Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

Could ancient traditions be a factor in Indians worshiping the Beast of Revelation?

Sunday, May 28th, 2017


Someone (perhaps the False Prophet) Bowing Before the Kalki

COGwriter

Will the 1.25 billion people in India support the Beast of Revelation? What of the over 800 million Hindus (most of whom who live in India)? Might they accept the final Beast power who is aligned with the final Antichrist?

Bible prophecy teaches yes as the following points out:

4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. (Revelation 13:4-15)

Now, you may wondering why the Hindus may follow these leaders, who will be European. There are several reasons, including economic, signs, and lying wonders. But there also may be a theological one.

Before getting to that, let me mention that about a year ago, I was speaking to a Hindu in Indonesia who told me that he felt, that yes, under the right circumstances, Hindus could support some type of Western religion.

Now, within Hinduism there is the belief that a leader called the Kalki who is to rise up with the promise of bringing peace–and while most views suggest he is Indian, that could be a matter of interpretation–Hinduism mainly is looking for a leader to rise up. Related to that, here is a section of my book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect that I would like to quote:

A Hindu from India named Vijay Kumar (he refers to himself as “The Man who Realized God In 1993”) makes the following claims…:

For the society to climb back to its pristine glory of the golden era… even the meek would handle metal (pick arms). Whatever the poor and the downtrodden lay their hands upon would become their weapon. In the last phase of the Kali Yuga we are passing through… the complete society has been taken to ransom by about 6% corrupt population comprising of politicians, bureaucrats, judiciary and police force…people await with abated breath the coming of Bhagwan Kalki…one who delivers the mankind from the existing ills of today. Bhagwan Kalki would be a spiritual master of the highest order with the deadly combination of a wise dictator (Chanakya of the modern era)…(Kumar, Vijay. End of the World 2012. http://www.godrealized.com/2012.html)

Notice that Vijay Kumar’s writings support a warring power—something the Bible warns against in Revelation 13:3–10. This type of warring power will not bring in a true age of peace, even though many may proclaim that it will (cf. Ezekiel 13:10-16; 1 Thessalonians 5:3).

Also notice the following about the Avatar/Bhagwan Kalki:

Whenever there is a withering of the law
and an uprising of lawlessness on all sides,
then I manifest Myself.

For the salvation of the righteous
and the destruction of such as do evil,
for the firm establishing of the Law,
I come to birth, age after age.—Bhagavad Gita, Book IV, Sutra 5, 7, 8…

In all, the Hindu text of Kalki Purana is comprised of 6100 verses describing … Kalki, who is considered the last Avtar or incarnation of Vishnu or the Supreme Being, who will establish the Age of Truth or Age of Purity on Earth.… As agreed by all the religious prophecies, the Awaited One will not be a man of peace like Jesus Christ or Buddha, but a man of war who will destroy evil and establish righteousness on the earth. (Hindu Prophecies: The Kalki Purana. http://ww-iii.tripod.com/hindu.htm)

If views like these become predominant in the future, it may be that they will help lead to Hindus at least temporarily accepting a new religion of the coming False Prophet and the authority of the coming militaristic dictator known as Beast that the Bible warns will rise up at the end. (Thiel B. 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect. Nazarene Books, 2009)

Notice also the following which one from India suggests this leader could have risen up in the Summer of 2014:

Some persons are skeptical that the earth was not destroyed on 21-12-12. I had written in an article published in Hindustan Times on 18-12-2012 that 21-12-12 is not end of world but a new chapter to be opened…

Nostradamus, who was guided by a cosmic power, had written in his prophecy 2/19:

For nine years the thin man will keep a peaceful rule,

Then he will fall into such a bloody thirst,

That a great people shall die without faith or law,

Killed by a much better natured man.

If we examine all the rulers of big countries who ruled after these prophecies were written, hardly we will find a ruler thinner than our P.M. Dr. Manmohan Singh…If the above mentioned prophecy is about our present P.M.; he is destined to have a peaceful rule for nine years. His nine years end in May 2013; he may rule for few more months. Then he will fall into such a bloody thirst of someone that a great number of people would die in his country. This may mean that he would fall in a trap of someone’s thirst and would have to relinquish his post. The circumstances, thereafter, would take such a turn that many such people shall die who would not have faith in law. After all that, the person / persons responsible for this turmoil would be killed by a much better natured (noble) man. Is this noble man the ‘Tenth Incarnation of Lord Vishnu’ who has been described in SRIMADBHAGWAT as KLAKI AVATAR? According to this scripture, his presence would be known to everyone by 27th July 2014 (conjunction of Sun, Moon, and Jupiter in Cancer)…

One who for a long time will pacify the earth can only be the said incarnation or the ruler who was designated by the God for this purpose. He has been described as MAITREYA in Buddhist scriptures and as RIDER OF WHITE HORSE in Christian scriptures…

It is recalled that few months back tears started rolling out from the statue of Brahmendra Swami in his temple in Andhra Pradesh. All this indicates that time for his reappearance as KALKI AVATAR has come.

The Mantra:

OM HREEM KLEEM SHREEM SHIVAAY SHRI VEER BRAHNENDRA SWAMINE NAMAH

KALKI VICHAR MANCH, http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/PositiveThinkingAndMeditation/conversations/topics/15379 (viewed 09/05/13)

While 2014 was too early, Satan knows God’s plan and has planted ideas throughout various “mystics” throughout history to confuse and deceive human kind (cf. Revelation 12:9). And even though those of India will be among those who will rebel against the final Beast power, it appears that they too will, for a while, somewhat accept him and what he advocates. And this appears to be consistent with both biblical and Hindu prophecy.

Notice also the following that I saw later:

Kalki is the name given to the tenth incarnation of Vishnu when Vishnu will appear on a white horse, wielding a sword, as destroyer of the wicked. Bhagavan is the name given to a superior guide, or a respectful form to address spiritual teachers or guides, as commonly referred to in guru traditions. (http://www.indiatvnews.com/news/india/india-tv-reveals-truth-behind-self-proclaimed-kalki-bhagavan–16892.html viewed 05/19/15)

Some of the prophecies involving the Kalki also discuss a “White horse.” The Bible warns of a rider of the white horse (the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse) who is a deceptive religious leader, and at the end representing the False Prophet, the final Antichrist. Around 1765, the illustration shown at the beginning of this article was put together. Notice that it has a person with a white horse who is bowing down before the Kalki. This is consistent with biblical prophecy that the false prophet will try to cause all to worship the Beast (who will be a European man, also called the King of the North in the Hebrew scriptures). Other Hindu prophecies have the Kalki himself riding the white horse. The Bible itself shows that the Beast and the False Prophet work together and more so after the final ride of the White Horseman of Revelation 6:2 who goes forth to conquer.

Also, the rider of the White Horse in biblical prophecy is NOT one that Christians should follow (see also Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse).

Satan knows God’s plan and has planted ideas throughout various “mystics” throughout history to confuse and deceive human kind (cf. Revelation 12:9). And even though those of India will be among those who will rebel against the final Beast power, it appears that they too will, for a while, somewhat accept him and what he advocates.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

India, Its Biblical Past and Future: Any Witness? The Bible discusses the origins of those of Indian heritage. This article quotes the Bible and also discusses some of the witness to India throughout history and what is happening in the 21st century (including those in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka).
India and the Beast of Revelation 13 Do biblical, Catholic, and even Hindu prophecies suggest that many in India will follow, for a while, the Beast and False Prophet/Antichrist? Here is link to a related YouTube video Will People in India Worship the Beast of Revelation 13?
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon?
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
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.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What is the Book of Revelation trying to tell us about them? Does the first one deceive many?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.

Mike Gendron reports shock about Hank Hanegraaff’s further transformation

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

TRANSFORMED FROM TRUTH

Worldwide Church of God Transformed from Truth to Fairy Tales

COGwriter

Mike Gendron had the following titled “The Consequences of Departing from the Faith” as his lead article in his latest newsletter:

Hank Hanegraaff, known as the Bible Answer Man, was chrismated into the Orthodox Church last month. According to Orthodox teachings, Chrismation is the mystery by which a person is granted the gift of the Holy Spirit through the anointing of Holy Chrism. How could a man who spent so many years helping Christians identify various counterfeits now make the most foolish decision to join a counterfeit form of Christianity? Like its former protagonist, the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox also teach a false and fatal gospel of salvation by sacraments and works. They are both to be accursed for teaching a gospel contrary to the Gospel of Christ (Gal. 1:6-9).

How could the Bible Answer Man disregard the Bible when making a decision that has eternal consequences? Hanegraaff said, “I’ve been impacted by Eastern Orthodox people who have a very keen sense of Church history and have absolute fidelity to the essentials of the historic Christian faith.” It is hard to believe that someone who claims to know the Bible so well can say the Orthodox religion has “absolute fidelity to the essentials of the historic Christian faith.” Does Hanegraaff not know that the primary essential of the Christian faith is the non-negotiable Gospel of Christ? (1 Cor. 15:1-4). 

The Orthodox people do not believe or proclaim the one-time, all-sufficient, unrepeatable sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ for the finished work of redemption. Instead, their priests continue to offer what they believe is the physical body and blood of Jesus Christ everyday on an altar. This Eucharistic sin-offering not only blasphemes Christ, but also rejects His victory cry, “It is finished” (John 19:30). By continuing their sacerdotal priesthood, the Orthodox also reject Jesus as the one mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2:5). In the Orthodox Church forgiveness of sin and salvation can only come through its priests and its sacraments.

One of the immediate consequences for Hanegraaff’s conversion to the Orthodox Church was having his radio program booted from the Bott Radio Network. We applaud the network’s decision to discontinue the Bible Answer Man program after carrying it since the 1980’s. Hanegraaff’s perplexing decision to join an apostate church that long ago departed from the faith of the apostles, may have eternal consequences also. The Orthodox religion holds its people captive through an utter dependence on a superfluous priesthood for salvation, along with the idolatrous worship of icons, necromantic prayers and worship for the dead. … Hanegraaff has submitted to a much more corrupt religion (Gal. 2:5).

Throughout the New Testament, we are warned that there will be false converts, false teachers, and apostates in the church. We cannot judge anyone’s heart, but we must be fruit inspectors (Mat. 7:15-20). Only God knows if Hanegraaff is a true or a false convert. However, it is inconceivable that a true Christian would exchange a relationship with the One Mediator for a religion that offers ungodly mediators. Hanegraaff’s departure is not unprecedented. “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19).

We need to remember that the last days will be marked by widespread deception and growing apostasy. “The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1). Paul exhorts the church to be on the alert. He wrote: “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:28-30). Only time will tell how many undiscerning people will follow Hanegraaff on the wide road to destruction. 

We are living in a church age where many people are choosing to follow persuasive personalities rather than the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word. These undiscerning people need to be warned that there are eternal consequences for those who follow the teachings of men without testing them with the supreme authority of God’s Word. The only way false teachers can succeed is when professing Christians put up with them (2 Cor. 11:4). May God give us the courage and boldness to contend earnestly for the faith that was signed, sealed, and delivered 2000 years ago (Jude 3).

How could “The Bible Answer Man” drift further away from the Bible?

To me that is an easy answer, I never believe that he truly believed the Bible. I reported some news of his transformation to Eastern Orthodoxy last month when I first heard of it (see CRI’s Hank Hanegraaff, who advised WCG to apostatize, converted to Eastern Orthodoxy).

As far as the Eastern Orthodox go, they are NOT a Bible-based church, but often rely on traditions and councils of men that differ from original Christianity. For documented details, check out the article: Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God. As far as the additional books that the Eastern Orthodox accept, check out the article The Old Testament Canon.

As readers of this page may recall, Hank Hanegraaff, himself, assisted in causing a major falling away from the truth (see also The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).

