Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

Muslim argues that Jerusalem is not holy to that religion, but other Islamic writings suggest otherwise

Friday, August 16th, 2019


Jerusalem (photo by Dr. Thiel)

COGwriter

The Temple Institute had the following in its newsletter today:

Av 15, 5779/August 16, 2019 …

Is Jerusalem A Sacred Islamic City? By Mohamad Tawhidi: “Jerusalem is home to around 400,000 Muslims, but is it a sacred city according to Islam?” Click here to learn more.

When you click on the link mentioned, it goes to an article on a Facebook page that has the following:

By Mohamad Tawhidi

Jerusalem is home to around 400,000 Muslims, but is it a sacred city according to Islam?

This is a question the majority of Muslims within the political and academic world try to avoid, simply because it opens a rather uncomfortable discussion. In fact, a Muslim asking such a question could face serious consequences; such as society doubting in his/her faith.

Until 2014, I was an Islamist who abhorred Jewish people and was open to waging war against them. Today, however, I am friends with many Jewish faith leaders. This transition wasn’t political, it was rather theological. In brief, I started to question certain claims taught to me by my teachers and Muslim community. I began by asking myself the question, does Jerusalem really belong to Islam and Muslims?

To answer this vitally important question, we need to inquire how cities become sacred according to Islam.

Sacred cities in Islam

Throughout human history, every religion has been associated with an area that has been sanctified, respected and revered. Islam is no different. There are tens of sacred cities in Islam, such as Mecca, Medina, Qum, Karbala and Najaf – due to clear verses of the Koran acknowledging their glory or sayings of Prophet Mohammad assuring Muslims of their exaltation.

There is a big difference between a city being sacred in the eyes of God and it being a sacred Islamic city. For example, all prophetic tombs, birthplaces and areas where miracles took place are considered sacred in Islam, but they are not specifically Islamic locations. A sacred Islamic location is a location wherein a significant Islamic event has taken place by either Allah or Prophet Mohammad.

Jerusalem in Islamic scripture

The Holy Koran states very clearly that the Holy Land, Jerusalem, belongs to the Jewish nation of Moses, the Israelites:

“And [mention, O Muhammad], when Moses said to his people, “O my people, remember the favor of Allah [God] upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the world” (Koran: 5:20 onwards).

The above verse also makes it clear that God “had not given (this land to) anyone among the world” other than the Jewish nation.

From this verse, and others of similar context, we understand that Jerusalem is a sacred city according to God, but it is not a sacred Islamic city, due to the fact that its sacredness was established before the existence of Islam.

After the emergence of Islam, in the year 621 CE, it is believed that Prophet Mohammad took a miraculous and spiritual night journey to Al-Aqsa Mosque (the Farthest Mosque). This event is reported in the Koran in the following verse:

“Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from the Sacred Mosque (Mecca) to al-Masjid al- Aqsa (the Farthest Mosque), whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs…” (Quran 17:1).

Two vital matters need to be addressed regarding the above verse:
1. Prophet Mohammad traveling to a location does not make that location “Islamic.”
2. There is little evidence that “Al-Aqsa Mosque” is actually in Jerusalem, and there are a large number of Muslims who believe that “the Farthest Mosque” is a reference to a mosque in the heavens, not on earth; due to the fact that the current Al-Aqsa Mosque did not exist during the lifetime of Prophet Mohammad, making it impossible for him to have visited it.

Messengers of both Judaism and Christianity had arrived in Jerusalem to preach their scriptures centuries before Prophet Mohammad. Therefore, it cannot be historically accurate to say that Mohammad brought Islam to Jerusalem before them.

Up until the migration of Mohammad to Medina in 622 CE and the official establishment of Islam therein, Islam was a minority religion when compared to the two well-established religions of Judaism and Christianity. Besides, the citizens of Jerusalem who converted to Islam merely changed their own faith, not the entire history of Jerusalem.

Thus, neither Islamic scripture nor history claim that Jerusalem is a sacred Islamic city. …

I do not understand the Muslim struggle for Jerusalem. Islamic laws strictly prohibit relieving oneself while facing Mecca, in fact, toilets in all Islamic countries and most Muslim homes do not face Mecca, out of respect to the holy city. Yet Bukhari reports that our Prophet Mohammad used to deliberately and repeatedly relieve himself while facing Jerusalem, even though he could have faced another direction instead.

Does it make sense that Palestinians are dying for Jerusalem when their own beloved Prophet used to prefer defecating toward it? 08/14/19 https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10151236361514969&id=22738684968&__tn__=K-R

Mohamad Tawhidi is not the only Muslim who have written that Jerusalem is not sacred to Islam. Here is a report from another Muslim scholar:

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

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

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

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

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

Of course, just as many people who claim to be Christian believe as doctrine positions contrary to the Bible, Islam has similar issues.

Looking past the Koran, consider that there are biblical prophecies related to Jerusalem.

But before looking at scripture, consider some other Islamic writings. Islamic prophetic understandings sometimes include the idea that Muslims will takeover and control Jerusalem.

Notice:

Having done this his next step would be to proceed on to Damascus, where the bulk of the Nasara (Christian) forces along with the tribe of Kalb would be deployed, as was previously mentioned.

In Damascus, the Imam will set up his headquarters. From here, he will conduct military operations against the enemies of Islam and defeats them (such as the ones in Jerusalem), and from here, he will rule.

In response to this, the Roman forces will attack, and destroy the city of the Prophet (Madina), and start to gather their forces against its inhabitants…

After the slaying of Dajjal by Prophet Eessa, Imam Mehdi will not live for very long. A few months will elapse and this great Imam, a man who provided the perfect sequel to Allah’s Supreme Religion -ISLAM, will pass on to the realms of the hereafter. The Muslims will perform his Janazah Salat and bury him, and the Messiah son of Maryam will then become the new ruler of the Muslims. (http://www.nooredarwesh.com/main/imam-mahdi-as viewed 05/01/10)

Abu Nadra reported: We were with the company of Jabir Ibn Abdillah… Jabir Ibn Abdillah kept quite for a while and then reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) having said: “There would be a Caliph in the last (period) of my Ummah who would freely give handfuls of wealth to the people without counting it.” I said to Abu Nadra and Abu al-Ala: Do you mean Umar Ibn Abd al-Aziz? They said: NO, (he would be Imam Mahdi). References: Sahih Muslim, English version, v4, chapter MCCV, p1508, Tradition #6961 Sahih Muslim, Arabic version, Kitab al-Fitan, v4, p2234, Tradition #67 (Imam Mahdi (Descendent of Prophet Muhammad PBUH) by Mufti A.H. Elias and Mohammad Ali ibn Zubair Ali. Islam.tc, http://www.islam.tc/prophecies/imam.html viewed 02/03/2012)

Some in the Muslim Brotherhood had been pushing for Jerusalem to be part of the Islamic world as the following shows:

The supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi emanated, called on Thursday for a jihad (holy war) to liberate Jerusalem from Israeli rule.

“Jerusalem is Islamic … and nobody is entitled to make concessions” on the Holy City, said Sheikh Mohammed Badie in his weekly message to supporters.

“The jihad for the recovery of Jerusalem is a duty for all Muslims,” he said, stressing that the liberation of the Holy City “will not be done through negotiations or at the United Nations.” (Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood chief urges Jihad for Jerusalem. Al Arabiya with AFP. 11 October 2012. http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/10/11/243221.html)

Some Islamic Shi’ite predictions also suggest that the Mahdi will rule (at least for a time) in Jerusalem, and that may be.

It should be noted that many Arabs also want Jerusalem as a capital:

Egyptian Cleric Safwat Higazi…reiterated the campaign promise, but this time in more unequivocal language: “Our capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca, or Medina. It shall be Jerusalem, Allah willing. Our cry shall be: ‘Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem! Millions of martyrs march toward Jerusalem!’” (http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/muslim-brotherhood-launches-presidential-campaign-the-capital-of-the-united-states-of-the-arabs-will-be-jerusalem/2012/05/10/)

A “United States of the Arabs” sounds a lot like the King of the South that the Bible foretells–so another Islamic “prophecy” that seems to align with a biblical one (see also in YouTube video The Muslim Brotherhood and the Rise of the King of the South).

Consider that the Dome of the Rock marks the site Muslims often claim Mohammad ascended into heaven from. Plus consider that the Al-Aqsa Mossque (shown with a blueish gray dome in the photograph at the beginning of this post) is near it in Jerusalem.

Whether or not the Koran or Mohammad considered Jerusalem as sacred, many Muslims do.

Notice the following about Jerusalem being a burden:

1 The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it. (Zechariah 12:1-3)

Jerusalem is already considered burdensome by much of the international community.

Contrary to the hopes of the Temple Institute and statements from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jerusalem will NOT remain Jerusalem’s undivided capital.

In addition to Palestinian interests, the Bible shows that a European power will get into Jerusalem. Notice some passages from the Book of Daniel:

26… And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate. (Daniel 9:26-27)

Since General Titus of the old Roman Empire destroyed the city of Jerusalem and the sanctuary in 70 A.D., Daniel 9:27 is talking about someone from the area of the old Roman Empire–a European. Daniel 9:27 is also talking about a type of deal confirmed by a prince–a rising European leader (see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).

About 3 1/2 years after a deal is confirmed, the prince that confirmed it will be considered as the final King of the North and take military steps in Jerusalem:

31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. (Daniel 11:31)

The “him” above is identified in the Bible as the final King of the North (Daniel 11:29,40) (see also the video Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?)–he is also called the ‘man of sin’ in 2 Thessalonians 2 (see also Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?). (This ‘man of sin’ could possibly sit on something that has been called “Satan’s throne” if it is relocated to Jerusalem.)

Jesus taught that Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies just before it is time for His followers to flee:

20 But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. (Luke 21:20-24)

15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. (Matthew 24:15-21)

Notice that in Luke 21, Jesus referred to armies–plural–suggesting that Jerusalem would have more than one army–perhaps armies from many nations, such as an international army of some sort.

As far as Jerusalem goes, it is the temporary capital of the Jewish nation called Israel. Some have falsely claimed that it also must be the headquarters for God’s church in the church age.

No scripture supports that, prior to the millennium, Christians will be based in Jerusalem.

Notice some prophecies from Zechariah:

16 ‘Therefore thus says the Lord:

“I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it,” says the Lord of hosts,

“And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.”‘

17 “Again proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts:

“My cities shall again spread out through prosperity; The Lord will again comfort Zion, And will again choose Jerusalem.”‘” (Zechariah 1:16-17)

10 “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,” says the Lord. 11 “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. 12 And the Lord will take possession of Judah as His inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord, for He is aroused from His holy habitation!” (Zechariah 2:10-13)

Those prophecies show that the time will come when God will again choose Jerusalem—but they also show that NOW He has not!

But, while God will make Jerusalem His capital later, it is NOT during this time (see also Does the Church of God need to be headquartered in Jerusalem?).

And although some Muslims do not consider Jerusalem to be a sacred Islamic city, Israel will not keep control over all of it like it now does.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There are also two related YouTube videos you can watch: Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated and God’s and Satan’s Plan for Jerusalem.
Does the Church of God need to be headquartered in Jerusalem? Some say so. But what does the Bible teach?
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?
Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy What does the Bible teach about Gaza and the fate of the Palestinians? Here is a link to a related video: Gaza and Palestine in Prophecy.
Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied? What does the Bible teach? Which nations may be affected? Here is a link to a related sermon: Terrorism, Christianity, and Islam.
The ‘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.
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Could the old Temple have been somewhere other than the “Temple Mount”? Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
How Will Middle East Peace be Brought About? Can humans bring peace to the Middle East? Here is a link to a related video: Middle East Peace? When?
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
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 Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
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?
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.
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?
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?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2019, 2020, or 2021? 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 2018 o 2019? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon videos: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives and Can the Great Tribulation begin before 2020? A shorter and newer video is: Might the Great Tribulation start in 2019?
The Times of the Gentiles Has there been more than one time of the Gentiles? Are we in it now or in the time of Anglo-America? What will the final time of the Gentiles be like? A related sermon is available and is titled: The Times of the Gentiles.
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon. Other videos include: Armageddon Will it come on Trump’s watch?, Iraq, Armageddon, & Prophecy, Freemasonry, Armageddon, and Rome, Is China paving roads to Armageddon?, and Jordan, Petra, and Armageddon.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.

Assumption of the goddess Diana is observed as the claimed assumption of Mary

Thursday, August 15th, 2019


The ‘Mary’ in the Basilica of Mary Major That Pope Francis Prays Before (Photo by Joyce Thiel, June 2013)

COGWriter

August 15th is a holiday known as the Assumption of Mary. It is not a day that the early Christian church observed.

Pope Francis made comments about it today as he observed it:

August 15, 2019

These are the “great things” that we celebrate today.

Mary is assumed into Heaven: small and humble, she receives first, the highest glory. She, who is a human being, one of us, reaches eternity in soul and body. And she awaits us there, like a mother waiting for her children to return home. In fact the people of God invoke it as a “gateway to Heaven.” We are on our way, pilgrims to the house up there. Today, we look to Mary and we see the goal. https://zenit.org/articles/angelus-on-the-feast-of-the-assumption-5/

Looking to Mary is not seeing the Christian goal.

Now, in Roman Catholicism it is now a Marian dogma that Mary was bodily assumed into heaven (while most early writings indicated that she died first, some teach that she did not–whether or not she was dead or alive is not currently part of the dogma).

The Catholic News Agency teaches:

4) The Assumption…This dogma has no direct basis in scripture. (The Four Marian Dogmas. Catholic News Agency, http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resource.php?n=424 viewed 08/26/11)

The National Catholic Register reported:

What is the Assumption of Mary?

The Assumption of Mary is the teaching that:

The Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory [Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus 44]. …

What level of authority does this teaching have?

This teaching was infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950 in the bull Munificentissimus Deus (Latin, “Most Bountiful God”).

As Pius XII explained, this is “a divinely revealed dogma” (ibid.). …

What are the earliest surviving references to Mary’s Assumption?

John Paul II noted:

The first trace of belief in the Virgin’s Assumption can be found in the apocryphal accounts entitled Transitus Mariae [Latin, “The Crossing Over of Mary”], whose origin dates to the second and third centuries. …

How did the recognition of Mary’s Assumption develop in the East?

John Paul II noted:

There was a long period of growing reflection on Mary’s destiny in the next world.

This gradually led the faithful to believe in the glorious raising of the Mother of Jesus, in body and soul, and to the institution in the East of the liturgical feasts of the Dormition [“falling asleep”—i.e., death] and Assumption of Mary. (National Catholic Register, August 15, 2017 http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/the-assumption-of-mary-12-things-to-know-and-share2)

The Transitus Mariae is recognized by Catholic sources as a false document. This doctrine of the assumption did not come from the Bible, but with compromises for those who wanted to keep a holiday like this.

One Catholic writer noted:

Many people, even Catholics, don’t believe in the assumption of Mary. (Rozett E. Mother Mary and the Goddess. http://www.interfaithmary.com/pages/mary_rosary.html, viewed 08/15/2011)

The belief in the “Assumption of Mary”–the teaching that she perhaps did not die but went directly to heaven (or her body was “assumed” into heaven at or after death)–is based on supposition, mysticism, and apparently compromise.

Mary’s tomb has been claimed to have been in both Jerusalem and Ephesus, which suggests, at least, that it was believed that she died and was buried.

The Catholic Encyclopedia admits:

Regarding the day, year, and manner of Our Lady’s death, nothing certain is known…The dates assigned for it vary between three and fifteen years after Christ’s Ascension. Two cities claim to be the place of her departure: Jerusalem and Ephesus. Common consent favours Jerusalem, where her tomb is shown; but some argue in favour of Ephesus. The first six centuries did not know of the tomb of Mary at Jerusalem. The belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal treatise De Obitu S. Dominae, bearing the name of St. John, which belongs however to the fourth or fifth century. It is also found in the book De Transitu Virginis, falsely ascribed to St. Melito of Sardis, and in a spurious letter attributed to St. Denis the Areopagite.(Holweck, Frederick. “The Feast of the Assumption.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 26 Aug. 201114 Aug. 2010 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02006b.htm>)

So, according to The Catholic Encyclopedia the basis for the “belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal” texts which were claimed to be written by people (like the Apostle John and Melito of Sardis) who did not write them. This makes no sense as a source for any dogma people would hold to be true.

Also, if the body of Mary was “assumed” into heaven 3-15 years after Christ’s ascension in the Book of Acts, then why is it not mentioned in sacred scripture? All the books of the New Testament were written at least 5 years after Jesus’ ascension and the last book (Revelation) was apparently written over 60 years later–hence if this is a doctrine that God wanted His people to accept, why is it not specifically mentioned in the Bible? The Catholic writer Epiphanius, in the late fourth century, wrote:

Perhaps this [Rev. 12:13-14] can be applied to her; I cannot decide for certain, and I am not saying that she remained immortal. But neither am I saying that she died. (Panarion of Epiphanius, 78.11.4. As cited in Shoemaker S. The Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary’s Dormition and Assumption. Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 12)

Notice what a Catholic translation of the scripture Epiphanius referred to actually states:

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman, who brought forth the man child: 14 And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. (Revelation 12:13-14, DRB).

Notice that “the woman” goes to “the desert” and “here she is nourished for a time and times, and half a time.” Heaven is NOT a desert. Also understand that Catholic scholars tend to correctly believe that the expression “a time and times, and half a time” refers to 3 1/2 years in this passage (and even if that was in error, this is a finite period of time, not nearly two thousand years). Thus, it makes no sense that Revelation 12:13-14 could possibly apply to Mary. Epiphanius should have been able to decide for certain that it did not, around 400 years after she was born. It should be clear that the idea of Mary’s “assumption” was not a dogmatic belief centuries after she would likely have been expected to have died.

