Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

Pope Francis ‘Calls for Loosening of Purse Strings’

Thursday, February 11th, 2016


COGwriter

Pope Francis has again called on others to give away their wealth:

Pope at General Audience Calls for Loosening of Purse Strings

February 10, 2016

“If the Jubilee does not come out of your pockets, it’s not a true Jubilee. You understand?”

Pope Francis said this during his General Audience in St. Peter’s Square this morning, his last before taking off Friday on his Apostolic Journey to Mexico, Feb. 12-18, stressing that a call to loosen the purse strings to help the needy is throughout the Bible, not something the Pope has “invented.” …

Today, Francis stressed, we must ask ourselves what we have and what we can give to those who have nothing. “Ten percent, fifty percent,” he said, adding, “Let the Holy Spirit inspire each of you.”

“If I’m not mistaken,” the Pope went on to say, “More or less, I’m not certain about the figures, but about 80% of humanity’s wealth is in the hands of less than 20% of the population.”

How many fruits, the Pope exclaimed, are born from donating to those in need. https://zenit.org/articles/pope-calls-for-loosening-of-purse-strings-at-general-audience/

A few days after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, he made the following statement:

“Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor.” http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/16/us-pope-poor-idUSBRE92F05P20130316

He has repeatedly told others to give to the poor.

While on the surface the Pope’s word are what a ‘lamb’ may say, could it be part of the speech of a dragon (Revelation 13:11)?

So far, Pope Francis has repeatedly made statements about the poor (e.g. Laudato Si: Pope’s Agenda or Kingdom of God? and Pope tells United Nations to push wealth redistribution–a sign of Revelation 13 & 17?), but has not done much that seems tangible that way.

The Bible tells about an unfaithful harlot church that wallows in wealth (Revelation 17:1-9, 18:7).  Having been to Vatican City numerous times, I have seen some of that wealth on display.

As far as Pope Francis himself, On March 22, 2013 he said:

As you know, there are various reasons why I chose the name of Francis of Assisi, a familiar figure far beyond the borders of Italy and Europe, even among those who do not profess the Catholic faith. One of the first reasons was Francis’ love for the poor. How many poor people there still are in the world! And what great suffering they have to endure! After the example of Francis of Assisi, the Church in every corner of the globe has always tried to care for and look after those who suffer from want, and I think that in many of your countries you can attest to the generous activity of Christians who dedicate themselves to helping the sick, orphans, the homeless and all the marginalized, thus striving to make society more humane and more just.   http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/francis-address-to-diplomatic-corps

Will he take specific steps, such as wealth redistribution? He has not yet.  Though he has repeatedly preached it for others.

In English, there is an expression that one should, “Put your money where your mouth is.”  So far, Pope Francis has not done this in the nearly three years since his election to become pontiff.

Yet, what if Pope Francis finally sells off some of the vast treasures (such as jewels and land) of the Vatican and/or give significant amounts of money/land away to the poor?

Well, if he does that, this will likely greatly enhance the pedophile-damaged image of the Church of Rome for the media and many others around the world. This will enhance the appeal of the religion that Rome will promote.  Even if it gives away only 1/4 of its vast wealth.

The Bible warns that the whole world will profit financially from the final end time Babylon (Revelation 18:9, 15-19).  And in addition to trade, giving away wealth and land–in conjunction with the final King of the North (Daniel 11:24, 39), that the final Antichrist will support–will be a factor in the temporal success of this condemned system.

Notice that financial pressures will be something that the Antichrist is associated with:

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. (Revelation 13:16-17)

The “He” above is the two-horned beast (Revelation 13:11), also known as the False Prophet (Revelation 16:13), and Antichrist (1 John 4:1-3).

The Bible also says that the merchants of the world will have gotten wealthy from the system that the Antichrist will promote:

2 Babylon the great…has become a dwelling place of demons…a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3…and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury. (Revelation 18:2a,b,d, 3c)

So, there are several biblical prophecies that tie the power that the Antichrist supports with a type of deceitful prosperity. Did you notice the connection to a cage of birds above? Well, then notice then also the following:

27 As a cage is full of birds,
So their houses are full of deceit.
Therefore they have become great and grown rich.
28 They have grown fat, they are sleek;
Yes, they surpass the deeds of the wicked;
They do not plead the cause,
The cause of the fatherless;
Yet they prosper,
And the right of the needy they do not defend.
29 Shall I not punish them for these things?’ says the Lord.
‘Shall I not avenge Myself on such a nation as this?’

30 “An astonishing and horrible thing
Has been committed in the land:
31 The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule by their own power;
And My people love to have it so.
But what will you do in the end? (Jeremiah 5:27-31)

So, the supporters of the Beast and Antichrist/False Prophet will prosper for a time, then God will punish.

Furthermore, notice three Catholic writings/prophecies about the final Antichrist:

Saint Mechtilda (died 1299): Antichrist will, through base and false strategem, and with presents of gold and gems, attain influence over the worldly princes. They will look up to him as their Lord and God (Culleton, The Reign of Antichrist, pp. 133-134).

Saint Ephrem (died 375): Antichrist will use worldly goods as bait. He will entice many Christians with money and goods to apostatize…The devil will help him find all the hidden treasures of the world, even those at the bottom of the ocean. With those treasures he will attain greater success for the reign of Satan than at any other time in past centuries (Connor, pp.73.74).

Saint Jerome (died 420): Antichrist…will gain support with many gifts and money. He will sell himself to the devil…(Connor E. Prophecy for Today. Imprimatur + A.J. Willinger, Bishop of Monterey-Fresno; Reprint: Tan Books and Publishers, Rockford (IL), 1984, p. 74).

The Bible, by the way, does mention that the King of the North will end up with a lot of gold, silver, and precious stones (Daniel 11:38,43) and that a seven-hilled/mountain-based power will have “gold and precious stones and pearls” (Revelation 17:4).

But is it possible that before the Beast rises up that the Antichrist will use material items for bait?

Might the Antichrist use some of the wealth of the Vatican to support certain European nations/leaders?

With the migrant and other social issues in Europe, I expect this as it seems to be likely and consistent with the following scriptures:

1…”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.”…9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits…18:3 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.” (Revelation 17:1-2,9; 18:3)

Nor do I believe the Vatican will limit its support to Europe–parts of Latin America, Africa, and Asia would likely benefit. The Church of Rome has a lot of worldly wealth–it is a version of that church that is being discussed above in Revelation.

Since Pope Francis declared, “Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor,” is it possible that he was suggesting that since his church holds enormous wealth in bank accounts, land, art, and jewels, that perhaps he intends to distribute some of this wealth?

When he spoke to the people of Bañado Norte last Summer, he told the poorest Catholic parish:

I want to be your neighbor. I want to bless your faith, your hands and your community. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-to-people-of-banado-norte

Pope Francis must be aware that the Bible teaches:

15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. (James 2:15-17)

Someday, he or another pontiff, will decide that on this point that they should walk the walk and not simply talk the talk.

Several years ago someone asked “Ask a Catholic” about that church’s wealth:

You said:

  • I’m wondering why the Catholic Church has such a huge amount of wealth, as can be seen in the beautiful buildings and costly objects in them, when Jesus clearly encourages us to sell all of our possessions and give to the poor?
  1. Because the historical riches it has going back to 33 A.D. are priceless and preserved for all Christendom
  2. Because the faithful believe in the Church and give what they can to support the Church, following the wishes you mentioned and what the Lord has asked from us.
  3. Because of the number of faithful that make up the Church are over 1.125 billion members worldwide, 65 million in the United States.

Nevertheless, the implication in your question is that the Church does not give to the poor and neither spreads the Gospel to those who have not heard it. This is a distortion of the great outreach and support work the Church has done worldwide for centuries. http://www.askacatholic.com/_WebPostings/Answers/2011_08AUG/2011AugWhyIsTheChurchSoWealthy.cfm

In addition to historically receiving property and wealth from kings and emperors and the Crusades, the Church of Rome also gets a lot of bequeaths which some believe is related to the belief that priests can help pray people out of a non-existent place called purgatory (Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory?).  And yes, people have been told that the more they give to Church of Rome the more priests will pray for them.

The Vatican does have vast wealth.

Pope Francis may have to look in the mirror when he states that people need to loosen purse strings in the so-called ‘year of jubilee’ that he himself declared and called for.

I suspect the time will come when the Vatican will actually sell/give away/pledge some of its wealth to influence world events and affect communities. Pope Francis has been hinting of this for nearly three years, so at some point in time, he probably intends to take action to match his rhetoric. This will increase his popularity with the media, European leaders, and others in the world.

If Pope Francis does not end up doing this, he, at minimum, has made various statements that the final Antichrist (which may not be him as that is not certain yet) and the Beast, can point to as justification for wealth distribution.

The Pope wants unity among the world’s religions and nations while pushing his economic views. Putting the Vatican’s ‘money where his mouth is’ could be something that he will do to try to support that.

Some items of related interest may include:

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?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
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.
Europa, the Beast, and the Book of Revelation discusses the largest church since the second/third century, which in a real sense is the eighth church mentioned in the Book of Revelation (it also endorses “eighth day” worship). What church would support the Beast? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
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?
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 of related interest could be Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
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?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman” An Irish bishop allegedly predicted something about 112 popes in the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI was number 111. Francis would seem to be number 112–if he is that one–and if so, he is to reign until Rome is destroyed. May he be an antipope/final Antichrist?
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?]
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.

Spending and other Valentine’s Day traditions

Thursday, February 11th, 2016


Valentine Card, 1909, Shows Pagan Ties

COGwriter

Since many observe Valentine’s Day, this post will cover some of the traditions of it around the world and where some came from. Notice the following:

February 14, 2014 Many countries have their own particular traditions and customs on February 14 and here’s a selection: Italy Originally, Italians celebrated Valentine’s Day as the Spring Festival…Also, there is a traditionof giving chocolate to loved ones and Italians believe that in this case, size does matter- the bigger the chocolate, the stronger the love you will have. France The French like to think of themselves as the most romantic people in the world, and it’s often claimed on Gallic shores that the first Valentine’s Day card originated in France when Charles, Duke of Orleans, sent love letters to his life while imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1415. United Kingdom Valentine’s cards are often sent anonymously in the UK, a tradition dating back to Victorian times… Estonia Valentine’s Day celebrations in Estonia have their own twist: February 14 is called “Friend’s Day”, so single, lovelorn people don’t feel left out. http://www.euronews.com/2014/02/14/valentines-day-traditions-around-the-world/ China couples in China rushed to make their marriages official, as Friday marked both Valentine’s Day and the Chinese Lantern Festival. The two celebrations fall on the same day only once every 19 years. http://www.voanews.com/content/valentines-day-around-the-world/1851556.html United States In the United States, the National Retail Federation expects people to spend more than $17 billion this year on candy, cards, flowers and other mementos marking the occasion. http://www.voanews.com/content/valentines-day-around-the-world/1851556.html

Valentine’s Day is banned in Saudi Arabia and discouraged in other Islam-dominated lands.

February 14, 2014 In Pakistan, Malaysia and other mainly-Muslim countries, many consider Valentine’s Day to be un-Islamic and discourage the celebration of it. In Iran and Saudi Arabia, Valentine’s Day is banned. Hindu extremists in India have also opposed the day. http://www.voanews.com/content/valentines-day-around-the-world/1851556.html

But, some still observe it in the Islamic-dominated lands–which is why some have taken steps to reduce the influence of this essentially pagan holiday. Notice something from NPR:

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate romance and love and kissy-face fealty. But the origins of this festival of candy and cupids are actually dark, bloody — and a bit muddled… From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain. The Roman romantics “were drunk. They were naked,” says Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They believed this would make them fertile. The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, um, coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right… Later, Pope Gelasius I muddled things in the 5th century by combining St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia to expel the pagan rituals. But the festival was more of a theatrical interpretation of what it had once been. Lenski adds, “It was a little more of a drunken revel, but the Christians put clothes back on it. That didn’t stop it from being a day of fertility and love.” Around the same time, the Normans celebrated Galatin’s Day. Galatin meant “lover of women.” That was likely confused with St. Valentine’s Day at some point, in part because they sound alike. http://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133693152/the-dark-origins-of-valentines-day

While I am glad women are no longer subject to public whipping on this day, the holiday still is not of Christian origin. The Catholic Encyclopedia states:

The popular customs associated with Saint Valentine’s Day undoubtedly had their origin in a conventional belief generally received in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, i.e. half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair. Thus in Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules we read:

For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

For this reason the day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lovers’ tokens. (Thurston, Herbert. “St. Valentine.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 14 Feb. 2014 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15254a.htm>.)