Here is a report related to Hank Hanegraaff and the apostate leadership of the changed Worldwide Church of God:

WCG leaders aired doctrinal views on CRI’s radio program

By Dixon Cartwright

The pastor general of the Worldwide Church of God described to an international radio-talk-show audience Jan. 4, 5 and 12, 1996, the transformation of the WCG from a legalistic sect whose members were plagued by cognitive dissonance into a fledgling Protestant denomination coming out of a cave and seeking acceptance by the world of mainstream churches. Joseph Tkach Jr., WCG pastor general, and Greg Albrecht, editor in chief of the WCG’s Plain Truth magazine, appeared on The Bible Answer Man radio talk show with host Hank Hanegraaff on segments originating in a studio in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. The Bible Answer Man is sponsored by Mr. Hanegraaff’s Christian Research Institute (CRI), which was founded by the late Walter Martin, who wrote Kingdom of the Cults, a book dedicated to exposing what he termed non-Christian sects, including the Worldwide Church of God. …

Mr. Hanegraaff noted that WCG leaders had contacted him “probably two or three years ago” and “we have spent quite a bit of time together over the last few years.”

On fire to help

Mr. Albrecht commented that he was “a longtime listener of the program, so it’s great to be on the show with you.” Mr. Tkach said he and other WCG leaders—he named specifically Mr. Albrecht, church-administration director Mike Feazell, treasurer Bernie Schnippert (who died in 2014) and computer-information-systems manager David Smith—“all have a fire in our belly to help others realize the pain of legalism and to escape it.”

Mr. Tkach said he hopes the experiences of the Worldwide Church of God will promote a “ripple effect throughout the entire Saturday-Sabbath-keeping community” so Sabbatarians can “realize the Sabbath in its proper perspective.”

Although Mr. Tkach and Mr. Albrecht couched their phrases in diplomatic terms when it came to describing the WCG of old and its founder, Herbert W. Armstrong, Mr. Hanegraaff was more to the point in saying that Mr. Armstrong espoused “false doctrine.”

Mr. Albrecht noted that he could not “stand in judgment” of Mr. Arm- strong “in terms of the basis of his sal- vation,” but Mr. Hanegraaff noted that the WCG has “judged his [Mr. Armstrong’s] writings, and that is why you’ve changed them.”

Mr. Tkach responded, “You said that very well.”

The talk-show host asked Mr. Tkach to confirm that he personally, as well as the Worldwide Church of God, repudiates many of the former WCG teachings espoused by Mr. Armstrong: “You are comfortable in saying that Herbert W. Armstrong did deny essentials of the historic Christian faith; the Trinity would be a good example?”

“Absolutely,” replied Mr. Tkach. “I have no reservations in saying that some of the things that Mr. Armstrong taught were in major error.”

Of course, the statement that the WCG has repudiated its own core doctrines— and by extension the doctrines of the other Sabbatarian groups with origins in the Worldwide Church of God—is no surprise to readers of this newspaper. But it is instructive to hear some of the testimonials of their newfound faith from the lips of two of the principal apologists of the new teachings. (Cartwright D. The Journal: News of the Churches of God, #173, print date May 31, 2015)

I remember some of the false information that WCG leaders were giving at the time and recall a little bit from the falsely named ‘Bible Answer Man.’ WCG leaders kept telling the membership that the changes were not planned, but more information points to a plot to introduce heretical doctrines. WCG is now named Grace Communion International and is basically just another Protestant sect. Real Church of God groups, like the Continuing Church of God are NOT Protestant, as our histories and doctrines greatly differ (see details, for two examples, in the booklets Where is the True Christian Church Today? and Continuing History of the Church of God).

Hank Hanegraaff also wrote the Forward to J. Tkach, Jr.’s absurd Transformed book:

Foreword to Transformed by Truth, by Hank Hanegraaf

Foreword to Transformed by Truth, by Joseph Tkach

The Worldwide Church of God has embarked upon a course virtually uncharted in church history—a course that has taken them from the kingdom of the cults to the kingdom of Christ. In Transformed by Truth, Joseph Tkach, leader of the Worldwide Church of God, candidly describes the movement’s transformation from the perspective of his own personal awakening. During their pilgrimage from cultism to the cross, I have come to know Joseph as both a friend and as a brother in Christ. I have observed firsthand his courage, his integrity, and his absolute commitment to Scripture as the final court of arbitration.

The above related to the Bible is fantasy. It is false.

Joseph Tkach now endorses things like Easter, the Trinity, and Christmas–none of which came from the Bible. The Eastern Orthodox do as well, plus have many doctrines that are in conflict with an “absolute commitment to Scripture as the final court of arbitration”–for details, check out the article Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God.

As far as J. Tkach’s current theology, a letter he sent out last month, started off with:

As I write to you, I’ve been reflecting on and preparing my heart for the Easter season.

His letter then cites what Tkach calls a “Trinitarian theologian.” Neither Easter nor the Greco-Roman Trinity stand the test of scripture.

Hank Hanegraaff’s assessment of J. Tkach’s theology, as well as his own, were and remain flawed.

They are practicing a version of Mithraism (see also Do You Practice Mithraism?).

Neither of those men are following the biblical faith, which was the faith of the original faithful followers of Jesus, which is the faith still practiced in the Continuing Church of God.

As far as the old Worldwide Church of God goes, after Hank Hanegraaf’s ‘assistance’ it went further away from “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). It also sold its properties in Pasadena, changed its name to Grace Communion International (GCI), and is now planning on re-locating to Charlotte, NC (see GCI purchased new facility in Charlotte, NC).

Both Hank Hanegraaf and GCI have gotten further and further away from the original Christian faith.

Some items of related interest may include:

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?
The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings Who is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring to? Are there multiple falling aways? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: La Apostasía: Enseñanzas de la Biblia y de la WCG. There are also two YouTube videos on the subject that you can watch The Falling Away Part 1: From the Bible and Church History and The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others.
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 Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations? A related sermon video is available and is titled: Birthdays, Christians, and December 25th.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
The Old Testament Canon This article shows from Catholic accepted writings, that the Old Testament used by non-Roman Catholics and non-Orthodox churches is the correct version.
The New Testament Canon – From the Bible and History This article, shows from the Bible and supporting historical sources, why the early Church knew which books were part of the Bible and which ones were not.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]
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.
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.
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants) Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
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?
Did the True Church Ever Teach a Trinity? Most act like this is so, but is it? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language LA DOCTRINA DE LA TRINIDAD. A related sermon is available: Trinity: Fundamental to Christianity or Something Else? A brief video is also available: Three trinitarian scriptures?
Was Unitarianism the Teaching of the Bible or Early Church? Many, including Jehovah’s Witnesses, claim it was, but was it?
Binitarianism: One God, Two Beings Before the Beginning This is a longer article than the Binitarian View article, and has a little more information on binitarianism, and less about unitarianism. A related sermon is also available: Binitarian view of the Godhead.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

Messiah to come next month?

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Blowing of a Shofar

COGwriter

Is the ‘Year of Jubilee’ 2017? Could Jesus return next month?

Some seem to think so:

A current theory is that Jesus will return in 2017, based on the idea that 2017 is a Jubilee year that will fulfill a medieval rabbi’s prophecy. … there is no way to be certain that 2017 is an actual year of Jubilee. And, even if it is, it would not signal the return of Christ. … In ancient times, the Jubilee year began with the Sanhedrin’s blast of the shofar (ram’s horn). http://www.gotquestions.org/Jubilee-2017.html

A while back, the editor of World News Daily, Joseph Farah, posted the following:

November 8, 2015

JERUSALEM – Several years ago, Ludwig Schneider, a German-language scholar, discovered an amazing prophecy dating back to 1217 by a scholarly and highly respected rabbi by the name of Judah Ben Samuel.

…in the year Judah Ben Samuel died in 1217, he prophesied that the Ottoman Turks would rule over the holy city of Jerusalem for eight Jubilees. Now, keep in mind, he made this prediction 300 years before the Turks seized control of Jerusalem in 1517. In fact, the Ottoman Empire, as it would become to be known, did not even really exist yet in 1217.

According to Judah Ben Samuel, 1217 was a Jubilee Year. If he was right, that would also make 1517 a Jubilee Year. …

The rabbi also prophesied that during the ninth Jubilee, Jerusalem would be a “no-man’s land.” This is exactly what happened from 1917 to 1967, due to the fact that the Holy Land was placed under British Mandate in 1917 by the League of Nations and literally “belonged” to no nation. …

The rabbi also prophesied that during the 10th Jubilee, Jerusalem would be under the control of the Jews and the Messianic “end times” would begin. The 10th Jubilee began in 1967 and will be concluded in – 2017.

What should we expect to happen in 2017? I will leave that to your imagination.

But one thing is certain: Judah Ben Samuel made some truly remarkable prophecies that came to pass. http://www.wnd.com/2015/11/will-2017-be-a-jubilee-year/#TYEyp5EYgHULig9h.99

Let me state that in 2017, I have seen two dates supposedly related to Judah Ben Samuel prophecies for the Messiah’s return: June 4th and 10th of 2017. None of which are biblically possible.

Before going further, I would add that WND’s editor pushed the false idea that the so-called Shemitah year ran from September 25, 2014 through September 13, 2015. Global economic collapse was predicted to occur on September 13, 2015 according to items his site posted (see Does end of Mark Biltz’s Shemitah mean that the Tribulation starts tomorrow?). That was wrong (see Jonathan Cahn defends ‘The Mystery of the Shemitah,’ whereas COGwriter denounces it).

Furthermore, if the Shemitah year really was from September 25, 2014 through September 13, 2015, then we should have been in the Jubilee until October 2016 as the Jubilee year begins ten days after the seventh Shemitah year ends.

Here is what the Bible itself teaches about the Jubilee year:

8 ‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. 9 Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. 10 And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. 12 For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field.

13 ‘In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession. 14 And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor’s hand, you shall not oppress one another. 15 According to the number of years after the Jubilee you shall buy from your neighbor, and according to the number of years of crops he shall sell to you. 16 According to the multitude of years you shall increase its price, and according to the fewer number of years you shall diminish its price; for he sells to you according to the number of the years of the crops. 17 Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 25:8-17)

25 ‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and has sold some of his possession, and if his redeeming relative comes to redeem it, then he may redeem what his brother sold. 26 Or if the man has no one to redeem it, but he himself becomes able to redeem it, 27 then let him count the years since its sale, and restore the remainder to the man to whom he sold it, that he may return to his possession. 28 But if he is not able to have it restored to himself, then what was sold shall remain in the hand of him who bought it until the Year of Jubilee; and in the Jubilee it shall be released, and he shall return to his possession.

