Archive for the ‘Religious News’ Category

BibleNewsProphecy: Jerusalem Temple Destruction and the Messiah

Sunday, July 22nd, 2018

COGwriter

Today, Jews have been mourning the loss of their temple by fasting.

The Continuing Church of God (CCOG) is pleased to announce 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.

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

Was there an expectation among Judaism for a Messiah around the time of Jesus? Is there any evidence that any Jews expected a Messiah when Jesus arrived?
Is God Calling You? This is a booklet discussing calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond?
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.
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God 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.
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.ORG
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.ASIA
We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN
This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU
This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ
This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos
. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOG Animations channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos. Here is a link to a short intro: ContinuingCOG Channel.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
BibleNewsProphecy Podcast. This has audio-visual podcasts of the Bible News Prophecy channgel. It plays on i-Phones, i-Pads, and Windows devices that can play i-Tunes.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.

Temple mourning day: Should this help get the Jews to consider Jesus?

Saturday, July 21st, 2018


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

COGwriter

Many Jews observe the Fast of the 9th of Av, which begins at sunset tonight and runs through sunset on July 22 in 2018 (Ab/Av is in July or August on the Roman calendar depending up on the Hebrew lunar calendar).

Here is something from the Temple Institute about it this month:

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 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.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is God Calling You? This is a booklet discussing calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond?
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.

The prophet Daniel wrote of many matters that few truly understand

Friday, July 20th, 2018


Depiction of Daniel in the Lions’ Den (Daniel 6:16-23)

COGwriter

Daniel was a well known prophet of God who lived during the reigns of Kings Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius, and Cyrus. Some observe a memorial to the death of the Prophet Daniel on July 21st of each year, while the Greeks tend to pick December 17th.

Here is how the Book of Daniel starts:

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.

3 Then the king instructed Ashpenaz, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, 4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. 6 Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7 To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abed-Nego.

8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. 10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you would endanger my head before the king.”

11 So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” 14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days.

15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16 Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. 21 Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus. (Daniel 1:1-20)

Daniel and his companions could have been killed for refusing a diet that likely contained unclean animals. Yet, he and his companions had enough faith to resist.

Later, Daniel is shown to be one who could interpret dreams and who also received some of his own.

Here is one of the interpretations he gave:

36 “This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king. 37 You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; 38 and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all — you are this head of gold. 39 But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. 41 Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. 43 As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold — the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.” (Daniel 2:36-45)

Certain Christian COG groups have misinterpreted part of this dream and believe that the toes in verses 41-43 must refer to ten currently existing 21st century nations. This mistake will mean that when the final beast power forms, if it has more than 10 (PCG) or 11 (in LCG’s case) currently existing nations that those who rely on the misinterpretation will not realize that the Great Tribulation will begin until it is too late (see also Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations?).

Daniel recorded and wrote about the famous “handwriting on the wall”:

1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, and drank wine in the presence of the thousand. 2 While he tasted the wine, Belshazzar gave the command to bring the gold and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple which had been in Jerusalem, that the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines might drink from them. 3 Then they brought the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God which had been in Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives, and his concubines drank from them. 4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold and silver, bronze and iron, wood and stone.

5 In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. 6 Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other. 7 The king cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spoke, saying to the wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this writing, and tells me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around his neck; and he shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.” 8 Now all the king’s wise men came, but they could not read the writing, or make known to the king its interpretation. 9 Then King Belshazzar was greatly troubled, his countenance was changed, and his lords were astonished.

10 The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came to the banquet hall. The queen spoke, saying, “O king, live forever! Do not let your thoughts trouble you, nor let your countenance change. 11 There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the Spirit of the Holy God. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and King Nebuchadnezzar your father — your father the king — made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers. 12 Inasmuch as an excellent spirit, knowledge, understanding, interpreting dreams, solving riddles, and explaining enigmas were found in this Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, now let Daniel be called, and he will give the interpretation.”

13 Then Daniel was brought in before the king. The king spoke, and said to Daniel, “Are you that Daniel who is one of the captives from Judah, whom my father the king brought from Judah? 14 I have heard of you, that the Spirit of God is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you. 15 Now the wise men, the astrologers, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing and make known to me its interpretation, but they could not give the interpretation of the thing. 16 And I have heard of you, that you can give interpretations and explain enigmas. Now if you can read the writing and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple and have a chain of gold around your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.”

17 Then Daniel answered, and said before the king, “Let your gifts be for yourself, and give your rewards to another; yet I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation. 18 O king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom and majesty, glory and honor. 19 And because of the majesty that He gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him. Whomever he wished, he executed; whomever he wished, he kept alive; whomever he wished, he set up; and whomever he wished, he put down. 20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him. 21 Then he was driven from the sons of men, his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. They fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and appoints over it whomever He chooses.

22 “But you his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all this. 23 And you have lifted yourself up against the Lord of heaven. They have brought the vessels of His house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone, which do not see or hear or know; and the God who holds your breath in His hand and owns all your ways, you have not glorified. 24 Then the fingers of the hand were sent from Him, and this writing was written.

25 “And this is the inscription that was written:
MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

26 This is the interpretation of each word. Mene: God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it; 27 Tekel: You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting; 28 Peres: Your kingdom has been divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” 29 Then Belshazzar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and put a chain of gold around his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

30 That very night Belshazzar, king of the Chaldeans, was slain. 31 And Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old. (Daniel 5:1-30)

Most in the USA and the Anglo-Saxon descended nations do not see the ‘handwriting on the wall” for their societies. Yet, although most in the COGs also tend to misunderstand other parts of Daniel and do not see the handwriting on the wall that will affect them (see also Can those in the USA/UK see the Handwriting on the Wall?).

Notice what will happen to real Christians in the time of the end, according to the Book of Daniel:

23 “Thus he said:

‘The fourth beast shall be
A fourth kingdom on earth,
Which shall be different from all other kingdoms,
And shall devour the whole earth,
Trample it and break it in pieces.
24 The ten horns are ten kings
Who shall arise from this kingdom.
And another shall rise after them;
He shall be different from the first ones,
And shall subdue three kings.
25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
For a time and times and half a time. (Daniel 7:23-25)

Persecution is coming and most in the COGs do not realize how the various persecutions will affect them (see also Persecutions by Church and State).

Here is a section in Daniel that many misunderstand:

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.
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)

Those who do understand this properly will have the opportunity to know prior to the start of the Great Tribulation, approximately when it will begin (see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27). Those that claim that the “prince to come” in Daniel 9:26 is Jesus and that Jesus is the one that confirms a covenant with many for one week, etc., will not understand as that statement is not a reference to Jesus. The “prince to come” is the final European King of the North. He is the one in Daniel 11:31 who fulfills bringing the end of the sacrifice and offerings 3 1/2 years (the middle of a seven year prophetic week) after the deal is confirmed. Jesus did not destroy the city nor sanctuary, nor is there a biblical record that He confirmed a seven-year covenant.

Those who refuse to accept that are in error (such as the Philadelphia Church of God, Church of God a Worldwide Association, and the Restored Church of God) and will not understand certain end time events.

Daniel also wrote the following:

27 Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time. 28 While returning to his land with great riches, his heart shall be moved against the holy covenant; so he shall do damage and return to his own land.

29 “At the appointed time he shall return and go toward the south; but it shall not be like the former or the latter. 30 For ships from Cyprus shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and return in rage against the holy covenant, and do damage.

“So he shall return and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant. 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. 32 Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. 33 And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. 34 Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. 35 And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time.

36 “Then the king shall do according to his own will: he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god, shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished; for what has been determined shall be done. 37 He shall regard neither the God of his fathers nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall exalt himself above them all. 38 But in their place he shall honor a god of fortresses; and a god which his fathers did not know he shall honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and pleasant things. 39 Thus he shall act against the strongest fortresses with a foreign god, which he shall acknowledge, and advance its glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and divide the land for gain.

40 “At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through. 41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. 42 He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. 43 He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels. 44 But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many. 45 And he shall plant the tents of his palace between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and no one will help him. (Daniel 11:29-45)

Nearly all COG groups either do not understand this and/or have significant errors in their understanding of parts of this (including the persecution it is referring to). A verse-by-verse analysis of the above is included in the article Who is the King of the North?. Prophetic misunderstandings that many COG claimed groups have on some of this is documented in the article Is the Future King of the South Rising Up?

Because Jesus referred to Daniel 11 in his Olivet prophecy in Matthew 24:15, those who do not properly understand the sequence and players involved in Daniel 11 will not possibly know when the Great Tribulation will begin until it is too late.

Daniel was told the following:

4 “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” (Daniel 12:4)

Truly, with jet aircraft, automobiles, trains, etc., many are going to and fro.

What about knowledge increasing? Notice:

The NSA will soon be able to collect 966 exabytes a year, the total of internet traffic annually. Former Google head Eric Schmidt once arguedthat the entire amount of knowledge from the beginning of humankind until 2003 amount to only five exabytes. (Loewenstein A. The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control. The Guardian, July 10, 2014. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jul/11/the-ultimate-goal-of-the-nsa-is-total-population-control)

Despite more information being available, many will not understand. But in the end, the spiritually wise, the remnant of the Philadelphians, will understand:

8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”

9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. 10 Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand. (Daniel 12:8-10)

Parts of Daniel’s message have been at least partially fulfilled and the fulfillment of other parts will come to pass.