The Catholic Encyclopediaessentially admits this did not come from the Bible. I would add that the practices began earlier than the Middle Ages with origins in a pagan sexual lottery. Notice what else the Roman Catholicsteach:

The roots of St. Valentine’s Day lie in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on Feb. 15. For 800 years the Romans had dedicated this day to the god Lupercus. On Lupercalia, a young man would draw the name of a young woman in a lottery and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year (The Origins of St. Valentine’s Day. http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/ValentinesDay/, January 31, 2004).

The Apostle Jude warned that people claiming to be Christian leaders would turn towards behaviors like sexual license:

4 For there have been some intruders, who long ago were designated for this condemnation, godless persons, who pervert the grace of our God into licentiousness and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 4, New American Bible of the United States Conference Catholic Bishops)

As alluded to earlier, in countries like the USA, Valentine’s traditions include giving cards, flowers, and chocolate, often with symbols that are supposed to represent Cupid or some type of love. Food and alcohol are sometimes also involved. Here is more information on some of the origins of a few of the traditions:

Your Valentine’s Day checklist probably includes chocolates, cards and a dozen red roses. So how did all this start?…Ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia on Feb. 13-15. The feast involved animal sacrifices and whipping women, thought to make them more fertile… But the first direct connection between St. Valentine’s and the idea of love comes much later, in the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer, says Andy Kelly, an English professor at the University of California-Los Angeles, who wrote the book “Chaucer and the Cult of St. Valentine.” Chaucer, best known for “The Canterbury Tales,” wrote a poem called “Parliament of Foules (Fowls)” in 1381 to honor Richard II’s engagement, Kelly said. In the poem, St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated on May 3 — not Feb. 14 — and represents “the day when all the birds choose their mates for the year,” Kelly told USA TODAY Network. “Quickly afterwards, within a generation, people took the idea of celebrating of St. Valentine’s as a day of love,” Kelly said. The St. Valentine whom Chaucer was probably referencing was St. Valentine of Genoa, who died on May 3 and whose feast day was celebrated on May 2, according to Kelly’s book… Cards The British Museum in London has a Valentine dated from the 15th century, but it wasn’t until the mid-19th century when Valentine-giving became popular in England, said Ann C. Colley, a distinguished professor of English at SUNY-Buffalo State… Chocolate Chocolate has long been considered an aphrodisiac, said Alexandra Leaf, a culinary educator and founder of Chocolate Tours of New York City, in an interview with USA TODAY Network. Starting in the 17th century, when cacao beans were first brought to Europe from Mexico and Central America, Europeans associated the food with stories about Montezuma and his many wives, Leaf said… “There’s a carryover of the aphrodisiac notion that would make it appropriate for Valentine’s Day,” Leaf said… Cupid The cherub-faced Cupid we recognize today was originally something quite different. In the 5th century, the Greek version of Cupid, Eros (the inspiration for the word “erotic”), was depicted as a tall young man, who was “athletic, heroic and had wings,” according to Angeline Chiu…Chiu said Cupid’s transformation into a baby can be credited to Renaissance art… Red roses In the 18th century, Charles II of Sweden introduced the idea of flowers symbolizing emotions or messages carrying non-verbal messages, according to ProFlowers.com. Today, red roses stand for passionate love, pink roses for friendship, white for purity, and both red and white mean unity, said Jennifer Sparks, spokeswoman for the Society of American Florists, in an e-mail to USA TODAY Network. http://www.freep.com/article/20140214/FEATURES01/302140053/Valentine-s-Day-traditions-explained

Valentine’s Day is not an actual Christian holiday, even the Church of Rome no longer officially honors it, see Valentine’s Day: Its Real Origins, though Pope Francis promoted it today. Actually, in the photo of him encouraging Valentine’s Day at http://www.voanews.com/content/valentines-day-around-the-world/1851556.html, Francis was holding a red rose. It comes from paganism and the Bible warns against engaging in pagan practices. Notice:

29 When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, 30 take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.’ 31 “You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32 Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it (Deuteronomy 12:29-32, NKJV). 2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. 3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe (Jeremiah 10:2-3, KJV).

29 …abstain from things offered to idols (Acts 15:29, NKJV). 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. (2 Corinthians 6:14-16) 9 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. (1 Corinthians 10:19-21)

While there are many traditions and practices, none who profess Christ should observe this February 14th “holiday”–it simply is not a Christian holiday.

For more information, please consider studying the following:

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 sermon available titled Valentine’s Day, Christianity, and Islam. Should Christians Observe Valentine’s Day? This is a shorter YouTube video about the origins of Valentine’s Day and why real Christians should not observe it.
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.
Are the Ten Commandment Still in Effect? This article quotes the ten commandments and combines some of the previous articles into one article about the ten commandments. The commandments are shown at Mount Sinai, before Mount Sinai, in the teachings of Jesus, after the crucifixion, and in the teachings of Paul. It addresses the most common “traditions of men” regarding them as well. Here is a version in the Spanish language:.¿Están vigentes todavía los diez mandamientos?
Were the Pharisees Condemned for Keeping the Law or Reasoning Around it? Many believe that the Pharisees were condemned for keeping the law, but what does your Bible say? If they were not condemned for that, what were they condemned for?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

Pope Francis, Lent, Easter, and the original faith

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016


Orthodox Church in ‘Lenten Vestments,’ Czech Republic (Frettie)

COGwriter

Roman Catholics are now observing Lent.

Today, Pope Francis said:

February 10, 2016

I wish you a blessed Lent.

May Our Lady of Pompeii accompany you and, please, pray for me

[Original text: Italian] [Translation provided by Vatican Radio] https://zenit.org/articles/in-lenten-audio-message-pope-urges-young-people-to-remember-god-gives-joy-more-than-world-ever-can/

Here is something related to the ‘Lady of Pompeii’:

A young girl from Naples, Fortuna Agrelli, was suffering from a painful, incurable disease. She had been given up by the most celebrated physicians. On February 16, 1884, the afflicted girl and her relatives commenced a novena of Rosaries. The Queen of the Holy Rosary favoured her with an apparition on March 3rd. Mary, sitting upon a high throne, surrounded by luminous figures, held the Divine child on her lap, and in her hand a Rosary. The Virgin Mother and the holy Infant were clad in gold-embroidered garments. They were accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Catherine of Siena. Fortuna marveled at the beauty of Mary and asked her as “Queen of the Rosary,” for her cure. Mary replied that, since she had called her by a title that was so pleasing to her, she could not refuse her request; she then told her to make three novenas of the rosary to obtain all she asked for. The child was indeed cured, and soon after Mary appeared to her again saying: “Whosoever desires to obtain favors from me should make three novenas of the prayers of the Rosary in petition and three novenas in thanksgiving.” This is how the Rosary Novena devotion to Mary originated.

In 1883, a sanctuary was built for the image and consecrated in 1891. Many miracles are attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Pompeii. The image of Our Lady of Pompeii represents Our Lady of the Rosary as Queen of Heaven. http://www.marypages.com/OurLadyofPompeii.htm

So, idolatry and the ‘queen of heaven,’ two subjects the Bible teaches against are associated the the Lady of Pompeii (see also Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions)yet Pope Francis endorses that and asks for protection from that ‘Lady’ for Lent.

Last year, Pope Francis taught the following about Lent:

February 22, 2015

Dear brothers and sisters,

Last Wednesday, Lent began with the Rite of Ashes, and today is the first Sunday of this liturgical time that makes reference to the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert, after his baptism in the Jordan River. …

And in the end of the Lenten itinerary, in the Easter Vigil, we can renew with greater awareness the Baptismal covenant and the commitments that flow from it. May the Blessed Virgin, model of docility to the Spirit, help us to let ourselves be led by Him, who wishes to make each of us a “new creature.” http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/angelus-address-on-crossing-the-lenten-desert

To many Roman Catholics all of that probably seemed fine. Many probably considered it to the inspirational. But this is not inspired by God, nor was Pope Francis teaching the original faith.

Notice what Saint Jude wrote from a Catholic-approved translation of the Bible:

3 I was under a necessity to write unto you: to beseech you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. (Jude 3, Douay-Rheims)

So let’s see if he was contending for the faith once delivered to the saints when he promoted Lent, Ash Wednesday, Easter, and the Blessed Virgin.

Notice that he mentioned Lent and tried to tie it in with Jesus spending 40 days in the desert. While it is true that Jesus fasted for forty days in the desert, scriptural indications are that this would have been in the Fall and not the Spring. How can that be determined?

Eusebius, the Greco-Roman “father of church history,” taught that Jesus’ ministry lasted 3 1/2 years. Since Jesus was killed in the Spring, going back 3 1/2 years puts the beginning in the Fall.

Notice also the following from The Catholic Encyclopedia:

The chronology of the public life offers a number of problems to the interpreter…

But a comparison of St. John’s Gospel with the Synoptic Evangelists seems to introduce another pasch, indicated in the Fourth Gospel, into Christ’s public life. John 4:45, relates the return of Jesus into Galilee after the first pasch of His public life in Jerusalem, and the same event is told by Mark 1:14, and Luke 4:14. Again the pasch mentioned in John 6:4 has its parallel in the “green grass” of Mark 6:39, and in the multiplication of loaves as told in Luke 9:12 sqq. But the plucking of ears mentioned in Mark 2:23, and Luke 6:1, implies another paschal season intervening between those expressly mentioned in John 2:13 and 6:4. This shows that the public life of Jesus must have extended over four paschs, so that it must have lasted three years and a few months. Though the Fourth Gospel does not indicate this fourth pasch as clearly as the other three, it is not wholly silent on the question. The “festival day of the Jews” mentioned in John 5:1, has been identified with the Feast of Pentecost, the Feast of Tabernacles, the Feast of Expiation, the Feast of the New Moon, the Feast of Purim, the Feast of Dedication, by various commentators; others openly confess that they cannot determine to which of the Jewish feasts this festival day refers. Nearly all difficulties will disappear if the festival day be regarded as the pasch, as both the text (heorte) and John 4:35 seem to demand (cf. Dublin Review, XXIII, 351 sqq.). (Maas, Anthony. “Chronology of the Life of Jesus Christ.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 8. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 22 Feb. 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08377a.htm>)

So, between 3 years and a few months to less than four years, is consistent with the belief that Jesus ministry lasted about 3 1/2 years.
Presuming that Jesus began His ministry on the Feast of Trumpets, the beginning of the Jewish civil ‘new year,’ and ended on Passover, it would have lasted about 3 1/2 years.

Here is how The Catholic Encyclopedia defines Lent:

The Teutonic word Lent, which we employ to denote the forty days’ fast preceding Easter, originally meant no more than the spring season (Thurston H. Transcribed by Anthony A. Killeen. A.M.D.G. Lent. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX. Published 1910. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

In other words, Lent means the Spring season (it may be of interest to note that Easter is a Teutonic word as well).

But since Lent means Spring and Lent now begins and is primarily in the Winter, where did it really come from?

Certainly not from the Bible!

Notice that The Catholic Encyclopedia teaches that the claim by some that this was observed by the Apostles is unfounded:

Some of the Fathers as early as the fifth century supported the view that this forty days’ fast was of Apostolic institution…But the best modern scholars are almost unanimous in rejecting this view…Formerly some difference of opinion existed as to the proper reading, but modern criticism (e.g., in the edition of Schwartz commissioned by the Berlin Academy) pronounces strongly in favor of the text translated above. We may then fairly conclude that Irenaeus about the year 190 knew nothing of any Easter fast of forty days…And there is the same silence observable in all the pre-Nicene Fathers, though many had occasion to mention such an Apostolic institution if it had existed. We may note for example that there is no mention of Lent in St. Dionysius of Alexandria (ed. Feltoe, 94 sqq.) or in the “Didascalia”, which Funk attributes to about the year 250 (Lent. The Catholic Encyclopedia).

Notice what the Catholic Socrates Scholasticus admitted around the beginning of the fifth century:

The fasts before Easter will be found to be differently observed among different people. Those at Rome fast three successive weeks before Easter, excepting Saturdays and Sundays. Those in Illyrica and all over Greece and Alexandria observe a fast of six weeks, which they term ‘The forty days’ fast.’ Others commencing their fast from the seventh week before Easter, and fasting three five days only, and that at intervals, yet call that time ‘The forty days’ fast.’ It is indeed surprising to me that thus differing in the number of days, they should both give it one common appellation; but some assign one reason for it, and others another, according to their several fancies. One can see also a disagreement about the manner of abstinence from food, as well as about the number of days. Some wholly abstain from things that have life: others feed on fish only of all living creatures: many together with fish, eat fowl also, saying that according to Moses, Genesis 1:20 these were likewise made out of the waters. Some abstain from eggs, and all kinds of fruits: others partake of dry bread only; still others eat not even this: while others having fasted till the ninth hour, afterwards take any sort of food without distinction. And among various nations there are other usages, for which innumerable reasons are assigned. Since however no one can produce a written command as an authority, it is evident that the apostles left each one to his own free will in the matter, to the end that each might perform what is good not by constraint or necessity. Such is the difference in the churches on the subject of fasts (Socrates Scholasticus. Ecclesiastical History, Volume V, Chapter 22).