Of course, the Bible was clear in the mid-late 1st century that only Jesus had immortality:

13 I charge thee before God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate, a good confession, 14 That thou keep the commandment without spot, blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Which in his times he shall shew who is the Blessed and only Mighty, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, and inhabiteth light inaccessible, whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and empire everlasting. Amen. (1 Timothy 6:13-16, DRB)

The above was written in approximately 63 A.D. (Ryrie Study Bible, p. 1847). That is more than 3-15 years after Jesus’s ascension, and if Mary had obtained immortality by then, Saint Paul should have mentioned that, but he did not.

That view is consistent with the Catholic-approved Douay-Rheims translation which is shown in this article. If Mary was immortal then, then the Apostle Paul would not have been inspired to write that.

Concerning Mary, the Catholic saint Augustine wrote of “her death” (Augustine. Tractates on the Gospel of John (Augustine) > Tractate 8, Chapter 9. Translated by John Gibb. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 7. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1888.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1701008.htm>). Thus, the idea of Mary dying was an old concept.

So where did the idea of Mary’s assumption come from? Basically, from apocryphal literature in the fourth century (or possibly as early as the late third century)–but mainly even later than that. Although Epiphanius tried to investigate it, he was uncertain as to when it really first developed.

Interestingly, the ancient Romans had a 1-3 day festival for the goddess Diana. On the first day she allegedly came to earth and on the third day, August 15, they apparently celebrated her assumption into heaven as the queen of heaven. This is the same day of the Catholic feast of the assumption of Mary. Some do not consider this to be coincidental. (Green CMC. Roman religion and the cult of Diana at Aricia, Volume 0, Issues 521-85150. Cambridge University Press, 2007, p. 62; Frazer JG. The Magic Art and the Evolution of Kings V1, Volume 1. Kessinger Publishing, 2006, pp. 14-17). Notice also the following:

Lena Gorve’s name has symbolic significance, identifying her with Diana of Nemi, Diana of the Woods whose sacred groce stood on the lake of Nemi. The fact that the festival of Diana of Nemi gave place to the festival of the Assumption of the Virgin on August 15 offers an obvious basis in the combination of Lena of pagan qualities and of attributes associated with the Virgin Mary. (Kerr E. William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha: “a Kind of Keystone in the Universe.” Fordham Univ Press, 1985, p. 61)

The Assumption of the Virgin is set for the 15th of August. This day is marked in the Roman calendar of Columella as that of the death or disappearance of Virgo. (Hillard K. The Black Madonna of Loreto. Atlantic Monthly, September 1889, p. 412)

Diana was known as the “revered virgin” (Fischer-Hansen T, Poulsen B. From Artemis to Diana: the goddess of man and beast. Museum Tusculanum Press, 2009, p. 56) and “the Lady Artemis” (Davidson HE. Roles of the northern goddess. Psychology Press, 1998, p. 18); also as ”the virgin” (Morford MPO, Lenardon RJ. Classical mythology, 6th edition. Oxford University Press US, 1999, p. 141).

There is a suspected connection between Diana and various other goddesses and how many view Mary (Fischer-Hansen, p. 49). Yet, the Catholic saint Augustine specifically referred to Diana as one of several “false and lying deities” (Augustine. The Harmony of the Gospels, Book I, Chapter 25. Translated by S.D.F. Salmond. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 6. Edited by Philip Schaff. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1888.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1602125.htm>). Hence, it would seem wise that Catholics consider the wisdom in observing the date of her claimed assumption into heaven.

Mary’s “assumption” apparently became more of an issue after the death of Mohammed. Wikipedia notes:

John of Damascus, from this period, is the first church authority to advocate the doctrine under his own name; he had been brought up in an environment in which a corporeal ascent of Muhammed into heaven was official policy, since he, and his father before him, held the post of imperial chancellor of the Islamic empire of the Umayyads, and Muhammed’s ascent into heaven is the subject of the Night Journey, a Surah in the Quran. His contemporaries, Gregory of Tours and Modestus of Jerusalem, helped promote the concept to the wider church.

So, it may be that the assumption became a Catholic-equivalent of not only the pagan Diana, but the Muslim Muhammed. Furthermore, perhaps I should mention that Muslims teach that Muhammed’s daughter Fatima also was assumed into heaven. Some have considered that how certain Muslims venerate Fatima is very similar to how some Catholics venerate Mary.

Of course, since Mary is mentioned in the Quran, there is some Islamic veneration of her as well.

A Catholic writer posted:

The occasion and the site are sacred to Muslims and Christians alike. Every Sunday at least some Muslims come here before ‘Hazreti Meryem Ana’, Her Majesty Mother Mary and attend mass.

(Rozett E. Mother Mary and the Goddess. http://www.interfaithmary.com/pages/mary_Islam.html, viewed 08/15/2011)

Apparently because the Muslims claimed that Muhammed (and Fatima), and Greco-Romans claimed that the goddess Diana, went directly to heaven, certain Catholics began to promote the idea about Mary in a widespread manner.

However, it should be pointed out that even the place of the “assumption” changed. Wikipedia reports:

In some versions of the story the event is said to have taken place in Ephesus, in the House of the Virgin Mary, although this is a much more recent and localized tradition. The earliest traditions all locate the end of Mary’s life in Jerusalem…

So, the earliest accounts claimed Jerusalem, but that was later changed to Ephesus by some. If Mary died 3-15 years after Jesus, then she likely did not die in the area near Ephesus. Another article in The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions:

As to tradition, there is some testimony for Mary’s temporary residence in or near Ephesus, but the evidence for her permanent home in Jerusalem is much stronger… In Panaghia Kapoli, on a hill about nine or ten miles distant from Ephesus, was discovered a house, or rather its remains, in which Mary is supposed to have lived. The house was found, as it had been sought, according to the indications given by Catherine Emmerich in her life of the Blessed Virgin… In 451 Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, testified to the presence of Mary’s tomb in Jerusalem…Another witness for the existence of a tradition placing the tomb of Mary in Gethsemani is the basilica erected above the sacred spot, about the end of the fourth or the beginning of the fifth century… It has been seen that we have no absolute certainty as to the place in which Mary lived after the day of Pentecost. Though it is more probable that she remained uninterruptedly in or near Jerusalem, she may have resided for a while in the vicinity of Ephesus, and this may have given rise to the tradition of her Ephesian death and burial. There is still less historical information concerning the particular incidents of her life. (Maas, Anthony. “The Blessed Virgin Mary.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 15. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1912. 26 Aug. 201114 Aug. 2010 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15464b.htm>)

Of course, the presence of a tomb suggests that one was buried within it, not assumed directly to heaven. Others have claimed her body left the tomb:

In the eighth century, St. John Damascene was known for giving sermons at the holy places in Jerusalem. At the Tomb of Mary, he expressed the belief of the Church on the meaning of the feast: “Although the body was duly buried, it did not remain in the state of death, neither was it dissolved by decay. . . . You were transferred to your heavenly home, O Lady, Queen and Mother of God in truth.” (Stevens C, Priest. Assumption of Mary. Catholic Heritage, July-August 1996. http://www.ewtn.com/library/answers/aofmary.htm)

S. Shoemaker also claims that the earliest accounts of the assumption state it occurred in Jerusalem, but later Ephesus:

Nevertheless, the earliest evidence of any such belief appears only in the ninth century, in a Syriac manuscript, copied in 874 which reports that Mary accompanied John to Ephesus, where she died and was buried. (Shoemaker S. The Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary’s Dormition and Assumption. Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 75)

The idea that Mary’s house was specifically in Ephesus allegedly began to gain acceptance because of visions that the mystic nun Anne Catherine Emmerich claimed to have had in the early 19th century. Because of her visions,one or more priests went to Ephesus and found a house apparently matching her descriptions (Shoemaker, p. 76). Some in the local area confirmed the location as Mary’s last house. And while some may claim that is proof it was Mary’s home, I should also add that Anne Catherine Emmerich claimed to have seen Limbo in her visions, yet the current Pontiff (Benedict XVI) has indicated that there is no such place as Limbo (What is Limbo? Is There Such a Place as Limbo? What Happens to Babies When They Die?). Despite this, on October 3, 2004 Anne Catherine Emmerich was beatified by Pope John Paul II.

But irrespective of what location may have been “Mary’s house,” the historical accuracy of the “assumption of Mary,” is at best a supposition that seems to contradict scripture. Although some have claimed that the apostles originally reported “the assumption,” there do not appear to be any pre-fourth century documents that state this (and even the “apostolic claim” was from testimony in the mid-fifth century by Juvenal, see The Catholic Encyclopedia Assumption of Mary).

The assumption position mainly seems to be have been accepted because people want to believe it as opposed to basing it upon reliable historical documentation:

In view of the striking absence of early historical evidence, the Vatican proceeded to establish the Assumption dogma primarily on a dogmatic rather than a historical basis. It was determined that despite the complete lack of any historical evidence for early belief in the Virgin’s Assumption, the dogma should still be proclaimed…(Shoemaker S. The Ancient Traditions of the Virgin Mary’s Dormition and Assumption. Oxford University Press, 2006, p. 15)

Wikipedia also noted:

Protestant theologians…cite the fact that the idea did not gain acceptance in the church until the sixth century, after Gregory of Tours accepted the apocryphal work “Transitus Beatae Mariae”…Catholic theologian Ludwig Ott stated, “The idea of the bodily assumption of Mary is first expressed in certain transitus-narratives of the fifth and sixth centuries…. The first Church author to speak of the bodily assumption of Mary, in association with an apocryphal transitus B.M.V., is St. Gregory of Tours.”…The Catholic writer Eamon Duffy goes further, conceding that “there is, clearly, no historical evidence whatever for it.”…

In Ludwig Ott’s Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma he states that “the fact of her death is almost generally accepted by the Fathers and Theologians, and is expressly affirmed in the Liturgy of the Church”, to which he adduces a number of helpful citations, and concludes that “for Mary, death, in consequence of her freedom from original sin and from personal sin, was not a consequence of punishment of sin. However, it seems fitting that Mary’s body, which was by nature mortal, should be, in conformity with that of her Divine Son, subject to the general law of death”…The point of her bodily death has not been infallibly defined, and many believe that she did not die at all, but was assumed directly into Heaven. The dogmatic definition within the Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus which, according to Roman Catholic dogma, infallibly proclaims the doctrine of the Assumption leaves open the question whether, in connection with her departure, Mary underwent bodily death; that is, it does not dogmatically define the point one way or the other, as shown by the words “having completed the course of her earthly life”…Many Catholics also believe that Mary first died before being assumed, but they add that she was miraculously resurrected before being assumed…This doctrine was dogmatically and infallibly defined by Pope Pius XII on November 1, 1950, in his Apostolic Constitution Munificentissimus Deus.

The holiday, then, is based upon mystic literature like the Transitus Mariae, essentially combined with a dogmatic declaration in 1950.

Now, the Transitus Mary was allegedly an account from an apparition claiming to be Mary. Yet, Catholics need to realize that in the early 6th century, a papal decree, Decretum Gelasianum, classified the Transitus Mariae writings as apocryphal (The Transitus Mariae Non-canonical Account of Mary’s passing. http://www.bibleprobe.com/transitusmariae.htm). Anyway, the Transitus Mariae claims that John was in Ephesus and the Holy Spirit transported him to Mary in Bethlehem (Smith Lewis A. Apocrypha syriaca: the Protevangelium Jacobi and Transitus Mariae, with texts from the Septuagint, the Corân, the Peshiṭta, and from a Syriac hymm in a Syro-Arabic palimpsest of the fifth and other centuries. C.J. Clay and sons, 1902, p. 25) and that Mary was taken into heaven from her house in Bethlehem (p. 33) and that was within the jurisdiction of the governor of Jerusalem (p. 36).

Now, having been to Ephesus a couple of times, I would like to mention the Islamic Turks in that area actually do celebrate the “assumption of Mary” as well. Not because it is mentioned in the Quran (it does not seem to be), but because Mary is mentioned in the Quran more times than Jesus. Certain Muslims venerate Mary to a degree.

Perhaps I should add that August 15th is considered by certain Catholics to be Mary’s “heavenly birthday.” However, perhaps it should be pointed out that early Christians did not observe birthdays (Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays?), hence the “birthday into heaven” position also was not a position of early Christians.

Notice what the Catholic news agency Zenit reported on the dogma:

Why a…dogmatic pronouncement on the Assumption? Because the Vicar of Christ…was inspired to do so to bring forth a new outpouring of grace for the Church through the intercession of the Queen of Heaven — the Mediatrix of all graces who was newly honored by a solemn papal proclamation of her parting earthly prerogative…

One objection voiced during the months preceding the 1950 definition by a group of theologians was that the new Marian definition would wreak havoc to ecumenical efforts newly initiated with other Christians. The late Cardinal Edouard Gagnon who lived through the years preceding and proceeding the Assumption definition, repeatedly testified to the opposite — that immediately following the papal proclamation of Our Lady’s Assumption, the Church experienced its greatest ever advancement in ecumenism in Church history up to its time, which consequently led to its historic flourishing at the Second Vatican Council.

Mothers unite. They do not divide. (Our Lady and Dogmas: Pondering the Assumption. ZE10081612 – 2010-08-16. Permalink: http://www.zenit.org/article-30069?l=english)

So, the dogma is for the eventual ecumenical plans of the Church of Rome. But it was not an original dogma (it was adopted in 1950), it is in conflict with sacred scripture, and it was not an original apostolic tradition.

Later this year, however, look for Pope Francis to push more towards his version of ‘Mary’ (watch Fatima and Pope Francis).

For more information, please check out the following:

Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future? A video of related interest is titled: The ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ and Prophecy.
Fatima Shock! YouTube Dr. Thiel highlights a few points of why no one would support Fatima, etc. as discussed in the documented book Fatima Shock!
The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future? A video of related interest is titled: The ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ and Prophecy.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
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?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics The talks for unification involve compromise and the apparent rising up of a changed religion that no one should accept.
Catholic Prophecies: Do They Mirror, Highlight, or Contradict Biblical Prophecies? People of all faiths may be surprised to see what various Roman and Orthodox Catholic prophets have been predicting as many of their predictions will be looked to in the 21st century.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions. [Português: Qual é fiel: A igreja católica romana ou a igreja do deus?]
What Did Early Christians Understand About the Resurrection? Is there more than one future resurrection? Did early Christians teach a physical resurrection? Did early Christians teach three resurrections?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

‘Losing my religion’

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019


REM song cover

COGwriter

REM had a hit with a song in 1991 titled Losing My Religion. It reached number 4 on the Billboard charts. Throughout the years, I have thought about that when various ones fell away from the truth (see The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings).

However, the song also came to mind when I read about Protestant leader named Marty Sampson who just lost his religion. He is being praised by atheists.

His announcement comes after a well-known Protestant dating-marriage author, Joshua Harris, renounced his beliefs, announced he was getting divorced, and offered apologies to the LGBTQ crowd.

Neither of these men had the biblical faith. And now, both have also moved away from Protestantism.

Here is some information related to Joshua Harris:

A former pastor who stunned the evangelical movement last month by announcing he was “falling away” from Christianity and recanting his teachings on sexuality marched in the Vancouver Pride Parade over the weekend. … on July 26, Harris posted on Instagram that he had undergone “a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus.”

“The popular phrase for this is ‘deconstruction,’ the biblical phrase is ‘falling away,” he added. “By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.”

In the same post, he specifically apologized for his previous opposition to same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

“To the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality. I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry. I hope you can forgive me.⁣⁣” 08/08/19 https://www.newsweek.com/joshua-harris-gay-pride-parade-evangelical-1453273

The Bible not only strongly condemns that LGBTQ agenda, and states that those who remain part of it will not be in God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), it also says it is wrong to approve people being part of such sexually immoral lifestyles (Romans 1:18-32). This was also clearly taught by second century Christian leaders such as Polycarp of Smyrna and Melito of Sardis. Apparently Joshua Harris now considers biblical morality and early Christianity a form of bigotry. He needs to be asking God, not the LGBTQ crowd, for forgiveness.

Here is some information related to Marty Sampson:

‘I’m Genuinely Losing My Faith’: Hillsong Worship Leader Rejects Christian Beliefs

August 13, 2019

Marty Sampson, a worship music writer, singer, and active member of Hillsong has publicly denounced his faith on social media.

His announcement comes just weeks after well-known Christian author Joshua Harris announced his departure from Christianity, both sharing their news over Instagram.

The following is a transcript of the post from Relevant Magazine:

Time for some real talk. I’m genuinely losing my faith, and it doesn’t bother me. Like, what bothers me now is nothing. I am so happy now, so at peace with the world. It’s crazy.

This is a soapbox moment so here I go … How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it. How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it. Christians can be the most judgmental people on the planet—they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people. But it’s not for me.

I am not in any more. I want genuine truth. Not the “I just believe it” kind of truth. Science keeps piercing the truth of every religion. …

All I know is what’s true to me right now, and Christianity just seems to me like another religion at this point. I could go on, but I won’t. https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/entertainment/2019/august/im-genuinely-losing-my-faith-hillsong-worship-leader-rejects-christian-beliefs

Let’s deal with several issues related to him and what he brought up.

First of all, I have warned about Hillsong and its ecumenical-interfaith agenda. Essentially according to it all religions are about the same. So, it is no great surprise that in the mind of people like Marty Sampson, his perception is that his type of Christianity was just another of the world’s religions.