Yet many, including those in nearly all COGs, will NOT understand key aspects of Daniel 2,7,9,11, & 12. There is a listing of 38 prophetic misunderstandings that the Laodicean churches have in the article The Laodicean Church Era, and many are related to the Book of Daniel. Those who misunderstand the sequence and various particulars of the prophecies in the Book of Daniel will not know when the Great Tribulation will come and hence will likely be killed or otherwise greatly affected by it.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Must the Ten Kings of Revelation 17:12 Rule over Ten Currently Existing Nations? Some claim that these passages refer to a gathering of 10 currently existing nations together, while one group teaches that this is referring to 11 nations getting together. Is that what Revelation 17:12-13 refers to? The ramifications of misunderstanding this are enormous. A related sermon is titled Ten Kings of Revelation and the Great Tribulation.
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.
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.
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.
UK Study Supports Daniel Diet Daniel and his companions looked better eating more vegetables and avoiding strange meats. Has modern science confirmed this?
The New Testament Church and Unclean Meats Are foods considered to have been unclean in the Old Testament considered to be food in the New Testament? This article discusses this from the perspective of the New Testament. It also has a list of clean and unclean animals. It also answers the question, is pork healthy or is pork dangerous? There is also a sermon-length video on this: Christians and Unclean Meats.Dreams, the Bible, and the Continuing Church of God Does God still use dreams? Did He use any involving those in the Continuing Church of God?
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.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before the Great Tribulation in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? Is this the time of the Gentiles? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord? Who are the 144,000? Here is a version of the article in the Spanish language: ¿Puede comenzar la Gran Tribulación en 2015? ¿Es el Tiempo de los Gentiles? You can also see the English language sermon video: The Great Tribulation from the Mount of Olives.
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory. There is also a video on the subject: Might Petra be the Place of Safety? Here is something related in the Spanish language: Hay un lugar de seguridad para los Filadelfinos. ¿Puede ser Petra?
Elijah: Past and Prophesied Information about the original Elijah and some information about the Elijah-related prophecies.
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong?
How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God There are many false prophets, yet many overlook what the Bible teaches about how to recognize a true one. How can Christians determine who is a true prophet? This article contains a scripture-based checklist to assist with this determination.
How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God This is a sermon on YouTube addressing a subject that most in the Church of God do not seem to have looked into very much. It discusses scriptures and dispels some improper assertions that some associated with the COG have made about prophets in this time.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them.

‘Four Progressive Steps into Apostasy’

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

CHOG Book Cover 2015

COGwriter

In his latest newsletter, Mike Gendron has the following:

Four Progressive Steps into Apostasy

Throughout the 2000 year history of the Church, we have seen a continual departure of people and churches from the faith of the apostles. As incredibly tragic as this has been, it should not surprise us because Paul warned: “The Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons”     (1 Tim. 4:1). Shortly after our Lord began building His Church, the apostle John records one of the first occurrences of apostasy. “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19).

Before going further, it should be noted that one of the first and most clearly documented changes from the practices of the Apostle John was changing the date of Passover to a Sunday.

Although I do not agree with all of his details, let’s look at Mike Gendron’s steps as he wrote:

First Step into Apostasy

God’s word is neglected as the supreme authority for faith and practice. Man’s words and wisdom become as important as God’s Word. Traditions and movements of men cause confusion and divided loyalties. People start following “Christian” personalities instead of the Word of God. Pastors discard the Lord’s blue print for building His church and create their own strategy. Pastors win the approval of men for the size of their church, rather than their faithfulness and fidelity to God’s Word. The power of the Gospel is weakened by compromise and made more inclusive to gain a larger following. Biblical evangelism is replaced by man’s methods of conversion. Churches give people what they want instead of what they need. The pursuit of sanctification is neglected. Biblical warnings to expose false teachers are ignored. A little leaven in the form of heresy is allowed to circulate. Contenders for the faith are labeled as divisive and intolerant. Women are allowed to teach men.

Second Step into Apostasy

Scripture is twisted and distorted for self-serving agendas. Truth becomes subjective and relative. Doctrinal error and sin are tolerated by pastors who neglect their responsibility to protect the sheep. Satan sows his tares with little resistance. Pastors become more determined to build their own church rather than the Lord’s church. The Gospel becomes more inclusive to attract more people. Expository preaching is replaced by topical messages. Biblical ignorance in the pew provides fertile ground for false teachers to prosper. Trials and persecution expose dead and spurious faith. The exhortation to contend earnestly for the faith is ignored. People honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. “Infallible” men claim to be successors of the apostles and are embraced as brothers-in-Christ. Ungodly men creep in and turn the grace of our God into licentiousness. Contenders for the faith are asked to leave.

Third Step into Apostasy

Entertainment, idolatry, liturgy and rituals have replaced the Lord Jesus from the central focus of worship. Pastors are more interested in entertaining the goats than feeding the sheep. Ear-tickling messages give people what they want instead of what they need. Sound doctrine and truth is suppressed for the sake of ecumenical unity. Hearts become hardened and love for God grows cold. Doctrinal error flourishes and is embraced with stubborn pride. There is no love for the truth and no discernment. People stand for nothing and fall for everything. A form of godliness exists, but it’s void of power. Idolatry is practiced and encouraged. Sin and immoral lifestyles are tolerated. Women are ordained as pastors.

Fourth Step into Apostasy

Teaching is heavily influenced by doctrines of demons. Jesus has been removed from the church. Deception is full-blown. Lying signs and wonders, including apparitions, are embraced as messages from God or Mary. Idolatry and prayers to the dead are encouraged.

Even in the Church of God, many want entertainment–despite warnings against that (cf. 2 Timothy 4:3).  Jesus warned that mainly of the faithful would be lukewarm in the end times and needed repentance (cf. Revelation 3:14-19; see also The Laodicean Church Era).

Anyway, while Mike Gendron is mainly pointing to compromise by the Church of Rome, Eastern Orthodox, and select Protestant groups, there has been more sliding into apostasy by people who claim to believe the Bible than his article points point.

Now, consider that last decade, Christianity Today was promoting an article that stated:

We are now in a period when it is not enough to know only about the Bible. The apologetics of the past is no longer adequate. Today’s questions involve not only how the Bible came to be, but even if there was originally such a thing as orthodoxy. It is a crucial question. Christians need to know a lot more about the second century. Roots matter, especially in the founding of a movement (Bock. D. Roots Matter: The Gnostic Hunger For Secret Knowledge. Christianity Today. Issue 96, Fall 2007, Vol. XXVII, No. 4, Page 42).

And while that is true, sadly Protestant scholars realize that the doctrines and practices of what now passes for mainstream “Christianity” simply have no historical evidence of existing in the second century.

Notice the following admissions from Protestant scholar HOJ Brown:

It is impossible to document what we now call orthodoxy in the first two centuries of Christianity (Brown HOJ. Heresies: Heresy and Orthodoxy in the History of the Church. Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody (MA), 1988, p. 5).

Simply put, many of the doctrines that now are considered to be heresy were held by the early church and many doctrines now considered to be mainstream were condemned as heresy by those associated with the early church.

But the true Church was NOT supposed to change the faith, instead Christians were exhorted:

3 … to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.  (Jude 3)

Here is a listing of many such doctrines, that is also included in the Statement of Beliefs of the Continuing Church of God:

Baptism of Christians was by immersion and did not include infants.

The complete Bible with the proper Old Testament and New Testament was relied on by the true Church in Asia Minor.

A Binitarian or Semi-Arian view, that acknowledged the Holy Spirit, was held by the apostolic and post-apostolic true Christian leaders.

Birthdays were not celebrated by early Christians.

Born-Again meant being born at the resurrection, not at the time of conversion, which is when a spiritual begettal occurs.

Celibacy for Bishops/Presbyters/Elders was not a requirement.

Church Governance was properly hierarchical.

Christmas was not observed by any professing Christ prior to the third century, or ever by those holding to early teachings; December 25th did not come from the Bible.

Circumcision, though not required, was long practiced by original Nazarene Christians.

Confession of sins were not made to priests and did not require penance.

Deification of Christians (which begins after the first resurrection) was taught by the early leaders of the Church.

Duties of Elders/Pastors were pastoral and theological, not predominantly sacramental–nor did they dress as many now do. Easterper se was not observed by the apostolic church.

The Fall (and Spring) Holy Days were observed by true early Christians.

The Father was considered to be God by all early professing Christians.

The True Gospel included the kingdom of God and obedience to the law of God and was so understood by the faithful.

Heaven was not taught to be the reward of Christians.

Holy Spirit was not referred to as God or as a person by any early true Christians.

Hymns were mainly psalms, not praises to Christ.

Idols were taught against, including adoration of the cross.

Immortality of the soul or humans was not taught. Jesus was considered to be God by the true Christians.

The Kingdom of God was preached.

Leavened Bread was removed from the homes of early Christians when the Jews did the same.

Lent was not observed by the primitive church.

Limbo was not taught by the original church.

Mary was the mother of Jesus, was blessed (Luke 1:28) and called blessed (Luke 1:48), but was not prayed to, etc. by true early Christians.

Military Service was not allowed for true early Christians.

Millenarianism (a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth, often called the millennium) was taught by the early Christians.

