Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

6000 years up and Jesus to return in 2016?

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Island Called Patmos, Revelation 1:9
The island called Patmos is where Revelation was penned (see Revelation 1:9).

COGwriter

Noticed the following predictions today from Nora Roth:

2014 The Time of the End

Introduction

Are 6,000 years of sin almost over? Will Jesus come in 2016? The Bible presents enlightening, logical, and compelling answers to these questions. In short, yes!

The 70 “sevens” prophecy in Daniel 9:24 has two fulfillments. First, the 70 “sevens” are 70 sabbatical cycles – 490 years, pointing to the first coming of Jesus as our Savior from sin.

Second, the 70 “sevens” are 70 Jubilee cycles – 3,431 years, pointing to the second coming of Jesus when His people will be permanently freed from sin. In the middle of 2016 the 6,000 years of sin on earth will come to an end, everlasting righteousness will be brought in, and Jesus will come again.

God’s Clocks of Sevens

When God created the earth He defined the weekly clock. He worked six days and rested the seventh. God named the seventh day the Sabbath. Every week since creation has followed the same pattern of six days for work followed by one day for rest.

God applied the same pattern to a week of seven years. He told the children of Israel to plant and to harvest their land for six years and then let the land rest the seventh year. He called the seventh year a sabbath. It is also called a sabbatical.

A third time scale for the weekly pattern is 7,000 years. For almost 6,000 years the earth has been corrupted by sin. In 2016 the 6,000 years will be completed and the people will be removed from the earth. Then the earth will have a sabbath rest for 1,000 years. http://www.markbeast.com/70jubilees/summary-2014.htm

While the 6000 years is close to over, it will not be over in 2016 (see Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).  Just because someone talks about the 6000 years and the Sabbath does not make them correct.

Notice also the following from Nora Roth’s website:

When will the World End?

Our world will end in the middle of 2016. Between the middle of 2014 and the middle of 2016 every living person will choose to worship either the God who created us, or God’s enemy – Satan. The Bible alone tells us when the end of the world will be. http://www.markbeast.com/endworld/when-will-the-world-end.htm

It is true that the Bible alone tells us when the end of the world as we know it will be. Nora Roth claims:

I am a Bible student and my favorite books of the Bible are Daniel and Revelation. I believe they describe in detail the events that are soon to take place.

Because certain of the events in Revelation, to cite one example, take at least 3 1/2 years (cf. Revelation 12:14-17) that have not yet started, there is no possible way that Jesus will return in 2016.  There are also events in Daniel that have not happened (see also When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2014, 2015, or 2016? and The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).

One of the reasons that I reported all of this is that because of the latest ‘Harbinger’ book (Jonathan Cahn’s ‘Mystery of the Shemitah’), many are trying to use jubilee years and such.  But they overlook what the Bible actually teaches and rely more on human tradition. For information about the Shemitah year check out The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? for information about the Jubilee year check out The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance.

Many, whether or not they keep or advocate the Sabbath, are wrong about prophetic matters as they rely more on improper interpretations and/or traditions of men above what the Bible itself teaches.

Actually, nearly all the COG groups have significant prophetic misunderstandings. The Sardis group CG7-Denver, for example, is preterist and thus believes many events that are prophesied for the future are already past, hence Jesus warned them “you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (Revelation 3:3). Nearly all the rest of the COG groups are Laodicean and hold to prophetic misunderstandings, that unless they repent as Jesus tells them to (Revelation 3:14-22), they will not possibly know when the Great Tribulation will be (details are in the article The Laodicean Church Era).

And then there are a variety of wrong prophetic position of Protestants and Catholics.

But no matter what anyone says, the world will not end this year, or next year, or even the year after.

How can I be sure?

Well, for one reason, the Apostle Peter wrote:

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).

This is the case with the Continuing Church of God. (Details about what biblical signs to watch for and WHY the end cannot happen this year, etc. are in the article When Will the Great Tribulation Begin?)

Part of the reason to watch events and understand Bible prophecy is so that we will not affected by those who promote false doctrines or claim that the end can come before the Bible allows it (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:2; Ephesians 4:14).

Prophecy also assures us that God is in charge and that His will will be done. The faithful do not have to fear what humans can say or do. Notice what Jesus said in one of the most reassuring of the prophecies:

32 Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32, NKJV).

The Bible is clear that certain events need to occur before the end comes. And that includes us all growing in “grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18, NKJV).

Part of that knowledge is prophetic. And part of that biblical knowledge tells us that the world will not end yet and Jesus will not be returning in 2016.

Several items of possibly related interest may include:

When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2014, 2015, or 2016? 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 2013 o 2014? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
Ebola, Pestilence, and 2016? The World Health Organization says the Ebola epidemic is the most severe acute public health emergency seen in modern times and kills 71% who contract it. What does the United Nations say? Is Ebola a pestilence related to the four horsemen of the apocalypse? Is a questionable prediction that all humans will die from infection in 2016 possible?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? A related sermon is titled The Millennium.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2021 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
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.
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous.
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.
Blood Moons and Prophecy There are four ‘blood moons’ expected in 2014 and 2015. Do 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.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders? A related sermon is available titled Priority of the Philadelphia Work.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.

Assyrian Alla and Tyr: Gods of violence

Monday, September 29th, 2014


Assyrian Relief from Nineveh, 645-635 B.C.

COGwriter

A while back, WND reported the following:

…Babylonian artifacts. Ancient tablets describe “Alla” as a deity of “violence and revolution.”… The…find…links the name to the Epic of Atrahasis, chiseled on tablets sometime around 1700 B.C. in Babylon…“The beginning of the Epic of Atrahasis describes Allah as how all of the gods labored endlessly in grueling work, under the rule of the patron deity Enlil or Elil. But soon revolt of the gods had erupted, and one deity of ‘violence and revolution’ [was] named Allah (spelled by the experts as Alla),” he wrote….“The question remains as to why no expert on Assyriology or Sumerology had even suspected that ‘Alla’ had a connection with the Arabian ‘Allah,’” he wrote. http://www.wnd.com/2012/09/1700-b-c-alla-god-of-violence-and-revolution/

While the above article attempts to connect that to modern Islam, various scholars likely have their doubts. But Islam is not the point of this post.

The point is that this new research shows an additional connection between the ancient Assyrians and a warring deity.

Other sources have demonstrated that the ancient Assyrians used the term Alla for some of their deities:

Al-sarru, if Al had been an Assyrian god. We may set down Alman as a possible reading, or even Alnis, but there seems no meaning to either. Now we have a similar name Alla-MAN, this can hardly be phonetic. I venture therefore to read Alla-sarru and Al-sarru, ‘Alla is king.’ As MAN means king…Mannu-ki-Alla shows the same divine name. (Johns CHW. An Assyrian doomsday book, or, Liber censualis of the district round Harran in the seventh century B.C.: copied from the cuneiform tablets in the British Museum, Volume 17 of Assyriologische Bibliothek. J. C. Hinrichs, 1901. Original from Princeton University, Digitized May 28, 2009, p. 15)

They also had other warring deities.

Here are two other references:

ON THE ORIGINAL ASSYRIA. WE proceed to consider the character of another country, noticed as marking… by the Hebrews and Chaldeans, was either Syr, Shur, or Tyr ; so that the compound word might be Ai-syria, or Ai-shyria…which is here rendered Assyria. (Clamet A, Taylor Calmet’s dictionary of the Holy Bible: with the Biblical fragments, Volume 4, 5th edition. Holdsworth and Ball, 1830. Original from the New York Public Library, Digitized Oct 20, 2010, p. 60)

Men prayed to Tyr…In some places he was called Tiwaz and was associated with the Roman God, Mars, the Celtic God, Nadu, as well as the Indian God, Mitra…Tyr was the original God of war, and the precursor of Odin…The name Tiwaz is also related to the Roman God Jupiter, and the Greek God, Zeus. All three names are descended from Dyaus Piter or Father Dyaus, and are all descended from the name Dieus…

A helmet was found in Negau in Austria which bears an inscription…translated as Teiwa, which is an archaic form of Tyr’s name…Tyr was worshipped…in Bavaria (Blumetti R. The Book of Balder Rising. iUniverse, 2004, pp. 142, 143).