Before going further, let me mention that the Continuing Church of God put out the following sermon related to Hillsong its ContinuingCOG channel:

1:21:54

Musical instruments were mentioned in the Book of Genesis. Music is present all over in the 21st century. How does music affect the mind and body? Is it okay to listen to music? Should lyrics matter? Are there biblical principles to consider related to music? Can Christians listen to secular music? Is harp music always good? Is “Contemporary Christian Music” biblically appropriate? Has money overly influenced the “Christian music industry”? What is the Pentecostal ‘latter rain’? What about songs about heaven? Do groups like Hillsong promote the gospel of the kingdom or a false gospel message? Has there been an ongoing attempt to promote an ecumenical message in what has been called “gospel” or “Christian” music? How can you tell a real Christian from a false one? What type of songs did early Christians sing? Did the old Worldwide Church of God fall because of its 1974 hymnal? Are psalms and songs in “The Bible Hymnal” of the Continuing Church of God consistent with the practices of original Christians? Dr. Thiel addresses these and more!

Here is a link to the sermon: Music, Hillsong, and the False Gospel.

Now, let’s deal with his other points.

Do ministers fail?

Yes.

And this was prophesied:

2 Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:2)

34 “Wail, shepherds, and cry!
Roll about in the ashes,
You leaders of the flock!
For the days of your slaughter and your dispersions are fulfilled;
You shall fall like a precious vessel.  (Jeremiah 25:34)

1 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. (Ezekiel 34:1-4)

Jesus, Himself, condemned the religious leaders of His day as “Hypocrites” (Matthew 15:7, 23:13-15), so having false pastors now should not be a surprise.

The Apostle Paul also warned about them:

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

If he would have practiced the true biblical faith, Marty Sampson should have understood that.

To his other point, how many miracles happen?

As many as God feels are needed for His plan–and sometimes what we consider to be miracles are rare (cf. 1 Samuel 3:1).

In addition to miraculous healings, the Bible shows God also sometimes intervenes with prophetic dreams (Numbers 12:6; watch also Dreams, COGs, and One Man Rule)–which were prophesied for the last days (Acts 2:17). And we in the Continuing Church of God do talk about them (for details see Dreams, the Bible, the Radio Church of God, and the Continuing Church of God).

Now as to his point about contradictions, no, the original biblical text had no contradictions–but various translations do. Yet, much in the Bible does contradict what passes for ‘Christianity’ in the 21st century. Sadly, Marty Sampson seems to have been influenced by theologians that do not accept the original Christian faith.

Let’s take another look at something Marty Sampson wrote:

How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it.

Actually, that is NOT His plan, but a distortion that many Protestants, starting with Martin Luther and John Calvin had. The biblical “God is love” (1 John 4:8-16) and unlike the Protestant deity:

20 Our God is the God of salvation (Psalms 68:20).

As to his claim no one talks about it, the reality is that this summer, we have put out eight sermons as well as promoting the reading of a new book that deals with the errors in misunderstanding God’s plan, for those not called to be true Christian believers in this age:

Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.

As far as genuine truth goes, sadly Marty Sampson and Joshua Harris have not understood it. Jesus said:

17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. (John 17:17)

The Apostle Paul wrote:

13 For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. 14. For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 2:13-14a).

7… the word of truth, (2 Corinthians 6:7)

13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; (Ephesians 1:13)

5 the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, (Colossians 1:5)

So, whatever God says is the truth.

The Bible also teaches:

18 it is impossible for God to lie, (Hebrews 6:18).

2 God, who cannot lie (Titus 1:2)

As far as science goes, to claim modern science is the source of genuine truth is provably wrong.

The Bible also teaches:

4 … Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. (Romans 3:4)

The Bible also warns about false science:

20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith.  (1 Timothy 6:20-21, KJV)

Yes, many falsely cling to what is falsely called science.

And that is the opinion of many in the scientific community:

June 1, 2015

Those who think science is the measure of all truth might want to check the data first.

Here’s a quote for you: “A lot of what is published [in scientific journals] is incorrect.” Care to guess where those words appeared? Not on a website that questions the “consensus of experts on climate change.” Nor do they appear in a publication associated with intelligent design or other critiques of Neo-Darwinism.

They appeared in the April 11, 2015, issue of the Lancet, the prestigious British medical journal.

The writer, Richard Horton, was quoting a participant at a recent symposium on the “reproducibility and reliability of biomedical research.” Specifically, the symposium discussed one of the “most sensitive issues in science today: the idea that something has gone fundamentally wrong with one of our greatest human creations.”

And he’s referring to scientific research—the research that not only purports to tell us how the world works, but, increasingly, how people should order their lives and societies.

As Horton told Lancet readers, “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”

He continues, “In their quest for telling a compelling story, scientists too often sculpt data to fit their preferred theory of the world.”

We recently saw an example of this in a story about a much-publicized study purporting to show that voters were likely to change their minds about same-sex marriage if they were visited by gay pollsters who shared their stories with them.

Researchers seeking to reproduce the findings found discrepancies in the data and asked the original researcher for the original data. The researcher was unable to produce the original data. This led the lead researcher to request that the study be withdrawn. Even supporters of same-sex marriage acknowledged that the study and the conclusions drawn from it were fraudulent. http://www.breakpoint.org/bpcommentaries/entry/12/27474?spMailingID=11525872&spUserID=OTQ0MjM5NDU2S0&spJobID=560044991&spReportId=NTYwMDQ0OTkxS0

The actual percentage is probably more than half. A lot more than half.

Similarly, the editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Marcia Angell, wrote in 2009:

It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Don’t put your trust in unreliable humans:

8 It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to trust in the Lord
Than to put confidence in princes.  (Psalm 118:8-9)

3 Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. (Psalm 146:3)

Getting back to Marty Sampson, now that he lost his religion, he is being praised by atheists. The term “Friendly Atheist” of Satan’s supporters who try to look like ministers of righteousness:

Another prominent Christian is now publicly saying he’s no longer a believer. (For once, Joshua Harris started a positive trend!)

This time, it’s Australian songwriter Marty Sampson, well-known in the contemporary Christian music scene …

It’s not clear when Sampson began this road to reality. I wonder if he had doubts when he was still writing Christian music or whether something specific led him to question religion more recently.

Either way, it would be completely unfair to say he wasn’t a True Christian™. Yes he was. He just woke up. https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2019/08/12/famed-christian-songwriter-renounces-religion-im-genuinely-losing-my-faith/

By no biblical standard was Marty Sampson a true Christian. He never understood, “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). Basically, he practiced a modified form of the sun god religion called Mithraism.

And if atheists were really into true science, they would renounce atheism. Instead they tend to cling to the false theory of evolution as a their religion (for detailed proofs, check out the free online book: Is God’s Existence Logical? ) and some in academia see this (e.g. ‘Famed Yale computer science professor quits believing Darwin’s theories’).

As far as people like Marty Sampson and Joshua Harris go, they never were practicing the original Christian faith, so whatever religion they lost, it was like one in the world.

Perhaps, in time, if they are disappointed with science, immorality, etc. they will look for the true faith. A religion that Jesus referred to as the “pearl of great price” (Matthew 13:45-46).

A religion that no one should ever want to lose.

Some items of related interest may include the following:

Music and the False Gospel of Ecumenical Music Has popular ‘Christian’ music been promoting a false ecumenical gospel? Shouldn’t Christian unity be promoted? Here is a link to a related sermon: Music, Hillsong, and the False Gospel.
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
The Similarities and Dissimilarities between Martin Luther and Herbert W. Armstrong This article clearly shows some of the doctrinal differences between in the two. At this time of doctrinal variety and a tendency by many to accept certain aspects of Protestantism, the article should help clarify why the Continuing Church of God is NOT Protestant. Do you really know what the Protestant Reformer Martin Luther taught and should you follow his doctrinal example?
Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, Can God Save Your Relatives?, Babies, Limbo, Purgatory and God’s Plan, and ‘By the Mouth of All His Holy Prophets’.
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?
Dating: A Key to Success in Marriage, a practical dating guide for Christians This is a scripture-filled dating guide. It discusses many aspects of dating, as well as who to not consider for marriage. Two related sermons are available: The Art of Christian Dating. and No One to Date? Teen Q&A? Engagement? 2nd Marriage? A short animation is also available: First Date: Worldly vs. Christian.
Love, Marriage, and Sex It is important to get them in the right order.
God Created Marriage Some falsely claim that God did not create marriage and that fornication is fine.  What does the Bible really teach? Here is a version in Mandarin Chinese y^R ZZYû.
Making Your Marriage Work Marriage is not always easy, but it pictures a divine relationship. How can you make your marriage work? Here is a link to the video sermon: You Can Make YOUR Marriage Work.
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 three YouTube videos related to this, titled Transgender ‘Woe to those who call evil good’ and Cross dressing and Other Assaults Against Your Children and USA pushing gender confusion.
The Bible Condemns Homosexuality “Same-sex marriage” for “gays” and lesbians is becoming more acceptable to many. What does the Bible teach about homosexuality and the LGBTQ agenda?  Can homosexuals change? A related video sermon is titled: What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?
Pornography: A scourge on society Is pornography harmless fun? Does the Bible teach anything about it? What are the views of some involved with it? A related sermons is titled: Pornography, False Comfort, and False Religion. Here a shorter YouTube video Pornography: Harmless Fun or a Scourge on Society?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! Would you like Christian answers to give atheists? This is a free online booklet that deal with improper theories and musings called science related to the origin of the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and evolution. Two animated videos of related interest are also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator? and A Lifegiver or Spontaneous Evolution?
Does it Make Physical Sense to believe in God? 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 God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You? A short animation is also available: Is God Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
Just What Do You Mean — Repentance? Do you know what repentance is? Have you truly repented? Repented of what? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
What is the Unpardonable Sin? What is it? Can you repent of it? Do you know what it is and how to avoid it? Here is a link to a related sermon video The Unpardonable Sin and the Prodigal Son. Here is a link to a shorter video The ‘Unpardonable Sin’ and ‘Climate Change’?
History of Auricular Confession and the ‘Sacrament of Confession’ Did early Christians confess their sins to priests? A related sermon is Confess to God and truly repent.

Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
The Spanish Inquisition and Early Protestant Persecutions Was the Church of Rome really responsible for this? What happened? A video of related interest is titled: The Past and Future Inquisition.
Persecutions by Church and State This article documents some that have occurred against those associated with the COGs and some prophesied to occur. Will those with the cross be the persecutors or the persecuted–this article has the shocking answer. There is also a YouTube video sermon you can watch: The Coming Persecution of the Church. Here is information in the Spanish language: Persecuciones de la Iglesia y el Estado.
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.
Why Should American Catholics Should Fear Unity with the Orthodox? Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster?
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?
Early Church History: Who Were the Two Major Groups Professed Christ in the Second and Third Centuries? Did you know that many in the second and third centuries felt that there were two major, and separate, professing Christian groups in the second century, but that those in the majority churches tend to now blend the groups together and claim “saints” from both? “Saints” that condemn some of their current beliefs. Who are the two groups?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L’Histoire Continue de l’Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
CCOG and What is Truth? What does the Bible teach about truth? Does the CCOG teach the truth?

CWN promotes Torben Sondergaard’s ‘signs and wonders’ ‘reformation’

Saturday, August 10th, 2019


CWN poster

COGWriter

Today, ‘Christian World News’ featured an interview, in a promotional type of way, the Danish preacher Torben Sondergaard

Torben Sondergaard essentially made statements to the effect that signs and wonders are what is needed to reform ‘the church,’ that these basically left ‘the church’ after the rise of Emperor Constantine, and that he is promoting them now.

CBN has the following in an article about him:

He wanted something that was real, not like in the state church when he got confirmed. That was not real. That was religion, that was tradition. When he said that it was not christianity, it was not Jesus, it was just a desperation for something. But God heard those words and a short time later Torben met an old friend. That friend told him more about God and a short time later Torben got born again.

A few months later he went to a big Christian concert and God spoke very clearly and he heard God say in the middle of the concert: ’The girl that is standing behind you, is going to be your wife one day’. When Torben turned around he saw the girl (Lene) and he just knew: this is going to be my wife some day! Three months later he met her again and now has been married to her for almost twenty years and they have three children. https://www1.cbn.com/profiles/sondergaard-torben accessed 08/10/19

His church is called ‘The Last Reformation.’ His church website states it is pushing for “A reformation that will go deeper than any reformation before” (https://thelastreformation.com/ accessed 08/10/19).

Anyway, others have written a little about his before, so let’s see some information from some who do not support him:

Contending for the Faith

Jude states in his book the very purpose for which he wrote it; that it was it was necessary “to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Why? Because “certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:4). To have “miracle powers” is to satisfy the desires of the flesh and is pride-based, rather than focusing on being like Christ (Phil 2), and personal experience is now being placed above Scripture as Sondergaard teaches that salvation is only completed through baptism and making sure to avoid the three-fold immersion that the Bible teaches (Matt 28:19), and salvation is not completed until there is the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is manifested by speaking in tongues. [3, 4] Sondergaard even says it was through baptism that Jesus received the Holy Spirit [4] and today, the receiving of the Holy Spirit has substituted the receiving of Jesus [5], but isn’t Jesus is the Head of the Church? It seems that Sondergaard is now leading the church, and Jesus is following, since His imperative commands (Matt 25:34-39; 28:18-20) are now superseded by “signs and wonders,” which by the way, Jesus said is what an evil generation seeks after (Matt 16:4). (https://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2017/06/16/9916/ accessed 08/10/19)

Now, one point that Torben Sondergaard has right is that people should contend for the original faith and not false traditions that most follow (see also Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings).

But the pushing for signs and wonders, the way Torben Sondergaard is doing it, is dangerous.

Notice the following prophecy written by the Apostle Paul:

3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-7)

So, the restrainer will be taken out of the way before the end. (For information on who the restrainer seems to be, check out the article What is Restrained and Who is Restraining in 2 Thessalonians 2:7?)

After the restrainer is out of the way, we will see more signs and lying wonders:

8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12)

Thus we see that, in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul warned that towards the end, almost all would be deceived by signs and lying wonders. And improper ‘unity’ will result from them.

Deception must be clever to work, and would need some type of ‘verification’ to be believed by the masses.

The lawless one is a European. He will impact the world and greatly impact places like Torben Sondergaard’s Danish homeland.

Throughout history multitudes have already been deceived by signs and wonders coming from statues and alleged apparitions of Jesus and Mary, as well as other demonic manifestations. They have felt that this was ‘proof’ that some false religion was true. But Christians are supposed to walk by faith and not sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Also notice something that the Apostle John was inspired to write:

1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; (1 John 4:1)

While most, incorrectly, feel that they can properly test/discern the spirits, that is not the case. Even most real Christians in these end times are not doing that correctly (cf. Revelation 3:14-19; see also How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God). However, the ‘Laodicean Christians‘ will not be deceived like the non-Christians will be–but they will have problems because of their improper priorities (consider also the video 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy).

A while back, also on CWN, I saw a news item where a Roman Catholic woman was excited about ‘speaking in tongues’ etc. She talked about signs and wonders, and the Protestant commentator was encouraging this belief. Signs and lying wonders are associated with the ecumenical movement.

In the future, it is likely that the “interfaith movement” will employ “Mary,” signs, and other ideas as tools for improper unity for those who are not true, biblical, Christians (see Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction?).

Satan has a plan, and deceit, signs, and lying wonders are part of it (see also Satan’s Plan).

Having ‘verified’ paranormal activity will condition people to accept as real, improper manifestations in the future.

The Book of Revelation shows that a massive deceit, in the form of wrong worship, will affect the world:

7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

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

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. 12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. (Revelation 13:7-14)

We are getting closer to the fulfillment of these verses in Revelation. Likely within the next decade or two.

Lest everyone think it is only Protestants who want signs and wonders, the Roman and Eastern Orthodox Catholics have long pointed to them in the past. And they are looking forward to them in the future.

Notice some related to the Great Monarch (who looks to be the Beast of the Sea Revelation 13:1-10) and the miracle performing pope (who looks to be an antipope that is the Beast from the earth of Revelation 13:11-15).

Anonymou Paraphrasis (10th century): The one true King … is destined to become manifest [be revealed] … by means … of signs … The King will hear the voice and instructions by an Angel appearing to him … he has foresight and is cognizant of the text of the prophecies … the name of the King is hidden [concealed] among the nations … And the particular manner of the king’s manifestation to the public [to the world] will take place as follows: A star will appear [will become visible] for three days long and during the third hour of the night, on the eve of the feast day of the Mother of the Most High (it will become visible) in the Middle of the City. And this star is not one among the planets … And a herald speaking with a very loud voice in the course of the three days will summon and unveil the hoped for one … There will become visible in the sky a ‘nebulous firmament of the sun’ … under that image will be suspended a cross … And the invisible herald from Heaven with his thunderous voice will say to the people: Is this man agreeable to you?  At that moment everybody will be taken by fear and terror … they will elevate him on a high spot and will proclaim him (their) hereditary Monarch (Tzima Otto, The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Scriptural Prophecies, H.  The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Scriptural Prophecies. Verenika Press, Rock City (SC), 2000, pp. 30, 31, 32, 50-51,52,53).

St. Thomas a’Becket (12th Century). St. Thomas says:

“A knight shall come from the West. He shall capture Milan, Lombardy, and the three Crowns. He shall then sail to Cyprus and Famagoste and land at Jaffa, and reach Christ’s grave where he will fight. Wars and wonders shall befall till the people believe in Christ toward the end of the world.”

Notice that St. Thomas says wars and wonders will precede a resurgence in belief in Christ during the latter times (Birch DA. Trial, Tribulation & Triumph: Before During and After Antichrist. Queenship Publishing Company, Goleta (CA), 1996, p. 255). {The comments in italics were from Birch personally}.

