Archive for the ‘WCG News’ Category

J. Tkach (Jr.) on the ‘incarnation’

Monday, November 20th, 2017

TRANSFORMED FROM TRUTH

Worldwide Church of God Transformed from Truth to Fairy Tales

COGwriter

Last Novembere, I received an email from GCI (Grace Communion International, essentially the group that originally ran the new Worldwide Church of God) with a link to a letter and a video message from its J. Tkach related to Christmas. His letter states:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As Christmas approaches, I’ve been preparing my heart for the season. I’ve prayed for new eyes to marvel at the birth of Jesus once again. It can be a challenge for those of us who know the story so well to remember the wonder of the incarnation. …

We’ve put together a beautiful series of short films grounded in the story of Advent, our anticipation of Christmas, and what it all means to us as believers.

There are four videos in total, each focused on a central Christian virtue modeled for us in the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth …

My prayer is that these videos along with other resources and our personal example (both yours and mine) will reach beyond GCI and touch someone losing hope, searching for peace, struggling to find joy, and in need of his love this Christmas.

I would like to point to his statement, “those of us who know the story so well to remember the wonder of the incarnation.”

The story of Jesus in the Gospel accounts show us that He was not born, not ‘incarnated,’ anywhere near Christmas.

That is a story that Joe Tkach should know well.

What does the Bible teach about the time of Jesus birth?

Here is a Catholic-accepted translation of the account in the Gospel According to Luke:

1 Now it happened that at this time Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be made of the whole inhabited world. 2 This census — the first — took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria, 3 and everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.

4 So Joseph set out from the town of Nazareth in Galilee for Judaea, to David’s town called Bethlehem, since he was of David’s House and line, 5 in order to be registered together with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 Now it happened that, while they were there, the time came for her to have her child, 7 and she gave birth to a son, her first-born. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the living-space.

8 In the countryside close by there were shepherds out in the fields keeping guard over their sheep during the watches of the night. 9 An angel of the Lord stood over them and the glory of the Lord shone round them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel said, ‘Do not be afraid. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 And here is a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’

13 And all at once with the angel there was a great throng of the hosts of heaven, praising God with the words: 14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace for those he favours.

15 Now it happened that when the angels had gone from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this event which the Lord has made known to us.’ 16 So they hurried away and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. 17 When they saw the child they repeated what they had been told about him, 18 and everyone who heard it was astonished at what the shepherds said to them. (Luke 2:1-18, NJB)

Notice that, at the time of the census, Luke teaches that the shepherds were out all night in the field at the time of Jesus’ birth. This is biblical evidence that Jesus could not have been born in late December for a couple of reasons. One of them is that the practice of shepherds spending the night with their flocks outside ceased each Fall.

Furthermore, related to the reason that Joseph had to go to Bethlehem (the census) at the time of Jesus’ birth, even The Catholic Encyclopedia admits that the “census would have been impossible in winter” (Christmas, 1908). If something is impossible, then it did not happen. Jesus was not born on December 25th according to even Catholic teachers.

Since Jesus was not born then, why did Christmas end up on December 25th?

Well, basically because that was the day of celebration of the birthday of the sun-god Mithra and December 25th also took place during the Saturnalia, hence it was acceptable to at least two groups of pagans. Followers of Mithra represented an influential group in the Roman Empire. Other practices associated with Mithraism have become part of the Roman and Orthodox Catholic churches (such as their communion services) (for more details, please check out the documented article Do You Practice Mithraism?).

Notice the following:

Mithraism A pagan religion consisting mainly of the cult of the ancient Indo-Iranian Sun-god Mithra. It entered Europe from Asia Minor after Alexander’s conquest, spread rapidly over the whole Roman Empire at the beginning of our era, reached its zenith during the third century, and vanished under the repressive regulations of Theodosius at the end of the fourth century…Helios Mithras is one god…Sunday was kept holy in honour of Mithra, and the sixteenth of each month was sacred to him as mediator. The 25 December was observed as his birthday, the natalis invicti, the rebirth of the winter-sun, unconquered by the rigours of the season (Arendzen. J.P. Transcribed by John Looby. Mithraism. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume X. Published 1911. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York).

Until the Council of Nicea, the December 25th Christmas holiday was not even accepted by the Roman Catholics.

But Emperor Constantine, who was a follower of Mithra, decided that the date of Mithra’s birthday should also be the date to celebrate Jesus’ date of birth:

The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December. (Why is Christmas Day on the 25th December? http://www.whychristmas.com/customs/25th.shtml accessed 12/07/15)

The eventual choice of December 25, made perhaps as early as 273, reflects a convergence of Origen’s concern about pagan gods and the church’s identification of God’s son with the celestial sun. December 25 already hosted two other related festivals: natalis solis invicti (the Roman “birth of the unconquered sun”), and the birthday of Mithras, the Iranian “Sun of Righteousness” whose worship was popular with Roman soldiers. The winter solstice, another celebration of the sun, fell just a few days earlier. Seeing that pagans were already exalting deities with some parallels to the true deity, church leaders decided to commandeer the date and introduce a new festival.

Western Christians first celebrated Christmas on December 25 in 336, after Emperor Constantine had declared Christianity the empire’s favored religion. (Coffman E. Why December 25? For the church’s first three centuries, Christmas wasn’t in December—or on the calendar at all. Christianity Today, August 8, 2008. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/news/2000/dec08.html accessed 12/07/15)

The Church of Rome decided to later require all to observe it as The World Book Encyclopedia notes:

In 354 A.D., Bishop Liberius of Rome ordered the people to celebrate on December 25. He probably chose this date because the people of Rome already observed it as the Feast of Saturn, celebrating the birthday of the sun (Sechrist E.H. Christmas. World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 3. Field Enterprises Educational Corporation, Chicago, 1966, pp. 408-417).

It needs to be understood that some scholarly sources believe that the celebration in Rome of Christmas may have began 2-3 decades earlier (because Constantine kept it on 12/25 in 336 A.D.), but none I am aware of suggest it was prior to Constantine in the fourth century.

Should real Christians call the night that the pagans worshiped the sun-god and had a wild party holy? It was not holy to the God of the Bible.

Obviously not, yet many who claim Christianity still do.

The Gospel accounts do NOT teach that Jesus was born anywhere near Christmas.

Some items of related interest may include:

What Does the Catholic Church Teach About Christmas and the Holy Days? Do you know what the Catholic Church says were the original Christian holy days? Was Christmas among them? Is December 25th Jesus’ birthday or that of the sun god? Here is a link to a related sermon: What do Catholic and other scholars teach about Christmas?
Did Early Christians Celebrate Birthdays? Did biblical era Jews celebrate birthdays? Who originally celebrated birthdays? When did many that profess Christ begin birthday celebrations? A related sermon video is available and is titled: Birthdays, Christians, and December 25th.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Was Jesus Born in the Grotto of the Nativity? Was Jesus born in a below ground cave? Was Jesus born below the “Church of the Nativity”? Were the wise men there?
Is Keeping Christmas a Sin? Is keeping Christmas acceptable for true Christians? What are some scriptures to consider?
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
Is God Unreasonable? Some have suggested that if God requires Sabbath-keeping He is unreasonable. Is that true?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days.
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.
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?

Some Genesis Q&A

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Answers_From_Genesis

COGwriter

Many people have questions about the Bible in general and the first several chapters of the Book of Genesis in particular.

The first six chapters of Genesis present a sum­mary of vital high points of approximately the first 1600-1700 years of mankind — from Adam’s creation to just before Noah’s Flood (details on calculations can be found in the article Does God Have a 6,000 Year Plan? What Year Does the 6,000 Years End?).

We in the Continuing Church of God have looked at various questions that were taken from authentic letters emanating from Ambassador College sponsored programs and publications or received as emails by us. This particular question and answer is an update strongly based upon those in the 1973 booklet (shown above) written by the late John Ross Schroeder, but with most answers partially updated by Dr. Bob Thiel in 2014. Biblical quotes are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.

We have answered some questions here in the past and here is one more:

• “My granddaughter is eight years old and she wants to know ‘Where did God come from?’ First, I would appreciate your giving me an answer.”

As human beings we usually view things purely from a physical basis alone. We think of everything as having an origin. And on a strictly physical basis — that’s true. However, God Almighty is Spirit (John 4:24). And a spirit being is not necessarily bound by laws of time and space.

All physical things have a beginning and an end, but certain spiritual things are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). God Almighty inhabits eternity (Isaiah 57:15). He had no origin. He was “without father, without mother, with­ out descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life …” (Hebrews 7:3). The very Hebrew name for “Lord” in the Old Testament — YHWH — means “Eternal” or the God that has always, and will always, exist.

These concepts are explained in greater detail in our free article: Where Did God Come From?

Additional questions and answers are in the article: Questions and Answers from Genesis.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Questions and Answers from Genesis Many wonder about certain early events that this article discusses.
Did Angels Marry Human Women? Many insist this is so and also that this mating caused giants to be born. Did this come from the ‘Book of Enoch’? What does Genesis 6:4 really mean? A related video is also available: Did Angels Marry Women and Produce Giants?
How Old is the Earth and How Long Were the Days of Creation? Does the Bible allow for the creation of the universe and earth billions of years ago? Why do some believe they are no older than 6,000 years old? What is the gap theory? Where the days of creation in Genesis 1:3 through 2:3 24 hours long? 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?
Is God’s Existence Logical? Some say it is not logical to believe in God. Is that true? Here is a link to a YouTube sermon titled Is it logical to believe in God?
Is Evolution Probable or Impossible or Is God’s Existence Logical? Part II This short article clearly answers what ‘pseudo-scientists’ refuse to acknowledge. Here is a link to a YouTube video titled Quickly Disprove Evolution as the Origin of Life.
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?
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?

‘Trump, Xi Offer Asia Business Leaders Divergent Paths’–is this in line with old WCG writings?

Friday, November 10th, 2017


Chinese COSCO Freighter (Fletcher6)

COGwriter

The US and Chinese presidents laid out public statements about trade:

Trump, Xi Offer Asia Business Leaders Divergent Paths

November 10, 2017

The leaders of the United States and China offered starkly contrasting views of the direction for trade in Asia in separate speeches Friday to regional business leaders.

U.S. President Donald Trump told the APEC CEO Summit that he is willing to make bilateral trade agreements with any country in the Indo-Pacific region, but he firmly rejected multinational deals such as the 12 nation Trans Pacific Partnership, which was quickly abandoned in the first days of his administration.

“I will make bilateral trade agreements with any Indo-Pacific nation that wants to be our partner and that will abide by the principles of fair and reciprocal trade,” Trump said. “What we will no longer do is enter into large agreements that tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty, and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible.”

The U.S. president said that in the past when his country “lowered market barriers, other countries didn’t open their markets to us.”

From now on, however, Trump warned the United States will, “expect that our partners will faithfully follow the rules. We expect that markets will be open to an equal degree on both sides and that private investment, not government planners, will direct investment.”

How to achieve those goals

But making that happen is something that is easier said than done.