Tyr, Mars, etc. were gods of war. And Tyr was worshiped in Bavaria (essentially southern Germany).

Also notice:

Ishtar was a favorite goddess of the Assyrian kings, who styled her as “their lady,” and sometimes coupled her with Asshur, “the Great Lord,” in their invocations. Ishtar had a very old temple at Asshur, the primitive Assyrian capital, and this temple, Tiglath-Pileser I, repaired and beautified. (Clare IS. Ancient oriental nations, Volume 1 of The Unrivaled History of the World: Containing a Full and Complete Record of the Human Race from the Earliest Historical Period to the Present Time, Embracing a General Survey of the Progress of Mankind in National and Social Life, Civil Government, Religion, Literature, Science and Art. Unrivaled Publishing Co., 1889. Original from Indiana University, Digitized Feb 3, 2010p. 225).

Ishtar, also known as Easter/Oster/Ostern (the Germanic goddess of Springtime), long influenced the Assyrians and as well the modern Germans. Ishtar was the goddess of fertility and war. Ishtar also has ties to the ancient Babylonian mystery religion and Nimrod. She was also called Beltis. Belits was the wife of Bel-Nimrod. She was called “the Queen of Fertility” and also known as “the Great Mother” (similar to how some revere Mary, the mother of Jesus today) and essentially was also Ishtar in the Assyrian triad (Clare, pp. 222-223).

Bel, or Bel-Nimrod, according to the testimony of the Assyrian monuments, was worshiped as extensively in Assyria as in Chaldaea, and Babylonia. (Clare, p. 222)

What is the possible relevance of any of this?

The tying together of violent deities from Babylon to Assyria in the past suggests a possible connection in the future.

Why?

The Bible tells of a time where a leader with Assyrian ties (Isaiah 10:5-7) will rise up and destroy not a few nations. This leader is also the one called the King of the North. This final such leader will, according to the Bible, honor a violent god and he also will destroy many:

38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain. 40 “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown…(Daniel 11:38-41)

What’s the Alla, Tyr, and Ishtar connection?

Precisely the distinguishing in Daniel 11:38 between the “god of fortresses” and “a god his fathers did not know.” The implication, to me at least, is that the “god of fortresses” is related to a “god” of violence that his fathers did know, like Alla, Tyr, and Ishtar.

And while there will also be a new “god” that the King of the North will honor, there will be some difference between his empire (Daniel 2:41-43 and the Babylonian one (Daniel 2:24, 36-37). It may be important to realize that the empire of this final King of the North is also called the “daughter Babylon” in scripture (Jeremiah 50:41-43), thus it must be somehow different, but with some Babylonian connections.

So, this information about the Babylonian warring connection of ancient deities tied in with biblical prophecy shows an additional apparent connection between ancient Babylon and the coming King of the North power.

It should be understood that although the coming King of the North will likely claim to be some type of Christian, the reality is that the historical record shows that the early professors of Christ would not participate in carnal warfare. It is only those whose faiths have stronger ties to warring deities than the true Christian God that do that.

For details on those and other prophecies, check out the following:

Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History Are the Germanic peoples descended from Asshur of the Bible? Have there been real Christians in Germanic history? What about the “Holy Roman Empire”? There is also a You-Tube video sermon on this titled Germany’s Biblical Origins.
Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy Does Assyria in the Bible equate to an end time power inhabiting the area of the old Roman Empire? What does prophecy say Germany will do and what does it say will happen to most of the German people? Here is a link to a video Is the USA Pushing Germany to Start WWIII?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies for the Great Monarch point to the same leader? Should he be followed? Who will be the King of the North discussed in Daniel 11? Is a nuclear attack prophesied to happen to the English-speaking peoples of the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand? When do the 1335 days, 1290 days, and 1260 days (the time, times, and half a time) of Daniel 12 begin? When does the Bible show that economic collapse will affect the United States? In the Spanish language check out ¿Quién es el Rey del Norte? Here is a link to a video titled: The Future King of the North.
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
European Technology and the Beast of Revelation Will the coming European Beast power would use and develop technology that will result in the taking over of the USA and its Anglo-Saxon allies? Is this possible? What does the Bible teach? Here is a related YouTube video: Military Technology and the Beast of Revelation.
Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
Might German Baron Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg become the King of the North? Is the former German Defense Minister (who is also the former German Minister for Economics and Technology) one to watch? What do Catholic, Byzantine, and biblical prophecies suggest?
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare? 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?

Former Pope Benedict XVI and Francis meet, Francis promotes ‘Mary’

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Pope Benedict XVI Sitting & Wearing White
Former Pope Benedict XVI and Current Pope Francis

COGwriter

Former Pope Benedict XVI and current Pope Francis met today.  Pope Francis spoke about neglecting the elderly, but ‘Mary’ seemed to dominate many of his messages (all statements from news sources):

September 28, 2014

VATICAN CITY — Elderly people, including former Pope Benedict, attended a gathering of the wise and wrinkled at the Vatican on Sunday, where Pope Francis denounced the neglect and abandonment of the old as “hidden euthanasia.” During the festive event in St. Peter’s Square, Francis addressed some 40,000 elderly people, seeking to underscore the importance of the old in society…Benedict, wearing a white overcoat, stayed for about an hour to hear old people speak about their lives and listen to a speech by his successor and then left before Francis led a Mass. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/pope-benedict-joints-pope-francis-vatican-event-focusing-elderly-n213406

September 28, 2014

Here is the text of the Holy Father’s homily at today’s Mass with Grandparents and the Elderly celebrated this morning in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican.

***

Today we accept the Gospel we have just heard as a Gospel of encounter: the encounter between young and old, an encounter full of joy, full of faith, and full of hope.

Mary is young, very young.  Elizabeth is elderly, yet God’s mercy was manifested in her and for six months now, with her husband Zechariah, she has been expecting a child.

Here too, Mary shows us the way…Like the Virgin Mary, who, though she became the mother of the Messiah, felt herself driven by the love of God taking flesh within her to hasten to her elderly relative. And so we return to this “icon” full of joy and hope, full of faith and charity.  We can imagine that the Virgin Mary, visiting the home of Elizabeth, would have heard her and her husband Zechariah praying in the words of today’s responsorial psalm: “You, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth…  Do not cast me off in the time of old age, do not forsake me when my strength is spent…  Even to old age and grey hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come”  (Ps71:5,9,18).  The young Mary listened, and she kept all these things in her heart. …

The Virgin Mary likewise shows us the way: the way of encounter between the young and the elderly. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/experts-in-faith-experts-in-god-experts-in-the-hope-that-comes-from-him

September 28, 2014

Here is the text of a prayer for the synod provided by Pope Francis during his Angelus address on the Feast of the Holy Family on 29 December last.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
in you we contemplate
the splendor of true love,
to you we turn with trust.   http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/prayer-to-pray-today-for-the-synod-that-begins-next-sunday

An ‘Angelus address’ is essentially a round of prayers to ‘Mary,’  one who Pope Francis says to to turn to and trust.

Who does the Bible say to turn to?  The Douay-Rheims Bible (DRB), a Roman Catholic Bible, in both the Old and New Testament teaches to turn to God:

13 And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil. (Joel 2:13, DRB)

I preach, that they should…turn to God (Acts 26:20, DRB).

Who does the Bible say to trust?

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; 6 In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6, New Jerusalem Bible)

Sadly, by telling people to put trust in ‘Mary,’ many are leaning on their own understanding as the God of the Bible never says to do that.

