Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

Pontifical support of abortion?

Thursday, May 24th, 2018


Colosseum of Rome (Photo by Joyce Thiel)

COGwriter

Abortion is wrong and it is good that many Catholics now realize this.

But not all of them. I recall hearing former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, mention that the Church of Rome was not always opposed to abortion. And on that point, Nancy Pelosi was correct.

Most Catholics would generally be surprised to hear that in the third century, Callistus Bishop of Rome, openly allowed abortion.

In circa 217 A.D., Callistus became bishop of Rome. The Roman Catholic saint Hippolytus reported:

Callistus…a man cunning in wickedness, and subtle where deceit was concerned, (and) who was impelled by restless ambition to mount the episcopal throne…Whence women, reputed believers, began to resort to drugs for producing sterility, and to gird themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time! And withal, after such audacious acts, they, lost to all shame, attempt to call themselves a Catholic Church! And some, under the supposition that they will attain prosperity, concur with them. (Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies, Book IX, Chapter VII)

Notice that Callistus allowed (or at least permitted) abortion and adultery.

Note what The Catholic Encyclopedia has admitted about Callistus:

Callistus…permitted noble ladies to marry low persons and slaves, which by the Roman law was forbidden; he had thus given occasion for infanticide. (Chapman , Pope Callistus I)

Yet, the following is the official position of the Roman Catholic Church on abortion and was approved by the late Pope John Paul II and the current Pope Benedict XVI (when Benedict XVI was still known as Cardinal Ratzinger):

Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to moral law (Catechism of the Catholic Church, #2271. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995, p. 606).

However, they seem to be ignoring the Roman Bishop Callistus (as well as later Popes and others) who did allow abortion.

Furthermore notice what one Protestant scholar wrote about other Roman Catholic Popes:

Most Catholics are not aware that the infallible Church and popes have changed their minds several times on this topic–unthinkable from today’s perspective.

From the fifth century onward, Aristotle’s view that the embryo goes through stages from vegetable to animal to spiritual was accepted. Only in the final stage was it human. Thus Gregory VI (1045-6) said, “He is not a murderer who brings about abortion before the soul is in the body.” Gregory XIII (1572-85) said it was not homicide to kill an embryo of less than 40 days since it wasn’t yet human. His successor, Sixtus V, who rewrote the Bible, disagreed. His Bull of 1588 made all abortions for any reason homicide and cause for excommunication. His successor, Gregory XIV, reversed that decree. In 1621 the Vatican issued another pastoral directive permitting abortion up to 40 days (Hunt D. A Women Rides the BeastHarvest House Publishers, Eugene (OR), 1994, pp. 519-520).

Quite similarly notice what one former Roman Catholic priest wrote:

Most Catholics assume that the soul is infused at conception…For fourteen hundred years until the late nineteenth century, all Catholics, including the popes, took it for granted that the soul is not infused at conception…

From the fifth century, the church accepted without question, the primitive embryology of Aristotle. The embryo began as a non-human speck that was progressively animated.

In the fifteenth century, moralists began to ask whether it was not possible in certain circumstances to get rid of the foetus without fault…Some went further. They said it was permissable to save a mother’s life even after the foetus was humanized…

Gregory XIII (1572-85) said it was not homicide to kill an embryo of less than forty days since it was not human…His successor, the tempestuous Sixtus V, who rewrote the Bible, disagreed entirely. In his Bull Effraenatum of 1588, he said all abortions for whatever reason were homicide and were penalized by excommunication reserved to the Holy See. Immediately after Sixtus died, Gregory XIV realized that, in the current state of theological opinion, Sixtus’ view was too severe. In an almost unique decision, he said Sixtus’ censures were to be treated as if he had never issued them (De Rosa, Peter. Vicars of Christ. Poolbeg Press, Dublin, 2000, p.p 374-375).

Even some Catholic monks put out instructions for how women could perform abortions in the Middle Ages:

Looking for Medical Miracles in Medieval Manuscripts

Spiegel – March 25, 2010 excerpts…

Obscure passages can also be found in “Macer floridus,” another standard work of monastic medicine. “When a pregnant woman takes in the scent of the wilting flower through her nose, this shall abort the fruit of the womb,” a monk wrote in punchy Latin hexameter. He was referring to the flower of the wild arum plant. The same effect could be achieved, he added, “if the crushed root is inserted into the uterus from below with a small wool suppository.”

The abortion method involving the suppository could even have worked. “Arum is quite toxic,” says Mayer. However, the intervention was probably not completely safe for the pregnant woman. “In the Middle Ages, toxic substances were used very often,” Mayer explains. “The people in the monasteries knew about the risks and side effects, but they often had no better alternatives.”

Monks giving abortion tips? The medical historian doesn’t find this outlandish at all. “The Catholic Church only formulated its rigid position on abortion in the 19th century,” Mayer explains. It was not as clear in the past, he adds. http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,685432,00.html

Although there is no evidence that any legitimate Church of God leader endorsed abortion, sadly some affiliated with the Roman Church have.

So, while it is good that some Catholics now oppose abortion, Catholics may wish to consider that their church has sometimes held to different positions.

Most people, Catholic or otherwise, simply do not know enough about the real truth about early church history.

Some items documenting these and other items of possibly related interest include the following:

Callistus (217-222) He is the first bishop known to have been a criminal prior to his election. He was also accused of a variety of corrupt acts, including allowing indulgences and infanticide (abortion).
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose Do you know what the Bible teaches on this? Has the Roman Catholic Church allowed abortions? What about the real Church of God? Some may also, or instead, wish to view the YouTube video Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja viva do deus? Tambien Español: Cuál es fiel: ¿La iglesia católica romana o La Iglesia del Dios Viviente? Auch: Deutsch: Welches zuverlässig ist: Die Römisch-katholische Kirche oder die lebende Kirche von Gott?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Hippolytus of Rome A third century Catholic saint and one elected to be Bishop of Rome who condemned others for lowering standards like taking bribes (Zephyrinus) and allowing abortions (Callistus). Why was he considered to be the first antipope?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter! Here is a link to a sermon: Claims of Apostolic Succession. Here is a related articlein the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups that Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups? A related sermon is also available Christianity: Two groups.
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?
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.

‘Third Temple’ photoshopped over Dome of the Rock: Prophetic or dangerous?

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018


Israel Cohen / Kikar Hashabat)

COGwriter

Something disturbing happened in Israel.

23 May 2018

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was photographed Tuesday receiving an aerial image of Jerusalem bearing a simulation of the Third Temple instead of the … the Dome of the Rock. … the photo of Friedman receiving the poster was taken during a tour of Bnei Brak held by the Achiya organization, which aids children who suffer from learning disabilities.  …

A statement issued by the embassy later said that Friedman “was not aware of the image thrust in front of him when the photo was taken. He was deeply disappointed that anyone would take advantage of his visit to Bnei Brak to create controversy.”

“The U.S. policy is absolutely clear: we support the status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount,” the statement concluded. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/u-s-ambassador-to-israel-pictured-with-image-of-jerusalem-third-temple-replacing-muslim-mosques-1.6112357

23 May 2018

The US Embassy in Jerusalem on Tuesday said a doctored aerial image of Jerusalem, in which a major Muslim shrine was replaced by a depiction of the Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount compound, was unknowingly “thrust in front of” US Ambassador David Friedman for a photograph during a visit to a non-profit.

Friedman was visiting the Bnei Brak headquarters of the Achiya organization — an ultra-Orthodox non-profit that works to empower and integrate children with learning disabilities and is supported by the US embassy — when a member of the group handed him a large poster showing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, but with a Jewish Temple standing in place of the Muslim Dome of the Rock shrine at the site. The Al-Aqsa Mosque was in the photo. https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-embassy-image-of-jewish-temple-thrust-in-front-of-envoy-friedman-for-photo/

The Palestinian Authority was not pleased with the US Ambassador receiving such a picture:

Abbas Aide Slams U.S. Ambassador Friedman as ‘Settler, Terrorist’ After Controversial Jerusalem Photo

Photo is proof that Friedman continues to incite for the destruction of Al-Aqsa, Mahmoud Al-Habbash says, calling for ‘an Arab response to the provocation’

23 May 2018

An aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ slammed U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Wednesday, calling him a “settler, terrorist” in response to the publication of a photo of Friedman receiving… https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/palestinians/.premium-abbas-aide-slams-u-s-ambassador-friedman-as-settler-terrorist-1.6113227

Do any Jews seriously think that the Muslim Dome of the Rock ill be destroyed and a Jewish Temple erected in its place?

Well, notice the following from the Temple Institute’s website:

Geo-politically, the Temple Mount has to be cleared of the Dome of the Rock and the mosques which are presently located upon it before the physical rebuilding of the Holy Temple can begin. Many scenarios can be imagined which would accomplish this, the most promising, and not necessarily the most far-fetched, would entail Moslem recognition of the Mount as the intended location for the rebuilt Temple. With the acquiescence of the Moslem world the Moslem structures currently on the Mount would be disassembled and reassembled elsewhere. traditionally, Moslem texts, beginning with the Koran, accept the prophecies of the return of the Jewish nation and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple. Today, of course, radical Islam holds sway over the Moslem world, and until this phenomenon is defeated, the likelihood of a peaceful preparation for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple remains nil. https://www.templeinstitute.org/frequently-asked-questions.htm accessed 05/23/18

The late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

It is inconceivable that the Israelis, in the present international turmoil over their possession of old Jerusalem, could ever demolish the Arab Moslem Dome of the Rock … and build a new one there of greater splendor and glory than Solomon’s! However, as the second temple Zerubbabel was building was a typical forerunner of the temple to which Christ shall come, even so Zerubbabel was the typical forerunner of one Christ would use in building the far more glorious temple to, which Christ shall come in His GLORY!

Zechariah 4:9 : “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it . . .. ” And as Zerubbabel’s hands did finish that second temple, so shall the one Christ uses in building the temple to which He shall come in His GLORY!

And the Church of God of the present day shall be a “building fitly framed together [and growing] unto an holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:21). (Armstrong HW. 7 Proofs of God’s True Church, Part 6. Plain Truth. August, 1979, p. 38)

Many of us are being tried and tested as NEVER BEFORE–and for our own good! But, verse 11, “from the time the daily sacrifice shall be taken away ….Consider this a moment. This does NOT imply a material temple to be built in our time in Jerusalem. It does seem to imply the Israelis may restore the daily (twice daily) sacrifice–possibly at the wailing wall. (Armstrong HW. The Time We Are In, Now. Pastor General’s Report-Vol 1, No. 15, November 20, 1979, Page 2)

God made a prophecy in the third chapter of Malachy…Continuing, “…shall suddenly come to His temple…” What kind of temple is He coming to? Are the Jews going to tear down the Dome of the Rock and build a new temple? Oh, no!… A holy temple! Christ is coming to His church! Christ is coming to His temple! Do we see that? The church is the temple. “…in whom ye are also builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” (Armstrong, Herbert W. Congress of Leading Ministers Hears Defined and Reemphasized Spiritual Organization of Church. Worldwide News, March 6, 1981, p. 10)

Do not expect the Jews to dismantle the Dome of the Rock to build a Third Temple before Jesus returns.

As far as the Temple Institute goes, it wants to pressure the government in Israel to allow a Jewish Temple to be built. Here is something else from its website:

When will the reconstruction of the Holy Temple Commence?

More to the point, and more essential to the rebuilding of the Holy Temple is the desire of the nation of Israel to fulfill G-d’s commandment to build the Temple and renew the Divine service. At this moment in time the nation of Israel is struggling with its own identity. Unfortunately there are those who would like to jettison our obligations to G-d and relinquish the Temple Mount to the Moslems. However, at the same time there is a growing desire among the people of Israel to return to the Mount and rebuild the Holy Temple. This growing Temple consciousness is dependent upon education and awareness. This, of course, is where the Temple Institute see its mission. As we recover our people’s knowledge and traditions concerning the Holy Temple and make them known to both the Jewish and Gentile public at large, this knowledge takes root and the movement for the rebuilding of the Holy Temple grows, and as it does, it begins to make its way to the forefront of the world’s agenda. I mention Gentiles because they are mentioned in the prophecies specifically in connection with the Holy Temple, which is referred to as “a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:7) …

Is the Temple Institute building the Holy Temple offsite?

No, the Temple Institute is not building the Temple offsite. We are building a stone altar offsite so that when the opportunity arrives we can move it to its proper location on the Mount. The Divine service, including the offerings can begin before the building of the Temple itself, once the altar is built and standing in its proper place.

The Temple Institute will wait for as long as it takes. The time for the building of the Temple certainly isn’t up to us. As for the ashes of the red heifer, while these are essential, the possibility to temporarily proceed with the Divine service at the Holy Temple, when the majority of the nation of Israel is ritually impure, as is the case today, exists according to Torah. This is in order to assist the nation to begin, or continue, the service, even during extreme situations.

In short, it is not “technical” issues that are holding up the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, as these can be worked out. What is need is the will of the people of Israel, and the nations, to do what is necessary and build the house of G-d. https://www.templeinstitute.org/frequently-asked-questions.htm accessed 05/23/18

Back in September 2013, my son Michael confirmed with someone at the Temple Institute that they were willing and able to begin animal sacrifices without a ‘Third Temple’–they only needed governmental permission. And the next month, I also personally confirmed that with someone at the Temple Institute when I was in Jerusalem.

The Bible clearly shows that animal sacrifices can be done without an actual large temple.

Even after the first Jerusalem temple was destroyed, the Bible itself specifically shows that sacrifices were made in the time of Ezra BEFORE the second temple was ready:

6 From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid. (Ezra 3:6)

That being said, animal sacrifices will one day be resumed in Jerusalem as they will one day be stopped according to prophecies in Daniel:

27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)

31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. (Daniel 11:31)

For sacrifices to stop, they first one day must be resumed. Understand that while those scriptures are referring to sacrifices, neither one of those passages says anything about a temple being built or involved. And while that may be an obvious assumption, it is simply not a biblically required conclusion. As far as the stopping of animal sacrifices goes, there is also information on this in the article The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World.

A ‘third’ Jewish temple of major magnitude is not needed for animal sacrifices. The Hebrew text of Daniel 11:31 uses the phrase hammiqdash hamma’oz literally “the holy place stronghold,” “the sanctuary stronghold” or “the temple stronghold” which supports the idea that it can be referring to a specific place or area (such as an area where an altar may be placed) as opposed to the idea of requiring a temple to be rebuilt in Jerusalem (see also Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?). (More on Daniel 11 can be found in the article Who is the King of the North?)