29 ‘If a man sells a house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; within a full year he may redeem it. 30 But if it is not redeemed within the space of a full year, then the house in the walled city shall belong permanently to him who bought it, throughout his generations. It shall not be released in the Jubilee. 31 However the houses of villages which have no wall around them shall be counted as the fields of the country. They may be redeemed, and they shall be released in the Jubilee. 32 Nevertheless the cities of the Levites, and the houses in the cities of their possession, the Levites may redeem at any time. 33 And if a man purchases a house from the Levites, then the house that was sold in the city of his possession shall be released in the Jubilee; for the houses in the cities of the Levites are their possession among the children of Israel. 34 But the field of the common-land of their cities may not be sold, for it is their perpetual possession. (Leviticus 25:25-34)

40 As a hired servant and a sojourner he shall be with you, and shall serve you until the Year of Jubilee. 41 And then he shall depart from you — he and his children with him — and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers. (Leviticus 25:40-41)

47 ‘Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger’s family, 48 after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; 49 or his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself. 50 Thus he shall reckon with him who bought him: The price of his release shall be according to the number of years, from the year that he was sold to him until the Year of Jubilee; it shall be according to the time of a hired servant for him. 51 If there are still many years remaining, according to them he shall repay the price of his redemption from the money with which he was bought. 52 And if there remain but a few years until the Year of Jubilee, then he shall reckon with him, and according to his years he shall repay him the price of his redemption. 53 He shall be with him as a yearly hired servant, and he shall not rule with rigor over him in your sight. 54 And if he is not redeemed in these years, then he shall be released in the Year of Jubilee — he and his children with him. 55 For the children of Israel are servants to Me; they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 25:47-55)

2 And they said: “The Lord commanded my lord Moses to give the land as an inheritance by lot to the children of Israel, and my lord was commanded by the Lord to give the inheritance of our brother Zelophehad to his daughters. 3 Now if they are married to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then their inheritance will be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and it will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry; so it will be taken from the lot of our inheritance. 4 And when the Jubilee of the children of Israel comes, then their inheritance will be added to the inheritance of the tribe into which they marry; so their inheritance will be taken away from the inheritance of the tribe of our fathers. (Numbers 36:2-4)

16 ‘If a man dedicates to the Lord part of a field of his possession, then your valuation shall be according to the seed for it. A homer of barley seed shall be valued at fifty shekels of silver. 17 If he dedicates his field from the Year of Jubilee, according to your valuation it shall stand. 18 But if he dedicates his field after the Jubilee, then the priest shall reckon to him the money due according to the years that remain till the Year of Jubilee, and it shall be deducted from your valuation. 19 And if he who dedicates the field ever wishes to redeem it, then he must add one-fifth of the money of your valuation to it, and it shall belong to him. 20 But if he does not want to redeem the field, or if he has sold the field to another man, it shall not be redeemed anymore; 21 but the field, when it is released in the Jubilee, shall be holy to the Lord, as a devoted field; it shall be the possession of the priest.

22 ‘And if a man dedicates to the Lord a field which he has bought, which is not the field of his possession, 23 then the priest shall reckon to him the worth of your valuation, up to the Year of Jubilee, and he shall give your valuation on that day as a holy offering to the Lord. 24 In the Year of Jubilee the field shall return to him from whom it was bought, to the one who owned the land as a possession. (Leviticus 27:16-24)

Essentially, the jubilee was a reset for society and a new chance for those who had not handled their finances as well as others may have. People would get their ancestral lands back, if they would have sold them. And since it was supposed to be observed once every 50 years, most people who did not die in childhood would have experienced it once or even twice in their lifetime (yes, even three times was possible).

As far as the meaning of the term translated as jubilee, notice the following:

The translation “Jubilee year” results from a mistaken application of cognates (similar words in different languages). In the original Hebrew, the year was called the “year of the horn,” or, in Hebrew, “the year of the yovel.” The Latin for yovel is iobileus, which just happens to sound like the Latin word iubileus, connected to the verb iubilare, “to celebrate.” The English “Jubilee year” comes from the Latin. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-joel-hoffman/five-mistakes-bible-translation_b_1129620.html

Some have suggested that because the jubilee is not observed, that this is perhaps why there tends to be major economic problems every 50-60 or so years. Notice the following:

Kondratieff long wave cycle (K-wave) was originally used to explain long wave economic cycles. Its originator Nickolai Kondratieff was a Russian economist (1892-1938) in Stalin’s Agricultural Academy and Business Research Institute (“Long Waves in Economic Life” – originally published in German in 1926). Kondratieff’s major premise was that capitalist economies displayed long wave cycles of boom and bust ranging between 50-60 years in duration. Kondratieff’s study covered the period 1789 to 1926 and was centered on prices and interest rates.”

“The 50-60 year cycle of catastrophe and renewal had been observed and recorded by the ancient Mayans of Central America and by the ancient Israelites. Further studies have discovered similar long economic waves from the period of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Kondratieff identified four distinct phases the economy goes through. They are a period of inflationary growth, followed by stagflation, then deflationary growth and finally depression.” http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_02/chapmand062902.html See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kondratiev_wave

Some now point to Judah Ben Samuel’s track record as proof that his Jubilee cycle predicted many events, but there are many reasons to discount his prediction for 2017.

One of the most important is that it is NOT possible for Jesus to return in 2017. Jesus said He returns AFTER the tribulation:

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)

The period know as the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) cannot start until 3 1/2 years AFTER the deal in Daniel 9:27 has been confirmed by a prince for seven years (see The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).

Let’s look more into another report about this rabbi Samuel:

A 13th century German rabbi from Regensburg wrote many books in German. He was Judah Ben Samuel, AKA Judah he-Hasid (Judah the Pious) and he has made some astonishing and specific predictions about the future of Israel that have come true already. He made a prophecy 750 years before it has happened So far it has been fullfilled to the letter. This rabbi died in 1217 and was a mystic. He devoted himself chiefly to kabbalistic studies. …

Judah Ben Samuel was a student of Gematria and astrological observations http://www.rapturewatch.net/2017-end-of-10th-jubilee

Essentially, the above report says that Judah Ben Samuel followed kabbalistic teachings and astrology. He was not God’s prophet (see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God). Even the Protestant World Net Daily should realize this.

That being said, Satan does have a plan and throughout the centuries he has had false prophets make predictions that have some accuracy. In the time of the end, many will be confused by false prophecies and other doctrines of demons.

1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1).

Nearly everyone will be deceived in the end times. Though not by Judah Ben Samuel.

There will be lying wonders as well:

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

Many will be deceived.

From time to time I receive emails from some who think they know when the jubilee year is, despite the fact that history does not clearly record a particular year that the children of Israel actually observed it. There was, for one example, someone who emailed me and claimed that the 50 year biblical jubilee would begin on October 8, 2011. He was upset that I would not proclaim that as he was convinced that was the year. I told him I did not believe that the jubilee period could have began then. One of the reasons is that since God has a 6,000 plan for humankind that should be up within a decade or two and since 6,000 years is divisible by 50, I did not believe that 2011-2012 could possibly have been the year of jubilee.

I have looked at a lot of calculations for the next Jubilee year and am not absolutely certain which is correct. One that is supposedly based upon the reign of King Josiah seems to point to the 2028 or 2027 time period (see The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets?), but there are others that point to Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:29-34) that suggest more like a 2050 or 2051 date which seems too distant. Another from the Talmud that leaves over 200 years off, seems to point to 2038, while one related to Ezekiel 40:1 (which the Pulpit commentary says may have been 575 BC) points to 2026 , and one by the Rabbi known as Maimonides seems to point to 2025 (http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12967-sabbatical-year-and-jubilee#anchor9).

Here is some information from what seems to be a Protestant source that suggests 2028 as the next Jubilee:

The Bible relates this information about the year of Jubilee.

“Count off seven sabbaths of years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years [seven ‘sevens’]. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan. The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.”

Leviticus 25:8-12

The Bible further states the Jewish year begins in the first month of Nisan, since the time of Exodus, although modern Jews actually begin the civil New Year six months later in the seventh month (Tishrei). So using this understanding, the forty-ninth year (seventh Sabbath) would have started in the month of Nisan and ended just before the month of Nisan the following year. There would have been no planting in that year if they followed God’s laws. God also says not to sow or reap in the year of Jubilee as well, the fiftieth year, so why does He say to wait until the tenth day of the seventh month before the year is proclaimed when the Jews clearly should already be “observing” the Jubilee by not planting crops? We will examine this issue shortly. So a year of Jubilee begins on the first of Nisan, is proclaimed midway through the year on the Day of Atonement, and ends at the start of a new year in the month of Nisan.

Assuming Josephus was correct on this point, the year of Jubilee he reported would probably have been Nisan 1, 3738 A.M. to Adar 29, 3739 A.M. This corresponds to March 28, 23 B.C to March 16, 22 B.C. Projecting these dates 50 years ahead across the B.C. to A.D. threshold gives us March 14, 28 A.D. (Nisan 1, 3788 A.M.) to March 31, 29 A.D. (Adar II 29, 3789 A.M.) as the first year of Jubilee in the year of our Lord (anno domini – A.D.). This period of time partially overlaps the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, which ended in August of 29 A.D. If you aspire to do your counting from the first of Tishrei (using that as the beginning of the New Year), then the Jubilee Year would have been September 21, 23 B.C. to September 10, 22 B.C. instead, effectively moving the dates six months into the future. The next Jubilee (28/29 A.D.) using this accounting method would have lined up very close to the 15th year of Tiberius… being off by only three to four weeks longer…

So we see from using more accurate calendar math that the next year of Jubilee from Josephus’ writings was between 28 and 29 A.D. not just 28 A.D. as we originally calculated. If we project this Jubilee year 2,000 years into the future… forty (generations) fifty year periods (Jubilees), we get the first of Tishrei in the year 5789 A.M. This translates into September 21, 2028 A.D. on the Gregorian calendar and the end of that Jewish year using the same calendar is September 9, 2029 A.D. The tenth of Tishrei of this Jubilee year, the Day of Atonement, is September 30, 2028 A.D. as you already know. (Vargo RH. 2028 ~ GOD’S PLAN FOR MANKIND. Chapter 26. ASIN: B00885RJ9Y, 2007. http://webwaydrive.com/2028/Jubilee%20Year%20Revelation.htm; the same conclusion is in R.H. Vargo’s 2009 book: Tribulation: God’s Plan for the End of The Age, p. 16)

I am not certain that 2028 must be the year, but it could be the next Jubiliee. I never accepted Harbinger author Jonathan Kahn’s belief that the Shemitah year was from Trumpets 2014 to Trumpets 2015. But I would add that it is possible that the millennium could start on a year of Jubilee.

Why?

Well, since the Bible teaches “the land shall enjoy its sabbaths” (Leviticus 26:34-35), the jubilee year is considered one of them (in addition to the every seven year land Sabbath of Exodus 23:10-11), and the final Day of the Lord lasts one year (Isaiah 34:8), it is possible that the Day of the Lord or the period immediately after the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His kingdom will be the next jubilee year.

But that is speculation.

What is NOT speculation is for me to declare that according to what Jesus taught in Matthew 24 as well as passages in the Book of Daniel that Jesus is NOT going to return in 2017 and the ‘Messianic era,’ which some would consider to be the millennium, cannot possibly start in 2017.

As far as prophetic teachings go, we in the Continuing Church of God “have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).”

Why?

Because we really do rely on what the Bible teaches.

Jesus will NOT return in 2017–June or otherwise.

A related video we made is available: 2017 Year of Jubilee and the Messianic Age?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2023 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Does the Church flee or is it taken up just prior to the great tribulation? Who really is left behind? There is also a YouTube video with information Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture?
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? Is fasting healthy? Here is a link to a sermon: Day of Atonement: How Jesus fulfilled His part for the Atonement. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: El Día de Expiación –Su significado cristiano.
Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God How has God used dreams in the past? Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God? A related sermon is also available: Dreams, COGs, and One Man Rule.
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful among all real Christian groups to the word of God.

Israel’s Jerusalem Day–Before and After Donald Trump’s visit

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Jerusalem

COGwriter

US President Donald Trump was in Israel, but did not do what some hoped he would:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government wanted to hear Donald Trump announce he’s moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Palestinians would have liked Trump to publicly back their aspiration to statehood.

While it was Israel that Trump lavished most with praise, in the end neither side got all it wanted.

During his 28 hours in Israel and the Palestinian territories, the U.S. president gave several speeches expressing his desire for peace and condemning terrorism. What he didn’t say, however, was just as meaningful as what he did: No announcement of fresh peace talks, no specifics on the way forward, no comment on the competing claims to Jerusalem, no mention of a Palestinian state. …

Israel’s claim of sovereignty over Jerusalem wasn’t highlighted, even in the week that marks 50 years since Israel took control of the city’s east during the 1967 Middle East War. Jerusalem is also claimed by Palestinians for the future state they want to build, and isn’t recognized internationally as Israel’s capital. Though he did so without any Israeli officials at his side, Trump did become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall, wearing a yarmulke and putting a prayer note between the ancient stones. https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-05-23/in-jerusalem-and-bethlehem-parsing-what-trump-left-unsaid

Today, May 24, 2017, Israel will be celebrating ‘Jerusalem Day.’ The observance began after sunset yesterday:

President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday opened the 50th annual celebrations of Jerusalem Day, which marks Israel’s reunification of the holy city in the 1967 Six Day War, saying that the country will always “insist” that Jerusalem is its capital.