Furthermore, an electronic search of the terms “trust” and “God” brought up at least 16 scriptures, ”trust” and “Lord” over 50 scriptures, whereas a search of the terms “trust” and “Mary” brought up none in the Douay Rheims Bible).

Notice also the following:

September 28, 2014

Pope Francis celebrated a special liturgy of thanksgiving in the Church of the Gesù in Rome on Saturday, to mark the 200th anniversary of the restoration of the Society of Jesus, his own religious congregation.

Here is a translation of the prepared text of the Holy Father’s homily for the occasion.

* * *

Dear brothers and friends in the Lord,

The Society under the name of Jesus has lived difficult times of persecution. …

The Society, restored by my predecessor Pius VII, was made up of  men, who were brave and humble in their witness of hope, love and apostolic creativity, that of the Spirit. Pius VII wrote of wanting to restore the Society to “support himself in an adequate way for the spiritual needs of the Christian world, without the difference of peoples and nations” (ibid). For this, he gave permission to the Jesuits, which still existed here and there, thanks to a Lutheran monarch and an Orthodox monarch, “to remain united in one body.” That the Society may remain united in one body! …

The bull of Pius VII that restored the Society was signed on August 7, 1814, at the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, where our holy father Ignatius celebrated his first Mass on Christmas Eve of 1538. Mary, Our Lady, Mother of the Society, will be touched by our efforts to be at the service of her Son. May she watch over us and protects us always. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-homily-at-vespers-with-jesuits

It has long been my understanding that the Jesuits often were and/or backed persecutors throughout history.  Some day, I plan to report more about them.

Mary is NOT the Answer

Pope Francis’ solution for many matters is often to tell people to pray to his version of Mary to intervene. He also has called her “the Queen of Peace,” a title that the Bible never gives Jesus’ mother. Although Pope Francis is a religious leader of a church that claims to believe the Bible, no verse in the Bible says to pray to, turn to, or call upon, the name of Mary. Notice also that the only two times the Douay Rheims Bible (DRB,) uses the term intercession it is referring to Jesus, not Mary:

34 Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died, yea that is risen also again; who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:34, DRB)

25 Whereby he is able also to save for ever them that come to God by him; always living to make intercession for us. (Hebrews 7:25, DRB)

Mary is not the intercessor of the Bible, nor was she considered to be by the early Christian church (see also Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions). Considering that Mary provides intercession is not biblically-proper and has other negative consequences. No true Church of God would ever pray to be entrusted to Jesus’ deceased mother (here are links to two free online booklets which helps show which is the true Christian church Where is the True Christian Church Today? and Continuing History of the Church of God).

We are not to call on, or turn to, Mary, but on the Lord God Jesus:

22 But flee thou youthful desires, and pursue justice, faith, charity, and peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22, DRB)

The Jesuits are dedicated to ‘Mary.’  They and Pope Francis have an agenda to turn the world to follow a universal religion with a Marian emphasis.  This is a false gospel (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-7), but one that Pope Francis seems to advocate every week.

Pope Francis may look like a lamb to some, but he truly speaks like a dragon (cf. Revelation 13:11).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
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.
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. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
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?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? Former Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio is now Pope Francis. According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? Could a Jesuit be “the black pope”?
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: 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?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
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?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics There are many problems that will happen if they unify, including make them part of end time Babylon.
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster?
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.
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.

BibleNewsProphecy: Ten Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God has a video about Bible prophecy and the United States of America on our YouTube channel called Bible New Prophecy.

Though they claim sola Sciptura, there are many errors that Protestant leaders teach that are wrong and misleading. These errors are dangerous and those who rely on the erroneous teachings above the Bible will face the Great Tribulation expectantly. The ten errors covered in this video include Blood Moons, the Pretribulation Rapture, Identity of Babylon, Russia and the King of the North, Identity of the final Antichrist, the Drying of the Euphrates’ river, a Jewish Temple, Gospel proclamation, Preterism, and Matthew 24:3-31. The end of the video provides a brief summary of certain basically sequential prophetic events that Bible believers should know.

One written article of related interest is titled “Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors ” URL: http://www.cogwriter.com/protestant-p…

There are written articles on many of the topics covered. 1.) Blood moons: URL http://www.cogwriter.com/blood-moons-… 2.) Pretribulation rapture: http://www.cogwriter.com/rapture.htm 3.) Babylon: http://www.cogwriter.com/news/prophec… 4.) King of the North: Who is the King of the North? and http://www.cogwriter.com/is-russia-th… 5.) Antichrist: http://www.cogwriter.com/antichrist.htm 6.) Euphrates: http://www.cogwriter.com/when-will-th… 7.) Jewish Temple: http://www.cogwriter.com/jewishtemple… 8.) Gospel proclamation: http://www.cogwriter.com/final-phase-… 9.) Preterism: http://www.cogwriter.com/preterism.htm and 10.) Great Tribulation signs: http://www.cogwriter.com/when-will-th….

Some items of related interest may include:

Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this.
COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of God?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]
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?
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the genuine Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example? Here is a related sermon video: Martin Luther and Herbert Armstrong: Reformers with Differences.
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?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 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 2013 o 2014? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.

COGWA: Will You Be ‘Left Behind’?

Friday, September 26th, 2014

COGwriter

A new ‘Left Behind’ movie, which is a Hollywood/Protestant take on prophecy, is to be released on October 3rd. Here is some of what the movies’ website states about it:

The most important event in the history of mankind is happening right now. In the blink of an eye, the biblical Rapture strikes the world. Millions of people disappear without a trace. All that remains are their clothes and belongings, and in an instant, terror and chaos spread around the world. The vanishings cause unmanned vehicles to crash and burn. Planes fall from the sky. Emergency forces everywhere are devastated. Gridlock, riots and looting overrun the cities. There is no one to help or provide answers. In a moment, the entire planet is plunged into darkness.

Of course, the pretribulation rapture theory is not biblical, is not accurate, and will not happen the way the movie portrays it.  While I have not seen the entire movie (and am not currently expecting to), I have seen one or more clips from it and they simply are in conflict with biblical prophecy.

COGWA’s Cecil Maranville reported a little bit about it:

Left Behind, written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, is being brought to the big screen again. This time it will feature Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage and a bigger budget. New and old fans will follow an intense fictional plot framed by the theory that Jesus will snatch believers and innocent children away to heaven just before the world plunges into its darkest hour.

This film’s storyline is based on the rapture theory. …

The Left Behind theology has Jesus taking some people to heaven, but only for a few years, after which they all come back to the earth.That is what was taught by John Nelson Darby. Even though he is not mentioned in the Left Behind books or movies, his ministry is a basis for the modern rapture theory. Some people argue that Darby did not originate the theory, but no one can argue with the fact that he was a prominent teacher of it or that his work influenced C.I. Scofield to publish the theory in his seminal Scofield Reference Bible in 1909 (“John Nelson Darby: Father of Dispensationalism,” ChristianityToday.com).

So widespread and so forceful was the rapture teaching and the Scofield reinforcement that the theory has become deeply embedded in segments of Christianity.

It might seem logical to assume that Darby believed in going to heaven, but Darby was actually motivated to teach the rapture theory out of concern that Christianity no longer believed that the Kingdom of God would be on earth (ibid.)!  …

A war in which Russia and its allies attack Israel, with supernatural intervention saving Israel years before Christ returns, is a theme threaded throughout the Left Behind fictional series…Ezekiel 38 plainly interprets itself. Its setting is after Jesus has returned and is reigning over the earth.

Many saints will be protected from the beast, false prophet and Satan, but not in heaven. And the Great Tribulation, according to the Bible, lasts 3½ years, not seven!  …

The truth is in your Bible—not in fictional books or movies! … read the biblical passages that reveal the truth—so that you will not leave it behind!