Even though the US government is distancing itself from the picture shown at the beginning of this post, this picture is one more thing that is upsetting the Palestinians.  They are already quite upset about the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, which is something that Ambasssador Friedman supports.  They see his actions, the actions of Donald Trump, and actions by various Jewish groups as proof that the USA and Israel are opposed to Palestinian interests.

Pictures like the one given to US Ambassador Friedman are dangerous.

Notice two prophecies from the Bible:

1 The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. (Zechariah 12:1-3)

8 He removed the protection of Judah. You looked in that day to the armor of the House of the Forest; 9 You also saw the damage to the city of David, That it was great; And you gathered together the waters of the lower pool. 10 You numbered the houses of Jerusalem,And the houses you broke down To fortify the wall. (Isaiah 22:8-10)

In other Jerusalem news, what are claimed to be the first Jewish coins were recently discovered:

Five exceptionally rare ancient coins from among the very first ever minted by Jews were discovered on the Temple Mount, evidence of Jewish activity at the disputed site.

The small coins – three in pristine condition and two showing signs of wear – were discovered as part of the Temple Mount Sifting Project, an archaeological initiative started in order to sift thousands of tons of dirt … excavated and dumped in the Kidron Valley by the Islamic Waqf in 1999. …

The newly-discovered coins bear the letters “YHD,” or Yehud, the Aramaic name for the biblical kingdom of Judea, and are dated to the end of the 4th century BCE.

According to one of the co-directors of the project, Zachi Dvira, only five other coins of this kind have been found in the 150 years of archaeological digging in ancient Jerusalem sites.

Dvira noted that Jewish pilgrims would bring offerings of first fruits of the season to the Temple around the time of the Shavuot holiday, and would often convert their value to silver in the days of the Second Temple. …

“These were the first coins ever minted by Jews,” Dvira said in an interview with Israel’s Ynet news. “They express the people’s return to their land after the Babylonian exile, and their ability to hold and maintain diplomatic ties with the ruling empire—then Persia—similar to our relations with the United States today.” https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/108180/rare-jewish-coins-found-in-temple-mount-excavation/

(Shavout is what we in the Continuing Church of God call Pentecost.)

While the Jews do have long ties to Jerusalem, perhaps I should mention that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated comment that Jerusalem has been Israel’s capital for three thousand years overlooks the fact that the Turks, Romans, and others controlled it for most of that time.

Expect to see more turmoil in Jerusalem.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Evangelical support for Donald Trump’s Jerusalem policy BBC asked, “Why do US evangelicals support Trump’s Jerusalem policy?” BBC provided quotes from some believing it has to do with the ‘last days’ while others saying that is not the reason. Hal Lindsey’s book, ‘The Late Great Planet Earth’ is one of the sources pointed to. In this video, Dr. Thiel addresses scriptures related to Jerusalem as well as prophetic ones. He goes over the common ‘fig tree’ interpretation, belief about a ‘Third Temple,’ and statements about animal sacrifices. He explains biblical statements on those subjects as well as the views of certain modern Jewish organizations. This is a video.
Jerusalem, Donald Trump, and Prophecy On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump fulfilled a campaign promise related to the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This brought anger, protests, and rockets from some Palestinians. It also brought condemnation from European allies–it has been claimed to be disruptive and even catastrophic. The Palestinian President (Mahmoud Abbas) said that this pronouncement eliminated the USA as being a fair mediator for a peace deal. Others have claimed that Donald Trump is an end time Cyrus and his pronouncement will lead to a Third Temple in Jerusalem. Is there ever going to be a peace deal? If so, will Europeans be part of it? Is Donald Trump a ‘Cyrus.’ Do the Jews require a Third Temple for sacrifices? Dr. Thiel answer those questions and more in this video.
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy What does the Bible teach about Gaza and the fate of the Palestinians? Here is a link to a related video: Gaza and Palestine in Prophecy.
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?
Does the Church of God need to be headquartered in Jerusalem? Some say so. But what does the Bible teach? A related short video is also available: Does the Bible endorse Jerusalem as the Church of God headquarters now?
The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World The Temple Institute is watching a ‘red heifer.’ Why might this be important in the sequence of end time events? Here is a related link in the Spanish language Novilla roja descubierta en EE.UU. e Instituto del Templo está interesado en ella. Here is a related video in English The Red Heifer and the End of the World.
Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill Could this building, often referred to as the Cenacle, which is located on a Mount Zion, possibly have been the oldest actual Christian church building?
Does the ‘Cenacle’ deal have prophetic ramifications? After a 20 year negotiation, the Church of Rome has negotiated the right to have Catholic mass in the building known as the Cenacle. It is in the area where the Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill once stood. This is believed to be the location of the earliest Christian church building. How does the Bible define the ‘temple of God’ in the New Testament? Could this be the area where the ‘man of sin’ will sit in the “temple of God’ that Bible prophecy discusses in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4? This is a YouTube video.
Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy What does the Bible teach about Gaza and the fate of the Palestinians? Here is a link to a related video: Gaza and Palestine in Prophecy.
Turkey in Prophecy Do you know the Turkish people descended from? Did the Ottoman Empire possibly fulfill a promise in Genesis? Will Turkey support the European King of the North or Arabic King of the South? Will it betray one of them? Will Turkey be involved in the encouraging the destruction of Israel? Is Turkey going to become Catholic? Is Turkey mentioned in Psalm 83, Daniel 11, and elsewhere in the Bible? A related video is also available: What Should You Know About Turkey in Prophecy.
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.

USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Does the Church of God need to be headquartered in Jerusalem? Some say so. But what does the Bible teach?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
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.
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? Two related sermons are available Millennial Utopia and The Millennium.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return?
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants) Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill? Is a Donald Trump presidency proving to be apocalyptic? Two related videos are available: Donald: ‘Trump of God’ or Apocalyptic? and Donald Trump’s Prophetic Presidency.
Trump Presidency Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy? BBC reported that one might as well use a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’ to try to predict what will happen in the remaining time of Donald Trump’s presidency. What is a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’? Dr. Thiel not only explains that, but also briefly goes over 10 biblically-based warnings he wrote would happen if Donald Trump were elected that have already began to come to pass. He also goes over something he wrote back in 2008 that the Trump presidency is also helping lead to fulfillment. Should you trust Bible prophecy or not? Dr. Thiel says that Bible prophecy can be trusted, despite the view of skeptics and others that either overlook or despise the Bible. This is a video.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse This 188 page book is for people truly interested in prophecies related to Donald Trump and the United States, including learning about several that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon for $12.99 from the following link: Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition This electronic version of the 188 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition.

Time claims ‘If America Became a Christian Nation They probably wouldn’t like what it looks like’

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

COGwriter

A while back, I saw something from Time that seemed interesting. It was partially in response to the PEW survey showing that less people in the USA identify themselves as Protestants or Roman Catholics (see PEW: Declines in USA Catholics and Protestants).

Anyway, here is part of the Time article:

They probably wouldn’t like what it looks like

With political season kicking off again, so is the season where folks begin to use the term “Christian nation.” Some claim we were one, some claim we are one, and some say we need to become one. Yet, each time I hear that phrase I have an inner Princess Bride moment where I say to myself, “you keep using that word, but it doesn’t mean what you think it means.”

So, what if we became a Christian nation? Well, a few things would have to change… drastically. Here’s a few quick examples:Because truth be told, if America actually were to become a Christian nation, I don’t think the people who advocated for it would be too happy with the end product. …

We’d Have To Abolish the 2nd Amendment.

The 2nd Amendment is so beloved by American Christians that this alone would likely be the sticking point preventing us from ever becoming a Christian nation. Jesus taught his disciples that they were to never use violence to respond to evil (Matthew 5:39) and that they were to actively love their enemies. He also lived a life of nonviolent enemy love as a model for us to follow– and living our lives patterned after how he lived his is the ultimate proof that we belong to God (1John 2:6). A Christian nation would have no room for the 2nd Amendment.

No, the USA would not have to get rid of the 2nd amendment (cf. Luke 22:36). But it would have to cease being a warlike nation (see Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence?) and also its love of violent sports (see Is American Football Evil?).

Early Christians would NOT participate in carnal warfare nor watch violent sports (see Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence?).

Most who claim to be Christian in the USA would condemn the original Christian faith as a cult (see also Is the Genuine Church of God a Cult?) and not be willing to accept it. This is despite the fact that Jude wrote “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

Most do not understand original Christianity and do not want to. You can learn about it if you are interested in the truth:

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.

Let me also add that if the USA were a Christian nation, there would not be crosses associated with churches (see What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?), the religious holidays would change (see the free online book: Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?), people would finally really keep the Ten Commandments (check out the free online book: The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast), and there would be many blessings that most cannot conceive of truly happening today.

But because the USA is not Christian, but is ‘an hypocritical nation’ (Isaiah 10:6, KJV), punishment will be coming (Isaiah 10:5-11; Romans 1:18-32; Daniel 11:39; see also USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses) and some of the prophesied sorrows (Matthew 24:4-8) are already here.

The USA needs national repentance, which is not likely, but personal repentance still is.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Are You Being Called by God? Norman Shoaf wrote various points to consider.
Is God Calling You? Alfred E Carrozzo wrote this.
What Did Christ Mean  Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen? This article was by Raymond McNair.
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
Is American Football Evil? Is the most popular spectator sport in the USA something that Christians should watch? What do the Bible and early writings show? There is also a YouTube video available titled Should Christians watch American football?
Should You Keep 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?
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?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The 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.
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.
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin?

BibleNewsProphecy: Major Kabbalist Says Messiah is Imminent

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God (CCOG) is pleased to announce the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:

Kabbalist Rabbi Dov Kook claims that the torrential rains in Israel during the Spring of 2018 is a sign that the coming of the Messiah is imminent. In addition to claiming to receive a supernatural message from Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, he pointed to other Jewish accepted writings as proof that this is so. In 1217, another Kabbalist, Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel, made predictions that came to pass centuries later. Are these to be relied on? What did the Apostle Paul warn of in the latter times? Is rain predicted before Jesus returns? What did Jesus teach would happen before He returned? What does Matthew 24 show will happen before Jesus returns? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link: Major Kabbalist Says Messiah is Imminent.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2018, 2019, or 2020? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation begin in 2018?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
The Bible and Astrology Should Christians avoid participating in astrology or did God inspire it? Does the Bible encourage astrology? What does the Bible actually teach? What is astrology? How does astrology differ from astronomy? Should Christians Be Involved In Astrology?
OMENS? DIVINATION? HOROSCOPES? THE ORIGIN OF ASTROLOGY
Where did astrology come from? Should you read your horoscope?
Does Astrology Work? Many believe and follow astrology–but does it work? Here is a link to the article in Mandarin Chinese: S`fg/QÆxnTÿ .
Close Encounters of a ‘Spirit’ Kind discusses some experiences I believe were (demon) ‘spirit’ related. A video is also available titled: Poltergeists and Lying Wonders.
Evangelical support for Donald Trump’s Jerusalem policy BBC asked, “Why do US evangelicals support Trump’s Jerusalem policy?” BBC provided quotes from some believing it has to do with the ‘last days’ while others saying that is not the reason. Hal Lindsey’s book, ‘The Late Great Planet Earth’ is one of the sources pointed to. In this video, Dr. Thiel addresses scriptures related to Jerusalem as well as prophetic ones. He goes over the common ‘fig tree’ interpretation, belief about a ‘Third Temple,’ and statements about animal sacrifices. He explains biblical statements on those subjects as well as the views of certain modern Jewish organizations. This is a video.
Jerusalem, Donald Trump, and Prophecy On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump fulfilled a campaign promise related to the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This brought anger, protests, and rockets from some Palestinians. It also brought condemnation from European allies–it has been claimed to be disruptive and even catastrophic. The Palestinian President (Mahmoud Abbas) said that this pronouncement eliminated the USA as being a fair mediator for a peace deal. Others have claimed that Donald Trump is an end time Cyrus and his pronouncement will lead to a Third Temple in Jerusalem. Is there ever going to be a peace deal? If so, will Europeans be part of it? Is Donald Trump a ‘Cyrus.’ Do the Jews require a Third Temple for sacrifices? Dr. Thiel answer those questions and more in this video.
Israel, 1948, and Prophecy Was the formation in 1948 of the nation of Israel prophetically significant? Was this event what Jesus referred to in His “parable of the fig tree”? Are most Israelites in the modern nation of Israel? Are most Jews in that nation? If the prophecies Jeremiah 23:3-6 and Ezekiel 34:13-30 do not point to 1948, when will those prophecies be fulfilled? Are there prophecies that will be fulfilled related to the nation of Israel? What was the first sign that Jesus said would be seen by a particular ‘generation’? When might that have happened? What are the signs that Jesus’ fig tree parable point to?
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Does the Church flee or is it taken up just prior to the great tribulation? Who really is left behind? There is also a YouTube video with information Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture?
Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God How has God used dreams in the past? Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God? A related sermon is also available: Dreams, COGs, and One Man Rule.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.ASIA
We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN
This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU
This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ
This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos
. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOG Animations channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos. Here is a link to a short intro: ContinuingCOG Channel.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
BibleNewsProphecy Podcast. This has audio-visual podcasts of the Bible News Prophecy channgel. It plays on i-Phones, i-Pads, and Windows devices that can play i-Tunes.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.

Temple Institute: Pentecost is this weekend and is the Feast of Firstfruits

Friday, May 18th, 2018


COGwriter

The Day of Pentecost for 2018 is approaching, and is May 20th. Unlike other biblical holy days, some version of the Day of Pentecost is observed by a lot of mainstream churches, both Catholic and Protestant. And of course, since Pentecost is a biblical holy day, it is observed by Church of God groups like the Continuing Church of God. Pentecost is the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in the shape of fire (Acts 2:3-4).

While the Jews do not accept that the Holy Spirit was poured out then, they do realize that Pentecost (which they often call Shavuot) is to be observed from sunset Saturday to sunset Sunday this weekend. The Temple Institute sent out the following in its newsletter today:

Sivan 4, 5778/May 18, 2018

This Shabbat evening we count the forty ninth and final day of the Torah commandment to “… count for yourselves, from the morrow of the rest day [Passover] from the day you bring the omer as a wave offering seven weeks; they shall be complete. You shall count until the day after the seventh week, the fiftieth day, on which you shall bring a new meal offering to HaShem.” (Exodus 23:15-16) The fiftieth day mentioned in the verse, the day on which we are to “bring a new meal offering to HaShem” is the festival of Shavuot, which begins this Saturday evening, immediately after the conclusion of Shabbat.