Discourse of a Holy Man to Emperor Manuel II Palaeologous (15th century): And the members of the clergy and the monastics as well as every social stratum of humanity, against their own will, but led by a divine sign will come to Constantinople … Then, an angel … will descend from heaven … and he will crown the Emperor of Peace. The King will be present in Constantinople (Tzima Otto, The Great Monarch and WWIII in Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Scriptural Prophecies, pp. 99-100).

Dr. Otto: Suffice it say that the Anonymou Paraphrasis, alone, makes several references to this anointed feature of the King … The name of the King is concealed among the Gentiles. Also, the anointed one will be made manifest through Signs and Wonders from Heaven. (Tzima Otto H. They’ll have no King but Caesar: King Henry of the Cross, p. 119)

Bl. Anna-Maria Taigi (19th Century) …”After the three days of darkness, St. Peter and St. Paul, having come down from Heaven, will preach in the whole world and designate a new Pope. A great light will flash from their bodies and will settle upon the cardinal who is to become Pope. Christianity, then, will spread throughout the world. He is the Holy Pontiff, chosen by God to withstand the storm. At the end, he will have the gift of miracles, and his name shall be praised over the whole earth (Birch, pp. 362-363).

Expect to see more signs and wonders.

But test the spirits (1 John 4:1) as many will not be from God, even if ‘verified’ ‘by scientists, researchers, government officials, academia, and/or the media.

Here are some links to items of possibly related interest:

Tradition and Scripture: From the Bible and Church Writings Are traditions on equal par with scripture? Many believe that is what Peter, John, and Paul taught. But did they? A related sermon is titled Tradition and Scripture.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
Close Encounters of a ‘Spirit’ Kind discusses some experiences I believe were (demon) ‘spirit’ related. A video is also available titled: Poltergeists and Lying Wonders.
Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future? Here are links to a two-part sermon series: What are Some of the Parts of Satan’s Plan? and Satan’s Plan is More Dramatic than Many Realize.
What is Restrained and Who is Restraining in 2 Thessalonians 2:7? Are sorceries being restrained until the future? What is the mystery of lawlessness? Here is a related article in Spanish: ¿Qué es lo que se restringe y quién lo está restringiendo en 2 Tesalonicenses 2:7?
The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings Who is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring to? Are there multiple falling aways? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: La Apostasía: Enseñanzas de la Biblia y de la WCG. There are also two YouTube videos on the subject that you can watch The Falling Away Part 1: From the Bible and Church History and The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others.
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios?
Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots. They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.
Did God Create a Devil? If not, what happened? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet.
The Bible and Astrology Should Christians avoid participating in astrology or did God inspire it? Does the Bible encourage astrology? What does the Bible actually teach? What is astrology? How does astrology differ from astronomy? Should Christians Be Involved In Astrology?
OMENS? DIVINATION? HOROSCOPES? THE ORIGIN OF ASTROLOGY
Where did astrology come from? Should you read your horoscope?
Does Astrology Work? Many believe and follow astrology–but does it work? Here is a link to the article in Mandarin Chinese: 占星术准确吗? .
Angels, Cherubim, and Seraphim This is information about various types of angelic beings.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
Satan’s Plan A Brief Introduction This is a short video dealing with Satan’s plan.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 yea
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?
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
Assumption of Mary Did Mary die? Was she taken to heaven on August 15th? What is known? What does the Bible show?
Do you understand the ramifications of the ‘Lady of Guadalupe’? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future?
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differs from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware! [Português: Esperança do salvação: Como a igreja do deus difere da maioria de protestantes]. A sermon is also available: How Does the Church of God Differ from Protestantism?
Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction! What is going on in the Protestant world? Are Protestants turning back to their ‘mother church’ in Rome? Does the Bible warn about this? What are Catholic plans and prophecies related to this? Is Protestantism doomed? See also World Council of Churches Peace Plan.
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity? This documented article answers those questions.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

Temple Mourning Day: Shouldn’t this get Jews to accept Jesus?

Friday, August 9th, 2019


David Robert’s The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem (1850)

COGwriter

The Temple Institute sent out the following regarding certain Jewish observances:

Av 8, 5779/August 9, 2019

Due to the idiosyncrasies of the Hebrew calendar, every so often Tisha b’Av(the fast of the 9th of Av) falls on a Shabbat. Tisha b’Av, the anniversary of the destruction of both the first and second Holy Temple, as well as other catastrophes that befell the nation of Israel over the millennia, is the saddest day of the Hebrew year. It is a day of mourning and lamentation. Yet on Shabbat we are commanded to be happy, and fasting and mourning are strictly prohibited. This year is one such year. Therefore, the 9th of Av (which falls on Shabbat) will be a day of joy and rest, and the traditional observation of the 9th of Av will be deferred to the 10th of Av, commencing immediately after the conclusion of Shabbat. But the 9th of Av, itself, when it takes place on a Shabbat, takes on a very special feeling of sublime joy, especially here in the land of Israel. It is a sweet glimpse into what Tisha b’Av will actually become someday (soon!) when we have rebuilt the Holy Temple and renewed the Divine service. For the prophet Zechariah declared: “So said HaShem of Hosts: The fast of the fourth [month], the fast of the fifth [month – Tisha b’Av], the fast of the seventh [month], and the fast of the tenth [month] shall be for the house of Judah for joy and happiness and for happy holidays – but love truth and peace.” (Zechariah 8:19) We have come so far since the disastrous day in the desert when, (on the 9th of Av), the spies returned from the land of Israel and delivered a disparaging, discouraging and disheartening report to the people, thus marking the 9th of Av as a day of calamity and mourning for Israel throughout the generations, until… we rebuild the Holy Temple. We have come so far even in our generation to realizing the age old dream of rebuilding the Holy Temple that it seems tantalizingly close, especially so when Tisha b’Av falls on Shabbat, the holiest, most sublime and joy filled day of every week.

Here is something else from the Temple Institute about it:

The month of Av bears the burden of the first nine days of Av, which are days of mourning and introspection, focusing on the Holy Temple, which was destroyed on the 9th day of Av, 1948 years ago, and has yet to be rebuilt. But following the 9th of Av, specifically on the 15th of Av, also known as Tu B’Av, the month of Av transforms into a month of increasing joy, as we begin the process of spiritual rejuvenation, which continues into the month of Elul, which, in turn, leads us to Rosh HaShana, and the joy-filled holidays that fill the month of Tishrei. (Temple Institute Facebook page, accessed 07/14/18)

Before going further, let me state that what Jews now call ‘Rosh HaShana‘ the Bible refers to it as follows:

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

The related joy for Christians is to realize that Jesus will return on the last trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:52), the seventh one. The start of the blowing of the seven trumpets of Revelation 8:5-6 is expected to be on the first day of the seventh month, that Jews today commonly call Tishri.

Here is something more about it the Jewish mourning day:

The Ninth of Av, the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, has transformed from a day focused on mourning and remembrance of the Jewish people’s’ greatest tragedies to one with an aspect of “tikkun,” or fixing society’s ills. One need only glance at the title of the blogs on The Times of Israel, or Jewish writing in any modern publication, to see how a concerted effort is underway to reverse the baseless hatred that the sages say led to the destruction of the Second Temple some 2,000 years ago. 1 August 2017, http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-a-sorry-state/

In the past, Jews who attempted to pray at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound have been expelled:

1 August 2017

JERUSALEM — Israeli police says hundreds of Jews have ascended a contested Jerusalem holy site to mark Tisha B’Av, the Jewish day of mourning over the destruction of the biblical temples.

The site has been at the center of recent tensions after Israel installed, and then removed, metal detectors there following the deadly shooting of two Israeli policemen. Muslims administer the compound, home to the Al Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques, while Jews can visit but not pray there.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri says six Jewish visitors were removed Tuesday for violating the guidelines. She says three Jews and one Muslim were arrested after a minor skirmish.

Azzam Khateeb, director of the Muslim administration, the Waqf, says 870 Jews visited. He said “this is unprecedented, unacceptable and should stop.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/jews-visit-contested-jerusalem-holy-site-on-day-of-mourning/2017/08/01/d588bdfe-769e-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014_story.html?utm_term=.5f0edfb3675e

The expulsion was not really a surprise as Jews are normally legally restricted from that. Anyway, here is some information about what the Jews are observing:

The Fast of the 9th of Av (Tisha B’Av), the day of mourning for the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples in Jerusalem, begins on Saturday night this year at the end of the Sabbath and lasts until Sunday night.

Although this year the 9th falls on the Sabbath itself, Jewish law precludes mourning on the weekly day of rest and so the fast is moved forward, while the Sabbath is celebrated with customary joy until sunset, dusk serving as an intermediate period when it is forbidden to eat as well as evince signs of mourning. …

The Ninth of Av is a date marked by tragedy in Jewish history. On this day:

  • The Jews in the desert wept in fear after hearing the report of the spies, and G-d decreed, as recounted in Numbers 13-14, that they would not be allowed to enter the Land of Israel until that entire generation had died out. Our sages say that G-d’s words were a prophecy: “You cried for nothing, and I will give you a reason to cry for generations to come.”
  • Beitar, the last fortress to hold out during the Bar Kochba revolt in the year 135 C.E., fell to the Romans and over 100,000 Jews were slain.
  • A year later, the Temple area was plowed over, marking the last milestone of national Jewish presence in the Promised Land until the modern era.
  • The cruel expulsion of the Jews of Spain by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492 achieved its goal.
  • World War I erupted in 1914, causing untold suffering to the Jews of Europe and Palestine and setting the stage for World War II and the Holocaust.
  • Mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka death camp began, in 1942.
  • There is a more recent tragedy. The Jews of Gush Katif spent their last legal day in their homes in Tisha B’Av of 2005, and were expelled three days later. The “Disengagement” the forced expulsion of more than 9,000 Jews from their homes in northern Samaria and the Jewish Gaza region, was carried out by a government, headed by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his deputy Ehud Olmert, who sent in soldiers and police, many of them dressed in black uniforms and riot gear, followed by bulldozers that destroyed the Jewish homes.

Twenty synagogues, however, were handed over to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and within minutes, went up in flames. …

How prophetic that the Talmudic Sages said that while the First Temple was destroyed due to the sins of idol worship, murder and immorality, the Second Temple fell due to the senseless hatred (sinat chinam) of one Jew for another.

And despite the 2000-year-old fast and palpable longing for the Temple to be rebuilt on Judaism’s holiest site on Mount Moriah, UNESCO and the EU are entertaining proposals to recognize it as a Muslim site, ignoring all of the above. …

Still, our Torah sages also teach that the Messiah will be born on Tisha B’Av and the saddest part of the regular daily prayers – tachanun – is not recited, in the anticipation of the final joyous Redemption that will render Tisha B’Av a day of joy. An old Jerusalem custom was to whitewash the walls of one’s home in the afternoon of the fast, in preparation for the Messiah’s expected arrival.

May we merit greeting the Messiah and be privileged to rebuild the Temple speedily in our time. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/216325

So, various Jews believe that the Messiah will be born on Tisha B’Av. And a few days before this they mourn the loss of their two temples. While the Messiah will not be born then, He may return around then or within months of it.

Av (or Ab) is the fifth month of the Hebrew calendar (to see the months for the entire year, check out the free online booklet Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).

So, many believe that the Jewish fast of this day is mentioned in the Bible in the following verse:

19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts:

‘The fast of the fourth month,
The fast of the fifth,
The fast of the seventh,
And the fast of the tenth,
Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts
For the house of Judah.
Therefore love truth and peace.’ (Zechariah 8:19)

The Jewish Encyclopedia notes:

Besides the Day of Atonement, which is the only fast-day prescribed by the Mosaic law (Lev. xvi. 29; see Atonement, Day of), there were established after the Captivity four regular fast-days in commemoration of the various sad events that had befallen the nation during that period (Zech. viii. 19; comp. vii. 3-5). These were the fast of the fourth month (Tammuz), of the fifth month (Ab), of the seventh month (Tishri), and of the tenth month (Ṭebet). (Greenstone JH, Hirsch EG, Hirschfeld H. FASTING AND FAST-DAYS. The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906. accessed 08/14/16)

AB, NINTH DAY OF:

The Fall of Jerusalem.

Day set aside by tradition for fasting and mourning, to commemorate the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Chaldeans (586 B.C.) and by the Romans (70); a movable fast falling approximately in the beginning of August of the Gregorian calendar. In II Kings, xxv. 8, 9 it is stated that the Temple was burned on the seventh day of the fifth month; in Jer. xxxix. 8 no exact date is given; while in Jer. lii. 12 the tenth day of the fifth month is assigned as the date. In connection with the fall of Jerusalem three other fast-days were established at the same time as the Ninth Day of Ab: these were the Tenth of Tebet, when the siege began; the Seventeenth of Tammuz, when the first breach was made in the wall; and the Third of Tishri, the day when Gedaliah was assassinated (II Kings, xxv. 25; Jer. xli. 2). From Zech. vii. 5, viii. 19 it appears that after the erection of the Second Temple the custom of keeping these fast-days was discontinued. Since the destruction of Jerusalem and of the Second Temple by the Romans, the four fast-days have again been observed. It has indeed been suggested that the sacredness of the day is due to its being the anniversary of the fall of Bethar at the end of the Bar Kokba war, thus making it a national rather than a religious ceremony.

Waning Significance.

In the long period which is reflected in Talmudic literature the observance of the Ninth Day of Ab assumed a character of constantly growing sadness and asceticism. Still it seems that, about the end of the second century or at the beginning of the third, the celebration of the day had lost much of its gloom. Judah ha-Nasi was in favor of abolishing it altogether or, according to another version, of lessening its severity when the feast has been postponed from Saturday to Sunday (Meg. 5b). A tendency to a less ascetic construction is also noticeable in the Talmudic explanation of Zech. viii. 19—namely, that the four fast-days would become feast-days during times of peace; on which Rashi remarks: “Peace means when the oppression of the Jews on account of their religion shall have ceased” (R. H. 18b). The growing strictness in the observance of mourning customs in connection with the Ninth Day of Ab is especially marked in post-Talmudic times, and particularly in the darkest period of Jewish life, from the fifteenth century to the eighteenth. ( Landsberg M, Kohler K. AB, NINETH DAY OF. The Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906. accessed 08/14/16)

We will see if this date may have future significance.

Jesus, referring to what is commonly considered as the ‘second temple,’ told His disciples around 30 A.D.:

1 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.

2 “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:1-2)

The first century Jewish historian Josephus wrote about this related to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple:

1 … But when Titus perceived that his endeavors to spare a foreign temple turned to the damage of his soldiers, and then be killed, he gave order to set the gates on fire. (Wars of the Jews, Book VI, Chapter 4, section 1)

1. NOW as soon as the army had no more people to slay or to plunder, because there remained none to be the objects of their fury, (for they would not have spared any, had there remained any other work to be done,) Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the entire city and temple, but should leave as many of the towers standing as were of the greatest eminency; that is, Phasaelus, and Hippicus, and Mariamne; and so much of the wall as enclosed the city on the west side. This wall was spared, in order to afford a camp for such as were to lie in garrison, as were the towers also spared, in order to demonstrate to posterity what kind of city it was, and how well fortified, which the Roman valor had subdued; but for all the rest of the wall, it was so thoroughly laid even with the ground by those that dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited. This was the end which Jerusalem came to by the madness of those that were for innovations; a city otherwise of great magnificence, and of mighty fame among all mankind. (Josephus. Wars of the Jews, Book VII, Chapter 1, verse 1)

So, there was not one stone left upon the other for the Temple and the related buildings (more on the destruction of Jerusalem can be found in the article Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required?

The second century Greek writer Pausanius wrote that:

the city of Jerusalem, a city which the Roman king destroyed to its foundations. (As cited in Murphy-O’Connor J. The Holy Land: An Oxford Archaeological Guide from Earliest Times to 1700. OUP Oxford, 2008, p. 159)

Notice something from what is likely an early third century writing:

But our Master did not prophesy after this fashion; but, as I have already said, being a prophet by an inborn and ever-flowing Spirit, and knowing all things at all times, He confidently set forth, plainly as I said before, sufferings, places, appointed times, manners, limits. Accordingly, therefore, prophesying concerning the temple, He said: ‘See ye these buildings? Verily I say to you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another which shall not be taken away; and this generation shall not pass until the destruction begin. For they shall come, and shall sit here, and shall besiege it, and shall slay your children here.’ And in like manner He spoke in plain words the things that were straightway to happen, which we can now see with our eyes, in order that the accomplishment might be among those to whom the word was spoken. For the Prophet of truth utters the word of proof in order to the faith of His hearers. (Clementine Homilies. Book III, Chapter XV)

While the above has a generational issue, the fact is that this is another apparent eye witness that Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed as prophesied.

It may be of interest to note that although the second temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. not everything was obliterated.

Notice something from the Talmud about what happened to the Temple:

“Desolate lay Zion, in ruins moldered Jerusalem; the temple was but a heap of stones. Where once stood the sanctuary now grew weeds, and jackals howled in the Temple court where once David the Psalmist and his vast choir of Levites plucked the harp strings and raised their voices in songs of praise to the Eternal.” (Staiman M. Waiting for the Messiah: Stories to Inspire Jews with Hope. Jason Aronson, 1997, p. 29)

So, some Temple stones were left.

Some of its stones were seemingly used as the foundation stones as well as the original walls, of what seems to have been the first Christian church building:

The Judeo-Christians probably built their church, at that time called a synagogue, sometime in the decade after 73 A.D. For its construction, they could have used some of the magnificent ashlars from Herod’s destroyed citadel, not far away. Or perhaps they used the stones from the ruins of the Temple itself…with the intention of transferring some elements of the Holy Temple to a site becoming a new Mt. Zion (Zion III).