China has already shown that it has no intention of playing by the rules, said Fraser Howie, co-author of the book “Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China’s Extraordinary Rise.”

“China has been in WTO terms simply much sharper and smarter than the Americans,” Howie said. “While the Americans went in with good faith thinking the Chinese would change and whatever, the Chinese never had any intention of changing.” …

Chinese contrast

Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country’s rise has been driven greatly by large-scale government planning, immediately followed Trump on the stage in Danang.

Xi embraced the multilateral concept, in particular calling for support for a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), which would harmonize regional and bilateral economic pacts.

China was left out of the TPP, which was led by the United States and Japan, and was meant in great part as a bulwark against China’s strategic ambitions.

Xi also termed globalization an irreversible trend, but said the world must work to make it more balanced and inclusive. https://www.voanews.com/a/trump-vietnam-apec-unfair-trade-undermines-us-all/4109332.html

As I reported here last December, China has been preparing for a trade war because of Donald Trump’s election (see ‘China Seen Readying for Trade War During Trump Presidency’).

What happened today should not be a surprise.

Some of what Donald Trump is doing is consistent with his official positions that were at his presidential candidacy website:

DONALD J. TRUMP’S VISION

  • Negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages, and reduce America’s trade deficit.

Donald J. Trump’s 7 Point Plan To Rebuild the American Economy by Fighting for Free Trade

1. Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified.

2. Appoint tough and smart trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers.

3. Direct the Secretary of Commerce to identify every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is currently using to harm our workers, and also direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.

4. Tell NAFTA partners that we intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. If they don’t agree to a renegotiation, we will submit notice that the U.S. intends to withdraw from the deal. Eliminate Mexico’s one-side backdoor tariff through the VAT and end sweatshops in Mexico that undercut U.S. workers.

5. Instruct the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator.

6. Instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO. China’s unfair subsidy behavior is prohibited by the terms of its entrance to the WTO.

7. Use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes if China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets – including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. https://www.donaldjtrump.com/policies/trade/ accessed 12/21/16

Various nations do not like the policies that Donald Trump has advocated. China is one. Europe (see Martin Schultz blasts Donald Trump: Some EU leaders believe they would ‘win’ a trade war with the USA), Russia (see Russia warns of full-scale trade war over US sanctions), Mexico & Japan (see ‘Trump overrules cabinet, plots global trade war’) are others. Trade wars were even listed as part of the Twelve ‘grey swan’ events to watch for in 2017?

Donald Trump’s style and rhetoric have pushed China, Russia, Iran, Europe, and parts of Latin America closer together on matters of trade. This will not end well for the USA.

And the Brexit vote has pushed Europe away from the UK–and many in the EU want the UK to pay a significant price for its decision to leave the European Union.

All of this is consistent with matters posted at the COGwriter.com website, as well as items published by the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG).

Earlier this year, we put together a YouTube video titled Trade Wars: Are COG warnings coming to pass? which included quotes from this webpage and the old WCG.

As far as the old WCG goes, in a co-worker letter dated March 26, 1968, its late Pastor General Herbert W. Armstrong wrote:

God prophesied a virtual TRADE WAR will get under way against the United States and Britain — and … our national economics will falter, and then COLLAPSE!

Trade disputes are expected to be a factor that will lead to World War III.

Over thirty years ago, Gene Hogberg (also of the old Worldwide Church of God) wrote the following:

Prepare for Trade War

THE Free World’s 40-year period of unprecedented prosperity may soon come to a crashing halt. Support in the United States — the West’s leading trading nation — for maintaining free trade is crumbling fast.

Instead, there reverberate in the halls of Congress warnings to trade partners to open markets or face the retaliation of heightened tariffs and quotas. …

Mr. Reagan is painfully aware of where unbridled protectionism could lead. In recently rejecting a protectionist plea from one industry, the President evoked memories of the Depression — era Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. “Some of us remember the 1930s, when the most destructive trade bill in history, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, helped plunge this nation and the world into a decade of depression and despair,” he told a radio audience. “From now on, if the ghost of Smoot-Hawley rears its ugly head in Congress, if Congress creates a depression — making bill, I’ll fight it.”

But the ghost is rising, and support for the President’s trade policy is waning, even from those within his own party.

What Smoot-Hawley Did

Just how disastrous was the Smoot-Hawley bill? The devastating role it played in the Great Depression was explained in the September 5 issue of The Wall Street Journal, in an article written by its editor, Robert L. Bartley. “The stock-market crash of 1929 came in the midst of debate in Congress over the tariff,” wrote Mr. Bartley. “It had spent the year adding item after item to the protection list. In mid — 1930 the Smoot-Hawley Bill became law, with the highest tariffs in the nation’s history.” What might have been an ordinary correction, continued Mr. Bartley, “turned into the Great Depression…. As the international accounts closed down, the world economy choked.” …

Dangerous Security Changes

Other experts warn that American political leaders — responding to calls for immediate competitive relief from their constituents — may be ignoring another lesson of the Great Depression: that the severe contraction of world trade gave added impetus to imperialist surges in Asia and Europe, specifically Japan and Germany.

Since 1945 Japan has chosen the mercantile road as its path to power, prestige and national restoration. Germany, specifically the Federal Republic of Germany, is heavily dependent upon world trade, exporting a full third of its manufactured goods.

Access to the U.S. market is central to the economies of Japan and the other nations of the Pacific Basin, writes National Review executive editor John McLaughlin, “and hence perhaps to their stability.” If protectionism takes hold, what would happen to Japan and to Western Europe, whose economic heart is in Germany? Protectionism, leading to a full-blown trade war, would likely break the extensive joint defense relationships between the U.S. and its primary World War II foes, now allies for the past 40 years.

Americans should then prepare to witness the emergence of a nuclear — armed Japan as well as a nuclear — armed united Europe with Germany at its core. It’s doubtful whether the American public and its elected representatives have thought out the likely end results of actions now under way.

Former Senate majority leader Howard H. Baker Jr. sounded this warning: “The disastrous Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 was rushed through Congress… and it took 14 years and a world war to straighten out the mess.” (Hogberg G. Prepare for Trade War! Plain Truth, January 1986)

While his basic impression of timing was off, it is correct that trade issues will be a factor that will trigger WWIII. A war that will be against the USA, Canada, and UK by a power that will reorganize (Revelation 17:12-13) and further rise in Europe. A Europe that is angry at the UK for Brexit and one that is mad at the USA for a host of reasons (including decisions of its former President Obama, statements by its current President Donald Trump, and the sanctions bill passed by the US Congress) will one day take steps.

There is a cost to trade wars and sanctions. Those who think otherwise are fooling themselves.

China is really concerned that a trade war will hurt it and its ambitions.

The Bible tells us that the power that will dominate trade later this century is not China or the USA, but Europe (cf. Revelation 18). The rhetoric of the Trump Administration has already pushed the Chinese and others to talk more with the Europeans.

Today’s statements from Donald Trump will likely accelerate that push.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Trade Wars: Are COG warnings coming to pass? Trade issues, tariffs, and talk of trade wars are in the news. Can trade wars lead to World War III like they did to World War II? Are the events going on with the USA, UK, Asia, and Europe consistent with warnings published by the true Church of God (COG) over the past several years and decades? Do Germany and China hope to take advantage of trade frictions involving the Trump Administration and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement? What about Mexico and South America? Does the Bible teach that Europe will become a major trading power? Will the final European Babylonian trading power be destroyed? Dr. Thiel addresses these issues and more in this video.
Is China paving roads to Armageddon? China is working on something known as the ‘Silk Road’ project or the “One Belt, One Road” initiative. NBC reports that China intends to spend one trillion dollars to build roads, bridges, railroads, and maritime facilities to reach from China to Europe and China to the Middle East. Over 60 nations, including Russia, are involved with this. Could this Silk Road project possibly produce thoroughfares that could be used by troops that will amass at Armageddon? Dr. Thiel discusses this project and some of its potential prophetic ramifications in this video.
Armageddon Who is involved and when will this gathering happen? Here is also a video from Dr. Thiel, from Tel Megiddo in Israel: Armageddon.
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 1: Genesis and Chinese Characters Where did the Chinese people come from? This article provides information showing that the Chinese peoples must have known about various accounts in the Book of Genesis up until their dispersion after the Tower of Babel. Here is a link to a version of this article in Spanish: ¿Prueban los caracteres chinos la exactitud de la Biblia?
China, Its Biblical Past and Future, Part 2: The Sabbath and Some of God’s Witness in China When did Christianity first come to China? And is there early evidence that they observed the seventh day sabbath?
Asia in Prophecy What is Ahead for Asia? Who are the “Kings of the East”? What will happen to nearly all the Chinese, Russians, Indians, and others of Asia? China in prophecy, where? Who has the 200,000,000 man army related to Armageddon? A YouTube video of interest may be Is China THE Threat to the United States of America?
The Eurasian Union, the Kings of the East, and Bible Prophecy Is there a Eurasian union that will be formed? Is one being formed right now? Are any leaders working on that in the 21st century? Does the Bible teach that there will be a Eurasian union? If some type of Eurasian union is formed, who might it benefit and who will it destroy? A related video would be Is The Eurasian Union Rising?
Donald Trump and Mexico’s future Mexico has increasingly been in the news because of statements and policies of US President Donald Trump. Many in Mexico are not intending to sit back and accept whatever Donald Trump attempts to force them to do. What will happen to Mexico? Will it make trade deals with Europe? Will it ultimately go to was against the USA? Will the Mexican economy drop at times and then improve? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more in this video.
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? Is an emerging European power “the daughter of Babylon”? What is ahead for Europe? Here is a link to a video titled: Can You Prove that the Beast to Come is European?
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?
Donald Trump in Prophecy Prophecy, Donald Trump? Are there prophecies that Donald Trump may fulfill? Are there any prophecies that he has already helped fulfill? Could a Donald Trump presidency be apocalyptic? A related video is titled: Donald: ‘Trump of God’ or Apocalyptic?
Trump Presidency: Magic 8 Ball or Bible Prophecy? BBC reported that one might as well use a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’ to try to predict what will happen in the remaining time of Donald Trump’s presidency. What is a ‘Magic Eight-Ball’? Dr. Thiel not only explains that, but also briefly goes over 10 biblically-based warnings he wrote would happen if Donald Trump were elected that have already began to come to pass. He also goes over something he wrote back in 2008 that the Trump presidency is also helping lead to fulfillment. Should you trust Bible prophecy or not? Dr. Thiel says that Bible prophecy can be trusted, despite the view of skeptics and others that either overlook or despise the Bible. This is a video.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse This 188 page book is for people truly interested in prophecies related to Donald Trump and the United States, including learning about several that have already been fulfilled and those that will be fulfilled in the future. The physical book can be purchased at Amazon for $12.99 from the following link: Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse.
Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition This electronic version of the 188 page print edition is available for only US$3.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to Donald Trump and America’s Apocalypse-Kindle Edition.
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? 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 2016 o 2017? ¿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: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?
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? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about? You can also see a YouTube video sermons Why Teach the Kingdom of God, The Gospel of the Kingdom, and The Kingdom of God is the Solution.
WTO/TTIP and the Babylonian Beast Will international trade agreements like WTO/TTIP/CETA lead to the fulfillment of end time prophecies concerning the Babylonian Beast power that the Book of Revelation warns against? What does the Bible teach? A related video would be WTO Trade Deal and the Rise of the European Beast Power.
Forbes’ Brexit Monster is the Beast of Revelation Various ones have been properly convinced that there is a plan for a European superstate. Forbes’ writer Tom Worstall wrote that the Brexit vote was about the United Kingdom “not joining the monster of the European Union to come.” The Bible tells of a Beast monster that will arise in the end times in Europe. Dr. Thiel cites news reports, as well as the Old and New Testaments, to show that the monster many fear will arise in Europe, despite the vote by the British to exit the European Union. This is a video.
Post Brexit Prophecy On June 23, 2016, the voters of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) chose to leave the European Union. Now with this BRitish EXIT (Brexit) vote, what is prophesied to happen to the UK? Will the UK do well or be taken over and made slaves? Dr. Thiel explains from biblical prophecies what is ahead for the UK, Europe, and even the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This is a video.
Brexit and the fate of Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, the UK, and the USA On April 29, 2017, 27 of the nations of the European Union agreed to certain guidelines for the negotiations with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland which gave its notice to leave on March 29, 2017. These guidelines are contrary to what the UK wants. Does the EU intend the UK to pay a price for leaving the EU? What does Spain want? What does the Republic of Ireland want? Will Northern Ireland and Gibraltar eventually fall under European control? Will the UK and USA be conquered? What does the Bible teach? Dr. Thiel answer these questions and more in this video.
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
Is the USA now an Evil Empire? Dr. Thiel gives many reasons to consider. A related video is also available: Is the USA an Evil Empire?
USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses Can you point to scriptures, like Daniel 11:39, that point to the USA in the 21st century? This article does. A related sermon is titled: Do these 7 prophesies point to the end of the USA?