Shavuot, which is also known in Torah as an atzeret – a concluding day or final day – of the Passover pilgrimage which preceded it by fifty days, is, by virtue of this designation, intimately connected to the Passover festival of freedom. Shavuot is further distinguished by its unique ‘twin loaves’ offering of leavened wheat, made from the newly harvested wheat of the fields of the land of Israel. The twin loaves reflect the two aspects of the festival of Shavuot, one rooted in the world of time and one rooted in the world of space, the two dimensions within which G-d founded all of creation.

Shavuot, celebrated fifty days after the festival of Passover, … Shavuot is also the Festival of the First Fruits (bikurim in Hebrew), on which all Israel brings the first of the season’s fruits to the Temple altar … Shavuot, (which will begin Saturday evening), also known as Chag HaBikurim – the festival of the First-Fruits …

Shavuot means “weeks” and Pentecost is also known as the Feast of Weeks. It is called the Feast of Weeks in Exodus 34:22, Numbers 28:26, Deuteronomy 16:10,16, and 2 Chronicles 8:13.

The Day of Pentecost has several names, and because of that, some have been confused about it. Its other names in the Bible include, the Feast of Harvest, the Feast of Weeks and the day of firstfruits.

Most groups that profess Christ consider that Pentecost marked the formal beginning of the New Testament church. But most do NOT understand what firstfruits really has to do with it.

The use of the term “firstfruits” suggests a second harvest. And actually, this too is pointed out in the Old Testament:

…the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field (Exodus 23:16-17).

And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end (Exodus 34:22).

26 Also on the day of the firstfruits, when you bring a new grain offering to the LORD at your Feast of Weeks, you shall have a holy convocation (Numbers 28:26).

While some Protestant commentators (e.g. Radmacher E.D. ed. The Nelson Study Bible. Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1997, p. 213) refer to the wave sheaf offering as the feast of firstfruits, this is a misnomer. While “a sheaf of firstfruits” was offered then (Leviticus 23:10), as shown above, the Bible refers to the Feast of Weeks as the time of firstfruits (not simply one sheaf). And, as shown below, it refers to the time of counting fifty as being associated with firstfruits:

16 Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the LORD. 17 You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the LORD (Leviticus 23:16-17).

How does the term firstfruits help us understand this day?

The Feast of Pentecost or Feast of Firstfruits (Exodus 34:22) reminds us that God is now calling only a small “firstfruits” spiritual harvest, with the Last Great Day picturing a greater harvest later.

This later harvest is pictured by later Holy Days, that most who profess Christ no longer observe. More information on this is included in the articles The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? and Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants.

Those who keep all the Holy Days, including Pentecost, generally have a better understanding of what they mean and what God intended by them, than those that do not.

Now, the Jews have recognized the connection between Pentecost and the harvests:

In Palestine the grain harvest lasted seven weeks and was a season of gladness (Jer. v. 24; Deut. xvi. 9; Isa. ix. 2). It began with the harvesting of the barley (Men. 65-66) during the Passover and ended with the harvesting of the wheat at Pentecost, the wheat being the last cereal to ripen. Pentecost was thus the concluding festival of the grain harvest, just as the eighth day of Tabernacles was the concluding festival of the fruit harvest (comp. Pesiḳ. xxx. 193). According to Ex. xxxiv. 18-26 (comp. ib. xxiii. 10-17), the Feast of Weeks is the second of the three festivals to be celebrated…

They are to bring to the sanctuary “the first-fruits of wheat harvest,” “the first-fruits of thy labors which thou hast sown in the field.” These are not offerings definitely prescribed for the community; “but with a tribute of a free-will offering of thine hand . . . shalt thou [the individual] rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou and thy son and thy daughter, . . . the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow” (Deut. xvi. 9-12). (Pentecost. Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906. viewed 06/07/14)

There is, of course, a biblical connection to a harvest and firstfruits with Pentecost.

The New Testament also discusses some concepts associated with firstfruits.

Paul also wrote the following:

23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit (Romans 8:23).

Recall that it was the Holy Spirit that was first given on the Day of Pentecost. And that was a type of the firstfruits of the Spirit.

Who are the firstfruits?

4 These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. 5 These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb (Revelation 14:4-5).

12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. (Revelation 14:12)

The firstfruits keep God’s commandments (see also The Ten Commandments and the Early Church).

In the Old Testament, God said:

10 “I found Israel Like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers As the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season. But they went to Baal Peor…” (Hosea 9:10).

So originally, physical Israel was like the firstfruits on the branches of a fig tree, but they were unfaithful. In the New Testament, Paul alludes to this and Christians when he wrote:

16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. (Romans 11:16-21)

So while physical Israel was intended to be firstfruits, it was replaced by Christians as the firstfruits. And those firstfruits began on Pentecost.

But what about Jesus? Wasn’t He a type of firstfruits?

Yes, He certainly was. Paul notes:

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

Christ is the fulfillment of the wave sheaf offering in Leviticus 23:10. He is the sheaf of firstfruits. He also fulfilled that role when He ascended into heaven on the Sunday (the wave sheaf offering was on a Sunday) after He was resurrected (John 20:1,17). But neither He nor His true followers observed what is now called Easter.

Also, James notes that Jesus brought us forth to also be a type of firstfruit:

18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures (James 1:18).

So while Jesus was the original firstfruit to represent the wave sheaf offering, true Christians are a kind of firstfruits, represented by the Day of Pentecost. “Firstfruits” mean that only a few will make it in this age–but it also implies that there will be a greater harvest–a time where all who never had an opportunity for salvation will, at that time, have their opportunity (for more scriptural references, please read the article Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).

(More of the wave-sheaf offering is included in the article What Happened in the Crucifixion Week?)

Again notice what Peter stated on Pentecost:

29 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, 31 he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. (Acts 2:29-33)

Notice that Peter, on Pentecost, referred to Jesus as fruit and that He was raised. Pentecost shows that God blesses this small harvest by granting His Holy Spirit so that we can overcome, do His work and grow spiritually even though living in “this present evil age” (Galatians 1:4)

Now Jesus was not only the first of the firstfruits, He was also the firstborn among many brethren:

29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29).

5 Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead (Revelation 1:5).

Since Jesus is the firstborn, this certainly implies that there will be others who are to be like Him. Thus, becoming like Jesus Christ is also part of the message of Pentecost. Of course the idea of becoming like Christ is taught throughout the Bible and is not limited to Pentecost. Notice what John wrote:

32 …we shall be like Him (1 John 3:2).

Pentecost was Observed Later in the New Testament

The Feast of Pentecost was kept by Christians after the initial one, but with no mention of speaking in tongues.

The Apostle Paul continued to keep Pentecost decades after the Pentecost mentioned in the second chapter of the Book of Acts. Notice what he wrote, about 56 A.D.:

8 For I do not wish to see you now on the way; but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits. But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost (1 Corinthians 16:8).

This shows that Paul knew when Pentecost was, that he felt that the Corinthians must know when Pentecost was, and that the Ephesians would have known when Pentecost was. Thus, it apparently was being observed by Paul and the Gentiles in Ephesus and Corinth. Both of which were Gentile/Greek areas and not Jerusalem.

In another year, the Apostle Paul also wished to be in Jerusalem for Pentecost, around 60 A.D.:

16 For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he would not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hurrying to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 20:16).

Thus, Christians in Jerusalem were still observing Pentecost and Paul was observing it too. Otherwise, there would be no obvious reason why Paul wanted to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.

This was clearly understood by second century writers such as Irenaeus who wrote (circa 180):

Paul taught with simplicity what he knew, not only to those who were [employed] with him, but to those that heard him, he does himself make manifest. For when the bishops and presbyters who came from Ephesus and the other cities adjoining had assembled in Miletus, since he was himself hastening to Jerusalem to observe Pentecost (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book III, Chapter 14, Verse 2). Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

There is a partially questionable book called The Life of Polycarp. This book, which seems to somewhat be based on some historical truths in the second century, was changed–at least slightly–in the fourth century. The Life of Polycarp contains some possibly helpful information about Paul, Polycarp, and observing Pentecost:

In the days of unleavened bread Paul, coming down from Galatia, arrived in Asia, considering the repose among the faithful in Smyrna to be a great refreshment in Christ Jesus after his severe toil, and intending afterwards to depart to Jerusalem. So in Smyrna he went to visit Strataeas, who had been his hearer in Pamphylia, being a son of Eunice the daughter of Lois. These are they of whom he makes mention when writing to Timothy, saying; Of the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois and in thy mother Eunice; whence we find that Strataeas was a brother of Timothy. Paul then, entering his house and gathering together the faithful there, speaks to them concerning the Passover and the Pentecost, reminding them of the New Covenant of the offering of bread and the cup; how that they ought most assuredly to celebrate it during the days of unleavened bread, but to hold fast the new mystery of the Passion and Resurrection. For here the Apostle plainly teaches that we ought neither to keep it outside the season of unleavened bread, as the heretics do, especially the Phrygians…but named the days of unleavened bread, the Passover, and the Pentecost, thus ratifying the Gospel (Pionius. Life of Polycarp, Chapter 2. Translated by J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 3.2, 1889, pp.488-506).

Polycarp, himself, was a faithful church leader who was apparently a Gentile.

It should also be noted that the idea of Christians being first-fruits was known in early times. Notice something from the late first century A.D.:

Chapter 24. Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which He has rendered the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits by raising Him from the dead. Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection which is at all times taking place. Day and night declare to us a resurrection. The night sinks to sleep, and the day arises; the day [again] departs, and the night comes on. Let us behold the fruits [of the earth], how the sowing of grain takes place. The sower goes forth, and casts it into the ground, and the seed being thus scattered, though dry and naked when it fell upon the earth, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its dissolution the mighty power of the providence of the Lord raises it up again, and from one seed many arise and bring forth fruit.

Chapter 42. The apostles have preached the gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe. Nor was this any new thing, since indeed many ages before it was written concerning bishops and deacons. For thus says the Scripture in a certain place, “I will appoint their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.” (Letter from the Romans to the Corinthians, often called I Clement. Translated by John Keith. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 9. Edited by Allan Menzies. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1896)

(It is believed that the scripture referred to at the end was Isaiah 60:17, possibly combined with Philippians 1:1 and/or 1 Timothy 3:1-13.)

Irenaeus, who claimed to know Polycarp, wrote:

Then again, [it was fit] that Moses should give manna as food to the fathers, but Joshua wheat; as the first-fruits of life, a type of the body of Christ, as also the Scripture declares that the manna of the Lord ceased when the people had eaten wheat from the land. (Irenaeus. Fragments, Chapter 19. Translated by Alexander Roberts. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe.Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1885)

Thus, Christians are, like Jesus, called first fruits in early church literature.

The ancient Catholic writer Irenaeus knew that Pentecost in the Book of Acts was about firstfruits, as he wrote (circa 180):

This Spirit did David ask for the human race, saying, “And stablish me with Thine all-governing Spirit;” who also, as Luke says, descended at the day of Pentecost upon the disciples after the Lord’s ascension, having power to admit all nations to the entrance of life, and to the opening of the new covenant; from whence also, with one accord in all languages, they uttered praise to God, the Spirit bringing distant tribes to unity, and offering to the Father the first-fruits of all nations (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book III, Chapter 17, Verse 2. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

He also realized that it was to be kept on a Sunday:

This [custom], of not bending the knee upon Sunday…took its rise from apostolic times, as the blessed Irenæus, the martyr and bishop of Lyons, declares in his treatise On Pascha, in which he makes mention of Pentecost also; (Comments related to Irenaeus. Fragments of Irenaeus, 7).

Here are quotes from the late Herbert W. Armstrong about Pentecost in his booklet Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days Which?:

What You Should Know About Pentecost

IS THIS the only “day of salvation”? Most churches generally teach that all who die “unsaved,” or do not “get saved” before the second coming of Christ, can never receive salvation.

They assume there is a great contest in progress between Christ and Satan. They believe Christ came to save the world, and by means of all these churches, through which He is desperately trying to “get the world saved.”

On the other hand, the clever deceptive devil is doing all he can to prevent people from being “saved.” And they seem to believe there is a time limit on the contest.

We are now near the time for the Second Coming of Christ, but when Christ returns to earth in person He will find Himself helpless utterly unable to save the world from Satan’s clutch because then “it will be too late.” “Probation will be closed,” as one denomination expresses it.

This paganized teaching represents Satan as far more powerful than God.

The Answer Revealed

The New Testament Church of God was founded on a Sunday. It started on the annual Sabbath day called “Pentecost” or “Feast of Firstfruits.” Also called the “Feast of Weeks.”

The New Testament Church continued, year after year, to keep this annual Sabbath, Pentecost, as we shall show.

And God gave this festival to His people in order to reveal, and to keep them continually informed, that the present dispensation is only the first, preliminary “harvest of souls.”

As already explained, God’s purpose in giving His Church His annual holy days was to keep His children constantly in true understanding of God’s great plan.

To accomplish this, God took the yearly material harvest seasons in ancient Israel as the picture of the spiritual harvest of souls.

In the Holy Land there are two annual harvests. First, is the spring grain harvest. Second, comes the fall harvest. God intended His holy days to picture to His Church repeatedly year by year the fact that only those He Himself calls during this age can become His begotten children now! And we are merely the firstfruits of the great spiritual harvest!

The Wave Sheaf

But let us continue the central passage which summarizes all the holy days Leviticus 23.

Here we find all of God’s festivals proclaimed holy convocations, in the one chapter. First is the weekly convocation day, the Sabbath, the seventh day of the week. Then, beginning verse 4, follows a list of the annual festivals, also commanded assemblies, “which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.”

First of these is the Passover, followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread with the two annual Sabbaths. Beginning verse 9, we find instructions for the wave-sheaf offering. The Israelites were not allowed to harvest any of the early grain crop until this day (verse 14). Then, on the day following the weekly Sabbath, in a solemn ceremony of the Levitical priesthood (the rituals were mere substitutes and therefore not practiced today), the first sheaf of grain was cut. This event always occurred during the days of unleavened bread (see Joshua 5). The sheaf was then brought to the priest. The priest solemnly waved it before the Eternal to be accepted for them.

This pictures the resurrected Christ ascending to heaven to be accepted by His Father as the very first human to be actually born of God the firstfruit of the first harvest of souls! By comparing John 20:17 with Matthew 28:9, you will see that Christ presented Himself before the Father on the morning after His resurrection the previous evening (I Corinthians 15:20, 23; Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15, 18). This fulfillment of the wave-sheaf offering actually occurred on Sunday, the morrow after the Sabbath during the days of unleavened bread.

