Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

Passover approaches: Are you living as a Christian?

Monday, March 30th, 2015

COGwriter

Passover will be here later this week.  Are you living as a Christian?

Jesus taught:

35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)

Most religions, however, that profess Christ chose to allow warfare and other activities that do not show love to one’s neighbor (Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare?).

Love, not war, is what life is supposed to be all about (see also What is the Meaning of Life?).

Christians are Subject to Difficulties

For loving as Jesus taught, Christians will be hated and persecuted:

16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause. (John 15:16-25)

(For more details on persecution see Persecutions by Church and State and/or the video The Coming Persecution of the Church.)

Jesus also warned:

33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

And doing what we are supposed to do as Christians shows that we have faith. And it is not easy.

22…Have faith in God (Mark 11:22).

Apparently there were heretical people in the time of the apostles who did not believe that they had to do anything and that their faith was sufficient. But notice what James told them:

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25)

14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe — and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? (James 2:14-20)

Perhaps the above is why Martin Luther criticized this book (see Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible?).

So, How do Christians Live?

Throughout history, there have been true Christians, just as Jesus prophesied (Matthew 16:16; Revelation 2 & 3).

Real Christians lived differently than most who professed Christ and they were often persecuted for it (Persecutions by Church and State).

Real Christians understand Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:

5:1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek,For they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart,For they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers,For they shall be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.

27 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

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

33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:1-48)

6:1 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. (Matthew 6:1-4)

This affects them at work, at school, and home and all the time. They are not only Christians when they attend church services. They try not to live as hypocrites. Nor do they view pornography, engage in fornication or homosexuality, or live a life of hate.

Real Christians have the right priorities and seek first the Kingdom of God:

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:25-34)

Real Christians pray and the Bible teaches this (Matthew 6:5-7). In modern times it has been suggested that Christians should strive to pray at least thirty minutes per day. Although the Bible itself does not specify an amount of time. Yet when it teaches, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), this suggests some amount of regular prayer (see also What Should I Pray About?).

Jesus said His disciples would fast (Mark 2:20). And while all who can are basically required to fast once per year on the Day of Atonement, historically the Church of God has suggested that once per month is a good goal for fasting–though this frequency is not specified in scripture (see also Importance of Fasting).

Real Christians read the Bible (those who could read) and the more honorable ones daily (Acts 17:11; Ephesians 6:17). In modern times it has been suggested that Christians should strive to pray at least thirty minutes per day. Although, again, the Bible itself does not specify

Real Christians tithe (Matthew 23:23; see also Tithing Questions and Some Answers). And there are multiple tithes (Is Third Tithe Still Valid Today?). As far to how to calculate tithes, basically they are on income. In my view, net income after taxes as the income recipient has essentially no choice but to pay the taxes, which is something else that Christians should do (see also Taxes). Christians also give offerings, including on the biblical holy days (Deuteronomy 16:16-17).

Real Christians avoid eating biblically unclean meats (Leviticus 11:4-8,10-19,24-30; Deuteronomy 14:3,7-8.10,12-19). Because of this, some have been killed by Greco-Romans who profess Christianity (see The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats).

Real Christians are not dishonest at work or school. They do not lie or cheat. They do not go along with sin in organizations. Christians do not read horoscopes, practice witchcraft, or see fortune tellers (Leviticus 19:26; Deuteronomy 18:10).

Real Christians do not have idols in their homes, wear “lucky charms,” etc. (see also What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons?).

Real Christians do not have “filthy communications” come out of their mouths (Colossians 3:8).

Christians are to properly teach and bring up their children (1 Thessalonians 2:11; Ephesians 6:1; 1 Timothy 3:4,12; 5:4,10,14; Titus 1:6; 2:4; see also Five Rules for Effective Parenting, there is also a 12 1/2 minute YouTube video on this, also titled Five Rules for Effective Parenting).

Real Christian women dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:9). Real Christians do not get tattoos (Leviticus 19:28).

Christian women should not have short masculine hair styles and Christian men should not have long feminine hairstyles (Veils and Other Coverings). Since pagan priests tended to totally shave their heads, this does not seem to be a proper regular practice for Christian men (Leviticus 19:27; 21:5).

Christians do not get drunk or participate in improper revelries, and this can make them unpopular with those who previously considered them to be friends as the Apostle Peter wrote:

1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles — when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. (1 Peter 4:1-4)

So, Christians are subject to be talked about badly for doing what is right. The Apostle Peter also wrote:

12 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. (1 Peter 4:12-14)

Thus, negative consequences from the world for being a Christian is expected.

Holidays, Holy Days, and the Sabbath

Real Christians do not observe religious pagan holidays (see Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days Which?) or birthdays (Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays?). This can make them unpopular with some of their neighbors, co-workers, employers, and/or families. Remember that Jesus said:

34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39)

Real Christians observe the biblical holy days (Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible?). Observing Passover on the 14th as faithful Christians do risked the death penalty as Roman (Catholic) Emperor Theodosius decreed in the late fourth century (see also Persecutions by Church and State).

Real Christians prepare for the Passover each year by examining themselves (2 Corinthians 13:5; There is also a YouTube video you may wish to see titled Preparing for Passover). They also remove leaven from their homes and eat unleavened bread for seven days each year while trying to total avoid consuming any leaven during that time (see Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread and Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread?).

Christians keep the Feast of Pentecost and Feast of Trumpets.

Christians observe the Day of Atonement and those who can fast that day by completely abstaining from food and drink (those with health concerns, nursing mothers, small children, etc. normally do not). This is difficult for various ones as some get headaches and others have other issues with fasting. In terms of other difficulties, I was almost put in jail once because I was going to not go to work on the Day of Atonement (I was in the military at the time).

Christians observe the Feast of Tabernacles which normally involves traveling out of one’s region. This can cause problems for employees, business owners, and parents.

Christians keep the Sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday each week. This has cost various people their job and sometimes resentment from co-workers. Keeping the Sabbath also means no regular shopping on that day. On the other hand, I do believe that the Bible allows for eating out when traveling or spending for some emergency (like going to a hospital), and there are other exceptions. But in some societies not being able to shop on Saturday is difficult as there are Sunday shopping restrictions in many places.

Also, because the time for sunset changes, especially in areas far from the equator, some of us have had to get off of work early on Fridays in the Winter. Also, keeping the Sabbath means no participating in activities like sports on the Sabbath. The focus is to be on the things of God and not doing one’s pleasure (cf. Isaiah 58:13-14).

But you might say, all I have to do is believe. Well the demons believe (James 2:14-20) and Jesus said that just claiming Him was not enough:

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:21-23)

Faith is important (see the article Faith for those God has Called and Chosen and/or watch the video Faith for the Called and Chosen). But notice also what the Apostle Paul wrote:

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)

In the early 2nd century, Ignatius of Antioch taught about love, character, and Christ living His life in Christians:

…the believing have, in love, the character of God the Father by Jesus Christ, by whom, if we are not in readiness to die into His passion, His life is not in us. (Ignatius’ Letter to the Magnesians, Chapter 5. Roberts & Donaldson, Anti-Nicene Fathers)

While many of these seem difficult and some may be hard to understand (cf. 2 Peter 3:16), Christians truly accept:

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9)

Christians do so because they have faith, not only that God exists, but that His ways are best and will have the best results in the end (cf. Romans 8:28).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Living as a Christian: How and Why? In what ways do Christians live differently than others. What about praying, fasting, tithing, holy days, and the world? There is also a YouTube video related to that also called: Living as a Christian: How and Why?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
Faith for those God has Called and Chosen What is faith? Can faith be increased? Are you saved by faith? What about works? Do Christians need to keep the Ten Commandments? What is the ‘faith chapter’? How do the just live by faith? Is faith one of the weightier matters of the law? How does faith come? Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Faith for the Called and Chosen. Here is a link to shorter version of the written article in Mandarin Chinese 一篇关于信仰的小文章
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
When You Sin: Do You Really Repent? This is an article by Charles F. Hunting. A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent .
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true?
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.
Pagan Holidays or God’s Holy Days Which? Herbert W. Armatrong explains what the days the Bible endorses.What is the Appropriate Form of Biblical Interpretation? Should the Bible be literally understood?
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
Bible: Superstition or Authority? Should you rely on the Bible? Is it reliable? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday?

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

COGwriter

Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday? What does the Bible teach? (For some information about the crucifixion in Spanish, please click on ¿Murió Jesús un día miércoles o un viernes?)

Here is one explanation, primarily using New Testament texts, about the day of the crucifixion and the day of the resurrection, from the 1952, the old Radio Church of God booklet titled The RESURRECTION was NOT on Sunday by the late Herbert W. Armstrong explaining this:

It is commonly supposed, today, Jesus was crucified on FRIDAY, and that the resurrection occurred about sunrise on Easter Sunday morning.

It would seem that no one, until recently, ever thought to question or to PROVE this “Good-Friday-Easter” tradition. Yet the Bible tells us to PROVE all things. And you will be literally astounded by this proof.