The Berlin Wall came down 28 years ago, but many brethren did not understand

Thursday, November 9th, 2017


Berlin Wall, 1989

COGwriter

The Berlin Wall began to be torn down 28 years ago:

November 9th marks the … anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

We spoke with British historian Frederick Taylor, an expert on the Berlin Wall and author of the Book “The Berlin Wall – A World Divided 1961-1989” about what prompted East German authorities to build the wall in the first place.

Under the terms of the 1945 Yalta Agreement, the victorious allies of World War Two divided Germany into four sectors, or zones of occupation: the American, British, French and Soviet zones.

About 160 kilometers inside the Soviet zone lay Germany’s capital Berlin. The city was also divided into four sectors along the same lines as Germany. …

Historian Frederick Taylor …

Berlin Wall Erected

The historian said on the night of the 12th to the 13th of August 1961 tons of wood, cinder blocks and barbed wire were funneled into East Berlin.

“Basically what they did first was to run barbed wire around everything, block many cross-streets that went from East to West Berlin with concrete tank trap material and cinder blocks. There were guards every few yards watching the workers who were putting up these barriers, and basically they did the whole thing in less than 12 hours,” said Taylor.

“By Sunday morning, the morning of Sunday August the 13th, 1961, everybody woke up, East and West Berliners alike and found that essentially, a barrier had been built. It wasn’t yet a wall, it was a fence. A barbed wire fence with cinder blocks to block the streets and prevent vehicles getting through.”

Taylor said the barbed wire beginnings of the Berlin Wall divided overnight, with savage finality, neighborhoods, families and friends.

Families and Neighborhoods Divided

“Wherever you were on that night, you had to decide what to do. If you were a Westerner staying in the East, they’ll let you back, no question about that. If you were an Easterner staying in the West, say with relatives, which of course, it was a weekend, actually, a lot of people, several thousand in fact, were staying in the West and they had to decide what to do: to go back to their families or to stay in the West. Many, many of them decided to stay with considerable sacrifice. But also, simply there were neighborhoods – the new barrier ran literally down the middle of streets.”

The historian said it was about a week later that the first proper wall-like structure was constructed, south of the Brandenburg Gate. When fully built, the wall was about 43 kilometers long where it cut through the center of Berlin and more than 110 kilometers long as it divided West Berlin from East Germany. In addition, there were more than 300 watchtowers, as well as minefields, floodlights and guns that fired automatically.

Taylor described the feeling of many East Germans.

“It’s the great tragedy of this time. It was the dashed hopes, the disappointment, the claustrophobia, the ghastly feeling of this lack of freedom of movement, the freedom to breathe, the freedom to feel. I think that when I talked to people who lived through all that, that’s always the most striking thing. I think it’s very hard for us to understand,” said Taylor.

For the next several decades, East Germans tried to escape to freedom by using various methods, from climbing the wall to tunneling underneath it. Chances of making it were slim. But Taylor says people were willing to risk everything for the promise of a better life that lay just beyond the Berlin Wall. http://www.voanews.com/content/berlin-wall-anniversary-sparks-look-at-history/2512615.html

US President Trump declared today, World Freedom Day:

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims November 9, 2017, as World Freedom Day

World Freedom Day, 2017

– – – – – – –

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

For 28 years, the Berlin Wall divided families, friends, and communities, barricading oppressed Germans living on the Eastern side from seeking the freedom they deserved in the West. This World Freedom Day, 28 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we celebrate the day on November 9, 1989, when people of East and West Germany tore down the Berlin Wall and freedom triumphed over Communism. We laud the courage of all people who insist on a better future for themselves, their families, and their country, as we reflect on the state of freedom in our world today and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending it.

The fall of the Berlin Wall spurred the reunification of Germany and the spread of democratic values across Central and Eastern Europe. Through democratic elections, and a strong commitment to human rights, these determined men and women ensured that their fellow and future citizens could live their lives in freedom. Today, we are reminded that the primary function of government is precisely this, to secure precious individual liberties.

While we live in a time of unprecedented freedom, terrorism and extremism around the world continue to threaten us. The ultimate triumph of freedom, peace, and security over repressive totalitarianism depends on our ability to work side-by-side with our friends and allies. When nations work together, we have and we will secure and advance freedom and stability throughout our world.

On World Freedom Day, we recommit to the advancement of freedom over the forces of repression and radicalism. We continue to make clear that oppressive regimes should trust their people and grant their citizens the liberty they deserve. The world will be better for it.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 9, 2017, as World Freedom Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, reaffirming our dedication to freedom and democracy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

DONALD J. TRUMP

The fall of the Berlin wall freed people from a type of oppression–but ultimately, will not bring about world freedom (cf. Revelation 13).

28 years after the fall, we see a more prosperous Germany. Germany is now the main engine for Europe and is becoming a major player in the world.

Many in Germany have been celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall. While the fall of the Berlin Wall was a good thing, what ultimately will happen in that part of the world will not be. But most will not heed biblical prophecy.

I remember listening to a prophetically-related sermon by the late Dr. Hoeh at the Feast of Tabernacles in Tuscon, Arizona in October 1979 where he explained that Herbert W. Armstrong believed that the two legs of the Beast in Daniel 2, with its two feet (vs. 33), represented both West and East Europe (including specifically Germany). He taught that this meant that the nations in Eastern Europe would ultimately not be under the power of the Soviet Union, but would become independent of it, and ultimately be part of a supranational European state.

About that time, I remember reading an article in TV Guide (which then had the highest circulation of any periodical in the USA) basically teaching that the prophetic positions of Herbert W. Armstrong “bordered on lunacy”.

Why?

Because, among other things, we taught that East and West Europe would unite, Europe would have its own currency, and that the USA would fall from its position in the world.

Later, a supranational state was approved by the last of the European Union members, when the Czech Republic signed the Lisbon Treaty on November 2, 2009. The state formed officially on December 1, 2009. Thus, the position of Herman Hoeh on this point has been shown to have been correct. World events also show that the position about the decline of the USA is also happening.

Right after the Berlin wall fell in November 1989, I was asked to give the closing prayer at WCG church services in Fresno, California. In that prayer, I mentioned that we were witnessing prophecy being fulfilled right before our eyes. One of the reasons that I stated that was because many in that congregation seemed to be losing their zeal and belief about Bible prophecy. Many who once were believers, no longer love the law of God and became scorners (Psalm 1).

Sadly, this has afflicted many throughout history. The prophecies of the Bible are coming to pass right before our eyes today. Jesus taught:

34 But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Luke 21:34-36)

Will you be a zealous believer in them or will you let the cares of this world overtake you as Jesus warned against?

World events continue to line up with the understanding of biblical prophecy that we in the Continuing Church of God have. Will you now pay attention?

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Germany’s Assyrian Roots Throughout History Are the Germanic peoples descended from Asshur of the Bible? Have there been real Christians in Germanic history? What about the “Holy Roman Empire”? There is also a You-Tube video sermon on this titled Germany’s Biblical Origins.
Germany in Biblical and Catholic Prophecy Does Assyria in the Bible equate to an end time power inhabiting the area of the old Roman Empire? What does prophecy say Germany will do and what does it say will happen to most of the German people? Here is a link to a video Is the USA Pushing Germany to Start WWIII?
Europa, the Beast, and Revelation Where did Europe get its name? What might Europe have to do with the Book of Revelation? What about “the Beast”? What is ahead for Europe?
Who is the King of the North? Is there one? Do biblical and Roman Catholic prophecies 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?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, British, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? What will happen to the nation of Israel?
Will the Anglo-Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people?
Who is the King of the West? Why is there no end-time King of the West in Bible prophecy? Is the United States the King of the West?
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 6000 Years: When will God’s Kingdom Come? Here is a link to the article in Spanish: ¿Tiene Dios un plan de 6,000 años?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? 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 2016 o 2017? ¿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: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?
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.

The Balfour Declaration and a prophecy?

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017


Balfour Declaration Letter

COGwriter

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

Here is some information about it:

2 November 2017

The British peer Arthur Balfour barely makes an appearance in UK schoolbooks, but many Israeli and Palestinian students could tell you about him.

His Balfour Declaration, made on 2 November 1917, is taught in their respective history classes and forms a key chapter in their two very different, national narratives.

It can be seen as a starting point for the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The declaration by the then foreign secretary was included in a letter to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leading proponent of Zionism, a movement advocating self-determination for the Jewish people in their historical homeland – from the Mediterranean to the eastern flank of the River Jordan, an area which came to be known as Palestine.

It stated that the British government supported “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”.

At the same time, it said that nothing should “prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities”.

Palestinians see this as a great betrayal, particularly given a separate promise made to enlist the political and military support of the Arabs – then ruled by the Ottoman Turks – in World War One. …

“Do you think Britain committed a crime against the Palestinian people?” asks a teacher during a lesson in a Palestinian school in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Everyone puts up a hand.

“Yes,” a 15-year-old girl answers. “This declaration was illegitimate because Palestine was still part of the Ottoman Empire and Britain did not control it.”