How to Figure Pentecost

Next comes Pentecost. The word “Pentecost” is a Greek word, used in the New Testament, but not in the Old. It signifies “fiftieth (day).” In the Old Testament this feast is called “Feast of Firstfruits,” and “Feast of Weeks.”

Notice the properly translated plain instruction beginning Leviticus 23:15: “And ye shall count unto you from [on, or beginning with] the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days. . . .” And that fiftieth day is Pentecost!

“And ye shall proclaim on the selfsame day, that it may be an holy convocation unto you: ye shall do no servile work therein: it shall be a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations” (verse 21).

All other holy days or festivals come on definite days of definite months. But this one annual Sabbath must be determined by counting. It is very simple and plain.

It is of very grave importance that we figure the right day. This day, and this only, is made holy by the Eternal Creator. Suppose at the same time the Church of God was founded, the apostles had miscounted, and “when the day of Pentecost was fully come” (Acts 2:1) they, instead of being all with one accord in one place were in discord, some having observed the day preceding, and some waiting until the following day!

The Pharisees, who gained complete control of Jewish religious observances shortly after the middle of the first century AD, figured (incorrectly that is, from the wrong starting point) from the day after the first annual Sabbath.

Before that time, however, the high priests of the family Boethus, who were Sadducees, had been in control of matters concerning the festivals in Jerusalem. The Boethusians always counted from the morrow after the weekly Sabbath, the day we call Saturday, which usually fell within the Days of Unleavened Bread or immediately before the first day of Unleavened Bread. This historical information has been preserved for us in the Mishna, which was set in writing about AD 200:

“The Boethusians say: ‘The cutting of the sheaf does not take place at the end of the day of the feast [the first of the seven days of unleavened bread], but only at the end of the next regular Sabbath’” (Menahoth, 10, 3).

This practice had been handed down among the priests from generation to generation. And their method of counting was done as long as they remained in control of the Temple and its rituals. Samaritans and Karaites (Jewish sect dating from the eighth century AD) have also continued to count from the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day of the week.

On a Sunday

Starting then to count from the offering of the wave sheaf, with that Sunday as day number one, we will always come out on another Sunday but NOT always on the same day of the month. It is something which must be “counted” each and every year. Neither in the Hebrew (or biblical) calendar, nor in the Roman calendar which is commonly used today, can the day of Pentecost ever become fixed on a set day of the month.

Quoting again from the Mishna, and speaking about the correct practice which had been followed in Jerusalem before the Pharisees took complete control, “[The Boethusians say:] Pentecost always falls on the day after the Sabbath” (Chagigah, 2, 4).

This makes very clear the meaning of the last part of Leviticus 23:15 and the beginning of verse 16: “. . . seven Sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days.”

Deuteronomy 16:9

A second and perhaps for some a simpler instruction for counting to Pentecost is found in Deuteronomy 16:9-10: “Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee: begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks [Pentecost]. . . .”

This means of counting is also referred to in Numbers 28:26: “Also in the day of the firstfruits [Pentecost], when ye bring a new meat offering unto the Lord, after your weeks be out, ye shall have an holy convocation; ye shall do no servile work.”

Because seven weeks were counted, the festival of Pentecost was also known as the “feast of weeks” (Deuteronomy 16:10).

Meaning of Pentecost

Passover symbolized Christ’s sacrifice for the remission of our sins, and the days of unleavened bread the putting away of sin. Pentecost pictures the first part of the spiritual harvest the calling out of the Church the called-out ones which, for the New Testament dispensation, began on Sunday Pentecost, June 17, 31 AD. On that day the Holy Spirit came to dwell within flesh, as prophesied by Joel.

On the fiftieth day (Pentecost) in Old Testament times, two “wave loaves” (Leviticus 23:17, 20) were brought out of the habitations of the congregation as the firstfruits unto the Lord. Just so the New Testament Church was gathered out of this world as the firstfruits of His salvation, in fulfillment of the meaning of the wave loaves.

We have all, if we have been converted, become a part of that New Testament Church. We have become part of what was symbolized by those wave loaves.

And just as the wave sheaf was lifted up into the air and waved, symbolizing Christ’s trip to heaven and return, so the wave loaves were lifted up and waved, symbolizing that we too shall for a moment leave this solid earth when we ascend to meet Him in the air (I Thessalonians 4:16-17) before we return with Him to stand on the Mount of Olives as He begins His millennial rule (Acts 1:11; Zechariah 14:3-4).

Most Not Now Called

God has not cast away His people, Israel. But He blinded them for a temporary period of time so that through their fall, salvation came to the Gentiles, who, through Christ, are individually grafted in, or spiritually adopted into, the family of Israel (Romans 11).

This is the dispensation when God is calling a people for His name to be kings and priests, reigning with Christ in the Kingdom during the thousand years (Revelation 5:10).

“After this” after this dispensation of taking out of the Gentiles a people for His name “I will return,” promises the Eternal. What for? “And will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I [Christ, not men] will set it up.”

Why? “That the residue of men might seek after the Lord.” (Acts 15:14-17 study this again!)

During this present Church age, the descendants of ancient Judah and Israel are blinded. After this, Christ will return, and then the rest of men blinded Israel, and Gentiles alike, will seek after the Lord when Satan is chained and Christ reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords!

Those of the firstfruits of His salvation, made immortal, will then reign with Him as kings and priests in the wonderful work of building a new civilization.

During this time Israel is mostly blinded until the fullness of the Gentiles come in; and so (Romans 11:26) all Israel shall, then, be saved from sin; for the Deliverer, Christ, shall come out of Zion! All Israel shall be brought to repentance and saved from sin how? Because Christ turns ungodliness from mortal Israel by forgiving sin.

Now, in this dispensation, Israel has not believed, and the tabernacle of David is fallen down (Romans 11:31-32), that, through the mercy of the Gentiles and the small “elect” in Israel, picked out in this age, acting as kings and priests with Christ, they, also, then, may obtain mercy! How wonderful is God’s great plan of redemption, when we understand it, as we see it pictured in these annual holy days!

Only First Harvest Now

In James 1:18 and Romans 8:23, for example, the saints of this dispensation are called the firstfruits of God’s salvation. This dispensation, and the picking out of these people to bear His name, began on the day of Pentecost. This feast annually pictures this great event this great “mystery” dispensation in God’s redemptive plan!

Notice, too, that these feasts, Unleavened Bread, and Pentecost, fall at the beginning of the year, and the great events they picture occur at the very beginning of the plan of salvation!

The group of holy days coming at the END of the year all symbolize tremendous events in God’s plan of redemption to occur, yet future, at the end of the dispensation! They all come in the seventh month and their fulfillment will introduce the seventh thousand-years since creation!

The churches of this world today teach it is the mission of the Church to save the world. They teach that all who ever shall be saved are being saved, now, in this present dispensation. They teach that “probation ENDS” at, or prior to, the Second Coming of Christ.

If this be true, what a failure is God’s plan! Only a very, very few have been truly saved in this dispensation. One third of all living on earth today have never even heard the only name whereby we may be saved!

Are they the majority of all living, eternally lost because they never heard lost and condemned without a chance? The common teaching is that God has cast away His people Israel, and they are eternally doomed and lost. Had they been keeping these annual holy days, commanded to be kept forever all kept faithfully by the New Testament Church as recorded in Acts and in church history they would have understood God’s wonderful plan.

We are not to convert everyone in the world in this age, but to declare the Gospel. What Gospel? The good news of the Kingdom the good news of the thousand years of restitution of all things when Christ returns to reign in power and great glory!

Let us understand this. During this time Israel is blinded in part but only until the completion of this Gentile dispensation. During this time, only the minority of Gentiles Chinese, people of India and Russia have even heard the name of Christ.

The good news of the coming Kingdom is to be preached as a witness. Many have been called during this time, but only few actually chosen, and still fewer have remained faithful to the end.

They the people picked out for His name shall be made immortal and shall reign during the thousand years of the Kingdom upon earth. Then Israel’s blindness will be removed. They were blinded until the end of Gentile times. The heavens received Jesus until these times of restitution of all things.

Those now gathered, since that day of Pentecost, June 17, AD 31, are the firstfruits only, of God’s plan of salvation. This dispensation, then, is picking out only the “firstfruits” of those to be saved. And they are being tried and tested to qualify for positions as kings and priests in the Kingdom, to effect, then, the real salvation of the world.

When Christ Returns

Then it is that God shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people Israel (Isaiah 11:11).

Then it is that “. . . the Lord will come with fire, and . . . by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh. . . . And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape [these plagues] of them unto the nations [Gentiles] . . . that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles” (Isaiah 66:15-16, 19).

Then it is that “living waters shall go out from Jerusalem,” and the Gentile nations that have not heard previously “shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles“! (Zechariah 14:16.)

Then it is that many nations “shall come and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain [nation] of the Lord . . . and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares . . . neither shall they learn war any more. . . . In that day, saith the Lord . . . the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion from henceforth, even for ever” (Micah 4:2-7). This does not apply to God’s Church now but to the glorious time of the Kingdom, after Christ returns. What a wonderful plan of redemption!

Adam sinned. All have sinned. From Adam to now we behold a chronicle of man without God of human suffering and failure. And thus God, in His great wisdom, has permitted men to prove to themselves what sinners they are how helpless they are, of themselves!

And finally we shall have to learn the lesson that it is only when God Himself undertakes to save men by sending Jesus to rule with a rod of iron that the world can really be saved! And so, those now being saved are a firstfruits of salvation, and will have the very great honor of being Christ’s assistants in that wonderful Kingdom work of redemption!

That is God’s true plan of redemption, as taught from Genesis to Revelation! And how contrary to the popular teaching! But it is the plan, nevertheless, pictured in God’s annual holy days. And had the churches continued to keep these holy days, they would never have lost sight of this plan, and come under the deception of false religionists!

Pentecost Observed by New Testament Church of God

Just as we found the true Church of God continuing to observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Passover, so they continued to observe Pentecost. Read it: I Corinthians 16:8; Acts 20:16.

Had they not been assembled in a holy convocation on the first Pentecost after everything that was abolished had been done away, we never could have read in our Bibles the sublime record of the second chapter of Acts.

Now a “holy convocation” means a holy assembly of the Church, convoked under absolute authority. Look up the word “convocation” in the dictionary. It is an assembly where everyone is commanded, under authority, to be present. The Sabbath is a weekly holy convocation. We are commanded, therefore, to assemble ourselves together. Each of these annual days is an holy convocation. The early Church obeyed. Do we?

We in the Continuing Church of God observe this day as did the early faithful church.

Since the Apostle Paul and other faithful Christians kept Pentecost, shouldn’t you?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Pentecost: Is it more than Acts 2? Many “Christians” somewhat observe Pentecost. Do they know what it means? It is also called the Feast of Harvest, the Feast of Weeks, and the day of firstfruits. What about “speaking in tongues” and led by the Holy Spirit? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Pentecostés: ¿Es más que Hechos 2? plus one by Herbert Armstrong HWA sobre Pentecostés). Here is a YouTube sermon titled Pentecost: What it Teaches and When it is.
Pentecost is Part of God’s Plan. This combines a couple of articles from the 1980s, plus additional scriptures and modern comments about Pentecost. Here is a related sermon: Pentecost Plan.
Pentecost Quiz This is a Pentecost quiz based upon the Old and New Testaments in the Bible.
Should You Keep God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。. Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
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?

Vatican has again taken a ‘666’ position

Friday, May 18th, 2018

COGwriter

The Vatican wants a system of global economic control. It has put forth another document, Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones —Considerations for an Ethical Discernment Regarding Some Aspects of the Present Economic-Financial System, written by its Congregation and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development that supports what will happen with 666. Here are some excerpts and comments related to it:

  • Markets are “not capable of governing themselves” as they know neither how to achieve elements that allow them to run smoothly nor correct what makes them harmful to human society.
  • The financial industry today is a place “where selfishness and the abuse of power have the potential to harm the community beyond match.”
  • Work is “not only becoming a reality more and more at risk, but it is also losing its value as a ‘good’ for the human person” turning itself into a “mere means of exchange.”
  • Investment funds based on the risk of financial speculation jeopardize “the very economic stability of millions of families,” forcing governments to intervene and “artificially determining the proper functioning of political systems.”
  • “Where massive deregulation is practiced,” embezzlement, speculative bubbles, “sudden and destructive collapses, and systematic crisis” is the result.  …
  • Constantly updated regulation is necessary due to the fact that, among the “principal reasons” for the recent economic crisis, was “the immoral behavior of the experts in the financial world.”
  • Rules must favor “complete transparency to eliminate every form of inequality,” such as banks being open with customers if they are using their capital for speculative ends. …
  • It also proposes equal taxes to bring about an “equalization and redistribution” of wealth. http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/vatican-document-calls-for-ethical-discernment-in-face-of-vast-economic-ine

Last year the Vatican called for something similar:

In an 18-page document issued through the Vatican’s Office of Justice and Peace, … has called for, among other repressive and wealth-destructive measures, the establishment of a “supranational [monetary] authority” to oversee international monetary affairs:

In fact, one can see an emerging requirement for a body that will carry out the functions of a kind of ‘central world bank’ that regulates the flow and system of monetary exchanges similar to the national central banks.

The paper, “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority,” contends that a world central bank is needed because institutions such as the IMF have failed to “stabilize world finance” and have not effectively regulated “the amount of credit risk taken on by the system.” …

{The Vatican report} acknowledges that if a central monetary authority is established it will mean a loss of sovereignty and independence among nations, but such “costs” are well worth the overall societal and economic gains:

Of course, this transformation will be made at the cost of a gradual, balanced transfer of a part of each nation’s powers to a world authority and to regional authorities, but this is necessary at a time when the dynamism of human society and the economy and the progress of technology are transcending borders, which are in fact already very eroded in a globalized world.

The ongoing and deepening financial crisis … is not because there has been no global central bank to regulate more effectively the money and credit flow of the various nation states, but the crisis is because of the machinations of central banking. Central banking, through the fraudulent practice of fractional-reserve banking, has been the culprit in almost every financial calamity that has beset the Western world since the institution was first created. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-09/pope-francis-now-international-monetary-guru

A major document from the Vatican’s Justice and Peace department condemned what it called “the idolatry of the market” as well as a “neo-liberal thinking” that it said looked exclusively at technical solutions to economic problems.

The 18-page document, “Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority,” was at times very specific, calling, for example, for taxation measures on financial transactions. …

Such an authority should start with the United Nations as its reference point but later become independent and be endowed with the power to see to it that developed countries were not allowed to wield “excessive power over the weaker countries.”