For PROOF there is but one dependable authority; a sole historical record — the Bible…

The doubting Pharisees were asking Jesus for a SIGN– a supernatural evidence — in proof of His Messiahship.

Jesus answered: “An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man be THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the heart of the earth.” (Matt. 12:38-40). Now consider, please, the tremendous import — the overwhelming significance — of Jesus’ statements!

He expressly declared that the ONLY SIGN He would give to prove He was the Messiah was that He should be just THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the rock-hewn sepulchre in “the heart of the earth.”

The Significance of the Sign

These Christ-rejecting Pharisees demanded PROOF. Jesus offered but one evidence. That evidence was not the fact of the resurrection itself — it was the LENGTH OF TIME He would repose in His grave, before being resurrected.

Think what this means! Jesus staked His claim to being your Saviour and mine upon remaining exactly THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS in the tomb. IF He remained just three days and three nights inside the earth, He would PROVE Himself the Saviour — if He failed in this sign, He must be rejected as an imposter!

No wonder Satan has caused unbelievers to scoff at the story of Jonah and the “Whale!” No wonder the Devil has set up a tradition that DENIES Jesus is the Messiah!…

The BIBLE Definition

But the BIBLE definition of the duration of “nights and days” is simple.

Even these same higher critics admit that in the HEBREW language, in which the book of Jonah was written, the expression “three days and three nights” means a period of 72 hours — three twelve-hour days and three twelve-hour nights.

Notice Jonah 1:17: “And Jonah was in the belly of the fish THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS!” This, they admit was a period of 72 hours. And Jesus distinctly said that AS Jonah was three days and three nights in the great fish’s belly, So He would be the same length of time in His grave!

As Jonah was in the “GRAVE” (see marginal reference, Jonah 2:2) 72 hours, after which he was supernaturally resurrected by God, by being vomited up, to become a saviour to the people of Ninevah upon proclaiming the warning to them, so should Jesus be 72 hours in His grave, thereupon being resurrected by God to become the saviour of the world!

Did Jesus know how much time was in a “day” and in a “night”? Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in a day … but if a man walk in the NIGHT, he stumbleth.” (John 11:9-10).

Notice the BIBLE DEFINITION of the expression, “THE THIRD DAY.” Text after text tells us that Jesus rose THE THIRD DAY. See how the BIBLE defines the time required to fulfill “THE THIRD DAY.”

In Genesis 1:4 God “divided the LIGHT from the DARKNESS. And God called the LIGHT Day, and the DARKNESS He called Night. And the evening (darkness) and the morning (light) were THE FIRST DAY … and the evening (darkness) and the morning (light) were THE SECOND DAY, … and the evening (now three periods of darkness called NIGHT – three nights) and the morning (now three periods of light called DAY — three days) were THE THIRD DAY.” (Gen 1:4- 13).

Here we have the ONLY BIBLE DEFINITION which explains and COUNTS UP the amount of time involved in the expression “THE THIRD DAY.” It includes three dark periods called NIGHT, and three light periods called DAY — three days and three nights, and Jesus said they contained TWELVE HOURS for each period — a total of 72 hours!

That ought to be conclusive! Any seven-year old, near the end of the second grade, could figure it easily. We praise God that His plain truths are revealed UNTO BABES, and hidden from the wise and prudent!

What Is Wrong?

What is wrong with these plain, simple words of Jesus? How do these wise and prudent theologians KNOW Jesus was crucified “Good Friday” and rose “Easter Sunday?”

The simple answer is, THEY DO NOT KNOW IT — for IT IS NOT TRUE! It is merely TRADITION — a tradition we have been taught from childhood, and carelessly ASSUMED! Jesus warns against making “the Word of God of none effect through your TRADITION.” (Mark 7:13).

We have examined two scriptural witnesses, in Matthew and in Jonah, both setting the duration of the body of Jesus in the tomb as three days and three nights, which the Scriptures plainly define as 72 hours of time. Now let us examine four other Scriptural witnesses the PROVE THE SAME THING.

Notice Mark 8:31 “And He began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and AFTER three days rise again.”

Our young second grader can figure this. IF Jesus had been killed on Friday, and then AFTER one day He had risen, the resurrection would have occurred on Saturday evening. IF AFTER TWO DAYS, it would have occurred Sunday evening, and if AFTER THREE DAYS, it would have occurred MONDAY EVENING!

Examine this text carefully. You cannot, by any process of arithmetic, figure any less than a full 72 hours — three days and three nights — in a resurrection which occurred three days AFTER the crucifixion! If Jesus was in the grave only from Friday sunset to Sunday sunrise, then this text too, must be torn out of your Bible or else you must reject Jesus Christ as your Saviour! If He rose AFTER THREE DAYS, it might have been more than 72 hours, but it could not have been a second less!

Notice now Mark 9:31. “… they shall kill him; and AFTER that he is killed, he shall rise THE THIRD DAY.” The duration expressed here must be between 48 and 72 hours. It could not be one second PAST 72 hours, and Jesus still rise THE THIRD DAY. And it could not be Friday sunset to Sunday sunrise, because that is only 36 hours, carrying us into the middle of the second day, AFTER He was killed.

In Matthew 27:63 Jesus is quoted as saying, “AFTER THREE DAYS I will rise again.” This cannot possibly be figured as less than 72 full hours.

And in John 2:18-22, “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and IN three days I will raise it up … but HE spake of the temple of his body.” To be raised up IN three days after being destroyed, or crucified and buried, could not be more than 72 hours.

If we are to accept all the testimony of THE BIBLE, we must conclude that Jesus was exactly three days and three nights — three full 24-hour days — 72 hours in the grave or the only supernatural proof He gave must fail.

The TIME OF DAY of the Resurrection

Now notice carefully this fact: In order to be three days and three nights — 72 hours — in the tomb, our Lord had to be resurrected at exactly THE SAME TIME OF DAY that His body was buried in the tomb!

Let us realize that very vital fact.

If we can find the TIME OF DAY of the burial, then we have found the TIME OF DAY of the resurrection! If the burial, for instance, was at sunrise, then in order to be left an even three days and three nights in the tomb, the resurrection likewise had to occur at sunrise, three days later. If the burial were at noon, the resurrection was at noon. If the burial was at sunset, the resurrection was at sunset, three days later.

Jesus cried on the cross soon after “the ninth hour” or three o’clock in the afternoon. (Matt. 27:46-50; Mark 15:34-37; Luke 23:44-46).

The crucifixion day was called “the preparation,” or day before “the Sabbath.” (Matt. 27:62; Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14). This day ended at sunset, according to Bible reckoning (Lev. 23:32).

Yet Jesus was buried before this same day ended — before sunset. (Matt. 27:57; Luke 23:52-54). John adds, “There laid they Jesus, therefore, because of the Jews’ preparation day.” According to the laws observed by the Jews all dead bodies must be buried before the beginning of a Sabbath or feast day. Hence Jesus was buried BEFORE SUNSET on the same day He died. He died shortly after 3 p.m.

Therefore — notice carefully — the BURIAL OF CHRIST’S BODY WAS IN THE LATE AFTERNOON! It was between 3 p.m. and sunset as these Scriptures prove.

And since the RESURRECTION had to occur at the SAME TIME OF DAY, three days later, THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST OCCURRED, not at sunrise, but IN THE LATE AFTERNOON, near sunset! Startling as this fact may be, it is the PLAIN BIBLE TRUTH!

If Jesus rose at any other time of day, He could not have been three days and three nights in His grave. If He rose at any other time of day, He failed to prove, by the only sign He gave that He was the true Messiah, the Son of the living Creator! Either He rose near the END of a day near sunset, or else He is not the Christ! He staked His claim on that one and only sign!

So a time-honored tradition must be shattered! Let us praise God for His TRUTH which has been preserved through the dark ages, so that the true light may now shine forth, if our hearts and minds are still willing to receive it! Praise His name! Do you LOVE the TRUTH as it is revealed, or despise it and love the traditions you have heard? “Whosoever despiseth the Word shall be destroyed!” Let us say with David, “How precious also are THY thoughts unto me, O God!”

What Day Was the Resurrection?

Now which DAY OF THE WEEK was the resurrection day? The first investigators, Mary Magdalene and her companions, came to the sepulcher on the first day of the week (Sunday) very early, while it was yet dark, as the sun was beginning to rise, at dawn. (Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1).

Now here are the texts most people have SUPPOSED stated the resurrection was at sunrise Sunday morning. But they do not say that!

When the women arrived, the tomb was already OPEN! At that time Sunday morning while it was yet dark — JESUS WAS NOT THERE! Notice how the angel says “HE IS NOT HERE, BUT IS RISEN!” See Mark 16:6; Luke 24:3; John 20:2; Matt. 28:5-6.

Jesus was ALREADY RISEN at sunrise Sunday morning! Of course He was. He rose from the grave IN THE LATE AFTERNOON, near SUNSET!

