when God had blessed and commanded them, he went from them, and Adam and his wife dwelt in the garden according to the command which the Lord had commanded them.

9 And the serpent, which God had created with them in the earth, came to them to incite them to transgress the command of God which he had commanded them.

10 And the serpent enticed and persuaded the woman to eat from the tree of knowledge, and the woman hearkened to the voice of the serpent, and she transgressed the word of God, and took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and she ate, and she took from it and gave also to her husband and he ate.

11 And Adam and his wife transgressed the command of God which he commanded them, and God knew it, and his anger was kindled against them and he cursed them.

12 And the Lord God drove them that day from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which they were taken, and they went and dwelt at the east of the garden of Eden; and Adam knew his wife Eve and she bore two sons and three daughters.

13 And she called the name of the first born Cain, saying, I have obtained a man from the Lord, and the name of the other she called Abel, for she said, In vanity we came into the earth, and in vanity we shall be taken from it.

14 And the boys grew up and their father gave them a possession in the land; and Cain was a tiller of the ground, and Abel a keeper of sheep.

But while most of the above is correct, notice that it seems to assert that Adam and Eve had two sons and three daughters, whereas the Bible does not so state.

That is part of the danger of writings like the alleged “Book of Jasher,”

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

Did God intend for the Book of Jasher to be preserved for us today?

Some people have assumed that one or another of the books that today fraudulently bear the title “The Book of Jasher” might be the same book called by that name in Joshua 10:13 and II Samuel 1:18. This is not true!

The spurious books that today exist under the false title “The Book of Jasher” can be historically traced to recent fraudulent origins.

Here is the proof that these are recent frauds. In the Schaff-Herzog Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge, volume II, in the article “Jasher,” we read: “The [original] volume itself has perished…. There have also been several books written which pretended to be the Book of Jasher, or, at all events, bore this title. Three of these are of Jewish origin. One is a moral treatise, written in A.D. 1394 by Rabbi Shabbatai Carmuz Levita, and exists in manuscript in the Vatican Library. Another, by Rabbi Tham (died 1171), is a treatise on the Jewish ritual. It was published in Hebrew in Italy (1544) … The third, which is a fabulous history or the events of the Hexateuch, was probably written by a Spanish Jew of the thirteenth century, and has been published at Venice (1625) … A fourth Book of Jasher was a palpable and malicious fraud, perpetrated by Jacob Ilive, an infidel printer and type-founder of Bristol, and published at London, in 1751, [as] The Book of Jasher, translated into English from the Hebrew by Alcuin of Britain, who went on a Pilgrimage into the Holy Land.”

Notice that all these volumes are recent and spurious!

Now let us examine another work which speaks authoritatively on this same subject. In the Davis Dictionary of the Bible, in the article, “Jasher, in A. V. Jasher,” we read: “In 1751 there appeared a volume which professed to be an English translation of The Book or Jashar (Jasher), alleged to have been found, but the production was an in, impudent forgery.” (emphasis ours).

Other authorities have equally proved the fraudulent qualities of these books. In the Encyclopaedia Biblica, volume II, in the article, “Jasher,” we also read: “In later Christian times the Book of Jasher’ is the title of a ritualistic treatise by Jacob B. Meir (died 1171), and of one or two forgeries which are only remarkable for the undeserved success they obtained….”

The fraudulent volumes deceptively labeled “The Book of Jasher” contain error and contradict Scripture. They were written one or two thousand years after the authentic “Book of Jasher” had become lost. In order to cloak their fraudulent works with respectability and make them look innocent — so that readers would trust the lies and hypocrisy contained in those books — the authors of these forgeries gave them a respected Biblical name.

No one need be concerned about any fraudulent book that claims to be a part of the Bible. God has not left us in doubt. There are ample records, both in the Bible and in secular sources, to show us which books are Scripture and which are not. God wisely allowed the original Book of Jasher to disappear because it, like many other contemporary works of the judges, was not needed for our instruction today. If God had wanted us to have The Book of Jasher as a part of the Bible, we would have it in the Bible today. God, however, purposed that only a few brief excerpts from it be quoted in His inspired revelation, the Bible.

The Book of Jasher referred to in the Bible was never destined to be Scripture. Any book claiming that title today is a deliberate fraud! (L920, 1960)

Although some have claimed that the Book of Jasher does not contradict the Bible, that is not so. Notice a partial list of contradictions:

Jasher 13:5 says that Abram went to the land of Canaan at the age of 50 then back to Haran and back to Canaan at age 75, Genesis 12:4 states that Abram was 75 when he departed Haran.

Jasher 18:9 states that one of the angels tells Abraham that Sarah will have a son, but Gen. 17:16 says that God told Abraham.

Jasher 22:44-45 says the Lord got the idea of presenting Isaac as an offering from Isaacs boast to Ishmael. We know, of course, that God is sovereign and as it says in Gen. 22:1-2 & 12 that the Lord was testing Abraham.

Genesis 28:5 states that Isaac sent Jacob to Padan-aram unto Laban but Jasher 29:11 says that he fled to the house of Eber and hid there for 14 years.

Jasher 47:9 says Isaac dies, according to the chronology of Jasher, Joseph was in Egypt but in Gen. 35:29 Isaac died before Joseph had his dreams. …

In Jasher 42:30-41, Rachel talks to Joseph from the grave. This is of course necromancy and is an abomination unto the Lord (Deuteronomy 18:11-12).

According to 53:18-22 Benjamin used a “map (or chart) of stars” to find Joseph. Deuteronomy 18:10 forbids this. It is an abomination to be “an observer of times” (astrologer). …

Jasher 81:3-4 claims that the Israelites sojourned in Egypt for 210 years whereas the Scripture says in Exodus 12:40-41 it was 430 years.

Jasher 81:40-41says that all but Pharaoh perished in the Red Sea. Pharaoh thanks the Lord and the Lord sends an angel who casts him upon the land of Ninevah where Pharaoh reigned for a long time. Scripture (Exodus 14:23 & 28) states that all perished.

Jasher 32:1-40 — Esau comes to harm Jacob but angels of the Lord scare Esau, v.55 Esau fears Jacob. Genesis 33:3 Jacob bows seven times to Esau.

Jasher 43:35 — Isaac went from Hebron to comfort Jacob, his son, because Joseph is dead (sold). Gen. 35:27-29 Isaac died before Joseph even dreamed his dreams.

Jasher 81:38 — “And the Waters of the sea were divided into twelve parts.” Exodus 14:22 “And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand and on their left.” (Schaub D. AN OVERVIEW OF THE BOOK OF JASHER (CALLED THE UPRIGHT BOOK) COMPARED TO THE AUTHORIZED KING JAMES BIBLE. Logos Research. © 2012 – 2015)

So, no, the mainly claimed version “Book of Jasher” was not inspired by God. Again, it is not that it might not have some interesting historical details that may be true, but it is not sacred scripture.

The improperly named “Book of Jasher” should never be relied on as sacred scripture–because it is not.

Some items of related interest may include:

Lost Books of the Bible? Is the Bible missing books? What about the Book of Jasher and the Book of Enoch? What are the pseudepigrapha?
The Old Testament Canon This article shows from Catholic accepted writings, that the Old Testament used by non-Roman Catholics and non-Orthodox churches is the correct version. The Old Testament Canon: Who Knew?
The New Testament Canon – From the Bible and History This article, shows from the Bible and supporting historical sources, why the early Church knew which books were part of the Bible and which ones were not.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

What are the origins of the NON-indigenous people of Canada?

Tuesday, June 13th, 2017


Canadian Coat of Arms

COGwriter

What are the origins of the non-indigenous peoples of Canada?

Since the word ‘Canada’ is not mentioned directly as such in the Bible, in order to find out about Canada in the Bible, we need to try to identify the ancestors of the Canadians. Now, like many nations, Canada is made up of peoples of all races, so to be more specific to Canada, the identity of the primary ancestors of the Canadians needs to be identified.

As far back as the Book of Genesis, God promised Abram that he would be the father of many nations:

As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you (Genesis 17:4-6).

Notice that the promise was for Abraham’s descendants to be “many nations”—this simply is not fulfilled by the split into the two nations of Judah and Israel (1 Kings 12:17-20) in the Old Testament. Also, since Sarah Abraham’s wife was promised to be the mother of “nations” (Genesis 17:16) this shows that there are nations descended from Sarah’s only son Isaac—hence the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael is not what God was referring to.

And Canada is one of those “many nations” that descended from Abraham.

Furthermore, notice what God promised to Sarah’s grandson Jacob:

14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 28:14).

11 Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body (Genesis 35:11).

Thus it should be clear to those willing to see that the descendants of Jacob would include multiple nations, and not be limited to just the area of Palestine. The old British Commonwealth would seem to fit the description of “a company of nations” better than any other group throughout history because of its vast size and its wealth. And the nations of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (who were all part of that Commonwealth) still do to this day.

This expansion to a group of nations simply did not happen to the ancient nations of Judah and Israel in Palestine. Thus, many of the prophecies in the Bible are referring to places other than the tiny nation of Israel in the Middle East.

Moses himself wrote that God promised blessings to Joseph’s sons:

13 And of Joseph he said:

“Blessed of the LORD is his land,
With the precious things of heaven, with the dew,
And the deep lying beneath,
14 With the precious fruits of the sun,
With the precious produce of the months,
15 With the best things of the ancient mountains,
With the precious things of the everlasting hills,
16 With the precious things of the earth and its fullness,
And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush.
Let the blessing come ‘on the head of Joseph,
And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.’
17 His glory is like a firstborn bull,
And his horns like the horns of the wild ox;
Together with them
He shall push the peoples
To the ends of the earth;
They are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
And they are the thousands of Manasseh.” (Deuteronomy 33:13-17).

Thus, blessings were promised to these peoples. These are blessings that history seems to show were given to the British and American-descended peoples.

Furthermore, notice these prophecies for the latter days by Jacob for his descendants:

1 And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:

2 “Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, And listen to Israel your father…

22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough, A fruitful bough by a well; His branches run over the wall.
23 The archers have bitterly grieved him, Shot at him and hated him.
24 But his bow remained in strength, And the arms of his hands were made strong
By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
25 By the God of your father who will help you, And by the Almighty who will bless you
With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26 The blessings of your father Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
They shall be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers (Genesis 49:1-2,22-26).

It is only the United States and the groups of English nations now composed of the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand who have historically fulfilled these prophecies given to Abraham and his descendants (and they are separated from their “brothers” on continental Europe). Perhaps it should be pointed out that a “fruitful bough” with “branches run over the wall” implies a colonizing people–and perhaps no peoples did more colonizing than the British.

Jacob also taught about two of Joseph’s sons:

16 Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them, And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth…

19 “…He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.” 20 So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will bless, saying, ‘May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!’ ” (Genesis 48:19-20).