“Britain considered the Arabs as a minority while they formed over 90% of the population.”

‘Huge hope’

Israeli children, inevitably, tend to see British involvement more positively when they study the Balfour Declaration in a lesson towards the end of their high-school years.

In Balfouria, a village in northern Israel, nine-year-old Noga Yehezekeli is already proudly able to recite a Hebrew version of the text off by heart.

“In the moment it was given, the declaration gave huge hope and a huge push for the Zionist movement,” says her father, Neve. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41765892

November 2, 2017

Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets in protest across the West Bank Thursday marking a century since the Balfour Declaration, Britain’s promise to Zionists to create a Jewish home in what is now Israel.

In Ramallah, some 3,000 protesters marched from the city center to the British Consulate, with many waving black flags and banners with slogans such as “100 years of dispossession.” Smaller demonstrations took place in east Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank.

Rawada Odeh, a demonstrator in Jerusalem, said she was protesting because Balfour promised a home to the Zionists while neglecting that there is a “Palestinian population here in our land.”

“The land does not belong to Balfour,” she said. “We are Palestinians, and we are living here and we are following our issue till we succeed.” http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/palestinians-protest-balfour-declaration-centenary-50880565

The situation remains tense in Israel as the Palestinians tend to consider the Balfour Declaration illegitimate, whereas the Jews have seen it as a sign of support.

About five weeks after the Balfour Declaration, the Turks surrendered Jerusalem to the British.

The old Worldwide Church of God taught the following about that:

Prophecy Concerning Judah

There is one prophecy concerning the Jewish people, that they were to be invaded and conquered, driven out of their own land and would be punished for a period of 2,520 years. (See Leviticus 26:14-39 and, for a full explanation, write for our free book “The United States and Britain in Prophecy”.) Now, put that together with other prophecies such as Haggai 2:20-22. Exactly 2,520 years from the time that they were invaded and the land of Palestine was given over to King Nebuchadnezzar in 604 B.C. the very nation to whom that land was deeded by God Almighty took possession of it.

That nation was not the Jewish people, but birthright people who descended from Abraham. The birthright means right of birth, and includes the possession of the land, that is, it includes material resources and possessions. The possession of the land that God promised to Abraham was handed on to Isaac, Abraham’s son, and then to Jacob. And then Jacob, just before he died, and when his eyes were so dim with age that he couldn’t see, reached out and conferred that same birthright, including the possession of the land of Palestine, not upon Judah, the father of the Jews, but upon Ephraim, and together with him his brother Manasseh, both sons of Joseph.

Joseph was one of the 12 sons of the ancient patriarch Jacob, who was renamed Israel. Usually you don’t hear of any tribe of Joseph because Joseph was given a double portion. And his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, each became a tribe. And so, rather, you usually read of the tribe of Ephraim and the tribe of Manasseh. When the name Joseph is occasionally used, it includes the two tribes.

How Prophecy Was Fulfilled

Ephraim was made the chief birthright holder. And so, 2,520 years from 604 B.C. Ephraim was to take Palestine again counting 2,520 years from 604 B.C. brings us to A.D. 1917.

When it comes to translating time and getting down to an exact day of the year 2,520 years after Nebuchadnezzar came down to Jerusalem and Palestine was surrendered to him, the Bible gives us the date in terms of the Hebrew calendar. That calendar is set up according to the new moons, with every month being 30 or 29 days. Today we’re living under what we call the Roman calendar or, as it was slightly altered by Pope Gregory, the Gregorian calendar. Actually, it is a pagan Roman calendar. The Roman calendar is all that most of us know because we’ve been born in a world that uses that calendar and no other.

A certain date according to the Hebrew calendar, will coincide with a certain date on the Roman calendar one year, but the next year will be about 11 days earlier, or maybe about 18 days later in the year, because the Hebrew calendar — sometimes called the sacred calendar, which came from God — goes according to the moon and runs in 19-year cycles. The Roman calendar by contrast was concocted by men who tried to make it come out right every year, and they’ve never been able to make it do that!

So, when it comes to translating a certain prophesied date recorded in the Hebrew calendar (in this case the 24th day of the 9th month — see Haggai 2:20-22) to a date in 1917 according to the Roman calendar, it takes some effort to figure. I found the Hebrew date corresponded to December 9, 1917, which was 2,520 years from the time Nebuchadnezzar accepted the formal surrender of the Jews in 604 B.C.

I looked and found that the Turks, who are gentiles even though they, in part, descend from Esau, Jacob’s brother, possessed Palestine in 1917. Esau, remember, anciently possessed the birthright from Abraham through Isaac, but sold it for a bowl of red soup when he was hungry. The Turks surrendered Palestine to the British, on, what date? I had heard, and it had been published that the date was December 11, 1917. December 11, 1917, I found, on further investigation, was merely the date on which General Allenby and his army made their triumphal march into the city of Jerusalem. But it was two days before, on December 9, that the Turks made the surrender.

That prophecy was fulfilled down to the very day, December 9. And it was on the equivalent date, in 604 B.C., 2,520 years before, six centuries before the birth of Christ, that the Jews formally surrendered Jerusalem and Palestine to the gentiles from Babylon. God Almighty has been able to keep his prophecies. (Armstrong HW. The Bible SUPERSTITION OR AUTHORITY? 1985)

The Bible teaches “Ephraim is My firstborn” (Jeremiah 31:9). Ephraim is represented in this age by the British -descended peoples (see also Anglo – America in Prophecy). Many overlook that aspect of prophecy.

Now, let me state that I have verified that December 9, 1917 was indeed the date that the Gentile Turks surrendered to the British (e.g. see https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-12-09/1917-jerusalem-tried-surrender-british-army-cook-who-was-lost-looking-eggs and http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/jerusalem-surrenders-to-british-troops accessed 07/28/17). I also verified that the 24th day of the ninth month (Kislev) was on December 9th in 1917 (e.g. http://www.hebcal.com/hebcal/?year=1917&month=x&yt=G&v=1&nh=on&nx=on&mf=on&ss=on&o=on&s=on&lg=s&vis=on&D=on&d=on&c=on&city=US-New%20York-NY&m=72#cal-1917-12 accessed 07/28/17).

Herbert W. Armstrong mentioned Haggai, so let us look at that:

20 And again the word of the Lord came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying:

‘I will shake heaven and earth.
22 I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms;
I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms.
I will overthrow the chariots
And those who ride in them;
The horses and their riders shall come down,
Every one by the sword of his brother. (Haggai 2:20-22)

Now, there looks to be a future fulfillment of this beyond the overthrowing of the Turkish empire and the surrender of Jerusalem to the British on December 9, 1917.

Why?

Let’s look at the next verse:

23 ‘In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the Lord, ‘and will make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:23)

Because Haggai 2:20-23 did not occur in Zerubbabel’s lifetime, there must be a future fulfillment. Zerubbabel lived in the sixth century B.C.

A ‘Zerubbabel’ did not become a signet ring in 1917 nor was the strength of the Gentile kingdoms–plural–destroyed then (more on ‘Zerubbabel’ can be found in the article Who Are The Two Witnesses?).

Haggai 2:23 is to be finally fulfilled once Jesus returns.

So, while the surrender of Jerusalem was a type of fulfillment (the Gentile kingdom of the Ottomans fell–though it still had battles in 1918), a future fulfillment awaits (for more details, check out the article The Times of the Gentiles).

Currently, many Palestinians are depressed, distraught, and feel that they are without hope. They are angry for many reasons, including the Balfour Declaration. Because of improper Islamic teachings and statements from their leadership, many believe that engaging in brutal, violent behavior will not only free them from problems in this life, but give them an opportunity to fulfill various lusts in the next (e.g. see Suicide bombers kill scores in Turkey–their hope for reward is flawed)–yet that is a false hope.

However, for a time, the Palestinians will have some “success” as the Bible indicates that the Palestinians will get control over more land in the current nation of Israel before Jesus returns (cf. Jeremiah 25:17-29; 47:2-7; see also Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy).

Yet, that is not the solution to the problems for the Palestinians or with Jerusalem. Looking to this world’s politics and methods will not solve the problems in the Middle East (even though the Bible shows that there will be a temporary peace deal there–cf. Daniel 9:27; see also The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27).

The real solution is the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God.

Until then, we will see conflict, temporary peace (Daniel 9:27), and conflict (Daniel 11:31-43) in the area of Judea/Palestine.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

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.
Israel, 1948, and Prophecy Was the formation in 1948 of the nation of Israel prophetically significant? Was this event what Jesus referred to in His “parable of the fig tree”? Are most Israelites in the modern nation of Israel? Are most Jews in that nation? If the prophecies Jeremiah 23:3-6 and Ezekiel 34:13-30 do not point to 1948, when will those prophecies be fulfilled? Are there prophecies that will be fulfilled related to the nation of Israel? What was the first sign that Jesus said would be seen by a particular ‘generation’? When might that have happened? What are the signs that Jesus’ fig tree parable point to? This is a video.
Jerusalem: Past, Present, and Future What does the Bible say about Jerusalem and its future? Is Jerusalem going to be divided and eliminated? Is Jesus returning to the area of Jerusalem? There are also two related YouTube videos you can watch: Jerusalem To be divided and eliminated and God’s and Satan’s Plan for Jerusalem.
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here? Here is a related link in Spanish/español:¿Quiénes son los dos testigos?
Gaza and the Palestinians in Bible Prophecy What does the Bible teach about Gaza and the fate of the Palestinians? Here is a link to a related video: Gaza and Palestine in Prophecy.
Why Terrorism? Is Terrorism Prophesied? What does the Bible teach? Which nations may be affected? Here is a link to a related sermon: Terrorism, Christianity, and Islam.
The ‘Peace Deal’ of Daniel 9:27 This prophecy could give up to 3 1/2 years advance notice of the coming Great Tribulation. Will most ignore or misunderstand its fulfillment? Here is a link to a related sermon video Daniel 9:27 and the Start of the Great Tribulation.
Why is a Jewish Temple in Jerusalem Not Required? Although people like Timothy LaHaye teach a third Jewish temple is required, who is ‘the temple of God” in the New Testament? Does the Bible require a rebuilt Jewish Temple? Could the old Temple have been somewhere other than the “Temple Mount”? Here is a related article in the Spanish language ¿Por qué no se requiere un templo judío en Jerusalén? Here is a link to a sermon titled The Temple, Prophecy, and the Work.
How Will Middle East Peace be Brought About? Can humans bring peace to the Middle East? Here is a link to a related video: Middle East Peace? When?
Is the Future King of the South Rising Up? Some no longer believe there needs to be a future King of the South. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Might this King be called the Mahdi or Caliph? What does the Bible say? A YouTube video of related interest may be: The Future King of the South is Rising.
The Arab and Islamic World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What about the Imam Mahdi? What lies ahead for Turkey, Iran, and the other non-Arabic Muslims? An item of possibly related interest in the Spanish language would be: Líderes iraníes condenan la hipocresía de Occidente y declaran que ahora es tiempo para prepararse para el Armagedón, la guerra, y el Imán Mahdi.
Differences Between Islam and the Continuing Church of God What are some of the main differences? Are there any similarities? A video of related interest is titled: Islam: Any Christian Concerns or Similarities?
Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
World War III: Steps in Progress Are there surprising actions going on now that are leading to WWIII? Might a nuclear attack be expected? Does the Bible promise protection to all or only some Christians? How can you be part of those that will be protected? A related video would be Is World War III About to Begin? Can You Escape?
When Will the Great Tribulation Begin? 2017, 2018, or 2019? 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 2016 o 2017? ¿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: Will the Great Tribulation Start in 2017?
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.