“We will always insist on Jerusalem. There never has been, there will never be any other reality. Here, in these stones, beats the heart of the Jewish People,” the president said at the official ceremony at the Western Wall in the Old City. …

Despite five decades passing, much of the international community still does not recognize it as Israel’s capital, saying the issue must be solved in peace talks with Palestinian who also claim the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future state.

This was highlighted by the visit on Monday and Tuesday by US President Donald Trump, who made the first visit the the Western Wall by a sitting president, but still insisted the outing was private. He also did not acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital or announce the move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as many in Israel had hoped. http://www.timesofisrael.com/rivlin-opens-50th-jerusalem-day-celebrations-at-western-wall/

Here is some of what was reported about Jerusalem Day before:

Today, Israel … the reunification of Jerusalem during 1967’s Six Day War. The day was declared a religious holiday by the Chief Rabbinate in recognition of the miracles that took place during the war.

In 1948, the Jordanians conquered the eastern part of Jerusalem, including its Old City, forcibly expelling its Jewish residents. For the next 19 years, Jews were denied access to the Western Wall (Kotel), one of the Jewish nation’s most holy prayer sites. The Jordanians destroyed 48 of the 49 historic synagogues within the Old City and desecrated ancient graves located on the Mount of Olives by using them as latrines.

In 1967, Israeli paratroopers liberated the eastern half of the city, making their way to the Kotel at the base of the Temple Mount. Their experiences have inspired song and literature, and a photograph of forces standing at the Wall, taken mere hours later, is one of the city’s most famous images. http://www.breakingisraelnews.com/40198/jerusalem-day-marks-48-years-of-israels-undivided-capital/#YeMQ51ORGazRymeq.99

May 17, 2015

Jerusalem demographic stats released

The Jerusalem Municipality and the Jerusalem Institute for Israel Studies have published some statistics related to the city, two years ahead of the fiftieth anniversary of its unification. According to the Jerusalem Institute, updated to the end of 2013, Jerusalem has 829,900 inhabitants. Of these, 522,200 (63%) are Jewish and other non-Arabs, whereas 307,600 (37%) are Arabs. Of the Jews, 34% declared themselves to be ultra-Orthodox, 30% are religious, and 36% are secular or ‘traditional’. http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel/.premium-1.656782

Jerusalem Day (Hebrew: יום ירושלים‎, Yom Yerushalayim) is an Israeli national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City in June 1967. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel declared Jerusalem Day a minor religious holiday to thank God for victory in the Six-Day War and for answering the 2,000-year-old prayer of “Next Year in Jerusalem”.

The day is marked by state ceremonies, memorial services for soldiers who died in the battle for Jerusalem, parades through downtown Jerusalem, reciting the Hallel prayer with blessings in synagogues, and saying the Pesukei Dezimra of Sabbath and High Holidays. (Wikipedia, viewed 04/30/2013)

It would not surprise me if at some point, Syria will take overt or covert actions on this date.

Notice something about Jerusalem Day in the past:

Israeli ministers held a special cabinet meeting at Ammunition Hill on Sunday to celebrate Jerusalem Day when the Jewish state captured the Arab eastern sector 45 years ago during the Six-Day War.

Celebrations were lined up throughout the day with formal ceremonies, parties and the annual flag march through east Jerusalem to mark the “reunification” of the city which took place after the 1967 Middle East war.

For Israel, which annexed the eastern sector in a move not recognised by the international community, Jerusalem is its “eternal and undivided capital.” http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/israel-celebrates-45th-jerusalem-day-1.1300267

Despite, the above Israeli assertion about its capital, the Bible shows that it will be taken over in Daniel 11:31-43.

Something could be different this year:

15 February 2017

Donald Trump has said he would “love” to see the US embassy move from its current home in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that critics say would destroy any hopes of a peace process in the region. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/donald-trump-us-embassy-jerusalem-move-israel-benjamin-netanyahu-a7582401.html

10 January 2017

The incoming Trump administration plans to move ahead with its plans to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem regardless of criticism from Arab nations …

According to the report, US President-elect Donald Trump’s team has informed regional allies of the plans.

CNN cited unnamed Israeli officials as speculating that the move could be announced as early as May 24, on the Israeli holiday “Jerusalem Day” that marks the reunification of the capital in the 1967 Six Day War.

The report emerged after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter to Trump urging him not to relocate his country’s embassy in Israel when he assumes office.

“The president asked the American president-elect to not take this step [moving the embassy], as it will have destructive consequences on the peace process, the two state solution and the safety and security of the region,” official PA news site Wafa reported on Monday, paraphrasing Abbas’s letter. Wafa did not specify exactly when the letter was sent to Trump. http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/Trump-to-move-ahead-with-Jerusalem-embassy-move-despite-opposition-478009

If Donald Trump would later announce the move today, expect increased issues with the Palestinians.

But the main point I would like to make today is to remind people what happened about 50 years ago. Egypt’s leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, called for the elimination of Israel and wanted to become the leader of the Islamic world–he essentially led the United Arab Command, which included Syria, Jordan, and some other Arab nations. Egypt and Iraq moved their military forces nearer to Israel. Israel seeing the danger, then put together a majority government, and decided to strike the Arabs before they were ready to attack Israel. Israel quickly won the war and got Jerusalem.

Fast forward to the present. Iran’s leaders have called for the elimination of Israel. In 2011, Iran put out a video where it claims that it will take over Jerusalem to prepare the way for the Imam Mahdi to rise up and lead the Islamic world. Iran has made a deal with Syria and some others. Iran has attempted to increase its military power, including nuclear pursuits. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has seen this as dangerous. Many believe Israel will attack Iran before it believes Iran will attack it.

Yet, while if this happens Iran and Syria (cf. Isaiah 17:1) may not end up well, Israel is kidding itself if it feels that it will get off relatively unscathed this time. Unlike the 1960s, Iran and its allies have better equipped militaries, better protected militaries, chemical weapons, biological weapons, longer range missiles, likely dirty bombs, possibly EMP bombs, and also will more likely also use various terrorist tactics.

So, while those in Israel are celebrating today, they should realize that if they do try to take out Iran that this will not be like what happened in 1967. We all should watch (Mark 13:37).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.
Israel, 1948, and Prophecy
Was the formation in 1948 of the nation of Israel prophetically significant? Was this event what Jesus referred to in His “parable of the fig tree”? Are most Israelites in the modern nation of Israel? Are most Jews in that nation? If the prophecies Jeremiah 23:3-6 and Ezekiel 34:13-30 do not point to 1948, when will those prophecies be fulfilled? Are there prophecies that will be fulfilled related to the nation of Israel? What was the first sign that Jesus said would be seen by a particular ‘generation’? When might that have happened? What are the signs that Jesus’ fig tree parable point to? This is a video.
Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi.
Damascus and Syria in Prophecy Will Bashar Assad hold power as he has it? Does the Bible show that Damascus, the capital of Syria, will be destroyed? What will happen to Syria? Will the Syrians support the final King of the South that the Bible tells will rise up? Which scriptures discuss the rise and fall of an Arabic confederation? Does Islamic prophecy predict the destruction of Syria. This is a YouTube video.
Egypt in Prophecy Does Egypt have a special role in end time prophecy? Will Egypt rise up and then be defeated. What does God teach will happen to those in Egypt? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Egypt and End Time Prophecy.
Iran in Prophecy Is Iran in Bible prophecy? If so, what does the Bible teach? What names, other than Persia, may be used to describe Iran? There is also a YouTube video titled Iran in Prophecy. Here is a related video Iran In Prophecy.
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill? Could a Donald Trump presidency be apocalyptic? A related video is titled: Donald: ‘Trump of God’ or Apocalyptic?
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse This 188 page book is for people truly interested in prophecies related to Donald Trump and the United States, including learning about several that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon for $12.99 from the following link: Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition This electronic version of the 188 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition.

Limbo and What Happens to Babies when they Die?

Monday, May 22nd, 2017


Anne Catherine Emmerich

COGwriter

What is Limbo? Do you know what happens to babies who die?

Growing up as a Roman Catholic, I was taught about Limbo. I was also told that certain Catholics (such as Anne Catherine Emmerich) had even been given visions of it. Basically, the belief was that babies who die without being baptized as Catholic were believed to go to a place where they did not suffer, but a place (known as limbus patrum) where they also did not receive the joys of being in God’s presence.

Actually, it was the teaching of both the Catholics of Rome and the Protestants of America on the status of dead infants that got me to look more closely at the old Worldwide Church Of God, whose Philadelphian teachings are now best preserved by the Continuing Church of God, concerning matters such as what happens to babies when they die.

Here is some of what the old Catholic Encyclopedia taught about Limbo:

In the New Testament, Christ refers by various names and figures to the place or state which Catholic tradition has agreed to call the limbus patrum…

The New Testament contains no definite statement of a positive kind regarding the lot of those who die in original sin without being burdened with grievous personal guilt…On the other hand, it is clear from Scripture and Catholic tradition that the means of regeneration provided for this life do not remain available after death, so that those dying unregenerate are eternally excluded from the supernatural happiness of the beatific vision (John 9:4, Luke 12:40, 16:19 sqq., 2 Corinthians 5:10…) (Toner, Patrick J. Transcribed by Simon Parent. Limbo. 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).

Yet, while Limbo was a widespread Catholic belief, it was not even mentioned in the latest revision the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Why?

Probably because the latest revision of the Catechism of the Catholic Church was put together under the direction of Joseph Ratzinger, who is now emeritus Pope Benedict XVI (Catechism of the Catholic Church. Imprimatur Potest +Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Doubleday, NY 1995)–he apparently did not believe in it then (or now).

Former Pope Benedict XVI had a paper put out years ago that challenged the concept of Limbo and Limbo babies. Some time back, the Catholic News Service reported:

Vatican commission: Limbo reflects ‘restrictive view of salvation’

CNS – April 20, 2007

In a document published April 20, the commission said the traditional concept of limbo — as a place where unbaptized infants spend eternity but without communion with God — seemed to reflect an “unduly restrictive view of salvation.”…

But there is greater theological awareness today that God is merciful and “wants all human beings to be saved,” it said. Grace has priority over sin, and the exclusion of innocent babies from heaven does not seem to reflect Christ’s special love for “the little ones,” it said.

“Our conclusion is that the many factors that we have considered … give serious theological and liturgical grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision,” the document said.

“We emphasize that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge,” it added.

The 41-page document, titled “The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized,” was published in Origins, the documentary service of Catholic News Service. Pope Benedict XVI authorized its publication earlier this year…

“It must be clearly acknowledged that the church does not have sure knowledge about the salvation of unbaptized infants who die,” it said.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict, was president of the commission and head of the doctrinal congregation when the commission began studying the question of limbo in a systematic way in 2004.

U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada now heads the commission and the doctrinal congregation. Cardinal Levada met with the pope to discuss the document Jan. 19 and, with the pope’s approval, authorized its publication. http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0702216.htm

Several years ago (before the Catholics took my “Hope of Salvation” title, I wrote a paper whose main title is Hope of Salvation. While I disagree with various Catholic concepts of salvation, I do agree that infants will have an opportunity for salvation.