If that is so, the event may in fact be referred to in one of the apocryphal Odes of Solomon composed about 100 A.D. by a rival sectarian Judeo-Christian group. The fourth ode begins:

“No man can pervert your holy place, 0 God, nor can he change it, and put it in another place, because [he has] no power over it. Your sanctuary you designed before you made special places.” (Charlesworth, Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, p. 736.)

Was this passage in condemnation of the effort of the Judeo-Christians who built the synagogue on Mt. Zion to transfer some of the holiness of the destroyed Temple to their place of worship on the new Mt. Zion by constructing it in part with stones from that Temple?

From this time on, the western hill of Jerusalem was referred to by Christians as Mt. Zion (Zion III). Very few places in Jerusalem can point to such an enduring tradition as Zion’s claim to be the seat of the primitive church. No other place has raised a serious rival claim…

By this time the Judeo-Christian synagogue on Mt. Zion had become known as the Church of the Apostles. It became known as the Church of the Apostles not only because the apostles returned there after witnessing Christ’s post-resurrection ascent to heaven, but also because the building was built, as we have seen, under the leadership of Simon son of Kleophas. Kleophas was known as a brother of Joseph of Nazareth, therefore Simon was a cousin of Jesus. Simon was later considered one of the apostles, outside the circle of the 12. For this reason, the house of worship built by Simon could rightfully be called the Church of the Apostles.

(Pixner B. Church of the Apostles Found on Mt. Zion. Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 1990: 16-35,60)

It may be that the above building will have a prophetic role. Details about that building, including some photographs my wife and I took related to it, are found in the article Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill.

In Daniel 9 we see that the Temple was prophesied to be destroyed:

25 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.

26 “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined. (Daniel 9:25-26)

As it turns out, Jesus came when that prophecy in the Hebrew scriptures (the Old Testament) said the Prince Messiah would come.

Let’s look at an explanation from the old Radio Church of God about the Daniel 9 prophecy:

At the time of Jesus’ life on this earth, Herod — the king in Judea — the wise men from the nations to the east, and many of the priests, scribes, and elders, as well as the common people, realized that the seventy weeks prophecy of Daniel 9 was nearing its completion. The Messiah, the Prince, was eagerly looked forward to, to free them from the yoke of Roman oppression. The Messiah was expected because of an understanding of this prophecy. But He was misunderstood when He appeared in the fulfillment of this prophecy, because they refused to recognize the first portion of the prophecy and hung their hope only on the last portion. …

Here, very plainly, is listed the exact time at which the prophesied Messiah would appear to begin to do the work mentioned in verse 24. The command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes in 457 B.C. Much of the book of Ezra and the entire book of Nehemiah cover this particular event. Seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks equal sixty-nine weeks. So the prophecies show that from the going forth of the command to rebuild Jerusalem in 457 B. C. it would be 483 years until the appearance of the prophesied Messiah to begin fulfilling the works of verse 24. (Hill DJ. HERE’S WHY Jews Reject Jesus and Christians Reject Christ! Plain Truth, April 1962)

Adding 483 to the year 457 B.C. brings the year 27 A.D. (there was no year “zero” between B.C. and A.D.). That brings us to the time that Jesus began His ministry (apparently in the Fall of the year). His ministry is believed to have lasted 3 ½ years, hence the veil would have been torn in the Spring of 31 A.D.

Now in the Talmud (Shabbat 119b), rabbis gave reasons for the destruction of the Temple, such as Jewish disobedience related to the Sabbath, drinking parties, not properly teaching their children, lack of trustworthy Jews, and Jews disparaging Torah scholars—they did not tie it in with Daniel 9. They quoted scriptures including Jeremiah 5:1, 6:11,15, 17:27; Ezekiel 22:26; Isaiah 5:11-13; 1 Chronicles 16:22; and 2 Chronicles 36:16.

Let’s look at part of the Talmud that discusses some of this:

Rabbi Yehuda said: Jerusalem was destroyed only because they disparaged the Torah scholars in it, as it is stated: “And they mocked the messengers of God and disdained His words and taunted His prophets, until the wrath of God arose against His people, until it could not be healed” (II Chronicles 36:16). What is the meaning of: Until it could not be healed? Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: It means that anyone who disparages Torah scholars cannot be healed from his wound.

Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Do not touch My anointed ones and do My prophets no harm” (I Chronicles 16:22)? “Do not touch My anointed ones,” these are the schoolchildren, who are as precious and important as kings and priests (Maharsha); “and do not harm My prophets,” these are Torah scholars. (Shabbat 119b, vs. 9-10)

Despite the rabbinical interpretation, the Old Testament did NOT say this destruction would come related to the rejection of Jewish “Torah scholars.” The type of Torah scholars the Talmud referred to were not directly sent by God nor were they prophets. If those cited in the Talmud would have been more accepting of the literal meaning of the Hebrew scriptures, they easily could have seen this.

Understand that the New Testament does show that the Jews did taunt God’s anointed prophets like John the Baptist, Jesus, Paul. Early Jewish writings show that they also taunted those the Jews called Minim (Minim were Jews that rejected aspects of Judaism, like accepting Jesus). Hence, Talmudic scholars should have had a clue that the Jewish rejection of Jesus and others was part of the reason for the destruction of the Temple (which also, after the sacrifice of Jesus, was essentially obsolete for the need of animal sacrifices during the church age per Hebrews 9 & 10).

The Jews should have accepted Jesus, but as prophesied in the Bible, most rejected Him:

3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 53:3)

21 The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” They said, “Barabbas!” 22 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!” 23 Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!” (Matthew 27:21-23)

The Jews expected Jesus to come as a king. But on His first coming He came as a Prince.

Some may think that the Temple perhaps would have gotten destroyed upon Jesus’ death–but the prophecy in Daniel 9 does not so state.

However, if we look at the account in Matthew’s Gospel, we see some unusual events took place when Jesus died:

50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:50-54)

It appears that the quake caused the ripping or tearing of the great curtain at the Temple entrance (“the veil of the temple”) in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45).

It has been reported from Christian sources that there was a sizeable stone lintel supporting the curtain which apparently tumbled to the floor below. The collapse of the lintel would have ripped the curtain in two and exposed the large doors sealing the Temple’s inner chamber. The episode resulted in the doors opening on their own accord, and likely exposing the Temple interior, the Holy of Holies chamber itself.

Moreover, it seems that the Chamber or Hall of the Hewn Stones (הגזית לשכת Lishkat ha-Gazit) built into the north wall of the Temple collapsed. The Sanhedrin met in this chamber when functioning as a court, but it suffered such structural damage then that the Sanhedrin had to abandon it.

That Christian explanation is consistent with the following that is in the Talmud:

The Gemara continues its question: And it is taught in a baraita: Forty years before the destruction of the Second Temple, the Sanhedrin was exiled from the Chamber of Hewn Stone and sat in the store near the Temple Mount. (Tractate Sanhedrin 41a, v.25)

Forty years before the Temple was destroyed, the Sanhedrin was exiled from the Chamber of Hewn Stones and sat in the stores on the Temple Mount. (Shabbat 15a, v. 9)

The Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was burned on August 30, 70 A.D. Whether 40 years is precise or approximate is not absolutely specified in the Talmud—but if we work back from 70 A.D. that supports either a 30 or 31 A.D. impalement of Jesus (it points to 31 A.D. if an inclusive “beginning with” counting method was used as in Leviticus 23:15-16).

That Temple’s elimination was also consistent with the following prophecy:

13 In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:13)

This sounds like God had a transitioning period while He still accepted Jews religious first covenant practices until more of them had enough time to accept Jesus.

Plus, even the Apostles still went to the Temple after Jesus was resurrected.

But God did have the Temple itself “vanish” away, which should have left no doubt that the first covenant was obsolete.

Now the Jews fast. Yet consider the following:

1 “Cry aloud, spare not; Lift up your voice like a trumpet; Tell My people their transgression,And the house of Jacob their sins. 2 Yet they seek Me daily, And delight to know My ways, As a nation that did righteousness, And did not forsake the ordinance of their God. They ask of Me the ordinances of justice; They take delight in approaching God. 3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, ‘and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls, and You take no notice?’

“In fact, in the day of your fast you find pleasure, And exploit all your laborers. 4 Indeed you fast for strife and debate,And to strike with the fist of wickedness. You will not fast as you do this day, To make your voice heard on high. 5 Is it a fast that I have chosen, A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, And to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Would you call this a fast,And an acceptable day to the Lord?

6 “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free,And that you break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then your light shall break forth like the morning, Your healing shall spring forth speedily, And your righteousness shall go before you; The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

“If you take away the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 If you extend your soul to the hungry And satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. 11 The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (Isaiah 58:1-11)

On this day, the Jews should consider that the Temple destruction was tied in with the coming of the Prince Messiah. They should not just fast, but repent and accept Jesus.

When they do not do that, it is mainly just a day of mourning.

Instead it should be a day that points to repentance and accepting Jesus.

The destruction of the Temple shows that Bible prophecies do come to pass and that Jesus is the Messiah.

We now have the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:

26:15

Jerusalem Temple Destruction and the Messiah

Was there any connection between prophesies of the Messiah and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A.D? On the 9th day of the fifth month on the Hebrew calendar, Jews fast because of the destruction of that Temple and other events that have befell the Jews. Did you know that the Jews tie the birth of the Messiah in with the month of Av? They also tie positive events from then to ‘Rosh Hoshana’ in the month of Tishri. Is there any relationship to Jesus and the first feast in Tishri? Did Jesus’ prophesies related to the Temple come to pass? What do Jewish and non-Jewish sources report about what happened to Jerusalem and the Temple? Did Jesus come when the Messiah was prophesied to start His ministry in Daniel 9? What happened when Jesus was killed? Was there a time of transition until the Temple was to be destroyed on August 30, 70 A.D.? What should Jews and others do related to the Messiah and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem? What seems to have happened to some of the ashlar stones that were part of that Temple? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more.

Here is a link to our video: Jerusalem Temple Destruction and the Messiah.

As far as Jews and others accepting Jesus as the Messiah goes, there is additional information and proof as why all should in our free online book: Proof Jesus is the Messiah.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You?
Proof Jesus is the Messiah This free book has over 200 Hebrew prophecies were fulfilled by Jesus. Plus, His arrival was consistent with specific prophecies and even Jewish interpretations of prophecy. Here are links to seven related sermons: Proof Jesus is the Messiah, Prophecies of Jesus’ birth, timing, and death, Jesus’ prophesied divinity, 200+ OT prophecies Jesus filled; Plus prophecies He made, Why Don’t Jews Accept Jesus?, Daniel 9, Jews, and Jesus, and Facts and Atheists’ Delusions About Jesus. Plus the links to two sermonettes: Luke’s census: Any historical evidence? and Muslims believe Jesus is the Messiah, but … These videos cover nearly all of the book, plus have some information not in the book.
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
The Red Heifer, Jewish Beliefs, and the End of the World The Temple Institute is watching a ‘red heifer.’ Why might this be important in the sequence of end time events? Here is a related link in the Spanish language Novilla roja descubierta en EE.UU. e Instituto del Templo está interesado en ella. Here is a related video in English The Red Heifer and the End of the World.
Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill Could this building, often referred to as the Cenacle, which is located on a Mount Zion, possibly have been the oldest actual Christian church building?
Does the ‘Cenacle’ deal have prophetic ramifications? After a 20 year negotiation, the Church of Rome has negotiated the right to have Catholic mass in the building known as the Cenacle. It is in the area where the Church of God on Jerusalem’s Western Hill once stood. This is believed to be the location of the earliest Christian church building. How does the Bible define the ‘temple of God’ in the New Testament? Could this be the area where the ‘man of sin’ will sit in the “temple of God’ that Bible prophecy discusses in 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4? This is a YouTube video.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There is also a related YouTube video you can watch titled Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated.
Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2? Is this the King of the North, the ten-horned beast of Revelation 13:1-11, or the two-horned Beast of Revelation 13:12-16? Some rely on traditions, but what does the Bible teach? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a version in Mandarin: 主编: 谁是’大罪人’?Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel.

Irish Puck Fair: Demonic substitute for the Day of Atonement?

Friday, August 9th, 2019

COGwriter

August 10th marks the beginning of a three-day festival called the Irish Puck Fair. A reader sent me the following:

The fair, which crowns a goat as king for three days before dethroning him, will run from August 10 to August 12.

The fair is over 400 years old and is worth an estimated £4.9m (€7m) to the town each year. But what else do you know about the fair?

1. Oldest of the lot

The festival, which originated in 1613, is Ireland’s oldest ‘Gathering Festival’. According to the official website the origins of this famous festival date back to William Cromwell. …

4. Gathering Day

The first day of proceedings is known as the ‘Gathering Day’, which is called as such to welcome people to the festival, a wild male mountain goat is paraded through the town to the welcome of the large crowd.

5. Scattering Day

On the evening of the third day known as the ‘Scattering Day’ due to the amount of different nationalities that descend on Killorglin, the king of the fair is dethroned and becomes a mere goat once again. The goat is paraded through the streets before he is let loose in the mountains of Kerry once again. http://irishpost.co.uk/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-puck-fair/

Puck Fair is one of Ireland’s oldest festivals, celebrating almost 400 years of documented evidence. The first day of Puck Fair is called The Gathering Day which makes Puck Fair the original and oldest Gathering Festival in Ireland. August 10, 2016 http://puckfair.ie/

“The word Puck comes from the Irish, puc, for billy goat (buck or he-goat, i.e. male goat).”

For hundreds of years, a male mountain goat has been enthroned as King of Puck Fair in Killorglin town. The Puck Goat reigns over the fair held on August 10th, 11th and 12th of each year. King Puck is a symbol of a vast tradition whose origins are lost in the mists of time.

The first day of Puck Fair is known as “Gathering Day.” The Puck Goat is enthroned on a stand in the town square and the great horse fair is held. The middle day is known as “Fair Day.” This is the day of the cattle fair and general festivities. The last day is known as “Scattering Day” when the brief reign of Ireland’s only King is ended and the Puck Goat is returned once more to his mountain home.

This Sculpture was unveiled on the 5th day of August, 2001 in commemoration of the enduring Killorglin tradition of “Puck Fair” and its central figure King Puck. http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMANF6_King_Puck_Killorglin_County_Kerry_Ireland

During the festival an estimated 80,000 people will visit the town, which rises over the river Laune. Late bars, music on the streets, Irish dancing, stalls and traditional horse and cattle fairs are part of the annual mix.

Puck Fair’s origins are believed to go well beyond 400 years ago but the first written reference is a charter from James I in 1613 which grants Jenkins Conway, the local landlord at the time, the right to collect a sum for every animal brought to the August fair held in the town. “This would suggest that the fair was something already well established in the local community,” a spokesman said.

Pat Cahill and John McGrath at Dingle Bay in Co Kerry with the captured wild mountain goat that will be crowned King Puck. http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/caged-king-puck-will-rise-above-killorglin-fun-1.1888497

Puck Fair is one of the only places, and times, of the year in Ireland that the pubs are allowed to stay open till three in the morning. At the end of it all, the king is dethroned (in a nice way) and returned to the wild to rejoin his comrades on the foothills of Ireland’s highest mountain. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/king-puck-irish-town-honors-his-goatness-a-562594.html

The reader that sent the above commented:

Its very likely that this ancient Irish festival had its origin with the Hebrew Azazel “scapegoat” of the Day of Atonement fall festival. (email 10/04/14)

Notice something else about it:

The Puck Fair (Irish: Aonach an Phoic, meaning “Fair of the He-Goat”, ‘poc’ being the Irish for a male goat) is reputed to be one of Ireland’s oldest fairs which takes place annually for three days beginning on the 10th of August. The festival itself takes place in Killorglin, County Kerry.

Scholars speculate that the fair’s origins stems from Pre-Christian Ireland (Puck Fair. Wikipedia, viewed 10/04/14)

The fact that its origins are believed by some to be prior to the time of Jesus and that it starts on the 10th of the month is interesting as the Day of Atonement is held on the 10th day of the seventh month on the Hebrew calendar (Leviticus 23:26-27).

There seem to be other similarities. The biblical Holy Days are ‘gathering days’ in a sense that a holy convocation is commanded. Notice the one for the Day of Atonement:

26 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 27 “Also the tenth day of this seventh month shall be the Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation for you … (Leviticus 23:26-27)

Also, on the Day of Atonement, the Azazel/scapegoat is released into the wilderness and on “Scattering Day” the Puck goat is loosed into the wilderness. The fact that both the Day of Atonement and the Puck Fair begin on the tenth day of a month is also interesting.

As descendants of Israel did end up in the British Isles (see Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel), this Puck Fair could be a twisted and compromised version of the Day of Atonement ceremony that ancient Israel had. The Irish seem to honor the ‘Azazel’ goat (Leviticus 16:8-10, YLT) and have a drinking holiday.

Sadly, many of the biblical Holy Days are either ignored or have been improperly changed (see also Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).

The Bible teaches that Satan is ‘the god of this age’ who has ‘blinded’ the ‘minds’ of many (2 Corinthians 4:4) and is now a type of king (Matthew 4:8-9), though he will lose what he has (Revelation 11:15; 20:1-4). Apparently the Irish festival is intended to honor him, though probably unintentionally, by the participants (2 Corinthians 4:4).

In 2018, the Day of Atonement lasts from sunset September 18 until sunset September 19th. It is a day of afflicting one’s soul (Leviticus 23:26-27). Fasting (cf. Isaiah 58:5; Leviticus 23:26-27), not drinking in bars, is what the Bible advocates for it.