It should also be mentioned that since Jacob’s name was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28), that in the first statement above he is clearly indicating that biblically one or both of the sons of Joseph could be referred to by the name Israel. And although Manasseh was born first, God had Jacob give the “right hand” blessing to Ephraim (Genesis 48:13-14) and God later declared, “Ephraim is my firstborn” (Jeremiah 31:9). This may be why Ephraim (the British Commonwealth, including Canada) emerged as a major power before the USA (and of course it lost its position as the top international power).

Notice also the following related to origins:

JOSEPH – Canada.

Canada, on the whole, belongs to the Domain of Joseph.

The motto means from “Sea to Sea” and refers to the extent of Canada’s area but the phrase itself is a quotation from the Bible where it is used three times, once (Amos 8 12-13) describing the future thirst before the Messianic era and twice (Zechariah 9:10 and Psalms 72:8) in conjunction with the Reign of Messiah in the Future. (Davidy Y. The Tribes. Rabbinical approbation: Rabbi Abraham Feld of the Maccabee Institute Jerusalem, July 4, 1993. Russell-Davis Publishers, Hebron (Israel), pp. 390-392)

While I would have preferred that the above author specified ‘millennial era’ as opposed to ‘Messianic era,’ the motto of Canada is consistent with biblical prophecies. Ephraim is mentioned in Zechariah 9:10, though the dominion from sea to sea appears to be a reference to Jesus. The motto from “Sea to Sea” is on the Canadian Coat of Arms (shown at the beginning of this article).

What about the French speakers of Quebec?

What about Quebec?

The French-speaking (Francophone) peoples in Canada may be made up of the descendants of Jacob through his son Joseph (via his son Ephraim) and/or his son Reuben along with some of other groups. Reuben was the firstborn of Jacob, but because of his sexual misbehavior (Genesis 35:22), he lost that birthright (Genesis 49:3-4; 1 Chronicles 5:1-2).

At least one writer has asserted that those in Quebec are primarily descended from those of Ephraimite background, as well as from Benjamites and Simeonites. Notice the following:

The French Canadians originated mainly in the Provinces of Normandy and Britanny. Normandy had been settled by the Normans who later conquered England and who derived from Benjamin while Brittany had previously been populated by the Samnete (from Simeon) and was later occupied by “Celtic” refugees from Britain who gave it its name (“Britanny” and Britain) and who also comprised contingents from Simeon, such as the Simeni, Semoni, Iceni, and the sons of Semuen.

The “British” colonizers of French “Brittany” were Celts who were fleeing from the Anglo-Saxons and their federates…The Normans included a good proportion of Breton natives of Celtic origin who had been Normanicised…The descendants of Ephraim were paramount amongst the Anglo-Saxon invaders and seem to have been also present amongst the Celtic British natives, apart from Eran in Ireland and Scotland. (Davidy Y. The Tribes. Rabbinical approbation: Rabbi Abraham Feld of the Maccabee Institute Jerusalem, July 4, 1993. Russell-Davis Publishers, Hebron (Israel), pp. 390-392)

I am still researching origins, and thought that readers may find the above of interest as I work more to attempt to verify this. Some in Quebec are likely descended from Reuben, but they may not necessarily be the majority.

Some items of possibly related interest include the following:

Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future.
The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben: France in Prophecy? What is the origin of this in France? What is prophesied to happen to them? A two-part sermon related to history and prophecy is available online: The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben and France and Prophecy.
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?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
CCOGCanada.ca This is the official website of the Continuing Church of God in Canada.

The Tribe of Judah is not lost

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Jerusalem

COGwriter

While most people seem to understand that many of the descendants of Judah are in the nation currently called Israel, various ones these days deny that. But those that deny it are wrong. Those that do often seem to have an anti-Semitic agenda.

For some clues tying Judah in with the Jews, notice something that one-time WCG member Bert Otten sent me:

Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning

Judah – Jews

This is an unusual article in this series about the tribes. Up till now I have dealt with three of the Lost Ten Tribes…

The tribe of Judah is not a lost tribe. The Jews have a verifiable history, all the way to the Jews of 2000 years ago, to the times of Jesus. The Jews at the time of Jesus were for a great deal descendants of the former inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah (930-586 BC). The inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah were made up of the whole tribe of Judah and large parts of Benjamin and Levi. Although Jewry (Judaism) has known many proselytes, there has always been a core of the House of Judah in Jewry for the past 2500 years. The core passes on characteristics and genes to the periphery. By looking at the prophetic clues of Judah, and finding these amongst Jews – like I do with the lost tribes – this methodical approach is also justified for finding the lost tribes. In this article I want to show that even if there were no direct historical proof for the link Judah – Jews, there would still be a proof by revelation.

1st Clue: Judah – praise

And [Leah] conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, Now will I PRAISE [odeh] the LORD: therefore she called his name Judah [Yehudah]; and left bearing (Gen 29:35, KJV, unless mentioned).

… A Psalm of DAVID. I will PRAISE thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works (Ps 9:1).

A Psalm of SOLOMON … BLESSED be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things; And BLESSED be His glorious name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen (Ps 72:1a, 18-19, JPS).

This praising of God by the descendants of Judah can be found back in the Bible. King David was of the tribe of Judah and wrote more than half of the 150 psalms. The psalms are probably the greatest ode, honour, glory and praise of God in the Bible. The book of Psalms is one of the most frequent translated parts of the Old Testament, thereby distributing the praises of the Jews to their God all over the world. King Solomon, also of the tribe of Judah, wrote 1005 psalms (1 Ki 4:32). Two of Solomon’s psalms are in the Bible (Ps 72, 127).

One of the most popular psalms is Psalm 23 of David. Think of all the variations in music and lyrics that have been made based on this psalm.

Others of the tribe of Judah have written parts of the Bible, thus praising God.

In modern-day Jewry this praising of God is still expressed in countless prayers (praises!) and blessings, which have been written down in books of prayer, which are recited on special and common days. There is not a day or activity, or the Jews have written a prayer for…

2nd Clue: Judah and money

And JUDAH said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? Come, and let us SELL him …, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother … And his brethren were content (Gen 37:26-27).

When JUDAH saw her [Tamar], he thought her to be an HARLOT [paid sex]; because she had covered her face … And he said, I will send thee a kid from the flock … (Gen 38:15-17).

And Achan [of the tribe of Judah] answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel … When I saw among the spoils a goodly … garment, and 200 shekels of SILVER, and a wedge of GOLD of 50 shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the SILVER under it (Jos 7:20-21).

So was ended all the work that king Solomon made for the house of the LORD. And Solomon brought in the things which David his father had dedicated; even the SILVER, and the GOLD, and the vessels, did he put among the treasures of the house of the LORD (1 Kings 7:51).

Now the weight of GOLD that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold (1Ki 10:14).

Money. The lust after money, the love for money, financial skills and philanthropy.

Everyone wants to earn money and each people have their rich and their poor, so why focus on money. Because it is a parallel that keeps popping up between Judah and Jews. Whether it is by inner qualities, by fate, or by prohibitions within Christianity, Jews have a certain connection with money. It was Judah´s idea to sell Joseph; in the NT Judas (Greek for Judah) sold Jesus; Achan of the tribe of Judah took God´s silver and gold at Jericho´s fall. The Bible also mentions positive use of gold and silver by children of Judah, by David and Solomon. Solomon of the House of Judah probably was the richest Jew ever.

Under Solomon the nation was prosperous and there was gold in abundance. However, it was not just a happy financial story. Money led to the secession of the Ten Northern Tribes. Solomon’s taxes on the ten tribes had been a heavy yoke (Jeroboam) that Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, refused to lighten. It cost him 10 of the 12 tribes.

It is well-known that the policies of the medieval Church and of Christian society pushed the Jews into usury and banking…Judah has a way with money. Even the Jerusalem Post published a list of the 50 wealthiest Jews in 2010…{10 listed were worth USD$11 billion or more}…

3rd Clue: Judah – messiah, messianism

The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his ANOINTED [messiah] … (Ps 2:2) … Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his ANOINTED [messiah], to David, and to his seed for evermore (Ps 18:50). Now know I that the LORD saveth his ANOINTED [messiah]; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand (Ps 20:6) …

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse [of the tribe of JUDAH], and a Branch shall grow out of his roots (Isaiah 11:1).

Mashiach – Messiah – Anointed

Priests (Ex 30:22-25) and kings were anointed in Judah and Israel. Anointed translates as mashiach in Hebrew (messiah). A teaching developed in Judaism about a coming messiah, a coming liberator…

Soon the real (Jewish) Messiah will come, a return for Christians and a first coming for many Jews: then the whole world will be liberated from Satan and his demons.

4th Clue: Judah – writers (scribes)

… and Shebna the scribe … (2 Kings 18:18) … Shaphan the scribe … (2 Kings 22:8) … And Shemaiah … the scribe … (1 Chron 24:6) … Jeiel the scribe … (2 Chron 26:11) … Shimshai the scribe … (Ezra 4:8) … Elishama the scribe … (Jer 36:12) … Baruch the scribe … (Jer 36:26) … Jonathan the scribe … (Jer 37:15) .

Bible – Apocrypha – Talmud

The Jews wrote many books of the Bible. Not always do we know the tribe of the Biblical writer, but it is certain that most Bible authors were of the Kingdom of Judah and even of the tribe of Judah.

Of the writing prophets Isaiah, Amos, Habakkuk, Joel, Micah, Obadiah, Zechariah en Zephaniah were of the tribe of Judah. David and Solomon were of course of the tribe of Judah as well. David wrote half of the psalms and Solomon wrote Song of Songs, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Psalm 72 and 127.

Of most of the NT writers we do not know the tribe either, but James and Jude were just like their half-brother Jesus of the tribe of Judah. Jesus did not write himself, but the evangelists wrote his stories down. The Good Samaritan and The Prodigal Son belong to the most important stories of world literature.

Apart from the books of the Bible, the Jews also wrote Apocryphal books, pseudo-epigraphic writings and the Talmud (2711 pages)…

5th Clue: Judah – laws, judges, lawyers

The LAW of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the TESTIMONY of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The STATUTES of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The FEAR of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the JUDGMENTS of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant [David, of Judah] warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward (Ps 19:7-11).

And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the BOOK OF THE LAW in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it … And it came to pass, when the king [Josiah of Judah] had heard the words of the BOOK OF THE LAW, that he rent his clothes (2 Kings 22:8, 11).

For whosoever shall keep the whole LAW, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law (James 2:10-11), (James of Judah).

Above some verses about descendants of the tribe of Judah with regards to God’s law. King David was jubilant about God’s laws and decrees. His son Solomon concluded at the end of Ecclesiastes, The end of the matter, all having been heard: fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole man (Eccl 12:13). Their descendant Josiah rent his garments when the found book of the law was read.

Jesus (of Judah, of David, Mt 1, Lk 1), said the following concerning the law in the Sermon on the Mount: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Mt 5:18-19).

His half-brother James defended the law and called us to keep all of God’s Ten Commandments,. He wrote, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all (James 2:10-11).