Here is a quote from the Vatican paper titled The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized:

It is clear that the traditional teaching on this topic has concentrated on the theory of limbo, understood as a state which includes the souls of infants who die subject to original sin and without baptism, and who, therefore, neither merit the beatific vision, nor yet are subjected to any punishment, because they are not guilty of any personal sin. This theory, elaborated by theologians beginning in the Middle Ages, never entered into the dogmatic definitions of the Magisterium, even if that same Magisterium did at times mention the theory in its ordinary teaching up until the Second Vatican Council. It remains therefore a possible theological hypothesis. However, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1992), the theory of limbo is not mentioned. Rather, the Catechism teaches that infants who die without baptism are entrusted by the Church to the mercy of God, as is shown in the specific funeral rite for such children…

3. The idea of Limbo, which the Church has used for many centuries to designate the destiny of infants who die without Baptism, has no clear foundation in revelation, even though it has long been used in traditional theological teaching…

24…As for the expression “Limbo of Infants”, it was forged at the turn of the 12th-13th century to name the “resting place” of such infants (the “border” of the inferior region)…

26…Together with Catholic theologians of the Augustinian school, the Jansenists vigorously opposed the theory of Limbo…Papal interventions during this period, then, protected the freedom of the Catholic schools to wrestle with this question. They did not endorse the theory of Limbo as a doctrine of faith. Limbo, however, was the common Catholic teaching until the mid-20th century…

90…A major weakness of the traditional view of Limbo is that it is unclear whether the souls there have any relationship to Christ; the Christocentricity of the doctrine seems deficient. In some accounts, the souls in Limbo seem to have a natural happiness that belongs to a different order from the supernatural order in which people choose for or against Christ…

91. Where sin abounded, grace superabounded! That is the emphatic teaching of Scripture, but the idea of Limbo seems to constrain that superabundance. (The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized. The International Theological Commission, Vatican City, April 20, 2007. at http://www.campchabad.com/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20070419_un-baptised-infants_en.html#_ftn2 viewed 02/07/09)

Thus, the Vatican does not really want to teach that there is a place called Limbo, admits that it is not in the Bible, admits that it came about in the Middle Ages (hence was not an original teaching of the church), and that it does not know what prophecy teaches about what will happen to babies who die without baptism.

Unlike the Roman Catholics, we in the Continuing Church of God believe that we do have sure knowledge about what will happen to infants as our position comes from the Bible. Notice:

2 We have also a more sure word of prophecy (2 Peter 1:19 KJV).

In addition, I later put together, a longer article that from a scriptural perspective has the most verses from the Bible anywhere that I have ever seen which provides additional details titled Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis.

What Happens to Babies When They Die?

Unlike the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant churches, we in the Continuing Church of God teach that babies will be resurrected, live a physical life, and will be offered salvation. Salvation in the kingdom of God will be offered to all, but has not been offered to all in this age (for more information please see the article Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the True Doctrine of Apocatastasis).

Those uncalled now (including babies, toddlers, nearly all idolaters and others) will be given a real opportunity for salvation. This period of time is believed to be around 100 years. Isaiah 65:20 states,

20 No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed.

Those who still are sinners after this period will also undergo the punishment of being cast in the lake of fire–but note that those who are infants have 100 years to fulfill their days.

And although he may not have understood it correctly, Irenaeus (circa 180 A.D.) mentioned that the Gentiles will be called as well in this hundred year time:

Daniel also says this very thing: “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of those under the heaven, is given to the saints of the Most High God, whose kingdom is everlasting, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” And lest the promise named should be understood as referring to this time, it was declared to the prophet: “And come thou, and stand in thy lot at the consummation of the days.”

Now, that the promises were not announced to the prophets and the fathers alone, but to the Churches united to these from the nations, whom also the Spirit terms “the islands” (both because they are established in the midst of turbulence, suffer the storm of blasphemies, exist as a harbour of safety to those in peril, and are the refuge of those who love the height [of heaven], and strive to avoid Bythus, that is, the depth of error), Jeremiah thus declares: “Hear the word of the LORD, ye nations, and declare it to the isles afar off; say ye, that the LORD will scatter Israel, He will gather him, and keep him, as one feeding his flock of sheep…

And yet again does he say the same thing: “Behold, I make Jerusalem a rejoicing, and my people [a joy]; for the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. Also there shall not be there any immature [one], nor an old man who does not fulfil his time: for the youth shall be of a hundred years; and the sinner shall die a hundred years old, yet shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them themselves; and shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them themselves, and shall drink wine. And they shall not build, and others inhabit; neither shall they prepare the vineyard, and others eat. For as the days of the tree of life shall be the days of the people in thee; for the works of their hands shall endure” (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 34, Verses 2-3,4. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

More on the above can be found in the article Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God Differs from Protestantism.

There is no actual place such as Limbo.

Even the Church of Rome is somewhat recognizing this. It also admits that Limbo is not in the Bible, and did not happen to enter Catholicism until the Middle Ages.

The idea behind Limbo that God is love (1 John 4:8,16) and God will not punish those who cannot see (John 9:41) is correct. It is simply that the place Limbo does not exist and God has a better plan than Limbo.

The Bible teaches that babies that die will be resurrected and will ultimately be given a chance for salvation.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What is Limbo? Is There Such a Place as Limbo? What Happens to Babies When They Die? When did Limbo start being taught? What is the truth about dead babies?
What Happens After Death? Is death like sleep, or is that a cultic idea? Can you speak to the dead? Here is a link to a related sermon: What really happens after death?
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Will God call everyone? Will everyone have an opportunity for salvation? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account? Related sermon videos include Universal Offer of Salvation I: God is love and Universal Offer of Salvation II: The Age to Come and the ‘Little Flock’ and Universal Offer of Salvation III: All Are to Know Jesus, But When? and Universal Offer of Salvation IV: Will the Guilty be Pardoned? and Universal Offer of Salvation V: All Israel Will be Saved? A version of the main article was also translated in the Spanish language: Oferta universal de salvación: Hay cientos de versículos en la Biblia que apoyan la verdadera doctrina de la Apocatastasis.
Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory? Is there a place called purgatory? Does God have a plan to help those who did not become saints in this life?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Living Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
What Can We Learn from Private “Catholic” Prophecies? There have been those claiming Catholicism over the centuries that have accurately predicted many events, as well as have made many errors. What might Catholic prophecies reveal about the future? Will an antipope help take over the world?
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What might they mean? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How might Mary view them?
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? Catholic writings indicate this, but what does the Bible show?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

BBC: ‘Russia thrilled to get Saint Nicholas relics from Italy’

Sunday, May 21st, 2017


Russian Iconic Portrayal of Nicholas of Myra

COGwriter

Russians are apparently thrilled to get an opportunity to worship the bones of Nicholas of Myra:

Russia thrilled to get Saint Nicholas relics from Italy

For the first time in nearly 1,000 years bone fragments of Saint Nicholas are being moved from their Italian resting place, to be worshipped in Russia.

The 4th-Century saint is one of the most revered figures in the Russian Orthodox Church. After his death, Italian merchants brought his body from Myra, in modern-day Turkey, to Italy.

Some fragments of his ribs are kept in Bari, southern Italy. They are being flown on a specially chartered plane to Moscow on Sunday.

“This is an unprecedented event,” said Alexander Volkov, a representative of the Moscow Patriarchate. “These relics have never before left Italy.”

The relics – on loan to Russia until late July – will be moved from Bari’s Basilica of St Nicholas to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. There they will be blessed by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, in a ceremony on Sunday evening.

Permission to lend the bones of St Nicholas to Russia came at an historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, in Cuba in 2016.

It was the first such meeting since their two branches of Christianity split nearly 1,000 years ago. …

From 22 May to 12 July the relics will be on show at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The relics will be in St Petersburg in the period 13-28 July. 20 May 2017 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39960384

Worshiping bones is wrong (see What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons?). The lending of the bones to the Russian Orthodox clearly appears to be a strategic ecumenical move by Pope Francis. The ecumenical movement is also wrong (see Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants)).

As far as venerating bones goes, this was certainly not a real Christian practice. Notice this defense against the “heathen” by the third century Catholic theologian Arnobius where he clearly teaches that his faith did not have statues, images, or even incense:

1…Having shown briefly how impious and infamous are the opinions which you have formed about your gods, we have now to speak of their temples , their images also, and sacrifices, and of the other things which are nailed and closely related to them. For you are here in the habit of fastening upon us a very serious charge of impiety because we do not rear temples for the ceremonies of worship, do not set up statues and images of any god, do not build altars…do not offer…incense…

3…we rear no temples to them, and do not worship their images; we do not slay victims in sacrifice, we do not offer incense and libations of wine.

8…We have next to say something about statues and images, which you form with much skill, and tend with religious care,— wherein if there is any credibility, we can by no amount of consideration settle in our own minds whether you do this in earnest and with a serious purpose, or amuse yourselves in childish dreams by mocking at these very things. For if you are assured that the gods exist whom you suppose, and that they live in the highest regions of heaven , what cause, what reason , is there that those images should be fashioned by you, when you have true beings to whom you may pour forth prayers, and from whom you may, ask help in trying circumstances? But if, on the contrary, you do not believe, or, to speak with moderation, are in doubt, in this case, also, what reason is there, pray, to fashion and set up images of doubtful beings, and to form with vain imitation what you do not believe to exist ? Do you perchance say, that under these images of deities there is displayed to you their presence, as it were, and that, because it has not been given you to see the gods, they are worshipped in this fashion, and the duties owed to them paid? He who says and asserts this, does not believe that the gods exist ; and he is proved not to put faith in his own religion , to whom it is necessary to see what he may hold, lest that which being obscure is not seen, may happen to be vain.

9. We worship the gods, you say, by means of images. What then? Without these, do the gods not know that they are worshipped, and will they not think that any honour is shown to them by you? Through bypaths, as it were, then, and by assignments to a third party, as they are called, they receive and accept your services; and before those to whom that service is owed experience it, you first sacrifice to images, and transmit, as it were, some remnants to them at the pleasure of others. And what greater wrong, disgrace, hardship, can be inflicted than to acknowledge one god, and yet make supplication to something else — to hope for help from a deity , and pray to an image without feeling?…

10. And whence, finally, do you know whether all these images which you form and put in the place of the immortal gods reproduce and bear a resemblance to the gods? For it may happen that in heaven one has a beard who by you is represented with smooth cheeks; that another is rather advanced in years to whom you give the appearance of a youth; that here he is fair, with blue eyes, who really has grey ones; that he has distended nostrils whom you make and form with a high nose. For it is not right to call or name that an image which does not derive from the face of the original features like it…

14… Those images which fill you with terror, and which you adore prostrate upon the ground in all the temples, are bones, stones, brass, silver, gold, clay, wood taken from a tree, or glue mixed with gypsum

16… Blush , then, even though it is late, and accept true methods and views from dumb creatures, and let these teach you that there is nothing divine in images, into which they do not fear or scruple to cast unclean things in obedience to the laws of their being, and led by their unerring instincts.

17. But you err, says my opponent, and are mistaken, for we do not consider either copper, or gold and silver, or those other materials of which statues are made, to be in themselves gods and sacred deities; but in them we worship and venerate those whom their dedication as sacred introduces and causes to dwell in statues made by workmen. The reasoning is not vicious nor despicable by which any one — the dull, and also the most intelligent — can believe that the gods, forsaking their proper seats — that is, heaven — do not shrink back and avoid entering earthly habitations; nay, more, that impelled by the rite of dedication , they are joined to images Do your gods, then, dwell in gypsum and in figures of earthenware? Nay , rather, are the gods the minds , spirits , and souls of figures of earthenware and of gypsum ? And, that the meanest things may be able to become of greater importance, do they suffer themselves to be shut up and concealed and confined in an obscure abode? Here, then, in the first place, we wish and ask to be told this by you: do they do this against their will — that is, do they enter the images as dwellings, dragged to them by the rite of dedication — or are they ready and willing ? And do you not summon them by any considerations of necessity ? Do they do this unwillingly? and how can it be possible that they should be compelled to submit to any necessity without their dignity being impaired? With ready assent? And what do the gods seek for in figures of earthenware that they should prefer these prisons to their starry seats,— that, having been all but fastened to them, they should ennoble earthenware and the other substances of which images are made?