Those who have more interest may wish to study the following items:

Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic 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?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
The Day of Atonement–Its Christian Significance The Jews call it Yom Kippur, Christians “The Day of Atonement.” Does it have any relevance for Christians today? What is the Jubilee? Is fasting healthy? Here is a link to a sermon: Christians, the Day of Atonement, and Fasting; here is another sermon: Day of Atonement: How Jesus fulfilled His part for the Atonement. Here is a link to a related article in the Spanish language: El Día de Expiación Su significado cristiano.
The Atonement Plan How does the Day of Atonement tie into God’s plan of salvation? Three sermons of related interest are available: Atonement, Jesus, and Satanand God’s Atonement and Fasting Plan and God’s Atonement Plan.
Atonement Offertory Should an offering be taken up on the Day of Atonement? What does the Bible seem to teach about that? Was Jesus a type of atonement offering? If you send an offering, how does that support the work? Does God need your money or do you need to give? Dr. Thiel goes over scriptures and facts related to this. Here is a link to the donation page of the Continuing Church of God, which includes the ability to use PayPal: http://www.ccog.org/donations/
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
Michael’s Day of Atonement Quiz Another free on-line Bible quiz by my son Michael.
Michael’s Feasts and Fasts Quiz 15 questions, amusing wrong answer screens.
Importance of Fasting An old article by Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject. Here is a link to it in Mandarin Chinese 禁食的重要性.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should you keep the Fall Holy Days?
The Book of Life and the Feast of Trumpets? Are they related? Is so how? If not, where not? What does the Feast of Trumpets, which the Jews call Rosh Hashanah, help teach? A related sermon video would be Feast of Trumpets and the Book of Life as well as The Trumpet Release. The article has links to hear shofar blasts.
Feast of Trumpets: Why Should You Keep It? What does the Bible say? What does this festival picture? A related sermon is available: The Trumpet Warnings.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day? What do these days teach? A related sermon video is Feast of Tabernacles from Israel.
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Temple Institute: “The heads of the tribes of the children of Israel” COGwriter: Where are their descendants now? Are they mainly black?

Friday, July 26th, 2019


Mosaic of the 12 Tribes and Genesis 49 from Givat Mordechai Etz Yosef synagogue in Jerusalem (Ori229)

COGwriter

The Temple Institute had the following in its latest newsletter:

“The heads of the tribes of the children of Israel”

(Numbers 30:2)

Tammuz 23, 5779/July 26, 2019

“Moshe spoke to the heads of the tribes of the children of Israel.” (Numbers 30:2) Thus begins this week’s Torah reading …  the use of the expression “heads of the tribes (staffs) of the children of Israel” takes on special significance. Moshe is recognizing that the tribes of Israel will soon be going their own ways, pursuing their own destinies within the land of Israel.

Where are their descendants now?

Well, by Numbers 30, Moses (called Moshe above) would have been familiar with what God had him write related to the destinies of the tribes in Genesis 49.

The mosaic shows at the beginning of this post has some symbology taken from Genesis 49. For example, the scales were to represent the tribe of Dan and the crown Judah (the middle two on the first row of the Mosaic).

For clues to their end time identities, notice what the Bible records:

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.

3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn, My might and the beginning of my strength, The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power. 4 Unstable as water, you shall not excel, Because you went up to your father’s bed; Then you defiled it–He went up to my couch.

5 “Simeon and Levi are brothers; Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place. 6 Let not my soul enter their council; Let not my honor be united to their assembly; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox. 7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob And scatter them in Israel.

8 “Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father’s children shall bow down before you. 9 Judah is a lion’s whelp; From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; And as a lion, who shall rouse him? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people. 11 Binding his donkey to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, And his clothes in the blood of grapes. 12 His eyes are darker than wine, And his teeth whiter than milk.

13 “Zebulun shall dwell by the haven of the sea; He shall become a haven for ships, And his border shall adjoin Sidon.

14 “Issachar is a strong donkey, Lying down between two burdens; 15 He saw that rest was good, And that the land was pleasant; He bowed his shoulder to bear a burden, And became a band of slaves.

16 “Dan shall judge his people As one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, A viper by the path, That bites the horse’s heels So that its rider shall fall backward. 18 I have waited for your salvation, O LORD!

19 “Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him, But he shall triumph at last.

20 “Bread from Asher shall be rich, And he shall yield royal dainties.

21 “Naphtali is a deer let loose; He uses beautiful words.

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.

27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he shall devour the prey, And at night he shall divide the spoil.”

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them. And he blessed them; he blessed each one according to his own blessing (Genesis 49:1-28).

We in the Continuing Church of God believe that the descendants of Israel traveled to many places. While the following list may need some adjustment, it basically reflects where many of us have been taught those descendants went (even though some of each are scattered throughout many lands)–plus there are more details in the links next to many of the tribes:

    1. Reuben – France (dignified but troubled, Genesis 49:3-4; see also The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben: France in Prophecy?)
    2. Judah – The nation now called Israel as well as the Jews not in that land but who were from the area near Jerusalem (Ezra 4:12; see also Location of Judah: This tribe is not ‘lost’)
    3. Simeon – Scattered throughout the tribes (Genesis 49:5)
    4. Levi – Scattered throughout the tribes (Genesis 49:5)
    5. Issachar – Finland (sits between Europe and Russia, Genesis 49:14)
    6. Zebulun – Netherlands (haven by the sea, Genesis 49:13) and a few in South Africa (see also Ten clues tying Zebulun with the Dutch)
    7. Gad – Switzerland (will apparently have to temporarily accept EU domination, Genesis 49:19; see also Could the Swiss be descended from Israel’s son Gad? Is Switzerland prepared for the coming collapse? )
    8. Dan – Denmark, Ireland (on the outskirts–Genesis 49:17; the tribe that named places “Dan”, Judges 18:12,29) (those in Northern Ireland mainly are descended from the Ephraim)
    9. Asher – Belgium, Luxembourg (wealthy, Genesis 49:20; see also Ten clues tying Belgium and Luxembourg with the tribe of Asher)
    10. Naphtali – Sweden (attractively described, Genesis 49:21; see also Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning Naphtali – Sweden)
    11. Benjamin – Norway, Iceland (former vikings, cf. Genesis 49:27; see also Bert Otten on descendants of the tribe of Benjamin: Western Vikings)
    12. Ephraim – Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and probably some in South Africa and Zimbabwe (company of nations, Genesis 48:19; watch British are the Covenant People; also see and Bert Otten gives his reasons why the UK and USA descended from the Tribe of Joseph)
    13. Manasseh – United States of America (blessed nation, Genesis 48:19; see also Bert Otten gives his reasons why the UK and USA descended from the Tribe of Joseph)

These are the countries that contain the physical cities of Israel that Jesus apparently was referring to in Matthew 10:22-23. Countries like Sweden, Belgium Luxembourg, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, France, Denmark, Ireland, and Iceland seem to fit some of the positive statements in Genesis 49–but they will ultimately face tests and trials from the coming European Beast power (cf. Ezekiel 5:4; 39:23,28), as Ezekiel 5:4 seems to show that after the USA is eliminated, fire will spread to “all the house of Israel.” Some of the Israelite nations will temporarily support the Beast power (for writings related to Reuben, check out the article The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben: France in Prophecy?).

Perhaps it should to be pointed out that several of the ‘Israelite nations’ are ethnically mixed (per Davidiy Y. The Tribes, 4th edition. Russell-David Publishers, 2011 and other sources) and it may take them some time for the actual Israelites to separate out. (Information on the ‘ten lost tribes’ is also in the YouTube sermon titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter?)

The Continuing Church of God also has a sermon titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter?, which is at its ContinuingCOG channel.

Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter?

Where are the ‘lost tribes’? Why are there considered to be ten lost tribes of Israel? Did the United States descend from Manasseh and Great Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand descend from Ephraim? Are the American and British descended peoples Israelites? Where is America in Bible prophecy? Where is Britain in Bible prophecy? Who are the 12 Tribes of Israel? Where are the lost ten tribes of Israel? What About Northern Europe? Are critics of ‘British-Israelism’ such as Walter Martin wrong? What does the Bible teach? What do the lessons of history teach? Here is a link to that sermon: Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter?

The reason that this knowledge matters because of what Bible prophecy teaches.

In addition to getting the information from the Temple Institute today, I also received two emails today from someone who asserted:

EPHRAIM & MANASSEH ARE NOT THE U.S. & BRITAIN!    

THE BIBLE’S EXPLAINATION OF EPHRAIM & MANASSEH’S GENETIC LINE DOES NOT SUPPORT YOUR BELIEF BUT INVALIDATES IT!!

The Bible tells us that the mother of Ephraim & Manasseh (ASENATH), was an Egyptian (Because Her father was the Egyptian Priest “POTIPHERAH”: Genesis 41:45,50 & 46:20), and that The Egyptians were descended from Noah’s son HamHAM FATHERED THE FOLLOWING NATIONS (AFTER THE FLOOD), “ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE”:(Genesis 10:6)CUSH(Ethiopians),MIZRAIM(Egyptians), PUTH(Libyans), and CANAAN(Canaanites)! See also PSALMS:(78:51),(106:22),(105:23),(105:27), which tells us that the Egyptians were the children of HAM!

Genesis 10:6 Is telling us that the (BLACK Ethiopians), Egyptians, Libyans & Canaanites were “BROTHERS” and ALL had the same (Black Father),“HAM”!   … Which means ASENATH(the Egyptian mother of Ephraim & Manasseh), Was BLACK, In case you haven’t figured it out yet Asenath’s BLACK Genetic traits would make it IMPOSSIBLE FOR HER TO GIVE BIRTH TO TWO WHITE SONS EPHRAIM & MANASSEH (U.S. & BRITAIN), NO MATTER WHAT COLOR HER HUSBAND (JOSEPH) WAS!

That view is not a fact, but an assertion based on some inaccurate assumptions.

Now, yes, the Cushites were black.

Remember Noah had three sons (Ham, Japtheth, and Shem), and their descendants became the three primary races (Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid). Based on dominant and recessive genes from his parents, Ham himself likely was not black (Negroid), as it is much more likely his wife was. Similarly, it would be most likely that Japheth’s wife was Mongoloid and Shem’s wife likely Caucasoid.

Furthermore, the bulk of the ancient Canaanite records we have shows most of them were not what we would consider black.

Notice also the following from the old Ambassador College and Radio Church of God:

The black race is composed of some of the descendants of Noah’s son Ham. Part of the black race stems from Cush (Gen. 10:6). Cush means black in Hebrew (Young’s Concordance). The word “Cush” is often translated into English by the word “Ethiopia,” but not all Cushites live in Ethiopia (an independent nation in East Africa). The Greeks called the children of Cush “Ethiopians.” That’s why we use the word in English. …

Ham had another son, Phut or Put-it is spelled both ways in the Bible. Here is what Josephus writes about the people of Phut.

Phut also was the founder of Libya (by which he means Africa), and called the inhabitants Phutites, from himself: there is also a river in the country of the Moors which bears that name; whence it is that… the Grecian historiographers mention [Africa] by the “appellation of Phut” (See Antiquities, VI, 2).

Put, or Phut, then, is the father of the central Africans. The Egyptians called the region of the Sudan (which was south of Egypt) by the name of Pet. The Babylonians and Persians called a similar region “Putu” (from Smith’s Bible Dictionary and Inter. Stand. Bible Ency.).

Numerous sons of Put settled early into the western region of Mesopotamia, a few hundred miles from ancient Babylon. This is the original center of Hindi, the language of northern and central India (Ency. of World History, by Langer, p. 28).

The people who were settled in this region were uprooted by the Assyrians and driven east into India. …

Of the four sons of Ham, only Cush bears a name which means “black.” Just as some of the sons of Cush are brown so some of the children of Phut are black. (The Development of The Races. Ambassador College, 1968)

Through Ham many of the light people of North Africa arose. The black peoples throughout Africa and south east Asia also descended from Ham. Only two of Ham’s four sons were black. (Hoeh H. The Race Question. Plain Truth, April 1957).

While some of the mixed multitude of Israel were black, and there were some blacks in Egypt, the bulk of the Egyptians were not black.

One can see that by looking at many ancient hieroglyphics (which I have done). Notice some:


Blonde ancient Egyptian woman (Pixabay)


Depiction of white Egyptian woman with wings (Pixabay)


Depiction of white Egyptian man (Pixabay)

Also, when black men are shown, they are shown as essentially the color black on hieroglyphs I have seen, with other Egyptians more of a tan color.

Now, in the 21st century, there is another way to show that relatively few Egyptians were black. Notice the following:

Egyptologists, writers, scholars, and others, have argued the race of the ancient Egyptians since at least the 1970’s. Some today believe they were Sub-Saharan Africans. …

The problem, it was thought, is that mummy DNA couldn’t be sequenced. But a group of international researchers, using unique methods, have overcome the barriers to do just that. They found that the ancient Egyptians were most closely related to the peoples of the Near East, particularly from the Levant. This is the Eastern Mediterranean which today includes the countries of Turkey, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. The mummies used were from the New Kingdom and a later period, (a period later than the Middle Kingdom) when Egypt was under Roman rule.

Modern Egyptians share 8% of their genome with central Africans, far more than ancient ones, according to the study, published in the journal Nature Communications. The influx of Sub-Saharan genes only occurred within the last 1,500 years. This could be attributed to the trans-Saharan slave trade or just from regular, long distance trade between the two regions. Improved mobility on the Nile during this period increased trade with the interior, researchers claim.  (Perry P. Were the ancient Egyptians black or white? Scientists now know. June 11, 2017 https://bigthink.com/philip-perry/were-the-ancient-egyptians-black-or-white-scientists-now-know)

So, no, the bulk of the ancient Egyptians were not black.

Nor were the bulk of the Israelites.

Ephraim and Manasseh – were they part black Egyptian?

“And Pharaoh said to Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and
without a word from you, no man shall lift up his
hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnathpaaneah.
And he gave him Asenath, the daughter of
Potipherah, priest of On, for his wife. And Joseph
went out over the land of Egypt.” (Gen 41:44-45. Cf
also 46:20, 34)

The Bible does not state that she was an Egyptian at all. Given that On was in the Goshen area where the Hyksos or similar White tribes settled and their aristocracy settled, it is reasonable to assume that he married into that stock for the Egyptians proper were driven southwards.

Although her name is Egyptian, … a name itself is not proof for her being a Black Egyptian. and this sort of thing happens all over the world. (White C. Chart: Was Israel mixed? V. 2.2. Received via email 07/25/19)

Now look at the following:


Mereneptah Stele (Wikipedia)

The Mereneptah Stele is dated to the 1200s BC. This actually mentions the children of Israel and also shows that the Egyptians at that time were not mainly black.

See now the following:


Berlin Pedestal (Biblical Archaeology Society)

The Berlin Pedestal may be the oldest archeological discovery that mentions “Israel.” This was from the 1400s B.C. and shows three Israeli captives. The children of Israel were captives of the Egyptians for the first half of that century. Anyway, the three enslaved males are NOT black but have more of a Caucasian Middle Eastern appearance.

Consider also the following:

Some scholars have decided to test the validity of the claim that there exists Jews of African descent. Parfitt came to the conclusion that the Lemba people of Zimbabwe may have some connection to ancient Jewish populations based on historical and anthropological research.56 Moreover, a geneticist named Trefor Jenkins found that the Lembas had 50 percent Y chromosomes that were Semitic in origin and 40 percent Negroid.57 This test seems to verify the existence of Jews of African descent. Though this may seem to confirm the Hebrew Israelites’ claim, it implies only that those who can trace their heritage to the Lemba are likely ethnically Jewish. Contrarily, the Falashas of Ethiopia, whom the Black Hebrew Israelites use to prove their validity, were  proven to have no biological connection to the ancient biblical Israelites through genetic testing.58 Therefore, the myth that the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba became the first king of Ethiopia conflicts with the available scientific evidence.

Thus, the reader should conclude that unless one can show that all African Americans originate from the Lemba tribe, Hebrew Israelites have no basis for the claim that all African Americans are descendants of the ancient Hebrews. It is false to reason that the existence of some African Hebrew descendants proves the claim that all African Americans are Israelites. (Butts J. The Origin and Insufficiency of the Black Hebrew Israelite Movement. CRI, June 21, 2017 accessed 07/24/19)

Now let’s look at some scriptures:

2 The precious sons of Zion … 7 Her Nazirites were brighter than snow And whiter than milk; They were more ruddy in body than rubies, Like sapphire in their appearance. 8 Now their appearance is blacker than soot; They go unrecognized in the streets; Their skin clings to their bones, It has become as dry as wood. (Lamentations 4:2, 7-8)

10 My beloved is white and ruddy, (Song of Solomon 5:10, NKJV)

10 My beloved is white and ruddy, (Song of Solomon 5:10, Jewish Publication Society Tanakh 1917)

Lamentations is saying that the sons of Israel were very white, but after disaster they would look like mourners.  The beloved is said to have been white in Song of Solomon. Now the Hebrew word צַח tsach does not necessarily mean the color white, though it can. It means bright or dazzling.

Now, the famous Hebrew Rabbi known as Rashi wrote the following about the above:

My beloved is pure white. White, as in, “they were whiter צַחוּ than milk.”

(Rashi on Song of Songs 5:10, https://www.sefaria.org/Rashi_on_Song_of_Songs.5.10.1?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en accessed 07/23/19)

But now notice something else from the Song of Solomon:

5 I am dark, but lovely,
O daughters of Jerusalem,
Like the tents of Kedar,
Like the curtains of Solomon.
6 Do not look upon me, because I am dark,
Because the sun has tanned me. (Song of Solomon 1:5-6)

Notice that the woman is black from the sun. She would not have said that if she was black from birth. White people can tan to be quite dark from the sun.

Notice the following related to Moses:

1 Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman. (Numbers 12:1, NKJV)

1 And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman. (Numbers 12:1, Jewish Publication Society Tanakh 1917)

The word translated as “Ethiopian” is word Kuwshiy, which according to Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary means descendants of Cush. Or in other words, people of dark color–and it is commonly translated as Cush or Cushite in many Old Testament passages.