Since the Babylonians took over the Greeks and the Egyptians, that may have been when they started this practice.

Notice:

But the original length of the fast, traced back to Babylon was a “forty-days” fast in the spring of the year (Laynard’s Nineveh and Babylon, chapter 4, page 93). That is why it bore its name of “40 days”! (Hoeh, H. Did Jesus Observe Lent? Plain Truth. February 1982, p. 30).

It is likely that the idea of a forty-day fast came from Alexandria in Egypt or from Greece.

The historian Alexander Hislop apparently felt so as he wrote:

The forty days’ abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. Such a Lent of forty days, “in the spring of the year,” is still observed by the Yezidis or Pagan Devil-worshippers of Koordistan, who have inherited it from their early masters, the Babylonians. Such a Lent of forty days was held in spring by the Pagan Mexicans, for thus we read in Humboldt, where he gives account of Mexican observances: “Three days after the vernal equinox…began a solemn fast of forty days in honour of the sun.” Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt, as may be seen on consulting Wilkinson’s Egyptians. This Egyptian Lent of forty days, we are informed by Landseer, in his Sabean Researches, was held expressly in commemoration of Adonis or Osiris, the great mediatorial god. At the same time, the rape of Proserpine seems to have been commemorated, and in a similar manner; for Julius Firmicus informs us that, for “forty nights” the “wailing for Proserpine” continued; and from Arnobius we learn that the fast which the Pagans observed, called “Castus” or the “sacred” fast, was, by the Christians in his time, believed to have been primarily in imitation of the long fast of Ceres, when for many days she determinedly refused to eat on account of her “excess of sorrow,” that is, on account of the loss of her daughter Proserpine, when carried away by Pluto…

Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing, and which, in many countries, was considerably later than the Christian festival, being observed in Palestine and Assyria in June, therefore called the “month of Tammuz”; in Egypt, about the middle of May, and in Britain, some time in April. To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skilful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity–now far sunk in idolatry–in this as in so many other things, to shake hands…

Let any one only read the atrocities that were commemorated during the “sacred fast” or Pagan Lent, as described by Arnobius and Clemens Alexandrinus, and surely he must blush for the Christianity of those who, with the full knowledge of all these abominations, “went down to Egypt for help” to stir up the languid devotion of the degenerate Church, and who could find no more excellent way to “revive” it, than by borrowing from so polluted a source; the absurdities and abominations connected with which the early Christian writers had held up to scorn. That Christians should ever think of introducing the Pagan abstinence of Lent was a sign of evil; it showed how low they had sunk, and it was also a cause of evil; it inevitably led to deeper degradation. Originally, even in Rome, Lent, with the preceding revelries of the Carnival, was entirely unknown; and even when fasting before the Christian Pasch was held to be necessary, it was by slow steps that, in this respect, it came to conform with the ritual of Paganism. What may have been the period of fasting in the Roman Church before sitting of the Nicene Council does not very clearly appear, but for a considerable period after that Council, we have distinct evidence that it did not exceed three weeks (Hislop A. Two Babylons. pp. 104-106).

Hence we see that the so-called Christian observance of Lent is apparently a continuation of widespread ancient pagan practices that were subtly incorporated into mainstream Christianity over the centuries.

It should be noted that the Bible condemns practices associated with pagan worship, such as those that involved Tammuz:

And He said to me, “Turn again, and you will see greater abominations that they are doing.” So He brought me to the door of the north gate of the LORD’s house; and to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:13-14).

Essentially, mourning for Tammuz could include fasting of some type for some time.

The Orthodox Catholic apologist Arnobius (died 330) warned against the type of fasts that pagans had and even seemed to warn about a Mardi Gras banquet followed by a fast:

What say you, O wise sons of Erectheus? what, you citizens of Minerva? The mind is eager to know with what words you will defend what it is so dangerous to maintain, or what arts you have by which to give safety to personages and causes wounded so mortally. This is no false mistrust, nor are you assailed with lying accusations: the infamy of your Eleusinia is declared both by their base beginnings and by the records of ancient literature, by the very signs, in fine, which you use when questioned in receiving the sacred things,—” I have fasted, and drunk the draught; I have taken out of the mystic cist, and put into the wicker-basket; I have received again, and transferred to the little chest” (Arnobius. Against the Heathen, Book V, Chapter 26).

The feast of Jupiter is tomorrow. Jupiter, I suppose, dines, and must be satiated with great banquets, and long filled with eager cravings for food by fasting, and hungry after the usual interval (Against the Heathen, Book VII, Chapter 32).

Hislop believed that Arnobius was teaching against what became known as Lent (Two Babylons, p. 106). Perhaps it should be noted that in the late 2nd century, Tertullian also warned against “Christians” participating in events that also honored Minerva (please see the article Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate?).

The Catholic Saint Abbot John Cassian (also known as Cassianus, monk of Marseilles) in the fifth century admitted:

Howbeit you should know that as long as the primitive church retained its perfection unbroken, this observance of Lent did not exist (Cassian John. Conference 21, THE FIRST CONFERENCE OF ABBOT THEONAS. ON THE RELAXATION DURING THE FIFTY DAYS. Chapter 30).

Notice that he admits that “the primitive church” did not keep Lent!

What about Ash Wednesday?

It also is not from the Bible nor was it kept by the original Christians. The Catholic Encyclopedia reports:

Ash Wednesday
The Wednesday after Quinquagesima Sunday, which is the first day of the Lenten fast.

The name dies cinerum (day of ashes) which it bears in the Roman Missal is found in the earliest existing copies of the Gregorian Sacramentary and probably dates from at least the eighth century. On this day all the faithful according to ancient custom are exhorted to approach the altar before the beginning of Mass, and there the priest, dipping his thumb into ashes previously blessed, marks the forehead (Ash Wednesday. The Catholic Encyclopedia).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia states:

Ash Wednesday, in the Western Church, the first day of Lent, being the seventh Wednesday before Easter. On this day ashes are placed on the foreheads of the faithful to remind them of death, of the sorrow they should feel for their sins, and of the necessity of changing their lives. The practice, which dates from the early Middle Ages, is common among Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Episcopalians, and many Lutherans; it was also adopted by some Methodists and Presbyterians in the 1990s (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2007, Columbia University Press).

Notice that Ash Wednesday was not an original observance of even the Church of Rome, it is another one of the many changes that the Church of Rome adopted that the true Church of God did not (for more details, please see Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God?).

Now here is another Catholic-approved translation of that verse he asked about:

16 ‘When you are fasting, do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. (Matthew 6:16, NJB)

Thus, Jesus seems to denounce practices that resemble Ash Wednesday.

What about Easter?

Easter itself is not a Christian term but comes from paganism:

The English term, according to the Ven. Bede (De temporum ratione, I, v), relates to Estre, a Teutonic goddess of the rising light of day and spring, which deity…Anglo-Saxon, eâster, eâstron; Old High German, ôstra, ôstrara, ôstrarûn; German, Ostern. April was called easter-monadh. (Holweck F. G. Transcribed by John Wagner and Michael T. Barrett. Easter. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume V. Copyright © 1909 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, May 1, 1909. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York)

ISHTAR was one of the most prominent of the deities of the Accadian and Assyrian Pantheon. Se was the Assyrian goddess of Love. She was the…Ashtoreth of the Jews or Hebrews. She is the planetary Venus, and in general features corresponds with the classical goddess of Love. Her name Ishtar is that by which she was known in Assyria, and the same name prevailed, with slight modifications, among the Semite nations generally. In Babylonia the goddess was known as Nana…

She may be identified with Eostre of the Germans, or Easter. To this goddess our Saxon or German ancestors sacrificed in April, which was therefore by them styled…Eostur-monath, and from thence arose our word Easter, which the Saxons retained after their conversion to Christianity, so that our Easter-day is nothing more nor less than Ishtar’s day…The name became attached by association of ideas to the Christian festival of the Resurrection (of Christ), which happened at the time of the passover…The English name Easter, and the German Ostern, are derived from the name of the Teutonic goddess Ostera (Anglo-Saxon Eostre), whose festival was celebrated by the ancient Saxons with peculiar solemnities in the month of April; and for which, as in many other instances, the first Romish missionaries substituted the paschal feast.” The Council of Nice “ordained (A.D. 325) that it should be kept always on a Sunday.” Thus we find that it was originally the festival of Ishtar, and occurred on the Sabatu of Elul, or the festival Sabbath of the Assyrians, which occurred in August or harvest time; and that it afterwards became united with the passover or paschal feast of the Jews, and finally adopted by the Christian Church as the Easter Sabbath, changing the date to the spring or seed time, or in April from the harvest month or August. Among the Assyrians it was the feast day of Ishtar and Nergal…

The Phoenician name of Ishtar was Astarte, the later Mendaean form of which was Ashtar. She was called Jeremiah, “the queen of heaven,” Jer. vii, 18, and xliv. 17-25…she was sometimes called “the goddess of the chase,” corresponding to Diana as well as Venus, the goddess of love. Mr. George Rawlinson says: “The worship of Ishtar was widespread, and her shrines were numerous. She is often called the “queen of Babylon”…It may be suspected that her symbol was the naked female form…(Hamilton LLC note. Ishtar and Izdubar, the epic of Babylon; or, The Babylonian goddess of love and the hero and warrior king, restored in mod. verse by L.L.C. Hamilton. 1884 Original from Oxford University Digitized Jun 19, 2007, pp. 207-208)

Paganism…it was precisely in these cults that the worst perversions existed. Ishtar, Astarte, and Cybele had their male and female prostitutes, their Galli: Josiah had to cleanse the temple of Yahweh of their booths (cf. the Qedishim and Kelabim, Deuteronomy 23:17; 2 Samuel 23:7; cf. 1 Samuel 14:24; 15:12), and even in the Greek world, where prostitution was not else regarded as religious, Eryx and Corinth at least were contaminated by Semitic influence, which Greece could not correct. (Martindale, Cyril Charles. “Paganism.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911. 17 Feb. 2014 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11388a.htm>)

Ishtar is pronounced about the same as the English term Easter.

Early Christians did NOT celebrate Easter. They observed Passover as a memorial of Jesus’ death.

Perhaps I should also mention that although the Eastern Orthodox Church shown above has ‘lenten vestments,’ these vestments do not come from the Bible, nor did early Christians use these type of vestments. They did not become in use until after the compromises with that famous follower of Mithras, Roman Emperor Constantine, in the fourth century.

What about appealing to the blessed Mary? Was that a practice of early Christians?

No.

The Catholic Encyclopedia that confirms that:

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).

Should Christians appeal to Mary as a mediator?

No.

Notice what a Catholic-approved translation of the Bible teaches:

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 there is another mediator clearly contradict the Bible and CANNOT BE SERVING THE CHRISTIAN GOD.

Those who truly wish to observe the practices of the faith once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3) will not observe Lent, celebrate Ash Wednesday, pray to Mary, nor observe Easter. They would keep the same days and practices of the original church.

Pope Francis, and those who believe certain portions of his message today, need to study the Bible and the lessons of history and change.

Some items of possible interest may include:

Is Lent a Christian Holiday? When did it originate? What about Ash Wednesday? If you observe them, do you know why? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language by Dr. Hoeh: ¿Por Qué Se Observa la Cuaresma? Here is a link to a related sermon: Lent, Ash Wednesday, Carnaval, and Christianity?
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.
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?
Mardi Gras: The Devil’s Carnival? Do you know that in Bolivia the carnival/Mardi Gras time is part of a celebration known as the Devil’s Carnival? Did Jesus celebrate Carnaval? Where did it come from? There is also a related YouTube video Mardi Gras & Carnaval: Are they for Christians?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? Where did Easter come from? What do scholars and the Bible reveal? Here is a link to a video titled Why Easter?
What Happened in the ‘Crucifixion Week’? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?)
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? Where did Easter come from? What do scholars and the Bible reveal? Here is a link to a video titled Why Easter?
Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? Marcus was a second century heretic condemned for having a ceremony similar to one still practiced by many who profess Christ. Might he also be in the apostolic succession list of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria? Where did the eucharistic host and IHS come from?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
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?
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?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :) In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

Barack Obama carries ‘charms’ and speaks of Islam

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

COGwriter

US President Barack Obama was interviewed by CBS:

February 9, 2016

Mr. Obama said Pope Francis’ visit to the White House where he had the opportunity to share thoughts and prayers with the pontiff was a stand-out moment during his presidency.
Charms in his pocket

Every day in his pocket, the president said he keeps a charm of something people have gifted him.