Monasticism was unheard of in the early Christian church.

Passover was kept annually on the 14th of Nisan by apostolic and second century Christians in Asia Minor.

Pentecost was kept on Sunday by certain Jews and was observed then by professing Christians.

Purgatory was not taught by the original apostolic church.

The Resurrection of the dead was taught by all early Christians

The Sabbath was observed on Saturday by the apostolic and post-apostolic Church.

Salvation was believed to be offered to the chosen now by the early Church, with others being called later, though not all that taught that (or other doctrines) practiced “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). God’s

Six Thousand Year Plan for humankind to rule itself was believed by early professors of Christ.

Sunday was not observed by the apostolic and original post-apostolic Christians.

The Ten Commandments were observed by the apostolic and true post-apostolic Christians–and in the order that the Church of God claims they are in.

Tithes and Offerings were given to support the ministry, the churches, the needy, and evangelical travels and proclamation.

Tradition had some impact on the second century Christians, but was never supposed to supercede the Bible.

The Trinity was not a word used to describe the Godhead by the apostolic or second century Christians, though a certain threeness was acknowledged.

Unclean Meats were eaten by the early allegorists, but not by true Christians.

The Virgin Birth was acknowledged by all true ante-Nicene Christians.

The early true Church simply had many doctrines and practices that do not resemble today’s “mainstream Christianity.” Instead, the faithful held to doctrines that we in the Continuing Church of God still hold to.

Despite claims and misinformation to the contrary, early Christians held to Church of God doctrines much more than they did to many doctrines now held by the Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, or the Protestants.

Those interested in more information should consider visiting the History of Early Christianity page. and/or reading the free online booklet: Continuing History of the Church of God.

Lest anyone feel that the Roman or Orthodox Catholics or others can tie their beliefs and continuity to the original church better than the we in the Continuing Church of God can, if they are truly interested in learning the truth, should study the following:

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.
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance? Apostolic Succession What really happened? Did structure and beliefs change? Are many of the widely-held current understandings of this even possible? Did you know that Catholic scholars really do not believe that several of the claimed “apostolic sees” of the Orthodox have apostolic succession–despite the fact that the current pontiff himself seems to wish to ignore this view? Is there actually a true church that has ties to any of the apostles that is not part of the Catholic or Orthodox churches? Read this article if you truly are interested in the truth on this matter!
Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God?
Do you know that both groups shared a lot of the earliest teachings? Do you know which church changed? Do you know which group is most faithful to the teachings of the apostolic church? Which group best represents true Christianity?
Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants How the real Church of God differs from mainstream/traditional Protestants, is perhaps the question I am asked most by those without a Church of God background. As far as some changes affecting Protestantism, watch the video Charismatic Kenneth Copeland and Anglican Tony Palmer: Protestants Beware!
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?
Similarities and Differences Between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to represent the original Christian faith.  Do you know much about them? Both groups have some interesting similarities, but many major differences. Would you like information on how to deal with Jehovah’s Witnesses? A related sermon is also available: Jehovah’s Witnesses: Right and Wrong Teachings?
Messianic Judaism Beliefs Differ from the Continuing Church of God Both groups keep the seventh-day Sabbath, but have important differences in doctrines and practices. Here is a link to a related sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
SDA/CCOG Differences: Two Horned Beast of Revelation and 666 The genuine Church of God is NOT part of the Seventh-day Adventists. This article explains two prophetic differences, the trinity, differences in approaching doctrine, including Ellen White. Did Ellen White make prophetic errors? Did Ellen White make false prophecies? Here is a version in the Spanish language: SDA/COG Diferencias: La bestia de dos cuernos de Apocalipsis y 666. Here is a sermon in the English language: CCOG and SDA differences and similarities.
Seventh-day Adventist President Ted Wilson’s Comments on the Remnant Church Ted N. C. Wilson spoke on the SDAs striving to be the “remnant church”, but what do the related scriptures actually teach?
Teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) and the Continuing Church of God The genuine Church of God is not related to the Mormons and this article explains some differences and a couple of similarities. Also, might certain LDS prophecies apply to Mitt Romney? A sermon of related interest is available: Mormon vs. Church of God Teachings.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now the remnant of that era is basically the most faithful in the Church of God, like who hold to the beliefs and practices of the Continuing Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. The Laodiceans are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG or its offshoots.  They do not properly understand the work or biblical prophecies and will face the Great Tribulation if they do not repent. One video of related interest is 17 Laodicean Errors in Prophecy.
COGwriter Position on Other Churches and Religions What is the fate of those who do not know Christ? What about those who profess Christ outside the Church of God?
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? 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.

Our Lady of Arabia cathedral being built in Bahrain: Will this be part of the interfaith agenda?

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018


‘Our Lady of Arabia’ (Photo by SICDAMNOME)

COGwriter

The Church of Rome is building a cathedral for “Our Lady of Arabia.” Here is some additional information about it:

Bahrain’s Our Lady Cathedral to become the heart of the Catholic community in Arabia

Construction, which began with the ground-breaking ceremony, is set to last until 2021. Once completed, it will be the reference point for the community of northern Arabia. …

The land was donated by the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The ground-breaking ceremony was held on 10 June and construction should be completed by the end of 2021.

The cathedral, under the patronage of Our Lady of Arabia, will be a concrete testimony of the Christian presence in one of the most powerful monarchies of the mostly Muslim Gulf and region.

As the country’s second place of Christian worship, the cathedral will be able to accommodate up to 2,000 people and will serve as the see of the Church for the northern Persian Gulf.

07/14/18 http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Bahrain%E2%80%99s-Our-Lady-Cathedral-to-become-the-heart-of-the-Catholic-community-in-Arabia-44433.html

Here is some information from the Bahrain Cathedral’s website:

Few are aware that devotion to Our Lady of Arabia began in 1948, on 8th December – the day on which the little Chapel in Ahmadi, Kuwait, was dedicated in her honour. Her statue in the same shrine at Ahmadi was blessed in 1949 at the Vatican by Pope Pius XII (photo on the right) who later proclaimed the Queenship of Mary in 1954. In 1949 the Church of Our Lady of Arabia in Ahmadi was aggregated to the Patriarchal Liberian Basilica (Papal Basilica of St. Mary Major) in Rome and has been granted the same indulgences as for visiting this greatest Marian Shrine in the world. H.H. Pope Pius XII, by a pontifical decree Regnum Mariae, dated 25th January, 1957, declared Our Lady of Arabia the Principal Patron of the territory and the Vicariate Apostolic of Kuwait. …

In a magnanimous gesture of goodwill to the Catholic community, the King of Bahrain, His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa granted 9,000 square metres of land in Awali, to build a new church. This decision was officially conveyed to His Lordship Bishop Camillo on February 11, 2013 (Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes). The news was received with great joy and excitement by all the faithful in our Vicariate. H.L. Bishop Camillo’s immediate reaction on hearing the good news was to thank our Blessed Mother for her miraculous intercession and decided that the new Cathedral would be dedicated to Our Lady of Arabia. http://www.bahraincathedral.org/?p=1499 accessed 07/17/18

Before getting to the interfaith aspects of this, let’s first look at something else Bahrain Cathedral’s website:

Queen of Arabia! Queen of Peace!
PATRONESS OF THE ARABIAN PENINSULA, PRAY FOR US!

From the earliest ages of the Church, whether in times of triumph or in times of crisis, Catholics have always offered prayers of petition and hymns of praise and veneration to the Queen of Heaven. … Hence, it is not surprising that even in this part of the world, the Arabian Peninsula, that we extol Mary’s queenly dignity. The title ‘Our Lady of Arabia’ (or ‘Queen of Arabia’) even though it seemed quite “new”, yet, the Right Rev. Apostolic Administrator of Arabia had approved it in 1948. http://www.bahraincathedral.org/?p=1499 accessed 07/17/18

That statement about veneration to the ‘Queen of Heaven’ from the earliest ages of the Church (presuming that is a reference to a Christian church) is flat-out untrue.

The Catholic Encyclopedia that confirms that:

Devotion to Our Blessed Lady in its ultimate analysis must be regarded as a practical application of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. Seeing that this doctrine is not contained, at least explicitly in the earlier forms of the Apostles’ Creed, there is perhaps no ground for surprise if we do not meet with any clear traces of the cultus of the Blessed Virgin in the first Christian centuries. The earliest unmistakable examples of the “worship” — we use the word of course in the relative sense — of the saints is connected with the veneration paid to the martyrs who gave their lives for the Faith…Further, it is quite likely that the mention of the Blessed Virgin in the intercessions of the diptychs of the liturgy goes back to the days before the Council of Nicaea, but we have no definite evidence upon the point, and the same must be said of any form of direct invocation, even for purposes of private devotion (Herbert Thurston. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XV. Published 1912. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1912. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

So, certain Catholic scholars admit that there is NO clear early evidence of Marian adoration by any real Christian.