And since we know the resurrection was just shortly prior to that Sunday morning, and that it occurred in the late afternoon of the day, we now may know THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST OCCURRED LATE SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

The Sabbath day ended at sunset. It was late on that day, before the beginning of the first day of the week. It was not, then, a Sunday resurrection at all — it was a Sabbath resurrection!

Three days prior to Saturday afternoon is Wednesday afternoon. Hence, since Jesus was killed on a Wednesday and resurrected on a Saturday, there is no biblical reason for “Easter” to be on a Sunday. The resurrection was not on Sunday.

Some have claimed that one of following scriptures (vs. 21) proves a Friday crucifixion and a Sunday resurrection:

13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

19 And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:13-27)

But it does not. The strongest evidence in favor of Wednesday as the crucifixion is Jesus’ own words about being in the grave three days and three nights, plus the fact that the Sabbath He was interned prior to was a high day. As far as the counting of three since since, different people use different expressions to mean things. For example, in modern times, to say something will happen next Sunday may mean tomorrow or a week from tomorrow, hence I do not believe that the “third day since” argument is adequate to discount Wednesday.

Furthermore, notice this explanation from the late Herbert W. Armstrong:

Another passage that might confuse is Luke 24:21: “… And beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done.” “These things” included all the events pertaining to the resurrection — the seizing of Jesus, delivering Him to be tried, the actual crucifixion, and, finally, the setting of the seal and the watch over the tomb the following day, or Thursday. Study verses 18-20, telling of “these things” and also Matthew 27:62-66. “These things” were not completed until the watch was set, Thursday. And the text says Sunday was the third day since these things were done. Sunday truly was the third day since Thursday. But it was not the third day since Friday, so this text could not prove a Friday crucifixion. (The RESURRECTION was NOT on Sunday, Radio Church of God, 1952)

Notice that “these things” were not limited to placing Christ in the tomb. Yet some have erroneously concluded otherwise.

Notice the following:

62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard. (Matthew 27:62-66).

The day “which followed the Day of Preparation” was a Thursday and the third day since that would be Sunday.

Even some Protestant scholars have long realized that there is biblical support that Jesus’ resurrection may have been on Saturday. Notice what one wrote in 1907:

…the Bible nowhere says or implies that Jesus was crucified and died on Friday. It is said that Jesus was crucified on “the day before the Sabbath“…Now, the Bible does not leave us to speculate which Sabbath is meant in this instance; for John tells us, in so many words, in John 19:14, that the day on which Jesus was tried and crucified was “the preparation of the Passover” (emphasis added). In other words, it was not the day before the weekly Sabbath (that is, Friday), but it was the day before the Passover Sabbath, which came that year on Thursday–that is to say, the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified was Wednesday. John makes this as clear as day… To sum it all up, Jesus died just about sunset on Wednesday. Seventy two hours later, exactly three days and three nights, at…Saturday at sunset, He arose again from the grave. (Torrey R.A. Difficulties in the Bible. Originally published 1907; Whitaker House; Updated edition, October 2003, pp. 168-169, 173).

Furthermore, see what the late Jerry Falwell, a Sunday-keeper, and others have admitted:

The Bible is actually silent on the precise moment of resurrection. Jesus’ followers came to His tomb before dawn on the first day of the week (Sunday), but they did not witness Him coming back to life. They merely found an empty tomb. Even the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, a Sunday-keeper and chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., agreed with that timetable, telling WND in 2001, “I personally believe He was crucified on Wednesday evening … and rose after 6 p.m. Saturday evening.” Most Christians today think Jesus died on a Friday and rose on Sunday. They point to Scriptures indicating a Sabbath day followed Jesus’ execution. But Sabbath-keepers claim it was not the weekly Sabbath of Saturday approaching. Rather, they say it was an annual Sabbath, a “high” holy day in the Hebrew calendar known as the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which supposedly occurred on a Thursday the week Jesus was killed. The Gospel of John mentions that Sabbath was the annual type. “The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) … .” (John 19:31) In other words, Sabbatarians say there was more than one day of rest that week. Their timeline has Jesus slain on Wednesday – the day before the “high day” annual Sabbath on Thursday. They believe Jesus was in the grave for a full three days and three nights, finally arising Saturday evening, the second Sabbath of the week. The mention of “three days and three nights” is important for many, as Jesus used that phrase to prove His divine identity: “For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so I, the Son of Man, will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.” (Matthew 12:40, New Living Translation) (Kovac, Joe. ‘Deception’: Christians war over worship day. Posted: March 16, 2008 5:24 pm Eastern. WorldNetDaily).

Hence, some do know the truth. And it is not just some Protestants. It is interesting to note that even into the 19th century, there was a ceremony in Rome that indicated a Saturday resurrection. Notice:

This ceremony is thus graphically described by the authoress of Rome in the 19th Century:”…the Pope himself, who walked beneath a crimson canopy, with his head uncovered, bearing the Host in a box; and this being, as you know, the real flesh and blood of Christ, was carried from the Sistine chapel through the intermediate hall to the Paulina chapel, where it was deposited in the sepulchre prepared to receive it beneath the altar…I never could learn why Christ was to be buried before He was dead, for, as the crucifixion did not take place till Good Friday, it seems odd to inter Him on Thursday. His body, however, is laid in the sepulchre, in all the churches of Rome, where this rite is practised, on Thursday forenoon, and it remains there till Saturday at mid-day, when, for some reason best known to themselves, He is supposed to rise from the grave amidst the firing of cannon, and blowing of trumpets, and jingling of bells…*” * The above account referred to the ceremonies as witnessed by the authoress in 1817 and 1818. It would seem that some change has taken place since then, caused probably by the very attention called by her to the gross anomaly mentioned above; for Count Vlodaisky, formerly a Roman Catholic priest, who visited Rome in 1845, has informed me that in that year the resurrection took place, not at mid-day, but at nine o’clock on the evening of Saturday. This may have been intended to make the inconsistency between Roman practice and Scriptural fact appear somewhat less glaring. Still the fact remains, that the resurrection of Christ, as celebrated at Rome, takes place, …on the day of Saturn…(Hislop, Alexander. Two Babylons. Loizeaux, Neptune (NJ), Second American Edition, 1959–originally expanded in 1858).

Whether the above ceremony still exists, this writer does not know. But it is interesting that at least one Roman ceremony involving the pope acknowledged a Saturday resurrection that late. Perhaps, this ceremony was originally adopted by Rome partially because the early Romans knew that Jesus was actually resurrected on Saturday. Irrespective of that celebration, it is clear that there is evidence outside the Bible that among those that professed Christ, there were some who understood that the crucifixion was on a Wednesday and the resurrection was on a Saturday.

Some items of related interest may be include:

What Happened in the ‘Crucifixion Week’? How long are three days and three nights? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter?
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol?
Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? A related YouTube video would be Origin of the Cross.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur :) In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
The Night to Be Observed What is the night to be much observed? When is it? Why do Jews keep Passover twice and emphasize the wrong date? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled The Night to Be Observed.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here is a YouTube video intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread:
Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread. Did Early Christians Celebrate Easter? If not, when did this happen? What do scholars and the Bible reveal?
Why Easter? Did early Christians observe Easter? What are the origins of Easter? What does Easter have to do with the goddess Ishtar. Where did the word Easter come from? Where do Easter eggs come from? What do rabbits have to do with Easter? Was Jesus resurrected on a Sunday? This is a video.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Today has been called Palm Sunday, however…

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

Jerusalem

COGwriter

Today is claimed to be ‘Palm Sunday’:

Notice a report about it from before:

Pope Francis celebrated his first Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square…Palm Sunday recalls Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem but its Gospel also recounts how he was betrayed by one of his apostles and ultimately sentenced to death on a cross. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/03/24/francis-leads-palm-sunday-mass-in-st-peter-square-opening-holy-week-for-church/#ixzz2OSt2qtLx

Despite the above report, did you know that Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem that is now commonly called Palm Sunday did not happen on a Sunday?

Also, did you know that ‘Palm Sunday’ was not observed by the early church? Some believe that it began in Mesopotamia in the late fourth century. However, Roman Catholics did not seem to adopt it until much later.

The Catholic Encyclopedia notes:

Binterim, V, i, 173, on the authority of Severus, Patriarch of Antioch, and of Josue Stylites, states that Peter Bishop of Edessa, about 397 ordered the benediction of the palms for all the churches of Mesopotamia. The ceremonies had their origin most probably in Jerusalem. In the “Peregrinatio Sylviæ”, undertaken between 378 and 394…

In the three oldest Roman Sacramentaries no mention is found of either the benediction of the palms or the procession. The earliest notice is in the “Gregorianum” used in France in the ninth and tenth centuries.

Growing up Catholic, I remember getting palm leaves on “Palm Sunday.” Palm Sunday is claimed to be the day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. It certainly, even according to Catholic sources, was not an original apostolic practice. But is what is being observed even related to what something that happened on a Sunday?

No.

To prove this, let’s start the sequence:

1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany…(John 12:1).