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because he had married a black woman as Cushites are black (dark-skinned Africans). If Moses was black, then they would not have proceeded with their charge against him.

After Titus conquered Jerusalem in 70 A.D., Emperor Vespasian issued coins–the back side of which shows conquered Jews:

Titus on left, Jewish man on bottom right (CNG coins)


Vespasian on left, captured Jewish soldiers on right, 71 A.D. (CNG coins)

Notice the the Jews were not African. The second coin inscription in Latin Ivdea means Judea. This is clear evidence that the Jews of the first century (like Jesus) were not black Africans.

Now notice something from the New Testament, from a Catholic translation:

11 Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. But Christ is all, and in all. (Colossians 3:11, DRB)

We see a list of contrast. Consider also that the Jews considered the Gentiles to be barbarians.

The reference to Sycthians is pointing to descendants of the children of Israel who live in the East.

Notice the following from the late Dr. Herman Hoeh:

Remnant of Ten Tribes on Shores of Black Sea

Notice the historic proof — confirming Peter’s letters — that a remnant of the House of Israel was settled on the shores of the Black Sea in northern Asia Minor in early New Testament times.

Greek writers, in the time of Christ, recognized that the regions of northern Asia Minor were non-Greek (except for a few Greek trading colonies in the port cities). New peoples, the Greeks tell us, were living in northern Asia Minor in New Testament times. Here is the surprising account of Diodorus of Sicily:

“… Many conquered peoples were removed to other homes, and two of these became very great colonies: the one was composed of Assyrians and was removed to the land between Paphlagonia and Pontus, and the other was drawn from Media and planted along the Tanais [the River Don in ancient Scythia — the modern Ukraine, north of the Black Sea, in southern Russia]” (Book II, — 43).

Notice the areas from which these colonies came — Assyria and Media. The very areas to which the House of Israel was taken captive! “So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day” (II Kings 17:23). “The king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes” (verse 6). …

Britain, after A.D. 449, was settled by hundreds of thousands of new people not there in Peter’s day. History knows them as Angles and Saxons.

They came originally from the shores of the Black Sea — where the House of Israel dwelt! In A.D. 256 they began to migrate from northern Asia Minor along the shores of the Black Sea to the Cymbric Peninsula (Denmark) opposite Britain. These were the people to whose ancestors Peter wrote his epistles.

Which one of the twelve apostles preached to their ancestors — the so-called “White Syrians” — while they abode by the Bosporus and on the Black Sea? Listen to the answer from Greek historians: “In this division Andrew had Scythia, and the neighboring countries primarily allotted him for his province. First then he travelled through Cappadocia, [Upper] Galatia and Bithynia, and instructed them in the faith of Christ, passing all along the Euxine Sea” — the old name for the Black Sea — “… and so into the solitude of Scythia.” (Hoeh H. Where Did the TWELVE APOSTLES Go? Plain Truth, May 1964)

The late Raymond McNair wrote the following:

The word “Scythian” is used only once in the Bible. … (Col. 3:11). … The Scythians were looked upon as barbarians in the eyes of the Greeks and the Romans. They did not have their culture, but they had a highly developed culture of their own. … True, they were nomads who roamed far and wide over the vast Euro-Asiatic steppes of South Russia in tents and in covered wagons. But they were not barbarians …

MOST OF THE SCYTHS WERE ISRAELITES

Who were these Scythians, or Scyths, as they were often called? And how did the name “Scythian” originate?

This was one of the names that the Ten-Tribed House of Israel bore in their captivity. The most likely derivation of this word is as follows:

This word “SCYTHIAN” appears to be derived from the Hebrew word “SUCCOTH.” We shall later see that the language of the Scythians (Scythiac) was very similar to the Hebrew. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines this word as follows. “Cukkouth, sook-kahthr’; or Cukkoth, sook-kohth’;… booths; Succoth, the name of a place in Egypt and of three in Palestine” (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, p.82).

The Hebrew language was written only in consonants. The vowels had to be supplied by the reader. If one takes out the vowels from the Hebrew word “Succoth” the basic part of the word is “Scth.” In Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance it is spelled phonetically both with a “c” and also with an “s.” Remember the “c” and the “s” often have the same sound, as in our English words, “cell” and “sell.” Both English words are pronounced exactly alike. …

“Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt” (Lev. 23:42,43).

This was to be observed by Israel “forever” (v.41). The Hebrew word used in verses 42 and 43, translated as “booths” is from the Hebrew SCTH or SKTH. The Greek word for “Scythian” is “Scuthes,” and is pronounced much like the Hebrew word for “booth.”

The Scythians were undoubtedly booth dwellers or Succoth-dwellers originally, though at a later period in their history, many of them lived in covered wagons. After the Israelites were deported from their homeland in Palestine, unto the region of Media and Assyria, they were an unsettled people. They undoubtedly wandered about in tents or booths, and were called “Scythians,” meaning booth or tent dwellers.

Some historians think “Scythian” means “the tribes”. (McNair R. Key to Northwest European Origins. Ambassador College Thesis, May 1963)

The late evangelist Dibar Apartian wrote:

Among all the peoples known under the general name “Scythians,” the Sacae were the descendants of the children of Israel! Not only is it possible for us to notice a parallel by comparing the traditions of the two peoples, but history even recognizes that the majority of the peoples of the British Isles, particularly the “Scots” and the “Saxons,” are the descendants of the Scythians (New English Dictionary, Article: “Scots”), thus of the Israelites! (Apartian DK. The French-Speaking Peoples In Prophecy. Translated from the French by Carol Kalin in 1975. Ambassador Collage, 1961)

Scythians, according to the ancient information I have seen on them were basically white.


Scythian archer c. 500 B.C. (Jastrow)

The Scythians apparently were, for a time, the bulk of the ‘ten lost tribes’ of Israel.

Anyway, the bulk of the children of Israel were not black.

And nowadays, most of their descendants live in northern Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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? Were the ancient Hebrews black? 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: Are Chinese threats against Australia for real?
Will the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic 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?
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. A sermon of related interest is also available: Canada in Prophecy.
Australia and New Zealand in Prophecy Do biblical prophecies help explain the wealth blessings for Australia and New Zealand? Might cursings from disobedience come in the 21st century? Here is a link to a related sermon: Australia and New Zealand: Origins and Prophecy.
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.
Ten clues tying Belgium and Luxembourg with the tribe of Asher Who did some in Belgium and Luxembourg descend from?
Ten clues tying Zebulun with the Dutch Who did some in the Netherlands descend from?
Ten Prophetic Clues Concerning Naphtali – Sweden Do the Swedes have any ties to the biblical tribe of Naphtali? Some think so.
Protestant and Church of God views of the United States in Bible Prophecy Is the USA mentioned in Bible prophecy? Some Protestants say yes, while others say no. What does the Bible really teach? Learn the truth about this. There is also a video available: Is The United States Mentioned In Bible Prophecy?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no Final End-Time King of the West in Bible Prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West? Here is a version in the Spanish language: ¿Quién es el Rey del Occidente? ¿Por qué no hay un Rey del Occidente en la profecía del tiempo del fin? A related sermon is also available: The Bible, the USA, and the King of the West.
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?
What About Romans 11:25 and the Full Number of the Gentiles? Some in the West discount God’s calling of Gentiles, but the Apostle Paul wrote about the need for them to come to the truth before Jesus returns.
What is the Ezekiel Warning? Should the end-time descendants of Israel and Joseph be warned? What should the watchman warn about?
Universal OFFER of Salvation, Apokatastasis: Can God save the lost in an age to come? Hundreds of scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation Will all get a fair chance at salvation? This free book is packed with scriptures showing that God does intend to offer salvation to all who ever lived–the elect in this age, and the rest in the age to come. Here is a link to a related sermon series: Universal Offer of Salvation 1: Apocatastasis, Universal Offer of Salvation 2: Jesus Desires All to be Saved, Mysteries of the Great White Throne Judgment (Universal Offer of Salvation part 3), Is God Fair, Will God Pardon the Ignorant?, and Can God Save Your Relatives?
God’s Grace is For All Is being Jewish a hindrance to salvation? What about not being a descendant of Israel? What does the Bible really teach? Here is a link to a related sermon titled Race and Grace; Do you view race as God does?

Many Americans carry a ‘good luck charm’

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019


Victorian silver mounted rabbit’s foot ‘lucky charm’ (Sobebunny)

COGwriter

Voice of America (VOA) ran the following:

Nearly Quarter of Americans Carry Lucky Charms

Nearly one in four Americans carries a good luck charm at least occasionally, according to a new survey.

According to a YouGov poll, seven percent of Americans carry a lucky charm every day, four percent said they carry one frequently, and 13 percent said they carry one occasionally. Seventy percent said they don’t carry a charm.

A lucky charm could be a shirt, a pair of shoes, a coin, a bracelet or a piece of ribbon. In fact, at the World Cup, star Lionel Messi tied a ribbon given to him by a fan around his ankle.

According to Elle magazine, actress Cameron Diaz wears a lucky necklace, as does Lindsay Lohan. Actor Benicio Del Toro is reported to have a lucky ring.

Women are slightly more likely to carry a charm, with 26 percent saying they carry one at least occasionally, compared to 20 percent of men who say they do. 07/13/18 https://blogs.voanews.com/all-about-america/2018/07/13/nearly-quarter-of-americans-carry-lucky-charms/

So the above is talking about 80 million Americans.

However, if you include religious icons like crosses, the amount of Americans who carry ‘good luck charms’ is much higher. Plus, various tattoos are considered to be ‘good luck.’

Back in 1971, the old Worldwide Church of God published the following about the occult, superstitions, and good luck charms:

Traditional Christianity is being abandoned for other forms of “worship.” Oriental religions, witchcraft, the occult, so-called Christian “sects,” and outright paganism have drawn thousands from the mainstream churches. WHY are people turning to the mystical in an age priding itself on scientific and material knowledge? …

Witchcraft is only one of many new forms of “worship” attracting thousands of new converts each year. Astrology, spiritism, occultism, Ouija boards (they have outsold Monopoly sets), Tarot cards, and other associated items are big business. …

There are approximately 2,000 active secret sects in France, which include the “onionists” (God is shaped like an onion), the navel worshippers, and the Druids (Druids are also in England and have an annual festival at Stonehenge). One report estimates the French spend about 1,000 million francs ($200 million) a year in consulting 60,000 sorcerers.

Germany is the traditional land of witches, spells and hexes. According to the German Medical Information Service, 10,000 people are engaged in witchcraft there. Charges of witchcraft often come up in court.
In the United States there are those who actually claim to be practicing “Satanists.” …

It is estimated that at least 5 million Americans plan their lives by the stars. This naturally does not include the additional millions who consult their daily horoscope out of curiosity or buy zodiac-decorated items ranging from drinking glasses to silk pajamas. There is enough business to keep 10,000 full-time and 175,000 part-time astrologers on the go.

More than two thirds of the daily newspapers in the United States carry astrology columns. …

For the millions who would not associate themselves with any of the aforementioned “cults,” there is still widespread superstition, often just an offshoot of astrology, witchcraft, or the occult.

According to one estimate, there are 20 million people in the United States alone who actually carry with them a rabbit’s foot or other good-luck charms. This does not include millions more who cross their fingers, knock on wood, cower before black cats, throw salt on their shoulder, or experience triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13). …

People are dissatisfied with our materialistic society. They are equally disenchanted with the standard-brand churches which seem to give no alternative to the secular world. In their frustration to find a power beyond themselves, they seem to feel the only other path open is mysticism and the psychic.

One of the major causes for the collapse of Rome was the decay of religion from the status of moral judge and champion to a hollow shell of ritual and liturgy. In desperation, people turned to astrology, sorcery, and divination, the natural refuge in a time of confusion and collapse. (Grabbe LL. The New Fad: MYSTICISM and the OCCULT. Plain Truth, November 1971)

The amount of superstitious Americans has seemingly increased over the decades.

Good luck charms are a form of idolatry.

They bring to mind something that the prophet Jeremiah wrote:

5 Like scarecrows in a cucumber patch, their idols cannot speak. They must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them for they can do no harm–and they cannot do any good. (Jeremiah 10:5, CSB)

Good luck charms do not physically harm one, but they are spiritually bad.

Consider also some of what the Apostle John wrote:

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols (I John 5:21).

8 But …idolaters…shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).

Many think there is nothing wrong with carrying a good luck charm.

But notice also the following:

14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie. (Reve3lation 22:14-15)

Idolatry is a lie.

Good luck charms are a form of idolatry and idolaters are not among those who will inherit the Kingdom of God, unless they repent–which they can (see Christian Repentance and Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis).

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 the early Church use icons? What was the position of Christians about such things? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
What is the Origin of the Cross as a ‘Christian’ Symbol? Was the cross used as a venerated symbol by the early Church? Two related YouTube videos would be Beware of the ‘Ecumenical Cross’ and Origin of the Cross.
The Occult Explosion – What Does It Mean? A booklet by Herbert W. Armstrong which also includes a challenge.
The Bible and Astrology Should Christians avoid participating in astrology or did God inspire it? Does the Bible encourage astrology? What does the Bible actually teach? What is astrology? How does astrology differ from astronomy? Should Christians Be Involved In Astrology?
OMENS? DIVINATION? HOROSCOPES? THE ORIGIN OF ASTROLOGY
Where did astrology come from? Should you read your horoscope?
Does Astrology Work? Many believe and follow astrology–but does it work? Here is a link to the article in Mandarin Chinese: S`fg/QÆxnTÿ .
Tattoos: History and Biblical Teachings Would you like to know more about the history of tattoos, social concerns about tattoos, health risks of tattoos, and what the Bible teaches about them? Here is a related video titled Should Christians Get a Tattoo?
Clear Proof that the Shroud of Turin is Fake: Debunking the ‘reasons’ that the Shroud of Turin is real There is NO proof that the Shroud of Turin has Jesus’ image and those who are willing to believe the Bible can prove it is fake. Here is a link to a related video: Could the Shroud of Turin Be Real? 12 Reasons to Consider.
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. It also goes over many original Christian doctrines that many later tried to change. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.
The Ten Commandments: The Decalogue, Christianity, and the Beast This is a free draft/unedited pdf book explaining the what the Ten Commandments are, where they came from, how early professors of Christ viewed them, and how various ones, including the Beast of Revelation, will oppose them. A related sermon is titled: The Ten Commandments and the Beast of Revelation.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
Universal Offer of Salvation: There Are Hundreds of Verses in the Bible Supporting the Doctrine of True Apocatastasis Do you believe what the Bible actually teaches on this? Will all good things be restored? Will God call everyone? Will everyone have an opportunity for salvation? Does God’s plan of salvation take rebellion and spiritual blindness into account? Related sermon videos include Universal Offer of Salvation I: God is love and Universal Offer of Salvation II: The Age to Come and the ‘Little Flock’ and Universal Offer of Salvation III: All Are to Know Jesus, But When? and Universal Offer of Salvation IV: Will the Guilty be Pardoned? and Universal Offer of Salvation V: All Israel Will be Saved? A version of the main article was also translated in the Spanish language: Oferta universal de salvación: Hay cientos de versículos en la Biblia que apoyan la verdadera doctrina de la Apocatastasis.
Is God Calling You? This booklet discusses topics including calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond? Here is a link to a related sermon: Could God be Calling You?
Christian Repentance Do you know what repentance is? Is it really necessary for salvation? A related sermon is also available titled: Real Christian Repentance.

EU flag promotes ‘Mary’ and is intended to unify Europe

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019

12 Star Flag of Europe

EU Flag

COGwriter

A reader sent me a link to an article in Italian, that I machine-translated into English. Here is some of what it said:

WHY NOW FOR THE ALLOY THE BLUE WILL REPLACE THE GREEN IN PONTIDA?

AND WHERE IS THE AZURE SYMBOL OF ITALY AND THAT (WITH THE TWELVE STARS) OF THE EUROPEAN FLAG?
Antonio Socci

A complaint arose yesterday from the front page of the “Giornale” : “Salvini even smashes blue at Forza Italia” . That “even” implied: in addition to the votes and the leadership of the center. …It all began on 21 June 1366 when Amedeo VI of Savoy set sail from Venice to the Holy Land, for the crusade wanted by Pope Urban V. On his flagship he waved the Savoy banner along with a blue banner with a crown of stars around it to the image of the Madonna. Which brings an invocation: “Mary Most Holy, help of Christians” .This is why the historian Luigi Cibrario – to whom we owe all this reconstruction – states: That color of heaven consecrated to Mary is, so far as I believe, the origin of our national color”. In fact, that Marian banner, after its first appearance on the ship of Amadeus VI, was taken over by some Savoy knights who began to gird themselves with blue scarves in honor of Our Lady.

It became the tradition of the officers and January 10, 1572 , by the will of Emanuele Filiberto , the blue scarf became solemnly part of the uniform of the Savoy and later the ‘ heraldry of the Kingdom of Italy .

The blue then marked the United Italy in military uniforms , then also in sports competitions from January 6, 1911 when it was worn by our national team in the game with Hungary in Milan.

So, if you consider the origin of that blue from the banner of the Madonna, you could also grasp a significant reference to Matteo Salvini who ended the last election campaign in Milan, in Piazza del Duomo, under “La Madunina”, showing from stage the crown of the Rosary and the Gospel .

THE EUROPEAN FLAG

Curiously, the iconography of the Marian banner of Amadeus VI of Savoy, which saw the Virgin surrounded by twelve stars, is exactly the same that in 1955 inspired the painter Arsène Heitz in creating the European flag: twelve golden stars in the blue field .