Clues tying Gad to Switzerland?

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

COGwriter

Retired teacher Bert Otten, who was once part of the old WCG (he now considers himself Messianic, and not part of the Church of God), sent me a paper with his reasons why he feels that many in Switzerland are the descendants of the biblical tribe of Gad. He told me that I could edit and/or use what he sent in any way.

Here is some of his article, along with parts of his ten clues, with portions of the explanations edited out, mainly for space and relevancy considerations:

Looking at ‘prophetic clues’, one has to conclude, that a core of the tribe of Gad once found its way to Celtic Switzerland. This core passed on its characteristics and genes to the influx of others.

The Celtic tribe of the Helvetii established themselves on the Swiss plateau between the Jura and the Alps. About 80% of all Swiss live on this plateau. In the east the Germanic Alemanni mixed with the Helvetii and in the west the Helvetii were dominated by the Germanic Burgundians. In the east the Germanic tongue dominated and in the west the Burgundi adopted the language of the romanized Helvetic Celts, which would evolve into French. As Switzerland was part of the Roman Empire, the Helvetii had lost their Celtic tongue. I believe the German and French speaking Swiss are from the tribe of Gad. There are many ‘prophetic clues’ between Gad and the Swiss. The more fulfilled prophetic clues we find, the stronger our case. What follows is not historic proof, but proof by revelation.

1st Clue: Gad: fortune/happiness

When Leah saw that she had left off bearing, she took Zilpah her handmaid, and gave her to Jacob to wife. And Zilpah, Leah’s handmaid, bare Jacob a son. And Leah said, FORTUNATE! [ בָּא גָד ], and she called his name GAD [ גָּד ] (Gen 30:9-11, ASV, American Standard Version; KJV throughout, unless mentioned otherwise).

And Leah said, It HAS GONE WELL for me: and she gave him the name Gad (Gen 30:11, BBE, Bible in Basic English).

Léa dit : Quel BONHEUR [HAPPINESS] ! Et elle l’appela du nom de Gad (Gen 30:11, LSG, Louis Segond).

There are two etymologies for the name Gad. In the first place it means fortune or happiness. There was a god of good fortune, whose name was Gad (Isa 65:11, Fortune in ASV; Gad in NKJV & Hebrew).

Leah said: Fortune (or Happiness) has come, and she named him Fortune (or Happiness) (Gad). Happiness or Fortune is of course more applicable to Switzerland than to any other country in the world. Whether it is because of cattle, cheese, clocks, watches, mercenaries, banks, international organisations, tourism or other things, the fact remains that Switzerland has been in the top ten of the most affluent countries over the past two centuries.

The ‘Swiss bank secrecy’ led to an all time record of amassed fortune in this country, Wikipedia: Currently an estimated ONE-THIRD of all worldwide funds held outside their country of origin (sometimes called “offshore” funds) are kept in Switzerland. In 2001, Swiss banks managed US$2.6 trillion … By 2007 this figure has risen to roughly US$2.7 trillion, a record. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banking_in_Switzerland

The Swiss Franc is the only modern currency covered for more than 100% of its value. One in every 25 Swiss says he’s a millionair (according to the Swiss magazine Cash, 19-11-2004).

Switzerland (with its mountains) has given many people happiness. Many went there because of health problems and Switzerland has been a favourite tourist attraction for the past 150 years.

2nd Clue: Gad, a troop, a gang, an army

And Leah said, A TROOP cometh: and she called his name Gad (Gen 30:11).

Genesis 49:19 Gad [gad], a TROOP [g’dud] shall OVERCOME [y’gudnu] him: but he shall OVERCOME [yagud] at the last.

גָּד, גְּדוּד יְגוּדֶנּוּ; וְהוּא, יָגֻד עָקֵב

(Genesis 49:19).

Gad, an ARMY will come against him, but he will come down on them in their flight (Gen 49:19, BBE).

And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over ARMED BEFORE the children of Israel, as Moses spake unto them (Josh 4:12).

And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness MEN OF MIGHT, and MEN OF WAR fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of LIONS, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains; Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third … Machbanai the eleventh. These were of the sons of Gad, CAPTAINS of the HOST: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand. These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west (1Chron 12:8-14).

The second etymological explanation of Gad is troop, gang or army. This explanation fits Jacob’s blessing better: Gad [gad], a TROOP [g’dud] shall OVERCOME [y’gudnu] him: but he shall OVERCOME [yagud] at the last (Gen 49:19). Four times a conjugation of Gad can be found in this verse: Gad g’dud j’gudnu, vèhu jagud akev.

Gad’s emblem is a tent or a group of tents. The town Machanaim was in the tribal area of Gad. Machanaim means double camp or two camps.

A large people’s army

This military aspect of Gad can be found back among the Swiss. The Swiss maintain an armed neutrality. That is why Switzerland has a large people’s army. One could say: Switzerland does not have an army, Switzerland is an army. Switzerland is one huge army camp. At the age of 20 Swiss men are adult, eligible to vote and go into the army. After a short training, soldiers will be regularly called up. The structure of the Swiss militia system stipulates that the soldiers keep their own personal equipment, including all personally assigned weapons, at home (until 2007 this also included ammunition). Because of this the Swiss army can be mobilised faster than any other army.The Swiss army is large, modern, well trained and well equipped. …

Switzerland has one of the biggest and most expensive armies of Europe. Per capita Switzerland has the biggest army in the world, after the State of Israel.

CH – Confoederatio Helvetica

Gad is a gang, a troop. This can also be found back in the structure of the state. The Swiss cantons (‘states’) grew from a confederacy into a federal state: Confoederatio Helvetica. Until 1848 each canton had its own army. Gad is a gang, a troop, of cantons.

3rd Clue: Gad, Mercenaries & (Swiss) Guards

And of Gad [Moses] said, “Blessed be he who enlarges Gad! Gad couches LIKE A LION, HE TEARS THE ARM, AND THE CROWN of the head (Deut 33:20, RSV, Revised Standard Version).

And of the GADITES there separated themselves unto David … MEN OF MIGHT, and MEN OF WAR fit for the BATTLE, that could handle SHIELD and BUCKLER, whose faces were like the faces of lions … These were of the sons of Gad, CAPTAINS of the HOST: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand (IChron 12:8-14).

From Rabbinical literature: Because of his GREAT STRENGTH [Gad] was not presented by Joseph to Pharaoh, lest the latter should appoint him one of his GUARDS (Gen. R. xcv. 4) (Jewish Encyclopedia).

Acharit haYamim

Jacob´s prophecies concerning the tribes are written down in Genesis 49. Verse 1 states that these are for the last days, ´acharit haYamim´, which is normally translated, ´in the latter days´ in the prophets. Personally I consider the last 500 years before the return of Christ as ´the latter days´.

Gad [gad], a troop [g’dud] shall press [y’gudnu] upon him; But he shall press [yagud] upon their heel (Gen 49:19).

The Swiss fought the powerful Habsburgs succesfully like lions: Gad couches like a lion, he tears the arm, and the crown of the head [the Hapsburgs and Burgundians] (Dt 33:20).

Mercenaries – Reisläufen

According to the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906) the tribe of Gad was a militaristic tribe. The name Gad has two etymological meanings: ‘luck, fortune’ and ‘troop’. From 1500 to 1850 many Swis made their fortune by hiring themselves out in gangs or troops to European kings and their wars. In 350 years’ time about 2 million Swiss have served as mercenary.

Wikipedia: Swiss mercenaries

Wikipedia: Swiss mercenaries (Reisläufer) were valued throughout Late Medieval Europe for the power of their determined mass attack in deep columns with the pike and halberd. Hiring them was made even more attractive because entire ready-made Swiss mercenary contingents could be obtained by simply contracting with their local governments, the various Swiss cantons—the cantons had a form of militia system in which the soldiers were bound to serve and were trained and equipped to do so. Some Swiss also hired themselves out individually or in small bands.

… The young men who went off to fight, and sometimes die, in foreign service had several incentives—limited economic options in the still largely rural cantons; adventure; pride in the reputation of the Swiss as soldiers; and finally what military historian Sir Charles Oman describes as a pure love of combat and warfighting in and of itself, forged by two centuries of conflict [with the Hapsburgs].

Papal Guard

Kings and other princes acquired Swiss mercenaries since the late Middle Ages. These men were good soldiers and were loyal to their (paying) master and had no bond with the (often rebellious) population. A Swiss guard was acquired for the pope and the king of France. The House of Orange in the Netherlands had a Swiss guard too.The Swiss were loyal as long as they were paid. Today there is only one Swiss Guard left, the Papal Guard of Vatican City.

4th Clue: Gad lived in the mountains of Gilead

So he [Jacob] left in a hurry with all that belonged to him. He crossed the Euphrates River and went toward the MOUNTAINS of Gilead … Laban caught up with him in the MOUNTAINS of Gilead … When Laban finally caught up with Jacob, Jacob had put up his tents in the MOUNTAINS. So Laban and his relatives put up their tents in the MOUNTAINS of Gilead (Gen 31:21-25, GWV).

And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal … (1Sam 13:7).

Gilead [=tribe of Gad here] abode beyond Jordan … (Judg 5:17).

Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the MOUNTAINS … [to the MOUNTAINS of Gilead according to the NIV Study Bible] (Lk 21:21).

Gad lived in Gilead (Gil’ad)

Gad lived in the mountains of Gilead, the mountains of presentday Jordan. Seen from the level of the River Jordan the Gil’ad mountains are 1500m high. The tribe of Gad used to live in the highest part of the Israelite nation. Just like the Swiss live in the highest part of Europe. Switzerland is a landlocked country and so was the tribal area of Gad.

Wikipedia: Gilead (Arabic: جلعاد dǦalʻā ‎‎) is also used to refer to the mountainous land extending north and south of Jabbok.

Flee to the mountains …

In his endtime speech Jesus advised the inhabitants of Jerusalem to flee to the mountains: And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto (Lk 21:20-21).

The mountains intended here, are not the hills of Samaria and Judea, but rather the mountains of Gilead, the tribal area of Gad.

There is an ante-typical fulfilment of that flight to the mountains of Gilead. At the beginning of the Jewish Revolt (66-70) the Messianic Community of Jerusalem fled to Pella (in Gilead), according to the historian Eusebius of Caesarea.