Torah – Tanakh – Talmud

Religious Jews spend their whole life studying Talmud. The Talmud comprises the Mishna (ca. 200 AD) and the Gemara (ca. 500-1000 AD). A Talmud page consists of the Mishna discussing a part of the Pentateuch of Moses, around that the Gemara discussing the Mishna is printed and around it all are the medieval commentators like Maimonides and Rashi. Judah, Jews, are fond of the law. The discussions between our Lord Jesus and the Pharisees and scribes are a good example of this.

Lawyers

Their love for law and their knowledge of law make that Jews are very suitable for professions like judges, lawyers and barristers…

Of the nine judges of the United States Supreme Court three are Jewish, that is 33,3%, although the Jews in the USA are not even 2% of the total population.

6th Clue: Judah – hypocrisy

And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother … Come, and let us sell him … and let not our hand be upon him; FOR HE IS OUR BROTHER AND OUR FLESH. And his brethren were content (Gen 37:26-27).

And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and LET HER BE BURNT (Gen 38:24).

And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing SHALL SURELY DIE (2 Sam 12:5).

Saying, I [Judas] have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they [priests and elders] said, What is that to us? see thou to that (Mt 27:4).

Descendants of Judah show a certain hypocrisy from time to time, which can be traced from the patriarch Judah to this day…. On the one hand the Bible is used to defend certain actions, while on the other hand many Biblical commandments are ignored…

7th Clue: Judah and music

And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that DAVID took an HARP, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him (1Sam 16:23).

A PSALM of David … (Ps 3:1; 4:1; etc. 54 times).

And DAVID and all Israel PLAYED before God with all their might, and with SINGING, and with HARPS, and with PSALTERIES, and with TIMBRELS, and with CYMBALS, and with TRUMPETS (1Chron 13:8).

… and [SOLOMON’S] songs were a thousand and five (1 Kings 4:32).

Judah’s descendants, the Jews, are endowed with musical skills. David brought relief to king Saul with his harp (1 Sam 16:23). King David had the ark brought back to Jerusalem with singing, music and dancing (1 Chron 13:8; 15:16). David invented musical instruments (Amos 6:5). Solomon dedicated the temple with big choirs and with the musical instruments made by David (2 Chron 7:6). King Jehoshaphat of Judah defeated his enemies with a choir (2 Chron 20) and Nehemiah dedicated the repaired wall of Jerusalem with two choirs (Neh 12:31-43).

Judah’s descendants were and still are into music. Things coming to my mind: there is Mendelsohn, Jewish song-writers in Hollywood, musicals like Fiddler on the Roof, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, the chazzan, klezmer music, etc…

8th Clue: Judah and government

… thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee. Judah is a LION’S whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a LION, and as an old LION; who shall rouse him up? The SCEPTER shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come … (Gen 49:8-10).

[Jewish Rulers of Judah]: … Solomon … Rehoboam … Abia … Asa … Jehoshaphat … Joram … Ahaziah … Joash … Amaziah … Azariah … Jotham … Ahaz … Hezekiah … Manasseh … Amon … Josiah … Jehoiakim … Zedekiah … Jeconiah … Salathiel Zerubbabel … (1 Chron 3:10-19).

And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the THRONE of his father DAVID: And he shall REIGN over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his KINGDOM there shall be no end (Lk 1:31-33).

Judah was the leader of the eleven brothers, not Reuben. At the selling of Joseph and at both trips to Egypt, Judah was in charge. At the Exodus the tribes were grouped around the tabernacle in such a manner, that Judah always led the way, to be followed by Issachar and Zebulun. There were only two positive spies, Joshua (of Ephraim) and Kaleb (of the tribe of Judah). Kaleb’s nephew, Othniel, became judge in Israel. Jacob’s blessing for Judah (Gen 49) includes the promise of the coming messiah. After God rejected Saul (Benjamite), God gave the kingdom to David (of Judah). David and Solomon ruled the twelve tribes. Their descendants (|Rehoboam – Zedekiah) reigned over the two tribes…

Over the past centuries Jews have had important government positions in many countries…

9th Clue: Judah – a suffering people

And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him … And the thing which [Onan] did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also … And in process of time the daughter of Shuah Judah’s wife died … and [Judah] came in unto her [Tamar], and she conceived by him (Gen 38:7, 10, 12, 18).

… A Psalm of David. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me … O my God, I cry in the daytime, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent … But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men … Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help …. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death (Ps 22:1-15).

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not … He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth …Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him … (Isaiah 53).

At his first coming into the world Jesus came as the suffering servant. At his second coming Jesus will come as a fighting warrior (Rev 19), and He will rule as King of kings. So we see a suffering messiah and a fighting messiah. This phenomenon can also be seen with Judah, with the Jewish people.

Patriarch Judah

Much of the suffering of the patriarch Judah was self-inflicted, but he suffered nonetheless. After Joseph’s sale, things went bad for 22 years for Judah; 22 is the number of suffering…

Much has been written about the suffering of the Jewish people. At the time of the Persians (5th c. BC) Haman tried to wipe out the Jewish people (Purim – Esther). The Seleucid King of the North made a vicious attack on the religion of the Jews (2nd c. BC) (Hanukkah-Maccabees). The Jewish revolts (self-inflicted) against the Roman Empire of 66-73 AD, 115-117 AD and 132-135 AD led to much suffering. During the Middle Ages the Jews suffered badly in Christian Europe and the Jews under Islam did not fare much better over the past millennium. In eastern Europe pogroms were occurring in modern times and the suffering of the Jews culminated in Hitler’s Holocaust with about 6 million dead.

10th Clue: Judah – warriors

Judah, … thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies … Judah is a LION’s whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a LION … (Gen 49:8-9).

And Caleb [spy of Judah] drove thence the three sons of Anak, Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak (Josh 15:14).

Then answered one of the servants, and said, Behold, I have seen a son [DAVID] of Jesse the Bethlehemite … a MIGHTY VALIANT MAN, and a MAN OF WAR … (1Sam 16:18).

And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be CHIEF and CAPTAIN. So Joab [David’s kin] the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was CHIEF (1 Chron 11:6).

And [king] Asa had an army of men that bare TARGETS and SPEARS, out of Judah 300,000 … (2 Chron 14:8).

And out of his [Jesus’] mouth goeth a sharp SWORD, that with it he should smite the nations … (Rev 19:15).

In history Judah appears alternatively as a lion or as a lamb. The tribe possesses both characteristics. On the one hand they are able to fight hard and on the other hand they are able to take a lot of suffering and persist in a seemingly lamb-like role for a long time. Jesus the Messiah is also Lion and Lamb. Lamb during His first Coming and Lion during His Second Coming (Rev 5:5)…

In the Palestine Mandate the Jews started to arm and defend themselves. During WW II the Jews fought the German SS bravely for a month in the Warsaw ghetto. The Jewish State of Israel has fought many wars and won. The change from lamb to lion casts prophetic light on the coming Messiah, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

Joseph – Judah

Most Jews are antagonistic about the Israelite identity of the peoples of north-western Europe. Many believers of this Israelite identity are quite antagonistic towards the Jews. This enmity, this jealousy, between Ephraim and Judah has been predicted. It will be ended by the Messiah:

The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim (Isaiah 11:13).

While I believe that history demonstrates that the tribe of Judah dominates the nation known as Israel, Bert Otten has added a variety of observations that many have not considered. Perhaps I should add that he listed many wealthy Jews, Jewish musicians, and Jewish leaders that I did not include above because of the length of his article. But basically, they serve to back up his assertions.

I do not believe that most of those in the nation of Israel who consider themselves to be Jews did not descend from Jacob/Israel like certain antisemitic writers claim.

As far as the descendants of Ephraim go, they are considered to be the ‘covenant people’ (watch the video British are the Covenant People).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.
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?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?

Scientists see the universe expanding faster than many had thought

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

COGwriter

The universe could be expanding faster than many scientists thought:

WASHINGTON — Astronomers thought they had a handle on how the universe ticks, but the cosmos may be toying with them.

A team of astronomers has calculated that the universe seems to be expanding faster than what scientists previously figured. If the new research is right, then science’s basic understanding of what’s been happening to the universe in the past 13.8 billion years after the Big Bang could be just a bit off kilter.

“This is really an end-to-end test the universe gives us; it’s sort of our final exam,” said Nobel laureate and study lead author Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute . “We get a D-plus probably because things don’t match up.”

Astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to measure the distance of 2,400 stars to calculate the rate the universe is expanding. The number they came up with is 5 to 9 percent faster than other scientifically accepted measurements that calculate the expansion rate based on cosmic background radiation from 380,000 years after the Big Bang. The new study was released Thursday by NASA and is to be published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Either one set of calculations is wrong – which outside scientists say is the most likely possibility, though they can’t find something wrong yet – or the expansion rate has speeded up since 13.8 billion years ago. And if that’s the case, as Riess advocates, then our understanding of the universe is not quite right. June 3, 2016 http://www.cbsnews.com/news/is-the-universe-expanding-even-faster-than-we-thought-big-bang-theory/

Despite the confidence that the media and certain scientists portray about ‘scientific knowledge,’ much of it is shakier than the public is often led to believe.

What if science appears to contradict the Bible?

20 … avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. (1 Timothy 6:20-21, KJV)

4 … let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4, NKJV the rest of this article)

Now, related to the universe, notice something from back in 2013:

Data Shows Universe Could Collapse Any Minute

Our universe is at even greater risk of collapse than has been previously thought, according physicists in Denmark.

Not only are the scientists predicting the end of the world… but the end of the universe!

The prediction that the universe will collapse and compress into a small hard ball isn’t something new. Physicists have been predicting a calamity for a long time.

Does this mean we should immediately cancel any long-term plans? The Danish scientists really don’t know when the universe will collapse. They say it could happen tomorrow–or a billion years from now.

Writing in the Journal of High Energy Physics, the University of Southern Denmark physicists said new calculations led them to speculate there will be a sudden and drastic change within the forces of the universe one day that will make every atom in the universe become enormously heavy.

Everything, from the tiniest grain of soil to all of the planets within our solar system to every galaxy contained within the universe, will suddenly become billions and billions of times heavier than they are now.

The theory holds that the sudden increase in weight will force all of the material within the universe to compress into a “small, super-hot heavy ball” which will cause the end of the universe as we know it. http://blogs.voanews.com/science-world/2013/12/16/data-shows-universe-could-collapse-any-minute/

Should any Christian have believed that?

No!

On December 18, 2013, I posted the following here as my comments related to those Danish ‘scientists’:

Is that possible?

According to the Bible the universe cannot collapse now. Notice the following:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:18-23)

The universe (the “creation” above) is not going away now despite some signs of stresses. Scientists who ignore such scriptures have come to a wrong conclusion.

Notice the following about Jesus:

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:15-18)

Jesus has control, random events are not about to destroy the universe. (Thiel B. Danish scientists conclude that the universe could collapse any minute now–is that really possible? December 18, 2013)

Consider also the following passage from the Book of Hebrews:

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

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

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

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

So, resurrected humans will at some time rule all the planets of the universe. It will not collapse.