It may be of interest to note that Europe is named after Europa, who also has had titles such as Astarte, Ishtar, and the “Queen of Heaven”:

According to Greek mythology the chief Greek god Zeus fell in love with the human daughter of the Phoenician king, named Europa; in the shape of a white bull he abducted her, and had three sons through her. In order to ‘make up’ for his behavior, she was honored by naming a continent after her: Europa. This ‘love’ affair, though illegal, is ‘covenantal behavior.’ And giving names to territories is also ‘covenantal behavior’. Zeus can be identified as Satan (Rev. 2:13). Has he tried, by establishing a false covenantal relationship with this continent, to have a ‘legal’ claim on this continent?…As mentioned, Europa was a Phoenician princess. In Syria she was equated with Astarte, an adaptation of the demonic principality named in the bible as the queen of heaven. She is also known as Ishtar. One of Ishtar’s sacred symbols was the bull. At Knossos the queen-priestess represented the ‘mother goddess,’ the queen of heaven. Bulls were sacred; bull-games had a very important…Europe bore him three sons, one of whom was Minos. Then Europe married Asterios, the king of Crete (Bos, Helene. EUROPE, WHAT’S IN THE NAME? February 2004. http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cache:ercf9u3roXgJ:www.joelnews.nl/NameofEurope.doc+europa+consolation+continent+named&hl=en&i.e.=UTF-8 4/8/04).

The Bible itself warns about worship of the ‘queen of heaven’. Here are all the verses in the Bible that use the expression “queen of heaven”:

18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. 19 Do they provoke Me to anger?” says the LORD. “Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces?” 20 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, My anger and My fury will be poured out on this place–on man and on beast, on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground. And it will burn and not be quenched.” (Jeremiah 7:18-20)

15 Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods, with all the women who stood by, a great multitude, and all the people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying: 16 “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you! 17 But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. 18 But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” 19 The women also said, “And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her without our husbands’ permission?”

20 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people–the men, the women, and all the people who had given him that answer–saying: 21 “The incense that you burned in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the LORD remember them, and did it not come into His mind? 22 So the LORD could no longer bear it, because of the evil of your doings and because of the abominations which you committed. Therefore your land is a desolation, an astonishment, a curse, and without an inhabitant, as it is this day. 23 Because you have burned incense and because you have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD or walked in His law, in His statutes or in His testimonies, therefore this calamity has happened to you, as at this day.” (Jer 44:15-23)

Notice that God considered that practices honoring the “queen of heaven” were an abomination.

There is no verse in the Bible that indicates that a woman is to be venerated because she has the title “queen of heaven.” Furthermore, the Bible never gives that title to Mary.

What about the use of ‘Mary’ and Islam and the interfaith movement?

Here are  details from my book Fatima Shock!:

Islam, the Lady of Fatima, and Mary in the Qur’an

Interestingly, Archbishop Fulton Sheen wrote:

It is our firm belief that…Islam…will be converted to Christianity…It is our belief that this will not happen through direct teaching of Christianity, but through a summoning of the Muslims to a veneration of the Mother of God.582

He also wrote he believed that the apparition:

…chose to be known as “Our Lady of Fatima” as a pledge and sign of hope for the Muslim people… so that they one day would accept…583

Thus, Archbishop Sheen essentially thought that the appearance in Fatima was to also ultimately result in Muslims (and possibly Hindus) accepting his faith. Notice that he also wrote:

Our missionaries report the most extraordinary reaction of these peoples as the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima was carried through the East. At the edge of Nepal, three hundred Catholics were joined by three thousand Hindus and Moslems, as four elephants carried the statue to the little church for Rosary and Benediction…The final evidence of the relationship of the village of Fatima to the Moslems is the enthusiastic reception that the Moslems in Africa and India and elsewhere gave to the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima… in Mozambique the Moslems, who were unconverted, became Christians as soon as the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was erected…

Missionaries in the future will, more and more, see that their apostolate among the Moslems will be successful in the measure they preach Our Lady of Fatima.584

On December 27, 1983, Ali Ağca referred to Muhammad’s daughter as the goddess of the Fatima apparitions. 585

It seems that apparitions could be a factor in temporarily getting Muslims to consider that there is more to Catholicism than most of them have thought.  Archbishop Sheen felt that a Marian “miracle” would be a factor in Muslims and others together and become end time Catholics in the Day of Wrath (Dies Irae):

And as Mary revealed herself in that first Miracle of the Sun, so may we look forward to another revelation of her power when the world has its next rehearsal for the Dies Irae.586

Also notice something from Vatican II:

Moslems…They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion.587

Chapter 19 of the Qur’an/Koran/Quran is, from an Islamic perspective, devoted to Mary and Jesus (“Mary” is also spelled Maryam, Marium, or Miriam in Arabic translations into English). Here are a few passages from it:

019.020  Y: She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?”…

019.027…S: And she came to her people with him, carrying him (with her). They said: O Marium! Surely you have done a strange thing.

019.028 Y: “O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!”588

066.012 Y: And Mary the daughter of ‘Imran, who guarded her chastity; and We breathed into (her body) of Our spirit; and she testified to the truth of the words of her Lord and of His Revelations, and was one of the devout (servants).589

While the above supports the virgin birth of Jesus, some also seem to believe that the Qur’an is supportive of teaching the “immaculate” conception of Mary in Islam.590

So, there are Islamic ties to Mary that resemble those in post-sixth century Catholicism.

Marian Interest and Her Claimed Final House in Turkey

A house where Mary may have lived out her last days is in Turkey.  My wife Joyce and I have visited it.  It is on the outskirts of ancient Ephesus.


“Mary’s House” near Ephesus—Lighter, Upper, Portion Added

There is an annual celebration for Mary, in the area near Ephesus, which Islamic Turks put on and participate in.  Because of Islamic fascination with Mary, it is possible that an apparition claiming to be Mary might appear in Turkey and/or elsewhere. This may partially persuade some Muslims to temporarily consider that somehow God might be working through a Western religious leader. This will not last for all (Daniel 11:27; 40), but it seems to have been part of Catholic prophecy:

Blessed Maria of Agreda (died 1665): The power of Mary in the latter days will be very conspicuous. Mary will extend the reign of Christ over the heathens and the Mohammedans…591

Perhaps it should be mentioned that there are certain Catholic prophecies that suggest many Muslims in Turkey will somewhat accept the Catholic faith. Here is one:

Brother Louis Rocco (19th century): Terrible wars will rage all over Europe…Great cities and small towns alike will be destroyed in a bloody revolution…In Istanbul (Constantinople) the Cross will replace the half-moon of Islamism, and Jerusalem will be the seat of a King. The southern Slavs will form a great Catholic Empire and drive out of Europe the Turks (Mohammedans), who will withdraw to North Africa and subsequently embrace the Catholic faith.592

Many people of all persuasions, including apparently atheists, are going to fall away from their current beliefs in vast numbers (even according to many Catholic leaders) to embrace one who will promote a powerful ecumenical religion that is to be accompanied by what will appear to be real miracles.

Perhaps more shocking is that there is a 17th century Islamic prophecy from a Dervish (Dervishes are mainly based in Turkey) that suggests that because many are not good Muslims, they will accept a faith that claims Christ after seeing something that resembles a female apparition, that  some  suspect  will  be  considered  to  be  “Mary.”593

Hence, at least one Islamic prophecy seems to support the view that many Muslims (especially in Turkey) may accept the coming ecumenical religion promoted by a “Marian” apparition. …

In the 21st century, Giuseppe De Carli wrote the following related to Islam and Fatima:

The Shiites believe that the Fatima shrine belongs, by right, to Muslims, and that Catholics have stolen it from their rightful owners. They argue that if a Lady dressed in shining white appeared there, then it’s because she had a message for the Muslims, not for Christians. Ali Ağca, in his megalomania thought he had a mission from God. Apparently, when John Paul II visited him at the Rebibbia prison in 1983, he asked the pontiff, “So who is Fatima for you?” Twice now I have done on-the-scene reporting from Fatima and I have spotted Arabs who seemed to want to remain incognito…Fatima has a religious and political significance.594

So, some Muslims, at least, believe that the messages for Fatima were apparently different than those publicly revealed, that Fatima is for them, and any message for Fatima has to do with Islam.

Notice also from Priest L.J. Cizik:

It is a fact that Moslems from various nations, especially from the Middle East, make so many pilgrimages to Our Lady of Fatima’s Shrine in Portugal that Portuguese officials have expressed concern. The combination of an Islamic name and Islamic devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is a great attraction to Moslems.595

It would not surprise me if one or more future Lady apparitions shows herself to Muslims and encourages them to support the ecumenical religion that the Europeans will themselves embrace in much greater numbers in very few years.

Notice the following from the Encyclopedia of Islam:

Fatima is greatly revered by Muslims…Moreover, she will be the first to enter PARADISE…and like MARY in Catholic Christianity, she will intercede for those who honor her…Indeed, in Shii literature, Fatima is compared to Mary the mother of JESUS because of the violent deaths suffered by each of their sons.596

So, there are similarities (as well as differences) between Catholic and Islamic beliefs related to Mary and Fatima.

A series of apparitions occurred at a Coptic Orthodox church in Zeitoun, Egypt, from 1968 to 1973 and:

Moslems, Copts, Roman Catholics, Protestants, and others were overwhelmed by the Lady who seemed to be composed of light. Moslems chanted from the Koran: “Mary, God has chosen thee. And purified thee; He has chosen thee above all women.”597

So, some Muslims have already been impressed by apparitions of the Lady, and may once again. …

Based upon sacred scripture (Daniel 11:40), the religious fervor that is often present in the Islamic world, and the pagan  connection  to  female  apparitions,  I  suspect  that any close “semi-ecumenical” alliance with the majority of the Muslims will be very short-lived.  The Bible tells of a time when the final “King of the South” (a Caliphate-type leader of a likely Islamic confederation, who some may consider to be the Imam Mahdi) will make a deal with the final European “King of the North” (Daniel 11:27), but later attack the King of the North (Daniel 11:40).   Some countries, like Turkey (ancient Edom) will apparently end up supporting the Europeans (Daniel 11:25-26, 41).