“So this is a little picture of Lady Guadalupe that a Latino elderly woman gave to me. She was imploring me to get immigration laws reformed. These are rosary beads from Pope Francis,” Mr. Obama shared.

Among other charms was a “lucky” poker chip a tattooed biker gave him in Iowa back in 2008, a little Buddha that a Buddhist monk gifted and guitar picks from Bruce Springsteen. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-obama-gayle-king-legacy-2016-elections-charms-daughter-malia/

No Christian goes around carrying a Buddha as a good luck charm. Yet, this is something that Barack Obama admits that he does.

Let me also state here that the ‘rosary’ was not something in original Christianity, and did not become accepted by the Church of Rome until the 13th-15th centuries.  As far as the ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ goes, this was used for a type of interfaith unity that brought much of Latin America under Roman Catholic authority (see The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications?).

As far as Barack Obama goes, he has carried “charms” for a long time:

Indian Americans Take Note of Obama, Thanks to Hanuman

Washington Post – June 27, 2008

At a town hall meeting, a woman asked Obama what kept him grounded, and in response he emptied his pockets. “People are so generous to me, investing their hopes in me,” he said, holding up a cupped hand full of trinkets. “This I usually don’t show in these town hall meetings. I have all these things that people give me — all these different little good luck charms.”

One of the trinkets, it turns out, was a tiny figurine of Hanuman — the Hindu monkey god.

“It’s a big deal,” said Bhavna Pandit, 28, a political fundraising consultant based in Washington who thinks the revelations will lead to new interest in Obama among Indian American donors.

Pandit said news of the Obama trinket has swept across Indian American living rooms and through Indian newspapers and TV networks. She said the people she knows as “aunties and uncles” — women and men from her parents’ generation — are suddenly taking note of Obama in a way they had not done before. “They think it’s kind of neat. They rarely see our religion played out in the mainstream media in America.” http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/06/27/indian_americans_take_note_of.html

India monkey god idol for Obama

BBC – June 23, 2008

A group of Indians are planning to present a statue of the revered Indian monkey God, Hanuman, to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The group decided to order the idol after they read a magazine report saying that Mr Obama carried a good luck ‘monkey king’ charm.

They say that a Barack Obama victory would be good for India.

Hindus revere monkeys which they believe are descendents of the monkey God Hanuman.

The two-foot tall, 15kg gold-polished, brass idol has been made as a present for Mr Obama because “he will be good for India if he becomes the next president,” according to Brij Mohan Bhama, leader of the group.

Mr Bhama belongs to the ruling Congress party and also runs a textile mill in the western city of Mumbai.

‘Monkey charm’

“We have heard that he carries a small monkey charm in his pocket. So he is a devotee of Hanuman. That’s why we want to present him with this idol,” he said.

Mr Bhama and his friends have also invited Carolyn Sauvage-Mar, chairwoman of the group, Democrats Abroad-India, to a meeting they are holding on Tuesday to pray for Mr Obama’s success. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7468662.stm

I first reported about this back in 2008 (see Barack Obama Carries Hindu Monkey God).

Barack Obama has said he believes that carrying idols helps keep him “grounded.”  Certainly not grounded in Christianity.  Barack Obama is one who, along with Pope Francis and UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon,  supports the ecumenical-interfaith agenda.  An agenda that the Bible warns against (see also United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order?).

Yet, despite the fact that Islam is not known for being particularly tolerant of religious liberty, Barack Obama visited a mosque to promote that last week.

Last night, Dennis Prager wrote the following after looking closer at what Barack Obama said at that mosque:

February 8, 2016

If you seek to understand Barack Obama and his views, the best place to go is his speeches. But you have to read them in their entirety, not rely on hearing them or on the media’s summary of them. When you do, you realize how often what Obama says is morally and intellectually confused and even untrue.

The most recent example was his speech last week at a mosque in Baltimore. In addition to reassuring Muslim Americans that they are as American as Americans of every other faith – President Obama spoke a lot of nonsense, some of it dangerous.

President Obama: “So let’s start with this fact: For more than a thousand years, people have been drawn to Islam’s message of peace. And the very word itself, Islam, comes from salam – peace.”

Why did Obama say this? Even Muslim websites acknowledge that “Islam” means “submission” [to Allah], that it comes from the Arabic root “aslama” meaning submission, and that “Islam” is in the command form of that verb.

That’s why “Muslim” means “One who submits,” not “One who is peaceful.”

Obama: “Jefferson and John Adams had their own copies of the Quran.”

The reason Jefferson had a copy of the Quran was to try to understand it in light of what the Muslim ambassador from Tripoli had told him and John Adams. When asked why Tripoli pirates were attacking American ships and enslaving Americans, the Muslim ambassador explained that Muslims are commanded to do so by the Quran: “It was written in their Quran that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman [Muslim] who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to Paradise.”

That’s why Jefferson and Adams had Qurans.

Obama: “And how do we move forward together? … It can’t be just a burden on the Muslim community – although the Muslim community has to play a role.”

Most Americans would say that the American Muslim community has to play “the” role, not “a” role in preventing violent Islam from capturing the minds of American Muslims, and in helping authorities identify extremist Muslims.

Obama: “Second, as Americans, we have to stay true to our core values, and that includes freedom of religion for all faiths.”

This is so obviously true that one wonders why the president felt it necessary to mention it.

Obama: “There are Christians who are targeted now in the Middle East, despite having been there for centuries, and there are Jews who’ve lived in places like France for centuries who now feel obliged to leave because they feel themselves under assault – sometimes by Muslims.”

One would have expected that after mentioning “Christians targeted now in the Middle East,” he would have mentioned “Jews targeted now in the Middle East.” That, however, would presumably have been too controversial to say. So, the president mentioned the many Jews in France “who now feel obliged to leave” their country because “they feel themselves under assault” – and then came the corker: “sometimes by Muslims.”

Sometimes? French Jews have recently been murdered, tortured and harassed more than at any time since the Holocaust. And virtually every one of those attacks has been perpetrated by Muslims.

Obama: “We have to be consistent in condemning hateful rhetoric and violence against everyone. And that includes against Muslims here in the United States of America.”

Two facts are relevant here. One is that religious hate crimes are exceedingly rare in America. The other is that in 2014, the last year for which we have data, Jews were targets of hate crimes four times more frequently than Muslims. http://www.wnd.com/2016/02/you-dont-know-what-obama-said-at-the-mosque/#IGip33hs1lkvFIpT.99

Islam does not mean peace. Barack Obama’s views of Islam are also out-of-touch with historical and modern reality.

Of course, Barack Obama is not considered to be a champion of religious freedom. Though his carrying of various charms indicates he is somewhat superstitious.  But this also shows that he is pluralistic as far as religion is concerned (see also Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction?).

Consider that Barack Obama reportedly regularly carries a Buddha image, Hindu monkey god, rosary, and a Lady of Guadalupe (and that latter item seems to have originated from Aztec pagan sources, see The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications?). Plus, he keeps promoting an improper view of Islam.

Yet, Barack Obama keeps claiming to be a ‘Christian.’

Hopefully, none reading this page believe that he really is.

Hopefully all will realize, that he, like many, is promoting an interfaith agenda that the Bible warns against (see also Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction?).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did the early Church use icons? What was the position of Christians about such things?
Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
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?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.|
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?
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.
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?
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Edition for Second Obama Term This is a 160 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Barack Obama and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled (which the book documents in detail) and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also has a chapter about a Republican choice. This book is available to order at www.barackobamaprophecy.com. The physical book can also be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Barack Obama Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Kenyan, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Republican Leaders? Second Edition for Second Obama Term.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version 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 Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition.

Is Ash Wednesday endorsed in the Bible?

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016


Cross of Ashes

COGwriter

On February 10, 2016, some will observe Ash Wednesday and start Lent. Lent is considered to be a time of self-imposed abstinence by millions. Time reported the following:

What’s the purpose of Ash Wednesday?

It marks first day of the 40 days of Lent, a roughly six-week period (not including Sundays) dedicated to reflection, prayer and fasting in preparation for Easter. …

Where do the ashes some people put on their face come from?

They’re obtained from the burning of the palms of the previous Palm Sunday, which occurs on the Sunday before Easter, and applied during services. …

What do the ashes mean?

The ashes, applied in the shape of a cross, are a symbol of penance, mourning and mortality… There aren’t any particular rules about how long the ashes should be worn, but most people wear them throughout the day as a public expression of their faith and penance. http://time.com/3713126/ash-wednesday/

So, the ashes are a public symbol? This does not sound like repentance nor humility. Notice what a Catholic-approved translation of the Bible teaches:

16 ‘When you are fasting, do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. (Matthew 6:16, NJB)

Thus, Jesus seems to denounce practices that resemble Ash Wednesday. Also, it should be noted that the cross was not a symbol early Christians used (see What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?).

Furthermore, Ash Wednesday’s true origins are considered to be a mystery by those who observe it. It was not observed by Jesus, the original apostles, nor any in the early Church. Ash Wednesday is not mentioned in either the Hebrew or Greek scriptures, commonly known as the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

Despite that, notice the following from the 1988 circular letter on Lent and Easter “Paschales Solemnitatis,” issued by the Congregation for Divine Worship of the Church of Rome:

“21. On the Wednesday before the first Sunday of Lent, the faithful receive the ashes, thus entering into the time established for the purification of their souls. This sign of penance, a traditionally biblical one, has been preserved among the Church’s customs until the present day. It signifies the human condition of the sinner, who seeks to express his guilt before the Lord in an exterior manner, and by so doing express his interior conversion, led on by the confident hope that the Lord will be merciful. This same sign marks the beginning of the way of conversion, which is developed through the celebration of the sacraments of penance during the days before Easter.” (As cited in McNamara E, Priest. Ashes Earlier. Zenit, March 4, 2014. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/ashes-earlier)

No one in the Old or New Testaments was ever recorded as putting ashes on their foreheads in a shape of a cross. Yet, also notice the following claims from the Shorter Book of Blessings by the Church of Rome:

1059. The season of Lent begins with the ancient practice of marking the baptized with ashes as a public and communal sign of penance. The blessing and distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday normally takes place during the celebration of Mass. (As cited in McNamara E, Priest. Ashes Earlier. Zenit, March 4, 2014. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/ashes-earlier)

The Bible does not show that the baptized received ashes on their foreheads in the shape of a cross. Furthermore, this is not part of the early traditions of Christians. It seems to have been a practice of pagans, however.

One who believes in Ash Wednesday once sent me the following two weeks ago:

Ash Wednesday is approaching and with it the rite of the imposition of ashes on the foreheads…

My question is, why does the gospel for Ash Wednesday include the reading of Jesus’s words forbidding the imposition of ashes?

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

Isn’t this strange, that we should do something that Jesus has forbidden and at the same time read out ceremonially his words forbidding it?

I have asked Anglican and Catholic priests about this but they have offered no answers. Can you suggest any?

Here is another Catholic-approved translation of that verse he asked about:

16 ‘When you are fasting, do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward. (Matthew 6:16, NJB)

In addition to providing other information, I also responded to the emailer with the following:

While you are correct that people in the Old Testament used ashes as part of their sorrowing, there was no ceremony in the New Testament that encouraged this. And as you pointed out, Ash Wednesday seems to be in opposition to the principle that Jesus espoused in Matthew 6:16…

As far as why Rome violates various passages of scripture, Rome and others have often changed doctrines from the Bible and the practices of the apostles. An article that documents this, that probably contains a lot you would be surprised about, would be: Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God?

Ash Wednesday certainly is not from the Bible.

Yet, in the past, even Episcopalians have been advocating Ash Wednesday:

St. Peter’s Episcopal Church offers commuters ‘Ashes to Go’ at Beverly Depot station

“We think there is an unmet desire for people to get ashes on Ash Wednesday that cannot make it to a regular service because it’s a workday,” Perrott said in an interview yesterday. “We thought going to a train station and offering ‘Ashes to Go’ will meet that need.”

The Catholic Encyclopedia reports:

Ash Wednesday
The Wednesday after Quinquagesima Sunday, which is the first day of the Lenten fast.

The name dies cinerum (day of ashes) which it bears in the Roman Missal is found in the earliest existing copies of the Gregorian Sacramentary and probably dates from at least the eighth century. On this day all the faithful according to ancient custom are exhorted to approach the altar before the beginning of Mass, and there the priest, dipping his thumb into ashes previously blessed, marks the forehead…There can be no doubt that the custom of distributing the ashes to all the faithful arose from a devotional imitation of the practice observed in the case of public penitents. (Ash Wednesday. The Catholic Encyclopedia).