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

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

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

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

An expansion of the universe will continue. And at whatever pace God decides.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? If you would like to watch videos covering subjects of this article, you can click on the following links: Why YOU? Why Do YOU Suffer? and What is the meaning of your life?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Is There Another View of Evolution? and another titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Were the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon: Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2026 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?

Herbert W. Armstrong on the chronological start of the Bible

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

COGwriter

Where does the Bible actually begin?

In terms of time order, it would be John 1:1, and not Genesis 1:1 as many assume.

Here is an explanation from the late Herbert W. Armstrong:

If one should ask, where do you find the actual beginning of events in the Bible, most who possess even a slight knowledge of the world’s “best seller” would say, “Why in Genesis chapter one verse one, of course.” WRONG!

The real beginning, in order of time sequence, is found in the New Testament, in the first chapter of John, verse one. The events portrayed in Genesis occurred later – possibly even millions of years later. But the event recorded in John 1:1 reveals an existence perhaps long prior to the time God created the earth and the material universe. Note it: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” It continues, “The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” The term “all things” is translated in Hebrews 1:3, in the Moffatt translation, as “the UNIVERSE.” The entire UNIVERSE was made by Him!

The fourteenth verse of John 1 says: “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” The Personage called the Word was the one who ultimately-yet more than 1900 years ago-was born Jesus Christ. The name, “the Word,” is translated from the original Greek text, and means, literally, just what is translated into English -“Spokesman.” But He was not the Son of God “in the beginning.” Yet the Scriptures reveal that He has always existed, and always will – “from eternity to eternity.” He was “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life . . .” (Heb. 7:3).

So think on this, if you will! Originally there existed only these two Spirit Personages, self-existent. They had creative powers – they had perfect supreme minds – they possessed perfect, holy and righteous CHARACTER.

But THERE WAS NONE ELSE – NOTHING ELSE! There was no matter – no material universe – YET! No other living being or thing. Only these two, equal in mind and powers, except that God was supreme in authority, and the Word in perfect harmony under that authority. They were of one mind, in absolute agreement.

But ALL THINGS – the universe and everything existing in it – was made by the Personage called the Word. Yet, as we read in Ephesians 3:9: “God. . . created ALL THINGS by Jesus Christ.” And prior to becoming Jesus Christ, He was “the Word!” Also, in His human life Jesus said He spoke only as the Father directed. Yes. THINK!

In the eternity even prior to “prehistory” there were these two Supreme Beings. Alone! In the emptiness of space! No other life forms – no other living beings! Nothing else!…

The Perfect Creation

The original Hebrew words (the words originally written by Moses) imply a perfect creation. God reveals Himself as Creator of perfection, light, and beauty. Every reference in the Bible describes the condition of any completed phase of God’s creation as “very good” – perfect. This first verse of the Bible actually speaks of the original PHYSICAL creation in its entirety – the universe – including the earth, perhaps millions of years ago – as a perfect creation, beautiful and perfect as far as its creation was a finished, completed work. God is a perfectionist!In Job 38:4,7, God is speaking specifically of the creation of this earth. He said all the angels (created “sons of God”) shouted for joy at the creation of the earth. This reveals that angels were created before the creation of the earth – and probably before the material universe.

The suns, planets, and astral bodies are material substance. Angels are individually created Spirit beings, composed solely of Spirit. It will come as a surprise to many to learn that angels inhabited this earth BEFORE the creation of man. This passage from Job implies it.

Angels on Earth Sinned

Other passages place angels on earth prior to man. Notice II Peter 2:4-6. First in time order were “angels that sinned.” Next in time sequence, the antediluvian world beginning with Adam, carrying through to the Flood. After that, Sodom and Gomorrah.This Book of books, containing the revealed knowledge of the Creator God, tells us that God created angels as composed of Spirit. But can you imagine angels becoming sinning angels? Angels were created with power of thought, of decision and of choice, else they have no individuality or character. Since sin is the transgression of God’s law, these angels rebelled against God’s law, the basis of God’s government.Notice carefully what is revealed in II Peter 2:4-5:

For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.

These verses show that universal sin brings universal destruction to the physical earth. The antediluvian sin, culminating with the flood, was worldwide, universal sin. Notice: “…the earth was filled with violence …. for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth …. for the earth is filled with violence.” (Gen.6:1 1-13). “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the [Eternal]…. Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God” (verses 8-9). All flesh had sinned – over the whole earth. But only Noah “walked with God.” So, the Flood destroyed the whole earth – all but Noah and his family.The homosexual and other sins of Sodom and Gomorrah spread over the territory of those two cities. And physical destruction came to their entire area. The sin of the angels was worldwide; the destruction of the physical earth was worldwide. The verses quoted above place the sinning of the angels prior to the antediluvian sins that started with Adam, prior to the creation of man. And that should be a surprise revealing of one phase of the missing dimension in knowledge! Angels inhabited this earth before the creation of man. And the government of God was administered on earth until the rebellion of the sinning angels.

How long these angels inhabited the earth before the creation of man is not revealed. It might have been millions – or even billions – of years. More on that later. But these angels sinned. Sin is the transgression of God’s law (1 John 3:4). And God’s law is the basis of God’s government. So we know these angels, apparently a third of all the angels (Rev. 12:4), sinned – rebelled against the government of God. And sin carries penalties. The penalty for the sin of the angels is not death, as it is for man. Angels are Immortal Spirit beings and cannot die. These Spirit beings had been given dominion over the PHYSICAL EARTH as a possession and an abode. The universal, worldwide sin of the angels resulted in the physical destruction of the face of the earth…

Now back to Genesis 1: 1-2. Verse 1, as stated above, implies a perfect creation. God is the author of life, of beauty, of perfection. Satan has brought only darkness, ugliness, imperfection, violence. Verse 1 shows the creation of a perfect earth, glorious and beautiful. Verse 2 reveals the result of the sin of the angels.

“And the earth was [became] without form, and void.” The words “without form and void” are translated from the Hebrew tohu and bohu. A better translation is “waste and empty” or chaotic and in confusion.” The word “was” is elsewhere in Genesis translated “became,” as in Genesis 19:26. In other words, the earth, originally created perfect and beautiful, had now become chaotic, waste, and empty, like our moon, except its surface was covered with water.

David was inspired to reveal how God renewed the face of the earth: “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth” (Ps. 104:30).

Now another surprise for most readers. Here is another bit of the missing dimension in knowledge, actually revealed in the Bible, but unrecognized by religion, by science, and by higher education. From verse 2 of Genesis 1 on, the remainder of this first chapter of the Bible is not describing the original creation of the earth. But it is describing a renewing of the face of the earth, after it had become waste and empty as a result of the sin of the angels.

What is described from verse 2 on, in the supposed “Creation chapter” of the Bible, did occur, according to the Bible, approximately 6,000 years ago. But that could have been millions or trillions of years after the actual creation of the earth described in verse 1! I will comment later on the length of time it might have taken before all earth’s angels turned to rebellion.

The earth had become waste and empty. God did not create it waste and empty, or in confusion. God is not the author of confusion (I Cor.14:33). This same Hebrew word – tohu – meaning waste and empty, was inspired in Isaiah 45:18, where it is translated “in vain.” Using the original Hebrew word, as originally inspired, it reads: “For thus saith the [Eternal] that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain [tohu], he formed it to be inhabited.”

Continue now with the remainder of verse 2 (Gen. 1) (the earth had become chaotic, waste, and empty): “And darkness was upon the face of the deep [the ocean or fluid surface of the earth]. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness” (verses 2-4).

Satan is the author of darkness. The rebellion of the angels had caused the darkness. God is the author of light and truth. Light displays and enhances beauty, and also exposes evil. Darkness hides both. The verses which follow in this first chapter of the Bible describe the renewing of the face of the earth, yielding beautiful lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, vegetation – then the creation of fish and fowl, animal life, and finally man. (Armstrong HW. Incredible Human Potential, 1978)

So, yes God and the Word existed from the beginning and before anything else was made (John 1:1).

And while there was a creation in Genesis 1:1, there was a gap between that and the recreation that was needed in Genesis 1:2. Thus, this explanation (which, in my view, is the one that bests agrees with the records, despite flaws, of science) is commonly referred to as the gap theory. And yes, I hold to it (see How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? ).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
Did Angels Marry Human Women? Many insist this is so and also that this mating caused giants to be born. Did this come from the ‘Book of Enoch’? What does Genesis 6:4 really mean? A related video is also available: Did Angels Marry Women and Produce Giants?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon: Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Questions and Answers from Genesis Many wonder about certain early events that this article discusses.
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?

Job and the Ten Commandments

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017


Hebrew Scroll of the Book of Job (Pete Unseth)

COGwriter

Job is recognized by various faiths in the month of May, and on differing days.

Job is commemorated by the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod in their Calendar of Saints on May 9, by the Roman Catholic Church on May 10, and by the Eastern Orthodox Church on May 6. He is also commemorated by the “Armenian Apostolic Church” on May 6 and December 26, and by the Coptic Orthodox Church on April 27 and August 29.

While the Church of God does not commemorate a specific date, we in the Continuing Church of God recognized Job as one God worked with (e.g. Job 38-42) and blessed (Job 42:12) in the Old Testament. Job is also mentioned in the New Testament:

11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. (James 5:11, NKJV throughout unless as otherwise noted).

Many scholars teach that Job was likely to have been alive around the time of the patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), thus the subjects in the Book of Job were all known prior to Mount Sinai. Biblical evidence includes the facts that both Job and Abraham’s wealth are listed in livestock (Job 1:3;42:12; Gen 12:16;13:2;30:43;32:5), the Chaldeans are portrayed as raiders (Job 1:17; as a people, they were not raiders later), the particular Hebrew word for ‘piece of silver’ in Job 42:11 is only used otherwise in conjunction with Jacob (Gen 33:19; Josh 24:32), and Job’s age (Job 42:16) appears to be consistent with the patriarchs.

Job knew about God before the Book of Genesis was written, as he said, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You” (Job 42:5).