Since Passover is on the 14th of Nisan, subtracting six days bringing us back to the 8th of Nisan (if it was six nights before the evening of 14th, as Jesus arrived for dinner, technically it could have been on the 7th in the evening). Jesus apparently arrived in Jerusalem on a donkey the next day (which is either the morning of the 8th or 9th):

12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:

“Hosanna!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
The King of Israel!”

14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:

15 “Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.” (John 12:12-15).

Since Jesus died on what we call Wednesday on the 14th of Nisan, the 8th of Nisan would have been a Thursday and the 9th of Nisan would have been a Friday. Thus, there was no “Palm Sunday.” It seems to have been a “Palm Thursday” or “Palm Friday”.

It would seem that next day (Friday/Saturday) is when He went to the Temple, overthrew the money-changers, and was praised by the children (Matthew 21:12-16).

The Old Testament Passover lamb was selected on the 10th of the month (Exodus 12:3), and this may have been symbolically fulfilled by Jesus by entering the Temple on the 10th. Another reason, to conclude that this is so, is because in the Old Testament the lamb was kept until the 14th (Exodus 12:6), and in Luke’s account, Jesus continued teaching daily in the Temple (Luke 19:47; 22:53), until the time He partook of Passover (which was the 14th).

Now, the Christian Passover, which Jesus, the apostles, and the early Christians all observed (and are told to do so in the Bible) is tonight after sunset. Yet, probably none who observed Palm Sunday (which neither the Bible nor the early church enjoined) will actually observe the true Christian Passover (which both the Bible and the early church enjoined).

Something to think about.

Some links of possibly related interest may include:

What Happened in the Crucifixion Week? How long are three days and three nights? Was Palm Sunday on a Saturday? Did Jesus die on “Good Friday”? Was the resurrection on Sunday? Do you really know? Who determined the date of Easter?
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。.
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.
Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread How should Christians keep Passover, especially if they are by themselves. Why does the Church of God not require lambs for Passover? How does one keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? For a step-by-step video for Christians to keep it, check out CCOG Passover Service.
Preparing for Passover The Apostle Paul taught that Christians should examine themselves prior to taking Passover. This YouTube video sermon gives suggestions on how to prepare.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
TPM: Passover on the 14th or 15th? While the real COG observes Passover on the 14th, some observe it on the 15th. Why is the 14th correct? A related sermon is titled Is Passover on the 14th or 15th for Christians?
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here is a YouTube video intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread: Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

Indiana Governor Pence attempts to restore some religious rights

Friday, March 27th, 2015


Mike Pence 

COGwriter

The State of Indiana has taken a step to try to restore some religious rights:

March 27, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS –  Indiana Gov. Mike Pence vigorously defended the state religious objections bill that he signed into law Thursday as businesses and organizations including the NCAA pressed concerns that it could open the door to legalizing discrimination against gay people.

The state became the first to enact such a change this year among about a dozen where such proposals have been introduced. Arkansas’ governor said Thursday he supported a similar bill that’s advancing in that state’s Legislature.

“There has been a lot of misunderstanding about this bill,” Pence said. “This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would’ve vetoed it.”

Those arguments didn’t satisfy opponents who worry the law, which will take effect in July, presents Indiana as unwelcoming and could give legal cover to businesses that don’t want to provide services to gays and lesbians.

National gay-rights consider the Indiana bill among the most sweeping of similar state proposals introduced as conservatives brace for a possible U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

The Washington-based Human Rights Campaign said Indiana lawmakers “have sent a dangerous and discriminatory message.”

“They’ve basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it’s OK to discriminate against people despite what the law says,” said Sarah Warbelow, the group’s legal director. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/03/27/indiana-gov-signs-religious-objections-bill-amid-protests/

March 27, 2015

One scenario sketched out by opponents of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act was that the law would give wedding-related businesses the legal right to refuse to serve same-sex weddings. …

Both the Indiana and Indianapolis area chambers of commerce decried passage of the law.

Both the Indiana and Indianapolis area chambers of commerce decried passage of the law. …

About 20 other states, including Texas, Florida, Illinois and Louisiana, have passed religious freedom laws since 1993 that are the same or similar to Indiana’s. Those laws passed for the most part with little or no controversy. The passage of Indiana’s law comes at a time of debate over same-sex marriage legislation that heightens the public sensitivity over sexual and other types of discrimination. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-indiana-religious-freedom-20150327-story.html#page=1

March 26, 2015

Gov. Mike Pence signed a controversial “religious freedom” bill Thursday morning in his Statehouse office, culminating a three-month battle over the most divisive issue of the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly.

Senate Enrolled Act 101, called the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, aims to prevent state and local governments from “substantially burdening” a person’s exercise of religion unless the government can prove it has a “compelling interest” and uses the “least restrictive” means to do so.

Supporters say the measure will protect people and business owners with strong religious beliefs. Opponents say it will essentially legalize discrimination, particularly against gays and lesbians. http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2015/03/26/religious-freedom-law-how-did-we-get-here/70516970/

The homosexual lobby does not believe that people have the right to hold moral views that are opposed to their anti-biblical lifestyle and agenda.

It was a courageous thing for the Governor and legislator of Indiana to do.

While legally attempting to protect certain rights of conscience, I do not believe that this still stop the homosexual agenda.  There are simply not enough politicians in the USA who will stand up against it.  The morals of the USA have declined to the point that most politicians do not believe that it is safe for them to condemn the sin of homosexual sex, thus, in time, it is not likely that the Indiana law will change much.  Nor the similar laws in the other USA states.

Last month, US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg stated her view that the change in attitudes in the USA accepting aspects of the homosexual agenda was enormous.  Freedom of religion is a listed ‘constitutional right,’ yet Justice Ginsburg wishes to make homosexual ‘marriage’ a constitutional right (see Justice Ginsburg: Americans are ready for homosexual marriage to be a Constitutional right)–without considering that the ramifications of the latter will be discriminatory against the former.

The real reason for that there has been growing acceptance of the homosexual agenda in the USA is that fewer North Americans read and believe the Bible.  Also there is a growing amount of politically-motivated theologians which have misrepresented what the Bible teaches about homosexuality.

Notice that not just participating in homosexual and lesbian acts are prohibited by the Bible, but that condemnation is also given to those who approve such acts:

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:26-32)

It is good that some government leaders are trying to allow moral conscience.  It is just terrible that there is a major effort against that in order to try to force people to condone what the God of the Bible condemns.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Can homosexuals change?
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children. What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on? There is also a YouTube video on this, titled Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children.
Weather Blessings and Sorrows Are weather problems a warning? What should be done? What does the Bible teach about weather? What about floods, droughts, heat, earthquakes, tornadoes, and solar storms? Here is a related YouTube video Does God Use Weather? A related item in the Spanish language would be Bendiciones y maldiciones del clima.
Love, Marriage, and Sex It is important to get them in the right order.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed?
Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose Do you know what the Bible teaches on this? Has the Roman Catholic Church allowed abortions? What about the real Church of God? Some may also, or instead, wish to view the YouTube video Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt.
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? Here is a link to a YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
British and American Moral Decay Public nudity is becoming more prevalent in the Anglo-Saxon lands. What are some of the consequences?
Can those in the USA/UK see the Handwriting on the Wall? Is everything fine in the USA/UK or is it like the days of Noah? Can we learn from the handwriting that appeared on a wall thousands of years ago? Here is a link to a related YouTube video Can you see the ‘Handwriting on the Wall’?
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? 2015, 2016, or 2017? 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 2014 o 2015? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Edition for Second Obama Term This is a 160 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Barack Obama and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled (which the book documents in detail) and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also has a chapter about a Republican choice. This book is available to order at www.barackobamaprophecy.com. The physical book can also be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Barack Obama Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Kenyan, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Republican Leaders? Second Edition for Second Obama Term.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition.

The Sixth Annual International Temple Mount Awareness Day

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

COGwriter

The Temple Institute in Jerusalem reported the following today:

Wednesday, March 25/5 Nisan

THIS YEAR’S THEME: EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO ASK ABOUT THE TEMPLE MOUNT & HOLY TEMPLE, FEATURING YOU, OUR FRIENDS AND FOLLOWERS! …

This year, International Temple Mount Awareness Day is about the Holy Temple and you!

WHAT IS INTERNATIONAL TEMPLE MOUNT AWARENESS DAY?

A special presentation of the Temple Institute which takes place each year during the week of Rosh Chodesh Nisan – the New Month of Nisan. What’s special about this month?

The month of Nisan is the anniversary of the dedication of the Tabernacle in the wilderness. It’s also the day on which fire descended from Heaven onto the altar, and the first day in which the Shechina, the Divine Presence, rested in the Tabernacle.

Nisan is the month of redemption, the month in which our forefathers were redeemed from Egyptian bondage. But the month is called so not only because of the upcoming Festival of Passover and our ancestors’ passage from slavery to freedom. Tradition teaches that in the future, as well, the great and final redemption will take place in Nisan!

INTERNATIONAL TEMPLE MOUNT AWARENESS DAY celebrates the promise of the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and the revolution in Temple consciousness that is taking place in Israel!

The Sixth Annual International Temple Mount Awareness Day is dedicated to you, our followers and supporters.  https://www.templeinstitute.org/events.htm

Basically, the Temple Institute wants to promote its views of the Temple and likes to use the first month of the Hebrew calendar to do so.  Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread occur during the month of Nisan and those begin next week (for when, see Holy Day Calendar).

As far as everything people want to know about the Temple Mount and ‘Holy Temple,” those at the Temple Institute simply do not understand enough of the New Testament or even Old Testament to do that.

Why do I say that?

One reason is that the New Testament makes it clear that God’s Holy Temple is composed of truly converted Christians.

While it is true that the Hebrew scriptures state that the Jews were God’s holy people (Deuteronomy 7:6), the New Testament shows that God’s holy people are Christians:

13 Jesus Christ…15 He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:13, 15-16)

9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, (1 Peter 2:9)

The question for now is does the New Testament connect Christians (Jews or Gentiles) or non-believing Jews with the temple of God?

The Apostle Paul told the Christians in Corinth:

16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (1 Corinthians 6:19)

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Corinthians 6:16)

Notice that the Apostle Paul supports the idea that the naos/temple of God now has to do with Christians, not necessarily the Jewish peoples (except those who are Christians and have the Holy Spirit).  Additionally, his wording “know ye not” indicates that this is something that they already should have known.

It is converted Christians who are God’s holy people and who compose the Temple of God in the end times.

As far as some of the Temple Institute’s misunderstanding the Old Testament, notice some of what it teaches:

Our sages teach that the stone under the Dome of the Rock is called the “Foundation Stone,” for it is the very foundation of creation. It is the spiritual center of the world and the starting point of creation; all the prayers of all mankind assemble in this place before ascending on high to G-d. It was here that the Ark of the Covenant was placed within the Holy of Holies.(The “Foundation Stone” of Creation. http://www.templeinstitute.org/ctl_articles_2.htm viewed 11/10/13)

Being the King of the Universe, God could have chosen any location in the universe “to place His name,” “to dwell,” and “to rest His presence.” Where did He chose do to this? Jerusalem, and more precisely, the Temple Mount. (Deuteronomy 12:5, I Kings 8:29 & 11:36, Isaiah 37:16 & 60:13, Ezekiel 43:7, Zechariah 8:3, Joel 4:17, Psalm 32:13) If God is incorporeal and omniscient, why or even how could there be a precise location for His Presence to dwell? Couldn’t Rabbi Nachman have directed his sentiments anywhere, since God is everywhere? Yes, God is everywhere. Yet He chose to manifest Himself more intensely and to associate His Name with one specific place, Jerusalem. And even more precisely, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

“In many places, when speaking of the Jerusalem, the Torah calls it, ‘The place that G-d will choose to make His Name dwell there.’ To the extent that we can understand it, this means that G-d associates Himself with this place. This is very difficult for the human mind to comprehend, and indeed, Solomon, the wisest of all men, found it impossible to understand. He thus said to G-d, ‘Behold, the heavens and the heavens of Heaven cannot contain you, how much less this House that I have built’ (1-Kings 8:27). Yet, he knew that G-d had somehow associated Himself with this place, as G-d Himself had proclaimed.” Aryeh Kaplan

The Temple Mount, where God chose to place His Name, is literally the point of creation; the place where the physical realm came into existence. And it is the place where everything we can’t see, i.e. the spiritual world, attaches itself to the physical. It is literally the portal between heaven and the earth. This precise point of creation on the Temple Mount is called the Even Shetiyah, the Foundation Stone.

It appears to me that the primeval point which G-d created out of nothing is what the sages called the foundation stone from where the world was founded.” – Nachmanides, Commentary to the Torah, Genesis 1,1

“When the Holy One, blessed is He, created His world, He created it like an infant born from its mother. For a fetus born from the mother, begins from its navel and expands outward to all four directions so too, the Holy One, blessed is He, began to create the world from the Foundation Stone and from that, the entire world was established.” – Midrash Tanchuma – Pikudei #3

Jacob saw a vision of this primeval point of creation that links heaven and earth. His vision is famously known as “Jacob’s ladder” and is recorded in Genesis 28.

Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He encountered the place and spent the night . . . he took from the stones of the place which he arranged around his head, and lay down in that place. And he dreamt, and behold! A ladder was set earthward and its top reached heavenward; and behold! Angels of God were ascending and descending on it . . . Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely Hashem is present in this place and I did not know! And he became frightened and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of God and this is the gate of the heavens! Jacob arose early in the morning and took the stone that he placed around his head and set it up as a pillar; and poured oil on its top . . . and said this stone which I have set up as a pillar shall become a House of God.

Did you catch that? Even prior to the Temple standing, Jacob called the Temple Mount the “abode of God” and “the gate of the heavens.”…

Yet at the same time what an apt name – the place – as if it is the only place of real significance in the world. Jacob slept at the precise location of the future altar of the Holy Temple. No wonder it was the place where Adam, Cain, Abel, and Noah made sacrifices, according to Pirke de Rabbi Eliezar 31. And it was the place where Abraham bound Isaac to the altar. In fact the 12 stones Jacob gathered around his head before he slept came from the altar Abraham made and bound Isaac upon (A call to remember. August 5, 2013. http://www.templeinstitute.org/a-call-to-remember.htm)

They are placed on the Foundation Stone, the Even Shtiya, of the Temple Mount, the Holy of Holies. We Jews know that upon it, Yitzhak was bound, it was purchased by David from Aravna and over it Solomonn built the First Temple. (Medad Y. A Found(dation) Stone Lost. June 29, 2102; reprinted from Jerusalem Post Blogs. http://www.templeinstitute.org/archive/29-06-12.htm viewed 11/10/13)

So, claiming that this comes from the Bible as well as Jewish tradition, the Temple Institute claims that the stone that Jacob used as a pillar was the foundation for the creation of the world.

Here is what the Bible records about Jacob, the stone, and the related dream:

10 Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. 12 Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. 14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 15 Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”

16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!”

18 Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” (Genesis 28:10-22)

The Bible does not seem to place the creation importance on this particular stone itself that the Temple Institute places on it. It does NOT teach that this same stone was used by Adam, Cain, Abel, and Noah.

Jesus warned that the Jews sometimes relied on their own traditions above the Bible (Mark 7:9-13) and that is what the Temple Institute seems to be doing in some instances (see also The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World; here is a related video The Red Heifer and the End of the World).

That being said, the Temple Institute is preparing to perform animal sacrifices, has given statements showing that it is willing to do them without a new temple being built (only an altar and some implements with a Levite are biblically-required per scripture, and the Temple Institute has basically claimed to have all of that; see Temple Institute Altar and Blood Moons).

The Bible teaches that animal sacrifices will stop (Daniel 9:27; 11:31), which means that they first must start. And irrespective of Jewish traditions about a foundational stone, the Temple Institute and others have indicated a willingness to start the sacrifices when allowed. And that may very well happen after some type of peace deal is confirmed in the Middle East (cf. Daniel 9:27; see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).

Although the Temple Institute does not have all the biblical answers related to the Temple Mount nor prophecies regarding God’s Holy Temple, the biblically prophesied resumption of animal sacrifices is something that the Temple Institute may well be involved in–and they mainly only need permission from Israeli authorities to do so.

One person at the Temple Institute told to one of our sons in September 2013 that this could be done within hours of getting permission.  I was also personally told by someone working for the Temple Institute that a temple was NOT needed for them to perform sacrifices in October 2013 (when I was in Jerusalem), and that is biblically correct (cf. Ezra 3:6).

Anyway, getting permission to sacrifice is not impossible–and that is something that the Temple Institute believes that is correct. Though it that may well take a war, peace deal, and/or political gridlock for that permission to happen. But it will come to pass.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World The Temple Institute is watching a ‘red heifer.’ Why might this be important in the sequence of end time events? Here is a related link in the Spanish language Novilla roja descubierta en EE.UU. e Instituto del Templo está interesado en ella. Here is a related video in English The Red Heifer and the End of the World.
Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill Could this building, often referred to as the Cenacle, possibly have been the oldest actual Christian church building?
Does the ‘Cenacle’ deal have prophetic ramifications? After a 20 year negotiation, the Church of Rome has negotiated the right to have Catholic mass in the building known as the Cenacle. It is in the area where the Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill once stood. This is believed to be the location of the earliest Christian church building. How does the Bible define the ‘temple of God’ in the New Testament? Could this be the area where the ‘man of sin’ will sit in the “temple of God’ that Bible prophecy discusses in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4? This is a YouTube video.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
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。.
Preparing for Passover The Apostle Paul taught that Christians should examine themselves prior to taking Passover. This YouTube video sermon gives suggestions on how to prepare.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
TPM: Passover on the 14th or 15th? While the real COG observes Passover on the 14th, some observe it on the 15th. Why is the 14th correct? A related sermon is titled Is Passover on the 14th or 15th for Christians?
The Night to Be Observed What is the night to be much observed? When is it? Why do Jews keep Passover twice and emphasize the wrong date? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled The Night to Be Observed.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here is a YouTube video intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread: Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo (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 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.

Pope Francis allegedly performs a ‘half miracle’

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

COGwriter

Some believe that Pope Francis performed a what is being called a half- miracle:

March 23, 2015

Some say Pope Francis might be responsible for a “half-miracle.”During a mass in Naples on Saturday, he was given a vial of dried blood belonging to St. Gennaro, the city’s patron saint.

The archbishop of Naples says when Francis kissed the glass, the blood half-liquified and the cardinal declared it a miracle.

According to the Catholic Herald, Saturday was the first time the blood has liquified in the papal presence since 1848, when it did so in front of Pope Pius IX. http://www.aol.com/article/2015/03/23/pope-francis-credited-for-half-miracle/21156386/

The blood relic of St. Gennaro, patron saint of Naples, today miraculously liquefied in the presence of Pope Francis, the first time the miracle has occured in the presence of a pontiff since 1848.

“His blood has half-liquefied,” the Archbishop of Naples, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, said at the conclusion of Pope Francis’ address to diocesan priests and religious in the city’s cathedral. “It’s a sign that St. Gennaro loves the Pope, who is Neapolitan like us.”

Pope Francis immediately and lightheartedly replied: “The archbishop said the blood is half-liquefied. It means the saint loves us halfway. We all have to convert a little more so that he loves us more.”

Today’s wondrous occurance knows just one precedent. It is the first time St. Gennaro’s blood relic has liquefied in the presence of a pontiff since the miracle occurred in the presence of Pope Pius IX in 1848.

Pius IX was the longest-reigning elected pope in the history of the Catholic Church (31 years). He convened the First Vatican Council, which decreed papal infallibility; defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, meaning that Mary was conceived without original sin; and he was the last Pope to rule as the sovereign of the papal states which fell to the Italian army in 1870. http://www.aleteia.org/en/religion/article/st-gennaros-blood-relic-miraculously-liquifies-in-the-presence-of-pope-francis-in-naples-5869691155251200

When the Archbishop of Naples picked up the vial containing the 1700-year-old dried blood of the city’s patron Saint Januarius to present it to Pope Francis Saturday, someone in the Naples cathedral shouted: “Miracle.” According to witnesses, the blood of the saint had become liquid again—at least in part.

The archbishop, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe said, “That’s a sign that Saint Januarius loves Naples and Pope Francis: his blood is half liquefied.”

Francis kissed the relic and played down the “miracle” saying: “If it’s only half liquefied it means that the saint only half loves us. We all need to convert more, so that the saint will be fully pleased.” Minutes later, however, the blood had reportedly reverted to a fully liquid state. http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/03/22/miracle-proclaimed-as-saints-blood-liquefies-in-the-presence-of-pope-francis/

Francis hinted that this was a type of supernatural occurrence with Catholic ramifications.  To me, this would be a false sign otherwise called a lying wonder, presuming a demonic manifestation happened (if this was not a trick nor lie, then that is what it would have been–unless there was a truly natural explanation).

Shortly after he became pontiff, there was a report that Pope Francis performed some type of exorcism (see Pope Francis calls for new economic order and is alleged to have performed a public exorcism: Could these be signs of the final Antichrist?).  Later in 2013, he claimed to have received a message from a dead Catholic (see Francis claims a dead Catholic sent him a ‘sign’).

There was also a report a while back about some possible healing-related miracle to Pope Francis.

Is Pope Francis involved in some type of signs and lying wonders?

Well, the half-blood ‘miracle’ would seem to qualify as such–such ‘miracles’ are part of Satan’s Plan. Could Pope Francis be the last pope and THE Antichrist?

Although his age and preference to not remain pontiff for more than a couple more years are against that (see also Francis not planning on being around too much longer), there still remains a chance he could be.  Furthermore, even if he is not, he has helped set the stage for the final Antichrist with his Marianism, ecumenical agenda, and some of his economic positions.

The Bible warns that the false prophet, the beast of the earth and THE Antichrist (although there have been antichrists since the time of the Apostle John), will perform signs and be involved with a different type of financial order:

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. 16 He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, 17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. (Revelation 13:11-17)

Pope Francis has NOT done enough to clearly be this individual.

Yet, all the events I have discussed in today’s post point to that as a possibility (and are consistent with the many of the details I wrote about in my book The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis?).

Related to Marianism, he consecrated his pontificate to ‘Mary’ shortly after becoming pope and even further had his pontificate consecrated to the Lady of Fatima a couple of months later (Pope Francis’ pontificate consecrated to ‘Lady of Fatima’).

Since 2013, I have posted that if he is not the final Antichrist, he certainly is setting the stage for the one who will be.

Some items of related interest may include:

The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of a new 186 page book (in the print version). And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roma”? This 186 page book provides information and answers. This book is available for USD$9.98 in printed form The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis.
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.
Some Doctrines of Antichrist Are there any doctrines taught outside the Churches of God which can be considered as doctrines of antichrist? This article suggests at least three. It also provides information on 666 and the identity of “the false prophet.” Plus it shows that several Catholic writers seem to warn about an ecumenical antipope that will support heresy. You can also watch a video titled What Does the Bible teach about the Antichrist?
The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman” An Irish bishop allegedly predicted something about 112 popes in the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI was number 111. Francis would seem to be number 112–if he is that one–and if so, he is to reign until Rome is destroyed. May he be an antipope/final Antichrist?
Will You Be Deceived by Antichrist? 1964 article by David Jon Hill, originally published in the old Good News magazine.
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! provides concerned Christians with enough Catholic-documented facts to effectively counter every false Marian argument. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.
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.
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good?
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.

Islamic terrorists kill Muslims in Yemen, non-Muslims in Tunisia

Friday, March 20th, 2015


Sana’a Yemen

COGwriter

Islamists have been targeting both Muslims and non-Muslims with their terroristic ways:

March 20, 2015

Dozens of worshippers were killed Friday when two suicide attackers blew themselves up at a pair of mosques in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, witnesses and reports said Friday.

The attacks took place around the time of midday prayers at the Badr and al-Hashoosh mosques, which are associated with the Houthi Shi’ite rebel group that controls Sana’a. http://www.voanews.com/content/sanaa-yemen-mosques-suicide-blasts/2688142.html

March 20, 2015

Reuters) – Suicide bombers in the Yemeni capital Sanaa blew themselves up during noon prayers at two mosques used mainly by Shi’ite Muslims on Friday, killing at least 50 people and wounding scores, medical sources said, in a major escalation of the worst wave of violence in the country in years.

The attacks, in which four bombers wearing explosive belts targeted worshippers in and outside the crowded mosques, happened a day after an unidentified warplane attacked the presidential palace in the southern city of Aden. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/20/us-yemen-attack-bomb-idUSKBN0MG11J20150320

March 20, 2015

TUNIS— The two extremist gunmen who killed 21 people at a museum in Tunis trained in neighboring Libya before carrying out the deadly attack, a top Tunisian security official said.

Wednesday’s attack at the National Bardo Museum killed 21 people – 17 of them cruise ship tourists – before the two gunmen were killed in a firefight with security forces. The attack of such magnitude in Tunisia – the only country to emerge from the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings with a functioning democracy – raised concerns about the spread of extremism to the rest of North Africa.

Rafik Chelli, the Interior Ministry’s top security official, said the attackers had slipped out of Tunisia in December and received weapons training in Libya before returning home. He told the El Hiwar El Tounsi TV channel that authorities did not have further details about where or with which group they had trained.

The Islamic State group based in Iraq and Syria has claimed responsibility for the Bardo attack. Several well-armed groups in Libya, which borders Tunisia, have pledged their allegiance to Islamic State.  http://www.voanews.com/content/tunisian-official-gunmen-trained-in-libya/2688123.html

UPDATE I added the following at 11:05 PDT as it had additional information and showed a major change in the death toll–this actually was also added to the first article by VOA well after I posted it:

March 20, 2015

A group claiming to be a Yemeni branch of the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for suicide bombings in Sana’a that killed at least 126 people at mosques used by supporters of Shi’ite rebels. http://www.voanews.com/content/sanaa-yemen-mosques-suicide-blasts/2688142.html

The Islamic State is also claiming it was behind the murders in Tunisia.

Islamists apparently do not agree that Islam is a “religion of peace” as the last US President George Bush used to proclaim.

Islamists generally want people to accept their brutality and ways or be killed.  While Mohammed was militant, many of the Islamists have taken this beyond what even he did.

The murders and techniques used by the Islamists are brutal and mean, and also tend to display a form of cowardice. The Apostle Paul was inspired to warn:

1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! (2 Timothy 3:1-5)

Islamic terrorists claim to have a form of godliness, but do not believe in the God of the Bible.

As far as being cowards goes, let’s consider the events in Yemen and Tunisia.

In Yemen, two Islamists decide that they cannot face life with their religion, so they feel that if they kill themselves and others that this somehow gets God’s favor.  This is a horrific act of cowardice.

And in Tunisia?  Murdering unarmed tourists who were trying to view some of the history of that nation is not brave.

While they want to claim that they do this for their claimed version of God, they are truly doing this for Satan.

Now, although Islamists tend to highly discount the Bible, they are supposed to believe the parts that allegedly were not corrupted by the Jews or Greco-Romans.  They also consider that Jesus was a prophet.

So, let’s look at a couple of statements from Jesus who said the time would come that:

2…whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.  3 And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. (John 16:2-3)

The Islamists who try to pretend that they are offer God a service through terrorism are deceiving themselves.  Notice something else:

52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)

God does not want His people taking up arms (see Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare or Encourage Violence?).  Islamist terrorists are not God’s people.

The whose are they?  Notice what Jesus also taught:

44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. (John 8:44)

The Bible shows that, unless they repent, murderers, cowards, and liars face the same fate:

8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

Murdering people in the name of religion is opposed to true religion and needs to be repented of.

Sadly, terrorist acts in this age are often encouraging others to do them as well.  Yet, this too tends to trigger other actions.

Because of the abominable acts by Islamic terrorists, more and more in the West and in many of the Islam-dominated countries are srtating to decide that a coalition of nations in North Africa and the Middle East is what is needed for ‘peace.’ Yet, according to the Bible, will not truly bring peace (Daniel 11:40-43), though it may well lead to a temporary peace (Daniel 9:27; see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).

How an Islamic organization can engage in suicide bombing is not justifiable. The wounded and families of the victims are in my prayers.

We all need to pray, as Jesus said, ‘Thy kingdom come’ (Matthew 6:10, KJV).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Prophesied ‘Islamic’ Confederation Where is an Islamic caliphate prophesied? Will one happen? Should you be concerned about it? Here is a link to a related video video: Will an Arabic Calphiphate Destroy the West?
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 ‘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.
How Will Middle East Peace be Brought About? Can humans bring peace to the Middle East? Here is a link to a related video: Middle East Peace? When?
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.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2015, 2016, or 2017? 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 2014 o 2015? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2015?
When will the Great Tribulation begin? Can it begin in 2015 as some have indicated? What are the biblical requirements that precede the Great Tribulation? What did Jesus teach would happen prior to the Great Tribulation. Are there definite clues in the Book of Daniel that Christians should look out for? Is there a King of the North or a King of the South yet? Where does the ‘prince’ of Daniel 9:26-27 come from? What about ‘blood moons’? Dr. Thiel videoed this on the Mount of Olives where Jesus specifically discussed events leading up to the Great Tribulation in Matthew 24.
World War III: Steps in Progress Are there surprising actions going on now that are leading to WWIII? Might a nuclear attack be expected? Does the Bible promise protection to all or only some Christians? How can you be part of those that will be protected? A related video would be Is World War III About to Begin? Can You Escape?
Wars, rumors of wars, and the Apocalypse Jesus foretold a time before the end where there would be wars and rumors of wars. The Apocalypse (the Book of Revelation) warns of the red horseman of war. Now, even secular writers, like Larry Edelson, are worried that wars and rumors of war are the most menacing problem that now haunts the earth? Are they right? What is the solution? This is a sermonette-length video.
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.
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 sermon The Gospel of the Kingdom.
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.

Pope Francis announces an additional ‘holy year’: any ramifications?

Friday, March 20th, 2015


Pope Francis (Korea.net)

COGwriter

A reader from Australia sent the following:

Pope Francis announced on Friday the Roman Catholic Church will mark an extraordinary Holy Year, one of its most important events, in which faithful make pilgrimages to Rome and other religious sites around the world.

During the last Holy Year – or Jubilee – in 2000, millions of pilgrims came to Rome to take part in religious festivities throughout the year.

Making the surprise announcement in St. Peter’s Basilica on the second anniversary of his election, Francis said the Holy Year will focus on the topic of mercy, one of the most important themes of his papacy.

It will start on Dec. 8 of this year and end on Nov. 20, 2016. This will be only the 29th Holy Year in the Church since the tradition started more than 700 years ago.

Holy Years normally take place every 25 years unless a pope decrees an extraordinary one to bring attention to a particular topic or need. The next one had been scheduled for 2025.  http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2015/03/14/pope-francis-announces-special-catholic-church-holy-year-on-theme-of-mercy/

Pope Francis’ theme of ‘mercy’ improperly includes asking his version of ‘Mary’ to be part of it as well as including his ecumenical agenda.

Of course, I should add that I do not believe that Pope Francis can make anything or any year holy.

That being said, a ‘holy year’ tends to excite more Roman Catholics.  There is also a chance that this coming extra ‘holy year’ could be a time when we may see more signs and lying wonders.

A couple of weeks ago, I made a video about a sing/lying wonder that has been appearing in the Pope’s native country of Argentine (see Marian wonder in Argentina?).  It may be that we will see some more dramatic signs and/or ecumenical steps during the ‘holy year’ he has proclaimed.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
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.
Pope Francis and the Famine of the Word Pope Francis made some comments indicating that violence is appropriate when one is offended and that freedom of expression should not offend the religions of others. Is that biblical? What will his interfaith agenda lead to? Might his comments be a factor in the prophesied ‘famine of the word’ that the Prophet Amos wrote of? Should Christians refrain from making statements that might offend other? What did Jesus and His disciples do? What should you do? This is a video. A written article of related interest is: Pope Francis pushing for limits of speech and seemingly justifies violence.
Blood Moons and Prophecy There were four ‘blood moons’ expected in 2014 and 2015. Now two remain. Might they signal the Day of the Lord or the return of Jesus Christ? A related YouTube video is also available: Blood Moons, Prophecy, 2014, and 2015.
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.
The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman” An Irish bishop allegedly predicted something about 112 popes in the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI was number 111. Francis would be number 112–if he is that one–and if so, he is to reign until Rome is destroyed. May he be an antipope/final Antichrist?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future?
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? A related video would be United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they? A related sermon is titled Tradition and Scripture.
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?
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.
The Last Pope Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Why might Pope Francis be the last pope? What happens if he is? Biblical and other prophecies help explain what to expect.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Amazon Book What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roman”? This 186 page book provides information and answers.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of the printed book which is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.
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.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Because of ‘Lent,’ a rodent was declared a fish

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015


Capybara (Photo by Karelj)

COGwriter

We are currently in the middle of a Greco-Roman adopted time called Lent.

Because of this period, a rodent was once declared to be a fish. A reader sent me the following:

Giant Rodents A Lenten Dish

Sun Sentinel, Florida – excerpt…

About 400 years ago, Spanish missionaries discovered that some indigenous communities in Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil relied for much of their protein on the meat of the capybara, an animal that no European had seen before.

The missionaries reported back to Rome that they had encountered an animal that was hairy and scaly and spent more of its time in the water than on land. They asked whether their new converts could continue to eat capybara at Lent, a time when Catholics traditionally avoid meat.

With no clear idea of what the capybara was or looked like and concerned a ban would lead to indigenous communities starving during Lent, the Vatican immediately ruled that the semi-aquatic mammal was in fact a fish.

The tradition continues to this day, and eating capybara remains part of the Lenten tradition for many families, despite the fact that the giant rodent tastes like a cross between fish and lamb. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2003-03-18/news/0303170443_1_rodents-lenten-capybara

“In 1784 and after several attempts at obtaining a Vatican license, a Papal Bull (decree) allowed the consumption of capybara flesh during Lent…” - Capybara: Biology, Use and Conservation of an Exceptional Neotropical Species, by José Roberto Moreira, Katia Maria P.M.B., Springer Aug 15, 2012, page 307

So, without seeing the rodent, the Vatican declared it a fish. Perhaps it would have come to a different decision if it saw the capybara as it has fur and toes.

Despite now knowing the the Vatican has apparently not rescinded allowing the capybara from being eaten during its Lenten period. Here is some additional information about that rodent being a Lenten dish:

In Days Before Easter, Venezuelans Tuck Into Rodent-Related Delicacy
New York Sun – March 24, 2005 excerpt…
Though it’s hard to imagine eating a boiled, oversize rat, salted capybara is considered a delicacy in Venezuela, where thousands this week are enjoying the meat of the rodent during Holy Week. Centuries ago, the Vatican ruled that these furry cousins of rats and mice native to South America’s plains qualify as fish – paving the way for capybara feasts during Lent, when red meat is prohibited. http://www.nysun.com/foreign/in-days-before-easter-venezuelans-tuck-into/11063/

Of course, Lent is not a biblically-enjoined period, so having unusual declarations about it should not be unexpected.

Actually, according to the Bible, rodents, like the capybara are not to be eaten at all (cf. Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14). Early Christians also did not eat biblically-unclean animals (see The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats). However, in Alexandria, Egypt and elsewhere, compromisers began to conclude that the biblical injunctions against unclean animals was no longer meant to be literally understood. But many did not go along with this in Europe or Asia Minor.

So, how did consumption of unclean meat became common?

Well in addition to the writings and positions of some compromiser, the answer might lie in a Catholic document titled Liber Pontificalis.

According to the Liber Pontificalis, the position on unclean meat consumption was changed by Bishop Eleutherius in the late second century:

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

The Catholic Encyclopedia states:

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

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

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

The above book should have said the obligations of biblical origin as the dietary restrictions began with God and not Jews (the distinction between clean and unclean animals was known by at least Noah’s time, since God so declared in Genesis 7:2-3). Perhaps it needs to be stated that no one called of God in the Old Testament or New Testament is ever shown to have consumed unclean meat.

Notice that the Church of Rome claims that it was because of its Bishop in the late second century who allowed that Christians could eat biblically-unclean animals. The Protestant world, who now states other reasons, has gone along with the Roman declaration.

Yet, faithful Christians, such as those in the Continuing Church of God have continued to avoid them as the Bible teaches (which is also consistent with the faithful Christians throughout recorded history). ‘Nazarene’ Christians faced the death penalty from followers of Emperor Constantine’s Greco-Roman faith in the fourth century if when the refused to eat pork on penalty of death.

So, when is a rodent a fish? When compromise occurs.

Why do people keep Lent? Because they, too, have accepted compromises that have affected those in the Greco-Roman faiths throughout history. Lent, itself, was the result of compromise.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is Lent a Christian Holiday? When did it originate? What about Ash Wednesday? If you observe them, do you know why? Here is an old, by somewhat related, article in the Spanish language by Dr. Hoeh: ¿Por Qué Se Observa la Cuaresma?
Mardi Gras: The Devil’s Carnival? Is Mardi Gras Christian? Do you know that in Bolivia the carnival/Mardi Gras time is part of a celebration known as the Devil’s Carnival? Where did it come from? There is also a related YouTube video Mardi Gras & Carnaval: Are they for Christians?
The 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?
The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. Is telling the truth about the early church citing Catholic accepted sources anti-Catholic? This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church. There is also a YouTube sermon on the subject titled Church of God or Church of Rome: What Do Catholic Scholars Admit About Early Church History?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter! Here is a version in the Spanish language La sucesión apostólica. ¿Ocurrió en Roma, Alejandría, Constantinopla, Antioquía, Jerusalén o Asia Menor?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?
What Was the Original Apostles’ Creed? What is the Nicene Creed? Did the original apostles write a creed? When was the first creed written? Are the creeds commonly used by the Eastern Orthodox or Roman Catholics original?
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 videoed in Vatican City is Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

St. Patrick’s Day is dangerous

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015


Postcard from 1912 for “St. Patrick’s Day”

COGwriter

March 17th is often observed as St. Patrick’s Day. Some see it as a Catholic holiday, while others mainly an Irish holiday.

According to AAA (an automobile association) and police departments, this is a dangerous holiday:

AAA and Bud Light Urge Motorists Not to Rely on Luck in Order to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Safely

March 16, 2015

TAMPA, Fla. – St. Patrick’s Day has ended in tragedy for many Americans over the past few years. Between 2009 and 2013, 276 lives were lost on this holiday due to drunk-driving crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“We are asking all motorists to plan ahead this St. Patrick’s Day if they are going to be away from home and drinking,” said Gerry Gutowski, senior vice president, Automotive Services, The Auto Club Group. “That means having a Designated Driver, staying where you are celebrating, or arranging for another form of sober transportation.”

Here is what the bishops of Ireland have released (the portion in italics was a translation provided in the news item):

We pray through the intercession of our national patron, St Patrick, for the faith and well-being of the people of Ireland. Saint Patrick was called to serve and bring God to a people far from his homeland. As Saint Patrick’s Day is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics in Ireland, the best way to honour him is to attend Mass.

In 2014 we celebrate our national Saint’s day…

We pray the blessings of the feast of Patrick on all the people of Ireland. We think especially of all our people who are exiles far from home: may the Christian faith of Patrick be their support and comfort always. We pray also through the intercession of Saint Patrick, for the many people who have come into this country in recent years seeking shelter, asylum and a new life: may the welcome amongst us they receive be generous; let us see to that, as people of God and of Saint Patrick. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/bishops-of-ireland-say-st-patrick-s-day-is-time-to-pray-for-migrants

Notice that the bishops are saying to pray to Patrick, for his intercession and comfort from him. The Bible is clear that there is only one mediator and that this can only be Jesus:

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

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

Thus any others who claim to be a mediator, or the type of intercessor that the Irish bishops are referring to clearly contradict the Bible (from both the Catholic and Protestant translations) and CANNOT BE OF GOD.

Aside from its non-biblical origins and driving dangers, what else is wrong with St. Patrick’s Day?

Its focus is non-appropriate. Notice a couple of headlines:

Main Street Bars Prepare St. Patrick’s Day Festivities

St. Patrick’s Day events planned: Leprechaun Olympics, pub crawl

The Guardian
Irish people will feel compelled to drink alcohol to celebrate St Patrick’s Day this Sunday whether they want to or not; even those who declare themselves as teetotal for the rest of the year.

Notice something about 2014:

St. Patrick’s Day has evolved from its Irish-Catholic roots of observing the country’s patron saint into one of the biggest global parties of the year.  In fact, few countries celebrate as hard as we do right here in the U.S.A. But have we taken the good-natured celebration too far in another direction?

A Costly Celebration

An estimated 133 million people were expected to join the holiday celebrations this year, and St. Patrick’s Day spending overall was predicted to grow to $4.8 billion in the United States. Wondering how that much money is spent on a non gift-giving holiday? As you probably guessed, alcohol is a main contributor. In 2012, it was estimated that beer brewers alone took in $245 million in St. Patrick’s Day sales. That means 1% of all annual U.S. beer sales came from just this one day.

The dollar amounts are staggering, but they aren’t the only St. Patrick’s Day numbers that should give you cause for pause. On Saturday, March 8, police made 73 arrests after converging on a crowd of more than 4,000 students partying in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day at UMass Amherst. Despite the best efforts of schools to proactively combat the heavy drinking associated with this holiday, like scheduling spring breaks that overlap with it or paying local bars not to serve alcohol on the day, college communities continue to struggle with the chaos of mid-March festivities.  https://www.thewatershed.com/blog/st-patricks-day-illuminates-dark-dangers-of-binge-drinking/

Notice what the Apostle Peter wrote:

1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles — when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. (1 Peter 4:1-3)

Is not “St. Patrick’s Day” a time from revelry, drinking parties, and drunkenness? Is not that something that the Apostle Peter said real Christians would no longer participate in?

According to the Apostle Paul, such people will not be in the Kingdom of God:

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)

Despite what the Bible teaches, the Protestant publication “Christianity Today” seems to think it is acceptable to celebrate as one article at its website states:

Patrick the Saint
Behind the fanciful legends of the fifth-century British missionary stands a man worthy of embellishment (Cagney, Mary. Patrick the Saint).

Each year millions of people observe St. Patrick’s Day, but those in the Continuing Church of God, do not. We observe the Holy Days that God enjoined in the Bible and urge others to do so as well.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Why The Continuing Church of God Does Not Wear Green on St. Patrick’s Day Should non-Catholics observe a Catholic holiday?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
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.
Keeping Passover and the Days of Unleavened Bread How should Christians keep Passover, especially if they are by themselves. Why does the Church of God not require lambs for Passover? How does one keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? For a step-by-step video for Christians to keep it, check out CCOG Passover Service. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: Guardando la Pascua y los Días de los Panes sin Levadura.
Preparing for Passover The Apostle Paul taught that Christians should examine themselves prior to taking Passover. This YouTube video sermon gives suggestions on how to prepare.
Passover and the Early Church Did the early Christians observe Passover? What did Jesus and Paul teach? Why did Jesus die for our sins? There is also a detailed YouTube video available titled History of the Christian Passover.
The Passover Plot What was the first Passover plot? Which plots have Islam and the Greco-Roman faiths perpetuated about Passover? A sermon video of related interest is The Passover Plots, Including Easter.
Melito’s Homily on the Passover This is one of the earliest Christian writings about the Passover. This also includes what Apollinaris wrote on the Passover as well. Here is a related sermon, also titled Melito’s Homily on the Passover.
TPM: Passover on the 14th or 15th? While the real COG observes Passover on the 14th, some observe it on the 15th. Why is the 14th correct? A related sermon is titled Is Passover on the 14th or 15th for Christians?
The Night to Be Observed What is the night to be much observed? When is it? Why do Jews keep Passover twice and emphasize the wrong date? Here is a link to a YouTube video titled The Night to Be Observed.
Should Christians Keep the Days of Unleavened Bread? Do they have any use or meaning now? What is leaven? This article supplies some biblical answers. Here is a YouTube video intended to be viewed for the first day of unleavened bread: Christians and the Days of Unleavened Bread.