Effective Structures

In a section explaining why the Vatican felt the reform of the global economy was necessary, the document said:

In economic and financial matters, the most significant difficulties come from the lack of an effective set of structures that can guarantee, in addition to a system of governance, a system of government for the economy and international finance.

It said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) no longer had the power or ability to stabilize world finance by regulating overall money supply and it was no longer able to watch “over the amount of credit risk taken on by the system.”

The world needed a “minimum shared body of rules to manage the global financial market” and “some form of global monetary management.” (Dmitry B. Vatican Calls For ‘Central World Bank’ And ‘Global Authority.’ January 2, 2017 http://yournewswire.com/vatican-central-world-bank/)

The Vatican has wanted an apparatus for global control of finances for some time. Notice also the following:

Reuters – Oct 24, 2011
The Vatican called on Monday for the establishment of a “global public authority” and a “central world bank” to rule over financial institutions that have become outdated and often ineffective in dealing fairly with crises.”Toward Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority,” was at times very specific, calling, for example, for taxation measures on financial transactions. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-vatican-economy-idUSTRE79N28X20111024

The Vatican is pushing for governmental controls over buying and selling.

Consider that Bible prophecy teaches the following:

15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Revelation 13:15-18, NKJV)

The “He” in Revelation 13:15 is the “two-horned beast” also known as the final Antichrist. This individual, according to various writers including certain Roman Catholic ones, will be an antipope (one claiming to be pope, but in that case, not truly believing a lot of Roman Catholic doctrine).

The final Antichrist will support financial controls. While ‘666’ will be the “Beast of the Sea” (Revelation 13:1-10) who will be a European political leader, not a Roman pontiff.

We are seeing a move towards ‘cashlessness’ and more financial controls happening around the world.

The Vatican has been advocating the idea of global control of finances.

This  is a false gospel–some of the Vatican’s economic plans were also discussed in our booklet: The Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

The final time of 666 is drawing nearer.

Calls for more governmental control and financial regulations are helping lead to this.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet”. Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy.
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
The End of US Dollar Dominance Is the USA losing its economic status? What about the petro-gold-yuan? A related video is also available: US Dollar being challenged by Gold-Petro-Yuan.
Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies? People of all faiths may be surprised to see what various Roman and Orthodox Catholic prophets have been predicting as many of their predictions will be looked to in the 21st century.
The Mark of Antichrist What is the mark of Antichrist? What have various ones claimed? Here is a link to a related sermon What is the ‘Mark of Antichrist’?
Mark of the Beast What is the mark of the Beast? Who is the Beast? What have various ones claimed the mark is? What is the ‘Mark of the Beast’?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 Who is 666? This article explains how the COG views this, and compares this to Ellen White.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist? This video quotes all scriptures that mention the terms Antichrist or antichrists. It also gives examples of the type of deceptions, signs, and results of the time of the final Antichrist. It mentions certain Catholic prophecies and provides some disturbing quotes about Pope Francis. It discusses Antichrist’s role in Armageddon. It quotes Jesus about the coming deception and what Christians should do. This is a video.
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants) Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
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.
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
The Dangerous Rise of Preterists Has the Great Tribulation finished? What was the view of early Christians? Why is the preterist view dangerous?
Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this. There is also a video available: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed?
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?
The Last Pope Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Why might Pope Francis be the last pope? What happens if he is? Biblical and other prophecies help explain what to expect.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Amazon Book What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roman”? This 186 page book provides information and answers.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of the printed book which is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.

Another Marian holiday and Halos

Friday, May 18th, 2018


Mary did not have a halo

COGwriter

Mike Gendron had the following in one of his recent newsletters:

The Vatican announced the new Roman Catholic holiday will be observed every year on the Monday after Pentecost. This year, the occasion will fall on May 21. The pope considered how greatly the promotion of this devotion to Mary will encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety. The decree states: “Mary is the mother of the members of Christ, because with charity she cooperated in the rebirth of the faithful into the Church, while the latter says that the birth of the Head is also the birth of the body, These considerations derive from the divine motherhood of Mary and from her intimate union in the work of the Redeemer, which culminated at the hour of the cross.”

The Roman Catholic Church already has a number of feast days dedicated to Mary, including the Feast of Immaculate Conception, in observance that Mary was conceived without sin, and the Feast of Assumption, in observance that Mary did not die but ascended to Heaven like Jesus.

Mike’s Comments: Mary described herself as a servant of the Lord (Luke 1:38). Yet the Catholic Church has elevated her to an omniscient goddess with divine attributes. She is said to be all-knowing, all seeing, and all powerful. The Catholic Mary has become a counterfeit savior and mediator who is said to have been born sinless and lived a sinless life. For Catholics, she has become a co-redeemer and the source of all grace. She is called the all-holy one, clearly a title belonging only to God.

This blasphemy stands in sharp contrast to what Scripture actually says and does not say about Mary. When Jesus said, ‘I will build My Church,’ he never said Mary would be the mother of His Church. The one true Church has only one Head, one Shepherd and one Builder: the Lord Jesus Christ. The true Church is the body of Christ, the bride; the flock of Christ and the household of faith. Scripture never speaks of Mary having a leadership role or as a mother over the church.

There is not one Scripture that show the disciples exalting or venerating Mary following the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. In fact, the Bible says nothing about Mary’s life or her later years after Christ’s death. When she briefly appears with the disciples and the other believers on the day of Pentecost, she’s not an object of worship or even a leader in the early church. She is just one among many. There simply are no biblical examples of anyone ever praying to her or venerating her. If you contrast that with the overwhelming number of books on the life of Mary, the miracles of Mary and the apparitions of Mary, it is obvious that a pagan goddess has been created in the minds of popes. Jesus alone is the head of the Church and He alone is to be worshiped, venerated, adored and petitioned.

Pushing his version of ‘Mary’ is something Pope Francis has been doing for years. It is part of his ecumenical, interfaith, and European agendas (see also Pope Approves New Feast Day for ‘Mary’). Now, in 2018, he invented another ‘Marian’ holiday–this clearly should prove to everyone that this was NOT an original Christian practice (cf. Jude 3).

The following was in another of Mike Gendron’s earlier newsletters:

Another Mary Who Is Quite Contrary

In its refusal to submit to God’s Word as the supreme authority in matters of faith, the Roman Catholic Church worships another Jesus, teaches another gospel, and is deluded by another spirit (2 Cor.11:4). However, those soul-condemning errors are only the tip of the iceberg. Her deceptive practices and ungodly traditions also include the veneration of another Mary. The Mary of Catholicism is a twisted distortion of the Mary revealed in Scripture who also gave birth to James, Joses, Judas, Simon, and their sisters (Mark 6:3). Rome rejects the Scriptural proof of Mary’s other children by infallibly declaring she remained a virgin throughout her life. This counterfeit Mary is said to be another sinless mediator who is the cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para. 494).The exaltation of the virgin Mary by Catholics is completely unfounded in Scripture. Outside of the Gospels, Mary’s name is mentioned only once and that is when she is praying with her other children and other believers in the upper room (Acts 1:14). Information about Mary in the Gospels is also very sparse. After the narratives related to the birth of Jesus, there are only three other references to Mary. The first is at the wedding in Cana (John 2:1-5). Next is when she and the brothers of Jesus desired to talk to Jesus. Jesus responded that His mother and brothers are those who do the will of God (Mat. 12:46-50). One other reference is given when a woman in the crowd calls the mother of Jesus blessed, but Jesus does not affirm her. Instead He said blessed are those who hear the Word and observe it (Luke 11:27-28).

Roman pontiffs have created a Mary that shares the divine attributes of the Lord Jesus Christ. They say she was conceived without sin, lived a sinless life, was bodily assumed into glory, is the mediatrix of all grace, is our advocate, and now reigns as Queen of heaven alongside the King of kings. Pope Francis declared, “The Immaculate ‘Virgin’ becomes the sublime icon of Divine Mercy that conquered sin. To her I entrust the Church and all humanity, especially the city of Rome.”

The idolatry associated with the Catholic Mary is evidenced in many ways, but primarily in the ungodly practice of praying to her. Prayer is one of the deepest forms of worship because it acknowledges the divine power of the person to whom we pray. This is why we never see any God-fearing man praying to anyone other than God in the Bible. Yet thousands of Catholics pray to Mary, at the same time asking for her help. The only way Mary could hear and answer those prayers would be if she were omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. Yet, she is only human like all of us.

Mike’s Comment: As Christians, we esteem Mary as blessed among women, but to ascribe divine powers and attributes to her is blasphemous and idolatrous. Satan will use anything to persuade people to take their eyes off Jesus. Just as he deceived Eve by his cunning, Catholics who idolize Mary will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Cor. 11:3). Our dear Catholic friends and loved ones need to be warned of how God hates idolatry. We must call them to turn to God from idols to serve the living and true God (1 Thes. 1:9).

While Christians can call Mary blessed (Luke 1:48), the Bible never refers to Mary as one to be venerated or prayed to.

Now, I intentionally used a picture that is claimed to be of Mary with a halo to point out that this too is contrary to scripture. If Mary had been traveling around with a halo, that would have caused quite a commotion. But even though she did not, that is how she is sometimes portrayed.

Most do not realize that the halo idea mainly comes from the followers of the pagan sun-god Mithra.

Mithra Had a Halo

Years ago, Wikipedia’s article on Halos reported:

Round “solar discs” above the head are seen in depictions of many deities of Ancient Egypt, including Ra and Hathor, and symbols resembling later haloes, such as the sun cross, are found in many ancient religions, especially in connection with sun worship. Homer describes a more-than-natural light around the heads of heroes in battle, and in Aristophanes’ Birds the founder of Cloud-Cuckoo-Land is extravagantly said to outshine stars and sun. Depictions of Perseus in the act of slaying Medusa, with lines radiating from his head, appear on a white-ground toiletry box in the Louvre and on a slightly later red-figured vase in the style of Polygnotos, ca. 450-30 BC, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. On painted wares from south Italy radiant lines or simple haloes appear on a range of mythic figures: Lyssa, a personification of madness; a sphinx, a sea demon, Thetis, the sea-nymph who was mother to Achilles, The Colossus of Rhodes, was a statue of the sun-god Helios and had his usual radiate crown (copied by the Statue of Liberty). Hellenistic rulers are often shown wearing radiate crowns that seem clearly to imitate this effect. A more prosaic influence that has been cited by some historians is the Greek practice of placing circular metal discs above the head of statues to protect them from birds and their droppings, thus anticipating the “perspectival” halo by over a millennium. In Asian art The halo and the aureole have been widely used in Indian art, particularly in Buddhist iconography where it has appeared since at least the 1st century AD; the Kushan Bimaran casket in the British Museum is variously dated between 30BC and 60AD.

The above may be too politically incorrect now as it is no longer found on Wikipedia. But the idea of halos coming from Egypt has long been known (Massey. Ancient Egypt Light Of The World 2 Vol Set. Routledge, 2013, p. 219). While other pagan systems like the Egyptians had an illuminating “halo,” the one that came into the main Western religions apparently came from Mithraism as a sign of being illuminated.

Mithraism was the religion of the Roman Emperor Constantine who attempted to merge it with Christianity in the fourth century. The Marian cult was not something original, even to the Church of Rome:

Devotion to Our Blessed Lady in its ultimate analysis must be regarded as a practical application of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Seeing that this doctrine is not contained, at least explicitly in the earlier forms of the Apostles’ Creed, there is perhaps no ground for surprise if we do not meet with any clear traces of the cultus of the Blessed Virgin in the first Christian centuries. The earliest unmistakable examples of the “worship” — we use the word of course in the relative sense — of the saints is connected with the veneration paid to the martyrs who gave their lives for the Faith…Further, it is quite likely that the mention of the Blessed Virgin in the intercessions of the diptychs of the liturgy goes back to the days before the Council of Nicaea, but we have no definite evidence upon the point, and the same must be said of any form of direct invocation, even for purposes of private devotion (Herbert Thurston. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV. Published 1912. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Antidicomarianites
An Eastern sect which…was so designated as being the “opponents of Mary”… This doctrine…was afterwards modified so as to teach that, although Our Lord was born of Mary through the Holy Ghost, afterwards Joseph and Mary lived in wedlock and had many other children. The sect denied the formula “ever-Virgin Mary” used in the Greek and Roman Liturgies. The earliest reference to this sect appears in Tertullian, and the doctrines taught by them are expressly mentioned by Origen (Homilia in Lucam, III, 940). Certain Arians, Eudocius and Eunomius, were great supporters of the teaching. (Shipman AJ. Transcribed by Douglas J. Potter. Antidicomarianites. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume I. Published 1907. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Thus, Catholic scholars admit prior to the 4th century (which is when the Council of Nicea was) that there was not much related to Marian veneration, but they suspect that it may have existed. Thus, it was NOT documented as a part of the original faith nor among the earliest faithful traditions. This is a MAJOR CHANGE, then, as Marian adoration is a big deal within the faith that now calls itself “Catholic.”

In the late fourth century, the Catholic Bishop Epiphanius warned that some were worshipping Mary and were causing ”excess awe of the saint” (Epiphanius. Section VII, pp. 618-629)–he thus seemed to clearly condemn what is now referred to by Catholics as veneration of Mary.

False apparitions and compromise with paganism brought many to have a non-biblical view of Mary.

And this has continued.

Notice what a ‘messenger’ allegedly stated to a young girl named Barbara Reiss in Marienfried/Pfaffenhofen, Germany on May 26, 1946:

Have absolute faith in my Immaculate Heart…Some have received my imprint, and there will be many more (Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, p. 216).

Yes, I am the powerful Mediatrix of Grace. As the world can find mercy only through the sacrifice of the Son with the Father, so can you only find favor with the Son through my intercession. Christ is unknown because I am not known…it will be I who draw the power of God and the love of the Father {that} will renew the fullness of Christ in you…The devil has power over those that do not trust in My heart. (Culligan E. The Last World War and the End of Time. The book was blessed by Pope Paul VI, 1966. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), p. 162)

So, the messenger is indicating that her “Son” will not be known until she is known.

This seems consistent with an earlier message given through a nun:

Bl. Mary of Agreda (17th century): It was revealed to me that through intercession of the Mother of God all heresies will disappear. The victory over heresies has been reserved by Christ for His Blessed Mother. In the latter days, the Lord will in a special manner spread the renown of His Mother…Mary will extend the reign of Christ over the heathens and the Mohammedans. (Dupont, p. 33)

Notice what another messenger allegedly stated in Pfaffenhofen, Germany on June 25, 1946:

I am the great Mediatrix of Grace. The Father wants the world to recognize His handmaid…My sign is about to appear. God wills it…I cannot reveal my power to the world as yet…Then I will be able to reveal myself…Chose a sign for yourself so that the Trinity may soon be adored by all! Chose a sign for yourself so that the Trinity may soon be adored by all! Pray and sacrifice through me!…I will impose crosses on my children that will be as heavy and as deep as the sea because I love them in my sacrificed Son. I pray, be prepared to bear the cross in order that the Trinity may be honored (Culleton, Reign of Antichrist, pp. 217-218).

Real Christians would not pray and sacrifice through Mary.

In addition to the fact that these apparitions indicate that they need to become more known (hence may be a sign or wonder warned against in the end times cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9), notice the claims about being a “Mediatrix” (the feminine form of the term mediator). But the Bible is clear that there is only one mediator and that this can only be Jesus:

5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5, NKJV).

5 For there is one God, one also mediator of God and men, man Christ JESUS (1 Timothy 2:5, RNT).

Thus any others who claim to be a mediator clearly contradict the Bible (from both the Catholic and Protestant translations) and CANNOT BE OF GOD.

Yet, Pope Leo XIII (as well as other Bishops of Rome) called Mary the Mediatrix and the “co-Redemptress” (another title not hers as only Jesus is our redeemer Titus 2:14; Isaiah 59:20) as well:

The recourse we have to Mary in prayer follows upon the office she continuously fills by the side of the throne of God as Mediatrix of Divine grace; being by worthiness and by merit most acceptable to Him, and, therefore, surpassing in power all the angels and saints in Heaven. Now, this merciful office of hers, perhaps, appears in no other form of prayer so manifestly as it does in the Rosary. For in the Rosary all the part that Mary took as our co-Redemptress comes to us, as it were, set forth, and in such wise as though the facts were even then taking place; and this with much profit to our piety, whether in the contemplation of the succeeding sacred mysteries, or in the prayers which we speak and repeat with the lips (Pope Leo XIII. Iucunda Semper Expectatione On the Rosary. September 8, 1894).

The Catholic Saint Bridget claimed that a “Marian” messenger said the following in the 14th century:

…my Son and I never sinned…(Revelations of St. Bridget. TAN Books, 1984, p. 14)

But the Bible clearly teaches, that other than Jesus:

15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

22 Even the justice of God, by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe in him: for there is no distinction:

23 For all have sinned, and do need the glory of God.

24 Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:22-24, Douay-Rheims)

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8, Douay-Rheims)

Thus, Mary of the Bible would never have claimed that she never sinned.

So, if much about Mary is not true, why be concerned about it?

Well, the current Pope Francis and various Catholic prophecies point to more Marianism.

And the Bible warns of a ‘virgin” that uses enchantments who is also called the Lady of the Kingdoms:

1 Come down, sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne for the daughter of the Chaldeans, for thou shalt no more be called delicate and tender …4 Our redeemer, the Lord of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel. 5 Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called the lady of kingdoms. 6 I was angry with my people, I have polluted my inheritance, and have given them into thy bend: thou hast shown no mercy to them: upon the ancient thou hast laid thy yoke exceeding heavy.

7 And thou hast said: I shall be a lady forever: thou hast not laid these things to thy heart, neither hast thou remembered thy latter end.

8 And now hear these things, thou that art delicate, and dwellest confidently, that sayest in thy heart: I am, and there is none else besides me: I shall not sit as a widow, and I shall not know barrenness.

9 These two things shall come upon thee suddenly in one day, barrenness and widowhood. All things are come upon thee, because of the multitude of thy sorceries, and for the great hardness of thy enchanters. 10 And thou best trusted in thy wickedness, and hast said: There is none that seeth me. Thy wisdom, and thy knowledge, this hath deceived thee. And thou best said in thy heart: I am, and besides me there is no other. 11 Evil shall come upon thee, and then shalt not know the rising thereof: and calamity shall fall violently upon thee, which thou canst not keep off: misery shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know. 12 Stand now with thy enchanters, and with the multitude of thy sorceries, in which thou hast laboured from thy youth, if so be it may profit thee any thing, or if thou mayst become stronger. 13 Thou hast failed in the multitude or thy counsels: let now the astrologers stand and save thee, they that gazed at the stars, and counted the months, that from them they might tell the things that shall come to thee. (Isaiah 47:1, 4-7, 11-13, DRB)

Interestingly, the second of the seven wonders of the ancient world has been called, “Babylon the Great, the Lady of the Kingdoms, the glory of the whole earth“ (and the fourth wonder was called the temple of Diana of the Ephesians). The Bible also seems to connect the Lady’s haughty comments in verses 7 & 8 with those of the harlot of Revelation 17:1, 18; 18:7-8, 11 and the city in Zephaniah 2:15.

Some may be surprised to see this, but this immoral “Lady” also seems to have the title of “queen” and “harlot”:

7 You thought, ‘I shall be a queen forever.’ 8 I am the only one who matters. I shall never be widowed, never know bereavement.’ 9 Yet both these things will befall you, suddenly, in one day. Bereavement and widowhood will suddenly befall you (Isaiah 47:7, 8b, 9 NJB)

4 Because of the multitude of harlotries of the seductive harlot, The mistress of sorceries, Who sells nations through her harlotries, And families through her sorceries. (Nahum 3:4, NKJV)

5 Look, I am against you!- declares Yahweh Sabaoth- I shall lift your skirts as high as your face and show your nakedness to the nations, your shame to the kingdoms. (Nahum 3:5, NJB)

3 All the nations have drunk deep of the wine of her prostitution; every king on the earth has prostituted himself with her, and every merchant grown rich through her debauchery. (Revelation 18:3, NJB)

17:1 Come, I will shew thee the condemnation of the great harlot, who sitteth upon many waters 18:7 As much as she hath glorified herself, and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her; because she saith in her heart: I sit a queen, and am no widow; and sorrow I shall not see. 8 Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine, and she shall be burnt with the fire; because God is strong, who shall judge her. (Revelation 17:1b, 18:7-8, DRB)

So, understand that what will happen to the queen/Lady of the Kingdoms as well as to Babylon is warned against in Revelation. Yet, various Catholics have claimed that Mary is the “Queen of heaven” and “Lady of the kingdoms.”

However, neither the Bible nor the apostles referred to Mary as any type of queen, nor as the “Lady of the kingdoms.” Â Sacred scripture clearly warns against doing anything, such as making cakes, to honor one known as “the queen of heaven” (Jeremiah 7:18-19; 44:17-25) and certainly condemns one called the “Lady of the kingdoms.” Some information is also in a video sermon Why Learn About Fatima?

The late Herbert Armstrong wrote the following related to Isaiah 47:

But WHO is the Power that will lay this YOKE of slavery upon, Britain and America? We begin to find this answer in the 47th chapter of Isaiah. Notice!

“Come down, and sit in the dust, 0 virgin daughter of Babylon,” is the salutation of this chapter, verse 1. It is addressed, not to the ancient Babylon of King Nebuchadnezzar. It is addressed to a descendant, or successor, of the ancient Chaldean Empire. It is addressed to a WOMAN. And in prophetic symbol the term “woman” represents a CHURCH (Eph. 5:23, 27, 32; II Cor. ll: 1-2; Rev. 19:6-9; Rev. 12:13-17, etc.). This “lady of Kingdoms” of Isaiah 47 is the same CHURCH pictured in Revelation 17 and 18. But let’s understand as we go along “… there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.” (Verse 1).

This “lady” is no longer a virgin! She is a prostitute. She is to LOSE her throne over political kingdoms. Notice her moral and spiritual fall: “Thy nakedness shall be uncovered , yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance … ” (verse 3 ).

God Almighty Himself is going to take vengeance on her. This can result only from spirirual harlotry, which is sin.

Continue: “Sit thou silent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shall no more be called The Lady of Kingdoms.” (Verse 5 ) . The Moffatt translation is more plain: “Sit thou silent in the dark.” Light represents TRUTH. Darkness represents error and SIN. She is a fallen woman. She has reigned over KINGDOMS of NATIONS. But, from the time of the conclusion of this prophecy, she shall no longer be called “The Lady of Kingdoms”- that is, the CHURCH that had a kingdom over the political civil kingdoms…

God will give the House of Israel of today-Britain and America-into the hand of this “Lady of Kingdoms.” She, through the armies and secret police of the nations she shall sit upon and rule, will very heavily lay HER YOKE of slavery, torture, and martyrdom on our peoples! (Armstrong HW. BRITAIN’S DOOM Prophesied for Common Market Seeking Membership! Plain Truth, July 1962; he also said something similar in his Sermon dated November 27, 1982)

Here are some items from the late Radio/Worldwide Church of God evangelist Raymond McNair:

Fatima Portugal

THE Pope’s pilgrimage to Portugal is the biggest event ever to occur in this country!” an elated Portuguese exclaimed to me. This momentous occasion is the 50th anniversary of the first Fatima vision. It was on May 13, 1917 that three poor, uneducated Portuguese peasant children believed the Virgin Mary appeared to them, It is also the 25th anniversary of Pope Pius XII’s consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary! …

The Pope had come to Fatima to lead all Catholics worldwide in prayer for peace – peace within the Church, and peace in the whole world. …

“The first intention is for the Church …. We want to pray, as we have said, for its intemal peace.” Then the Pope gave a solemn warning to the ecclesiastical princes of the Catholic Church who do not agree with the official teachings of the Church.” What terrible damage could be provoked by arbitrary interpretations, not authorized by the teaching of the Church, disrupting its traditional and constitutional structure … ” …

The Pontiff then pointed to that great part of humanity which lives in hunger and in dire need.” Therefore, we say, the world i s in DANGER. For this reason WE HAVE COME TO THE FEET OF THE QUEEN OF PEACE to ask her for the gift, which only God can give, of peace.”

In the German Suddeutsche Zeitung there was an article in which it was revealed that Pope Paul VI had received a message in Fatima through the only remaining shepherd girl (who is now a nun). They were seen quite some time together and it appeared as if she had something to say to him. When asked in Rome, after his return, if his visit to Fatima was a success, Pope Paul said: ” I went to Fatima to pray for peace to the Virgin Mary and I received the answer how to, achieve this peace.”

There are many rumors that he did receive a message, but he has not wanted to divulge it.

Since the pilgrimage to Fatima, the Pope has spoken out on Jerusalem- demanding it become an international city. What most do not know is that there is evidence the Vatican has plans to move from Rome to Jerusalem … This event will stir the world! It will be the Pope ‘s final effort as the world’s peacemaker! (McNair R. The Real Meaning Behind POPE PAUL’S PILGRIMAGE TO PORTUGAL. Plain Truth, June 1967, pp. 3, 47)

Jerusalem will become increasingly important to Catholics in the near future. The Papacy will, as previously reported in The PLAIN TRUTH, be moved from Rome to Jerusalem … Bible prophecy is very explicit on this point. Furthermore, according to a recent report in a leading German newspaper, the Third Fatima Message is reported (by inside, informed Vatican sources) to reveal that there will be a terrible World War III, during which (according to this Fatima Vision) both Rome and the Vatican will be destroyed! Could this possibly explain why the Vatican will be moved to Jerusalem? (McNair R. POPE MEETS PATRIARCH. Plain Truth, October 1967)

For even more information on Isaiah 47 as well as Fatima and other apparitions, please check out the book Fatima Shock!

The Bible warns against end time Babylon and says that God’s people should not be part of it:

1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.”

4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8 Therefore her plagues will come in one day — death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her. (Revelation 18:1-8)

Despite the biblical warnings about this, Pope Francis wants to use ‘Mary’ as a springboard for the type of ecumenical unity that the Bible condemns. Notice, for one example, how Pope Francis specifically appealed to Mary to unite prior to giving his ‘Angelus prayer’:

And we entrust this, our prayer, to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church so that She, like a good Mother, may unite us. (Angelus Address: On the Thirst for Unity. January 25, 2015 http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/angelus-address-on-the-thirst-for-unity)

The ‘Angelus prayer’ starts out with the words, “Hail Mary” and the pontiff’s goal is a Babylonian unity. The Bible warns against that (Zechariah 2:6-9) and shows that true unity does not come through ‘Mary’ but happens AFTER the return of Jesus Christ (Zechariah 2:10-11; see also Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox?).

False Marian apparitions and telling people to turn towards Mary are parts of Satan’s Plan (see also Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?).

Much of what many believe about Mary is contrary to the truth about Jesus’ mother.

God made no holidays for Mary.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy.
The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future? A video of related interest is titled: The ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ and Prophecy.
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
Mystery of Civilization Why is civilization like it is? How will it end? What will replace it?Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Mystery of Civilization and How it Will End.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
Assumption of Mary Did Mary die? Was she taken to heaven on August 15th? What is known? What does the Bible show?
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians?
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! provides concerned Christians with enough Catholic-documented facts to effectively counter every false Marian argument. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.

Vatican confirms Pope Francis to attend 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches for ecumenical unity

Thursday, May 17th, 2018


Official logo of the World Council of Churches from its website

COGwriter

The Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis is planning to go to Switzerland as part of his interfaith and ecumenical agendas:

The Vatican and the World Council of Churches have revealed details of the June 21 landmark visit of Pope Francis, a visit the WCC described as “a gift to churches.” …

“The visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to the World Council of Churches in the year of our 70th anniversary, is an historical milestone in the search for Christian unity and for the cooperation among the churches for a world with peace and justice,” said Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary. …

Rev. Andrzej Choromanski of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who is also a consultant on the WCC’s Faith and Order Commission.

“I think His Holiness wanted to participate in this anniversary to express his gratitude to the ecumenical movement that the WCC has made over 70 years as part of the world church movement,” Choromanski.

“His Holiness is very much invested in the cause of Christian unity. He has said we should aim for an ecumenism that involves us walking together. When we walk together we pray together.” …

The landmark 21 June visit is only the third by a pope to the WCC, and the first time that such an occasion was dedicated to visiting the council. …

The WCC brings together churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 120 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 560 million Christians, including most of the world’s Orthodox churches, scores of Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches, as well as many united and independent churches. …

The Catholic Church is not a member of the WCC, but it is a member of its Faith and Order Commission and other commissions, and it and cooperates with the council in many organizations. 05/16/18 https://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/vatican-and-world-council-of-churches-announce-details-of-visit-by-pope-francis/60546.htm

The WCC wants ecumenical and interfaith unity as they believe it should be, and do not believe the returning Jesus and the coming Kingdom of God, are the solutions to what plagues humankind.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) wants to get the whole world to accept its ideas and it even has its own ‘peace plan’ (watch World Council of Churches Peace Plan). The WCC keeps getting Vatican support.

Here is some information about the WCC itself from its website:

The World Council of Churches (WCC) is the broadest and most inclusive among the many organized expressions of the modern ecumenical movement, a movement whose goal is Christian unity.

The WCC brings together churches, denominations and church fellowships in more than 110 countries and territories throughout the world, representing over 500 million Christians and including most of the world’s Orthodox churches, scores of Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches, as well as many United and Independent churches. At the end of 2013, there were 345 member churches. While the bulk of the WCC’s founding churches were European and North American, today most member churches are in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific. http://www.oikoumene.org/en/about-us viewed 12/10/2014

Even though the Church of Rome is not officially a member of the WCC, it sends ‘accredited observers’ to WCC meetings and now clearly supports it.

The Vatican has similar goals as the WCC. The Church of Rome already has ecumenical agreements/understandings with many churches that are part of the WCC, including the Eastern Orthodox (see Pope Francis speaks on his plans to re-establish full communion with the Eastern Orthodox), certain Pentecostals (see Pope Francis visits Pentecostal church–a first, but part of a Babylonian plan and Pope Francis speaks of ecumenism to 52,000 Pentecostals and others and also watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!), certain Lutherans (see Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction!), and certain other Protestant churches (see In Vatican City: New Babylon more openly forming! and Is Rick Warren a closet Catholic?).

Actually, when Pope Francis was asked about ‘the end of the world’ a little while back, he basically put forth a view that it would be peaceful, presumably based upon the ecumenical and inter-faith agendas that he is promoting (see Pope Francis, the Blue Mosque, and end of the world).

In my view, the Vatican has been clever in how it has dealt with the World Council of Churches. Since the Vatican is not officially a member, this gives the impression that the World Council of Churches is not a puppet organization of the Church of Rome. And while it is not quite a puppet organization, the World Council of Churches will essentially end up as one. The World Council of Churches advocates for ecumenical unity with Rome. Ecumenical ‘unity’ is something that the Vatican has wanted for centuries.

Consider that the Bible warns of the following:

7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12)

I believe that the WCC supports the “mystery of lawlessness” (see also Mystery of Iniquity). The WCC does NOT have a love of the truth. The WCC will encourage people to accept more lies in the future–especially when we see more of the prophesied signs and lying wonders.

As far as the mystery of lawlessness already being at work centuries ago, notice a quote from Serapion of Antioch in the late second/early third century:

That ye may see also that the proceedings of this lying confederacy, to which is given the name of New Prophecy, is abominated among the whole brotherhood throughout the world, I have sent you letters of the most blessed Claudius Apollinarius, who was made bishop of Hierapolis in Asia. (Serapion. From the epistle to Caricus and Ponticus. The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to A.D. 325. Roberts & Donaldson).

This is a reference from Serapion to the workings of Montanus. At the time he wrote this, the Church of Rome and those in Alexandria had not yet denounced Montanus, but tended to support him. Thus, Serapion was warning against the rise of the Greco-Roman confederation that was forming. Serapion called them a “lying confederacy.” Serapion is one of many to recognize that in the second/third centuries there were two groups that claimed Christianity–and while Montanus was eventually denounced by that confederacy, they ended up accepting “Gregory the Wonderworker” in the third century and accepting more false doctrines and more of their ecumenical unity (see also Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries?).

While some in the 21st century see ecumenical unity as a solution to problems for churches of this world, the Bible is clear that a group of churches, led by one from the city of seven hills, is to be avoided and will end in disaster:

1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written:

MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.

7 But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. 8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. …

18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 17:1-10)

Note: Even Roman Catholic scholars realize that Rome is the city mentioned in Revelation 17 (see also What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History?).

Many in the 21st century are falling for ecumenical unity, though it will not be quite as the WCC hopes for. The United Nations itself has stated that it supports the idea of trying to pursue peace through ecumenical and inter-faith means with religious leaders, and that it supports the Vatican’s agenda (see United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order?, here is a link to a related video: United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order).

The Bible does not teach that Christians will have the type of unity that the WCC, UN, and Vatican claim to want UNTIL AFTER THE FALL OF BABYLON. Notice that in Zechariah (a Catholic translation is shown below), the Bible warns against a coming ‘daughter of Babylon’ and shows that proper unity will not happen until after Jesus returns:

10 Look out! Look out! Flee from the land of the north — Yahweh declares- for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven — Yahweh declares. 11 Look out! Make your escape, Zion, now living with the daughter of Babylon!

12 For Yahweh Sabaoth says this, since the Glory commissioned me, about the nations who plundered you, ‘Whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye. 13 Now look, I shall wave my hand over them and they will be plundered by those whom they have enslaved.’ Then you will know that Yahweh Sabaoth has sent me! 14 Sing, rejoice, daughter of Zion, for now I am coming to live among you -Yahweh declares! 15 And on that day many nations will be converted to Yahweh. Yes, they will become his people, and they will live among you. Then you will know that Yahweh Sabaoth has sent me to you! 16 Yahweh will take possession of Judah, his portion in the Holy Land, and again make Jerusalem his choice. (Zechariah 2:12-16, New Jerusalem Bible-NJB)

(NOTE: The NJB verses for Zechariah 2:10-16 are shown as Zechariah 2:6-13 in the NKJV/KJV.)

The Bible tells that the ecumenical/inter-faith movement will also end in destruction (Revelation 18 & 19). This is not something that Catholics, Protestants, or the Eastern Orthodox should want (see also Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox?). The ecumenical and inter-faith plans that the Vatican, WCC, and the UN are promoting are clearly condemned by the Bible and should not be encouraged.

The Apostle Paul also taught that true unity of faith would not happen until after Jesus returns:

13 until we all reach unity in faith and knowledge of the Son of God and form the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself. (Ephesians 4:13, NJB)

Those who believe this unity comes prior to Jesus’ return are in error.

The WCC and the Vatican are working on implementing parts of what I have called ‘Satan’s Plan.’

And Satan’s plan will have a certain success for a time. But that will change when Jesus returns and eliminates Satan and the world’s armies that will support him:

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, 18 that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.”

19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21 And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. Revelation 19:11-21)

1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. (Revelation 20:1-3)

While nearly all would deny it, the reality is that the WCC, the Vatican, and the United Nations are actually working to set up alliances that will one day fight against Jesus! But they do not see it as they seem to have much more of a political agenda than a Bible believing agenda.

The WCC clearly has goals (e.g. The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’?) consistent with those of Pope Francis and the United Nations (watch UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order and Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III?).

While some of these goals WILL have some temporal success (e.g. Daniel 9:27; see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27), they will not last, but will bring on destruction.

Only the return of Jesus Christ and the millennial Kingdom will bring lasting peace.

Notice that the Bible warns Christians to separate from false believers:

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will dwell in them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people.”
17 Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-17)

Real Christians are NOT to support the ecumenical plans of the WCC & Vatican.

While the WCC, UN, and Vatican do not realize it, they will turn their support to the Beast of Revelation (Revelation 13:8) and that will end up destroying the city of seven hills:

15 Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.
16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.
18 And the woman whom you saw is that great city which reigns over the kings of the earth. (Revelation 17:15-18).

Do not support the agenda of the WCC and the Vatican. It is prophesied to ultimately fail.

17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:17)
As Jesus taught in Matthew 6:10, pray for the Kingdom of God to come.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
Mystery of Iniquity What is the mystery of iniquity? How did it start? How will it end? Two related sermons are also available: The Mystery of Iniquity and The Mystery of Lawlessness.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’? On September 7, 2016, Olav Fykse Tveit, Church of Norway Pastor, and the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches, essentially declared that those who ignore ‘climate change’ are committing the ‘unpardonable sin’ and the Holy Spirit. Are those two even related? In this video, Dr. Thiel answers that and explains from the Bible what the ‘unpardonable sin’ is and how you can avoid it. He also discusses aspects of Christianity and the environment. This is a video.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
The Bible, Christians, and the Environment How should Christians view the environment? Does the Bible give any clues? What are some of the effects of air, water, and land pollution? Is environmental pollution a factor in autism and death? Do pollutants seem to double the autism risk? What will Jesus do? Here is a link to a related sermon: Christians and the Environment (there is also YouTube video available titled Air Pollution, Autism, and Prophecy).
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God? Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical is titled ‘Laudato Si.’ In it, he goes over his views related to environmental, economic, social, moral, agricultural, and spiritual issues. He advocates international cooperation to solve various problems he believes are affecting humanity. Is that Pope’s agenda the solution? What about the Kingdom of God? does the Bible teach? Two related articles include Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? and Laudato Si: A call for a one-world government?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2018, 2019, or 2020? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation begin in 2018?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

Prophesied signs and Thérèse of Lisieux

Thursday, May 17th, 2018


Thérèse at age 15

COGwriter

The Bible prophesies that there will be signs and lying wonders:

9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)

Now, consider that Thérèse of Lisieux was canonized as a ‘Catholic saint’ on May 17, 1925, by Pope Pius XI. She died in 1897. She became quite popular in the 20th century and is still popular now.

Her remains have traveled the world. They have been viewed, adored, worshiped and prayed to by various Catholics in more than 40 nations. Some claim her remains have even restored sight to the blind. Several years ago, about two million turned out to see St. Terese’s remains when they were in Ireland (The Independent, August 23, 2009).

Here is some of what Catholic OnLine reported about her:

Over the years, some modern Catholics have turned away from her because they associate her with over- sentimentalized piety…

Therese became so ill with a fever that people thought she was dying. The worst part of it for Therese was all the people sitting around her bed staring at her like, she said, “a string of onions.” When Therese saw her sisters praying to statue of Mary in her room, Therese also prayed. She saw Mary smile at her and suddenly she was cured. She tried to keep the grace of the cure secret but people found out and badgered her with questions about what Mary was wearing, what she looked like. When she refused to give in to their curiosity, they passed the story that she had made the whole thing up…

Every time Therese even imagined that someone was criticizing her or didn’t appreciate her, she burst into tears. Then she would cry because she had cried! Any inner wall she built to contain her wild emotions crumpled immediately before the tiniest comment. http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=105

Both biblical (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12) and non-biblical sources suggest that signs and wonders will deceive many at the end. I believe that she, partially because of her promoting her false view of Jesus’ mother Mary, but also because of other false doctrines she promoted, has been used as part of Satan’s Plan.

Some of the warnings of the Bible about lying wonders will likely involve apparitions claiming to be Mary as well as people who have claimed to somehow see Mary.

The prevalence of such claims this century even caused the Vatican to issue statements and policies warning against many of them (see Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions).

It needs to be emphasized that just because a Catholic nun claims to have seen Mary and passes on messages, that this does not mean that the messages are from God–and even the Church of Rome teaches that (for some documentation please see Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies?).

In August 1895, in her “Canticle to the Holy Face” Thérèse wrote:

“Jesus, Your ineffable image is the star which guides my steps. Ah, You know, Your sweet Face is for me Heaven on earth. My love discovers the charms of Your Face adorned with tears. I smile through my own tears when I contemplate Your sorrows”. (Wikipedia)

This should set off warnings to all as the reality is that she never actually saw Jesus’ face/image, hence to claim that it was His image that guided her steps cannot be correct.

The Apostle John wrote:

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world (1 John 4:1).

And that is what all should do. God’s true prophets do not ever claim God told them something and then been shown to have been in error.

Thérèse of Lisieux is popularly known as “The Little Flower of Jesus” or “The Little Flower.” She was declared a Catholic ‘doctor of the church’ in 1997.

Pope Francis considers that the deceased Thérèse of Lisieux responded to his request for peace through his version of ‘Mary’ back in 2013:

On Sunday 8 September, the day after the long prayer vigil for peace in Syria – when some passages from texts written by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux were read out – Pope Francis received a white rose as a surprise. Francis considers the flower to be a “sign” linked to the devotion of the saint. The Archbishop of Ancona and Osimo, Edoardo Menichelli broke the news, with Francis authorisation…

“The Pope told me he received the freshly-picked white rose out of the blue from a gardener as he was taking a stroll in the Vatican Gardens on Sunday 8 September,” Mgr. Menichelli said. “The Pope sees this flower as a “sign”, a “message” from Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, whom he had turned to in a moment of worry the day before.”…

Bergoglio mentions it in “El Jesuita” (“The Jesuit”), a book interview written by Sergio Rubin and Francesca Ambrogetti when he was still a cardinal. In a description the two journalists give of Bergoglio’s library in Buenos Aires, they write: “We pause before a vase full of white roses standing on a shelf in the library. In front of it is a photograph of Saint Thérèse. “Whenever I have a problem,” Bergoglio explained to the journalists, “I ask the saint not to solve it, but to take it into her hands and to help me accept it and I almost always receive a white rose as a sign.” Pope Francis’ devotion for the Carmelite mystic who died at the young age of 24 in 1897, was canonized by Pius XI and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by John Paul II in 1997, is common knowledge. http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/28151/

We are increasingly learning about supposedly ‘signs’ associated with Pope Francis. This should give pause to those those in the real Church of God:

24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. (Matthew 24:24-25; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

Pope Francis is a big promoter of Mary as well as the apparition in Fatima. He consecrated his pontificate to ‘Mary and even further had his pontificate consecrated to the Lady of Fatima (Pope Francis’ pontificate consecrated to ‘Lady of Fatima’). Now as far as ‘peace’ coming to Syria, what happened back in 2013 is that the USA decided not to intervene militarily because of Syrian use of chemical weapons–this did not lead to peace–instead it got opposition leaders to Syria’s President Assad to turn further away from the USA, and ultimately support the group calling itself the Islamic State. Thus, the flower ‘sign’ that Pope Francis allegedly received from Thérèse of Lisieux was not of God.

Thérèse of Lisieux was not a true prophet of God (see How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God), but instead is one of many throughout history that seems to have been used to set people up for the deception that is still going to come (Matthew 24:24) who do not truly have the “love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).

Some items of related interest may include:

Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
Assumption of Mary Did Mary die? Was she taken to heaven on August 15th? What is known? What does the Bible show?
The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future? A video of related interest is titled: The ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ and Prophecy.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! provides concerned Christians with enough Catholic-documented facts to effectively counter every false Marian argument. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.
Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies? People of all faiths may be surprised to see what various Roman and Orthodox Catholic prophets have been predicting as many of their predictions will be looked to in the 21st century.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.