Here are some Jewish views on when Job may have lived:

According to Bar Ḳappara, Job lived in the time of Abraham; according to Abba b. Kahana, in the time of Jacob, he having married Dinah, Jacob’s daughter (ib.; B. B. 15b; comp. additions in Targ. Yer. to Job ii. 9). R. Levi said that Job lived in the time of Jacob’s sons; and he also said, in the name of Jose b. Ḥalafta, that Job was born when Jacob and his children entered Egypt and that he died when the Israelites left that country. Job consequently lived 210 years (comp. Rashi on Ex. xii. 40). When Satan came to accuse the Israelites of being idolaters, God set him against Job, whence Job’s misfortunes (Gen. R. l.c.). This opinion is supported by the statement that Job with Jethro and Balaam was consulted by Pharaoh as to the means of reducing the number of the children of Israel and that Job was stricken with calamity because he had remained silent (Sanh. 106a; Soá¹­ah 11a). It may be mentioned that this legend is narrated differently in the “Sefer ha-Yashar” (section “Shemot,” p. 110a, ed. Leghorn, 1870) as follows: At first Job, who was one of Pharaoh’s eunuchs and counselors, advised Pharaoh to have every male child murdered (Ex. i. 16). Afterward Pharaoh, having had a dream which prognosticated the birth of a helper, again consulted Job. The latter answered evasively: “Let the king do as he pleases” (“Sefer ha-Yashar,” l.c. p. 111a). Levi b. Laḥma also held that Job lived in the time of Moses, by whom the Book of Job was written. Some of the rabbis even declare that the one servant of Pharaoh who feared the word of God (Ex. ix. 20) was Job (Ex. R. xii. 3). Raba, specifying the time more accurately, said Job lived in the time of the spies who were sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan (B. B. 15a). According to these rabbis, Job was a Gentile—an opinion which is elsewhere expressed more fully, in that Job is said to have been a pious Gentile or one of the prophets of the Gentiles (ib. 15b; Seder ‘Olam R. xxi.). Other tannaim place Job variously in the reign of Saba, in that of the Chaldees, and in that of Ahasuerus. R. Johanan and R. Eleazar both declared that Job was one of those who returned from the Captivity and that his bet ha-midrash was at Tiberias (Yer. Soá¹­ah v. 8; B. B. l.c.; Gen. R. l.c.). It is said in B. B. (ib.) that these tannaim necessarily considered Job an Israelite; but R. Hananeel (ad loc.) has in his text, “All the Tannaim and Amoraim, with the exception of the one who placed Job in the time of Jacob, were of opinion that Job was an Israelite” (comp. also Gen. R. l.c.). (Job. Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8692-job accessed 05/06/15)

A few have indicated that Job could have been the first written book of the Bible, though many point to a later time of writing. Even if it were not written down prior to Mount Sinai, the narrative appears to be before the children of Israel entered the land of Egypt during the time of Joseph.

Many who teach that Christians do not need to obey the ten commandments also teach that the ten commandments were not in effect prior to Mount Sinai (Ex 20). The truth is that all of the ten commandments are listed in the Bible prior to Mount Sinai (please see the article Were the Ten Commandments in Effect Before Mount Sinai?).

Although the Book of Job does not specifically quote any of the ten commandments, it does appear to allude to each one of them. This suggests that the ten commandments were not only known before Mount Sinai, but that they were possibly known outside of the descendants of Israel.

Commandment 1:

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:2-3)

The Book of Job states:

21 Blessed be the name of the LORD (Job 1:21).

28 And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding’ (Job 28:28).

28 This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgement, For I would have denied God who is above (Job 31:28).

1 Then Job answered the LORD and said: 2 ‘I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You’ (Job 42:1-2).

What is interesting about Job 28:28 is that Job said that this is what God said to man and there is no record of this being said in Genesis (which is the primary biblical book with information prior to the story of Job), thus this verse proves that God spoke to humankind prior to Moses in at least one way that was not recorded in Genesis. Thus this refutes the argument that none prior to Mount Sinai could have known what the commandments were! If there were no commandments in effect, how could denying God be an iniquity deserving of judgement?

Commandment 2:

4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image of any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:4-6)

The Book of Job states:

27 If I have observed the sun when it shines, or the moon moving in its brightness, so that my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand; 28 This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgement, For I would have denied God who is above (Job 31:27-28).

The observing of the sun and moon, whereby one is enticed, as well kissing one’s own hand, are believed by most commentators to have been practices associated with idolatry.

Commandment 3:

7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7)

The Book of Job states:

5 It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts (Job 1:5).

21 Blessed be the name of the LORD (Job 1:21).

9 Curse God and die! (Job 2:9).

10 In all this, Job did not sin with his lips (Job 2:10).

The third commandment is clearly shown in Job to have been understood. It is clear that before Mount Sinai one could ‘sin with his lips,’ and that ‘sin’ was known to exist then (after Mount Sinai, God did tell the Israelites that the people who used to live in the land sinned by violating this command, Leviticus 18:21,27).

Commandment 4:

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8-11)

The Book of Job states:

13 So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great (Job 2:13).

1 Is there not a time of hard service for man on the earth (Job 7:1).

5 That the triumping of the wicked is short…20 Because he knows no quietness in his heart (Job 20:5,20).

21 Now aquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace (Job 22:21).

4 Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? (Job 38:4).

Job 2:13 supports the concept that the week was being observed prior to Mount Sinai. It is consistent with the two accounts in Genesis that a week was used as a period of rejoicing (Gen 29:22,27-28) and grieving (Genesis 50:10).

Job 7:1 supports the concept of “six days shall you labor” (Exodus 20:8) which is part of the fourth commandment. Job 20:20 supports the concept found in Hebrews 4:3-6 that those who disobey “shall not enter My rest.” Whereas Job 22:21 supports the related concept that “we who believed do enter that rest…There remains therefore a rest (Greek sabbitismos, ‘a sabbath observance’) for the people of God” (Hebrews 4:3,9).

In Job 38:4, God says He ‘laid the foundations of the earth’ which is similar to the concept in Exodus 20:11 ‘For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them’. Thus in Job we see the nearly all the concepts of the fourth commandment.

Commandment 5:

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)

The Book of Job states:

21 His sons come to honor (Job 14:21).

5 He who speaks flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children will fail (Job 17:5).

8 But the mighty man possessed the land, and the honorable man dwelt in it (Job 22:8).

These verses support the concept that one is to be honorable, children are to honor their father, and that the children are to become honorable, whereas the fifth commandment says to give honor (Exodus 20:12) which implies that parents are to be honorable.

Commandment 6:

13 “You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13)

The Book of Job states:

14 The murderer rises with the light; He kills the poor and needy; And in the night he’s like a thief (Job 24:14).

39 If I have eaten its fruit without money, or caused its owners to lose their lives; 40 Then let thistles grow instead of wheat, and weeds instead of barley (Job 31:39-40).

These scriptures clearly support the concept that Job and his companions considered murder to be wrong. Job 24:14 is similar to a teaching by Jesus tieing in murder and thievery together:

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. (John 10:10).

Notice that Job knew of this connection thousands of years before Jesus stated it as recorded by John.

Commandment 7:

14 “You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)

The Book of Job states:

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

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).

These scriptures clearly support the concept that Job and his companions knew adultery was prohibited and an ‘iniquity deserving of judgement.’

Commandment 8:

15 “You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15)

The Book of Job states:

5 Is not your wickedness great, and your iniquity without end? 6 For you have taken pledges from your brother for no reason, and stripped the naked of their clothing (Job 22:5-6).

14 And in the night he’s like a thief (Job 24:14).

39 If I have eaten its fruit without money, or caused its owners to lose their lives; 40 Then let thistles grow instead of wheat, and weeds instead of barley (Job 31:39-40).

These scriptures clearly support the concept that Job and his companions considered stealing to be wrong.

Commandment 9:

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exodus 20:16)

The Book of Job states:

28 I would never lie to your face (Job 6:28).

35 They conceive trouble and bring forth futility; Their womb prepares deceit (Job 15:35).

25 Now if it is not so, who will prove me a liar and make my speech worth nothing? (Job 24:25).

4 My lips will not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit (Job 27:4).

6 Should I lie concerning my right? (Job 34:6).

4 For truly my words are not false (Job 36:4).

These scriptures clearly support the concept that Job and his companions considered ‘bearing false witness’ to be wrong.

Commandment 10:

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” (Exodus 20:17)

The Book of Job states:

2 And envy slays a simple one (Job 5:2).

12 Why does your heart carry you away, and what do your eyes wink at, that you turn your spirit against God, and let such words go out of your mouth? (Job 15:12-13).

1 They conceive trouble and bring forth futility (Job 15:35).

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).

These scriptures clearly support the concept that Job and his companions considered covetousness (or evil desire) to be wrong. Since Paul wrote, “I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’ ” (Rom 7:7), it is clear that the law against covetousness must have been in effect prior to Mount Sinai.

“Sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4) or as it says in the AV “sin is the trangression of the law.” The terms sin (9), sinned (6), and sins (1) are used 16 times in the the Book of Job (NKJV).

How could there be sin if there was no law, since according to an interesting scripture by the Apostle Paul, “sin is not imputed when there is no law?” (Romans 5:13).

In the Book of Job, Elihu said:

5 Behold God is mighty…10 He also opens their ear to instruction, and commands that they turn from iniquity. 11 If they obey and serve Him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. 12 But of they do not obey, they shall perish by the sword and they shall die [as one] without knowledge (Job 36:5,10-12).

If people in Job’s day were not supposed to know about God’s law, how could they obey Him? If those who disobey will perish like those that have no knowledge of God and His ways, then they must have had knowledge of God and His laws.

There is another interesting passage from the Apostle Paul to consider:

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

What is so interesting about that?

Well, Paul said it was only because there was an existing law against coveting that he understood that he was not to covet.

But, Job knew, prior to Mount Sinai that he was not to covet. Job specifically knew it was wrong to covet his neighbor’s wife.

The Book of Job demonstrates that God has revealed information that is not specifically listed in the Book of Genesis (Job 28:28;36:12;42:5). This is also consistent with the following concerning what God said to Isaac related to his father Abraham:

4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; 5 because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws. (Genesis 26:4-5)

The Book of Job demonstrates that sin and God’s Ten Commandment law were known prior to Mount Sinai.

While some may try to reason around what the Book of Job teaches, 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:

Were the Ten Commandments in Effect Before Mount Sinai? Some have said not. This article provides biblical quotes to answer this important question. A sermon of related interest is titled Were the Ten Commandments in Place prior to Mt. Sinai?
Job and the Ten Commandments Was Job written prior to Mount Sinai? Did Job know about the ten commandments? This article provides biblical answers to those questions.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them.
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. Here is a version in the Spanish language:.¿Están vigentes todavía los diez mandamientos?
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. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
When was the Exodus? Did it Happen? Some deny the biblical account of the Exodus. Was Ramses II the pharaoh then? When did the Exodus occur? Is there proof outside of the Bible that there was an Exodus? Here is a related article in the Spanish language: ¿Cuándo fue el Éxodo? ¿Ocurrió realmente?
Reasons, Proofs, and Ramifications of the Ten Plagues of Exodus What do you know about these plagues? Is there any confirmation outside the Bible? Might something worse be coming? A related two-part sermon is available: Egypt and the Plagues (Part 1) and Exodus Plagues and Prophecy (Part 2).
Exodus and the Days of Unleavened Bread This article discusses parts of the Book of Exodus with some connections to the Days of Unleavened Bread. A related sermon is available and is titled: Unleavened Bread: Lessons in Exodus.
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
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?

Six Questions and Answers related to the Book of Genesis

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Answers_From_Genesis

COGwriter

Many people have questions about the Bible in general and the first several chapters of the Book of Genesis in particular.