Arsène, a Catholic, wore around his neck the famous “Miraculous Medal” of Saint Catherine Labouré where there is precisely that image of the Madonna referring to the 12th chapter of the Apocalypse : “Then a great sign appeared in the sky: a woman dressed in sun with the moon under his feet and on his head a crown of twelve stars “ .

Later, after the adoption of his flag by the Council of Europe (among more than a hundred proposals), the painter revealed what his design and the Marian reference meant.<

But that symbolism should not really be unknown to the leadership of Europe at that time, which was not that secular and technocratic today , but it was the deeply Christian Europe of De Gasperi, Adenauer and Schumann (not by chance the Treaties of Rome, birth of a united Europe, were signed in Rome on March 25, 1957, the feast of the Annunciation and the Incarnation ).

To understand the spiritual horizon of men who made Europe, it must be said that Paul Michel Gabriel Lévy, born on November 27th, the day of the feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal , was an important Jewish intellectual who was deported by the Nazis to the concentration camp Braendonk, from where he fled in 1942. When he arrived in England he played a fundamental role in the liberation of prisoners from the Nazi death camps.

Lévy – second father Caillon – who became Catholic also presided over the commission for the “stained glass” of Europe, in the cathedral of Strasbourg .

There is the Virgin who takes her hands away to separate the European peoples who have waged war. At the top of the window is the twelve stars of the miraculous medal and the Apocalypse .

On December 13, 1955 , the Irish minister who presided over the Council of Europe, pronounced these solemn words to inaugurate the banner of Europe: “gentlemen, I have the honor to present this flag … waving for a long time, freely and in peace with the blessing of God “ .

In short, the blue of the Lega di Salvini, which incorporates Italian blue, has the same origin as the blue of the European flag, but of a Europe with solid Christian roots, not of Europe of Maastricht that has refused the reference to ” Christian roots “ . …

Blue is the color of Mary. I wonder if Calamandrei, who was a patriot, knew that Italian blue was coming from there. 30/06/18

Antonio Socci has long written on religious matters, and I even read a book he wrote on the ‘Lady of Fatima’ years ago.

I wonder if the pro-Brexit protesters in the UK, who use a lot of blue and often carry the EU flag, realize that blue and the EU flag are supposed to represent Mary. As far as the EU flag goes, notice something that was in Vatican News back in 2012:

Symbolism of EU flag is Marian

22 October 2012

The symbol of Europe was conceived by a Catholic and tomorrow, for the first time, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be carried past the EU Parliament building…

Lorenzo Fontana and Mario Borghesio said the arrival of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima in Strasbourg is “a unique event.” “Few people know that the symbol of unified Europe has exquisitely Marian origins, as the European Union’s official flag proves with its twelve stars and the Virgin Mary’s blue and white colours.”…

A competition was held in order to choose the flag and French Catholic designer Arsène Heitz won. The meaning of the flag’s symbolism can be found in an image of Marian devotion…

Heitz was inspired by the “Miraculous Medal” he wore around his neck: a medal named after apparition of the Virgin Mary to St Catherine Laboure in 1830. It was the Virgin Mary who told the nun to have twelve stars struck on the medal, in representation of the the stars on the crown worn by the woman in the Book of Revelation. Saint Bernadette Soubirous also had a necklace made of tin and string around her neck when the Virgin Mary appeared to her on 11 February 1858, dressed in white and blue.

Arsène Heitz did not reveal the symbol’s biblical origin (he only did so later on), but claimed the number twelve was meant to symbolise ancient wisdom, a “symbol of completeness”. This interpretation stuck and the number was confirmed in the constitutional treaty. So the European flag has a powerful Christian and Marian significance. Tomorrow Mary will “take back” the EU. http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/inquiries-and-interviews/detail/articolo/europa-europe-19118/

(It may be of interest to note that the statue claimed to be the Lady of Fatima going to the EU does not look anything like how the three children who saw the apparition described it. For details, including pictures of the Fatima statue and what was really seen, please check out the book Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock! which you can acquire in seconds.)

As far as the Vatican’s version of Mary goes, last year Pope Francis announced a new Marian holiday:

Pope Francis decrees new celebration dedicated to Virgin Mary

Pope Francis has officially declared a feast day for celebrating the Virgin Mary as the “Mother of the Church.” …

Pope Francis decreed that the feast day, which designates Mary as the “Mother of the Church,” would be celebrated on the Monday following Pentecost. This year, the day falls on May 21.

The decree stated that the feast day is intended to celebrate Mary not only as the mother of Jesus, but also as a fundamental figure in the church.

Francis hoped the feast day would “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety.”

The Catholic Church already has a liturgical celebration honoring Mary as the “Mother of the Church” that began in 1975. Individual countries, dioceses and religious orders have also held Virgin Mary celebrations for longer periods of time — but Saturday’s decree means the celebration will now apply to all of the Roman Catholic Church. 4 March, 2018 http://www.dw.com/en/pope-francis-decrees-new-celebration-dedicated-to-virgin-mary/a-42815882

Pushing his version of ‘Mary’ is something Pope Francis has been doing for years. It is part of his ecumenical, interfaith, and European agendas.

European agenda?

Yes.

In addition to Pope Francis getting the Charlemagne Prize for his promoting of European unity (see Pope Francis given ‘Charlemagne Prize;’ EU leaders worried about EU’s future), the Church of Rome has other ties from ‘Mary’ to Europe.

Bible prophecy show that there will be something resembling a United States of Europe, with a dictatorial head (cf. Revelation 17:12-13). Biblical as well as Catholic prophecy suggest that signs and enchantments from one called a “virgin” and “Lady” will happen at the time of the end (cf. Isaiah 47).

As far as the comment in the Vatican News that Mary will “take back” the EU, notice the following:

R. Gerald Culleton (20th century): During the reign of the Great Monarch and the Angelic Pastor the Catholic Church will spread throughout the world, conversions will be innumerable…The Blessed Virgin will be the chief one in gaining victory over all heresy…

Blessed Hieronymus Agathaghelos (1279): The Angel, Mary and John, along with the great and first among martyrs…will intercede.

Anna-Katrina Emmerick (July 12, 1820): When the Mass had ended, Mary came up to Henry (the Emperor), and she extended her right hand towards him, saying that it was in recognition of his purity. Then, she urged him not to falter…

Catholic writer Yves Dupont (20th century): Henry is the Great Monarch…The Blessed Virgin urges him not to falter.

Saint Louis de Montfort (18th century): These great souls…shall be singularly devouted to our Blessed Lady, illuminated by her nourishment, led by her spirit, supported by her arm, and sheltered under her protection, so that they shall fight in one hand and build with the other. With the one hand they shall fight, overthrow and crush the heretics with their heresies, the schismatics with their schisms…

The Ecstatic of Tours: …the French people will… implore the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary Immaculate…The French people will ask for the good King…this King…will ascend to the throne; he will free the church and reassert the Pope’s rights…

Sister Marie Lataste (died 1847): Peace shall return to the world because of Blessed Virgin Mary will breathe over the storms and quell them.

Pope Pius IX (died 1878): We expect that the Immaculate Virgin…will gain in influence from day to day among all nations and in all places, prosper and rule from ocean to ocean…to the ends of the earth…there will be one fold and one shepherd. (Thiel B. Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions, 2nd edition. 2012, pp. 204-205)

The “Great Monarch” according to Catholic mystics will be the final emperor of Europe, and according to various Catholic mystics, “Mary” will assist him in his objectives–including helping get Europeans (and others) to accept a more ecumenical form of Catholicism. The heretics that the Marian apparitions are prophesied to crush include, in my view, true Christians–none of whom will want to be involved in praising false apparitions.

And Pope Francis is trying to push more Marianism.

There will be much more involving what is and will be claimed to be “Mary” than most, especially in Europe, realize.  Notice the following:

In an apparition in Pfaffenhofen, Germany (which is not one of the approved Marian apparitions by the Vatican683), one some have claimed was Mary made the following assertions, on June 25, 1946, according to two related accounts:

In secret I will work marvels…till the number of victims is filled…shorten the days of darkness…Then, I can manifest myself to the world…Pray and offer sacrifices through me…

The Father wants the world to recognize His handmaid…My sign is about to appear. God wills it…I cannot reveal my power to the world as yet… Then I will be able to reveal myself…Pray and sacrifice through me!…I will impose crosses on my children that will be as heavy and as deep as the sea.

Notice that this apparition is claiming that in a future time, she will become known to the world (and that she wants sacrifices through herself, apparently for her glory). (Thiel B. Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions, 2nd edition. 2012, pp. 208-209)

Presuming that apparitions claiming to be Mary will become publicly seen (as opposed to by a few individuals), this will likely deceive many (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; Matthew 24:24), and may lead to stronger temporary unity in Europe.

Pope Francis and the Vatican continue to promote ‘Mary.’ The European Union is also doing it, though many do not realize that.

Despite complaints, problems, and disunity in Europe, Europe will fulfill its biblically-prophesied role (cf. Daniel 2:41-43) and with the involvement of a claimed “virgin” (Isaiah 47) that really is a harlot (Revelation 17 & 18) is expected. And that will not bode well for the UK, USA, or their Anglo-allies (Daniel 11:39), nor ultimately the Europeans.

Some articles of possibly related interest may include:

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’.
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.
The Great Monarch: Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Is the ‘Great Monarch’ of Catholic prophecies endorsed or condemned by the Bible? Two sermons of related interest are also available: Great Monarch: Messiah or False Christ? and Great Monarch in 50+ Beast Prophecies.
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
Fatima and the ‘Miracle’ of the Sun On October 13, 1917, tens of thousands of people witnessed what they considered to be a miracle in the sky in Fatima, Portugal. Was this a miracle from God? Can you be certain? A video of some related interest is Fatima and Pope Francis. Here is a link to the sermon: Fatima and the ‘Miracle of the Sun’.
The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future? A video of related interest is titled: The ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ and Prophecy.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
Assumption of Mary Did Mary die? Was she taken to heaven on August 15th? What is known? What does the Bible show?
Fatima Shock! What the Vatican Does Not Want You to Know About Fatima, Dogmas of Mary, and Future Apparitions. Whether or not you believe anything happened at Fatima, if you live long enough, you will be affected by its ramifications (cf. Isaiah 47; Revelation 17). Fatima Shock! provides concerned Christians with enough Catholic-documented facts to effectively counter every false Marian argument. In addition to the print version, there is a Kindle version of Fatima Shock!

Temple Institute, Daughters of Zelophehad, and Women’s Rights

Friday, July 19th, 2019


Artist portrayal of the ‘Daughters of Zelophehad’ before Moses (Wikipedia)

COGwriter

The Temple Institute (a Jewish organization) sent out the following:

“Tzelaphchad’s daughters speak justly!”

(Numbers 27:7)

Tammuz 16, 5779/July 19, 2019

This week’s Torah reading, Pinchas, could easily bear the subtitle “Profiles in Courage.” …

The second act of courage which occurs in our parasha was performed by the five daughters of Tzelaphchad – Machlah, Noa, Choglah, Milchah and Tirtzah. Their father had died without a son, and as things stood, that is, as Torah had stipulated, he had no one to inherit his portion in the land of Israel. The five sisters approached Moshe and challenged this law, saying to Moshe, “Our father died in the desert, but he was not in the assembly that banded together against HaShem in Korach’s assembly, but he died for his own sin, and he had no sons. Why should our father’s name be eliminated from his family because he had no son? Give us a portion along with our father’s brothers.” (ibid 27:3-4)The five sisters exhibited courage simply in standing before Moshe, as this was unprecedented. We have not heard of such a thing in the patriarchal society of the desert encampment. Had Miriam been alive they might have first enlisted her support, but Miriam was no more. They went directly to Moshe. But even more courageously, they appealed directly to G-d, via Moshe’s good offices. Like Pinchas, the five sisters, Machlah, Noa, Choglah, Milchah and Tirtzah, were of the unassailable conviction that their desire was G-d’s desire, that what they were asking for was what G-d wanted for them. And, as in the case of Pinchas, G-d testified directly to their righteousness: “Tzelaphchad’s daughters speak justly!” (ibid 27:7) And so it was. In response to their query G-d dictated to Moshe an entire addendum to the Torah laws of inheritance, which, like Pinchas’ entry into the kehunah, would, from that day forth, stand forever.

(These women are called the “the daughters of Zelophehad” in Numbers 27:1, NKJV.)

Yes, women do have rights–and the New Testament also shows that many women had courage (cf. Hebrews 11).

Sadly, if you believe many US politicians, a woman’s “fundamental right” is the right to kill any child she may conceive–and while a women has the right to choose whether to marry or not, she does not have the right to kill via abortion or infanticide.

Jesus understood real women’s rights and roles.

Now, at the time of Jesus, one of the three routine declarations Jewish men made in the synagogue or their morning prayers was, “Thank God I am not a woman.”

Furthermore, in a rabbinic exposition of Jewish law, there were written these words:

A man should ever avoid women; thus he should never make any gestures at them, either with his hands or his feet, nor wink at them, nor jest with them . . .

A man must not greet a woman under any circumstances, and he is forbidden to send his regards to her even through her husband” (Ganzfried S. Translated by Hyman Goldin. Code of Jewish Law. Volume IV, Chapter 152, Verses 8,9, Hebrew Publishing Company, NY, 2004, p. 20).

Yet these “laws” were not found in the Bible, but were often generally understood improper traditions of men at the time of Christ.

Jesus denounced Jewish traditions that were in conflict with God’s commands (e.g. Matthew 15:3) and treated women differently than the Jewish leaders of His day did.

Some of the Jewish leaders saw limited good in women:

Rabbi Hiya taught: A woman is only for beauty, or only for the sake of the children she will bear. (Gemara as cited in The Babylonian Talmud in Selection, by Leo Auerbach, [1944], pp. 164-165. http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/bata/bata10.htm viewed 08/15/13)

But women are more valuable than simply being beautiful objects to bear children.

The Bible says that Jesus was without sin (Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22), and it often showed that He refused to take part in various added laws of Jewish tradition (Mark 7:5-13).

And this included the Jewish traditions involving women.

Notice John 4:7-19:

7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

9 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

In the above account, Jesus violated two non-biblical Jewish traditions at the same time: He greets a woman and has interactions with a foreigner. And even this foreign woman knew that this was not the usual practice of the Jews.

Jesus even went a step further and started to talk with her about issues relating to religion and salvation. Hence, He considered that women were as deserving and capable as men in the area. And while that may seem to be self-evident, this does not seem to have been the usual practice amongst Jewish religious leaders of His day.

Furthermore, that woman, a foreigner, realized that Jesus was the Messiah before many men did:

10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”

17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”

Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”

19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:10-26)

Jesus clearly felt that the woman had the right to get some questions answered.

That woman gave testimony of Jesus that others believed:

39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.”

40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word. (John 4:39-41)

So a foreign woman, and other foreigners, who had some familiarity with the scriptures, believed.

Notice that Jesus had to teach something to the Sadducees, who tended to be priests, that they had not grasped. He corrected their poor doctrinal understanding:

23 The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 24 saying: “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. 27 Last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.”

29 Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. 31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” (Matthew 22:23-32)

Thus, many people were surprised that Jesus did NOT relegate a resurrected woman to be inferior to any man. This was a radical departure from the non-biblical traditions that they held.

Women have the same spiritual potential as men (e.g. see What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God?).

Those who do not recognize this do not know “the Scriptures nor the power of God.”

As far as the role of women in the church and more specific rights, check out the article: Women and the New Testament Church. A related sermon is also available: Women’s Roles in the Church.

Some items of possibly-related interest may include:

Women and the New Testament Church What roles did women play in the ministry of Jesus and the apostles? Did Jesus and the Apostle Paul violate Jewish traditions regarding their dealings with women? Do women have any biblical limitations on their role in the Church? Were there female prophets? Do women have any special responsibilities in terms of how they dress? What does the New Testament really teach about women? Here are links to two related sermons: Women’s Roles in the Church and New Testament Women.
True Womanhood: A Lost Cause? Is there still a place for being feminine? Here is an article from Herbert Armstrong about his thoughts relating to women and womanhood.
Dating: A Key to Success in Marriage, a practical dating guide for Christians This is a scripture-filled dating guide. It discusses many aspects of dating, as well as who to not consider for marriage. Two related sermons are available: The Art of Christian Dating. and No One to Date? Teen Q&A? Engagement? 2nd Marriage? A short animation is also available: First Date: Worldly vs. Christian.
Love, Marriage, and Sex It is important to get them in the right order.
God Created Marriage Some falsely claim that God did not create marriage and that fornication is fine.  What does the Bible really teach? Here is a version in Mandarin Chinese y^R ZZYû.
Making Your Marriage Work Marriage is not always easy, but it pictures a divine relationship. How can you make your marriage work? Here is a link to the video sermon: You Can Make YOUR Marriage Work.
Here’s the Plain Truth About OLD TESTAMENT POLYGAMY by Herbert Armstrong. Here is a related article in the Spanish language: ¿Es la poligamia una senda de Dios?
Husbands Love Your Wives An article written by the late Selmer Hegvold.
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 wish to view the YouTube videos Abortion, the Bible, and US Debt, American Infanticide, and Land of ‘Free’ Abortions and Debt.
What is Your Destiny? Deification? Did the Early Church Teach That Christians Would Become God? What is your ultimate destiny? What does the Bible teach? Is deification only a weird or cultic idea? Are you to rule the universe? Here is a link to the video sermon What is Your Destiny?
Christians are to Rule Are Christians really to rule? If so, how will that turn out? A related sermon is titled A sermon of related interest is titled Are Christians really supposed to rule?
Priscilla and Aquila An early Christian married couple from Rome who moved to Asia Minor.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.