(Arnobius. Against the Heathen (Book VI), Chapters 1,3,8,9,10,14,16,17,18. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 6. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886. Online Edition Copyright © 2008 by K. Knight).

Hence, even the early Greco-Romans strongly taught against venerating bones, idols, statues, incense, and icons. These were simply never a part of the true church. They were not significantly even part of the Greco-Roman church until after Constantine and his mother Helena came on the scene.

Now since this bone veneration lending involves the Catholic and Orthodox saint called Nicholas, who was he really?

Here are some answers from a Catholic monsignor priest:

The Real St. Nicholas – Not Fat and Not Very Jolly Either.

(Dec 6) is the Feast of St. Nicholas. The real St. Nicholas was nothing close to the St. Nick (Santa Claus) of the modern age. He was a thin curmudgeonly man with a zeal for the Lord that caused flairs of anger. Compromise was unknown to him. The slow transformation of him into “Jolly ole’ Saint Nicholas is a remarkable recasting of him centuries in the making…

Enjoy this excerpt on the real St. Nicholas of Myra (aka Santa):

He approaches Arius, fist raised menacingly. There are gasps. Would he dare? He would. Fist strikes face. Arius goes down. He will have a shiner. Nick, meanwhile, is set upon by holy men. His robes are torn off. He is thrown into a dungeon…

Saint Nicholas. Paintings show a thin man. He was spare of frame, flinty of eye, pugnacious of spirit. In the Middle Ages, he was known as a brawling saint. He had no particular sense of humor that we know of. He could be vengeful, wrathful, an embittered ex- con….No doubt, Saint Nick was a good man. A noble man. But a hard man.

Nicholas was born in Patara, a small town on the Mediterranean coast, 280 years after the birth of Christ. He became bishop of a small town in Asia Minor called Myra. Beyond that, details of his life are more legend than fact….He became a priest at 19, and bishop in his twenties…Nicholas of Myra might not seem like the kind of person who relates to kids, and few acts attributed to him involve children.

St. Nicholas of Myra morphed into Santa Claus. (Pope C, Msgr. The Real St. Nicholas – Not Fat and Not Very Jolly Either. http://blog.adw.org/2012/12/the-real-st-nicholas-not-fat-and-not-very-jolly-either/ viewed 12/6/12)

So, Nicholas was a violent and hard man according to a senior Catholic priest.

Here are two more articles about him, with a Germanic focus:

Though they have similar outfits, Nikolaus is not to be confused with Santa Claus, who Germans call the Weihnachtsmann, or Father Christmas…

Each year on December 6, Germans remember the death of Nicholas of Myra (now the Anatolia region of modern Turkey), who died on that day in 346. He was a Greek Christian bishop known for miracles and giving gifts secretly, and is now the patron saint of little children, sailors, merchants and students. Known as Nicholas the Wonderworker for his miracles, he is also identified with Santa Claus. Beliefs and traditions about Nikolaus were probably combined with German mythology, particularly regarding stories about the bearded pagan god Odin, who also had a beard and a bag to capture naughty children…

Children were often quite frightened of being questioned about their behaviour because they’ve been told that St. Nicholas will hurt them with his rod or even put them in a sack and take them away. http://www.thelocal.de/society/20111206-15915.html

Each year on December 6, Germans remember the death of Nicholas of Myra (now the Anatolia region of modern Turkey), who died on that day in 346. He was a Greek Christian bishop known for miracles… is now the patron saint of little children, sailors, merchants and students. Known as Nicholas the Wonderworker for his miracles, he is also identified with Santa Claus. Beliefs and traditions about Nikolaus were probably combined with German mythology, particularly regarding stories about the bearded pagan god Odin, who also had a beard and a bag to capture naughty children. http://www.thelocal.de/society/20121206-15915.html

Notice the following from the St. Nicholas Center:

In 325 Emperor Constantine called the Council of Nicaea, which was the first ecumenical council ever held. More than 300 bishops from all over the Christian world came to debate the nature of the Holy Trinity, one of the early church’s most intense theological questions. Arias, from Egypt, taught that the Son Jesus was not equal to God the Father. This was the Arian controversy which shook Christianity’s very foundations. According to one account, when confronted by the unyielding Arias, Nicholas slapped him in the face. For such a breach of decorum, Nicholas was brought before Constantine, who stripped him of his office and had him thrown into prison. During the night, Jesus with his Mother Mary appeared to Nicholas: Jesus bringing the book of the Gospels, and Mary, the bishop’s stole which had been taken from him. In this way Nicholas was reinstated. (Bishop of Myra. St. Nicholas Center. http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/bishop-of-myra/ viewed 12/05/14)

While Jesus is God, since Jesus said, “My Father is greater than I” (John 14:28), this should help prove that Nicholas was wrong to punch somebody who claimed to believe something like that–plus Christians are not to be violent (Luke 3:14; see also Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? ). Hence this helps demonstrate that Jesus’ mother Mary truly DID NOT appear to him, to get him acquitted of this. Mary, the mother of Jesus, did not appear to Nicholas (see also Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions).

Perhaps I should mention that when my wife and I were in Serbia in October 2016, we were told that Nicholas is the most popular ‘saint’ in that Eastern Orthodox-dominated land.

Here is some of what the Eastern Orthodox have strangely claimed about him:

As a faithful bishop/shepherd, St. Nicholas was revered as a saint even before his death because of his great holiness and tender care of his flock. After the Blessed Mother and St. John the Forerunner (Baptist), Nicholas was the most revered saint in the early church. He is most honored in the East, especially in Russia. Throughout the world many churches are named for him—more than for any other saint. His ministry continues to this day as a powerful intercessor for the protection and advancement of the Church. (Orthodox America and St. Therese Byzantine Catholic Church, St. Petersburg, Florida. http://www.stnicholascenter.org/pages/wonderworker/)

Of course, according to the Holy Bible, the only intercessor listed in the Bible is Christ (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25)–and Jesus is specifically called the “one mediator” (1 Timothy 2:5, Douay-Rheims). Nicholas is not one who should be revered and he is NOT our intercessor. He should not be worshiped or similarly venerated.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants) Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
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.
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?]
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Is January 1st a Date for Christians Celebrate? Historical and biblical answers to this question about the world’s New Year’s day.
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations?
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。.
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?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

The ‘Doomsday Vault’ is not humanity’s salvation

Saturday, May 20th, 2017


Entrance to Svalbard Global Seed Vault

COGwriter

There have been problems with the so-called Doomsday Vault:

20 May 2017

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the remote Arctic is meant to be a “fail-safe” backstop against doomsday scenarios that could kill off humanity’s food supply. Located on an island between Norway and the North Pole, and lodged inside a mountain, the vault was designed to withstand major disasters, “natural or man-made,” and “stand the test of time,” according to its website.

But as with much of the land above the Arctic circle, the mountain containing the vault—and all the land around it—is made of permafrost, the thick layer of compounded plants and animal bones that has been frozen since the last ice age. When ice and snow melts in the Arctic during summer, permafrost—theoretically “permanent”—does not. At least it did not, historically. But thanks to climate change, the permafrost now is thawing, releasing greenhouse gases while causing the land to subside and pools of meltwater to form on the surface. The people behind the seed vault’s perspective were not prepared for that when they built it in 2008. Scientists at the time were just beginning to understand what a threat global warming posed to the frozen layer.

“It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that it would experience extreme weather like that,” Hege Njaa Aschim, a spokeswoman for the Norwegian government agency which manages the vault, told the Guardian.

Water flooded into the entrance tunnel to the vault after the unusual season, the Guardian reported Friday (May 19).Thankfully, the water froze before it reached the seed storage areas (to preserve their viability, seeds are stored at -18 Celsius, or just below 0 degrees Fahrenheit). https://qz.com/987894/the-fail-safe-svalbard-seed-vault-designed-to-save-us-from-crop-failure-just-flooded-thanks-to-climate-change/

May 20, 2017

Popular Science spoke with Cary Fowler, one of the creators of the vault to see just how serious the situation really is. “Flooding is probably not quite the right word to use in this case,” he told them. According to Fowler, a little bit of water has made its way into the entrance every year. Though he wasn’t present at the vault when the ‘flooding’ occurred this year, he insists that it’s a pretty routine occurrence.

“The tunnel was never meant to be water tight at the front, because we didn’t think we would need that,” he tells Pop Sci. Basically, there’s a 100-meter tunnel that serves as a walkway into the mountain and it goes downhill. Before you reach the vault doors, the ground shifts uphill. This little area allows water to collect and two pumps can evacuate it. Hege Njaa Aschim, a Norwegian government official, told the Guardian, “A lot of water went into the start of the tunnel and then it froze to ice, so it was like a glacier when you went in.” And well, that’s not really a crisis. In fact, according to Fowler, if the water were to make it all the way uphill it would get hit with temperatures around minus 18 degrees celcius, freeze, and create a new barrier.

Still, the seed vault is supposed to function without humans having to get involved with maintenance. The Norwegian government is studying the situation and plans to fix the leak. http://gizmodo.com/the-doomsday-vault-isnt-flooded-but-were-all-still-goin-1795400407

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault did not anticipate this problem. There are also others they have not considered.

A month or so ago, CBS reported the following about it:

The Doomsday Vault: Humanity’s salvation?

April 2, 2017

On the Arctic tundra in Svalbard, Norway, about half-way between Oslo and the North Pole, there are no gardens, no trees. Yet, deep beneath this barren surface lies the largest concentration of agricultural diversity anywhere on Earth.

The angular, concrete structure seems more “modern art museum” than “seed storage vault.” It impresses even before entering.

American agriculturalist Cary Fowler heads this international effort to safeguard the sources of the world’s food supply — one designed to outlast any disaster, and ultimately, all of us. …

There are 1,700 seed banks worldwide of varied size and state of repair. But this one in Norway is known as the “Doomsday Vault.” It’s a back-up for the whole system designed to last for thousands of years.

So, for instance, when a typhoon tore through a seed bank in the Philippines, destroying everything inside, all was not lost. Or when war destroyed seed banks in Iraq and Syria, the seeds were safe here.

“We protect, yes, against some of the natural disasters — war and civil strife and hurricanes and floods and fires,” Fowler said. “But we also protect against anemic budgets and budget cuts and stupid human mistakes as well.” …

“I think a lot of people would say, ‘Wow, this is incredible that there are all of those seeds up in Svalbard, good idea, but it probably doesn’t really affect me, personally,’” Doane said.

“Oh, I think it clearly affects everyone,” said Cary Fowler. “I mean, we’re losing right now something like $160, $170 billion a year just in our wheat crop globally, just because of the temperature anomaly that we have in the world, the hotter temperatures. So we’re going to need, and plant breeders are working on, heat-resistant varieties.

“So, we might not notice it right now, but all of these different conditions are affecting today’s food supplies.” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-doomsday-vault-svalbard-global-seed-vault/

The CBS article did not mention anything about genetically-modified seeds which are something that place the world at risk for major crop failures and possible famine.

I continue to believe that likely crop failures associated with GMO grains are putting the USA at extreme risk of being destroyed economically and otherwise (and most USA corn and soy crops come from genetically-modified seeds). Many other parts of the world are vulnerable to this as well–though Europe continues to resist this (see European nations say NO to genetically-modified corn).

The disciples asked Jesus about the end:

3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3)

Notice some of what Jesus taught in response:

4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:4-8).

The “beginning of sorrows” (Mathew 24:7-8) begins before the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21), the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). We seem to be in the beginning stages of these sorrows.

But the ‘Doomsday Vault’ is not humanity’s salvation. Consider the following:

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart to all generations. (Psalms 33:10-11)

But people often make plans that leave the true God out. Someone told me today that the ‘Doomsday Vault’ failure reminded him of the ancient Tower of Babel. Here is a passage of scripture related to it:

4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4)

People did not believe God that there would no longer be an earth-covering flood (Genesis 9:11-17). People were afraid so they came up with their own alternate plan. But it was unsuccessful (cf. Genesis 11:5-9).