Scholar’s view on the need for 21st century prophets

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018


Elijah in the wilderness

COGwriter

A reader emailed me the following from an assistant professor of biblical studies:

Examining the church’s prophetic role

People have mixed feelings about prophets. Some associate prophets with fanaticism, others view them as revolutionaries, preachers of a new world order. Others still might consider them experts on matters of the occult.

But who were the biblical prophets, and why do they matter for the life of the church in the 21st century?

Prophets rose in prominence during the time of the monarchy in ancient Israel, circa 1020-1000 BCE. The narrative of the monarchy’s rise is found in 1 Samuel 8-12. Scholars differ as to whether those chapters support or oppose the monarchy.

In this context, prophets performed a crucial function of counterbalancing royal power. A clear example of this function can be found in the story of David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12). …

For speaking truth to power, many prophets were persecuted. Their unwavering attitude in face of their suffering became an example for first century Christians (Hebrews 11:32-38).

But what did the prophets mainly criticize? A common theme is disapproval of illicit gains. …

For Amos and Isaiah, religious activities unaccompanied by love of your neighbor are deemed meaningless and even contemptible. Isaiah 1:15 reads, “When you spread out your hands, I will close my eyes to you; when you multiply your prayer, I will not hear it; your hands are full of blood.” This last sentence carries an irony with it.

Normally, the hands of those offering sacrifices would be full of animal blood. However, in the context of Isaiah 1:15, it becomes clear the “blood” on their hands is a result of not caring for the destitute (Isaiah 1:17). The same message can be found in Amos 5:18-27 and in the post-exilic prophet Zechariah, chapters 7-8. For these prophets, worship has social implications and true worship must be accompanied by love of your neighbor.

In conclusion, the church has a prophetic role in this world. After all, the church is built on the foundation of the “prophets and apostles, with Christ as the cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20). More than any other institution, the church bears the responsibility of speaking truth to power and counterbalancing the powers that be.

A native of São Paulo Brazil, Wilson de Angelo Cunha is an assistant professor of biblical studies in the School of Theology and Vocation at LeTourneau University. He teaches Hebrew, biblical literature and primarily Old Testament courses. (Cuna W. Longview News-Journal, August 29, 2015).

Prophets denounced the sins of the people and their leaders.

In the past five plus years, on behalf of the Continuing Church of God, I have been part of videos that denounce both the sins of people as well as sins of certain specific leaders:

United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? A related video would be United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Is American Football Evil? Is the most popular spectator sport in the USA something that Christians should watch? What do the Bible and early writings show? There is also a YouTube video available titled Should Christians watch American football?
Gambling and Sin: Is it a Sin for Christians to Gamble? What does the Bible reveal? A related video is Gambling: A Covetous Sin?
Tattoos: History and Biblical Teachings Would you like to know more about the history of tattoos, social concerns about tattoos, health risks of tattoos, and what the Bible teaches about them? Here is a related video titled Should Christians Get a Tattoo?
GMOs and Bible Prophecy What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras?  Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues? A video of related interest is Half human, half pig: What’s the difference?
Tithing Questions and Some Answers Answers questions about tithing and also addresses some non-biblical arguments against tithing. Should people tithe? Here is a link to a related video sermon Tithing Answers from the Bible.
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.
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?
Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose Do you know what the Bible teaches on this? Has the Roman Catholic Church allowed abortions? What about the real Church of God? Some may also, or instead, wish to view the YouTube videos Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt and Land of ‘Free’ Abortions and Debt.
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children. What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on? There is also a YouTube video on this, titled Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children.
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Can homosexuals change? A related video sermon is titled What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? Here is a link to a YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
Should Christians Smoke Tobacco or Marijuana? Is smoking a sin? What does the Bible teach? What have COG leaders written? Can smokers change? What about marijuana?
Marijuana: Should a Christian Get High? There is increasing acceptance of the use of marijuana. How should Christians view this? Here is a related video titled How Should a Christian View Marijuana?
The Sabbath in the Early Church and Abroad Was the seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath observed by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church? Here is a related sermon video The Christian Sabbath and How and Why to Keep It.
Five Rules for Effective Parenting Do you know that there are five simple rules that can make you a more effective parent? Here is a link to a version in Mandarin Chinese 五条简单有效的子女养育规则. There is also a 12 1/2 minute English language YouTube video on this, also titled Five Rules for Effective Parenting.
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
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?
Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? Here are some historical and biblical insight on this question. There are many cultures that have celebrations and observances that are similar to some associated with Halloween. What did the Druids do? Is Halloween one of the most important holidays for Satanists? Do the Japanese, Indians, and Chinese have any practices that are similar to some associated with Halloween? Does the Bible endorse or condemn practices that are associated with Halloween? Here is a related sermonette length video: International ‘Halloween’ Should Christians observe Halloween?
Valentine’s Day: Its Real Origins Christianity Today suggests that Valentine’s Day is good for Christians to observe. Is this true? There is also a YouTube titled Should Christians Observe Valentine’s Day? A more detailed sermon is available and titled Valentine’s Day, Christianity, and Islam.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work. Watch also: Canadian censoring of the Bible and Orwell’s 1984 by 2024?  and Internet Control, Famine of the Word, and 666.
Mardi Gras: The Devil’s Carnival? Is Mardi Gras Christian? Do you know that in Bolivia the carnival/Mardi Gras time is part of a celebration known as the Devil’s Carnival? Where did it come from? There is also a related YouTube video Mardi Gras & Carnaval: Are they for Christians?
The Bible and Astrology Should Christians avoid participating in astrology or did God inspire it? Does the Bible encourage astrology? What does the Bible actually teach? What is astrology? How does astrology differ from astronomy? A related video would be Should Christians Be Involved In Astrology?
NBC: ‘Exposed in Ashley Madison Hack? Here’s What to Do Now’ Adultery is wrong. A related video would be Ashley Madison: Your Sins Will Find You Out.
Taxes What caused the descendants of Israel to pay taxes? Should Christians pay taxes? If you prefer, or additionally, you could watch the video Should Christians Pay Taxes?
Alcohol: Blessing or Curse? This is an article from the old Good News magazine that attempts to answer this question.
Binge Drinking, Health, and the Bible Many college students and others overindulge in alcohol. Are there health risks? What does the Bible teach? A related video is also available: Binge Drinking and the Bible.
The New Testament Church, History, and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats.
Obesity, processed foods, health risks, and the Bible Does the Bible warn about the consequences of being obese? Is overeating dangerous? Is gluttony condemned? What diseases are associated with eating too much refined foods? A related video would be Eating Right, Eating Too Much, and Prophecy.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
Fatima and the ‘Miracle’ of the Sun On October 13, 1917, tens of thousands of people witnessed what they considered to be a miracle in the sky in Fatima, Portugal. Was this a miracle from God? Can you be certain? A video of some related interest is Fatima and Pope Francis. Here is a link to the sermon: Fatima and the ‘Miracle of the Sun’.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? A related video would be United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
The Bible, Christians, and the Environment How should Christians view the environment? Does the Bible give any clues? What are some of the effects of air, water, and land pollution? Is environmental pollution a factor in autism and death? Do pollutants seem to double the autism risk? What will Jesus do? A YouTube video is available titled Air Pollution, Autism, and Prophecy.
Laudato Si: Will Pope Francis’ economic actions match his words? Pope Francis’ plans are misleading many. A related video is titled Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God?
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill?  Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill?  Could a Donald Trump presidency be apocalyptic?  A related video is titled: Donald: ‘Trump of God’ or Apocalyptic?
Trump Presidency Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy? BBC reported that one might as well use a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’ to try to predict what will happen in the remaining time of Donald Trump’s presidency. What is a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’? Dr. Thiel not only explains that, but also briefly goes over 10 biblically-based warnings he wrote would happen if Donald Trump were elected that have already began to come to pass. He also goes over something he wrote back in 2008 that the Trump presidency is also helping lead to fulfillment. Should you trust Bible prophecy or not? Dr. Thiel says that Bible prophecy can be trusted, despite the view of skeptics and others that either overlook or despise the Bible. This is a video.

Videos were also made denouncing improper prophetic positions of those who claim to be part of the Church of God as well as those from Protestants:

What is Restrained and Who is Restraining in 2 Thessalonians 2:7? Are sorceries being restrained until the future? What is the mystery of lawlessness? Here is a related article in Spanish: ¿Qué es lo que se restringe y quién lo está restringiendo en 2 Tesalonicenses 2:7?
The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings Who is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring to? Are there multiple falling aways? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: La Apostasía: Enseñanzas de la Biblia y de la WCG. There are also two YouTube videos on the subject that you can watch The Falling Away Part 1: From the Bible and Church History and The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others.
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
Comets, Wormwood, and Planet Nibiru Will the Earth be devastated by Planet X or Comet Encke? What about Planet Nine? Could it happen in 2017? Here is a link to two related YouTube videos Planet Nibiru to Destroy Earth by 2017? and Could Comet ISON be Wormwood of Bible Prophecy?
Blood Moons, Eclipses, and Prophecy There were four ‘blood moons’ expected in 2014 and 2015. Some claimed that they signaled the Day of the Lord or the return of Jesus Christ. I denounced that view in advance. Some claim an eclipse in 2017 signals the end, is that true? Two related videos are available: Blood Moons, Prophecy, 2014, and 2015. and Solar Eclipse and the Apocalypse.
Can the Final Antichrist be Islamic? Is Joel Richardson correct that the final Antichrist will be Islamic and not European? Find out. A related sermon is titled: Is the Final Antichrist Islamic or European? Another video is Mystery Babylon USA, Mecca, or Rome?

Wilson de Angelo Cunha is correct that there is still a need for prophets in the 21st century.

Many will not accept that–including most in the COGs.

Of course, there are many false prophets.

False predictions by Protestant-related leaders like Mark Biltz e.g. Knowledge of prophecy helps keep us vigilant, plus let’s us know that the world will not end with tonight’s blood moon), Jonathan Cahn (e.g. WND: Are you serious about ‘The Harbinger Man’ movie?), and the late Harold Camping quickly come to mind. Amongst those that claim to be COG, false predictions from Ronald Weinland, Gerald Flurry, and David Pack come to immediate mind. I should also add that the Laodicean COGs have a variety of inaccurate prophetic positions (watch, for example, 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy; a longer list is shown in the article The Laodicean Church Era).

The following is from a former Roman Catholic Mike Gendron’s newsletter regarding Pope Francis:

Beware of False Prophets in White Robes

As we watched the non-stop coverage of the pope’s visit to America last month, many of the scenes appeared to be apocalyptic. We saw multitudes of people flocking to get a glimpse of a mortal man who was unknown just three years ago. The national excitement for this false prophet was overwhelming as gullible people hung on his every word. It was heartbreaking to see such adoration given to a deceiver who holds people captive in his false religious system. Warnings from the true head of the church were ignored. The Lord Jesus said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Mat. 7:15). Jesus said, “I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him” (John 5:43). Clearly, the pope did not come in the Father’s name, but he arrogantly wears the title reserved for the one and only “Holy Father” (John 17:11). Tragically, most Catholics do not know the Word of God, and their ignorance makes them easy prey for the worst kind of deception.

Pope Francis did not mention Jesus Christ a single time in his entire address to Congress, yet he claims to be the Vicar of Christ and the Head of Christ’s Church. Knowing that the Lord Jesus is the very foundation of the Christian faith, the pope’s omission speaks volumes about his worldly agenda. In a message the next day at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the pope did mention Jesus, but in a deceptively misleading way. He said, “We need to remember that we are followers of Jesus… and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross.”

Where is the outrage among Roman Catholics? When will they awake from their stupor and run from this blasphemer? … How dare the pope say the life of Jesus ended in failure! The pope, and all other false prophets, are described by Jesus as thieves who come to steal and kill and destroy the sheep (John 10:10). The pope knows the difference between success and failure. No one has been more successful in directing people towards the wide road to destruction with his perverted gospel.

By the authority of God’s Word, we know the pope is under divine condemnation for preaching a gospel contrary to the Gospel of God. The apostle Paul warned us: “There are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:6-9).

The pontiff is not a true prophet of God. Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?

Sadly, because of false prophets and false predictions, people are unwilling to realize that God is not finished using prophets and uses at least one now (cf. Joel 2:28; Ephesians 4;11). But all who do so, do so to their own peril (cf. 2 Peter 3:2-3; Revelation 3:14-18).

Norman Edwards, former board member of the old Global Church of God pointed out:

1Jo 4:1-2 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,

Note: If there were no true prophets, there would be no need to “test the spirits”—because every prophet would be a “false prophet”. But because there are both true prophets and false prophets, we need to “test the spirits”. (Edwards N. Need Prophets More than Prophecy. Shepherd’s Voice, Fall 2013)

Instead of being “cold,’ following false prophets, most in the end times will not be ‘hot,’ they will rationalize that it is ‘safer’ to not recognize anyone as a prophet of God, hence they will be lukewarm.

Jesus said:

15 … I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16)

19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (Revelation 3:19)

The Bible teaches that God will have prophets in the 21st century (cf. Acts 2:17-18; see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God). Those who prefer to be lukewarm are advised to change, quickly.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets, yet many overlook what the Bible teaches about how to recognize a true one. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? This article contains a scripture-based checklist to assist with this determination.
How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God This is a sermon on YouTube addressing a subject that most in the Church of God do not seem to have looked into very much. It discusses scriptures and dispels some improper assertions that some associated with the COG have made about prophets in this time.
Elijah: Past and Prophesied Information about the original Elijah and some information about the Elijah-related prophecies.
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong? Two related sermons are available Elijah: Prophecies and Heresies and Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong, and CCOG.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders?
There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.
Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Does the Church flee or is it taken up just prior to the great tribulation? Who really is left behind? There is also a YouTube video with information Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture?
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this. There is also a video available: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors What are some errors that various Protestants hold to that will tend to prevent them from knowing when the Great Tribulation will begin? A related video is titled Ten Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors.
The Dangerous Rise of Preterists Has the Great Tribulation finished? What was the view of early Christians? Why is the preterist view dangerous? A related sermon video is titled Preterism: You’ve Gotta Be Kidding…Right?
Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies? People of all faiths may be surprised to see what various Roman and Orthodox Catholic prophets have been predicting as many of their predictions will be looked to in the 21st century.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had? What are some of the scriptural limits on ecclesiastical authority? Do some commit organizational idolatry? Here is a Spanish language version La Biblia, Policarpo, Herbert W. Armstrong, y Roderick C. Meredith sobre el gobierno de la Iglesia. Here is a link to a sermon titled Church Governance.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here is a sermon Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?