Switzerland – mountainous country

Switzerland is well known for its mountains. The Alps in the south and southeast (highest point, Monte Rosa, 4634m) and the Jura mountains in the west (highest point, Mont Tendre, 1678m).

5th Clue: Gad: much cattle

Now the children of Reuben and the children of GAD had A VERY GREAT MULTITUDE OF CATTLE: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was A PLACE FOR CATTLE. The children of GAD and the children of Reuben came and spake unto Moses … saying, Ataroth, and Dibon, and Jazer, and Nimrah, and Heshbon, and Elealeh, and Shebam, and Nebo, and Beon, even the country which the LORD smote before the congregation of Israel, is A LAND FOR CATTLE, and thy servants have CATTLE: Wherefore, said they, if we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan (Num 32:1-5)

Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and ALL OUR CATTLE, shall be there in the cities of Gilead: But thy servants will pass over, every man armed for war, before the LORD to battle, as my lord saith (Num 32:26-27).

The tribes of Ruben and Gad had much cattle and wanted to stay therefore in mountainous Gilead with its woods and meadows. Gad, Ruben and half of Manasseh ended up on the high plains of Jordan.

Switzerland – cattle

Switzerland is a country of mountains and valleys, and it often is very suited for cattle. After the summer the cattle is taken from the Alp meadows (transhumance). Some facts about Swiss cattle from:

https://en.agriculture.ch/knowledge/animals/ : A variety of productive livestock reside on the farms in Switzerland: cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, donkeys, mules, fallow-deer, chicken, turkey, ducks, geese, rabbits and bees and for a couple of years now, even lamas, ostrich, bison and highland cattle. Swiss agriculture could hardly remain viable without the livestock industry. More than two-thirds of the turnover in agriculture is based on the production of milk, meat, eggs and other animals products.

From the same site Swiss farmers welcome you: Cattle account for almost half of the proceeds of Swiss agriculture. All in all, farmers keep a stock of somewhat less than 1.7 million cattle: dairy cows, heifers, calves, bulls, breeding bulls and oxen. Simmentaler and Brown cows are the most popular breeds in Switzerland. Due to better performance, the number of dairy cows has diminished drastically over the past years. Since the 1970’s, nurse and suckling cows have become more and more common in Switzerland.

Swiss cheese

Swiss cheeses are well-known. There is even a Wikipedia site with a list of Swiss cheeses.

Wikipedia: Switzerland is home to about 450 varieties of cheese. Cow’s milk is used in about 99 percent of the cheeses produced. The remaining share is made up of sheep milk and goat milk.

Cheese fondue

Wikipedia: The earliest known recipe for cheese fondue as we know it today comes from a 1699 book published in Zurich, under the name “Käss mit Wein zu kochen”, “to cook cheese with wine”. It calls for grated or cut-up cheese to be melted with wine, and for bread to be dipped in it. … The first known recipe for the modern cheese fondue under that name, with cheese and wine but no eggs, was published in 1875, and was already presented as a Swiss national dish. … Fondue was popularized as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union (Schweizerische Käseunion) in the 1930s as a way of increasing cheese consumption. … Fondue is now a symbol of Swiss unity.

Swiss Chocolate

Wikipedia: The 17th century saw the start of chocolate processed in Switzerland … In the second half of the 19th century Swiss Chocolate started to spread abroad. Closely linked to this was the invention of Milk Chocolate by Daniel Peter in Vevey and the invention of the conching by Rodolphe Lindt … From the 19th century until the First World War and throughout the Second World War the Swiss chocolate industry was very export-oriented … Today most Swiss chocolate is consumed by the Swiss themselves (54% in 2000), and Switzerland has the highest per capita rate of chocolate consumption worldwide (11.6 kg (25.6 lbs.) per capita per annum). In 2004 148,270 tonnes of chocolate were produced in Switzerland. 53% of this was exported.

6th Clue: Gad: place of refuge

And Moses gave inheritance unto the tribe of Gad, even unto the children of Gad according to their families. And their border was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half the land of the children of Ammon … from MAHANAIM unto the border of Debir (Josh 13:24-26, KJ21).

And the Philistines mustered to fight with Israel, [3000] chariots, and 6000 horsemen, and troops like the sand on the seashore in multitude … When the men of Israel saw that they were in straits (for the people were hard pressed), the people hid themselves in caves and in holes and in rocks and in tombs and in cisterns, or crossed the fords of the Jordan to the LAND of GAD and GILEAD … (1Sam 13: 5-7, RSV).

But Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s host, took Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to MAHANAIM; And made him king over Gilead … and over all Israel. … But the house of Judah followed David (2Sam 2:8-10).

So Joab blew a trumpet, and all the people [of Judah] stood still, and pursued after Israel no more, neither fought they any more. And Abner and his men walked all that night through the plain, and passed over Jordan … and they came to MAHANAIM (2Sam 2:28-29).

Then David came to MAHANAIM. And Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel (2Sam 17:24, RSV).

“Get thee hence and turn thee [Elijah] eastward, and HIDE thyself by the Brook Cherith, that is before the Jordan (1Kings 17:3, KJ21).

Because of its mountains, rocks, clefts, brooks and caves the land of Gad is a natural area to flee to. The town Mahanaim on the Jabbok was in the land of Gad, in Gilead.

At the war of Saul against the Philistines many hid here; Ishbosheth and Abner waged war against Joab and David from Mahanaim; when Absalom took over the throne, his father David fled to Mahanaim.

Elijah, a Gadite, hid by the brook Cherith – Wadi al-Yabis (the Wadi of Jabesh) – in the land of Gad. The Church of Jerusalem fled to Pella (also in the land of Gad) in 66 AD. The land of Gad is a perfect place of refuge (2 million Palestinians fled to Jordan in the 20th century).

Republic of Geneva

Geneva became an independant republic in the 16th century. Under John Calvin it became the centre of calvinism. Calvin fought for free access to Geneva for Protestant refugees. Geneva became a member of the Swiss Republic (Eidgenossenschaft) in 1815.

World War I

During World War I many pople fled to Switzerland. Wikipedia: During the fighting, Switzerland became a haven for many politicians, artists, pacifists, and thinkers. Bern, Zürich, and Geneva became centers of debate and discussion. In Zürich two very different anti-war groups would bring lasting changes to the world, the Bolsheviks and the Dadaists.

World War II

Switzerland’s refugee record during WW II is not faultless, yet many were able to flee to the Swiss Republic. Wikipedia: Over the course of the war, Switzerland interned 300,000 refugees. Of these, 104,000 were foreign troops … The rest were foreign civilians and were either interned or granted tolerance or residence permits by the cantonal authorities. Refugees were not allowed to hold jobs. Of the refugees, 60,000 were civilians escaping persecution by the Nazis. Of these, 26,000 to 27,000 were Jews. Between 10,000 and 24,000 Jewish civilian refugees were refused entry. Although Switzerland harboured more Jewish refugees than any other country, these refugees were refused entry on the grounds of already dwindling supplies. Of those refused entry, a Swiss government representative said, “Our little lifeboat is full.” At the beginning of the war, Switzerland had a Jewish population of between 18,000 and 28,000 and a total population of about 4 million. By the end of the war, there were over 115,000 refuge-seeking people of all categories in Switzerland, representing the maximum number of refugees at any one time.

Switzerland also acted as a refuge for Allied prisoners of war who escaped, including those from Oflag IV-C (Colditz).

7th Clue: Gad: uninvolved, neutral

And Moses said unto the children of GAD and to the children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye SIT HERE [in Gilead]? And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD hath given them? (Num 32:6-7).

GILEAD [=GAD] stayed beyond the Jordan … (Judg 5:17).

And he said unto the men of Succoth [town in GAD], “Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people who follow me, for they are faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.” And the princes of Succoth said, “Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army?” And Gideon said, “Therefore when the LORD hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.” And he went up thence to Penuel [another town in GAD] and spoke unto them likewise, and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him. And he spoke also unto the men of Penuel, saying, “When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower” (Judg 8:5-9, KJ21).

They said, “What one is there of the tribes of Israel who didn’t come up to Yahweh to Mizpah?” Behold, there came none to the camp from Jabesh Gilead [town in GAD] to the assembly. For when the people were numbered, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead there (Judg 21:8-9).

Gad – aloof, uninvolved

Gad or the towns in Gad often stayed uninvolved. To start with, Moses did not like that Gad and Reuben wanted to stay in Gilead. It was seen as a sign of rebellion or uninvolvedness. Later on in history the Transjordan tribes were the first to go in exile.

At the time of Deborah the Gadites did not send any men to help against Sisera (Judg 5:17). Gilead here means Gad, for Reuben and Manasseh (Machir) have already been mentioned.

When the judge Gideon asked the Gadites of Succoth and Penuel for bread and support against the Midianites, they refused and remained uninvolved, just as in the time of Deborah

When called upon, the Gadites of Jabesh in Gad (Gilead) did not send men either, to avenge the corruption of the Benjamites of Gibeah.

Switzerland – neutral

At the Congress of Vienna (1815) the five major European powers recognized and guaranteed Switzerland’s neutrality. From that time onward Switzerland and neutrality are closely tied. Neutrality is Switzerland’s starting point for foreign policy.

From Wikipedia, Switzerland during the World Wars: During both World War I and World War II, Switzerland managed to keep a stance of armed neutrality, and was not involved militarily. However, precisely because of its neutral status, Switzerland was of considerable interest to all parties involved, as the scene for diplomacy, espionage, commerce, and as a safe haven for refugees …

Following the declarations of war in late July 1914, on 1 August 1914 Switzerland mobilized its army; by August 7 the newly appointed general Ulrich Wille had about 220,000 men under his command. By August 11 Wille had deployed much of the army along the Jura border with France, with smaller units deployed along the eastern and southern borders …

During the war Switzerland accepted 68,000 British, French and German wounded prisoners of war for recovery in mountain resorts. The wounded were transferred from prisoner of war camps unable to cope with the number of wounded and sat out the war in Switzerland. The transfer was agreed between the warring powers …

At the outbreak of World War II in 1939, Switzerland immediately began to mobilize for a possible invasion. The transition into wartime was smooth and caused less controversy than in 1914. The entire country was fully mobilized in only three days. Parliament quickly selected the 61 year-old career soldier Henri Guisan to be General. By 3 September 430,000 men of combat troops and 200,000 men of mandatory support services and 10,000 women of the female support service had been mobilized … Over the course of the war, detailed invasion plans were drawn up by the German military command, such as Operation Tannenbaum, but Switzerland was never attacked. Switzerland was able to remain independent through a combination of military deterrence, economic concessions to Germany, and good fortune …

Nazi Germany repeatedly violated Swiss airspace. During the Invasion of France, German aircraft violated Swiss airspace at least 197 times. In several air incidents, the Swiss shot down 11 Luftwaffe planes between 10 May 1940 and 17 June 1940. Germany protested diplomatically on 5 June 1940, and with a second note on 19 June 1940 which contained clear threats. Hitler was especially furious when he saw that German equipment was used to shoot down German pilots. He said they would respond “in another manner”. On 20 June 1940, the Swiss air force was ordered to stop intercepting planes violating Swiss airspace. Swiss fighters began instead to force intruding aircraft to land at Swiss airfields. Anti-aircraft units still operated. Later, Hitler and Hermann Göring sent saboteurs to destroy Swiss airfields. However, the sabotage team was captured by the Swiss army before it could cause any damage. Skirmishes between German and Swiss troops took place in the northern border of Switzerland throughout the war …

From 1943 Switzerland stopped American and British aircraft, mainly bombers, overflying Switzerland during World War II: six by Swiss air force fighters and nine by flak cannons, and 36 airmen were killed. On 1 October 1943 the first American bomber was shot near Bad Ragaz: Only three men survived. The officers were interned in Davos, airmen in Adelboden. The representative of the US military intelligence in Bern, US military attaché Barnwell Legge, instructed the soldiers not to flee, but the majority of the soldiers thought it was a diplomatic joke. Allied aircraft also intruded on Swiss airspace during the war, mostly Allied bombers returning from raids over Italy and Germany that had been damaged and whose crews preferred internment by the Swiss to becoming prisoners of war. Over a hundred Allied aircraft and their crews were interned …

8th Clue: Gad: reformers

Now ELIJAH the TISHBITE, of TISHBE in GILEAD, said to Ahab … (1Ki 17:1) [Tishbe, place in Gad].

And Elijah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you go limping with two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are 450 men. Let two bulls be given to us; and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces and lay it on the wood, but put no fire to it; and I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood, and put no fire to it. And you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.” … Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me”; and all the people came near to him … And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that thou, O LORD, art God, and that thou hast turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God.” And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape.” And they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and KILLED them there (1Ki 18:21-40, RSV).

And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and also how he had SLAIN all the prophets with the SWORD (1Ki 19:1).

Elijah, the reformer

The Bible mentions seven times that Elijah was a Tishbite form Tishbe. Tishbe was a small place in the tribal area of Gad, passed Jabesh, by the brook Cherith. Elijah was a prophet, a reformer, in the northern kingdom, in the House of Israel. It is noteworthy that he is the only prophet of whom we know that he had killed hundreds of false prophets by the sword. Preaching the Word of the LORD and handling the sword were both practiced by him. Elijah is the best-known Gadite of the Old Testament. …

Many flocked to Geneva for study and education, only to be sent out all over Europe to teach.

9th Clue: Gad: from hate to love

CH. 1 THE copy of the testament of Gad … And Joseph told our father that the sons of Zilpah and Bilhah were slaying the best of the flock and eating them against the judgement of Reuben and Judah … And regarding this matter I was wroth with Joseph until the day that he was sold … And the spirit of hatred was in me … I confess now my gin, my children, that oftentimes I wished to kill him, because I hated him from my heart. Moreover, I hated him yet more for his dreams … Beware, therefore, my children of hatred, for it worketh lawlessness even against the Lord Himself … For the spirit of hatred worketh together with Satan, through hastiness of spirits, in all things to men’s death; but the spirit of love worketh together with the law of God in long-suffering unto the salvation of men. Hatred, therefore, is evil, for it constantly mateth with lying, speaking against the truth; and it maketh small things to be great, and causeth the light to be darkness, and calleth the sweet bitter, and teacheth slander, and kindleth wrath, and stirreth up war, and violence and all covetousness; it filleth the heart with evils and devilish poison. These things, therefore, I say to you from experience, my children, that ye may drive forth hatred, which is of the devil, and cleave to the love of God. Righteousness casteth out hatred, humility destroyeth envy … These things I learnt at last, after I had repented concerning Joseph … CH. 2. AND now, my children, I exhort you, love ye each one his brother, and put away hatred from your hearts, love one another in deed, and in word, and in the inclination of the soul. For in the presence of my father I spake peaceably to Joseph; and when I had gone out, the spirit of hatred darkened my mind, and stirred up my soul to slay him. Love ye one another from the heart; and if a man sin against thee, speak peaceably to him, and in thy soul hold not guile; and if he repent and confess, forgive him (TESTAMENT of GAD).

The pseudo-epigraphic book Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs often gives us extra information about a certain patriarch and tribe. According to the Testament of Gad, Gad had been full of hatred towards Joseph. Gad warned his children against hatred, told of his experience and advised them to follow the way of love or charity.

The change from hatred to charity nicely reflects Swiss history. Nearly 2 million Swiss have fought 350 years in the mercenary system (ca. 1500 – 1850), until this was forbidden by law (1859 Constitution). The Swiss Henri Dunant founded the Red Cross, the colours of neutral Switzerland were turned around. The armycamps of Gad became in a way the refugee camps of the Red Cross, this time not for war, but for love and charity.

Henry Dunant – Red Cross

Wikipedia: Henry Dunant (Red Cross): Jean Henri Dunant (8 May 1828 – 30 October 1910), also known as Henry Dunant, was the founder of the Red Cross, and the first recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. The 1864 Geneva Convention was based on Dunant’s ideas. In 1901 he received the first Nobel Peace Prize together with Frédéric Passy, making Dunant the first Swiss Nobel laureate.

Dunant was a Swiss businessman and social activist. During a business trip in 1859, he was witness to the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino in modern-day Italy. He recorded his memories and experiences in the book A Memory of Solferino which inspired the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1863.

10th Clue: Gad: oath/covenant on the mountain

So [Jacob] fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the River, and set his face toward the MOUNTAIN of Gilead [Gad territory] … And [Laban] … pursued after him seven days’ journey; and he overtook him in the MOUNTAIN of Gilead [Gad territory] … And Laban came up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the MOUNTAIN: and Laban with his brethren encamped in the MOUNTAIN of Gilead [Gad territory] … And Laban answered … And now come, let us make a COVENANT, I and thou; and let it be for a WITNESS [Hebr.: ‘ed] between me and thee. And Jacob took a STONE, and set it up for a PILLAR. And Jacob said unto his brethren, Gather STONES; and they took STONES, and made a HEAP: and they did eat there by the HEAP. And Laban called it Jegar-saha-dutha: but Jacob called it Gal’ed … And Laban said, This HEAP is WITNESS between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Gal’ed [Cf. Gil’ad] … And Laban said to Jacob, Behold this HEAP, and behold the PILLAR, which I have set betwixt me and thee. This HEAP be WITNESS, and the PILLAR be WITNESS, that I will not pass over this HEAP to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this HEAP and this PILLAR unto me, for harm. The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob SWARE by the Fear of his father Isaac. And Jacob offered a sacrifice in the MOUNTAIN, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the MOUNTAIN (Genesis 31, ASV).

The tribe of Gad lived in the Mountains of Gilead, or more correct Gil’ad. The area got its name from the covenant that Jacob and Laban made on a mountain there, confirmed by oath. Gal means stone or heap of stones and Ed means witness. Hence Gal-Ed is witness stone or stone of witness. Gal’ed has the same Hebrew letters as Gil’ad (Gilead).

‘Eidgenossenschaft’ (Confederation)

Wikipedia: Eidgenossenschaft. Eidgenossenschaft (German pronunciation: [ˈaɪdɡəˌnɔsənʃaft]) is a German word meaning confederation. The term literally translates as “oath fellowship”. An Eidgenossenschaft is a confederacy of equal partners, which can be individuals or groups such as states, formed by a pact sealed by a solemn oath.

Swiss Eidgenossenschaft

Wikipedia: As a political term, it is used most often as a synonym for Switzerland, whose official German name is “Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft”, usually translated as Swiss Confederation. The oath referred to is the Rütlischwur, the three men recorded as taking the oath on August 1, 1291 historiographic tradition are the Three Confederates (Drei Eidgenossen). An Eidgenosse (literally: comrade by oath) is a member of an Eidgenossenschaft, and is an expression for “Swiss citizen”. The related adjective, eidgenössisch, officially translated as Swiss federal, is used in the name of organisations, for example the ‘Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule’, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. In a historical context, Eidgenossenschaft typically refers to the medieval Swiss Confederacy, which grew from the 13th to the 16th century in central Europe, persisted until 1798 and then evolved into a federal state in the 19th century.

The Swiss mountain state started with an oath by the three cantons Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden on a mountain meadow. The tribe of Gad lived in Gil’ad (Gilead), named after the oath or covenant between Laban and Jacob (Gal’ed), also performed on a mountain.

I should add that we have been to Switzerland at least twice (flew into Geneva on our way to the Feast of Tabernacles in Evian, France years ago; and earlier visited a COG family in Zurich).

The Bible records various promises made to the tribes of Israel in Genesis 48, Genesis 49, and Deuteronomy 33. Many seem to have overlooked those, but those prophecies have been, and will be fulfilled.

Notice the following prophecy from the NKJV:

19 “Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him,
But he shall triumph at last. (Genesis 49:19)

It is my view that the descendants of Gad, specifically those in Switzerland, will apparently have to temporarily accept European Beast domination. Basically part of some type of European Union.

Knowing where various peoples have come from, helps us better understand how the Bible teaches that various ones will be affected by end time events that are still to come to pass.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Anglo – America in Prophecy & the Lost Tribes of Israel Are the Americans, Canadians, English, Scottish, Welsh, Australians, Anglo-Saxon (non-Dutch) Southern Africans, and New Zealanders descendants of Joseph? Where are the lost ten-tribes of Israel? Who are the lost tribes of Israel? What will happen to Jerusalem and the Jews in Israel? Will God punish the U.S.A., Canada, United Kingdom, and other Anglo-Saxon nations? Why might God allow them to be punished first? Here is a link to the Spanish version of this article: Anglo-América & las Tribus Perdidas de Israel. Information is also in the YouTube sermons titled Where are the Ten Lost Tribes? Why does it matter? and British are the Covenant People. A short YouTube of prophetic interest may be Barack Obama and the State of the Apocalypse.
Will the Anglo-Saxon Nations be Divided and Have People Taken as Slaves? Will the lands of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand be divided? What about Jerusalem? What does Bible prophecy teach? Are there non-biblical prophecies that support this idea? Who will divide those lands? Who will end up with the lands and the people? Here is a link to a video titled Will the USA and other Anglo-nations be Divided and Their People Made Slaves? Here is a related item in the Spanish language ¿Serán divididas las naciones anglosajonas?
British are the Covenant People What do ‘British’ and ‘Britain’ mean in Hebrew? Are the descendants of the Anglo-Saxons people of the covenant? Does the British royal family connect to the throne of David? What does the Bible teach? What does history show us? Is there any DNA evidence related to British-Israelism? When did Christianity make it to the British Isles? Could Jeremiah have made it to the British Isles? What type of Christians made it to the British Isles? Did the last King of England believe in British Israelism?
The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben: France in Prophecy? What is the origin of this in France? What is prophesied to happen to them? A two-part sermon related to history and prophecy is available online: The ‘Lost Tribe’ of Reuben and France and Prophecy.
Ten clues tying Belgium and Luxembourg with the tribe of Asher Who did some in Belgium and Luxembourg descend from?
Ten clues tying Zebulun with the Dutch Who did some in the Netherlands descend from?