Thus, Ash Wednesday is believed by the Church of Rome to be related to following some type of public penance, though precisely from where is not clear. Ash Wednesday now marks the beginning of the Lenten season.

Notice also something from the Protestant publication calling itself Christianity Today:

The Beginning of Lent
Until the 600s, Lent began on Quadragesima (Fortieth) Sunday, but Gregory the Great (c.540-604) moved it to a Wednesday, now called Ash Wednesday, to secure the exact number of 40 days in Lent—not counting Sundays, which were feast days. Gregory, who is regarded as the father of the medieval papacy, is also credited with the ceremony that gives the day its name. (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/news/2004/lent.html)

So, “Ash Wednesday” apparently did not originate on a Wednesday. Of course, the entire lenten period is not from the Bible, hence it should be of no surprise that it has had various changes in its observation.

While it is true that there were some 40 day fasts in the Bible, they did not resemble Lent, they were not any type of annual practice, and the apostles never observed one as far as can be determined. The Catholic Saint Abbot John Cassian (also known as Cassianus, monk of Marseilles) in the fifth century admitted:

Howbeit you should know that as long as the primitive church retained its perfection unbroken, this observance of Lent did not exist (Cassian John. Conference 21, THE FIRST CONFERENCE OF ABBOT THEONAS. ON THE RELAXATION DURING THE FIFTY DAYS. Chapter 30).

The historian A. Hislop wrote:

Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing (Hislop A. Two Babylons. pp. 104-106).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia states:

Ash Wednesday, in the Western Church, the first day of Lent, being the seventh Wednesday before Easter. On this day ashes are placed on the foreheads of the faithful to remind them of death, of the sorrow they should feel for their sins, and of the necessity of changing their lives. The practice, which dates from the early Middle Ages, is common among Roman Catholics, Anglicans and Episcopalians, and many Lutherans; it was also adopted by some Methodists and Presbyterians in the 1990s (The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2007, Columbia University Press).

Notice that Ash Wednesday was not an original observance of even the Church of Rome. Perhaps I should also mention that the Eastern Orthodox Church does not celebrate Ash Wednesday.

Yet, oddly, Protestant groups, like the improperly named Christianity Today seem to have endorsed it. Notice comments from three more articles at its website:

Let’s Lengthen Lent
pre-Lenten festivals such as the Mardi Gras have turned into bacchanals that have become a reproach to civilization.So what do we do? Observe Lent or ignore it?…I hope to be in my church on Ash Wednesday as a worshiper. (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2000/marchweb-only/34.0.html)

He Is Risen so I Am Shriven

Can eating pancakes enrich Christian piety? As a part of the traditional celebration of Shrove Tuesday, I believe flapjacks can build our faith. … the understated British gather calmly in their homes on the day before Lent to fill themselves with pancakes. Why pancakes? In medieval Europe, Christians often gave up eating rich foods like meat, eggs, and milk for the 40-day period of penance, prayer, and preparation leading to Easter. The practice and duration of the ritual corresponded to Christ’s 40 days of fasting in the desert. …

During the Reformation, many Protestants, especially my English Puritan ancestors, dismissed Lent and Shrove Tuesday as superstitious Catholic observances aimed at earning God’s favor through human works. Thus, strict Lenten observance declined among English-speaking people.

But the palate proved mightier than the Puritans. Most Britons didn’t want to give up pancakes—even if, without an austere Lent… Lent is to Easter what Advent is to Christmas. Lent gets us in the “Easter spirit,” and helps us appreciate that Easter is theologically more significant than Christmas—even if contemporary Western culture gets it backward. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/february-web-only/he-is-risen-so-i-am-shriven.html

Lent

Lent is one of the oldest observations on the Christian calendar. Like all Christian holy days and holidays, it has changed over the years…(http://www.christianitytoday.com/holidays/)

Despite claiming that it is part of the “Christian calendar,” the fact is that neither Ash Wednesday nor Lent can be found to be endorsed in the Bible nor in the writings of the early followers of Jesus. Obviously, many of those at the falsely named Christianity Today do not believe in sola Scriptura. Consistent with the current ecumenical movement, more and more Protestants are observing practices that they once realized were improper.

It should be noted that the Bible never uses the term ‘Easter,’ the name of a pagan deity, in conjunction with Jesus’ resurrection.

The Bible also never uses the terms Lent or Ash Wednesday. Nor does it seem to positively describe the marking of anyone’s head with ashes. But the Bible does condemn practices associated with Tammuz (Ezekiel 8:13-14) which may be related to the origins of Lent and/or Ash Wednesday. Here is one commentary on that:

Ezekiel 8:14-15

Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’s house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.

Tammuz. This god can be traced back to the Sumerian Dumuzi, the god of the subterranean ocean and a shepherd deity, whose sister-consort, Inanna-Ishtar, descended into the lower world to bring him back to life. In his worship are similarities to that of Egyptian Osiris, the Canaanite Baal, and the Syrian Adonis. Gebal or Byblos, twenty-one miles north of Beirut, was the great seat of Adonis worship. The nightly death of the god, the god’s dying before the touch of winter, or the vernal god’s dying with the parched summer are variations on the theme of death and resurrection. Mourning for the god was followed by a celebration of resurrection (from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press).

Notice that the mourning ended with the resurrection for Tammuz. This is essentially the same as fasting for forty days which ends with the festival called Easter. The adoption of crosses seems also to be related to Tammuz (see What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? and/or watch).

Since Ash Wednesday involves receiving ashes on one’s forehead to begin the forty-day period of Lent, this may be related to the beginning of the mourning for the death of Tammuz. It may or not be relevant to note that Ishtar is also spelled as Ash-tar. An interesting coincidence.

Speaking of coincidences, some have wondered if Ash Wednesday had any relationship to the ancient Sun-god Mithras.

Here is what Tertullian of Carthage (in eastern Egypt) noted near the beginning of the third century:

Mithra there, (in the kingdom of Satan,) sets his marks on the foreheads of his soldiers (Tertullian. The Prescription against Heretics, Chapter 40. Translated by Peter Holmes, D.D., F.R.A.S.)

Payam Nabarz wrote in the 21st century:

Tertullian certainly writes that Mithras marks (signat) his soldiers on the forehead, but what ‘sign’? Some writers have even speculated that this mark was the mark of the “Beast of Revelations,” as the numerological value of the Sun is 666!…

Mithratic…initiates…would henceforth have the Sun Cross on their foreheads. The similarity to the cross of ashes made on the forehead on the Christian Ash Wednesday is striking. Some have suggested this to be an example of the early Christians borrowing from the Mithratic cult; others suggest that both cults were drawing upon the same prototype (Nabarz P. The mysteries of Mithras: the pagan belief that shaped the Christian world. Inner Traditions / Bear & Company, 2005, p. 36).

The 20th century writer Manly Hall wrote:

Candidates who successfully passed the Mithraic initiations were called Lions and were marked upon their foreheads with the Egyptian cross. (Manly P. Hall Manly P. Hall (Author), J. Augustus Knapp (Illustrator) The Secret Teachings of all Ages. Originally published 1926, reprint Wilder Publications, 2009, p. 45)

It appears that the idea of a cross on the forehead probably came from Egypt initially. Mithraism probably picked it up (there is some question about the exact mark on the forehead, but a type of cross seems to be the most likely). And sometime after the Church of Rome absorbed some aspects of Mithraism, Ash Wednesday appeared–but not officially for some time. Mithraism itself was a major force in the Roman world until at least the fourth century A.D., but it seemed to die out by the end of that century. On the other hand, the Egyptian cults seemed to exist until a later time. Many Mithratic practices have been adopted by many who profess Christ. For details, please see the article Do You Practice Mithraism?

Others have felt, however, that Ash Wednesday was adopted from India, and then made it to Rome. Notice what Barbara Walker reported:

Ash Wednesday This allegedly Christian festival came from Roman paganism, which in turn took it from Vedic India. Ashes were considered the seed of the fire god Agni, with the power to absolve all sins…

At Rome’s New Year Feast of Atonement in March, people wore sackcloth and bathed in ashes to atone for their sins. Then as now, New Year’s Eve was a festival for eating, drinking, and sinning, on the theory that all sins would be wiped out the following day. As the dying god of March, Mars took his worshippers’ sins in with him into death. Therefore the carnival fell on dies martis, the Day of Mars. In English, this was Tuesday, because Mars was associated with the Saxon god Tiw. In French the carnival day was called Mardis Gras, “Fat Tuesday,” the merrymaking day before Ash Wednesday. (Walker B. The woman’s encyclopedia of myths and secrets. HarperCollins, 1983, pp. 66-67).

And although Ash Wednesday is now most often in February (though it was in March in 2011), the aspect of penance from sins is still tied in with Ash Wednesday. And the merrymaking still exists in places that observe Mardi Gras or “Carnaval.”

Whether from Egypt, Mithratic Roman paganism, or India, the one place it did not come from was the Bible. Nor did it come from early traditions of the first followers of Jesus.

Thus Ash Wednesday does not seem to have a strictly biblical origin. Because of the relatively late acceptance of it by the Church of Rome (about 600 or 700 years after Christ), it appears that it may have entered Rome as a remnant of the Sun-cult Mithras or possibly was absorbed through the introduction of some others who had practices once associated with parts of ancient Egypt or India.

Ash Wednesday is not a Christian holidays.

Some items of possible interest may include:

Is Lent a Christian Holiday? When did it originate? What about Ash Wednesday? If you observe them, do you know why? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language by Dr. Hoeh: ¿Por Qué Se Observa la Cuaresma? Here is a link to a related sermon: Lent, Ash Wednesday, Carnaval, and Christianity?
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.
Mardi Gras: The Devil’s Carnival? Do you know that in Bolivia the carnival/Mardi Gras time is part of a celebration known as the Devil’s Carnival? Did Jesus celebrate Carnaval? Where did it come from? There is also a related YouTube video Mardi Gras & Carnaval: Are they for Christians? There is also a related YouTube video Mardi Gras & Carnaval: Are they for Christians?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
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.
What Happened in the ‘Crucifixion Week’? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter? (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?)
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? Where did Easter come from? What do scholars and the Bible reveal? Here is a link to a video titled Why Easter?
Marcus, the Marcosians, & Mithraism: Developers of the Eucharist? Marcus was a second century heretic condemned for having a ceremony similar to one still practiced by many who profess Christ. Might he also be in the apostolic succession list of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria? Where did the eucharistic host and IHS come from?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
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?
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。.

Mardi Gras and Shrove Tuesday

Monday, February 8th, 2016



New Orleans Mardi Gras (Infrogmation)

COGwriter

February 9, 2016 is known in some places as Mardi Gras (French for “Fat Tuesday,” called Shrove Tuesday in parts of the UK) and is related to a carnival or carnaval season.

Pope Francis used to be a Mardi Gras bouncer:

The Pope’s Days as a Mardi Gras Bouncer

Pope Francis is spending this Fat Tuesday in solemn preparation for Ash Wednesday, but that wasn’t always the case. The man who would be pope used to get down.

Mardis Gras, Fat Tuesday, Martedi Grasso—whatever you call it, the eve of the Catholic Lenten season is a final hurrah before a 40-day period of prayer and fasting. Pope Francis now spends the day in solemn preparation for Ash Wednesday services, but it wasn’t always this way for the hip pontiff. …Pope Francis wasn’t always involved in holy work. Back when he was known as Jose Maria Bergoglio, he worked as a nightclub bouncer in Flores, Argentina, to earn money as a student.

“I was the world’s worst bouncer,” Francis told the congregation of San Cirillo Alessandrino in a Roman suburb shortly after his election in 2013. He cut a less-than-intimidating figure, according to several biographies written about him. The most intimate, Francesco: Life and Revolution, was written by Argentinian journalist Elisabetta Pique, who has known Bergoglio since he was elevated to cardinal in 2001, and who he called personally shortly after his election. Pique describes the man before he became pope as “el Flaco” or the thin one and later, “Carucha” or “baby face,” as his friends called him.

Francis also had a girlfriend before he joined the priesthood—this woman is widely reported to have been a skilled Tango and Milonga dancer. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/17/the-pope-s-days-as-a-mardi-gras-bouncer.html

Here are some comments about Mardi Gras:

Mardi Gras is not just a week-long party for New Orleans bar-goers, millions of people around the country celebrate the raving party.

Mardi Gras is infamous for public nudity, chaotic parties, ingesting copious amounts of alcohol and acts as another St. Patrick’s Day for those who aren’t actually Irish, but drink like they are.

The Christian-themed holiday serves as one last hooray before Lent and giving up delicacies until Easter. People party hard for the week leading up to Lent and Ash Wednesday. This usually involves a massive parade, numerous mini-celebrations and masquerade balls sporting gold, green and purple, which represent power, faith and justice.