While having natural seeds preserved is logical and can help, seed vaults are not humanity’s salvation.

Jesus said that if God did not intervene in the end, that no flesh would be saved alive:

21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22)

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:29-31)

So, while having seeds protected can make sense, we need Jesus’ return.

While making physical preparations can be wise (cf. Proverbs 22:23; 30:24-25), those who think that they have considered being prepared for all possible emergency situations that will occur are deceiving themselves.

Christians need to heed Jesus’ instructions:

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

This does not mean that no physical preparations should be made–but they will not save anyone in the long run.

As far as physical protection in this age during the time of the Great Tribulation, the Bible teaches that there will be two groups of Christians. One group will be protected and the other will not be:

14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 12:14-17)

Notice the group that is promised protection:

7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,

‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:  8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.  9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie — indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.  10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:7-10)

The above promise of protection was only made to the Philadelphian Christians, yet is was not made to the other churches of Revelation 2 & 3. NOT ALL CHRISTIANS WILL BE PROTECTED DURING THE COMING GREAT TRIBULATION.

Jesus said:

34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.  35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.  36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36)

Christians should watch world events and realize their biblical ramifications. They should pray to be accounted worthy to escape what will come to pass. This means that in these times that they need to strive to be a Philadelphian Christian.

Relying on seed vaults, etc. is not the answer. Get your spiritual house in order.

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians. We all know the Bible prophecies famines. Should we do something? Here is a version in the Spanish language Escrituras sobre Preparación física para los Cristianos.
The Plain Truth About Gold in Prophecy. How Should a Christian View Gold? What do economists and the Bible teach about gold? Gold and silver may drop in value. Inflation/deflation? What do Christians need to know about gold? A video of related interest may be: Germany, Gold, and the US Dollar.
GMOs and Bible Prophecy What are GMOs? Since they were not in the food supply until 1994, how could they possibly relate to Bible prophecy? Do GMOs put the USA and others at risk? Here is a related YouTube video GMO Risks and the Bible.
Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? What are chimeras?  Has science crossed the line? Does the Bible give any clues? A video of related interest is Half human, half pig: What’s the difference?
Are You Being Called by God? Norman Shoaf wrote various points to consider.
Is God Calling You? Alfred E Carrozzo wrote this.
What Did Christ Mean  Many Are Called, But Few Are Chosen? This article was by Raymond McNair.
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.

Are Americans & Asians setting themselves up for destruction from antibiotic use? In the Spring of 2015, a study came out highlighting the increasing use of antibiotics fed to livestock in order to decrease production costs. This was mainly affecting livestock in the Americas and Asia, but not in Europe. Excessive antibiotic use increases the risks of ‘super bugs’ and presents health risks to humans and livestock. Could those in the USA, Canada, UK, Russia, China, India, Brazil, and South Africa be setting themselves up for pestilence and/or famine? Could Europe miss some plague because of this? What does the Bible prophesy? This is a video.
Physical Preparation Scriptures for Christians. We all know the Bible prophecies famines. Should we do something? Here is a version in the Spanish language Escrituras sobre Preparación física para los Cristianos.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? Two related videos include UN’s ‘New Universal Agenda’ is a False Gospel! and United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?

CG7’s Whaid Rose promotes Martin Luther; COGwriter points to his non-Christian views

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Rebuilt Gymnasium in Sardis.

This is one of the most impressive remaining buildings in the area of any of the seven churches of Revelation 2 & 3. However, it has been recently and massively rebuilt as its original condition was in ruin. And while it and its size are impressive, it no longer functions as it once did. The same is true for the modern remnant of Sardis.

COGwriter

Whaid Rose, formerly president of the CG7-Denver has again pushed Protestantism. This time, he has done this in the form of highly promoting Martin Luther. Here is what the current issue of CG7-Denver’s Bible Advocate magazine:

The Reformation’s Brightest Light

By Whaid Rose

What’s the story of the Reformation’s main man?Born to Christian parents in Germany in 1483, he was reared under strict discipline. But inner peace eluded Luther as he grew older; he struggled to know freedom from sin and assurance of salvation. Keeping his promise to become a monk if spared from a life-threatening thunderstorm, he joined the Augustinian Order and devoted himself to a rigid monastic lifestyle. But this only deepened his anxiety and despair.

Luther’s transformation began when, as head of the theology department at the University of Wittenberg, he began a serious study of Romans. Suffice it to say, he discovered justification by faith (1:17) — God’s sovereign act whereby He declares us “not guilty” and places us in right standing with Himself, on the basis of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice. Luther’s life was suddenly and forever unshackled.

As a result, Luther became increasingly unsettled by the unbiblical practices of the Roman Catholic Church, which led him to nail his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church on October 31, 1517. These were merely questions and propositions for debate. But thanks to zealous university students and Guttenberg’s new invention, Luther’s theses were soon spread all over Germany, sparking a firestorm. When his books were burned in Rome, he appealed to the emperor for a hearing. It was granted, bringing us to the showdown at the Imperial Diet (assembly) in Worms, 1521. Asked if willing to recant, Luther begged time to think it over and spent the night in agonizing prayer.

It’s believed that Psalm 46, the biblical framework for Luther’s signature hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” was before him that night. As Luther stood before the assembly the following day, his inquisitor demanded a final answer, prompting his now famous response: “I consider myself convicted by the testimony of Holy Scripture, which is my basis; my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and will not recant, because acting against one’s conscience is neither safe nor sound. God help me.”

This is Christiandom’s finest hour.

The landscape of Christianity was forever changed. Five hundred years later, we still need Luther. His inner struggles encourage us; we’re not alone. His humble circumstances remind us that God uses ordinary people, that one person can make a difference. His discovery in Romans urges us to return to Scripture and get the gospel right. His conviction and courage embolden us to take our stand, to seek a new Reformation.

An old Bohemian psalter features a picture of Wycliffe striking the spark, Huss kindling the coals, and Luther brandishing the flame — an accurate depiction of Luther’s role in the Protestant Reformation. Among Reformation lights, Luther shines brightest. Yet we celebrate his legacy, not so much because he was a religious hero but because he points us beyond himself to the God who alone re – deems us in Christ — by faith alone.

This is horrific and seems to be supportive of the ecumenical agenda that many these days advocate.

The true Church of God is NOT Protestant, nor does it trace itself through the Protestant reformation. Whaid Rose has not shown himself to be  among the “few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments” (Revelation 3:4).

All should realize:

  1. Martin Luther was never a Christian.
  2. His psaltery statements were NOT “Christendom’s finest hour.”
  3. He did not truly respect the Bible.
  4. We certainly do not need another person like him today.
  5. Martin Luther intentionally mistranslated the Bible for it to say “faith alone” the way he advocated it.

As far as the Bible goes, notice what Martin Luther wrote about the Book of James:

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

Martin Luther did not like the Book of James for many reason, like what James 2:24 teaches:

New International Version
You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

 

New Living Translation
So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone.

 

English Standard Version
You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

 

Berean Study Bible
As you can see, a man is justified by his deeds and not by faith alone.

 

Berean Literal Bible
You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.

 

New American Standard Bible
You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

 

King James Bible
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

 

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

 

International Standard Version
You observe that a person is justified through actions and not through faith alone.

 

NET Bible
You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

 

New Heart English Bible
You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

 

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
You see that by works a man is justified and not from faith alone.

 

GOD’S WORD® Translation
You see that a person receives God’s approval because of what he does, not only because of what he believes.

 

New American Standard 1977
You see that a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone.

 

Jubilee Bible 2000
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith.

 

King James 2000 Bible
You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

 

American King James Version
You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

 

American Standard Version
Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith.

 

Douay-Rheims Bible
Do you see that by works a man is justified; and not by faith only?

 

Darby Bible Translation
Ye see that a man is justified on the principle of works, and not on the principle of faith only.

 

English Revised Version
Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith.

 

Webster’s Bible Translation
Ye see then that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

 

Weymouth New Testament
You all see that it is because of actions that a man is pronounced righteous, and not simply because of faith.

 

World English Bible
You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith.

 

Young’s Literal Translation
Ye see, then, that out of works is man declared righteous, and not out of faith only;

Martin Luther did not want to believe the inspired word of God.

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

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

Martin Luther had problems with many books of the Bible, including several in the New Testament. For additional information, please read the article, Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther: What Did Martin Luther Actually Teach about the Bible?

The Bible, in Romans 3:28, states:

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law.

Martin Luther, in his German translation of the Bible, specifically added the word “allein” (English ‘alone’) to Romans 3:28-a word that is not in the original Greek. Notice what Protestant scholars have admitted:

…Martin Luther would once again emphasize…that we are “justified by faith alone”, apart from the works of the Law” (Rom. 3:28), adding the German word allein (“alone”) in his translation of the Greek text. There is certainly a trace of Marcion in Luther’s move (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, pp. 64-65).

Martin Luther reportedly said:

You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word alone in not in the text of Paul…say right out to him: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,’…I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word ‘alone’ is not in the Latin or the Greek text (Stoddard J. Rebuilding a Lost Faith. 1922, pp. 101-102; see also Luther M. Amic. Discussion, 1, 127).

This passage strongly suggests that Martin Luther viewed his opinions, and not the actual Bible as the primary authority–a concept which this author will name prima Luther. By “papists” he is condemning Roman Catholics, but it needs to be understood that Protestant scholars (like HOJ Brown) also realize that Martin Luther changed that scripture.

Martin Luther did not stand up for the truth. He endorsed his views above the Bible (see also Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther: What Did Martin Luther Actually Teach about the Bible?).

Martin Luther wrote many things that a real Christian would never have written, such as the following:

My heart is fuller of these thoughts than my tongue can tell. I have come to the conclusion that the Jews will always curse and blaspheme God as all the prophets have predicted. He who neither reads nor understands this, as yet knows no theology, in my opinion. And so I presume the men of Cologne cannot understand the Scripture, because it is necessary that such things take place to fulfill prophecy. If they are trying to stop the Jews blaspheming, they are working to prove the Bible and God liars (“Martin Luther’s to George Spalatin,” from Luther’s Correspondence and Other Contemporan, Letters, trans. by P. Smith (1913), Vol. 1, pp. 28-29).

Furthermore he wrote:

I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that those miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews and who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them…They are so blind and stupid that they see neither the words found in Genesis 17 nor the whole of Scripture, which mightily and explicitly condemns this lie…They are real liars and bloodhounds who have not only continually perverted and falsified all of Scripture with their mendacious glosses from the beginning until the present day. Their heart’s most ardent sighing and yearning and hoping is set on the day on which they can deal with us Gentiles as they did with the Gentiles in Persia at the time of Esther…The worse a Jew is, the more arrogant he is, solely because he is a Jew — that is, a person descended from Abraham’s seed, circumcised, and under the law of Moses. David and other pious Jews were not as conceited as the present-day, incorrigible Jews…I wanted to present this to us Germans so that we might see what rascals the blind Jews are and how powerfully the truth of God in our midst stands with us and against them (Medieval Sourcebook: Martin Luther (1483-1546): On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543)

Martin Luther advised his followers:

…to burn down Jewish schools and synagogues, and to throw pitch and sulphur into the flames; to destroy their homes; to confiscate their ready money in gold and silver; to take from them their sacred books, even the whole Bible; and if that did not help matters, to hunt them of the country like mad dogs (Luther’s Works, vol. Xx, pp. 2230-2632 as quoted in Stoddard JL. Rebuilding a Lost Faith, 1922, p.99).

Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is: First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss in sulphur and pitch (Martin Luther (1483-1546): On the Jews and Their Lies, 1543 as quoted from Luther’s Works, Volume 47: The Christian in Society IV, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971). pp 268­293).

Advocating persecution, murder, and theft is not something a real Christian leader would do–yet Martin Luther did that and more.