Regarding Fatima, I am more of the opinion that since some Muslims somewhat venerate Muhammed’s daughter Fatima, the Hindus have various female deities, the Chinese have had female apparitions, Japan and other lands have had apparitions, many Protestants are getting closer to Rome, many people believe in goddesses, most Buddhist’s tend to support a more ecumenical view of religion, etc. that Marian apparitions may be used to help many groups get together (at least temporarily).

582         Sheen, Fulton Archbishop. The World’s First Love. Reprint, Ignatius Press, 1996,  p. 201
583         Sheen, p. 203
584         Sheen, pp. 190, 202-203
585         Apostoli, p. 188
586         Sheen, p. 274
587         Nostra Aetate as cited in Bertone, p. 120
588         Online version of Koran at http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/releases.asp?file=Koran.ask&dn=19%3a%20MARYAM%20%28MARY%29  viewed 04/05/2011
589         Online version of Koran at http://www.asksam.com/ebooks/releases.asp?file=Koran.ask&dn=66%3a%20AT-TAHRIM%20%28BANNING%2c%20PROHIBITION%29 viewed 04/07/2011
590         Pennington R.  Islam’s view of Mary. Muslim Voices, December 22, 2008 http://muslimvoices.org/islam-view-of-mary/ viewed 04/05/2011
591         Dupont, p. 33
592         Dupont, p.76
593         Tzima Otto, Helen.  They’ll have no King but Caesar. Verenikia Press, 2005, pp. 417-422; the Dervish was killed for making it, p. 522
594         Bertone, p. 77
595         Cizik LJ Priest.  OUR LADY AND ISLAM: HEAVEN’S PEACE PLAN.  Soul Magazine.  September – October 2001, © 2001 The Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima, U.S.A., Inc.,  page 6 http://www.ewtn. com/library/mary/olislam.htm viewed 11/02/10
596         Campos JE. Encyclopedia of Islam: Encyclopedia of world religions: Facts on File library of religion and mythology. Infobase Publishing, 2009, pp. 230-231
597         Tetlow J. Will Mary Unite All Religions? ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 116, Biblical Perspectives, 2004, p. 16

Perhaps it should be mentioned, that just one ‘Marian apparition’ (The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe ) has been claimed to have been effective in turning Latin America predominantly Roman Catholic–this profoundly affected those cultures and the world.

What will happen if some type of ‘Marian apparition’ is seen and even shown on media like television and/or the internet? Might Islam temporarily respond?

Since the Bible teaches that the whole world will worship the Beast (Revelation 13:8, but that the King of the South will turn against the Beast (Daniel 11:40-43), this shows that Muslims will, temporarily, support the Beast (cf. Psalm 83:4-8).

Since Islam does acknowledge Jesus’ mother Mary and Catholics have tried to use ‘Mary’ as an ecumenical and interfaith tool, a false version of ‘Mary’ will likely be part of the reason for this temporary worship of the Beast. It is my opinion that building a cathedral for ‘Mary’ in an Islamic land is consistent with this.

Islam will temporarily support the coming Beast and Marianism will likely be a factor for this temporary support.

Notice the following:

Mary’s Providential Bridge to Islam

May 15, 2017

From the time of the apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Fatima, Portugal, many have wondered about the possible significance of Our Lady choosing a location with such an apparent connection to Islam.

As a matter of historical importance, Fatima was the favorite daughter of Muhammad — a woman considered of the highest dignity in Islam, save for only one person: the Virgin Mary. Indeed, after Fatima’s death at around the age of 26, her father wrote to his dead daughter: “Thou shalt be the most blessed of women in Paradise after Mary.”

Is there a relationship between the appearance of Our Lady and the Muslim world? Surely, it was not a random choice by the Blessed Mother, and so how should we approach the possible message it sends to the world at this historical moment?

It is a surprise to many that Islam traditionally has thought so highly of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She is called by Muslims Miriam or Maryam in Arabic, and also Umm Isa, or “Mary, the mother of Jesus,” or simply, Sayyida, the Lady.

Mary is the only woman named in the Quran, and she is revered as a righteous woman in her own right and as the most pious, chaste and virtuous woman in history. …

It was in the very village named after a convert from Islam — a convert initially named after Muhammad’s daughter — that the Blessed Mother chose to appear to the three shepherd children May 13, 1917. What does it mean? What is Our Lady trying to teach us? Is she telling us that just as she shows us the way to her Son that the path ahead in evangelization and overcoming the savagery of jihadism might also pass through her loving heart?

Venerable Fulton Sheen thought so.

In his 1952 book, The World’s First Love, he devoted a chapter to Mary and the Muslims. He prophetically observed, “At the present time, the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming a hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world power.”

Archbishop Sheen, however, did not despair. Instead, he looked to Fatima and to Mary. “Since nothing ever happens out of heaven except with a finesse of all details,” he wrote, “I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as ‘Our Lady of Fatima’ as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too.”

He added:

“Missionaries in the future will, more and more, see that their apostolate among the Moslems will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima. Mary is the advent of Christ, bringing Christ to the people before Christ himself is born. In any apologetic endeavor, it is always best to start with that which people already accept. Because the Moslems have a devotion to Mary, our missionaries should be satisfied merely to expand and to develop that devotion, with the full realization that Our Blessed Lady will carry the Moslems the rest of the way to her Divine Son. She is forever a ‘traitor,’ in the sense that she will not accept any devotion for herself, but will always bring anyone who is devoted to her to her Divine Son. As those who lose devotion to her lose belief in the divinity of Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief. … The Moslems should be prepared to acknowledge that, if Fatima must give way in honor to the Blessed Mother, it is because she is different from all the other mothers of the world and that without Christ she would be nothing.”

We seek bridges to Islam. Mary is a way. http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/marys-providential-bridge-to-islam

It is probably at least partially because of how Islam views Mary that the King of Bahrain has provided support and approval for the cathedral for the ‘Lady of Arabia.’ Building a cathedral to Mary in an Islamic land is truly part of the interfaith agenda.

Since many in Islam have a special reverence for Mary, I suspect that if one or more apparitions claiming (or presumed) to be Mary show up in Islamic lands, that many there will be temporarily persuaded to support the Beast power (the Catholic prophesied “Great Monarch”)–especially if Muslims can be temporarily persuaded to accept a cross symbol (which would otherwise be quite difficult for them to do).

Apparently, others have felt the same way.

The following was written over two decades ago by a member of the Orthodox Church and is warning people that false apparitions claiming to be Mary will lead to people to Antichrist:

“Mother goddesses” known in the ancient world were not just confined to the Near East and Mediterranean but are universal. The Kogi Indians, among whom we lived in Columbia, worship a spirit called Nabuba, the “Ancient Mother.” When Roman Catholics missionaries attempted to evangelize the Kogi int he last century, they used a not-uncommon strategy for drawing pagan peoples into Rome’s fold: rather than explaining the differences between the pagan mysthology and Christian truth, they found “equivalences,” Christ, under this syncretistic view, corresponds to the Kogi Sejukukui (a trickster god who faked his own death by hiding in a cave), while Nabuba is said to be the Virgin Mary. This confusion has led the Kogis to call their pagan temples “cansamaria,” a corruption of “casa de Maria” (house of Mary).

Given these Roman Catholic “evangelistic methods” of more than a century ago, it is it any wonder that contemporary “apparitions” of Mary are invariably accompanied by ecumenistic messages promoting the idea that all religions are equally valid and Orthodox Christianity is but one “path” among many? A recent issue of Orthodox Tradition (1966) contains the account of Matushka (wife of a Russian Orthodox priest) Katherine Swanson’s trip to Medjugorje, Croatia, to investigate the most famous of the recent cases of apparitions of Mary in the Roman Catholic world. In it she recounts a telling episode:

Our guide took our group for an audience with the “seers.” During this audience, a pilgrim asked one of the children the following questions: “Does the Virgin say that the Catholic Church is the true church?” The response given by the child provides clear evidence of the ecumenical content and religious relativism which, oddly enough, increasingly mark the “revelations” at Medjugorje: “Our Blessed Mother says that all religions are equally pleasing to God.

The Life magazine article, then, is yet another contribution to this line of thought. Given the idea that all paths are equally valid, then all “Marys” are equally valid, too. The author describes several of the Marys of our times: Miearculous Mary (such as at Medjugorje), Mediator Mary (Who, as the author quotes Fr. Andrew Greeley saying, lets people into Heaven through the “back door”), (Editors notes: the Orthodox Church of course never taught about the “back door”, and of course one only prays that this is a matter of a figure of speech, but let us not dwell on the “back door”, but the gates of Paradise, the Kingdom of our God). Mediator Mary of the feminists, and Mother Mary. This last one, Mother Mary, is the role which the author considers the most appealing to non-Catholics: “The emotional need for her is so irresistible to a troubled world that people without an obvious link to the Virgin are being drawn to her. It is known that Muslins revere Mary as a pure and holy saint…Interdenominational Marian prayer groups are springing up throughout the world. Many Protestants, even some who still reject notions of a supernatural Virgin, miss Mary.”