The first six chapters of Genesis present a sum­mary of vital high points of approximately the first 1600-1700 years of mankind — from Adam’s creation to just before Noah’s Flood (details on calculations can be found in the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

We in the Continuing Church of God have looked at various questions that were taken from authentic letters emanating from Ambassador College sponsored programs and publications or received as emails by us. This particular set of questions and answer is an update strongly based upon those in the 1973 booklet (shown above) written by the late John Ross Schroeder, but with most answers partially updated by Dr. Bob Thiel in 2014. Biblical quotes are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.

We addressed many of them before, and here are six more:

• “Where is the land of Nod?”

“And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden” (Genesis 4:16). Cain was exiled to the land of Nod as punishment for brutally murdering his younger brother, Abel.

It was located east of Eden. Eden was probably in the region of the Holy Land. So Nod was probably east of the region we now know as the Holy Land — the area where the twelve tribes of ancient Israel dwelled together. The Hebrew word for “Nod” means “wandering.” This was the land of Cain’s wandering. It is a general area — not a specific geographical location.

• “The Bible says that Enoch ‘was not, for God took him’ (Genesis 5:24), and that he was ‘translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him’ (Hebrews 11:5). What actually happened to Enoch? Where did he go? Where is he now?”

At this moment Enoch is dead and in his grave. We know this because it clearly states in Hebrews that Enoch died in faith, not having received the promises (Hebrews 11:5, 13). And Genesis 5:23 plainly states that all the days of Enoch were 365 years.

It is true that God dealt with Enoch in a unique manner. Enoch was one of those rare persons who realized the tremendous importance in living God’s way. From age 65 until his death, three hundred years later, Enoch “walked with God” (Genesis 5:22). And God is always particularly concerned for those who put Him first in their lives. You may also wish to read the free booklet titled Where are Enoch and Elijah? It explains more fully what happened to Enoch.

• “Genesis 6:4 seems to indicate that angels married women prior to Noah’s Flood. How could this possibly be true?”

The biblical record reveals that angels are created spirits (Hebrews 1:14). They are not mortal flesh like humans. Christ said in three places that angels do not marry.

Angels are created spirits and do not reproduce by sexual intercourse or any other means (Luke 20:34-36; Matt. 22:30; Mark 12:25).

With this understanding, read the first four verses of Genesis 6: “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose … the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”

Who were these “sons of God”? Obviously they were male human beings. Adam was a son of God by creation (Luke 3:38). And all of Adam’s male descendants are sons of God in that sense. Since these “sons of God” married women, they can­not be angels — notice the context of Genesis 6. “The Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man …” (verse 3). Here again the sons of God are called men. Because the sons of God sinned, God said: “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth” (verse 7). Not one word about angels.

Notice that God said because of sin He would destroy man — not angels. Angels are spirits and could not be destroyed by water. With the outpouring of the deluge “all flesh died … and every man” (Genesis 7:21-23).

• “Some say there was no rain on the earth from the time of Adam to Noah. Is this what Genesis 2:5-6 means?”

Genesis — the first book of the Old Testament — answers basic questions about origins. Genesis means “beginning” or “origin.” The second chapter of Genesis fills in various details of the creation account that the first chapter leaves out. When both chapters are taken together, they complement and mutually amplify each other.

With this in mind, observe what Genesis 2:5-6 actually says: “No shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up; for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground; but there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground” (Jewish Publication Society translation).

Now consider these facts: (1) God causes rain — He set laws in motion to bring it about. There could be no rain if God had not set laws in motion to produce it. (2) Most important, Genesis 2:6 does not say that the mist descended upon the earth, as most assume. It says that a mist went UP FROM the earth! (3) Genesis 2:5-6 is speaking of a time prior to — not after — the third day of creation week.

Notice the proof.

The mist ascended from the earth before any shrubs or herbs appeared. Genesis 1:11-13 shows that the types of vegetation on earth today were not created until the third day. The mist that ascended before the third day was needed to prepare the soil for plant life on that day. The mist ascended according to the laws of evaporation, became clouds, descended as rain, and readied the land for vegetation.

Genesis 2:5-6 tells us who is the Originator or Maker of weather and climate. It tells us about the beginning of climate for the age of man. God is the Beginner or Originator of a climatic process set in motion on the third day of creation week. This process is still in effect today. It is common knowledge that clouds are formed by the condensation of water vapor and mist that has first gone up from the earth by evaporation. Under certain conditions water droplets form and return to the earth as rain or other types of precipitation. A mere mist without rain could not have sustained plant life over all the earth for the great length of time between Adam and Noah.

The Bible is clearly telling us about the beginning of weather patterns to water the soon-to-be-created plant life. The little word “yet” is clearly implied in the latter portion of Genesis 2:5: “. . . for the Lord God had not [that is, not YET] caused it to rain upon the earth…. ”

Afterward it did rain when the evaporation-condensation-precipitation cycle was begun by a gracious God who takes care of His creation and sustains it.

• “Did God intend man to eat meat before the Flood (Genesis 9:3)?”

The Bible shows that Abel offered a sacrifice of his flock before the Flood (Genesis 4:4). His occupation was keeping sheep (verse 2). Wouldn’t it be a bit odd for a man to keep a large flock of animals just to offer an occasional sacrifice? The obvious indication is that he and others ate of the flocks.

The laws of clean and unclean animals were well known before the Flood. God told Noah to take seven pairs of each kind of clean animal and one pair of each unclean animal into the ark (Genesis 7:2). There is no record that God explained to Noah which animals were clean and which were unclean. This must have been common knowledge among those who followed God’s way of life. Such knowledge was then important only if mankind was actually eating meat.

The fossil record of the pre-Flood world indicates that man ate all types of meat before the Flood. It is most likely that Genesis 9:3 is simply a reaffirmation from God to man that animal life would still be available for food — even though many animals had now been given a wild nature (see Genesis 9:2). They now had a fear of man which they did not have before the Flood. This made it more difficult (but not impossible) for man to hunt them for food. Neither did God go to the trouble of telling Noah about the differences between the clean and unclean when He commanded him, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you.” Noah already knew the distinction.

If you wish to learn more about biblically clean and unclean meats, read our free article: The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats.

• “I’ve asked several people if they knew who wrote the book of Genesis and no one can give me an answer. Can you help?”

Pick up any authorized King James Version of the Bible. Open it to the book of Genesis. The title the translators chose was “The first book of Moses called Genesis.”

Jesus said, in a conversation with certain religious leaders of His day, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:45-47). Here is Jesus’ own personal testimony that Moses wrote Scripture.

But what part?

Jesus gave the division of the Old Testament in Luke 24:44: “… All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms [a representative book of the writings].”

That being said, at least one other added a little bit in the Book of Deuteronomy that Moses primarily wrote, as it documents Moses’ death (Deuteronomy 38:5-12) . But there is no scriptural reason to believe that Moses was not the one who originally penned the Book of Genesis.

Some additional questions and answers are found in the article: Questions and Answers from Genesis.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Questions and Answers from Genesis Many wonder about certain early events that this article discusses.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Were the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon: Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Did Angels Marry Human Women? Many insist this is so and also that this mating caused giants to be born. Did this come from the ‘Book of Enoch’? What does Genesis 6:4 really mean? A related video is also available: Did Angels Marry Women and Produce Giants?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long?
Where are Enoch and Elijah? Booklet by the late Dr. Herman Hoeh.
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?

Might there have been humanoids prior to Adam?

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017


Australopithecus sediba (Brett Eloff)

COGwriter

Did God make ‘prehistoric’ human-like beings prior to Adam?

Many have wondered about this as various scientists and others have made claims.

But notice a couple of observations:

Modern humans (Homo sapiens or Homo sapiens sapiens) are the only extant members of the hominin clade, a branch of great apes characterized by erect posture and bipedal locomotion; manual dexterity and increased tool use; and a general trend toward larger, more complex brains and societies.Early hominids, such as the australopithecines whose brains and anatomy are in many ways more similar to non-human apes, are less often thought of or referred to as “human” than hominids of the genus Homo (Human. Wikipedia, viewed 02/21/15)

Scientists admit that all humans have the same mother, though they often consider that mother was older than Eve of the Book of Genesis.

Now, as used by critical historians, “prehistoric time” is said to refer to earliest antiquity nowhere documented in written records. But the Bible records, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Here is a documented account reaching back to the beginning of the physical universe. “Prehistoric time,” in that sense, is therefore irreconcilable with Scripture. It should come as no surprise, therefore, to learn that biblical passages reveal occurrences prior to the time of man.

If however, we define prehistoric as the time before humans began to write, then we can speak of prehistoric creatures and events.

There were no prehistoric humans prior to Adam. Including others of the ‘genus Homo.’

As modern humans are concerned, the Bible plainly states that Adam was “the first man” (1 Corinthians 15:45), and he named his wife “Eve because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20). Adam and Eve were therefore the first humans.

While there are fossil records of apes and other creatures that predate Adam, these creatures were not the same as modern humans as far God is concerned.

But many scientists have tried to teach otherwise. The Bible reveals that they should know the truth, but do not:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man — and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (Romans 1:18-25)

Many scientists have served the creature and would not accept the truth about life and humanity which they clearly should know (see also Is God’s Existence Logical? and Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II).

Most scientists do not know what humans are. The Bible answers this. Here is one part of the answer:

5 For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. 6 But one testified in a certain place, saying:

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

For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him. (Hebrews 2:5-8)

Pre-Adamic primates were not put on the earth to rule it later. Humans were.

It is NOT toolmaking nor manual dexterity that make humans different than non-human primates.

Humans have the spirit of man in them, whereas animals, including the other primates, do not. The reality that there is a spirit in humans is taught in both the Old and New Testaments:

8 But there is a spirit in man,
And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. (Job 32:8)

11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? (1 Corinthians 2:11)

God gave animals instinct, but not the type of understanding that He gave humans. Many scientists will not admit that there is a spirit in man that God gave.

Pre-Adamic primates, were, at best, like advanced chimpanzees. There were no humans before Adam.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon: Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Questions and Answers from Genesis Many wonder about certain early events that this article discusses.
Did Angels Marry Human Women? Many insist this is so and also that this mating caused giants to be born. Did this come from the ‘Book of Enoch’? What does Genesis 6:4 really mean? A related video is also available: Did Angels Marry Women and Produce Giants?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

Jews, TPM, and the Biblical date of Passover

Thursday, March 30th, 2017


A Shmura Matzo (Unleavened Bread is Used for Passover)

COGwriter

When is the Christian Passover for 2017? Sunday, April 9th, after sunset which is when the 14th of Nisan begins. On Monday, April 10th after sunset which is when the 15th of Nisan begins–called the Night to be Observed (watch also The Night to Be Much Observed).

The date of the Christian Passover has been controversial for millenia. We in the Continuing Church of God believe that we follow Jesus’ example, as well as those of the early faithful Christians, and hence observe it towards the beginning of the 14th of Nisan.

Yet, TPM’s William Dankenbring (who was once a WCG writer) wrote an article titled: “SEVENTEEN PROOFS Why Passover Should Be Observed on Nisan 15!

But, of course, although many Jews did keep the 15th (and still do), that is not when Jesus observed the Passover, nor when the original Passover was observed.

The Bible is clear that the 14th of the month is God’s Passover and the 15th day begins a different time:

5 On the fourteenth day of the first month at twilight is the LORD’s Passover. 6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD (Leviticus 23:5-6, NKJV).

5 “The fourteenth day of the first month, at twilight, is the Passover of Yahweh (Leviticus 23:5, NJB)

5 In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the Lord’s passover. (Leviticus 23:5, KJV)

There is only one “twilight” for the 14th and that is right after sunset that BEGINS the day. Thus, the 14th is clearly the day of God’s Passover.

Now, the following is the first place in the Bible that the calendar date of the Passover is specifically mentioned:

Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire–its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the LORD’s Passover (Exodus 12:3-11, NKJV).

6 And you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month: and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening. (Exodus 12:6, Douay-Rheims)

Notice that the fourteenth day of the month is the Lord’s Passover and that is when the lambs were sacrificed. It should be noted that the Douay-Rheims is a Catholic approved translation of scripture, yet they will observe April 16th as Passover, while calling it Easter in the English languages and switching its emphasis away from the biblical teachings on Passover.

But getting back to TPM, interestingly it agrees with the Old Testament as it admits that the New Testament teaches that the Passover lambs are to be sacrificed on the 14th of Nisan:

According to the gospel of John, Nisan 14 is the very day the Passover lambs would have been slain – the day before the high holy day of the first day of Unleavened Bread (John 19:14-16)…Christ Himself died, as OUR “Passover lamb…Paul himself declares, “For indeed, Christ our PASSOVER, was sacrificed for us” (I Cor.5:7). This implies that He was sacrificed at the appointed time when ALL the Passover lambs were being killed, which was on the afternoon of Nisan 14” (I Cor.5:7) (Dankenbring W.F. What Year and Date Was Christ Crucified? http://www.triumphpro.com/passover_nisan_new_moons_29_31_ad.htm 6/20/06).

Hence, although I would have selected a different proof text, there is agreement that the Passover lambs were sacrificed sometime on the 14th of Nisan. Some would have been sacrificed at twilight and others apparently later. Jesus kept the Passover at twilight and was killed later on the 14th.

Who does the Bible say was the Lamb of God? Well, Jesus the Christ of course:

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29).

And was Jesus the Passover lamb sacrificed for us?

For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us (1 Corinthians 5:7).

Thus, according to the Bible (and even TPM), the Passover lambs were sacrificed on the 14th of Nisan. Jesus was the Lamb of God who was the Passover sacrificed for us. Thus, if one agrees with TPM that the New Testament teaches that the Passover lambs were sacrificed on the 14th of Nisan, then one should agree that the New Testament Passover should also be observed on the 14th of Nisan. TPM however, seems to feel that the Passover is to be observed the night after the lambs are killed.

What About Jewish Practices?

TPM claims that the day that Jews NOW commonly observe is proof that Passover for Christians must be the 15th of Nisan.

Here is some of its statements along that line:

Proof No. 5 — the Day the Jews Observe

The apostle Paul wrote, “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? MUCH EVERY WAY,” he answered his own question. He went on: “chiefly, because that unto THEM were committed the ORACLES OF GOD” (Romans 3:1-2). God entrusted His Word and by extension His Holy Days and revelations TO THE JEWS for them to be preserved throughout the generations and centuries and millennia. Were it not for the Jews’ faithfulness to this command, we would not even possess the entire Old Testament of the Bible, where the laws and commandments of God are all recorded!

The Jews all understand the truth about Passover, and all orthodox Jews to this very day, and all Judaism as a whole, observes Passover on NISAN 15, just as their forefathers and ancestors have done, century after century after century! (Dankenbring WF. Come out of Babylon, My People! SEVENTEEN PROOFS Why PASSOVER Should Be Observed on Nisan 15! http://www.triumphpro.com/passover17.htm 6/21/06).

The problem is that most Jews have not been faithful to the original date. And while the Jews know which day is the fourteenth of Nisan, the fact that they added additional dates for the Passover (and some of the other Holy Days for those of the diaspora) does not make them the judge of how or when to observe the Holy Days (this is to be done by the “body of Christ”, Colossians 2:17, AFV). One of the reasons they did this is that they confused the meal they take on the 15th (the “night to be much observed,” Exodus 12:42 KJV, see also The Night to Be Observed) with the Passover celebration (many Jews still have meals on both nights, though it is not clear that they still know why).

Here is proof from the Jewish Encyclopedia that the Jews should realize that Passover is on the 14th:

Lev. xxiii., however, seems to distinguish between Passover, which is set for the fourteenth day of the month, and http://d3sva65x0i5hnc.cloudfront.net/V09p548007.jpg(the Festival of Unleavened Bread; ἑορτή τῶν ἀζύμων, Luke xxii. 1; Josephus, “B. J.” ii. 1, § 3), appointed for the fifteenth day. Passover. (Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906)

Here are two other explanations as to why there has been confusion amongst Jews:

Two Passovers

The gospels appear to say that the Messiah ate a Passover meal with the twelve on the evening beginning Nisan 14, and John appears to say Jews were having their Passover meal one day later. There are different theories to explain this.

1. The Sadducees and Pharisees disagreed on the day of Passover. The Sadducees (more conservative group) believed the Feasts of Passover and Unleavened Bread were separate feast days. They held Passover on the fourteenth as God decreed in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Those of the majority opinion, including the Pharisees, held Passover on the fifteenth. Jesus may have been following both dates by having Passover with the disciples on the fourteenth and becoming the Passover lamb on the fifteenth.

2. Thousands of people would come to Jerusalem to have their lambs ritually slain in the Temple. If they only had one day in which to prepare for the Passover, it would have been extremely difficult to have slaughtered all the lambs brought in to be sacrificed. Therefore, they worked on two different time scales. The northern part of the country went with the old way of dating (starting from morning and going to the following morning). The southern part of the country followed the official dating method (from evening to evening). Thus, there were two times when lambs were being killed in the Temple for sacrifice (Sampson R & Pierce L. A Family Guide to the Biblical Holidays. Heart of Wisdom Publishing June 2001, p. 112)

Thus, for whatever reason, the Jews got a little bit confused. With some keeping the correct date–the same date that Jesus kept (and He would have known which date was biblically correct). Many forget that Jesus condemned the Jews for relying on non-biblical traditions above the Bible (e.g. Mark 7:9-13).

What Happened Before Passover?

TPM argues that last meal that Jesus ate before His crucifixion was before the Passover, thus was not a Passover meal:

What, Then, Was the “Last Supper”?

In fact, the apostle John himself writes, “Now BEFORE the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come . . . and supper being ended, the devil having already put it in the heart of Judas Iscariot . . . to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from SUPPER [the “Last Supper”], and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself” (John 13:1-4). He then began to wash the disciples’ feet (vs.5-12).

John plainly calls this mean a “SUPPER” – not the “Passover” meal! He plainly says it occurred “BEFORE” the upcoming Feast of the Passover (verse 1). There is NO WAY that meal could have been the “Passover,” as so many seem to assume! (Dankenbring W.F. What Year and Date Was Christ Crucified? http://www.triumphpro.com/passover_nisan_new_moons_29_31_ad.htm 6/20/06).

Now plainly John says this final “supper” was “before” the Passover! Therefore it could not have been the “Passover”!…

Therefore, when we understand it, there is absolutely NO PROOF that the “last supper” was actually the “Passover” itself, as so many people assume. (Dankenbring WF. John 19:14 — What Do You Mean, “About the Sixth Hour”? http://www.triumphpro.com/john_19,_sixth_hour.htm 6/23/06).

Jesus sent Peter and John telling them, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.” In context, then, He is telling them to “Prepare for the coming Passover Feast” – all the seven days of “Passover” (verse 1). They had to prepare – that is, obtain “unleavened bread,” and all the things necessary for observing the Passover for seven days. That is why this day was called a day of preparation.’ Jesus was telling His disciples to ‘PREPARE’ for the up-coming Passover – that is, to GET READY and make preparations. He did not say the meal that very night would be the Passover! Luke plainly calls it “supper” – not “Passover” – as we shall see! (Dankenbring WF. Was the Lord’s Supper Really the Passover? Prophecy Flash, March-April 2010.)

Contrary to what TPM wrote above, Jesus DOES call this meal the Passover in Matthew, Mark, and Luke:

18 And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, “My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at your house with My disciples.”‘”

19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them; and they prepared the Passover.

20 When evening had come, He sat down with the twelve. 21 Now as they were eating (Matthew 26:18-21).

14 Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”‘ 15 Then he will show you a large upper room, furnished and prepared; there make ready for us.”

16 So His disciples went out, and came into the city, and found it just as He had said to them; and they prepared the Passover.

17 In the evening He came with the twelve. 18 Now as they sat and ate, Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, one of you who eats with Me will betray Me.” (Mark 14:14-18)

15 With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer..(Luke 22:15).

Also, contrary to what TPM wrote above, TPM’s contention of what John plainly says is in error. Additionally, TPM’s quoting of those passages gives the appearance that certain events were absolutely together when the reading of the entire context shows that this is NOT the case.

A review of the Greek in John 13:1 shows that before the Passover that Jesus knew His hour had come and that He loved His disciples. It does not say that He had SUPPER before the Passover.

Below are two literal translations, the first of which also shows the relevant Strong’s number of each of the Greek words:

4253 1161 3588 1859 3588 3957 1492 3588
before Now the feast of the passover, when knew the

2424 3754 2064 846 3588 5610 2443
Jesus that was come his the hour that

3327 1537 3588 2889 5127 4314 3588
he should depart out of the world this unto the

3962 25 3588 9999 2398 3588 1722 3588
Father, having loved which were his own the in the

2889 1519 9999 5056. 25 846
world, unto the end. he loved them. (Interlinear Transliterated Bible. Copyright (c) 1994 by Biblesoft).

And before the feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should move from this world to the Father, loving (His) own in the world, He loved them to (the) end (Green J.P. Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, 3rd ed. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, Mi, 1996).

(Note: I added the term “the” in the four places where J. Green left it blank.)

Thus to teach that John 13 plainly states that supper was before the Passover is not supported by the main verse (13:1). Secondarily, the word supper is used in the next verse. The Greek word used is transliterated as deipnon, a term normally referring to the evening meal:

deipnon (dipe’-non)…dinner, i.e. the chief meal (usually in the evening) (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

A dinner meal was normally in late afternoon or the evening (and the evening begins at/after twilight). Jesus’ acts immediately after the meal was completed did occur on the Tuesday evening portion of the 14th of Nisan. They were NOT on the 13th as some have suggested (this is also confirmed by 1 Corinthians 11:23 which will be quoted later).

Thus, John 13 is clearly supportive of a 14th Passover.

Furthermore, the real question is how did God view this particular meal, or at least the symbolism after the meal? Notice what Jesus told His disciples about this meal:

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

Thus, it is clear that on that evening of the 14th, Jesus and His disciples observed the Passover. TPM may wish to assert that the meal was eaten before sunset, but since the passover lambs were not killed until the twilight on the 14th (Exodus 12:6) and the verse specifically says that Jesus did not sit down until the hour had come, the fact is that this is the Passover according to Jesus. This is when He implemented the footwashing, the wine, and the bread–it should be noted that Paul clearly teaches that this was done at night (1 Corinthians 11:23). And we are to do this in remembrance of Jesus, and since Passover is an annual 14th of Nisan event (Numbers 9:2-5), this means on the 14th shortly after sunset.

And that is what we in the Continuing Church of God (as well as most in CG7 and other COG groups) do.

TPM is Following Error

There was controversy associated with the date of Passover that began in the second century. Some wanted the original date of the 14th, some wanted Sunday instead, while some others wanted the 15th.

Around 155 A.D. Polycarp of Smyrna went to Rome to deal with various heretics and he tried to persuade the Roman bishop Anicetus not to change Passover to an Easter Sunday holiday. Irenaeus records this about Passover:

And when the blessed Polycarp was sojourning in Rome in the time of Anicetus, although a slight controversy had arisen among them as to certain other points…For neither could Anicetus persuade Polycarp to forego the observance [in his own way], inasmuch as these things had been always observed by John the disciple of our Lord, and by other apostles with whom he had been conversant; nor, on the other hand, could Polycarp succeed in persuading Anicetus to keep [the observance in his way], for he maintained that he was bound to adhere to the usage of the presbyters who preceded him. And in this state of affairs they held fellowship with each other; and Anicetus conceded to Polycarp in the Church the celebration of the Eucharist, by way of showing him respect (Irenaeus. FRAGMENTS FROM THE LOST WRITINGS OF IRENAEUS. Translated by Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Excerpted from Volume I of The Ante-Nicene Fathers (Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors); American Edition copyright © 1885. Electronic version copyright © 1997 by New Advent, Inc).

For it was in Rome and Greek Jerusalem that the habit of changing the date of Passover began.

It may be of interest to note “And in Rome …Anicetus assumed the leadership of the Christians there… But Justin was especially prominent in those days” (Eusebius Church History. Book IV, Chapter 11). This may indicate that the heretic Justin Martyr influenced Anicetus so much that he would not agree to only observe the Nisan 14 Passover (Justin opposed various biblical practices).

However, those in Asia Minor, did not change the date in the second century.

Apollinaris was a church leader of Hierapolis in Phrygia of Asia Minor. Around 180 A.D. he wrote (possibly because some wanted Sunday or others the 15th):

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

One Anglican scholar noted:

…there is no doubt that Apollinarius was a Quartodeciman…Those who kept Passover in the evening understood it to be a repetition of the Lord’s Supper (Stewart-Sykes A. Melito of Sardis On Pascha. St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, Crestwood (NY), 2001, p. 81).

Melito of Sardis of Asia Minor, probably by 180 A.D., wrote the following on Passover:

When Servilius Paulus was proconsul of Asia, at the time that Sagaris suffered martyrdom, there arose a great controversy at Laodicea concerning the time of the celebration of the Passover, which on that occasion had happened to fall at the proper season (Melito. Translation by Roberts and Donaldson. On the passover. Online version copyright © 2001 Peter Kirby. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/melito.html 11/18/06).

Click here for a complete version of The Homily On the Passover by Melito. If your church does not teach you about the Passover and why you should observe it, your church simply is not following the teachings and practices of Early Christianity.

A decade or so after Melito’s death, Roman Bishop Victor tried to enforce the preferred Roman Sunday date for Passover and stop Christians from following the biblical date of Nisan 14.

The Catholic writer Eusebius recorded that Polycrates of Ephesus, around 195 A.D. wrote the following to the Roman Bishop Victor who, as the previous writing showed, wanted all who professed Christ to change Passover from the 14th of Nisan to Sunday:

We observe the exact day; neither adding, nor taking away. For in Asia also great lights have fallen asleep, which shall rise again on the day of the Lord’s coming, when he shall come with glory from heaven, and shall seek out all the saints. Among these are Philip, one of the twelve apostles, who fell asleep in Hierapolis; and his two aged virgin daughters, and another daughter, who lived in the Holy Spirit and now rests at Ephesus; and, moreover, John, who was both a witness and a teacher, who reclined upon the bosom of the Lord, and, being a priest, wore the sacerdotal plate. He fell asleep at Ephesus. And Polycarp in Smyrna, who was a bishop and martyr; and Thraseas, bishop and martyr from Eumenia, who fell asleep in Smyrna. Why need I mention the bishop and martyr Sagaris who fell asleep in Laodicea, or the blessed Papirius, or Melito, the Eunuch who lived altogether in the Holy Spirit, and who lies in Sardis, awaiting the episcopate from heaven, when he shall rise from the dead? All these observed the fourteenth day of the passover according to the Gospel, deviating in no respect, but following the rule of faith. And I also, Polycrates, the least of you all, do according to the tradition of my relatives, some of whom I have closely followed. For seven of my relatives were bishops; and I am the eighth. And my relatives always observed the day when the people put away the leaven. I, therefore, brethren, who have lived sixty-five years in the Lord, and have met with the brethren throughout the world, and have gone through every Holy Scripture, am not affrighted by terrifying words. For those greater than I have said ‘ We ought to obey God rather than man’ (Eusebius. Church History, Book V, Chapter 24. Translated by Arthur Cushman McGiffert. Excerpted from Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series Two, Volume 1. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. American Edition, 1890. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Notice that Polycrates said that he and the other early church leaders (like the Apostles Philip and John, and their successors like Polycarp, Thraseas, Sagaris, Papirius, Melito) would not deviate from the Bible, and that they knew the Bible taught them to keep the Passover on the correct date, and not on a Sunday (unless that was the correct date, as it was last year). Also notice that they always observed the day when the people put away the leaven. Polycrates also reminded the Roman bishop that true followers of Christ “obey God rather than men”.

Hence it is clear that throughout the second century, the churches in Asia Minor continued to observe the Passover on the 14th of Nisan (and for doing so, they were labeled as Quartodecimans, fourteenthers, by the Romans), unlike the Romans, and they refused to accept the authority of any Roman bishop over scripture.

While many English-speakers are unaware, the date called Easter in English (March 27, 2016) is supposed to be a change of the date for Passover. For one of several proofs, notice that the Catholic Priest Bede (also known as “the Venerable Bede”) recorded from a Catholic Abbot named Wilfrid who was trying to justify near the beginning of the eighth century why it was acceptable to not follow the Apostle John’s practices regarding Passover and change the 14th to an Easter Sunday:

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

Many languages use a term meaning Passover, like pascha, and hence somewhat realize that they are supposed to be observing Passover, though they observe more like ancient Easter.

Notice what the Roman Catholic priest and historian Bellarmino Bagatti wrote related to the fourth century:

…the inhabitants of Syria, of Cilcia and of Mesopotamia were still celebrating Easter {Passover} with the Jews…

(Bagatti, Bellarmino. Translated by Eugene Hoade. The Church from the Gentiles in Palestine. Nihil obstat: Ignatius Mancini, 1 Februari 1970. Imprimi potest: Herminius Roncari, 26 Februari 1970. Imprimatur: +Albertus Gori, die 28 Februarii 1970. Franciscan Printing Press, Jerusalem, 1971, pp. 47-48).

The scholars of the Greco-Roman faiths all realize that what is celebrated now and called “Easter” was supposed to be an observation of Passover.

Why the change of date?

The respected Protestant scholar J.B. Lightfoot specifically wrote:

the Churches of Asia Minor which regulated their Easter festival by the Jewish passover without regard to the day of the week, but with those of Rome and Alexandria and Gaul which observed another rule; thus avoiding even the semblance of Judaism (Lightfoot, Joseph Barber. Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. Macmillan and co., limited, 1910. Original from the University of California. Digitized Oct 16, 2007, p. 331).

Yet, no early Christian (or even Catholic) called Passover “Easter.” Nearly all realized that Christians were supposed to observe Passover. And the truly faithful kept it on the 14th of Nisan, not the 15th and not on a Sunday that was not the 14th.

In the second century, it was reported that Passover was an annual event and that it was held at night (Epistula Apostolorum, Chapter 15 as shown in Elliot JK. The apocryphal New Testament: a collection of apocryphal Christian literature in an English translation, reprint edition. Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 565). The Eastern Orthodox realize that this is so, as one of their priests has written:

Pascha is the feast of universal redemption. Our earliest sources for the an­nual celebration of the Christian Pascha come to us from the second century…The feast, however, must have originated in the apostolic period…According to the earliest documents, Pascha is described as a nocturnal celebration…(Calivas, Alkiviadis C. The Origins of Pascha and Great Week – Part I. Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1992. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, http://www.goarch.org/ourfaith/ourfaith8504 viewed 11/04/2011)

Yet, modern “Easter” practices are in the early morning, not in the evening, and do not have the practices that early Christians had. Nor did they observe Lent.

Notice what a respected Protestant scholar reported about the second century:

The most important in this festival was the passover day, the 14th of Nisan…In it they ate unleavened bread, probably like the Jews, eight days through…there is no trace of a yearly festival of the resurrection among them…the Christians of Asia Minor appealed in favor of their passover solemnity on the 14th Nisan to John (Gieseler, Johann Karl Ludwig. A Text-book of Church History. Translated by Samuel Davidson, John Winstanley Hull, Mary A. Robinson. Harper & brothers, 1857, Original from the University of Michigan, Digitized Feb 17, 2006, p. 166).

So, like the Apostle John (the last of the original apostles to die), the early faithful Christians observed Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread. And they did this on the 14th after sunset.

The Christian Passover for 2017 is Sunday, April 9th, after sunset, which is when the 14th of Nisan begins. On Monday, April 10th after sunset which is when the 15th of Nisan begins–called the Night to be Observed (watch also The Night to Be Much Observed).

Several articles of related interest may include:

TPM: Passover on the 14th or 15th? While the real COG observes Passover on the 14th, some observe it on the 15th. Why is the 14th correct? A related sermon is titled Is Passover on the 14th or 15th for Christians?
Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread How should Christians keep Passover, especially if they are by themselves. Why does the Church of God not require lambs for Passover? How does one keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? For a step-by-step video for Christians to keep it, check out CCOG Passover Service.
Preparing for Passover The Apostle Paul taught that Christians should examine themselves prior to taking Passover. This YouTube video sermon gives suggestions on how to prepare.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Night to Be Observed What is the night to be much observed? When is it? Why do Jews keep Passover twice and emphasize the wrong date? A related video is available and is titled The Night to Be Much Observed.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread?
Do they have any use or meaning now? This article supplies some biblical answers.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible?
This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
What Happened in the Crucifixion Week?
How long are three days and three nights? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Is Lent a Christian Holiday? When did it originate? What about Ash Wednesday? If you observe them, do you know why?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history teach about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.