Does that mean that everything Martin Luther did was bad?

No.

But he is not an example to emulate.

The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is October 31, 2017.

Even Pope Francis is advocating it as part of his ecumenical agenda (watchPope Francis’ Celebration of Reformation’s 500th Anniversary).

It is disappointing that, at least indirectly, CG7’s Whaid Rose is as well.

Some itms of related interest may include:

Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between 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.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
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.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
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!
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?
5. The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
6. The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
7. The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
Church of God, Seventh Day: History and Teachings Nearly all COG’s I am aware of trace their history through this group. Whaid Rose is the president of the largest CG7 group (Denver). Do you know much about them?

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

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

COGwriter

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

Anyway, here is part of the Time article:

They probably wouldn’t like what it looks like

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

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

We’d Have To Abolish the 2nd Amendment.

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

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

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

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

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

Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE?

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 in the first century to the 21st century. 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.

Let me also add that if the USA were a Christian nation, there would not be crosses associated with churches (see What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?), the religious holidays would change (see Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible?), people would finally really keep the Ten Commandments (see The Ten Commandments and the Early Church), and there would be many blessings that most cannot conceive of truly happening today.

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

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians? A related sermon would be: Christians, Violence, and Military Service.
Is American Football Evil? Is the most popular spectator sport in the USA something that Christians should watch? What do the Bible and early writings show? There is also a YouTube video available titled Should Christians watch American football?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
The Ten Commandments and the Early Church Did Jesus and the Early Church keep the ten commandments? What order were they in? Here are quotes from the Bible and early writings. A related sermon is titled: Christians and the Ten Commandments.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. 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.

Austria moving ahead on its burqa ban–will there be war between the Arabs and the Europeans?

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017


Two Women Wearing Burqas

COGwriter

Austrian lawmakers have approved a bill that outlaws wearing a full-face veil in public (pointing mainly to the burqa, sometimes spelled burka, that certain Muslim women wear):

May 17, 2017

Austrian lawmakers have approved a bill that outlaws wearing a full-face veil in public. The new legislation also establishes mandatory integration courses, and prompts asylum seekers to do unpaid public work.

The measure was backed by both of the ruling parties, the SPÖ and ÖVP, on Tuesday, in spite of political turbulence that has divided the governing coalition in recent days.

Starting in October, police will be charging fines from people who wear clothes that obstruct their facial features. The 150-euro ($166) fine would also apply to women wearing burqas and niqabs at universities, courts, or in public transport. http://www.dw.com/en/austrian-parliament-passes-burqa-ban-as-part-of-new-migrant-law/a-38866553

Muslims obviously will not care for this ban–which is predominantly targeting them.

Historically, when Europe takes steps against Islam, it also tends to take steps to be closer to the Church of Rome. And yes, I feel this type of ban is more likely in more nations in Europe.

What many people do not realize is that in places like Turkey, young women are PAID by Islamic groups based outside the country to actually wear the burqa. And thus, many poorer young women wear the burqa there as a source of income. So while certain Muslims are trying to increase control and influence by doing that, many in Europe and elsewhere have realized that these signs of Muslim influence are not what their countries should put up with.

As far as the Muslims in Europe go, notice some items I posted about this back in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, and 2016:

The reality is that the Muslims will force Europe to wake-up and re-establish themselves. Historically, when Europe has been strongly opposed to Islam it has had greater ties to the Vatican.

This is what will occur. The Bible shows that a European military leader will line up with a religious leader from the city of seven hills (Rome) and ultimately defeat the forces of Islam. (Thiel B. Muslims: European Wake-Up Call. COGwriter, August 9, 2009)

The reality is that the Muslims will be a major factor to get Europe to wake-up and re-establish itself. Historically, when Europe has been strongly opposed to Islam it has had greater ties to the Vatican.

This is what will occur. The Bible shows that a European military leader will line up with a religious leader from the city of seven hills (Rome) and ultimately defeat the forces of Islam. (Thiel B. Anti-Islamic PVV Gaining in the Netherlands. COGwriter, March 4, 2010)

A divide between Islam and the nominally-Christian Europe is going to become more and more real. Though there will be apparent cooperation (cf. Psalm 83; Daniel 11:27), the two will turn against each other (Daniel 11:40-43). (Thiel B. France Begins Burqa Ban. COGwriter, April 11, 2011)

Yet, there are changes happening in Europe. And according to the Bible, more economic (Revelation 13: 14-17) and political ones must come to pass (Revelation 17:12-13). A currency change from the Euro is a possible, but not biblically-required, change.

As far as the anti-Islamists go, the Bible shows that a European military leader will line up with a religious leader from the city of seven hills (Revelation 17) and ultimately defeat the forces of Islam (Daniel 11:40-43), despite having earlier made one of more deals with the Islamists (cf. Psalm 83:3-8; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 11:27).

Irrespective of one or more temporary political deals with those of the Islamic faith, the anti-Islamic sentiment that Geert Wilders and others have tapped into in Europe is real. And according to the Bible, it will be resolved in ways differently than Geert Wilders and others like him publicly state (Daniel 11:40-42). (Thiel B. Political Turmoil in the Netherlands. COGwriter, April 23, 2012)

Will the refugee problem break apart Europe?

Well, it is likely to be a factor that will result in the UK splitting from the continental Europeans.

But what about the continental Europeans, will they split up or unite closer?

Well, although the Bible states that they will have unification problems (Daniel 2:41-43), it also shows that they will reorganize and put in a dictator, the Beast of Revelation (Revelation 17:12-13; see also Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?). A Europe will arise with a powerful militaristic leader (Revelation 13:4; see also Europa, the Beast, and Revelation) who will enter with peaceful sounding words (Daniel 8:25; 9:27; 11:21-24; see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27), yet he will be the prophesied King of the North. …

Although there is a pontiff who currently is endorsing the acceptance of these migrants into Europe (see Pope Francis tells tens of thousands of European Catholic facilities to accept one migrant family per church/monastery), expect changes to come.

Islamic migrants into Europe will cause problems, but ultimately will result in a dictator rising up in Europe.

Not only will that not end up well for Islam (Daniel 11:40-43; see also Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?), it will also not end up well for the UK or the USA (Daniel 11:39; see also the article Anglo – America in Prophecy). (Thiel B. Will ‘Islamic Invasion’ by migrants break up the European Union? COGwriter, September 13, 2015)

A divide between Islam and the nominally-Christian Europe is going to become more and more real.

The call for a burqa ban in Germany, as well as saying no to sharia, plus the reactions to Islamic terrorism should be making this clearer to those who will watch as Jesus said in Mark 13:33-37. (Thiel B. Germany’s Merkel want to ban the burqa and not tolerate any version of sharia. COGwriter, December 6, 2016)

The above items were posted based upon my knowledge and understanding of biblical prophecy. And astute readers will realize that the Brexit vote confirmed what I wrote in September 2015–the immigrant situation was a factor in the UK voting to leave the European Union on June 23, 2016.

As I mentioned in an earlier article about burqas many years ago (see Belgium To Ban the Burka?), Europe is starting to get fed-up with Islam. As the Austrian vote and other events show (see also Germany’s Merkel want to ban the burqa and not tolerate any version of sharia and Switzerland Votes to Ban Minarets), Europe is taking steps to try to deal with Islam–and it is not finished.

What does prophecy mean for the future between Europe and Islam?

It means that I believe that the Vatican will promote a temporal deal with Islam and Europe (Daniel 9:27; 11:27; see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27), but that ultimately, Europe will essentially push Islam out and even attack certain Arab lands:

40 ‘When the time comes for the End, the king of the south will try conclusions with him; but the king of the north will come storming down on him with chariots, cavalry, and a large fleet. He will invade countries, overrun them and drive on.

41 He will invade the Land of Splendour, and many will fall; but Edom, Moab, and what remains of the sons of Ammon will escape him.

42 ‘He will reach out to attack countries: Egypt will not escape him.

43 The gold and silver treasures and all the valuables of Egypt will lie in his power. Libyans and Cushites will be at his feet: (Daniel 11:40-43, New Jerusalem Bible).

The coming King of the South rules over lands that are currently dominated by Islam.

War is Coming Between Europeans and Arabs.

But, as I have written since the election of US President Donald Trump, that war WILL NOT be before 2021. However, events are lining up for it to occur.

Some items of related interest may include:

War is Coming Between Europeans and Arabs Is war really coming between the Arabs and the Europeans? What does Bible prophecy say about that? Do the Central Europeans (Assyria in prophecy) make a deal with the Arabs that will hurt the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Do Catholic or Islamic prophecies discuss a war between Europe and Islam? If so, what is the sequence of events that the Bible reveals? Who does the Bible, Catholic, and Islamic prophecy teach will win such a war?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Rise of the King of the South The Bible tells of the formation of a power of nations that are in the Middle East and North Africa that are part of the final “King of the South” (Daniel 11:40-43) The Muslim Brotherhood wishes to have an Islamic empire with basically the same nations. This YouTube video explains what to expect from such a confederation.
Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied? What does the Bible teach? Which nations may be affected? Here is a link to a related sermon: Terrorism, Christianity, and Islam.
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi.
The Prophesied ‘Islamic’ Confederation Where is an Islamic caliphate prophesied? Will one happen? Should you be concerned about it? A related video is Will an Arabic Calphiphate Destroy the West?
Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia in Prophecy What is ahead for North Africa? What does the Bible teach?
Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy What does the Bible teach about Gaza and the fate of the Palestinians? Here is a link to a related video: Gaza and Palestine in Prophecy.
Damascus and Syria in Prophecy Will Bashar Assad hold power as he has it? Does the Bible show that Damascus, the capital of Syria, will be destroyed? What will happen to Syria? Will the Syrians support the final King of the South that the Bible tells will rise up? Which scriptures discuss the rise and fall of an Arabic confederation? Does Islamic prophecy predict the destruction of Syria. This is a YouTube video.
Egypt in Prophecy Does Egypt have a special role in end time prophecy? Will Egypt rise up and then be defeated. What does God teach will happen to those in Egypt? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Egypt and End Time Prophecy.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermons Why Teach the Kingdom of God? and The Gospel of the Kingdom.
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
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. A video of possible interest may be Will Will USA Spying Help the Beast Power?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
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?
Forbes’ Brexit Monster is the Beast of Revelation Various ones have been properly convinced that there is a plan for a European superstate. Forbes’ writer Tom Worstall wrote that the Brexit vote was about the United Kingdom “not joining the monster of the European Union to come.” The Bible tells of a Beast monster that will arise in the end times in Europe. Dr. Thiel cites news reports, as well as the Old and New Testaments, to show that the monster many fear will arise in Europe, despite the vote by the British to exit the European Union.
Post Brexit Prophecy On June 23, 2016, the voters of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) chose to leave the European Union. Now with this BRitish EXIT (Brexit) vote, what is prophesied to happen to the UK? Will the UK do well or be taken over and made slaves? Dr. Thiel explains from biblical prophecies what is ahead for the UK, Europe, and even the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This is a video.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2016 o 2017? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter video is: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill?  Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill?  Could a Donald Trump presidency be apocalyptic?  A related video is titled: Donald: ‘Trump of God’ or Apocalyptic?
Trump Presidency Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy? BBC reported that one might as well use a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’ to try to predict what will happen in the remaining time of Donald Trump’s presidency. What is a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’? Dr. Thiel not only explains that, but also briefly goes over 10 biblically-based warnings he wrote would happen if Donald Trump were elected that have already began to come to pass. He also goes over something he wrote back in 2008 that the Trump presidency is also helping lead to fulfillment. Should you trust Bible prophecy or not? Dr. Thiel says that Bible prophecy can be trusted, despite the view of skeptics and others that either overlook or despise the Bible. This is a video.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse This 188 page book is for people truly interested in prophecies related to Donald Trump and the United States, including learning about several that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon for $12.99 from the following link: Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition This electronic version of the 188 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition.