Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

US Supreme Court delivers another blow to ‘freedom of religion’

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016


The US Bill of Rights

COGwriter

In another sign of the times, yesterday the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against religious freedom:

June 28, 2016

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday turned away an appeal by a family-owned pharmacy that cited Christian beliefs in objecting to providing emergency contraceptives to women under a Washington state rule, prompting a searing dissent by conservative Justice Samuel Alito.

The justices left in place a July 2015 ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a state regulation that requires pharmacies to deliver all prescribed drugs, including contraceptives, in a timely manner.

Three conservatives among the eight justices argued that the court should have agreed to hear the appeal by the Stormans family, which owns Ralph’s Thriftway grocery story and pharmacy in Olympia.

Alito, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas, said the court’s decision not to hear it is “an ominous sign” for the future of religious liberty claims.

“If this is a sign of how religious liberty claims will be treated in the years ahead, those who value religious freedom have cause for great concern,” Alito added.

The court may be less likely to rule in favor of people making such claims following February’s death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, especially if he is replaced by a liberal appointee. …

“Americans should be free to peacefully live and work consistent with their faith without fear of unjust punishment, and no one should be forced to participate in the taking of human life,” said Kristen Waggoner, a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative Christian legal group representing the Stormans. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-religion-idUSKCN0ZE1PM

Notice what the first amendment to the US Constitution, as part of its so-called Bill of Rights, states:

  • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Despite that amendment, the Court has ruled that laws that require people to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs have to be violated–and basically that means on matters of abortion and homosexuality.

Notice also the following report:

June 28, 2016

It started out with hints of official, United States governmental oppression of Christianity as soon as same-sex “marriage” became a bullet point for activists – little things like “discrimination” complaints that those choosing alternative sexual lifestyles somehow weren’t applauded as they thought they deserved.

Then it became confrontational for Christians who were simply choosing to live by their beliefs – beliefs similar to those held by the nation’s founders. Bakers were penalized for not promoting homosexuality, ditto for photographers and venue owners. Government officials publicly vilified their Christian faith and ordered them, in some case, re-educated.

Now two rulings have been released that cement the American court system’s determination that Christians must not be allowed, under threat of penalty and punishment, to live as they believe in business or in public life.

Specifically, the U.S. Supreme Court left standing a lower court decision that Washington state pharmacists who are Christian must violate their faith in order to practice their profession. And the second decision came from a federal judge in Mississippi who had established a reputation for ruling against Christians who said county clerks in the state must violate their faith in order to hold their office.

The move has alarmed people even inside the Supreme Court, where Justice Samuel Alito warned that, in the case against the pharmacists, there even was evidence that the “impetus for the adoption of the regulations was hostility to pharmacists whose religious beliefs regarding abortion and contraception are out of step with prevailing opinion in the state.”

Even that, however, was not enough to draw concerns about religious liberties from a majority on the nation’s highest court.

And in the Mississippi ruling from Judge Carlton Reeves, who once reached out into an optional awards ceremony even to punish a school district for allowing a voluntary prayer, said clerks in the state cannot use their own religious beliefs to excuse themselves from issuing marriage licenses to homosexual duos.

Ever. http://www.wnd.com/2016/06/courts-say-living-by-christian-faith-illegal/#YuAQlzfzBR6QZgBF.99

And it is getting worse and worse all across the USA. Let me state that when it comes to keeping the Sabbath, paying for abortion, objecting to aspects of the LGBTQ agenda, speaking out on moral issues, the courts in the USA have been making rules that have prohibited the free exercise of religion. This will worsen and the time will come when there is a famine of the word (watch also Famine of the Word?).

Citizens of the USA are not truly free and are losing more and more basic rights and freedoms that they once had.

The reality is the USA does not truly abide by its Constitution any more.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Abortion, the Bible, and a Woman’s Right to Choose Do you know what the Bible teaches on this? Has the Roman Catholic Church allowed abortions? What about the real Church of God? Some may also, or instead, wish to view the YouTube video Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt.
Cross-dressing and other assaults against your children. What should you do? Is there an agenda to turn your children and/or grandchildren away from biblical morality and towards practices promoted by homosexuals? What does the Bible teach about cross-dressing? What should parents do? If there is an agenda, what has been going on? There are also two YouTube videos related to this, titled Transgender ‘Woe to those who call evil good’ and Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children.
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality? Can homosexuals change? A related video sermon is titled: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
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?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West?
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Edition for Second Obama Term This is a 160 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Barack Obama and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled (which the book documents in detail) and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also has a chapter about a Republican choice. This book is available to order at www.barackobamaprophecy.com. The physical book can also be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Barack Obama Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Kenyan, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Republican Leaders? Second Edition for Second Obama Term.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition.
Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States This is a 200 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Hillary Clinton and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also discusses Republicans. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States, 2nd edition: Is Hillary Clinton Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Hopi, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Donald Trump? $11.99.
Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon 2nd Kindle edition This electronic version of the 200 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon 2nd Kindle edition.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.

Peter, Paul, Francis, and the Greek Orthodox

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016


Improperly Claimed Tomb of Peter

COGwriter

Today is the day the Greco-Roman churches observe combined day for the Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul:

June 29 marks the day of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Pavel (Paul) in the Bulgarian Orthodox calendar.

The feast day commemorates the martyrdom of the two great Apostles, assigned by tradition to the same day of June in the year 67. http://www.novinite.com/articles/161691/Bulgarians+Celebrate+Saints+Peter+and+Paul%E2%80%99s+Day#sthash.TMNyThUG.dpuf

Pope Francis said the following about it last year:

On this Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the principal patrons of Rome, we welcome with joy and gratitude the Delegation sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch, our venerable and beloved brother Bartholomaios, and led by Metropolitan Ioannis. Let us ask the Lord that this visit too may strengthen our fraternal bonds as we journey toward that full communion between the two sister Churches which we so greatly desire. http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2014/06/29/homily_for_the_solemnity_of_saints_peter_and_paul/1102327

Pope Francis called Peter and Paul patrons of Rome and again pushed for full unity with the Eastern Orthodox.  He also made comments about it yesterday (see Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew, Cardinal Koch, and the ‘Great and Holy Council’).

Interestingly, according to certain Catholic and Eastern Orthodox scholars and priests, Peter and Paul were not the patrons/founders of the Church in Rome.

Here are some Roman Catholic sources:

Neither Peter nor Paul founded the Church at Rome, for there were Christians in the city before either of the Apostles set foot there. Nor can we assume, as Irenaeus did, that the Apostles established there a succession of bishops to carry on their work in the city, for all the indications are that there was no single bishop at Rome for almost a century after the deaths of the Apostles. In fact, where ever we turn, the solid outlines of the petrine succession at Rome seem to blur and dissolve…

Neither Paul, Acts nor any of the Gospels tells us anything direct about Peter’s death, and none of them even hints that the special role of Peter could be passed on to any single ‘successor’. There is, therefore, nothing directly approaching a papal theory in the pages of the New Testament (Duffy, Eamon. Saints & Sinners: A History of the Popes. Yale University Press, New Haven (CT), 2002, pp.2,6).

Antonio Ferrua …was the Jesuit archaeologist responsible for uncovering what is believed to be the tomb of St Peter in the grottoes under St Peter’s Basilica in Rome…Ferrua was more circumspect. Aware of the scepticism that surrounded even the analysis of the Greek fragment – which others had read as Petros endei or “Peter is not here” – he recently told the Italian Catholic newspaper L’Avvenire that he was “not convinced” that the saint’s bones had been found…A man of deep faith, Ferrua was a rigorous scholar, much admired for his refusal to allow his beliefs to compromise his work (The Rev Antonio Ferrua. Telegraph, London – May 29, 2003 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1431338/The-Rev-Antonio-Ferrua.html viewed 07/20/09)

Irenaeus focuses on the church of Rome which he describes as “greatest, most ancient and known to all, founded and established by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul.” Here we must acknowledge a bit of rhetoric, as the church of Rome was obviously not so ancient as those of Jerusalem or Antioch, nor was it actually founded by Peter or Paul (Sullivan F.A. From Apostles to Bishops: the development of the episcopacy in the early church. Newman Press, Mahwah (NJ), 2001, p. 147).

ALTHOUGH CATHOLIC TRADITION, BEGINNING IN the late second and early third centuries, regards St. Peter as the first bishop of Rome and, therefore, as the first pope, there is no evidence that Peter was involved in the initial establishment of the Christian community in Rome (indeed, what evidence there is would seem to point in the opposite direction) or that he served as Rome’s first bishop. (McBrien, Richard P. Lives of the Popes: The Pontiffs from St. Peter to Benedict XVI. Harper, San Francisco, 2005 updated ed., p.25).

Some of the Eastern/Greek Orthodox use even stronger terms:

From the outset we must clarify that we Orthodox, not taking part in the politically correct spirit of western and especially ecumenist “Christianity,” do not refer to those religious communities who have, sadly, been separated from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church as “Churches.” But, following the example of our Holy Fathers throughout the ages, refer to them as heretics, and you, Your Excellency, and your followers, we denominate as “Papists” and your heresy as “Papism.”…

That the Apostle Peter did not travel to Rome after the composition of his first epistle is witnessed to in his second catholic epistle, understanding , of course, that this epistle was obviously written for the Gentile Christians, whereas the first was written for the Jewish Christians. In this epistle there is also no mention of city of Rome.

Finally, the fact that, near the end of his life, the Apostle Peter did not journey to Rome is verified by the Apostle Paul’s second epistle to Timothy, in which he writes: “At my first defense no one took my part; all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength to proclaim the message fully, that all the Gentiles might hear it.” From this epistle of the Apostle Paul, which was written near the end of his life, it is clearly verified, that during its writing, the Apostle Peter was not in Rome, otherwise the Apostle Paul would out of necessity have mentioned it.

Moreover, it is clear that before the composition of this epistle, the Apostle Peter had not traveled to Rome. If he had already preached there it would not be possible for the Apostle Paul to write that “also in Rome the Gentiles were taught and heard the preaching by him.”

When we add to these Biblical witnesses all that is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles regarding the Apostle Paul’s first journey to Rome, something that we will expand upon shortly, along with his epistle to the Romans, we come to the indubitable conclusion that, before the Apostle Paul’s first journey to Rome and also before the composition of his second epistle to Timothy, the Apostle Peter had not traveled to Rome…

Regardless, however, of the time and place of the death of the Chiefs of the Apostles, in our opinion, the most significant witness to the fact that the Apostle Peter did not travel to Rome before the Apostle Paul, and therefore that he did not found the Church in Rome, is concluded from the juxtaposition of the epistle to the Romans with the Acts of the Apostles regarding the Apostle Paul’s first journey to Rome…

Consequently, the Apostle Peter had not journeyed to Rome before the composition of this epistle, that is, before 58 A.D. Perhaps he made the journey during the two – year period that intervened between the writing of the epistle and the Apostle Paul’s first visit to Rome? For us, that which is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles regarding the Apostle Paul’s first visit to Rome, and his subsequent two – year stay, rules this out completely…

As for the fifth detail, that Peter and Paul meet their end at the same time (in Rome), we find no witnesses save apocryphal sources, which are bereft of validity…The witness of Origen regarding the death of Paul in Rome under Nero is refuted by Clement of Rome, who wrote “and come to the extreme limit of the West, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects.”…

And so, it is nowhere proved that the Apostle Peter traveled to Rome, nor that he preached and died there. Rather the opposite is witnessed to by the Holy Scriptures and Ecclesiastical History…

After reading the above, your recent presentation of the alleged Holy Relics of the Apostle Peter, unknown for two centuries, strikingly presents the tragic character of your religious system…

With respect,

+ Andrew of Dryinoupolis, Pogoniani and Konitsa

+ Seraphim of Piraeus and Faliro

(Letter to Francis. HOLY AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CATHOLIC CHURCH OF GREECE. April 10, 2014, pp. 1, 37, 41, 45-56, 89. http://cdn.romfea.gr/images/stories/photos/2014/4/romfea1/spiti/Epistle%20to%20Pope%20Francis%20I.pdf viewed 04/21/2014)

Yet, despite the fact that the Apostle Peter is not buried in St. Peter’s, etc., the Eastern Orthodox will end up with unity with the Church of Rome. Both biblical and Catholic prophecies warn this will happen, and although much of the media will endorse this, it will not be good for the Roman nor Eastern Orthodox Catholics, nor the Protestants for that matter.

As far as the Protestant go, there was another meeting with them a few days ago. Charismatic Ken Copeland and others met with the Pope (the original report is in Italian, with the machine-translated English version below it):

Francesco si è incontrato con degli importanti ‘leaders evangelici’ per pianificare l’alleanza tra la Chiesa Cattolica Romana e gli Evangelici, o meglio sancire una «unità nella diversità». L’incontro si è tenuto il 24 giugno 2014 in Vaticano presso il Palazzo Santa Marta. Ecco i nomi di coloro che si sono incontrati con lui: John e Carol Arnott (fondatori di Catch The Fire), Kenneth Copeland (fondatore di KCM Ministries), James Robison (fondatore di Life Outreach Int.), Geoff Tunnicliffe (Capo della Worldwide Evangelical Alliance ossia l’Alleanza Evangelica Mondiale). C’era anche Tony Palmer (Vescovo della Communion Evangelical Episcopal Churches)…

USCITE E SEPARATEVI DALL’AEI. Guardatevi e ritiratevi da tutti coloro che promuovono questa diabolica alleanza o unità nella diversità.

Chi ha orecchi da udire, oda (http://giacintobutindaro.org/2014/06/26/francesco-incontra-predicatori-pentecostali/)

June 26, 2014

Francis met with the important ‘evangelical leaders’ plan for the alliance between the Roman Catholic Church and the Evangelical, or rather establish a “unity in diversity”. The meeting was held at the Vatican June 24, 2014 at the Palace of Santa Marta. Here are the names of those who met with him: John and Carol Arnott (founder of Catch The Fire), Kenneth Copeland (founder of KCM Ministries), James Robison (founder of Life Outreach Int), Geoff Tunnicliffe (Head of Worldwide Evangelical Alliance that is the World Evangelical Alliance). There was also Tony Palmer (Bishop Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches)…

Shameful and scandalous.

LEAVE AND SEPARATE FROM THE AEI { l’Alleanza Evangelica Italiana}. Look and turn away from all those who promote this unholy alliance or unity in diversity.

The ecumenical movement is going forward, though some few are realizing some of the dangers of it.

Some Protestants and some Eastern Orthodox keep trying to have ecumenical unity with Rome. Sadly, many more of them will join in this disastrous unity as well.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? A related video would be United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 in the first century to the 21st century. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?.
The ‘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?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2015, 2016, or 2017? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2014 o 2015? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
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?
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?
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”?
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.

Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew, Cardinal Koch, and the ‘Great and Holy Council’

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016


Patriarch Bartholomew, Pope Francis, & Cardinal Koch

COGwriter

Pope Francis gave a message to Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople today:

June 28, 2016

With joy and affection I offer you a heartfelt welcome on the occasion of the Solemnity of the Holy Patrons of the Church of Rome, the Apostles Peter and Paul. I thank you for your presence and I ask you to convey my deep gratitude to His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and to the Holy Synod for sending a distinguished Delegation to share our joy on this Solemnity. …

I rejoice that this coming September the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church will meet once again. The task of this Commission is indeed precious; let us pray the Lord for the fruitfulness of its work. I also offer a special remembrance in my prayers for you, dear Archbishop Job, appointed the Orthodox Co-President of the Commission, and I express my profound gratitude to Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamum, who has long carried out this delicate task with dedication and competence. I thank the Lord that this past April I was able to meet my beloved brother Bartholomew when, together with the Archbishop of Athens and of All Greece, His Beatitude Ieronymos II, we visited the Isle of Lesvos …

Your Eminence, dear brothers, the celebration of the Pan-Orthodox Council has recently concluded at Crete. Together with many of our Catholic brothers and sisters, and other Christians, I accompanied with my prayers the immediate preparation and the unfolding of the Council. Cardinal Koch and Bishop Farrell, who participated in the historic event as fraternal observers of the Catholic Church, have just returned from Crete; they will be able to inform me about the Council and the resolutions it adopted. May the Holy Spirit bring forth from this event abundant fruits for the good of the Church. https://zenit.org/articles/pope-francis-address-to-delegation-of-the-ecumenical-patriarchate-of-constantinople-2/

Although the ‘Council’ was supposed to be for unity of the Eastern Orthodox, Russian Patriarch Kirill refused to attend, but Cardinal Koch did. The Roman Catholic Cardinal Kurt Koch holds the title of president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Cardinal Koch has been someone I have wondered about for years if he might be the final Antichrist.  His job and his presence at various events continues to make him a suspect.

Now what about this Eastern Orthodox Council?

Well, it finished this week.  Here is a report that came out yesterday:

Orthodox church leaders urge Mideast Christians’ protection; warn of genetics’ experimentation

June 27, 2016

Their June 26 message came as they concluded a historic meeting of Orthodox church leaders on the island of Crete in Greece, the first of its kind in 1,200 years.

At the end of the week-long Orthodox Holy and Great Council the church leaders said, “The Orthodox Church is particularly concerned about the situation facing Christians and other persecuted ethnic and religious minorities in the Middle East.” …

The Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who represents more than 100 million Orthodox Christians, refused to attend the meeting, asserting that there were insufficient preparations. . . .

Aside from Russia, the Orthodox churches of Bulgaria and Georgia were absent. The Syria-based Antioch patriarchate also stayed away.

There are 14 such autocephalous or autonomous churches worldwide, with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, considered as their spiritual head or the “first among equals.”

The Russian Orthodox Church has the biggest number of followers of all the Orthodox churches. …

At the historic council, the church leaders also voiced concern over the “negative consequences of scientific progress” and “moral dilemmas” caused by rapid advances in genetics and biotechnology.

“Man is experimenting ever more intensively with his own very nature in an extreme and dangerous way. He is in danger of being turned into a biological machine, into an impersonal social unit or into a mechanical device of controlled thought,” the council leaders stated.

Before going further, let me state that I agree with the conclusion of the Council that genetic experiments (like Genetically-modified organisms, see Chimeras: Has Science Crossed the Line? and GMOs and Bible Prophecy) pose a real danger.

In a different way, however, the objective of this ‘ecumenical’ Council posed prophetic dangers.

Now, originally this was supposed to be the ’8th ecumenical council’ and held at the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (ancient Constantinople). But supposedly because of issues with the Russians and Turkey, this changed.. The Hagai Sophia was the world’s largest church building for about 1000 years.

If it had remained (and truly became) the ‘eight ecumenical council’ and not just the Orthodox Holy and Great Council, it could have had massive prophetic significance, for an Eastern Orthodox perspective.

Notice one of their predictions from centuries ago:

Saint Nelios the Myrrh-Gusher (died 1592): During that time the Eighth and last Ecumenical Synod will take place, which will satisfy the contentions of the heretics…(Tzima Otto, H. The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Scriptural Prophecies. Verenikia Press, Rock Hill (SC), 2000, p. 111).

By satisfying “heretics,” clearly this council is prophesied to compromise and change the religion, which will be called “Catholic.” The originally proposed  meeting for June was supposed to be an “ecumenical council,” not a “holy synod” (see Orthodox agree to eighth ecumenical council: If Orthodox prophecy is correct on it, this council marks a major step towards the end!).

Some Orthodox look forward to this “eighth ecumenical council,” but also expect an antipope near then:

Helen Tzima Otto (20th century): We have been told time and time again through the prophets that the Great Monarch and Papa Angelorum…will convene the 8th Ecumenical Council, which will reunify all Christians…The Emperor will spend three years waging wars against the non-Christian nations…{later will be} the end time schism of the Roman Catholic Church of the End Times and the rise of an antipope. (Tzima Otto, pp. xxv, 103, 122)

Apparently the “non-Christian nations” will be those that do not desire to be part of the ecumenical church that is to form.

The reality is that the drive towards ecumenical unity between the Catholics of Rome, the Greek/Eastern Orthodox, and various Protestants is happening. The pace seems to be picking up.

Sadly, the ecumenical agenda will temporarily succeed.

Pope Francis is an ecumenically-oriented pontiff, and Bartholomew is perhaps the most ecumenically-oriented top Eastern Orthodox patriarch in centuries. They get along well and seem to have similar objectives.

The Bible and Roman Catholic writings warn against the type of ecumenical unity that Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis want. As bizarre as this will seem to some who understand certain end-time biblical prophecies, the Eastern Orthodox actually look forward to a time of a new Babylon:

Monk Leontios (died 543): Rejoice, oh most unhappy one, oh New Babylon!…You, who are the New Babylon rejoice now on behalf of Zion! New Babylon, dance, bounce and leap greatly, make known even those in Haydes what a Grace you have received. Because that peace which was yours to enjoy in times past, and which God has deprived you of in course of battles, receive it once more from the hand of an Angel…oh, the City of Seven Hills the dominion will be yours. (Tzima Otto, H. The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Scriptural Prophecies. Verenikia Press, Rock Hill (SC), 2000, pp. 82-83).

This is something that the Bible and at least one Catholic priest have warned against:

2…Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” 4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. (Revelation 18:2-5)

6 “Up, up! Flee from the land of the north,” says the Lord; “for I have spread you abroad like the four winds of heaven,” says the Lord. 7 “Up, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.” (Zechariah 2:6-7)

Priest H. Kramer (20th century): In the vision of the Seer now appears a second beast rising out of the earth, having two horns like a lamb but speaking like a dragon…In other places he is called the false prophet…This prophet may re-establish the pagan Roman Empire and build the “Great Harlot”, Babylon… The False Prophet…will persuade all infidels, apostates and apostate nations to worship and adore him…Antichrist “sitteth in the temple of God” (I Thes. II. 4). This is not the ancient Temple in Jerusalem…this temple is shown to be a Catholic Church…The False Prophet will proclaim the resurrection of the Roman Empire. (Kramer H., p. 318,320-323)

Despite biblical and other warnings, Pope Francis, Cardinal Koch, and Patriarch Bartholomew seem determined to help fulfill prophecies that warn against what they are trying to do (watch also Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?).

Such unity will be dangerous for both the Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox. In time, expect signs and lying wonders to be a deceptive factor in this occurrence (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9).

Those who truly believe the Bible will have no part of it.

Some items of related interest may include:

Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! and World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Certain Catholic writings indicate this, while others take a different view, but what does the Bible show? A related sermon is Will Jesus Christ be called the Antichrist?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? A related video would be United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
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?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman” An Irish bishop allegedly predicted something about 112 popes in the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI was number 111. Francis would seem to be number 112–if he is that one–and if so, he is to reign until Rome is destroyed. May he be an antipope/final Antichrist?

Islamic Terrorism and Barack Obama

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

The chart above is in a report published by Duke University titled “Muslim-American Involvement in Violent Extremism, 2015”

COGwriter

Someone forwarded me an anonymous email today that contained the following:

The war started in the 7th century and lasted through the 17th century. I would contend it never stopped but historically the facts below are correct.

This is why I choke when I hear someone say we will defeat or contain these Islamic terrorists in a few years  (or even 30 years as recently stated by Leon Panetta).

If the latest batch of murders, beheadings, and killing of innocent Christians has shocked you, maybe you should read this compilation of historical facts about the hatred of Muslims.

In 732 A.D.      the Muslim Army, which was moving on Paris, was defeated and turned back at Tours, France, by Charles Martell.

In 1571 A.D.    the Muslim Army/Navy was defeated by the Italians and Austrians as they tried to cross the Mediterranean to attack southern Europe in the Battle of Lepanto.

In 1683 A.D.    the Turkish Muslim Army, attacking Eastern Europe, was finally defeated in the Battle of Vienna by German and Polish Christian Armies. …

Reflecting:  A lot of Americans have become so insulated from reality that they imagine that America can suffer defeat without any inconvenience to themselves. Pause a moment and reflect back. 

These events are actual events from history. They really happened!  Do you remember?   

The following list is VERY incomplete.  President Jefferson had to deal with this early on.

 48 years since 1968 and this just keeps going on and on.

1. In 1968,   Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by a Muslim male. 

2. In 1972,          at the Munich Olympics, Israeli athletes were kidnapped and massacred by Muslim males.

3. In 1972,           a Pan Am 747 was hijacked and eventually diverted to Cairo where a fuse was lit on final approach. Shortly after landing it was blown up by Muslim males.

4. In 1973,           a Pan Am 707 was destroyed in Rome, with 33 people killed, when it was attacked with grenades by Muslim males.

5. In 1979,         the US embassy in Iran was taken over by Muslim males.

6. During the 1980′s                  a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by Muslim males.

7. In 1983,            the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by Muslim males.

8. In 1985,          the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70-year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by Muslim males.

9. In 1985,         TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by Muslim males.

10. In 1988,      Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by Muslim males.

11. In 1993,       the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by Muslim males.

12. In 1998,     the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by Muslim males.

13. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take down the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by Muslim males.

14. In 2002,     the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against Muslim males.

15. In 2002, reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and beheaded by – you guessed it – a Muslim male. (Plus two other American journalists who were just recently beheaded).

16. In 2013,     the Boston Marathon Bombing resulted in 4 Innocent people, (including a child) being killed and 264 people injured by Muslim males.

No Obama, I really don’t see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you?

So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us,  airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people.

So, ask yourself “Just how stupid are we???”

Absolutely No Profiling!

They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the Obama’s security detail, 85-year-old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winner and former Governor Joe Foss, BUT……..leave Muslim Males alone lest we be guilty of profiling. 

Ask yourself, “Just how stupid are we?” Have the American people completely lost their minds or just their Power of Reason???

Perhaps it should be added here that the Church of Rome and the Eastern Orthodox were involved in battles against Islam, and started the Crusades. And that many of the early airline hijackings were NOT done by Muslim males. So not all terrorism has been caused by Muslim males.

That being said, there certainly has been problems from Islamic terrorists.

When the Orlando shootings happened, I quickly referred to what occurred as Islamic terrorism (see Muslim terrorist kills around 50 at homosexual night club in Orlando, Florida), but US President Barack Obama, who had more information available than I did, but also would have had the information I was able to access, refused to call it an act of Islamic terrorism.  But it was.

There is a chart at the beginning of this post about Islamic terrorists and suspects in the USA.  Notice the increase that began in 2009, the year that Barack Obama took office.  Also notice the following comments about the chart:

Barack Obama and his political appointees and cabinet members have been trying for more than five years to explain away the jihadi threat to America and misdirect your understanding of how serious the dangers are. To quote my good friend Tom Joscelyn at The Long War Journal, it is a systematic effort to make you, “disconnect the dots.” …

Figure One shows how many jihadi plots there have been in America since September 11th. As you can see, 2015 saw the greatest number of jihadi plots on U.S. soil since those horrific events in Manhattan, Washington, and Pennsylvania. This is despite the fact that just days before the San Bernardino attack, both President Obama and Secretary Kerry announced that ISIS is “contained” and “we are winning!” http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/06/24/6-things-obama-doesnt-want-know-isis/

The Muslim sympathizing US President does not want Americans to equate Muslims with terrorism. And although none of the Muslims I have ever known were terrorists (and we always have gotten along well), the reality is that there is a problem of terrorism associated with Islam.

In addition to the email comments shown at the beginning of this post, the following from CBS News was the factor that got me to decide to post about this today:

June 25, 2016

As federal officials continue to investigate any connection the Orlando gunman might have had to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Republican Party is pinning the blame on President Obama for failing to contain and defeat the terrorist group abroad.

“We face a growing and significant threat from ISIL, and contrary to what the administration would have you believe, we face a threat at home and abroad from an ever capable al Qaeda,” Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, said in a video released Saturday, referring to another name for the extremist organization. “We have learned from 15 years at war that we cannot sit back and expect to be protected at home by the great expanse of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.”

Burr, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, criticized the president for simply paying “lip service” to the threat the terror groups pose, rather than taking them seriously.

“The challenge we face today is unlike one we have ever known,” he said. “The terrorists are not new, and their message is not new. It is their leveraging of our freedoms, technology and innovation to kill that makes this new and a real threat. That’s why the Obama administration needs to treat the threat posed by ISIL seriously and lead a campaign to defeat and not merely ‘contain’ the terrorist group.”

“The administration has paid lip service to the threat and has taken small steps in some areas and not in others,” Burr continued. “But it has not directed the full capabilities of this great nation against this problem.”

The North Carolina Republican proposed to “take the fight to” ISIShttp://www.cbsnews.com/news/gop-senator-richard-burr-obama-pays-lip-service-to-isis-threat/

As menti0ned many times on this news page, the Bible tells of a time of terror:

14 ‘But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, 15 and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, 16 I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies. Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. (Leviticus 26:14-17)

25 The sword shall destroy outside; There shall be terror within (Deuteronomy 32:25)

12 “Cry and wail, son of man; For it will be against My people, Against all the princes of Israel. Terrors including the sword will be against My people; Therefore strike your thigh. (Ezekiel 21:12)

12 Behold, these are the ungodly,Who are always at ease; They increase in riches…19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors. (Psalms 73:12,19)

25 Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. (Proverbs 1:25-27)

5 Also they are afraid of height, And of terrors in the way (Ecclesiastes 12:5).

As far as peoples who dominate Islamic lands, notice the following prophecy:

3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
4 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”

5 For they have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You:
6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites;
Moab and the Hagrites;
7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assyria also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot. (Psalms 83:3-8)

Nearly all the above peoples are in lands dominated by Islam (for details of which term means which nation, check out the article Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?)–including lands that the Islamic State is controlling.

Psalm 83 is very likely to involve terrorism.

Why?

Because taking “crafty counsel” sounds like plotting terrorism. Plus there are Islamic writings that encourage terrorism. Notice something from the Qur’an:

003.151
YUSUFALI: Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority: their abode will be the Fire: And evil is the home of the wrong-doers!
PICKTHAL: We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve because they ascribe unto Allah partners, for which no warrant hath been revealed. Their habitation is the Fire, and hapless the abode of the wrong-doers.
SHAKIR: We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, because they set up with Allah that for which He has sent down no authority, and their abode is the fire, and evil is the abode of the unjust. (The Qur’an Translations of the Qur’an, Surah 3: AL-E-IMRAN (THE FAMILY OF ‘IMRAN, THE HOUSE OF ‘IMRAN). Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement. retrieved from http://www.usc.edu/org/cmje/religious-texts/quran/verses/003-qmt.php#003.151 12/04/15)

More items about Islam, war, terror, and deceit, can be found in the article Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God.

Getting back to the Bible, notice also that Psalm 83 teaches a deal will happen involving Assyria (an end time European power), which is prophesied elsewhere to takeover the USA and UK (see also Germany in Biblical Prophecy).

It should also be noted that the Bible tells of a deal to be done between the end time European King of the North and the end time King of the South in Daniel 11:27.  The final King of the South is described as controlling lands that are currently dominated by Islam.  The Bible also teaches that several verses later, the power on the earth with the ‘strongest fortresses,’ which in the 21st century would point to the USA, will be taken over.

While Islamic terrorism will NOT defeat the USA per se, it is very likely to be a factor to weaken the USA and distract it, so the USA will not be able to withstand its prophesied invasion, as the Bible shows it will be defeated.

Now, a few years BEFORE that invasion takes place, the Bible tells of a time of a temporary peace deal in the Middle East in Daniel 9:27 (see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).  This will lull people into thinking that the threat of Islamic terrorism is greatly reduced–which for a time it will be.  But that will not last.  The Bible teaches:

3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:3-6)

The Bible does show us many things that will happen.

It appears that Islamic terrorism, followed by a lull will occur.

While history does not exactly repeat itself, it often displays similar patterns.

Islamic terrorism will continue, even if US President Barack Obama does not want to publicly admit it.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied? What does the Bible teach? Which nations may be affected? Here is a link to a related sermon: Terrorism, Christianity, and Islam.
Terror: Will Paris be Destroyed? The Paris office of Charlie Hebdo were attacked in January 2015 and the City of Paris was hit with multiple terrorist attacks in November 2015. Will Paris be destroyed? Is more terrorism prophesied? Will a successful militaristic leader arise in Europe? What do biblical and Catholic prophecies teach? Could any non-biblical prophecies be devices of Satan that will deceive people about what will happen? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more through scriptures and other writings. This is a video.
Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
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 Prophesied ‘Islamic’ Confederation Where is an Islamic caliphate prophesied? Will one happen? Should you be concerned about it? A related video is Will an Arabic Calphiphate Destroy the West?
Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia in Prophecy What is ahead for North Africa? What does the Bible teach?
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
How Will Middle East Peace be Brought About? Can humans bring peace to the Middle East? Here is a link to a related video: Middle East Peace? When?
The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben: France in Prophecy? What is the origin of this in France? What is prophesied to happen to them? A two-part sermon related to history and prophecy is available online: The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben and France and Prophecy.
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 the Book of Revelation discusses the largest church since the second/third century, which in a real sense is the eighth church mentioned in the Book of Revelation (it also endorses “eighth day” worship). What church would support the Beast? Here is a link to a video titled: Europe and the ‘Holy Roman Empire’.
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 Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing.
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.
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?
Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States This is a 200 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Hillary Clinton and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also discusses Republicans. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States, 2nd edition: Is Hillary Clinton Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Hopi, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Donald Trump? $11.99.
Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon 2nd Kindle edition This electronic version of the 200 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Hillary Clinton, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Amazon 2nd Kindle edition.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Edition for Second Obama Term This is a 160 page book for people truly interested in prophecies related to Barack Obama and the United States, including learning about many that have already been fulfilled (which the book documents in detail) and those that will be fulfilled in the future. It also has a chapter about a Republican choice. This book is available to order at www.barackobamaprophecy.com. The physical book can also be purchased at Amazon from the following link: Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States: Is Barack Obama Fulfilling Biblical, Islamic Catholic, Kenyan, and other America-Related Prophecies? What About Republican Leaders? Second Edition for Second Obama Term.
Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition. This electronic version is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Barack Obama, Prophecy, and the Destruction of the United States-Second Term-Amazon Kindle edition.

What are the origins of the non-indigenous peoples of Canada?

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016


Canadian Coat of Arms

COGwriter

What are the origins of the non-indigenous peoples of Canada?

Since the word ‘Canada’ is not mentioned directly as such in the Bible, in order to find out about Canada in the Bible, we need to try to identify the ancestors of the Canadians. Now, like many nations, Canada is made up of peoples of all races, so to be more specific to Canada, the identity of the primary ancestors of the Canadians needs to be identified.

As far back as the Book of Genesis, God promised Abram that he would be the father of many nations:

As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you (Genesis 17:4-6).

Notice that the promise was for Abraham’s descendants to be “many nations”—this simply is not fulfilled by the split into the two nations of Judah and Israel (1 Kings 12:17-20) in the Old Testament. Also, since Sarah Abraham’s wife was promised to be the mother of “nations” (Genesis 17:16) this shows that there are nations descended from Sarah’s only son Isaac—hence the descendants of Abraham through Ishmael is not what God was referring to.

And Canada is one of those “many nations” that descended from Abraham.

Furthermore, notice what God promised to Sarah’s grandson Jacob:

14 Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed (Genesis 28:14).

11 Also God said to him: “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body (Genesis 35:11).

Thus it should be clear to those willing to see that the descendants of Jacob would include multiple nations, and not be limited to just the area of Palestine. The old British Commonwealth would seem to fit the description of “a company of nations” better than any other group throughout history because of its vast size and its wealth. And the nations of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (who were all part of that Commonwealth) still do to this day.

This expansion to a group of nations simply did not happen to the ancient nations of Judah and Israel in Palestine. Thus, many of the prophecies in the Bible are referring to places other than the tiny nation of Israel in the Middle East.

Moses himself wrote that God promised blessings to Joseph’s sons:

13 And of Joseph he said:

“Blessed of the LORD is his land,
With the precious things of heaven, with the dew,
And the deep lying beneath,
14 With the precious fruits of the sun,
With the precious produce of the months,
15 With the best things of the ancient mountains,
With the precious things of the everlasting hills,
16 With the precious things of the earth and its fullness,
And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush.
Let the blessing come ‘on the head of Joseph,
And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.’
17 His glory is like a firstborn bull,
And his horns like the horns of the wild ox;
Together with them
He shall push the peoples
To the ends of the earth;
They are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
And they are the thousands of Manasseh.” (Deuteronomy 33:13-17).

Thus, blessings were promised to these peoples. These are blessings that history seems to show were given to the British and American-descended peoples.

Furthermore, notice these prophecies for the latter days by Jacob for his descendants:

1 And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:

2 “Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, And listen to Israel your father…

22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough, A fruitful bough by a well; His branches run over the wall.
23 The archers have bitterly grieved him, Shot at him and hated him.
24 But his bow remained in strength, And the arms of his hands were made strong
By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
25 By the God of your father who will help you, And by the Almighty who will bless you
With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26 The blessings of your father Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
They shall be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers (Genesis 49:1-2,22-26).

It is only the United States and the groups of English nations now composed of the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand who have historically fulfilled these prophecies given to Abraham and his descendants (and they are separated from their “brothers” on continental Europe). Perhaps it should be pointed out that a “fruitful bough” with “branches run over the wall” implies a colonizing people–and perhaps no peoples did more colonizing than the British.

Jacob also taught about two of Joseph’s sons:

16 Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them, And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth…

19 “…He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.” 20 So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will bless, saying, ‘May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!’ ” (Genesis 48:19-20).

It should also be mentioned that since Jacob’s name was changed to Israel (Genesis 32:28), that in the first statement above he is clearly indicating that biblically one or both of the sons of Joseph could be referred to by the name Israel. And although Manasseh was born first, God had Jacob give the “right hand” blessing to Ephraim (Genesis 48:13-14) and God later declared, “Ephraim is my firstborn” (Jeremiah 31:9). This may be why Ephraim (the British Commonwealth, including Canada) emerged as a major power before the USA (and of course it lost its position as the top international power).

Notice also the following related to origins:

JOSEPH – Canada.

Canada, on the whole, belongs to the Domain of Joseph.

The motto means from “Sea to Sea” and refers to the extent of Canada’s area but the phrase itself is a quotation from the Bible where it is used three times, once (Amos 8 12-13) describing the future thirst before the Messianic era and twice (Zechariah 9:10 and Psalms 72:8) in conjunction with the Reign of Messiah in the Future. (Davidy Y. The Tribes. Rabbinical approbation: Rabbi Abraham Feld of the Maccabee Institute Jerusalem, July 4, 1993. Russell-Davis Publishers, Hebron (Israel), pp. 390-392)

While I would have preferred that the above author specified ‘millennial era’ as opposed to ‘Messianic era,’ the motto of Canada is consistent with biblical prophecies. Ephraim is mentioned in Zechariah 9:10, though the dominion from sea to sea appears to be a reference to Jesus. The motto from “Sea to Sea” is on the Canadian Coat of Arms (shown at the beginning of this article).

What about the French speakers of Quebec?

What about Quebec?

The French-speaking (Francophone) peoples in Canada may be made up of the descendants of Jacob through his son Joseph (via his son Ephraim) and/or his son Reuben along with some of other groups. Reuben was the firstborn of Jacob, but because of his sexual misbehavior (Genesis 35:22), he lost that birthright (Genesis 49:3-4; 1 Chronicles 5:1-2).

At least one writer has asserted that those in Quebec are primarily descended from those of Ephraimite background, as well as from Benjamites and Simeonites. Notice the following:

The French Canadians originated mainly in the Provinces of Normandy and Britanny. Normandy had been settled by the Normans who later conquered England and who derived from Benjamin while Brittany had previously been populated by the Samnete (from Simeon) and was later occupied by “Celtic” refugees from Britain who gave it its name (“Britanny” and Britain) and who also comprised contingents from Simeon, such as the Simeni, Semoni, Iceni, and the sons of Semuen.

The “British” colonizers of French “Brittany” were Celts who were fleeing from the Anglo-Saxons and their federates…The Normans included a good proportion of Breton natives of Celtic origin who had been Normanicised…The descendants of Ephraim were paramount amongst the Anglo-Saxon invaders and seem to have been also present amongst the Celtic British natives, apart from Eran in Ireland and Scotland. (Davidy Y. The Tribes. Rabbinical approbation: Rabbi Abraham Feld of the Maccabee Institute Jerusalem, July 4, 1993. Russell-Davis Publishers, Hebron (Israel), pp. 390-392)

I am still researching origins, and thought that readers may find the above of interest as I work more to attempt to verify this. Some in Quebec are likely descended from Reuben, but they may not necessarily be the majority.

Some items of possibly related interest include the following:

Canada in Prophecy: What Does Bible Prophecy, Catholic Prophecy, and other Predictions Suggest About the Future of Canada? There are prophecies that suggest involvement with Canada. And many are not positive about its future.
The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben: France in Prophecy? What is the origin of this in France? What is prophesied to happen to them? A two-part sermon related to history and prophecy is available online: The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben and France and Prophecy.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
CCOGCanada.ca This is the official website of the Continuing Church of God in Canada.

It’s been over three years, and evolution still has not gotten the ‘proof’ some claim will come

Monday, June 20th, 2016

COGwriter

Notice the following about evolution that was posted just over three years ago:

NEW YORK — Richard Leakey predicts skepticism over evolution will soon be history.

Not that the avowed atheist has any doubts himself.

Sometime in the next 15 to 30 years, the Kenyan-born paleoanthropologist expects scientific discoveries will have accelerated to the point that “even the skeptics can accept it.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/27/richard-leakey-evolution-debate_n_1548766.html

Here is one point for each of the lines above, plus a final statement:

  1. Richard Leakey was right that the skepticism on this subject will be over within the next 30 years as presuming that Jesus returns by then, no foolish anti-creationist arguments will continue.
  2. While Richard Leakey may be an atheist, last year, the famous former-atheist Richard Dawkins, has realized that there could be a God (see Famous Atheist Actually an Agnostic). Perhaps there is hope for Richard Leakey too.
  3. Evolutionists, beginning with Charles Darwin, have claimed since the 19th century that the fossil records would finally prove their theory (which is not really a theory, but an inaccurate model). They know they have insufficient proof and continue to hope that some how, some day, they will have real proof. But alas, they still do not. Richard Leakey’s admission really means that evolutionists realize that they have insufficient proof.
  4. It has been two years and the ‘evolutionary debate’ continues. Why? Because the evolutionist continue to overlook the facts of science which eliminate evolution as a valid explanation for the beginning of life.

Notice also something that someone recently sent to me (after-the-fact):

State cancels Darwin Days events after Intelligent Design group asks to be included
KRQE News 13 – Feb 27, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) Not everyone embraces Darwinian evolution as a flawless science.

So when two former Sandia Labs engineers saw that the taxpayer-funded New Mexico Museum of Natural History was sponsoring a “Darwin Days” event, it raised a red flag.

It wasn’t that the Darwin Days event was happening. It was that the lectures, which spanned two days in February 2014, didn’t include any other viewpoints.

“It’s a very controversial issue, there’s a tremendous body of evidence against Darwinian evolution and we think people should be aware of that,” said James Campbell, a retired engineer with a Ph.D. with physics. …

No Darwin Days 2015

DCA says they have since changed their policies so staff are diligent to “clearly distinguish State events from private events.”

The Museum didn’t hold a Darwin Days event this year. It’s not what Campbell and Edenburn wanted.

“By cancelling Darwin Day, they have basically said, they will not be giving both sides of the story,” Edenburn said.

DCA told News 13 Darwin Days was not included in the Museum’s 2015 roster of events because of “workload and staffing issues.”

Campbell believes there are other factors involved.

“I think they just really don’t want those topics covered,” he said. http://krqe.com/2015/02/27/state-cancels-darwin-days-events-after-other-groups-ask-to-be-included/

As a scientist, I have long known that proponents of evolution treat the subject more like a religious view than a scientific theory. This is somewhat also what the Ben Stein movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed revealed (see Ben Stein’s Expelled).

Which was?

Scientists who challenge too many claims associated with evolution are shunned by many academic institutions, as there is a tremendous amount of pressure at most “leading” academic institutions to squelch research that is not in support of evolution because it will affect their beliefs. Thus, many in the academic world accept, essentially like a false religion, that since many of their friends and colleagues believe the evolutionary nonsense, that it must have been proven true. But it has not been.

While species variation is something that God programmed in His creation, evolution, as the explanation for the origin of life, is unscientific and false. It also requires students to accept a belief that violates other known laws of biological science.

Actually it is impossible for the non-living to become alive as it violates the scientifically accepted law of bio-genesis (life only comes from life). But what if we allow the impossibility of spontaneous primitive life to have occurred?

The primitive life would have to die. Part of the reason for this is that even a single-cell is so complex, and so full of various biological subsystems, that scientists have learned that many systems are essentially necessary for life to exist or continue. Science recognizes that living organisms must be self-contained, eat, digest, and reproduce to continue to exist.

Spontaneously alive lined-up amino acids (with other substances coincidentally there) would die because:

1) All living organisms need biological structures such as organelles and membranes. Without a membranous structure, the proteins would ultimately diffuse and destroy the living organism. Living organism must be somewhat self-contained.
2) All living organisms need nourishment and direction. Since randomness would not have created the biological structure known as a DNA-containing nucleus (or some primitive equivalent), the cell would die. Even if it had some type of nucleus to provide direction, the nucleus would have to have come into existence with ability to determine what to eat and how to find food, another impossibility.
3) Proteins cannot survive without DNA and DNA cannot exist without proteins, hence there is no way both happened at the same time.
4) Even if the cell had all the above, it would die, because there would have been no reason for it to have spontaneously generated a digestive system in order to utilize the food.
5) Even if evolutionists are granted all the improbabilities and impossibilities this article discusses, the primitive life would quickly die out as there would have been no reason for it to have spontaneously generated an ability to reproduce, nor would it have any innate ability to do so.

Proteins cannot of themselves reproduce–they need DNA. “DNA cannot exist without proteins, and proteins cannot exist without DNA” (Pietzsch J. Understanding the RNAissance. c. 2003. http://www.nature.com/horizon/rna/background/understanding.html viewed 05/05/12). DNA can basically do nothing of itself, it needs proteins.

Does any scientifically rational person actually believe that they randomly developed and got together at the same time for life as we know it to exist without Divine intervention?

The answer should be obvious. No, unless they will overlook the facts.

It is in the Bible that we are told that when God made life He intended it to reproduce (Genesis 1:11,28,29). The idea of an ‘intelligent design’ by a Spirit being is the only explanation that does not defy scientifically provable knowledge–for all other explanations result in something that must die out.

By the way, God apparently expects humans to realize that He exists through various aspects of His creation. Notice:

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20).

Thus since life could not have randomly sprung forth, eaten, and reproduced, only a different type of entity (God) could have caused it to begin.

Evolution has led to the intentional ignorance of appropriate scientific methods. It became a religion for many in the 19th century, and remains one for many today.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Is There Another View of Evolution? and another titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
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? Were the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon: Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Did Angels Marry Human Women? Many insist this is so and also that this mating caused giants to be born. Did this come from the ‘Book of Enoch’? What does Genesis 6:4 really mean? A related video is also available: Did Angels Marry Women and Produce Giants?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.

Russia boycotts Orthodox Council

Sunday, June 19th, 2016


Partial view of the Orthodox Academy of Crete (Photo from http://www.oac.gr/en/)

COGwriter

Many leaders of the Eastern Orthodox attended what was being called “a Great and Holy Council,” but Russia and some others boycotted it:

19 June 2016

The leaders of the world’s Orthodox Christian churches have gathered on the Greek island of Crete for a landmark meeting, despite a boycott by the Russian church — the most populous in a religion of some 300 million people — and three other churches.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew led prayers attended by other church leaders Sunday to mark the start of the weeklong summit — the first of its kind in more than 1,200 years.

Pope Francis sent a message of support on Twitter, writing: “Let us join in prayer with our Orthodox brothers and sisters for the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church opening today in Crete.”

Despite decades of preparation, Orthodox leaders failed ahead of the meeting in Crete to overcome differences. They include efforts to reconcile with the Vatican and areas of influence that typically predate current national borders.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow is not attending the meetings, arguing that preparation had been inadequate. Serbia’s Church leadership did attend despite having close ties with the Russian Church, but the Georgian, Bulgarian and Syria-based Antioch patriarchates skipped the synod. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/world-orthodox-leaders-meet-russias-absence-39970158

10 June 2016
The Holy and Great Council was to be the first meeting of all Orthodox leaders since the year 787, when the last of the seven councils recognized by both Orthodox and Catholics was held. But with the Russian Orthodox Church and three others staying away, the meeting’s pan-Orthodox aura has faded.

Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, considered “the first among equals” since the time when Constantinople was the seat of the Byzantine Empire, has been the main driving force behind efforts to bring together the leaders of all 14 independent Orthodox churches.  http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.725886

Originally this was supposed to be the ’8th ecumenical council’ and held at the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (ancient Constantinople). But supposedly because of issues with the Russians and Turkey, this changed.  And apparently Russia was still not happy.

That being said, the plan that Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew have is ecumenical.  They do want unity.  Further unity will occur.

This will also include Protestants–and already, many Protestant leaders have endorsed the ecumenical agenda.

Sadly, the ecumenical agenda will temporarily succeed. Those who truly believe the Bible will have no part of it.

In Zechariah, the Bible warns against a coming Babylon and shows that proper unity will not happen until after Jesus returns (note that I am citing the New Jerusalem Bible, which is a Roman Catholic accepted translation of the Bible into English, as it has the warning in it like most other translations do):

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

12 For Yahweh Sabaoth says this, since the Glory commissioned me, about the nations who plundered you, ‘Whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye. 13 Now look, I shall wave my hand over them and they will be plundered by those whom they have enslaved.’ Then you will know that Yahweh Sabaoth has sent me! 14 Sing, rejoice, daughter of Zion, for now I am coming to live among you -Yahweh declares! 15 And on that day many nations will be converted to Yahweh. Yes, they will become his people, and they will live among you. Then you will know that Yahweh Sabaoth has sent me to you! 16 Yahweh will take possession of Judah, his portion in the Holy Land, and again make Jerusalem his choice. (Zechariah 2:10-16, NJB; note in translations such as the NKJV these are shown as Zechariah 2:6-12)

The ecumenical and inter-faith movements that the Vatican and the Eastern Orthodox leaders are promoting are clearly condemned by the Bible and should not be encouraged.

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

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

Those who believe this unity comes prior to Jesus’ return are in error. We are not ‘perfect’ until after He comes (cf. 1 John 1:8). Many misunderstand what the Bible teaches about unity of the faith.

Actually, when Jesus returns, He will destroy the unity of nations that are against Him:

11:15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and voices could be heard shouting in heaven, calling, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’ 16 The twenty-four elders, enthroned in the presence of God, prostrated themselves and touched the ground with their foreheads worshipping God 17 with these words, ‘We give thanks to you, Almighty Lord God, He who is, He who was, for assuming your great power and beginning your reign. 18 The nations were in uproar and now the time has come for your retribution, and for the dead to be judged, and for your servants the prophets, for the saints and for those who fear your name, small and great alike, to be rewarded. The time has come to destroy those who are destroying the earth.’ (Revelation 11:15-18, NJB)

19:6 And I heard what seemed to be the voices of a huge crowd, like the sound of the ocean or the great roar of thunder, answering, ‘Alleluia! The reign of the Lord our God Almighty has begun;… 19 Then I saw the beast, with all the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to fight the Rider and his army. 20 But the beast was taken prisoner, together with the false prophet who had worked miracles on the beast’s behalf and by them had deceived those who had accepted branding with the mark of the beast and those who had worshipped his statue. These two were hurled alive into the fiery lake of burning sulphur. 21 All the rest were killed by the sword of the Rider, which came out of his mouth, and all the birds glutted themselves with their flesh… 20:4 Then I saw thrones, where they took their seats, and on them was conferred the power to give judgement. I saw the souls of all who had been beheaded for having witnessed for Jesus and for having preached God’s word, and those who refused to worship the beast or his statue and would not accept the brandmark on their foreheads or hands; they came to life, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. (Revelation 19:6,19-21; 20:4, NJB)

Notice that Jesus will have to destroy a world of armies unified against Him. Then He and the saints will reign. That is when there will be proper unity of the faith.

The Bible warns about the type of improper Babylonian unity that is now being worked on which will preceded Jesus’ return (Revelation 17 & 18).

Some items of related interest may include:

Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! and World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Do Certain Catholic Prophecies About Antichrist Warn Against Jesus? Will the final “Anti-Christ” be Jewish, insist on Saturday, be opposed to the trinity, and bring in the millennium? Certain Catholic writings indicate this, while others take a different view, but what does the Bible show? A related sermon is Will Jesus Christ be called the Antichrist?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
United Nations: Humankind’s Last Hope or New World Order? Is the UN the last hope for humanity? Or might its goals end up with sinister results? A related video would be United Nations and Vatican Are Planning the New World Order.
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?
Could Pope Francis be the Last Pope and Antichrist? According to some interpretations of the prophecies of the popes by the Catholic saint and Bishop Malachy, Pope Francis I is in the position of “Peter the Roman,” the pontiff who reigns during tribulations until around the time of the destruction of Rome. Do biblical prophecies warn of someone that sounds like Peter the Roman? Could Francis I be the heretical antipope of Catholic private prophecies and the final Antichrist of Bible prophecy? This is a YouTube video.
Sola Scriptura or Prima Luther? What Did Martin Luther Really Believe About the Bible? Though he is known for his public sola Scriptura teaching, did Martin Luther’s writings about the Bible suggest he felt that prima Luther was his ultimate authority? Statements from him changing and/or discounting 18 books of the Bible are included. Do you really want to know the truth?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
The Malachy Prophecies and “Peter the Roman” An Irish bishop allegedly predicted something about 112 popes in the 12th century. Pope Benedict XVI was number 111. Francis would seem to be number 112–if he is that one–and if so, he is to reign until Rome is destroyed. May he be an antipope/final Antichrist?
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.

Could the Shroud of Turin be Jesus’ burial cloth?

Friday, June 17th, 2016


Shroud of Turin, poster from 1898

COGwriter

Last year, for the first time in 5 years, the Shroud of Turin was on public display:

Devotees believe the shroud, which is imprinted with the image of a man who appears to have been crucified, to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

Sceptics are just as adamant that it is nothing more than a Medieval forgery which scientists have carbon-dated to around 1300 years after Christ supposedly died on the cross.

Despite their certainty about the likely age of the most-talked-about length of linen in history, researchers have not been able to explain how the remarkable image was created, leaving space for theories of some sort of miraculous process to flourish.

The Church does not officially maintain that Christ’s body was wrapped in the shroud or that the image was the product of a miracle.

But it does accord the cloth a special status which has helped to sustain its popularity as an object of veneration. …

When the shroud was last presented to the public, in 2010, more than two million people filed past it.

Pope Francis decreed the latest exhibition to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of St John Bosco, a 19th Century monk who devoted his life to the education of poor children in newly-industrialised Turin. Francis, who has family roots in the region, is due to visit the city and the exhibition on June 20-21. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/features/article/relic-or-hoax-turin-shroud-pulls-million-strong-crowd-on-return-to-public-v#sthash.9RrPoCz2.dpuf

So, the Church of Rome will not say it is the real deal, but that it is fine to idolize (which is what the practical application of their veneration means). As far as Don Bosco goes, we have a video related to him: Deceitful Year of Don Bosco.

From time-to-time I get questions about the Shroud of Turin. Many have claimed it to be the burial cloth of Jesus.

But is it?

If not, why not?

Here are a few comments on the Shroud of Turin from the Answers.com article titled Is the Shroud of Turin true or fraud?:

There is no record of the shroud during the first centuries of the Christian era, it is first mentioned in the 14th century, having been found in the Diocese of Troyes…

The Gospel writers say that the body of Jesus, after being taken from the stake by Joseph of Arimathea, was wrapped in clean fine linen. (Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56) The apostle John adds: Nicodemus also came bringing a roll of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds of it. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it up with bandages with the spices, just the way the Jews have the custom of preparing for burial. John 19:39-42…writers of the third and fourth centuries, many of whom wrote about a host of miracles in connection with numerous relics, did not mention the existence of a shroud containing the image of Jesus. What happened to it at this time, if it did exist, is unknown.

Let’s quote John 19:39-42 in its entirety:

39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby. (John 19:39-42)

Basically, strips of linen were placed on Jesus’ body somewhat like a mummy (this is also basically what happened to Lazarus, see John 11:43-44). If the Shroud of Turin was saturated with myrrh and aloes, it would by now be fairly stiff and would tend to look quite differently than it now does.

Notice furthermore that Jesus’ burial cloths, though mentioned in scripture, are basically only mentioned as being folded after the resurrection (and the description of multiple cloths also does not necessarily seem to quite match the Shroud of Turin):

6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. (John 20:6-10).

By the time the Apostle John wrote this, if there had been any real special powers, it would have seemed that he would have mentioned them, but he did not.

Notice also the following:

Curiously enough, it was a Roman Catholic bishop who first branded the shroud a fraud. When, in the year 1356, the fourteen-by-three-and-a-half-foot piece of linen was exhibited at the obscure church of Lirey in central France — the first known historical record of its existence — it quickly became the subject of a lengthy memorandum to the Pope from Henry of Arcis, bishop of Troyes. Bishop Henry alleged that the Lirey canons had “falsely and deceitfully, being consumed with the passion of avarice and not from any motive of devotion but only of gain, procured for their church a certain cloth cunningly painted, upon which by clever sleight of hand was depicted the twofold image of one man, that is to say the back and the front, they falsely declaring and pretending that this was the actual shroud in which our Savior Jesus Christ was enfolded in the tomb.”

In Search of a Past

“I am convinced that this is the shroud that covered Jesus Christ after His crucifixion.” So declared Dr. Max Frei of the University of Zurich after painstakingly testing for pollen grains in the linen of the shroud and analyzing them.
“My analysis of pollen grains has been confirmed under the electron microscope beyond any reasonable doubt…. I isolated from the shroud more than a dozen pollen grains from plants growing in Jerusalem and surrounding deserts. They grow only in the Near East,” he said.
“The pollen most found on the shroud is identical to the most common pollen in the sediment of Lake Tiberias, in Israel” (National Enquirer, Nov. 29, 1977).
But even if we accept that the pollen proves the shroud once resided in Palestine, it would not necessarily connect it with Christ, for Dr. Frei also found in its fibers pollen from the area of southeastern Turkey! This finding would, perhaps, support Ian Wilson’s theory that the shroud itself is none other than the famous Mandylion (meaning “napkin” or “handkerchief’ in Arabic) which had been brought to Constantinople from Edessa in eastern Turkey. From there he postulates the Knights Templars took the shroud to the Holy Land before bringing it to France.

The Byzantine Connection

Fifty years before the shroud enters history in the possession of Geoffrey deCharnay and the Lirey church, there was another Geoffrey deCharnay. This other Geoffrey is not provably related, but shroudists suspect that he was. This man was a famous knight of the Templar organization, which King Philip the Fair of France charged with secret “idol” worship of a disembodied head — the image on the shroud, says Wilson and Geoffrey was martyred, all the while denying there was any idol.
The Templars had sacked Constantinople (Byzantium) in 1204, which, as capital of the Byzantine Empire and center of its religion, had become glutted with relics and icons innumerable. Among the relics, according to extant records, was something called a burial cloth of Christ, which apparently bore a full length image, and also the famous Edessa image, the Mandylion, which had been taken by force from the Moslem rulers of its city in A.D. 944. These both disappeared in the looting — possibly taken to the Templars’ Palestine headquarters.
Ian Wilson speculates that both cloths were one and the same. He explains the double listing as possibly referring to copies of the original. A flourishing industry existed in Byzantium of making cloth and other images of “Christ.” Many of these were, like the Mandylion itself, regarded as miraculously produced.
The problem for Wilson’s theory is that the Edessa image is specifically described as a face only, appearing on a towel, a veronica napkin, while on the Turin shroud is undeniably a double full length figure. Wilson suggests the reason was that the shroud had always been kept folded in such a way that only the face was showing.
In any event, the image on the shroud has a long, sad face and long hair. A writer for the London Tablet was moved to observe: “The first thought likely to occur is: But how very strongly the figure resembles the Christ of any number of old masters [painters of the fifth century on]“‘ (quoted from Wilcox, p. 26).

What the Earlier Paintings Looked Like

There is more to that statement than meets the eye.
The oldest pictures of Christ are paintings on the walls of the catacombs of Rome. Most date from the second and third centuries. It was against the teachings of the church to have such pictures (see box: The Early Church and Images). Nevertheless, those who sketched them only about 100 years after the apostles — were undoubtedly acquainted with individuals who were familiar with the general appearance of Christ that came by word of mouth from His own generation.
“… There is a painting of the Resurrection of Lazarus in which Christ is shown — youthful and beardless, with short hair and large eyes…. Although it is now only barely recognizable, this picture is of great interest since it is the oldest representation of Jesus that is preserved anywhere” (Roderic Dunkerley, Beyond the Gospels, p. 57).
In all of these early portrayals, “He is almost invariably boyish…. His hair is short” (Frederic William Farrar, The Life of Christ as Represented in Art, 1894, p. 43). Short hair was the predominant style among men in the Hellenized areas of the eastern Mediterranean (including Palestine) in Christ’s time. …

How Was Christ’s Body Really Wrapped?

The shroud theory demands that Christ’s body was covered differently than was the custom in Jewish burial. The usual fashion was for the body to be wrapped cocoon-wise in strips of linen cloth which were bound at hands and feet. All representations of Christ’s burial in the first four centuries assumed this Egyptian-like style. “The [Jewish] corpse was wrapped in a shroud, and bandages soaked with resin were wound around the hands and feet: a cloth, the sudarium, was placed over the face (John 11:44). Finally the tomb was shut” (Bo Reicke, The New Testament Era, p. 187).
The account of the raising of Lazarus illustrates the method. “The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth.” It would appear that he was so enclosed and tied as to be scarcely able to walk until “Jesus said to them, `Unbind him, and let him go”‘ (John 11:44). Shroud of Turin theorists postulate that Joseph of Arimathea, not having time to bury Christ’s body properly, simply covered it, leaving the body lying amidst the rolls of cloth he had brought for the usual wrapping, perhaps intending to return and use them after the Sabbath. They suppose this may have been what Peter saw when he came into the tomb after the resurrection and saw “linen cloths lying, and the napkin, which had been on his head… rolled up in a place by itself (John 20:6-7).
But Matthew tells us that “Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud” (Matt. 27:59). This shroud was obviously not merely a long flat cloth like the Turin shroud, laid out under the body, then folded over it from the head.
The Gospel of John plainly tells us that Joseph and his company actually “bound it [the body — not merely covered it] in linen cloths [plural] with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews” (John 19:40). This was done even before they carried the body to the tomb (verse 42). (Briggs LC. ICON SUPREME? THE SHROUD OF TURIN. Plain Truth, December 1978)

Even if the actual burial cloth of Jesus were the Shroud of Turin or some other similar relic, it should not be venerated by Christians. History records that the early Christians opposed venerating relics. Many do not seem to realize how negatively early Christians viewed such items.

The Continuing Church of God does not consider that the Shroud of Turin is holy nor the burial cloth of Jesus.

Amongst other reasons, it is not supported by the historical record nor scripture. The image on the Shroud of Turin shows a long-haired male. Yet, Jesus did not have long hair.

Notice that even Catholic translations of the Bible support that:

14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but when a woman has long hair, it is her glory? (1 Corinthians 11:14-15a, New Jerusalem Bible)

While hair does grow after death, it does not grow quickly enough for the length that is on the Shroud of Turin. Jesus said He would be in the grave three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40), and that would not be enough time for long hair to appear.

Most do not know a lot about the Bible and know even less about early church history–and what many think they know is clouded by misinformation and misconceptions. And the Shroud of Turin does not provide helpful information into original Christianity, only for those who seem to prefer improper traditions of men over what the Bible teaches.

Those interested in early Christianity may wish to study the following documented items and presentations to learn more:

What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
The Churches of Revelation 2 & 3 Do they matter? Most say they must, but act like they do not. This article contains some history about the Church of God (sometimes referred to as the continuation of Primitive Christianity) over the past 2000 years.
What Do Roman Catholic Scholars Actually Teach About Early Church History? Although most believe that the Roman Catholic Church history teaches an unbroken line of succession of bishops beginning with Peter, with stories about most of them, Roman Catholic scholars know the truth of this matter. This eye-opening article is a must-read for any who really wants to know what Roman Catholic history actually admits about the early church.
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?

Seventh-day Adventist millennial position vs. the Bible

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

James and Ellen White
James and Ellen White

COGwriter

Is the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) position on the millennium in conflict with the Bible?

A while back, I came across the SDA Fundamental Beliefs at their official website. Here is what was listed as Fundamental Belief 27:

27. Millennium and the End of Sin:
The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Rev. 20; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18, 19.)

While I disagree that all sin will be gone then (cf. Isaiah 65:20, which happens after the millennium) and various other points of the SDA position, the main point I wish to go over is the view that the saints reign in heaven as opposed to on the earth at that time.

Notice that the Book of Revelation makes it clear that God’s people will reign on the earth with Christ:

9…”You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).

Thus, a future physical reign on the earth is clearly prophesied. Not heaven.

Chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation clearly teaches that there will be a thousand year reign of Christ:

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

This millennial reign is essentially the “first phase” of the kingdom of God on the earth (more information can be found in the article The Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church).

But did early Christians teach that the thousand year reign was on earth?

Yes.

Notice what Papias, who was a hearer of John and allegedly a friend of Polycarp, in the early second century taught about the millennial reign on earth. Eusebius recorded that Papias (an early 2nd century leader) taught:

…there wil be a period of a thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth…(Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book III, Chapter XXIX, Verse 12, p. 69)

Here is another translation of the above:

… there will be a millennium after the resurrection from the dead, when the personal reign of Christ will be established on this earth (Fragments of Papias, VI. See also Eusebius, Church History, Book 3, XXXIX, 12).

Papias taught that it would be a time of great abundance:

In like manner, [He said] that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear would have ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds of clear, pure, fine flour; and that apples, and seeds, and grass would produce in similar proportions; and that all animals, feeding then only on the productions of the earth, would become peaceable and harmonious, and be in perfect subjection to man.” [Testimony is borne to these things in writing by Papias, an ancient man, who was a hearer of John and a friend of Polycarp, in the fourth of his books; for five books were composed by him...] (Fragments of Papias, IV).

The above is consistent with the view that we in the Continuing Church of God hold.

In the second century, Irenaeus, who though he ended up compromising with Rome, claimed to have met Polycarp of Smyrna. Here is some of what he wrote about this:

That the whole creation shall, according to God’s will, obtain a vast increase, that it may bring forth and sustain fruits such [as we have mentioned], Isaiah declares: “And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every prominent hill, water running everywhere in that day, when many shall perish, when walls shall fall. And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, seven times that of the day, when He shall heal the anguish of His people, and do away with the pain of His stroke.” Now “the pain of the stroke” means that inflicted at the beginning upon disobedient man in Adam, that is, death; which [stroke] the Lord will heal when He raises us from the dead, and restores the inheritance of the fathers, as Isaiah again says: “And thou shall be confident in the LORD, and He will cause thee to pass over the whole earth, and feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father.” This is what the Lord declared: “Happy are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching. Verily I say unto you, that He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down [to meat], and will come forth and serve them. And if He shall come in the evening watch, and find them so, blessed are they, because He shall make them sit down, and minister to them; or if this be in the second, or it be in the third, blessed are they.” Again John also says the very same in the Apocalypse: “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection.” Then, too, Isaiah has declared the time when these events shall occur; he says: “And I said, Lord, how long? Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses be without men, and the earth be left a desert. And after these things the LORD shall remove us men far away (longe nos faciet Deus homines), and those who shall remain shall multiply upon the earth.” Then Daniel also says this very thing: “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of those under the heaven, is given to the saints of the Most High God, whose kingdom is everlasting, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” And lest the promise named should be understood as referring to this time, it was declared to the prophet: “And come thou, and stand in thy lot at the consummation of the days.” Now, that the promises were not announced to the prophets and the fathers alone, but to the Churches united to these from the nations (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 34, Verses 2-3. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule; in [the times of] which [resurrection] the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and [with respect to] those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 35, Verse 1. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1885. Online Edition Copyright © 2004 by K. Knight).

Thus Irenaeus clearly taught that there was to be a physical kingdom of God on the earth and that resurrected saints would reign in that kingdom. And that time frame is after the first resurrection, the time period of the millennium.

Nepos, who though the Catholics now claim him (they also claim Polycarp and others who renounced them), understood and taught that the saints would reign on the earth. Here is what The Catholic Encyclopedia reported:

An Egyptian bishop, Nepos, taught the Chiliastic error that there would be a reign of Christ upon earth for a thousand years, a period of corporal delights; he founded this doctrine upon the Apocalypse in a book entitled “Refutation of the Allegorizers” (Chapman, John. “Dionysius of Alexandria.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1909. 14 Aug. 2008 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05011a.htm>.).

The following from Dionysius clearly shows that Nepos was still respected after he died (Nepos died prior to Dionysius’ mid-third century writing of the following) and really did not refute him from a biblical perspective:

But as they produce a certain composition by Nepos, on which they insist very strongly, as if it demonstrated incontestably that there will be a (temporal) reign of Christ upon the earth, I have to say, that in many other respects I accept the opinion of Nepos, and love him at once for his faith, and his laboriousness, and his patient study in the Scriptures, as also for his great efforts in psalmody, by which even now many of the brethren are delighted. I hold the man, too, in deep respect still more, inasmuch as he has gone to his rest before us. Nevertheless the truth is to be prized and reverenced above all things else. And while it is indeed proper to praise and approve ungrudgingly anything that is said aright, it is no less proper to examine and correct anything which may appear to have been written unsoundly. If he had been present then himself, and had been stating his opinions orally, it would have been sufficient to discuss the question together without the use of writing, and to endeavour to convince the opponents, and carry them along by interrogation and reply. But the work is published, and is, as it seems to some, of a very persuasive character; and there are unquestionably some teachers, who hold that the law and the prophets are of no importance, and who decline to follow the Gospels, and who depreciate the epistles of the apostles, and who have also made large promises regarding the doctrine of this composition, as though it were some great and hidden mystery, and who, at the same time, do not allow that our simpler brethren have any sublime and elevated conceptions either of our Lord’s appearing in His glory and His true divinity, or of our own resurrection from the dead, and of our being gathered together to Him, and assimilated to Him, but, on the contrary, endeavour to lead them to hope for things which are trivial and corruptible, and only such as what we find at present in the kingdom of God. And since this is the case, it becomes necessary for us to discuss this subject with our brother Nepos just as if he were present (Dionysius of Alexandria. From the Two Books on the Promises. Copyright © 2008 by Kevin Knight. Viewed 8/14/08).

In other words, Nepos knew his Bible, but did not hold to the same position that allegorists like Dionysius of Alexandria held. But those who held to Judaeo-Christian beliefs, while slightly chastised, simply were almost never condemned by the early allegorists. And he taught that the saints would reign on the earth. Nepos is one who I have long considered was part of the true Church of God and not part of the Greco-Roman confederation that was forming in his day. Nepos was one of several leaders that stood up against the allegorists who were rising up in his day.

Saints are to reign on the earth for a thousand years with Christ.

So, from the Bible, and the understanding of second (Papias) and third (Nepos) century Christians, as well as from some who knew actual Christians (Irenaeus) it is clear that the early Christians did believe and teach that the millennial reign would be on the earth.

Thus, those who are SDAs might wish to ask since their church does not teach this, if it truly was part of the original church or if it is (as I have long contended) basically a breakaway group that lost many of its original faithful teachings.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The genuine Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White. Did Ellen White make prophetic errors? Did Ellen White make false prophecies? Here is a version in the Spanish language: SDA/COG Diferencias: La bestia de dos cuernos de Apocalipsis y 666.
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.
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? 2023 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
What is the Appropriate Form of Biblical Interpretation? Should the Bible be literally understood? What do the writings of the Bible, Origen, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Augustine show?
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 c. 31 A.D. to the 21st century. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.

Origin of Vatican City

Thursday, June 16th, 2016


Vatican City (photo by Joyce Thiel)

COGwriter

The Church of Rome is generally believed to be headquartered in a place known as Vatican City (its claimed ‘spiritual throne,’ called the ‘cathedra’ is located in Rome itself in a place called the Basilica of St. John Lateran).

Where did Vatican City get its name?

Vatican City gets its name from the hill that it is on.

That hill is Vaticanus or Vatican hill.

The Catholic Encyclopedia explains some information about the location:

The territory on the right bank of the Tiber between Monte Mario and Gianicolo (Janiculum) was known to antiquity as the Ager Vaticanus, and, owing to its marshy character, the low-lying portion of this district enjoyed an ill repute…

In the imperial gardens situated in this section was the Circus of Nero. At the foot of the Vatican Hill lay the ancient Basilica of St. Peter. By extensive purchases of land the medieval popes acquired possession of the whole hill, thus preparing the way for building activity. Communication with the city was established by the Pons Ælius, which led directly to the mausoleum of Hadrian. Between 848 and 852 Leo IV surrounded the whole settlement with a wall, which included it within the city boundaries. (Baumgarten, P.M. (1912). The Vatican. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved April 27, 2014 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15276b.htm)

So where did that name come from? Here is one explanation (there are several):

Vatica (Vatika) — The Etruscan. Goddess of the Underworld who guarded the city of the dead on Vatican Hill in ancient Rome. The Etruscans did not bury their dead inside the walls of their cities and for that reason, on a hillside slope outside the ancient city that was destined to become Rome, the Etruscans established a very large cemetery. The area, which is now St. Peters Basilica, thus became known as the “Vatican“. Vatika had several other related meanings in ancient Etruscan. It was the name of a bitter grape that grew wild on the graveyard slope, which the peasants made into what became infamous as the name of one of the cheapest (and worst) wines in the ancient world. It was also the name of a hallucinogenic weed (vatika cannabis), that grew on the slope and when chewed, was thought to produced prophetic vision, much like the effect of peyote mushrooms. Thus, the word passed into Latin as a synonym for “prophecy and also as the name of the Etruscans female oracles called “Vaticinia”. (Goddess Directory. Spirit Walk Ministry. © 2007- 2014 Spirit Walk Ministry. http://www.spiritwalkministry.com/earth_mother/goddess_directory_t-z viewed 05/10/14)

A Catholic writer put out the following:

Where does the word “Vatican” come from and what does it mean?

The word derives from the Latin vates, which means “tellers of the future.” This name was the name given to a hillside on the west bank of the Tiber River in Rome because daily lineups of fortunetellers used to hawk their “wares” there to passersby on the street. In the fourteenth century, when the papacy was returned to Rome from Avignon (France), the present-day Vatican became the residence of the popes, and the word came to refer to the enclave in the middle of Rome that had become the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. (Bello N. Incredible Book of Vatican Facts and Papal Curiosities. Liguori Publications, Copyright 1998, ISBN 0-7648-0171-6, page 135)

Essentially, Vatican Hill means the hill of prophecy. While some may find that to be a good thing, the Bible has negative prophecies towards a church associated with hills (Revelation 17:9), wine (Revelation 17:2), and false prophecies (Matthew 24:23-24; Revelation 16:13, 19:20). Vatican Hill is just outside the walls of ancient Rome (cemeteries/necropoli tended to be built just outside of cities in ancient times).

Varro (1st century BC) connected the name Vatican to a Deus Vaticanus or Vagitanus, a Roman deity. The account of which was preserved in the second century A.D. by Aulus Gellius:

We have been told that the word Vatican is applied to the hill, and the deity who presides over it, from the vaticinia, or prophecies, which took place there by the power and inspiration of the god; but Marcus Varro, in his book on Divine Things, gives another reason for this name. “As Aius,” says he, “was called a deity, and an altar was built to his honour in the lowest part of the new road, because in that place a voice from heaven was heard, so this deity was called Vaticanus, because he presided over the principles of the human voice; for infants, as soon as they are born, make the sound which forms the first syllable in Vaticanus, and are therefore said vagire (to cry) which word expresses the noise which an infant first makes.” (English translation by William Beloe, The Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius (London, 1795), vol. 3, pp. 247–248.)
Augustine of Hippo wrote about Vaticanus:

8 Vaticanus, who presides over the screaming of infants…

11 One while let Jupiter be the soul of this corporeal world, who fills and moves that whole mass…let him open the mouth in the crying babe, and be called the god Vaticanus…

21 What need was there to commend the children to the goddess Ops when they were being born; to the god Vaticanus in their birth-cry; (City of God, Book 4).

The Catholic Encyclopedia summarizes Augustine’s points as follows:

St. Augustine (Civ. Dei, IV, ii) discusses the opinion of Roman writers that all the manifold gods and goddesses of the Romans were in the final analysis but one Jupiter, for these deities melt away into each other on closer inspection. Thus we have a single god who by the dissection of his nature into various aspects of his powers, and by the personifying of his individual powers, has been resolved into a multiplicity of deities. The Romans thus broke up the idea of deity by hypostasizing particular powers, modes of operation, physical functions, and properties. By this process not only events in nature and in human life, but their various phases, qualities, and circumstances were considered apart as endowed with proper personalities, and worshipped as deities. Thus in the life of a child; Vaticanus opens his mouth, Cunina guards the cradle, Educa and Potina teach him to eat and drink, Fabulinus to speak, Statalinus helps him to stand up, Adeona and Abeona watch over his first footsteps. (Driscoll, J.T. (1908). Deity. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved April 27, 2014 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04683a.htm)

So, in a sense Vatican hill means the hill of Jupiter also known as Zeus. Or the hill of Vatica.

While that of itself does not prove that the Church of Rome has pagan practices, there have been compromises it has made over the centuries.

Notice the following scriptures:

1 Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”

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

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

6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement… 9 “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. (Revelation 17:1-6,9)

One observation that I have heard is that the portion of Vatican City with St. Peter’s square actually suggestively shows a women committing fornication. From certain high vantage points in Vatican City, it does look like the area has two breasts, wide hips, and with the obelisk (a phallic symbol) in the midst of the lower region, so that certainly can be implied. Since the Bible warns about a compromised women associated with seven hills/mountains committing fornication with the kings of the world (Revelation 17), this is another aspect of the Vatican which should give all who do, or will, pledge some type of allegiance to it pause.

Of course, actual doctrine is more important than implied connections with non-biblical practices, and information on doctrines and changes can be found in the article Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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?
Was Jesus Born in the Grotto of the Nativity? Was Jesus born in a below ground cave? Was Jesus born below the “Church of the Nativity”? Were the wise men there?
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 in the first century to the 21st century. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.