To which Mary are Muslims and Protestants being drawn? The Protestant Reformation rejected the distorted view of Mary which had developed in the West since the Schism of 1054, and which would ultimately result in the Roman Church’s proclamation of their dogma of the Immaculate Conception. But Protestantism did not just reject the Western view of Mary; it ignored Her altogether, in effect denying Her role in the Incarnation and, consequently, the part She plays in our salvation. As Rome began to see her more and more as a “goddess,” a fourth Hypostasis of the Trinity, as it were, the Protestants reacted by down playing Her position and refusing to honor Her at all, this in spite of the Gospel words:“All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed.”

Today, as heterodox Christians become more and more ecumenist and work toward creating a “One World Church,” the search has begun for a Mary of universal recognition, one who will appeal not only to those who bear the name Christian, but apparently to Muslims and others as well, just as attempts are likewise being made to identify the “new Christ” with the Muslim concept of their coming Mahdi and with the Messiah still awaited by the Jews. This, of course, will be no Christ at all but the antichrist.

(Jackson P. ORTHODOX LIFE., No. I, 1997., Brotherhood of Saint Job of Pochaev at Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, N.Y. pp. 18-22.  http://fr-d-serfes.org/orthodox/theotokos.htm viewed 05/11/09)

Notice what Bishop Kennedy of the Celtic Orthodox Church wrote:

The great deceiver of Fatima promises salvation to those who embrace devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary… We can be very certain that God did not send Mary to earth to change God’s eternal plan of salvation. It is just this kind of deceit that leads to other false statements about Mary; Mediatrix of all graces etc. The devil’s deceit is felt far and wide within the Church as is evidenced in the number of well meaning but deceived souls proclaiming Mary is Mediatrix of all graces. How would have such a statement sounded to the Apostles? This salvation we enjoy is from God in Christ; “The man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as ransom for all”. (1 Timothy 2:1, 3-6 NAB)… We should STOP THE DEVIL in his tracks and proclaim the vision of Fatima to be a fraud, a work of the devil and an abomination to God, Mary and to the Church. (Kennedy BJ, Bishop. The Fatima Affair. HOLY TRINITY CELTIC ORTHODOX CHURCH / MONASTERY. Toledo, Ohio. http:// www.celticorthodoxchurch.com/fatima.html viewed 05/17/12 )

In the 21st century, various Catholics hope that Marian apparitions, etc. will be factors that will lead to ecumenical unity, sometimes preceded by what is called ‘inter-religious dialogue’:

“Mother Mary is revered with great devotion by the Indian community as a mother and a spiritual figure of maternal protection,” said Friar Jayaseellan Pitchaimuthu OFM, head of the Indian Chaplaincy in Holy Land. She is acknowledged as the “protector and patroness” of the Indian Chaplaincy in Holy Land because she is a “model” for the migrants, he told CNA.

The friar explained that the Marian feast day is particularly important in the Indian context because of its relation to other faiths.

Members of other religions, including Hindus and Muslims, “regard Marian devotions in esteem,” he said. Thousands of devotees “both Catholics and non-Catholics” flock every week to the Marian apparition site at Velankanni, near Chennai in South India, and other shines that have recorded various miracles, he said. In this way, the friar explained, “Marian devotion also leads to a platform for inter-religious dialogue.” (Gonzales AA. Indian migrants in Holy Land prepare for Marian feast. (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/indian-migrants-in-holy-land-prepare-for-marian-feast)

This is dangerous!

The Apostle Paul warned that even someone appeared as an angel from heaven, if that representative tried to change the gospel, he/she should not be listened to, but should be cursed:

8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema. (Galatians 1:8, Douay-Rheims)

Many Marian apparitions have preached a gospel different than what the Apostle Paul and other real Christians taught, and putting Mary as one to turn to for salvation is also a false gospel.

The reality is that it is likely that false apparitions, claiming to be “Mary” may be among the signs and lying wonders that the Bible warns are coming (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12).

Satan has a plan and I have long believed that the Bible supports the view that Marianism will be a part of it (Isaiah 47; Zechariah 5:5-11; Nahum 3:4-5; Revelation 18:7,23).

For even more information on Mary and Catholic teachings on the rise of an anti-pope/Anti-Christ and the interfaith agenda, please check out the book Fatima Shock!

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Satan’s Plan Does Satan have a plan? What is it? Has it already been successful? Will it be successful in the future?
Mystery of Civilization Why is civilization like it is? How will it end? What will replace it?Here is a link to a related sermon titled: Mystery of Civilization and How it Will End.
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?
Why Should American Catholics Fear Unity with the Orthodox? (And the Protestants) Are the current ecumenical meetings a good thing or will they result in disaster? Is doctrinal compromise good? Here is a link to a related video Should you be concerned about the ecumenical movement?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? Did Catholic and Orthodox “saints” endorse or condemn idols and icons for Christians? A related sermon is available: The Second Commandment, Idols, and Icons.
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! which you can acquire in seconds.

EU Flag promotes ‘Mary’ and is expected to help unify Europe

Monday, July 16th, 2018

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, earlier this 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” and Europe than most, even in Europe, realize. Notice also 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!

BibleNewsProphecy: Circumcision: Good or Bad?

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God (CCOG) is pleased to announce the following video on our Bible News Prophecy YouTube channel:

9:26

Should infant boys be circumcised? Should this practice be prohibited as some advocate? Do major health organizations support or oppose male circumcision? Should parents make this decision? Is it better to be performed on infants or is it best to wait? Are there health and other benefits to circumcision? What does the science show? Could it be over 100 times better to be circumcised than uncircumcised? Where did male circumcision come from? Does male circumcision reduce the risk of cancers for the male as well as his wife? Is female circumcision acceptable? What does the Bible teach about circumcision? Did the Apostle Paul have Timothy circumcised? Must Christians be circumcised? Did early Christians circumcise their sons? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more.

Here is a link to our video: Circumcision: Good or Bad?

Some items of possibly related interest may include the following:

Health Benefits of Circumcision Various studies show health benefits for male circumcision. Have Christians observed circumcision throughout history? Here is a link to a related video: Circumcision: Good or Bad?
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading. Here is a link in Mandarin Chinese: 读圣经 Here is a link in the Spanish language: Lea la Biblia.
Which Laws were Superceded? Which Remain? What about the Ten Commandments? What about the 613 regulations (called 613 Mitzvot) in the Old Testament? Which were ‘done away’? Here is a link to a sermon: Messianic Jewish Beliefs.
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 doctrines the early Christians actually had? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?
The Ten Commandments Reflect Love, Breaking them is Evil Some feel that the ten commandments are a burden. Is that what Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, and John taught? For a more detailed discussion of the first four commandments, please see the video The Ten Commandments: Loving God. For a more detailed discussion of the last six commandments, please see: The Ten Commandments: Loving Your Neighbor. Here is a link to a related article in Mandarin Chinese 十条诫命显示爱,违反诫命的就是邪恶的
Nazarene Christianity: Were the Original Christians Nazarenes? Who were the Nazarene Christians? What did they believe? Should 21st century Christians be modern Nazarenes? Is there a group that exists now that traces its history through the Nazarenes and holds the same beliefs today? Here is a link to a related video sermon Nazarene Christians: Were the early Christians “Nazarenes”?
Location of the Early Church: Another Look at Ephesus, Smyrna, and Rome What actually happened to the primitive Church? And did the Bible tell about this in advance?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God This free online pdf booklet has answers many questions people have about the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and explains why it is the solution to the issues the world is facing. Here are links to three related sermons: The World’s False Gospel, The Gospel of the Kingdom: From the New and Old Testaments, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God 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.
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.ORG
Continuing Church of God The group striving to be most faithful amongst all real Christian groups to the word of God. To see how CCOG has done so far, here are links to two sermons Continuing Church of God (CCOG) first year anniversary: What has been accomplished? and The Continuing Church of God: Two Years of Proclamation. Here is a written link to a version of that sermon in the Spanish language: Aniversario del primer año de la Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios: ¿Qué se ha cumplido?
Congregations of the Continuing Church of God This is a listing of congregations and groups of the Continuing Church of God around the world.
Continuing Church of God Facebook page This has news and prophetic information.
CCOG.ASIA
We in the Continuing Church of God also have the url www.ccog.asia which has a focus on Asia and has various articles in Mandarin Chinese as well as some in English, plus some items in other Asian languages. 我们在继续神的教会也提供此网址 www.ccog.asia, 关注于亚洲并且有各种各样的中英文文章,其中一些用菲律宾语翻译的文章也正在进行中,准备添加到这个网站中。 Here is a link to our Statement of Beliefs in Mandarin Chinese 继续神的教会的信仰声明.
CCOG.IN
This is a website targeted towards those of Indian heritage. It has a link to an edited Hindi translation of The Mystery of the Ages and is expected to have more non-English language materials in the future.
CCOG.EU
This is a website targeted toward Europe. It has materials in more than one language (currently it has English, Dutch, and Serbian, with links also to Spanish) and it is intended to have additional language materials added.
CCOG.NZ
This is a website targeted towards New Zealand and others with a British-descended background.
CCOGAFRICA.ORG This is a website targeted towards those in Africa.
CCOGCANADA.CA This is a website targeted towards those in Canada.
CDLIDD.ES La Continuación de la Iglesia de Dios. This is the Spanish language website for the Continuing Church of God.
PNIND.PH Patuloy na Iglesya ng Diyos
. This is the Philippines website Continuing Church of God. It has information in English and Tagalog.
CCOG Animations channel. The Continuing Church of God has some animations to teach aspects of Christian beliefs.
Bible News Prophecy channel. Dr. Thiel has produced many YouTube videos for the BibleNewsProphecy channel. And you can find them there.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos. Here is a link to a short intro: ContinuingCOG Channel.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
BibleNewsProphecy Podcast. This has audio-visual podcasts of the Bible News Prophecy channgel. It plays on i-Phones, i-Pads, and Windows devices that can play i-Tunes.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos. It is also available as a mobile app.