Cecil Maranville is correct that the pretribulation rapture theory is wrong.  He is correct that many do not believe in the Kingdom of God.  He is also correct that many Protestant prophecy watchers misunderstand the timing of Ezekiel 38 (see Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day?).  He is also correct that there is a place of protection that will exist during the time the 3 1/2 years which includes the Great Tribulation (see There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra).

But it is not just Protestants that misunderstand prophecy. As far as Ezekiel 38 goes, the improperly named Philadelphia Church of God misunderstands certain aspects of that.

Cecil Maranville wrote that many saints will be protected, yet as far as being ‘left behind’ from going to a place of protection, this will happen to most saints (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 3:1-22; 12:17).  It is only those who are part of the true Philadelphia remnant of the Church of God that are actually promised protection “from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth” (Revelation 3:10).

What about the others?

Because the Sardis and Laodicean Church of God groups do not understand prophecy, the work, enough of the truth, etc., they will have to go through the Great Tribulation.

CG7, a group believed to represent Sardis, takes a preterist view that basically most end time prophecies were fulfilled long ago and are for the past. The Laodicean groups, including COGWA, have so many prophetic misunderstandings, that unless they repent and change (Revelation 3), they will not possibly know when the Great Tribulation will start until it is too late.

As far as the basic premise of the latest ‘Left Behind’ movie, please realize that the Bible does not teach a pre-tribulation rapture of the church. Notice that the Bible shows that Jesus will return AFTER the tribulation, not before it:

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

Yet, the pretribulation rapturists ignore or try to reason around those scriptures. More details, include the scriptures they tend to claim support their view, are documented in the article Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected?.

Many fail to realize that the Bible teaches that Jesus will protect ONLY the Philadelphians from the ‘hour of trial’ (Revelation 3:7-10; 12:14-16), the rest of the Christians will go through the Great Tribulation and Day of The Lord (Revelation 12:17), and the place the Philadelphians are protected is in the wilderness (Revelation 12:14-16). Heaven is not a wilderness and Christians are not going to be there during the Great Tribulation as the rapturists teach.

Yet, because they have teachings against certain biblically revealed prophetic matters, those in the Sardis and Laodicean Church of God groups will not possibly known when to flee prior to the start of the Great Tribulation unless they repent according to what Jesus taught about them (Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22).  Thus, most saints will be left behind.  But you, if you are willing to believe what the Bible teaches and live accordingly, do not have to be left behind yourself.

Those who wish to know more about the truth about end time prophecies may wish to study the following:

Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Does the Church flee or is it taken up just prior to the great tribulation? Who really is left behind? There is also a YouTube video with information Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture?
Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this. There is also a video available: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors What are some errors that various Protestants hold to that will tend to prevent them from knowing when the Great Tribulation will begin?
The Dangerous Rise of Preterists Has the Great Tribulation finished? What was the view of early Christians? Why is the preterist view dangerous?
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
This is PETRA! This is a 1962 Good News article by the late Dr. Hoeh.
Did Jesus Teach a Pre-tribulation Rapture? Did the Bible teach that Jesus raptures Christians prior to the start of the Great Tribulation? What did Jesus Himself teach? Do the scriptural passages that Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins point to prove their left behind pre-tribulation rapture assertions? Do all Christians get protected from the Great Tribulation? Who does the Bible teach will get protected? Is the Great Tribulation the ‘wrath to come’ that Christians are promised protection from? This is a video.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2014, 2015, or 2016? 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.
Ezekiel 38: For Russia & Iran in Our Day? Is Ezekiel 38 about to be fufilled? A related video is available titled Ezekiel 38: For Russia, Ukraine, & Iran Now?
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.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]
Did Early Christians Teach They Were Going to Heaven? What do the Bible and scholars teach? What about ‘near-death experiences’? Here is a link to a related sermon: Heaven and Christianity.
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?
COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of God?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church?
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent.
Laodicean Warning for God’s People Is there really a place of safety? Do God’s people need to be warned? Warned for what?
Concerns about Church of God, a Worldwide Association This seems to be the largest group that came out of the United Church of God. Here is some history and concerns about it.
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work. The written article has been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
Leading the Final Phase of the Work Matthew 24:14 teaches “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come ” will be fulfilled and RCG is not the group doing this. Who is leading the final phase of the work? What did Herbert Armstrong and the old WCG teach about that and about prophets? Does Bob Thiel meet the criteria that the Bible and the old WCG set? What is the proof? What has the Continuing Church of God been doing? This is a sermonette length video.

7 Jewish points and 7 CCOG responses related to Rosh Hoshanah

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

A shofar made from the horn of a Greater kudu

An animal horn trumpet.

COGwriter

The Feast of Trumpets began after the setting of the sun on September 24th, 2014 and ends sunset September 25th. The modern Jews keep a version of it which they call Rosh Hoshahah.

Let’s look at seven points from an article titled The Rosh Hashanah Guide for the Perplexed, 2014 (September 24, 2014. http://www.algemeiner.com/2014/09/24/the-rosh-hashanah-guide-for-the-perplexed-2014/) which is intended to give an explanation to Jews about the current Jewish meaning of the day.

Here is Jewish point one:

1. Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal, and hopeful holiday, celebrated on the 6th‎ day of The Creation, which produced the first human being, Adam.

The Bible states that on the first day of the seventh month on the biblical calendar, there will be “a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation” (Leviticus 23:23-24).  The idea that this coincides with the sixth day of creation is a view put forth by certain rabbis in the Talmud.  The Talmud is basically a book of traditions written between 70 – 500 A.D.

Certain Jewish teachers taught that the creation was most likely in the Fall, rather than in the Spring, because in Genesis 1:11 when God states, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit,” this would be the Fall, for that is when there is both grass and fruit on trees. The creation probably was in the Fall, but Genesis 1:3-4 more likely was the first day of the seventh month as it is called the first day than when humans were created (Genesis 1:24-31), but that seventh month designation is not certain from the Bible.

Here is Jewish point two:

2.  Rosh means, in Hebrew, ”beginning,” “first,” “head,” “chief.” The Hebrew spelling of Rosh (ראש) is the root of the Hebrew word for Genesis (בראשית), which is the first word in the Bible.

While that is interesting, it should be understood that the day was not called Rosh Hoshanah by the Jews until Talmudic times (Kramer, Amy J. Rosh Hashana Origins. Copyright © 1998-1999 Everything Jewish, Inc. http://www.everythingjewish.com/RoshH/RH_origins.htm 9/16/04).  The term ‘Rosh’  is not used in the scriptures that specifically mention the festival on the first day of the seventh month, and the term is an interpretation of Jewish tradition.

Notice a few scriptures:

2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts. …

23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 24 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. (Leviticus 23:12, 23-24)

Since Leviticus 23:2 states it lists God’s feasts, and the one that begins on the first day of the seventh month is a feast for the memorial of blowing trumpets, we in the Continuing Church of God believe that the name Feast of Trumpets better conveys the name than the later adopted Jewish term Rosh Hoshanah.

Here is Jewish point three:

3.  Rosh Hashanah is celebrated at the beginning of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which means beginning/Genesis in ancient Akkadian.The Hebrew spelling of Tishrei (תשרי) is included in the spelling of Genesis (בראשית).

It is correct that the Feast of Trumpets is to be observed starting at the beginning of the seventh month of the biblical calendar that the the Jews now call Tishri/Tishrei.  In the Bible the month has a different name:

2 Therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month of Ethanim, which is the seventh month. (1 Kings 8:2)

It should be noted that the months in the Bible can have different names.  The first month is called Abib (cf. Exodus 12:2; 13:4) and Nisan (Esther 3:7) in the Hebrew scriptures.  Renaming the seventh month probably came from a Talmudic tradition.

Here is Jewish point four:

4.  Rosh Hashanah is also referred to as “Ha’rat Olam” (the pregnancy of the world), and its prayers highlight motherhood, optimism, and the pregnancies of Sarah and Rachel, the Matriarchs, and Hannah, who gave birth to Isaac, Joseph and Benjamin, and the Prophet Samuel respectively.

While it is likely that the world was created in the seventh month, calling the day the “pregnancy of the world” is a Jewish tradition. The Bible does not refer to it as a time of motherhood.

Here is Jewish point five:

5.  Rosh Hashanah underlines human fallibility, humility, soul-searching, responsibility (as a precondition to the realization of opportunity), renewal/rebirth, memory (lessons of history), and the need for systematic education.

Humans are fallible and in need of humility, repentance (Acts 2:38; 17:30), and learning the truth (cf. John 8:31-32; 2 Peter 3:18).

Here is Jewish point six:

6. The Shofar (ritual horn) is blown on Rosh Hashanah as a wake-up call to mend human behavior. Rosh Hashanah is also called “Yom Te’roo’ah” (the day of blowing the Shofar). Shofar (שופר) is a derivative of the Hebrew word for enhancement/improvement (שפור), which is constantly expected of human beings. It requires humility, symbolized by the Shofar, which is bent and is not supposed to be decorated.

A Shofar is blown on this day.  Notice the following:

3 Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon,
At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.
4 For this is a statute for Israel,
A law of the God of Jacob. (Psalms 81:3-4)

The Hebrew word for shofar is the one translated as “trumpet” in Psalm 81:3.  The idea that it is a naturally bent horn and that humans need improvement is an interesting one that is consistent with the truth.

Here is Jewish point seven:

7. The pomegranate – one of the seven species blessing the Land of Israel – features during Rosh Hashanah meals and in a key blessing on Rosh Hashanah: “May you be credited with as many rewards as the seeds of the pomegranate.” The pomegranate becomes ripe on time for Rosh Hashanah and contains – genetically - 613 seeds, which is the number of Jewish statutes (of Moses).

There are two different points to make here.  The first is about a possible connection between pomegranates and trumpets.
Notice the following which mention the pomegranate tree and the blowing of a trumpet:

12 The vine has dried up,
And the fig tree has withered;
The pomegranate tree,
The palm tree also,
And the apple tree —
All the trees of the field are withered;
Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men.

13 Gird yourselves and lament, you priests;
Wail, you who minister before the altar;
Come, lie all night in sackcloth,
You who minister to my God;
For the grain offering and the drink offering
Are withheld from the house of your God.
14 Consecrate a fast,
Call a sacred assembly;
Gather the elders
And all the inhabitants of the land
Into the house of the Lord your God,
And cry out to the Lord.

15 Alas for the day!
For the day of the Lord is at hand;
It shall come as destruction from the Almighty. (Joel 1:12-15)

1 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the Lord is coming,
For it is at hand:
2 A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. (Joel 2:1-2)

Notice that the pomegranate tree is referred to in Joel 1:12 in a destructive time, and that the trumpet (from the Hebrew word for Shofar) is telling of the time of the day of the Lord (see also When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? What is the Day of the Lord?).  So, it could be said that there seems to be a type of connection.

But what about the 613 seeds of pomegranates?

Notice what one Jewish rabbi wrote:

Misconception: According to rabbinic tradition, a pomegranate (rimon) has 613 seeds.

Fact: The pomegranate is used in rabbinic tradition as an example of a fruit that contains many seeds, but not necessarily 613. …

The misconception about the pomegranate having 613 seeds is widespread, but its source is readily apparent. In a discussion on the meaning of seeing the fruit in a dream, the gemara in Berachot4 explains that “seeing small ones portends business being as fruitful as a pomegranate, while seeing large ones means that business will multiply like pomegranates. If, in the dream, the pomegranates are split open, if the dreamer is a scholar he may hope to learn more Torah … while if he is unlearned, he can hope to perform mitzvot ….” Drawing upon a verse in Shir HaShirim (4:3; 6:7), the gemara concludes by stating that even “the empty ones among the Jews are full of mitzvot like a pomegranate [is full of seeds].”5 Many misread this gemara to mean that there are precisely 613 seeds in a pomegranate, as there are 613 mitzvot. It should be clear, however, that the gemara uses pomegranates to imply an abundance. In fact, the very name “pomegranate” is derived from Latin’s “pomum” (apple) and “granatus” (seeded), alluding to the fruit’s many seeds. (Zivotofsky A. What’s the Truth about … Pomegranate Seeds? Jewish Action, September 20, 2008.  http://www.ou.org/jewish_action/09/2008/whats_the_truth_about_pomegranate_seeds/

So, there are not normally 613 seeds in a pomegranate.

What about the so-called 613 Jewish statutes of Moses?

As it turns out, many of them are NOT statutes that God inspired Moses to write.  Instead, they were developed by a Jewish rabbi and based upon various traditions, many of which were not adopted from the Bible.  See also Which Laws were Superceded? Which Remain?  What about the 613 mitzvot?  Moses did NOT write all of the 613 statutes that Jews and certain others believe they need to keep.

Anyway, as far as the Feast of Trumpets goes, some of the Jewish points are accurate, some have a scriptural connection, and some others are based more upon tradition than biblical truth.

We in the Continuing Church of God are Christian.  And while we believe that the Bible and church history enjoin the observance of the Feast of Trumpets on true believers, we are not Messianic Jews (many of which claim believe that they should keep the 613 mitzvot) nor do we fully share the views of the Jews on this Holy Day.

We, unlike the Jews, also accept the New Testament as scripture, which means some of our understanding of this day comes from the New Testament, hence we have a better understanding of this day and how it fits in with God’s plan of salvation.

In the New Testament, the Bible shows that during the time period known as the Day of the Lord that there will be seven trumpets blown.  And the last one, the seventh one, announces the return of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the saints, and meeting Jesus in the air:

50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed —  52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:50-54)

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.  (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18)

Those are points that the Jewish interpretation of this Holy Day seem to miss.  As Christians, we can draw comfort from the words of the New Testament, while we appreciate that there is a tie to the Old Testament.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should you keep the Fall Holy Days?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not? Here is a link to a 2014 sermon Feast of Trumpets and the Book of Life.
Offertory: Blowing the Trumpet Why should there be an offertory on the Feast of Trumpets. What does the Bible teach? How is the ‘trumpet’ being blown now? How is the Continuing Church of God reaching the world with the gospel of the kingdom? Do those in the Church of God also need to pay attention to the trumpet? Shofar blowing is also heard in this video. Here is a link to the: Donation page of the Continuing Church of God, which includes the ability to use PayPal.
The Trumpet Release This is a sermon focused on the Feast of Trumpets for 2013. What is the Feast of Trumpets? How can this be part of God’s plan of salvation? Why do the Jews refer to it as Rosh Hashanah? What is the seventh year of release? Should it be restored and proclaimed? Did early Christians keep the Feast of Trumpets? Why should any one keep it now? What will happen with the seven trumpets of Revelation? Why do many not understand aspects of it?
Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices.
Which Laws were Superceded? Which Remain? What about the Ten Commandments? What about the 613 regulations (called 613 Mitzvot) in the Old Testament? Which were ‘done away’?
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long?
Questions and Answers from Genesis Many wonder about certain early events that this article discusses.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2014, 2015, or 2016? 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.
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians call it “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach?
Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites for 2014 This is information on the expected Feast of Tabernacles’ sites for the Continuing Church of God for 2014. The Feast in 2014 begins the evening of October 8.
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。.
What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them?

Church of God News in Spanish

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God continues to get additional materials translated into the Spanish language.