Citizens hold nothing back, including their sense of humility, during the few days included in Carnival season. Women typically strip for meaningless colorful beads, chocolate or plastic coins thrown from floats, and wear even less out at bars. The women have no shame and the men have no boundaries. http://www.fourthestatenewspaper.com/mobile/off-the-wall/mardi-gras-unexposed-mayhem-1.2781767

Of course, there is nothing truly Christian about Mardis Gras. It does not come from the Bible nor did early Christians observe it.

According to Wikipedia:

Carnival begins 12 days after Christmas, or Twelfth Night, on January 6 and ends on Mardi Gras, which always falls exactly 47 days before Easter.

The USA city most famous for its Mardi Gras celebrations would be New Orleans. The Washington Post reported the following about it before:

For the past five days, the southern party town has given itself over to excess, good food, lots of drink and maybe a little debauchery. And that’s not the weeks leading up to the event with small parades preparing for the celebration. Mardi Gras is a marathon, New Orleanians will tell you, and Fat Tuesday marks the final stretch.

For the non-New Orleanians, a quick primer on Mardi Gras: Before the Catholic holiday of Lent, in which worshipers fast and repent for 40 days, people do their best to make up for the days of restraint with jam-packed days of plenty. Festivals are observed all over the world, such as Carnival in Brazil, but it’s never been so associated with a city’s identity as it has with New Orleans…

The food is the king cake, a gooey, butter-rich cake with a hidden baby Jesus tucked inside. The Post’s Tim Carman looked into the history of the cake and found “The cake’s appeal becomes clearer the closer you get to the city limits and, conversely, becomes more comical the farther you travel from the voodoo-sexual-second-line cultural vortex of the Big Easy. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/blog-post/2011/03/mardi_grass_fat_tuesday_the_mu.html

Here is another item about it:

The Salt Lake Tribune – Jan 8, 2008

Although the origins of Carnaval are shrouded in mystery, some believe the fest began as a pagan celebration of spring’s arrival sometime during the Middle Ages. The Portuguese brought the celebration to Brazil in the 1500s, but it took on a decidedly local flavor by adopting Indian costumes and African rhythms. The word itself probably derives from the Latin carne vale,” or goodbye meat,” a reference to the Catholic tradition of giving up meat (and other fleshly temptations) during Lent…

Rio’s first festivals were called entrudos, with locals dancing through the streets in colorful costumes and throwing mud, flour and suspicious-smelling liquids on one another. In the 19th century, Carnaval meant attending a lavish masked ball or participating in the orderly and rather vapid European-style parade. Rio’s poor citizens, bored by the finery but eager to celebrate, began holding their own parades, dancing through the streets to African-based rhythms…

…an event that happens annually in Brazil on the days leading up to Ash Wednesday. In 2008, Carnaval officially begins Friday, Feb. 1, when the mayor gives the keys to the city to King Momo, the portly pleasure-seeker who ushers in the bacchanalia. The next four days are marked by neighborhood parties, lavish masked balls and impromptu fests all over town (http://www.sltrib.com/travel/ci_7883824).

Here is some of what the American Catholic reports about it:

Mardi Gras, literally “Fat Tuesday,” has grown in popularity in recent years as a raucous, sometimes hedonistic event…Carnival comes from the Latin words carne vale, meaning “farewell to the flesh.” Like many Catholic holidays and seasonal celebrations, it likely has its roots in pre-Christian traditions based on the seasons. (Catholic Roots of Mardi Gras. American Catholic. http://www.americancatholic.org/features/mardigras/)

Essentially, this is a pagan holiday that the Catholics adopted as a compromise to keep members. Participants eat a lot (hence the name “fat Tuesday”) before they begin a fast now called Lent–another observance with pagan origins. Parades involving under-clothed women are common. And that is not just in the USA:

Rio celebrates as Carnival opens in Brazil…

Carnival…five-day annual exaltation of music, booze and flesh…The rotund King Momo embodies Carnival, a raucous free-for-all where excesses are encouraged and the natural order of things is turned upside down: men dress as women…In addition to the elaborate two-day samba group parade and the high-dollar costumed balls where the rich spend a lot to wear very little in the most exclusive company, Rio’s free, open-to-all street Carnival is bigger than ever.

The Bible teaches against cross-dressing:

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

Of course, Mardi Gras festivities are not biblical, despite their popularity. Millions come to the streets in Rio de Janeiro to celebrate it (see Carnaval’s Popularity is Growing). And, it is incredibly popular in New Orleans and certain other cities.

Mardis Gras also seems to trigger a variety of crimes. Notice a report that came out yesterday, even before its official start:

February 16, 2015

As the clock ticks on this year’s Mardi Gras celebration, a deployment of Louisiana State Police troopers in New Orleans has made its presence felt with more than 140 arrests thus far, according to State Police statistics.

The arrests, 50 of them felonies, amount to almost 16 a day, from Feb. 6 — when troopers arrived in the city to bolster a New Orleans police force struggling to fill its thinning ranks — through Sunday (Feb. 15).

In that nine-day period, the detail of 150 troopers seized 14 weapons and generated more than 315 non-drug related charges, State Police said. An additional 100 or so narcotics-related charges have come from those arrests, State Police said, and more than $376,000 in drugs have been taken off the streets.

At least some of those narcotics came from a bust Sunday night on St. Anthony Street. According to a State Police statement, troopers — acting on a tip — found a variety of drugs and arrested six people on possession charges. http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2015/02/state_police_and_mardi_gras_14.html

The fruits of Mardis Gras are not good.

Lent, which also is not of biblical origin, is thus becoming an excuse essentially for loud and wild parties all over the world, which stop the night before it. Which would be tonight.

Mardi Gras tends to be associated with drunkenness, lust, and other practices that the Bible condemns.

It really should not be considered as something that real Christians would participate in.

What about Shrove Tuesday?

Shrove Tuesday is considered to be an ‘alternative’ to Mardis Gras and is also today. The improperly named publication Christianity Today has the following about it:

February 17, 2015

Can eating pancakes enrich Christian piety? As a part of the traditional celebration of Shrove Tuesday, I believe flapjacks can build our faith.

For those of us who love Jesus and Aunt Jemima, this is very good news.

Shrove Tuesday is essentially the British take on Mardi Gras or Carnival. But instead of flamboyant parties filled with riotous excess, the understated British gather calmly in their homes on the day before Lent to fill themselves with pancakes.

Why pancakes? In medieval Europe, Christians often gave up eating rich foods like meat, eggs, and milk for the 40-day period of penance, prayer, and preparation leading to Easter. The practice and duration of the ritual corresponded to Christ’s 40 days of fasting in the desert.

During Lent, perishable goods would spoil, so pancakes—traditionally just eggs and milk mixed with flour—were the ideal meal for consuming Lenten no-no foods. …

During the Reformation, many Protestants, especially my English Puritan ancestors, dismissed Lent and Shrove Tuesday as superstitious Catholic observances aimed at earning God’s favor through human works. …

But the palate proved mightier than the Puritans. Most Britons didn’t want to give up pancakes—even if, without an austere Lent, there wasn’t any real reason to use up all the eggs and milk. Eating pancakes was reason enough for a party. To this day, people all over Britain and in scattered Anglophone countries eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.

But with the underlying religious motivation largely gone, the occasion is now more commonly known as Pancake Tuesday. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/february-web-only/he-is-risen-so-i-am-shriven.html

No, eating pancakes today does not show that one is a Christian exercising biblical piety. Pancake desire is not a sign of faith. Shrove Tuesday, of course, is not in the Bible. Consistent with the current ecumenical movement, more and more Protestants are observing practices that they once realized were improper.

Observing non- biblical holidays as religious festivals is not the way God wishes to be worshiped. Notice something that Jesus taught:

23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24)

The truth is that most who profess Christianty will not worship God in truth and worship Him as He commands.

Mardis Gras and Shrove Tuesday do not honor the God of the Bible. True worshipers do not take part in such false worship. Do you really believe what Jesus taught?

Some items of related interest may include:

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?
Is Lent a Christian Holiday? When did it originate? What about Ash Wednesday? If you observe them, do you know why? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language by Dr. Hoeh: ¿Por Qué Se Observa la Cuaresma? Here is a link to a related sermon: Lent, Ash Wednesday, Carnaval, and Christianity?
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.
Why The Continuing Church of God Does Not Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day Should non-Catholics observe a Catholic holiday?
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.
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.
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?
Do You Practice Mithraism?
Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity?
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.

Valentine’s Day: Its real origins

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

COGwriter

If you are a Christian, should you celebrate February 14th as Valentine’s Day?

The Apostle John was inspired to write:

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17, NKJV)

Valentine’s Day is a worldly holiday, essentially built upon lust of the eyes and the pride of life. It will pass away, it is not a true Christian holiday. The real origin of Valentine’s Day is outside the Bible and early Christian literature.

Christians who may be tempted to compromise need to ask themselves if the origins of Valentine’s Day are biblical or pagan.

It is not too hard to figure that out.

Even the old World Book Encyclopedia (Valentine’s Day. Volume 19. 1966, pp.205-206) states,

…the customs of the day have nothing to do with the lives of the saints. They probably come from an ancient Roman festival called Lupercalia which took place every February 15. The festival honored Juno, the Roman goddess of women and marriage, and Pan, the god of nature…The Romans celebrated their feast of Lupercalia as a lovers’ festival for young people. Young men and women chose partners for the festival by drawing names from a box…After the spread of Christianity, churchmen tried to give Christian meaning to the pagan festival. In 496, Pope Gelasius changed the Lupercalia festival of February 15 to Saint Valentine’s Day February 14. But the sentimental meaning of the old festival has remained to the present time. Historians disagree about the identity of St. Valentine”.

Furthermore it also states,

LUPERCALIA…was celebrated on February 15 in honor of Faunus, a rural Italian god. Faunus was later identified with Pan, the god of herds and fertility…Priests…ran around striking all the women the met (Lupercalia. Volume 12. 1966, p.456).

The pagan being named Cupid (a supposed son of Venus) was also involved. According to pagan mythology, anyone being hit by Cupid’s arrow falls in love with the first person he/she sees. One source was bold enough to state,

The church replaced elements of various love-gods (Juno Februata, Eros, Cupid, Kama, Priapus) with St. Valentine, an imaginary Christian. A number of contradictory biographies were created for him…By taking over some of the features of the Pagan gods and goddesses, St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers…St. Valentine’s Day can be traced back to Lupercalia, the Roman “festival of sexual license” (ST. VALENTINE AND VALENTINE’S DAY, http://www.religioustolerance.org/valentine1.htm, February 6, 2004).

Notice what the Roman Catholics teach,

The roots of St. Valentine’s Day lie in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on Feb. 15. For 800 years the Romans had dedicated this day to the god Lupercus. On Lupercalia, a young man would draw the name of a young woman in a lottery and would then keep the woman as a sexual companion for the year (The Origins of St. Valentine’s Day. http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/ValentinesDay/, January 31, 2004).

It is of interest to note that the same Catholic source states,

The Catholic Church no longer officially honors St. Valentine, but the holiday has both Roman and Catholic roots.

Does Valentine’s Day sound like a holy festival of love or a pagan holiday of lust?

Notice also:

The Feast of Lubercus The first interpretation has this celebration originating as a pagan tradition in the third century. During this time hordes of hungry wolves roamed outside of Rome where shepherds kept their flocks. The God Lupercus, was said to watch over the shepherds and their flocks and keep them from the wolves. Every February the Romans celebrated a feast called Lupercalia to honor Lupercus so that no harm would come to the shepherds and their flocks. Also during Lupercalia, but in honor of the goddess Juno Februata, the names of young women were put into a box and names were drawn by lot. The boys and girls who were matched would be considered partners for the year, which began in March. This celebration continued long after wolves were a problem to Rome. — St. Valentine’s Day As Christianity became prevalent, priests attempted to replace old heathen practices. To Christianize the ancient pagan celebration of the Feast of Lubercus, the church officials changed the name to St. Valentine’s Day. To give the celebration further meaning and eliminate pagan traditions, priests substituted the drawing of Saints names for the names of the girls. On St. Valentine’s Day the priest placed saint’s names into an urn or box. The young people then drew a name from the container. In the following year, the youth was supposed to emulate the life of the saint whose name he had drawn. By the fourteenth century they reverted back to the use of girl’s names. In the sixteenth century they once again tried to have saintly valentines but it was as unsuccessful as the first attempt. While it can’t be proved historically, there were seven men named Valentine who were honored with feasts on February 14th. Of these men, two stories link incidents that could have given our present day meaning to St. Valentine’s Day…—-February 14th – The Day the Birds Began to Mate The Europeans also believed that on February 14th the birds began to choose their mates. In fact Chaucer, in his “Parlement of Foules,” wrote: “For this was Seynt Valentine’s Day when every foul cometh ther to choose his mate”…The tradition of birds choosing their mates on St. Valentine’s Day led to the idea that boys and girls would do the same. Now when a youth drew a girl’s name, he wore it on his sleeve, and attended and protected her during the following year. This made the girl his valentine and they exchanged love tokens throughout the year. Later this was changed to only men giving love tokens to females, usually without names but signed “with St. Valentine’s Love.” Later, in France, both sexes drew from the valentine box. A booked called Travels in England, written in 1698, gives an account of the way it was done: On St. Valentine’s Eve an equal number of Maids and Bachelors get together, each writes their true or some feigned name upon separate billets, which they roll up and draw by way of lots, the Maids taking the Men’s billets, and the Men the Maids’; so that each of the young Men lights upon a Girl that he calls his Valentine, and each of the Girls upon a young Man which she calls hers. By this means each has two Valentines–but the Man sticks faster to the Valentine that is fallen to him than to the Valentine to whom he is fallen. Fortune having thus divided the company into so many couples, the valentines give balls and treats to their mistresses, wear their billets several days upon their bosoms or sleeves, and this little sport ofen ends in Love. This ceremony is practised differently in different Countries, and according to the freedom or severity of Madame Valentine. This is another kind of Valentine, which is the first young Man or Woman chance throws in your way in the street, or elsewhere . . . (The Origins of Valentine’s Day. http://www.techdirect.com/valentine/origin.html, January 31, 2004).

Anyway, the preceding article mentions those three as the possible origins of Valentine’s day. Actually all three of those are to some degree correct (and World Book Online, in its article Valentine’s Day–which I checked on February 6, 2004–says that some believe that all three played a role in the origins)–Valentine’s day was a pagan holiday that the Catholic Church modified and that most Protestants embrace, which is probably why some Europeans also declared that to be the day the birds mated (birds mate pretty much every day in some part of Europe, so its seems disingenuous to coincidentally declare it on February 14).

But the most likely beginning of the “holiday” seems to have to do with the beginning of the Roman Empire, and probably is prior to the third century:

Archaeologists say they have unearthed Lupercale-the sacred cave where, according to legend, a she-wolf nursed the twin founders of Rome and where the city itself was born.

The long-lost underground chamber was found beneath the remains of Emperor Augustus’ palace on the Palatine, a 230-foot-tall (70-meter-tall) hill in the center of the city…

According to myth, Lupercale is where a she-wolf suckled Romulus and Remus, the twin sons of the war god Mars and mortal priestess Rhea Silvia, who had been abandoned in a cradle on the bank of the Tiber River…

Every year on February 15 ancient priests killed a dog and two goats and smeared the foreheads of two boys from noble families with the sacrificial blood as part of the Lupercalia celebration. (Valsecchi, Maria Cristina. Sacred Cave of Rome’s Founders Discovered, Archaeologists Say. National Geographic News. January 26, 2007. January 26, 2007. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/01/070126-rome-palatine.html)

Of course, the story of Romulus and Remus is really the fable about the beginning of the Roman Empire–now that Europe is once again trying to revive this empire, I am sure that its leaders are pleased to have located “the sacred cave”.

Is Valentine’s Day A Holiday in Honor of “The Queen of Heaven”?

Another source adds,

The roots of Valentine’s Day can be traced back to pagan festivals of third century Rome. February 14th was set aside as a day to honor the goddess Juno, who was the queen of the Roman gods and goddesses and was the goddess of women and marriage. This day was also the eve of the Feast of Lupercalia. This festival was in honor of the god Lubercus (The History of Valentine’s. http://www.christinescyberuniverse.com/VDay/VdayHistory.html, January 31, 2004).

And who was Juno?

JUNO was the queen of heaven and wife of Jupiter (Zeus)…The ancient Greeks called her HERA (Juno. World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 11. 1966, pp.162-163).

A holiday for the queen of heaven!

What does God say about that?

…the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. Do they provoke Me to anger?” says the LORD. “Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces?” (Jeremiah 7:18-20, NKJV)

Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: ‘You and your wives have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled with your hands, saying, “We will surely keep our vows that we have made, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her.” You will surely keep your vows and perform your vows!’ “Therefore hear the word of the LORD, all Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: ‘Behold, I have sworn by My great name,’ says the LORD, ‘that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, “The Lord GOD lives.”‘Behold, I will watch over them for adversity and not for good. And all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them” (Jeremiah 44:25-28, NKJV).

In other words, God was not happy that people wanted to worship the queen of heaven and He would punish them for it.

Another source mentioned,

The Feast of Lupercalia was celebrated in honor of the God Lupercus, who was said to watch over shepherds and their flocks and kept them safe, since during this time hordes of hungry wolves roamed outside Rome. The festival was celebrated on February 15 at the cave of the Lupercal on the Palatine Hill, where the legendary founders of Rome, the twins Romulus and Remus, were supposed to have been nursed by a wolf. However, other scholars, while not dismissing the celebration of Lupercalia, prefer to explain the celebration which took place in the middle of February as a celebration to the Goddess Juno Februato. It is to their thinking linked to Valentine’s Day. While all scholars agree to the time when the practice of men drawing the names of women took place, there do exist slight differences in whose honor the celebrations took place. As time marched on, Christianity steadily gained converts and it became an officially supported religion in the Roman state under Constantine I, who ruled as emperor from AD 324 to 337. All pagan cults were prohibited in AD 392 by an edict of emperor Theodosius I. At this time, priests attempted to replace old heathen practices. The ancient pagan celebration of the Feast of Lubercus was renamed St. Valentine’s Day . The priests replaced the practice of having men draw names of girls with having young people draw names of saints. The youths were supposed to emulate the life of the saint whose name they had drawn. The practice of this custom was unsuccessful at first and reverted back to the use of having men draw names of girls (The Myth of the Origin of Valentine’s Day. http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/9300/stp.html, January 31, 2004).

No matter if Valentine’s is the Feast of Lupercus/Lubercus or Queen of Heaven Juno or both (which it probably is) it is NOT listed as a Feast of the LORD (see Leviticus 23).

The modern practice of giving cards to ask/tell someone to “be my Valentine” seems to be a holdover from the ancient sexual lottery.

None who profess Christ should observe this February 14th “holiday”–it simply is not a Christian holiday. It began as a sexual lottery and still has sexual ramifications, even in the 21st century.

Modern scholars and historians realize this, shouldn’t you?

For more information, please consider studying the following:

Valentine’s Day: Its Real Origins Christianity Today has suggested 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.
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?
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.
Are the Ten Commandment Still in Effect? This article quotes the ten commandments and combines some of the previous articles into one article about the ten commandments. The commandments are shown at Mount Sinai, before Mount Sinai, in the teachings of Jesus, after the crucifixion, and in the teachings of Paul. It addresses the most common “traditions of men” regarding them as well.
Were the Pharisees Condemned for Keeping the Law or Reasoning Around it? Many believe that the Pharisees were condemned for keeping the law, but what does your Bible say? If they were not condemned for that, what were they condemned for?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught?
Was the Commandment to Love the Only Command? Some have stated that John’s writings teach this, but is that what the Bible really says?
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

BibleNewsProphecy: Pope Francis’ Celebration of Reformation’s 500th Anniversary

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

COGwriter

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


18:14

Pope Francis’ Celebration of Reformation’s 500th Anniversary

The Vatican announced that Pope Francis plans to attend a celebration commemorating the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s nailing his 95 theses on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. Is this part of the ecumenical movement? Is this a good thing? Does the Bible warn against this? Do Protestant leaders favor ecumenical unity? What did early Protestants teach about the papacy? Should the Bible or human committees be listened to?

A written article of related interest is titled: Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction!

Here is a link to our video: Pope Francis’ Celebration of Reformation’s 500th Anniversary.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! and World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Certain Catholic writings indicate this, while others take a different view, but what does the Bible show? A related sermon is Will Jesus Christ be called the Antichrist?
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.
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 Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example? Here is a related sermon video: Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong: Reformers with Differences.
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? Former Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is now Pope Francis. According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? Could a Jesuit be “the black pope”?
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.
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. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
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.
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. It also lists 18 Laodicean errors in prophetic teachings. A sermon related to the booklet is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG.ORG Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and other British-descended dominated lands.
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 and has articles in español/castellano.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.
Bible News Prophecy
channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them at that channel.

Carnaval 2016: Should Christians participate?

Saturday, February 6th, 2016


2007 Carnival at Pátio de São Pedro square, in Recife, Brazil (Wiki Photo)

COGwriter

‘Carnaval’ for 2016 officially starts February 7th in parts of Brazil and elsewhere:

Rio Carnival is a wild 5 days celebration, 40 days before Easter. It officially starts on Friday and finishes on Fat Tuesday with the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday after which one is supposed to abstain from all bodily pleasures. Carnival with all its excesses, celebrated as a profane event, can be considered an act of farewell to the pleasures of the flesh. http://www.rio-carnival.net/

Brazil’s carnival…s the largest and most famous in the world — and, given that, a major boon for the country’s economy. In Rio alone, close to a million tourists attended the 2012 celebration. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2013/02/will-brazil-cancel-carnaval/4583/

As thousands of tourists flock south for Brazil’s famous pre-Lenten celebration, samba schools give floats and costumes a final touch before unveiling their masterpieces on the ruas (streets) of Río…Colombia’s coastal city of Barranquilla holds the second-largest Carnaval during the same dates as Brazil’s festivities, and New Orleans’ Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) will celebrate with floats and beads on Feb. 12. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/carnival-brazil-preparations_n_2618616.html

Here are a couple of descriptions of previous related celebrations:

Carnival…five-day annual exaltation of music, booze and flesh…The rotund King Momo embodies Carnival, a raucous free-for-all where excesses are encouraged and the natural order of things is turned upside down: men dress as women…In addition to the elaborate two-day samba group parade and the high-dollar costumed balls where the rich spend a lot to wear very little in the most exclusive company, Rio’s free, open-to-all street Carnival is bigger than ever. http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2011/03/rio_celebrates_as_carnival_ope.html

For as long as locals remember, the sight of people relieving themselves – and the stench of their steamy puddles – has been as much a part of Carnival as half-naked women, samba schools, drag queens, body paint, and drunk and sun-burned foreigners. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/06/brazil-pee-patrols-carnival-public-urination_n_2631945.html?utm_hp_ref=world

Booze, cross-dressing, and flesh exposure does not fit with the Bible’s comments about modesty and avoiding drunkenness, but the party is generally expanding in popularity.

Notice that the Bible teaches against these activities:

18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation (Ephesians 5:18)

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

9…women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation (1 Timothy 2:9).

Carnaval’s relationship to real Christianity is that real Christians should condemn it.

Here are three reports about the version of carnaval in Bolivia (the first was machine translated from Spanish):

He seized the carnival!

The Carnival was born of pagan festivals. In the Christian era is celebrated on the eve of Lent.

By Daniel Rojas Grove | Posted on February 18, 2012

Costumes. Extras. Masks. Fiesta. Rampage. These days, just before the Christian Lent, millions of people worldwide forget cares and worries jump to the streets and make their lives a carnival. Amid the bustle, drums, trumpets are the contemporary version of ancient pagan festivals like the Roman Saturnalia and Lupercalia.

Experts say the Carnival tradition dates back over 5000 years, the festivals held in honor of the Apis bull in Egypt.

In the world there are celebrations of Carnival in places as diverse as remote and Venice (Italy), Lucerne (Switzerland), Cologne (Germany) and this side of the world in New Orleans and Latin America in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Panama and Bolivia…

Carnival is so important that Unesco for its historical value and aesthetic beauty declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity those of Oruro, Bolivia, the Barranquilla, Colombia, that of Binche, in Belgium, the Makishi, Zambia , and the Drametze in Buthan.

Oruro is considered the folklore capital of Bolivia and its carnivals are the heritage since 2001. They originate in the Andean invocations to Pachamama (Mother Earth), Uncle Supay (devil) and the Virgen de la Candelaria (Virgin of the Tunnel). http://www.elcolombiano.com/BancoConocimiento/S/se_prendieron_los_carnavales/se_prendieron_los_carnavales.asp

Devil’s Carnival (La Diablada)
Frommer’s
When: 19 – 23 Feb 2009 (annual), Where: Oruro
Every spring, Oruro goes into carnival mode. The costumes on show are phenomenal and include anything from llama herders to Amazonian Indians sporting feathered head-dresses. The combination of colour, outlandish masks, music, dance and fireworks is bound to leave you wide-eyed.
One of the highlights are the devil dancers, the tradition of which derives from a peculiar kind of devil worship. Oruro is a mining town and the locals, spending so much time underground, decided to adopt a god of the underworld. Christian tradition dictates that this must be the devil and the Oruro faithful thus adopted Satan, or Supay, as their god.
They would perform sacrifices to the devil on a regular basis to ensure their safety in the mines and the devil dancing in the carnival derives from their belief in Satan as their protector underground. http://events.frommers.com/sisp/index.htm?fx=event&event_id=5769
.
Festivals To Get You Going
FF, UK – Feb 18, 2009..

La Diablada – The Dance Of The Devil.

The 4km long procession takes place on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday and features so many entertainers that it can actually last up to 20 hours. The whole debacle follows a brightly costumes San Miguel character, and behind him come the more famous devils and a whole host of other beings.

The chief devil, Lucifer, get’s treated to the best costume, obviously, and swans around in a velvet cape and ornate mask, naturally. The rest of the procession follows and is drenched in jewels and precious metals with offerings for the owner of the underground minerals, El Tio. http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/music/events/Festivals+To+Get+You+Going+Next+Week-7201.html

Festivals involving the devil like the above were not observed by early Christians. It is obviously a pagan celebration that many enjoy and that appears to be growing in popularity.

Of course, not only is carnival not in the Bible, neither are Ash Wednesday or Lent (they did not come until centuries after the original apostles died) as none of them are original practices of the true Church. Nor are any practices of the Continuing Church of God today.

Wikipedia states:

Carnival is a festival traditionally held in Roman Catholic and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Orthodox societies. Protestant areas usually do not have carnival celebrations or have modified traditions, such as the Danish Carnival. The Brazilian Carnaval is the longest celebration today, but many cities and regions worldwide celebrate with large, popular events. These include the Carnevale of Venice, Italy, of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands; of Torres Vedras, Portugal; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Rijeka, Croatia; Barranquilla, Colombia; and Trinidad and Tobago. In the United States, the famous Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama, date back to French and Spanish colonial times…

An inspiration for the carnival traditionally was that it marked the last time for celebration and special foods before Lent. The Lenten period was marked by practices of fasting, restricted food, and pious practices. Traditionally, no parties were held and people refrained from eating rich foods, such as meat, and in some cases, dairy, fats and sugar. The forty days of Lent serve to mark an annual time of turning to God and religious discipline.

While it is an integral part of the Christian calendar, parts of the carnival traditions likely reach back to pre-Christian times. The ancient Roman festivals of the Saturnalia and Bacchanalia may have been absorbed in the Italian Carnival. The Saturnalia, in turn, may be based on the Greek Dionysia and Oriental festivals. While medieval pageants and festivals such as Corpus Christi were church-sanctioned celebrations, carnival was also a manifestation of medieval folk culture. Many local carnival customs are based on local pre-Christian rituals, for example the elaborate rites involving masked figures in the Swabian-Alemannic carnival.

Yes, many Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and others will participate in the revelries associated with carnival. And many will also observe Lent.

Even though the practices associated with all of them have “pre-Christian origins,” are not endorsed in the Bible, and result in people not understanding God’s plan of salvation for them.

Perhaps those who profess Christ should follow His example and observe the same days that He did, such as Passover.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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?
Is Lent a Christian Holiday? When did it originate? What about Ash Wednesday? If you observe them, do you know why? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language by Dr. Hoeh: ¿Por Qué Se Observa la Cuaresma? Here is a link to a related sermon: Lent, Ash Wednesday, Carnaval, and Christianity?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Continuing Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
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 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?
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children.  What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on?  There are also two YouTube videos related to this, titled Transgender ‘Woe to those who call evil good’ and Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children.
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.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? Where did Easter come from? What do scholars and the Bible reveal? Here is a link to a video titled Why Easter?
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here is a YouTube video intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread: Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
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。.

Pope Francis to meet Russian Patriarch Kirill in Cuba: an ecumenical first

Friday, February 5th, 2016


Pope Francis (cover) and Patriarch Kirill (Kremlin.ru)

COGwriter

The Vatican announced that Pope Francis is now scheduled to meet Russian Patriarch Kirill in Cuba:

February 5, 2016

Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, will meet with Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, next week at the first meeting between the leaders of the two churches in history.

The Vatican made the announcement Friday. It said Francis will meet with Kirill in Cuba on February 12. The meeting is the first in history between a pope and Russian Orthodox Patriarch, which is the most influential of the Orthodox churches.

Roman Catholic popes have previously met with Istanbul-based patriarchs of the worldwide Eastern Orthodox church. The Russian Orthodox Church has 165 million of the world’s 250 million Orthodox Christians.

The two men are set to hold about two hours of talks at the Havana airport, at a summit arranged by Cuban President Raul Castro. http://www.voanews.com/content/pope-to-meet-russian-orthodox-church-patriarch-in-cuba/3178098.html

February 5, 2016

“The Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow are pleased to announce that, by the grace of God, His Holiness Pope Francis and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet on February 12 next,” the Holy See statement said..

“Their meeting will take place in Cuba, where the Pope will make a stop on his way to Mexico, and where the Patriarch will be on an official visit. It will include a personal conversation at Havana’s José Martí International Airport, and will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration.

“This meeting of the Primates of the Catholic Church and the Russian Orthodox Church, after a long preparation, will be the first in history and will mark an important stage in relations between the two Churches. The Holy See and the Moscow Patriarchate hope that it will also be a sign of hope for all people of good will.” http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/pope-francis-to-meet-with-russian-patriarch-kirill-in-cuba/38059.htm

February 5, 2016

Pope Francis and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church will meet in Cuba next week in a historic step to heal the 1,000-year-old schism that divided Christianity between East and West, both churches announced Friday. …

The two churches split during the Great Schism of 1054 and have remained estranged over a host of issues, including the primacy of the pope and Russian Orthodox accusations that the Catholic Church is poaching converts in former Soviet lands.

Those tensions have prevented previous popes from ever meeting with the Russian patriarch, even though the Vatican has long insisted that it was merely ministering to tiny Catholic communities in largely Orthodox lands.

‘You call me and I’ll go’

The persecution of Christians — Catholic and Orthodox — in the Middle East and Africa, however, has had the effect of bringing the two churches closer together. Both the Vatican and the Orthodox Church have been outspoken in denouncing attacks on Christians and the destruction of Christian monuments, particularly in Syria.

In November 2014, Francis had said he had told Kirill: “I’ll go wherever you want. You call me and I’ll go.” Kirill will be in Cuba on an official visit, his first to Latin America as patriarch.

The meeting, which was announced jointly at the Vatican and in Moscow, marks a major development in the Vatican’s long effort to bridge the divisions in Christianity. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/pope-francis-russian-orthodox-meet-1.3435082

The term “ponifex maximus” means great bridge builder. It was a title that the pagan Roman emperors held. The pagan emperors claimed to be the bridge between the gods and humans. Many want to see bridges between religions claiming to be Christian.

The title Pontifex Maximus had been held by many Roman Emperors, including Constantine of the 4th century.  Here is a report from The Catholic Encyclopedia about the early reign of Constantine:

Could not Sol Deus Invictus, to whom even Constantine dedicated his coins for a long time, or Sol Mithras Deus Invictus, venerated by Diocletian and Galerius, become the supreme god of the empire? Constantine may have pondered over this. Nor had he absolutely rejected the thought even after a miraculous event had strongly influenced him in favour of the God of the Christians…As pontifex maximus he watched over the heathen worship and protected its rights (Herbermann, Charles, and Georg Grupp. Constantine the Great. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 1 Sept. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04295c.htm>).

A few decades after Constantine died, the Roman Emperor Gratian refused the title. Here is one report:

Pontifex Maximus…Gratian refused the pontifical robe.  He was the last  Roman emperor to hold that title, for the college of Pontiffs was abolished under Emperor Theodosius in 395 C.E. (White C.  The Emergence of Christianity.  Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 p. 89).

However, Catholic sources confirm that Bishop Siricius quickly picked up the title:

SIRICIUS, ST. (384-399)…was the first to assume the title of pope from the Greek papa meaning father (Lopes A. The Popes: The lives of the pontiffs through 2000 years of history. Futura Edizoni, Roma, 1997, p. 13).

The title pope (papa)…It was apparently in the fourth century that it began to become a distinctive title of the Roman Pontiff. Pope Siricius (d. 398) seems so to use it (Ep. vi in P. L., XIII, 1164) (Joyce G. H. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. The Pope. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XII. Copyright © 1911 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by Kevin Knight. Nihil Obstat, June 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

When one travels throughout Rome, one can often see the initials P.M. on various monuments next to a pope’s name, signalling the claim that that pope is the pontifex maximus.  A title that is not in the Bible, nor one that early Christians ever applied to their leaders.

Now as far as the current pontiff, Francis has been able to get along with the Russian Patriarch for several reasons, including not coming out in favor of the Kiev government as much as those in Europe would have liked.

In February of 2015, I posed the following:

Pope Francis has refrained from being highly critical of Russia in all of this for several reasons, including his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his desire to attain unity with the Russian Orthodox church.

The Russian Orthodox church has the most members of any branch of the Eastern Orthodox faith, and if Pope Francis wants to get ecumenical unity with the Eastern Orthodox, which of course he does, he likely has concluded that he needs to be careful to not directly offend them if he perceives that as possible.

Thus, the Vatican’s approach to Ukraine, in my view, is mainly one of alignment with the ecumenical and interfaith agenda that Pope Francis has. As I have written before, I believe that the Russian Orthodox will, for a time, provide at least tacit support for the changed ‘Catholic’ faith of the Church of Rome and the final Beast power that will arise in Europe. However, since the Bible shows that a Russian-led confederation will turn against the end time ‘daughter of Babylon’ that Europe will become (Jeremiah 50:41-43; 51:27-33), it would seem that the Russian Orthodox church will also distance itself from whatever version of religion that final Beast power will cling to (the Babylonian leaders will turn against the Church of Seven Hills according to the Bible–Revelation 17:9,16-18). (Thiel B. Russian Patriarch Kirill praises Vatican’s approach to Ukrainian crisis. February 4, 2015)

Pope Francis is working on building ‘bridges’ between many religions and is interested in the Russian Orthodox.

As far as Cuba goes, Pope Francis has been working in that officially atheistic land as well. Raul Castro, the current President of Cuba, has expressed interest in possibly becoming Roman Catholic again (see Cuba’s president says he may convert back to Catholicism).

The Bible warns against the type of Babylonian unity (Revelation 17,18) that the Vatican has in mind.  And even if a rift with the Russian Orthodox is temporarily papered over, the time will come when the Russians will turn against the Beast powers of Europe (Revelation 13)–the daughter of Babylon (Jeremiah 50:41-43). Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?

That being said, though there will likely be ups and downs in the relationship, continue to look for cooperation between the Russian Orthodox and the Vatican for the next several years at least.

Pope Francis is also trying to cozy up with the Protestants as our latest sermonette video, Pope Francis’ Celebration of Reformation’s 500th Anniversary, shows.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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?]
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?
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 of related interest could be Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
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.
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future?
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?
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?
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?]
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?
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?
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.Mexico, Central America, South America, Brazil, and the Caribbean in Prophecy [Español: México, América central, Suramérica, Brasil y el Caribe en la profecía] [Português: México, América Central, Ámérica do Sul, e Brasil na profecia] What will happen to those of Latin America? Will they have prosperity? Will they cooperate with Europe? Will they suffer in the future? What role might the various Caribbean nations/territories play?
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.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2016, 2017, or 2018? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives. A shorter video is: Can the Great Tribulation Start in 2016?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? Former Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is now Pope Francis. According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? Could a Jesuit be “the black pope”?
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of God?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
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.
The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy Is there a Eurasian union that will be formed? Is one being formed right now? Are any leaders working on that in the 21st century? Does the Bible teach that there will be a Eurasian union? If some type of Eurasian union is formed, who might it benefit and who will it destroy? A related video would be Is The Eurasian Union Rising?
Russia and Ukraine: Origins and Prophesied Future Where do the Russians come from? What about those in the Ukraine? What is prophesied for Russia and its allies? What will they do to the Europeans that supported the Beast in the end? You can also watch the short video Ukraine in Prophecy?
Russia in the Bible and in Prophecy Is Russia mentioned in the Bible? It it is where is it? Is there any evidence of a people moving to the land that the Russians now occupy? What do Catholic and other prophecies say about Russia? What does the Bible teach? How are Protestants often in error on this? Is there more in biblical prophecy for Russia than war? Does God have a plan to save Russia and her allies? Does Russia have a history involving Sabbath keepers? Does scripture tie Russia in with Armageddon? Will Russia help defeat the end time Babylonian power? What did the Apostle John, and the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Daniel, write about Russia? This is a sermon-length video.
Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day? Is Ezekiel 38 about to be fufilled? A related video is available titled Ezekiel 38: For Russia, Ukraine, & Iran Now?