VOA: Nearly Quarter of Americans Carry Lucky Charms

Saturday, July 14th, 2018


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

COGwriter

Voice of America (VOA) reported 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 is a booklet discussing calling, election, and selection. If God is calling you, how will you respond?
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 are there atheists?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

COGwriter

At the Christianity Today website, an author (Shawn Graves) asked and provided some answers to the question, Why are there still atheists?

A lot of ink has been spilled over whether God exists. Within this context, some theists like to point out that “God has made it plain” that he exists, that “God’s invisible qualities … have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Rom. 1:19-20). They urge us to remember that the “heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Ps. 19:1). In a recent Christianity Today article, Jim Spiegel cites these passages and writes: “This naturally prompts the question: If the evidence for God is so abundant, then why are there atheists?”

Spiegel asserts that for many atheists, it’s not “cool, rational inquiry” that led to their atheism. Rather, in many cases it’s complex moral and psychological factors that produce atheism. For example, Spiegel points to research suggesting that some prominent atheists had broken, defective relationships with their fathers. Others live in perpetual disobedience and rebellion—resisting lifestyle changes required upon adopting theism. And still others confess that they just don’t want there to be a God. Spiegel contends that immorality has cognitive consequences—it impedes one’s ability to recognize that theism is true.

No doubt he’s right. Surely some people accept atheism due in part to such powerful motivational factors. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2011/marchweb-only/whytherearestillatheists.html

Now, actually one of the reasons that there are evolutionary atheists is, believe it or not, in the 19th century various male “intellectual” were looking for excuses to not have to abide by biblical standards of sexual morality. And back then, some of them even admitted that is why they embraced the concept that life randomly evolved without a creator God.

I would also add hypocrisy to the list. The fact that evangelicals, for one example, are more likely to be involved with fornication than the general public, despite biblical admonitions against it, turns people off.

War is another factor. Many non-believers point to religions such as Islam, Catholicism, and Protestantism as major causes of war, which turns many people off to the idea that there is a truly loving God. But of course, all scholars realize that early Christians would not participate in carnal warfare. And in my opinion, this is still true of faithful Christians today (for details, please check out Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare?).

There are also scholars, for example, like Bart Ehrman, who started out as Protestant but when they learned more about church history, realized that Protestantism simply did not fit with much of the Bible (see also Hope of Salvation: How the Continuing Church of God differ from most Protestants) nor church history (see Continuing History of the Church of God ). And while he may be more of an agnostic than an atheist, the fact that most of what is considered by the world to be Christianity, is not Christianity, and this turns many off of religion (though it does not necessarily make them atheists). Information on genuine Christianity is in the free booklet Where is the True Christian Church Today?

But I would like to add that it is illogical to be an atheist. While there may be many reasons that people may doubt the existence of a personal God, such as the one that the Bible teaches about, the reality is that any that conclude that there cannot be a creator/god are being foolish:

1 The fool has said in his heart,”There is no God.” (Psalms 14:1, NKJV)

One of the reasons that it is foolish to conclude that there is no God is because humans should realize that we are finite beings. No human has been to every place in the universe, no human has lived forever, no human has been to every possible dimension that may exist in the universe. Since no human has done that, for any human to conclude that there cannot be a god of any type is illogical. Why? Because no human has enough possible proof that God cannot exist. Doing so with limited “evidence” is foolish.

Furthermore, if the laws of bioscience are accepted as valid, one can easily prove that something outside of those laws (God) was necessary for life to begin and to continue. Amino acids simply did not randomly line up, become alive, realize that they had to eat, realize that they had to have a means to eat, immediately have a way to utilize food (like a properly developed digestive system), realize they had to reproduce for survival of life, and have the means to do so. It is illogical to conclude otherwise.

But, despite the fact that some claim to be atheists, God’s existence is logical.

Some items of possible related interest may include:

Is God’s Existence Logical? Is it really logical to believe in God? Yes! 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. An animated video of related interest is also available: Big Bang: Nothing or Creator?
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 Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Is There Another View of Evolution? and another titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Were the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? Here is a link to a sermon:
Genesis, ‘Prehistoric man,’ and the Gap theory. Here is a link to a related article in Spanish: ¿Cuán vieja es la Tierra? ¿Cuán largos fueron los Días de la Creación? ¿Teoría de la brecha?
Where Did God Come From? Any ideas? And how has God been able to exist? Who is God?
How is God Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient? Here is a biblical article which answers what many really wonder about it.
Has time been lost? It Saturday the seventh day of the week?
Why Were You Born? Why did God make you? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject. You may also wish to read the article What is Your Destiny? or watch the video, also titled What is Your Destiny?
Building Character: Going on to Perfection Once you have accepted Jesus, do you need to strive for perfection and build character? A related video sermon is available: Going on to perfection and building character.
What is the Meaning of Life? Who does God say is happy? What is your ultimate destiny? Do you really know? Does God actually have a plan for YOU personally? There is also a video titled What is the meaning of your life?
Bible: Superstition or Authority? Should you rely on the Bible? Is it reliable? Herbert W. Armstrong wrote this as a booklet on this important subject.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from c. 31 A.D. to 2014. Two related sermon links would include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries. In Spanish: Marque aquí para ver el pdf folleto: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios.
The History of Early Christianity Are you aware that what most people believe is not what truly happened to the true Christian church? Do you know where the early church was based? Do you know what were the doctrines of the early church? Is your faith really based upon the truth or compromise?

The ‘End of the Age’ teaches Islam is the 4th horse of Revelation and other errors

Monday, July 9th, 2018


Irvin Baxter’s Four Horsemen
(Endtime Ministries Website)

COGwriter

A while back, I caught a few minutes of Irvin Baxter’s End of the Age program where he discussed Islam and his view of the ‘four horsemen of the apocalypse.

He claimed that each of the four horsemen represented one of four spirits. He claimed that the white horseman represented the Roman Catholic Church, the red horseman represented communism, the black horseman represented capitalism, and the green horseman represented Islam.

He showed at least part of the illustration shown at the beginning of this post. He claimed it was amazing how all of these (supposedly) fit in with Bible prophecy.

One of his biggest ‘proofs’ is that he showed a video clip that had a greenish image fade in a crowd prior to the overthrow of Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak. He said this was proof that his ‘green horse’ was Islam. He showed the video clip at least three times that I noticed. The clip reminded me of an email that an Eastern Orthodox supporter in eastern Europe (Bulgaria, I believe) of an ‘angel’ which supposedly proved that the Eastern Orthodox faith was the correct one (see also Satan’s Plan).

But the criteria for truth is the Bible and the Bible does NOT endorse the Eastern Orthodox faith nor Irvin Baxter’s interpretation of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Anyway, here is some information written by Irvin Baxter on his views on the four horsemen and Islam:

Revelation 6:1-8 depicts four riders on white, red, black and pale horses. These spirits have competed with each other and patrolled and dominated the earth for the entire last century. They certainly appear to fulfill Bible prophecies concerning the very Antichrist philosophic and political movements of Catholicism, Communism, Capitalism and Islam as we move towards the end of days.

The Fourth Horse “The Green Horse”

The translators of the King James Version of the Bible used the word “pale” for the fourth horse, which is better translated “green” from the original Greek word, “chloros.” Green is the universally identifiable color of Islam.

“And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with death.” (Revelation 6:8)

According to a 2013 report in muslimpopulation.com, Islam has 2.04 billion adherents, 23% of the world population, projected to be 2.8 billion by 2014. According to a 2013 report in The Economist magazine, over 70% of Muslims support Sharia law and 90% support execution of apostates.

The Mark of Islam: Death

The green horse is marked by death. Islam is associated around the world with the nearly 3,000 deaths in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, and the over 22,594 deadly terror attacks around the world since that time, according to thereligionofpeace.com. It is the culture of death. Yet, Islam claims to be the “religion of peace.” http://www.endtime.com/islam/ accessed 07/05/15

Is any or all of that right? And he is not the only one pushing this.

Here is something from a preacher named Ken Raggio:

Who are the Four Horsemen? Catholicism. Communism. Capitalism. Islam.
It’s in the Bible! …

THE FOURTH HORSE – The “Pale” Horse

NOW, I want to address one more very important component of this topic – the subject of the FOURTH HORSE – the Pale Horse. This one is too amazing to believe on first glance, but take my word for it; you WILL see the evidence shortly!