Here are links to some of recent news items and articles that were received here today, so we will try to broadcast and make available for the Feast of Trumpets:

Interest rates to rise? Short and long term ramifications
¿Tasas de interés a subir? Ramificaciones a corto y largo plazo
http://www.cdlidd.es/4311/
NFL admits nearly 1 in 3 players will develop cognitive problems
NFL admite que casi 1 de 3 jugadores desarrollará problemas cognoscitivos
http://www.cdlidd.es/nfl-admite-que-casi-1-de-3-jugadores-desarrollara-problemas-cognoscitivos/
Astrology and Getting the Gospel Out in Mandarin
Astrología y predicar el evangelio en Mandarín
http://www.cdlidd.es/astrologia-y-predicar-el-evangelio-en-mandarin/
Europe has technology plans and is implementing them
Europa tiene planes tecnológicos y está implementándolos
http://www.cdlidd.es/europa-tiene-planes-tecnoloticos-y-esta-implementandolos/
Obama vows to dismantle Islamic State; Australia to bomb; Al-Shabaab leader dead
Obama se compromete a desmantelar Estado Islámico; Australia a bombardear; Muerto líder Al-Shabaab
http://www.cdlidd.es/obama-se-compromete-a-desmantelar-estado-islamico-australia-a-bombardear-muerto-lider-al-shabaab/
EU’s Galileo moving forward, despite delays
Galileo de la UE moviéndose hacia adelanate, a pesar de demoras
http://www.cdlidd.es/galileo-de-la-ue-moviendose-hacia-adelante-a-pesar-de-demoras/
USA and UN both claim to be taking the lead in battling Ebola
EE.UU. y ONU ambos dicen estar encabezando la lucha contra Ébola
http://www.cdlidd.es/ee-uu-y-onu-ambos-dicen-estar-encabezando-la-lucha-contra-ebola/

The Continuing Church of God has a separate Spanish language website http://www.cdlidd.es. The term Continuing Church of God translates into La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios in the Spanish language, also called Castellano or Español.

The Continuing Church of God is reaching people around the world in multiple languages via the internet, printed literature, and human church leads around the world. We also reach people over the radio and through videos in the English language.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Mexico, Central America, South America, Brazil, and the Caribbean in Prophecy [Español: México, América central, Suramérica, Brasil y el Caribe en la profecía] [Português: México, América Central, Ámérica do Sul, e Brasil na profecia] What will happen to those of Latin America? Will they have prosperity? Will they cooperate with Europe? Will they suffer in the future? What role might the various Caribbean nations/territories play?
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. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
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 pdf. booklet titled Faith for Those God has Called and Chosen. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Fe para aquellos que Dios ha llamado y escogido.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
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. And the one that is leading the final phase of the work. That written article has also been translated into Spanish La Fase Final de la Obra.
CCOG.ASIA We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 HHere is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.

Palestinians say Israel occupies their lands, Jordanian Muslim says Koran teaches the lands belong to Israel

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

COGwriter

The Palestinians are making another bid for recognition of their proposed nation:

September 24, 2014

RAMALLAH, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — Palestinian leaders are making moves to escalate their diplomatic offensive against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank…Abbas presented the Obama administration a revamped political plan for ending Israel’s occupation and establishing a Palestinian state, but Washington has not given an official response to it yet. …

Palestinians said they will appeal to the UN Security Council and demand international intervention to bring an end to the occupation and solve the Palestinian crisis.

According to Ahmed Majdalani, a senior member in Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the uptick in Palestinian diplomacy reflects their determination to come to an international resolution to the occupation.

“The substance of the Palestinian move is to get a clear political position issued by the Security Council. It includes an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967 and recognizes a Palestinian state with known and clear borders,” said Majdalani.   http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-09/24/c_133669447.htm

Today, I ran across an interesting report from a Jordanian Muslim:

Sheikh Ahmad Adwan, who introduces himself as a Muslim scholar who lives in Jordan, said on his personal Facebook page that there is no such thing as “Palestine” in the Koran. Allah has assigned the Holy Land to the Children of Israel until the Day of Judgment (Koran, Sura 5 – “The Sura of the Table”, Verse 21), and “We made the Children of Israel the inheritors (of the land)” (Koran, Sura 26 – “The Sura of the Poets”, Verse 59).

“I say to those who distort their Lord’s book, the Koran: From where did you bring the name Palestine, you liars, you accursed, when Allah has already named it “The Holy Land” and bequeathed it to the Children of Israel until the Day of Judgment. There is no such thing as ‘Palestine’ in the Koran. Your demand for the Land of Israel is a falsehood and it constitutes an attack on the Koran, on the Jews and their land. Therefore you won’t succeed, and Allah will fail you and humiliate you, because Allah is the one who will protect them (i.e. the Jews).”

The sheikh added: “The Palestinians are the killers of children, the elderly and women. They attack the Jews and then they use those (children, the elderly and women) as human shields and hide behind them, without mercy for their children as if they weren’t their own children, in order to tell the public opinion that the Jews intended to kill them. This is exactly what I saw with my own two eyes in the 70’s, when they attacked the Jordanian army, which sheltered and protected them. Instead of thanking it (the Jordanian army), they brought their children forward to (face) the Jordanian army, in order to make the world believe that the army kills their children. This is their habit and custom, their viciousness, their having hearts of stones towards their children, and their lying to public opinion, in order to get its support.”

It is worth mentioning, that the above mentioned sheikh visited Israel and met Jewish religious scholars. The “Israel in Arabic” site conducted an interview with him, in which he said that the reason for his openness towards the Jewish people “comes from my acknowledgment of their sovereignty on their land and my belief in the Koran, which told us and emphasized this in many places, like His (Allah’s) saying ”Oh People (i.e the Children of Israel), enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned unto you” (Koran, Sura 5 – “The Sura of the Table”, Verse 21), and His saying “We made the Children of Israel the inheritors (of the land)” (Koran, Sura 26 – “The Sura of the Poets”, Verse 59) and many other verses.

He (Adwan) added: “(The Jews) are peaceful people who love peace, who are not hostile and are not aggressors, but if they are attacked, they defend themselves while causing as little damage to the attackers as possible. It is an honor for them that Allah has chosen them over the worlds – meaning over the people and the Jinns until the Day of Judgment. I made the reasons for Allah’s choice clear in my books and pamphlets. When Allah chose them, He didn’t do so out of politeness, and He wasn’t unjust other peoples, it is just that they (the Jews) deserved this.” (Cohen E. Jordanian Sheikh: ‘There is no “Palestine” in the Koran. Allah gave Israel to the Jews.’ Jews News, August 15, 2014. http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2014/08/15/jordanian-sheikh-there-is-no-palestine-in-the-koran-allah-gave-israel-to-the-jews/ viewed 09/24/14)

An interesting view.

Yet, just as many people who claim to be Christian believe as doctrines positions contrary to the Bible (cf. Where is the True Christian Church Today?), Islam has similar issues.

Many Islamists, and not just Palestinians, believe that Jerusalem will be the capital of an Islamic caliphate.

Israel has said that will not happen.

The Vatican also wants Jerusalem, or at least a few parts of it.

So, there is a lot of disagreement.  There are also various factions within Islam who will kill Muslims and non-Muslims that disagree with their views–and it does not just involve Palestine or Jerusalem.

The USA has been bombing terrorist targets in Syria and Iraq, including a group called the Khorasan:

9/23/14 LONDON—With the U.S. beginning a military campaign against the Islamic State group, another band of Islamist militants has emerged as a direct threat to the security of the United States and Europe.

The Khorasan group is one of al-Qaida’s affiliates in Syria and possibly one of the most secretive organizations operating under the cover of Syria’s civil war. Unlike many of the other groups in Syria that seek to overthrow President Bashar Assad, or the Islamic State, Khorasan has expressed little interest in the Syrian national conflict.

The group’s main goal: hitting the United States or its installations overseas with a terror attack.

The chief U.S. military spokesman at the Pentagon, Rear Admiral John Kirby, said Khorasan became a prime target of the airstrikes Tuesday inside Syria after intelligence operatives uncovered plans for an “imminent” terror attack against Western interests.

“We believe the individuals plotting and planning it were eliminated” in eight U.S. airstrikes overnight, Kirby said in an American television interview (ABC-TV’s Good Morning America).  http://www.voanews.com/content/who-are-the-khorasan/2459854.html

Will we ever have peace in the Middle East?

Certainly.

Will we have any peace in the Middle East before Jesus returns?

Yes, but it may take a lot more war and conflict first. The Bible shows that a temporary deal will bring a type of peace to the Middle East per Daniel 9:27:

27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate. (Daniel 9:27)

Notice that this deal will, however, be broken 3 1/2 years after the prince, who becomes the King of the North by Daniel 11:31, breaks it. Because of passages in Daniel 8:25 and 11:22-23, it is believed that this is a type of peace deal. The Bible prophecies about various false proclamations of peace (1 Thessalonians 5:3; Ezekiel 13:9-16).

Is the solution to conflict in the Middle East a formal Palestinian state?

No.  The situation is more complicated than that.  There are many regional issues and the Palestinian matter is only a small part of what is happening.

Many within Islam believe a type of confederation or caliphate will solve the problems. They believe that this is consistent with Islamic writings and prophecies, as well as history.  This type of arrangement is now being encouraged by the Obama Administration (watch the video Obama Administration Pushing for an Islamic Empire?).  The USA would love support from the Palestinians.

The Bible tells of the formation of the confederation known as the final King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43). The King of the South is basically an Arabic and Turkish confederation. The Bible shows that this confederation will end in disaster (Daniel 11:40-44; Ezekiel 30:2-8). Notice a couple of verses that tell that:

7 “They shall be desolate in the midst of the desolate countries,
And her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are laid waste.
8 Then they will know that I am the Lord,
When I have set a fire in Egypt
And all her helpers are destroyed. (Ezekiel 30:7-8)

A confederation or caliphate will not bring peace, even if the Palestinians support this (which they apparently will).

Humans, apart from submitting entirely to God, will not bring peace about, even though they will apparently bring about a temporary multi-year peace in the Middle East–that too will be broken (Daniel 9:27, 11:31) and not end well for the Arabs (Daniel 11:40-43, Ezekiel 30:2-8) or the USA (Daniel 11:39).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy What does the Bible teach about Gaza and the fate of the Palestinians? Here is a link to a related video: Gaza and Palestine in Prophecy.
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.
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?
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?
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.
Location of the Prophesied Physical Temple Leroy Neff gives his rationale for the location of the coming temple.
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.
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?
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?
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?
Iraq, the King of the South, Armageddon, and Prophecy
What will happen to Iraq? Is it the prophesied Mystery Babylon? What is Armageddon and how does that have to do with Iraq? Here is a related video Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy.
Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia in Prophecy What is ahead for North Africa? What does the Bible teach?
Damascus and Syria in Prophecy Will Bashar Assad hold power as he has it? Does the Bible show that Damascus, the capital of Syria, will be destroyed? What will happen to Syria? Will the Syrians support the final King of the South that the Bible tells will rise up? Which scriptures discuss the rise and fall of an Arabic confederation? Does Islamic prophecy predict the destruction of Syria. This is a YouTube video.
Iran in Prophecy Is Iran in Bible prophecy? If so, what does the Bible teach? What names, other than Persia, may be used to describe Iran? There is also a YouTube video titled Iran in Prophecy. Here is a related video Iran In Prophecy.
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising. The Muslim Brotherhood and the Rise of the King of the South The Bible tells of the formation of a power of nations that are in the Middle East and North Africa that are part of the final “King of the South” (Daniel 11:40-43) The Muslim Brotherhood wishes to have an Islamic empire with basically the same nations. This YouTube video explains what to expect from such a confederation.
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 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.
Just What Do You Mean the Kingdom of God? A booklet that was written by Herbert Armstrong answers questions about the Kingdom.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2014, 2015, or 2016? 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.

Use of the Dalmatic?

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014


Roman Catholic deacon wearing a Dalmatic (Eric Stoltz)

COGwriter

The pro-Vatican news agency Zenit reported the following today from priest Edward McNamara, who is a professor of liturgy and dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university:

September 23, 2014

The proper vestment for a deacon at Mass is an alb (with an amice if required), cincture, stole worn in the diaconal manner, and dalmatic. The stole and dalmatic should be of the corresponding liturgical color.

This vestment is a knee-length, sleeved garment. It was originally developed in Dalmatia, modern-day Croatia, and was imported into Rome during the second century.

At first the dalmatic, which was originally longer, reaching the heels, and more ample than today, was not well received, being seen as somewhat effeminate. Later, however, it became popular among Roman senators and imperial officials as a substitute for the toga and was even used as the proper garb for the consecration of the emperor.

From this it became a habit proper to the pope and to bishops. Finally it was introduced as a vestment for the deacons of Rome by Pope Sylvester I in the fourth century and gradually became their proper vestment. For a time, especially during the ninth to 14th centuries, bishops and even priests would sometimes wear the dalmatic under the chasuble. http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/when-to-wear-a-dalmatic

So, what does this report tell us?

Consistent with other historical reports, this shows admits that the vestments of Catholic deacons was not an original Christian practice. 

Specifically, Catholic priest and scholar priest Edward McNamara is admitting:

  1. The dalmatic was not from the Bible.
  2. The dalmatic was not an original garment that deacons wore.
  3. The source of the dalmatic came from worldly society.
  4. People had concerns about the dalmatic because it was considered to be effeminate.
  5. The dalmatic became associated with imperial politicians, including emperors.
  6. Because of its ties to politics, it was adopted by pontiffs and bishops.
  7. During the time of Emperor Constantine, it was adopted for use by deacons.

Sylvester I was bishop of Rome from 314 to 335 A.D., which was during the reign of the sun-god worshiping Emperor Constantine.  The Bishops of Rome did not take the title Pontifex Maximus, which Constantine held, until several decades after his death.  But because of how the pagan priests dressed, it was during the reigns of Sylvester and Constantine that the Church of Rome adopted the vestments that they now wear.

Although Edward McNamara is referring to the dalmatic as part of the proper vestment for deacons during Catholic mass, this most certainly does not come from the Bible nor the practices of the early followers of Christ.

Notice what was written by a former Roman Catholic priest named Peter de Rosa:

Rome…successors will be not the servants but the masters of the world. They will dress in purple like Nero and call themselves Pontifex Maximus…

By the time Stephen III became pope, the church was thoroughly converted to the Roman Empire. From the Donation, it is plain that the Bishop of Rome looked like Constantine, lived like him, dressed liked him, inhabited his palaces, ruled over his lands, had exactly the same imperial outlook. The pope, too, wanted to lord it over church and state. (De Rosa, Peter. Vicars of Christ. Poolberg Press, Dublin, 2000, pp. 34,45).

Pontifex Maximus was a title, literally meaning bridge-builder (but figuratively meaning the link between God and man) that Roman Emperors, including Constantine, used for themselves. Emperor Constantine had been a follower of Mithras, and apparently influenced many of the Greco-Roman clergy to dress like the clergy of Mithraism. Why else would Bishop Sylvester do this as it was not from the Bible?  This was an obvious change to the practices of the original Christian leaders (see also Do You Practice Mithraism?).

Much of the Greco-Roman clergy wears distinctive robes, but notice that Jesus even denounced religious leaders of His day for doing so:

38 In his teaching he said, ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes, to be greeted respectfully in the market squares, 39 to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets; 40 these are the men who devour the property of widows and for show offer long prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’ (Mark 12:38, NJB)

6 ‘Beware of the scribes who like to walk about in long robes and love to be greeted respectfully in the market squares, to take the front seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at banquets, 47 who devour the property of widows, and for show offer long prayers. The more severe will be the sentence they receive.’ (Luke 20:46-47)

So, twice in Catholic translations of the Bible, dressing in distinctive robes is condemned. Also, it appears that the practice of priests trying to get money from widows related to ‘purgatory‘ would also seem to be being specifically condemned by Jesus.

Furthermore, the New Testament has a warning about appearing effeminate.  The following is from a Catholic translation of the Bible:

9 Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, 10 Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.

11 And such some of you were; but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Douay-Rheims)

Furthermore, the Bible (using another Catholic translation) warns:

15 Do not love the world or the things of the world.If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, sensual lust, enticement for the eyes, and a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever. (1 John 2:15-17, NABRE)

Yet, Bishop Sylvester was enticed and chose pretentious garments, not from the Father, from the world.  Every time one sees a Roman Catholic, Anglican/Episcopal, or Eastern Orthodox clergyman dressed in their typical ecclesiastical vestments, realize that they are outwardly displaying compromise that earlier leaders made with Emperor Constantine and his pagan religion in the fourth century.

None of the commonly used external vestments by the clergies of those religions came from the Bible nor the original apostles.

The Greco-Roman faiths are NOT the continuation of the original Christian religion.

 

Some items of possibly related interest may including the following:

Were the Early Duties of Elders/Pastors Mainly Sacramental? What was there Dress? Were the duties of the clergy primarily pastoral or sacramental? Did the clergy dress with special liturgical vestments? Can “bishops” be disqualified as ministers of Christ based on their head coverings?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
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?
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!
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.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the 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!
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.
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?
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. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Catholic scholars admit Linus was not a Pope

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

History of Early Christianity

COGwriter

September 23rd is the day recognized by the Catholics of Rome to honor Linus of Rome. Typically he is shown second on the list of bishops that purport to show the Roman Catholic pontiffs. For information about him in the Spanish language, check out Linus no fue obispo de Roma.

There is an individual named Linus in the Bible. He is mentioned one time. Here is the only passage that mentions him:

Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick. Do your utmost to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, as well as Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brethren. The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen (2 Timothy 4:19-22).

The above was probably written, in approximately 67 A.D. – 68 A.D., by the Apostle Paul while in prison in Rome to the evangelist Timothy, who was in Ephesus.

This shows that Paul knew someone named Linus. Linus, therefore knew Paul, and was in Rome when Paul wrote this letter. It can probably be reasonably implied that Linus probably knew Timothy, and perhaps others in Ephesus. And based on Paul’s writings, it can be concluded that Paul, at that time, considered that particular Linus to be a Christian. It is probably logical to conclude that Linus met with Paul in prison on multiple occasions and probably, like the others, assisted him to some degree.

What it does not show is that Linus was to be the leader of those in Rome or ordained by Peter. Others are listed before him, hence, at least at the time Paul wrote this letter, there is no preeminence for Linus in Rome (and it should be noted that one of the proofs that Rome often cites to prove that Peter had preeminence is that Peter was quite often listed first in various New Testament passages involving multiple people). Linus simply was one of many who knew and probably assisted the Apostle Paul. The lack of emphasis/preeminence in Paul’s writings would seem to suggest that Linus could not have been the one to become the “bishop of Rome” and the successor of Peter and Paul in 67 A.D. Especially since it is believed that the Apostle Paul probably did not die until 68 A.D.

Whether or not this is the same individual named Linus that many Roman Catholics consider to be the first pope (the first “bishop of Rome”) to succeed Peter cannot be determined from the passages in 2 Timothy. This is confirmed by Catholic scholars, such as J.P. Kirsch, who wrote:

We cannot be positive whether this identification of the pope as being the Linus mentioned in II Timothy 4:21, goes back to an ancient and reliable source, or originated later on account of the similarity of the name (Kirsch J.P. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Linus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IX. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York).

But it seems that even if the Roman Catholics are referring to the same person, that he was not the one who was going to immediately become THE bishop of Rome–if he was it would be logical if Paul would have given Linus some special mention. Instead, he is simply grouped in with several others in Rome at that time (nor is Linus even mentioned first).

There are several demonstrably incorrect claims made about him by some in the Church of Rome. For example, here is something from a book I purchased in Vatican City:

2. LINUS, ST. (67-76)…He was the first to take up the inheritance of St. Peter…He made disposition for women to be admitted to the holy places and attend functions with their heads covered…He was buried beside St. Peter in the first Vatican burial spot. It is certain that he did exist while some have thrown doubt on his election to the pontificate. (Lopes A. The Popes: The lives of the pontiffs through 2000 years of history. Futura Edizoni as sponsored by the Pontifical Administration, Roma, 1997, p. 1)

The main historical fact is that Linus’ name showed up on a list. Not that he was Peter’s successor.

Here is some of what the Catholic scholar J.P. Kirsch wrote in The Catholic Encyclopedia about Linus:

The “Liber Pontificalis” asserts that Linus’s home was in Tuscany, and that his father’s name was Herculanus; but we cannot discover the origin of this assertion. According to the same work on the popes, Linus is supposed to have issued a decree “in conformity with the ordinance of St. Peter”, that women should have their heads covered in church. Without doubt this decree is apocryphal, and copied by the author of the “Liber Pontificalis” from the first Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians (11:5) and arbitrarily attributed to the first successor of the Apostle in Rome. The statement made in the same source, that Linus suffered martyrdom, cannot be proved and is improbable. (Kirsch J.P. Transcribed by Gerard Haffner. Pope St. Linus. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XI. Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company. Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York)

Much about Linus is more than improbable.

Netherland’s Priest Roderick Vonhögen is the Chief Executive Officer of a pro-Catholic media group (SQPN) which correctly teaches, “Pope Saint Linus…ancient documents about his papacy have proven to be inaccurate or apocryphal” (Pope Saint Linus. saints.sqpn.com/saintl23.htm, viewed 09/18/12).

Yet, Linus is claimed to have been the first successor of Peter and head of all Christendom by the Church of Rome.

Here is what John O’Malley, a Jesuit Priest and Catholic historian, published:

The earliest lists of popes begin, not with Peter, but with a man named Linus. The reason Peter’s name was not listed was because he was an apostle, which was a super-category, much superior to pope or bishop…

The Christian community at Rome well into the second century operated as a collection of separate communites without any central structure…Rome was a constellation of house churches, independent of one another, each of which was loosely governed by an elder. The communities thus basically followed the pattern of the Jewish synagogues out of which they developed. (O’Malley JW. A History of the Popes. Sheed & Ward, 2009, p. 11)

It should be pointed out that the Apostle John outlived Linus and some of the others considered to have been early “popes.” Thus, the above admission is consistent with the Church of God view that the leadership of the Christian church in the late first century was clearly in Asia Minor, and not Rome, as that is where the Apostle John was based.

It should also be mentioned that none of the Roman Bishops took the title Pope until the late 4th century, so there is no way that Linus was Pope Linus.

Anyway, there likely was a genuine Church of God Christian leader in Rome named Linus who may have been an elder. Since there is no contemporary biblical nor other historical evidence that Rome had a bishop over it then, etc. Linus was certainly not the “Bishop of Rome” who somehow supposedly succeeded the Apostle Peter. Catholics and others might be surprised to learn that the first known “Bishop of Rome” did not take that title until the mid-second century and that title “Pope” or Pontificus Maximus was not taken by the bishops of Rome until the late fourth century.

Some items of possibly related interest may including the following:

“Pope” Linus (67-76)…He is claimed to be the first to take up the inheritance from Peter, but he is omitted from Tertullian’s list. There is a Linus mentioned in the Bible. For some information about him in the Spanish language, check out Linus no fue obispo de Roma.
Was Peter the Rock Who Alone Received the Keys of the Kingdom? How should Matthew 16:18-19 be understood?
The Apostle Peter He was an original apostle and early Christian leader. Where was Peter buried? Where did Peter die?
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.
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Should Christians be Nazarenes today? What were the practices of the 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!
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.
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?
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. A related sermon link would be Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.