The translators of the original King James Version of the Bible (1611) gave us the word PALE for the fourth horse. Let’s look at how they came up with that. In the GREEK text, the word “chloros” is present. “Chloros” means GREEN. It is the same as seen in the world chlorophyll, which is the green color of plants. Obviously, the translators could not imagine a green horse, so provided the word “pale” instead. The Old Testament reference to the fourth horse in the KJV said, “grizzled and bay.” However, neither of those words appear in the ancient Hebrew. The best interpretation is “strong-colored” horse.

Therefore, when we look at the fourth horse in both Zechariah and Revelation, we see a “strong-colored” – “green” horse.

The universally identifiable color of Islam is green. Look at virtually ANYTHING that has to do with Islam, and you will see GREEN.

So, Islam is the green horse of death seen in Revelation 6:8. The prophecy there foretells Islam’s patrolling fully one-fourth of the earth, now 1.5 billion people.

Due to Islam’s growth and subsequent threats in even Western nations such as England, France, and Spain, anti-Americanism is flourishing in many new places. Islam is a driving force in more and more nations around the world, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Kashmir, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, all the Eastern Block nations of Europe, Russia, and many others. Radical extremism around the globe, including cells in America pose increasing threats to Israel and America’s futures.

DEATH is the trademark of the GREEN HORSE. Can anyone question the accuracy of that prophecy when Islam today is associated around the world with the nearly 3000 deaths in the World Trade Center attack of 9-11-01, and over 8,000 subsequent Muslim bombings around the world since that time? Where is this so-called “religion of peace”??

Muslim clerics cynically boast that the West loves life, but that Islam loves death. They teach their followers that the most glorious path to paradise is martyrdom – death by killing others while performing the act of suicide. …

In the first half of Daniel’s 70th week, (in the first 3.5 of the last 7 years before Armageddon) the Holy Roman Empire, also known as the European Union, backed by the Roman Catholic Church, will enjoy a short-termed renaissance, and global supremacy.

In the middle of that seven years, Antichrist will impose the Mark of the Beast with Roman Catholic Church endorsement.

But as Islam quickly takes over London, Madrid and other population centers of Europe, Islam is likely to challenge the Roman Catholic Church’s influence on politics. …

I predict that Islam will, at the end of the seven years, finally rise up to take control of Europe and simultaneously destroy the Roman Catholic Church. (Raggio K. The Four Horsemen of Revelation. Copyright 1988-2010. http://kenraggio.com/KRPN-CathComCap.htm)

Both Irvin Baxter and Ken Raggio teach that the first horse represents the Catholic Papacy, the second horse Communism, the third horse Capitalism, and the fourth horse Islam.

Now let’s again look at the opening of the fourth seal. This fourth horsemen represents pestilence and death:

7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)

Irvin Baxter and Ken Raggio claim that this refers to Islam. Yet, Islam has not been killing people with hunger and by the beasts of the earth (pestilence). It has not killed a quarter of the earth’s population, nor will it. Although it does appear to be prophesied to cause death (e.g. Psalm 83:4-8 ) and lands dominated by it look to be part of the final King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43), this would mainly be through terrorism and war. Islam most assuredly is NOT the fourth horseman of the apocalypse. Irvin Baxter and Ken Raggio are wrong about the identity of the fourth horseman, even if Islam does contribute to some of the prophesied deaths.

To determine why they are wrong we need to look at the Bible and world history while we consider each of the four horsemen individually.

The four horsemen are listed in the Book of Revelation chapter 6. They are listed sequentially and each one begins to ride after a seal is open.

The first horsemen represents a successful false ecumenical religion:

1 Now I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals; and I heard one of the four living creatures saying with a voice like thunder, “Come and see.” 2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (Revelation 6:1-2)

Could this represent some version of catholicism as Irvin Baxter claimed?

Well, if catholicism means ‘universalism,’ which it does, and Irvin Baxter means a church that will use the term ‘Catholic’ to refer to itself, then yes, Irvin Baxter is correct. Basically, my read of scriptures, such as Daniel 11:36-38, Revelation 13:4-8, and Revelation 17, confirms that in the end time, a church of the city of seven hills that has political connections (Revelation 17) will be changed by the influences of a political leader (Revelation 13:1-10; Daniel 11:36-38) and false prophet (Revelation 13:11-18). They will be successful for a time, will later turn against Rome (Revelation 17:15-18), and later their destruction will come (Revelation 19).

Now let’s look at the opening of the second seal. This second horsemen represents war:

3 When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.” 4 Another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Revelation 6:3-4)

Irvin Baxter claims that this second horseman represents communism. That is not the case. While red is the color of the communists and communists have engaged in war, communism per se did not take peace from the earth. Communism did not cause either World War I nor World War II. Nor will communism cause World War III (see also World War III: Steps in Progress). Irvin Baxter’s interpretation of this is wrong.

Now let’s look at the opening of the third seal. This third horsemen represents food shortages and famine:

5 When He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” So I looked, and behold, a black horse, and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:5-6)

Irvin Baxter claims that this third horseman is capitalism. That is not the case. Capitalism existed before communism, thus this interpretation of the third seal is in sequential error. God does not make those type of mistakes.

Furthermore, history suggests that communism causes more food shortages than capitalism. Irvin Baxter’s interpretation of this is wrong.

Now let’s look at the opening of the fourth seal. This fourth horsemen represents pestilence and death:

7 When He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.” 8 So I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Revelation 6:7-8)

Irvin Baxter claims that this refers to Islam. Islam has not been killing people with hunger and by the beasts of the earth (pestilence). It has not killed a quarter of the earth’s population, nor will it. Although it does appear to be prophesied to cause death (e.g. Psalm 83:4-8) and lands dominated by it look to be part of the final King of the South (Daniel 11:40-43), this would mainly be through terrorism and war. Islam most assuredly is NOT the fourth horseman of the apocalypse (see also Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse). Irvin Baxter is wrong about the identity of the fourth horseman, even if Islam does contribute to some of the prophesied deaths.

Overall, Irvin Baxter is wrong about his identification of three of the four horsemen of Revelation 6. Yet, he has a significant following. Those who want to live as a Christian should pay attention to biblical prophecy, but need to be careful that they do not follow those that are in significant prophetic and doctrinal error.

While many prophecy watchers will rightly discount Irvin Baxter (and Ken Raggio), let me state that all real and claimed Christian groups outside of the Continuing Church of God that I have looked into related to prophetic teachings ALL have provably clear prophetic errors. Here is a link to some related to Protestantism: Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors. Some related to Catholicism are in the article Which Is Faithful: The Roman Catholic Church or the Continuing Church of God? And here is a link that has 38 prophetic errors related to the Laodicean COG groups: The Laodicean Church Era.

Protestants are not the only ones with prophetic error (see also Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? and How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God).

In the Continuing Church of God:

19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts (2 Peter 1:19, KJV).

The Bible says:

21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21, KJV)

Some items of related interest may include:

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse What do each of the four horseman of the Apocalypse represent? Have they began their ride? Did Jesus discuss the any of this? Might their rides coincide with the “beginning of sorrows? Do they start their ride prior to the Great Tribulation? Did Nostradamus or any other ‘private prophets’ write predictions that may mislead people so that they may not understand the truth of one or more of the four horseman? There is also a related YouTube video titled The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse What is the pale horse of death and pestilences? What will it bring and when? Spanish: El cuarto jinete de Apocalipsis, el caballo pálido de muerte y pestilencia.
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.
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?]
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?
Will the Interfaith Movement Lead to Peace or Sudden Destruction? Is the interfaith movement going to lead to lasting peace or is it warned against? A video sermon of related interest is: Will the Interfaith Movement lead to World War III? and a video sermon is also available: Do You Know That Babylon is Forming?
Some Similarities and Differences Between the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Continuing Church of God Both groups claim to be the original church, but both groups have differing ways to claim it. Both groups have some amazing similarities and some major differences. Do you know what they are?
Orthodox Must Reject Unity with the Roman Catholics Unity between these groups will put them in position to be part of the final end time Babylon that the Bible warns against as well as require improper compromise.
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?
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? 2018, 2019, or 2020? 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 video is: Can the Great Tribulation begin in 2018?
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.
Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors What are some errors that various Protestants hold to that will tend to prevent them from knowing when the Great Tribulation will begin? A related video is titled Ten Dangerous Protestant Prophetic Errors.
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?
The Dangerous Rise of Preterists Has the Great Tribulation finished? What was the view of early Christians? Why is the preterist view dangerous? A related sermon video is titled Preterism: You’ve Gotta Be Kidding…Right?
Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Was the millennium (sometimes called chiliasm) taught by early Christians? Who condemned it? Will Jesus literally reign for 1000 years on the earth? Is this time near? A related sermon is titled The Millennium.
Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End? Was a 6000 year time allowed for humans to rule followed by a literal thousand year reign of Christ on Earth taught by the early Christians? Does God have 7,000 year plan? What year may the six thousand years of human rule end? When will Jesus return? 2026 or 20xx? There is also a video titled The 6000 Year Plan: Is the end of humanity’s reign almost up?
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.
Why Be Concerned About False and Heretical Leaders? There have been many false leaders–here is some of why you should be concerned about them. Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué estar preocupado acerca de falsos y heréticos líderes?
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?