Sermon: Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

GOTKOG Book Cover 2016 BOTH FINAL

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce this sermon from its ContinuingCOG channel:

1:24:32
Jesus gave a message to the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God in Revelation 3. On December 17, 1983, the late Herbert W. Armstrong gave a sermon titled, “The Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era.” In that sermon, he went over the mission of the Philadelphian portion of the Church of God as well as 18 truths he believed that God had him restore that the Sardis era no longer had. In this sermon, Dr. Thiel provides quotes from Herbert Armstrong’s sermon, as well as each of the 18 truths. These truths included the true gospel, God’s purpose for humanity, the Holy Day plan, governance, what is God, what about man, spirit in man, firstfruits, millennium, truth about the Holy Spirit, begotten now, born-again at the resurrection, identity of physical Israel, Israel in prophecy, multiple tithes, identity of Babylon and her daughters, Satan’s deception, and being separate. Dr. Thiel quotes scriptures and/or early church-related writers who understood at least portions of each of those eighteen truths. He also discusses what church teaches these 18 truths and truly carries out the mission of the Philadelphian church era.

Here is a link to our sermon: Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

18 Truths Restored to the Churches of God: Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era Herbert W. Armstrong wrote that he felt he had restored at least 18 lost truths to the Church, here is Herbert W. Armstrong’s list given 12/17/83. This articles also has links to show that these truths were believed by professors of Christ in earlier times, hence they were not some invention of Herbert Armstrong.Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Lista de Herbert W. Armstrong de las 18 verdades restauradas. Here are links to a related two-part sermon: The 18 Restored Truths: 1-8 and The 18 Restored Truths: 9-18.
Do You Believe God Used Herbert W. Armstrong to Raise Up the Philadelphia Era of the Church of God? Nearly everyone while in WCG used to believe this, most do not seem to anymore.
The Elijah Heresies Does the Bible teach that there will be a future Elijah? Must it be Herbert W. Armstrong? Two related sermons are  available Elijah: Prophecies and Heresies and Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong, and CCOG.
The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government What form of governance did the early church have? Was it hierarchical? Which form of governance would one expect to have in the Philadelphia remnant? The people decide and/or committee forms, odd dictatorships, or the same type that the Philadelphia era itself had? What are some of the scriptural limits on ecclesiastical authority? Do some commit organizational idolatry? Here is a Spanish language version La Biblia, Policarpo, Herbert W. Armstrong, y Roderick C. Meredith sobre el gobierno de la Iglesia. Here is a link to a sermon titled Church Governance.
Is Second Tithe and Third Tithe Still Valid Today? Should you save and use second tithe? Some in the COGs no longer teach payment of third tithe, is this biblically correct?
The Philadelphia Remnant: It’s All About Love This is what CCOG teaches. It is important to remember. A related video is available: Nairobi Conference: All About Love.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history teach about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays. A related sermon is Which Spring Days should Christians observe?
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?
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work?
Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders, including evangelists? Here is a link to a related sermon: The Work per HWA and the Bible.
CCOG’s Four Years and God Revealing Philadelphia? Has God been revealing Philadelphia since CCOG formed? What has been happening? Can you see the hand of God in this? A related sermon is titled CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains who he was and how he should be viewed today.
15 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert W. Armstrong He, even after his death, keeps being improperly maligned–here is the truth on these matters.

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, 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. There are links to literature is about 100 different languages there. 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? an CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia? Here is a written link to a version of that first 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.
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.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Arguments promoting Halloween

Friday, October 20th, 2017

COGwriter

Many who were once affiliated with the old Worldwide Church of God, but who fell away, will be observing “Halloween” at the end of this month.

Are they right to do so?

Several hours ago, the improperly labeled publication, Christianity Today, put out the following:

It’s that time of year again. Ghosts and goblins are starting to appear on neighborhood lawns. Soon giggling children will don disguises and go door-to-door searching for candy. For most, Halloween is a fun, light-hearted affair. But sometimes Christians feel conflicted about how to handle this holiday. Does participating in Halloween mean that we are celebrating Halloween?

No matter how we feel about the controversial holiday, it presents a rare opportunity. Halloween is one of the few days on which our neighbors will actually come to us. But what should we do with such a gift?

Wayne Cordova, pastor of ministry at Crosspoint Church, in Spring Hill, Florida, has experimented with the concept of servant evangelism for the past decade. Cordova notes that both Jesus and his earliest followers ministered to people by healing and meeting physical needs first. By doing this, they earned the right to share the gospel message. Cordova states that we too need to earn the right to be heard by serving our community before we expect them to come to us. …

Christians shouldn’t be afraid of using Halloween to engage their community. According to Cordova, “Halloween is a gift. If it is not seized, it is a wasted opportunity to show others God’s love with no string attached.” (http://www.christianitytoday.com/pastors/2017/october-web-exclusives/5-creative-alternatives-to-trunk-or-treat.html)

To answer the first question, yes, participating in Halloween celebrations is celebrating Halloween. Jesus and His earliest followers did not observe pagan holidays and pass out cancer-encouraging substances (see see Nine Year Study Finally Explains The Relationship Between Sugar And Cancer) to gain people’s trust. As far as the second question, the Bible teaches that we are not to perpetuate gifts of pagan worship.

Notice the following warning from the Apostle Paul:

19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? (1 Corinthians 10:19-22)

Christians are supposed to believe “the word of truth” (2 Corinthians 6:7; Ephesians 1:13).

In the world, it has been said if you tell a big enough lie often enough, most people will believe it. Well, those at Christianity Today seem to believe their lie that Halloween celebrations is good.

Places like Christianity Today promote Halloween, as well as other aspects of the false ecumenical agenda (see also Beware: Protestants Going Towards Ecumenical Destruction!).

As far as the old Worldwide Church of God goes, here are some comments that several anti-Church of God websites posted from former WCG-writer Keith Stump:

First, there’s no need to point out that Halloween is not found in Leviticus 23. (Duh.) Leviticus 23 is obsolete and irrelevant anyway…Yet some of Halloween’s customs do have roots in pre-Christian (“pagan”) practices…Some of Halloween’s customs can be traced to practices of the Celtic New Year, particularly among the Druids of ancient Britain.

Of course, since the Bible says that the holy days in Leviticus 23 are “‘The feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts” (vs. 2), obviously those that do not believe that they need to do what the Bible teaches would consider that Halloween was acceptable. It is nice that he admits that current customs often have pagan roots–and followers of the true God are not to adopt pagan-worship practices (Deuteronomy 4:15-16).

Plus, the writings of the Apostle Paul show that Christians are not to adopt pagan worship practices. Paul also wrote:

11 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)

Paul and Jesus kept the biblical holy days and not demonic ones (see also the free online booklet Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays?).

Keith Stump also wrote:

Others who are reading this have heartwarming memories of Halloween. It’s a slice of genuine Americana…Halloween reaffirmed social bonds with friends and neighbors. These are hardly the “unfruitful works of darkness” (Eph. 5:11), unless one is a fanatic who interprets that phrase like, well, a fanatic.

Now that is an attempt to try to insult and label people who do not wish to disobey God as “fanatics.” The reality is that pagans had fond memories of their holiday practices as well or they would not have continued to have their holidays. God did not say that exceptions should be made for pagan-practices that families liked (cf. Deuteronomy 4:15-16).

The Apostle Paul was considered to be a fanatic and a member of a cult (Acts 24:14, NLT; see also Is the Genuine Church of God a Cult?).

Keith Stump also wrote:

I have seen no evidence of children being psychologically warped or seduced into a life of witchcraft and perversion as a result of innocent Halloween activities.

I was unaware that Keith Stump is able to look at the heart (cf. 1 Samuel 16:7), though he probably feels that accepting non-biblical Protestant or similar faiths is not a problem. Pagan cultures have many “experts” like Keith Stump who come to similar conclusions about how many practices that are opposed to scripture affect their people. Consider also that there is not evidence that those who embrace Halloween actively promote the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.

Keith Stump also wrote:

Halloween is also a good time to reconsider our own views about death and the afterlife. The unbiblical doctrine of “soul sleep” would be a good place to start. The Bible clearly teaches (and centuries of experience demonstrate) that death does not interrupt self-awareness; personal identity survives death!

Jesus and others in the Bible come to a different conclusion than Keith Stump here (see Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? and What Happens After Death?). Also, most people do not use Halloween as a time to consider views of their death, but instead view it as a time for a holiday of indulgence. The high prevalence of diabetes in the Western world is the direct result of consuming excessive amounts of sugars and other refined carbohydrates, which is something that modern Halloween practices do encourage.

Keith Stump also wrote:

To all COG members out there: Is your children’s Christianity so feeble as to be endangered by a plastic mask and a few candy bars? Are your children so inadequately grounded in their religion as to be tempted into a life of witchcraft by attending a costume party? Are you yourself so poorly rooted in your faith that you fear your children will ask questions to which you have no satisfactory answers?

Now, the Bible says that no unclean person will enter the Kingdom (Ephesians 5:5). I am fairly sure that the Corinthians thought that they had less feeble Christianity when they tolerated a type of fornicator in their midst. But God inspired the Apostle Paul to write:

1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles — that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. (1 Corinthians 5:1-3)

Christians should not be so “puffed up” that they think they have spiritual strength because they have compromised with pagan-practices.

Furthermore, Jesus warned that looking at a woman to lust after her was wrong (Matthew 5:27-28). And the Apostle Paul wrote to “flee fornication” (1 Corinthians 6:18). The Bible does not say that men should see how long they can look at or be with an immodest woman and not sin as some type of badge of the strength of their faith. The Bible warns that we are not to give place to sin. It is NOT a sign of spiritual strength to compromise and decide to engage in pagan practices that often involve immodest costumes to engage in various lusts of the flesh.

The anti-COG types can amuse themselves with Keith Stump’s pro-Halloween writings (and sadly have done so), but the reality is that those who believe that they need to live by every word of the Bible (Matthew 4:4), would do better by avoiding practices that God clearly does not endorse (and also seems to condemn).

Many improperly consider that Halloween is a holiday appropriate for “Christians.”

But they ignore what the Bible teaches.

Do not be like them.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? Here are some historical and biblical insight on this question. There are many cultures that have celebrations and observances that are similar to some associated with Halloween. What did the Druids do? Is Halloween one of the most important holidays for Satanists? Do the Japanese, Indians, and Chinese have any practices that are similar to some associated with Halloween? Does the Bible endorse or condemn practices that are associated with Halloween? Here are links to two related sermonette length videos: Halloween: Are there 7 reasons for Christians to celebrate it? and International ‘Halloween’ Should Christians observe Halloween?
All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls’ Day When did “All Saints Day” and the “Day of the Dead” begin? “What about All Soul’s Day”?
The Falling Away: The Bible and WCG Teachings Who is 2 Thessalonians 2:3 referring to? Are there multiple falling aways? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: La Apostasía: Enseñanzas de la Biblia y de la WCG. There are also two YouTube videos on the subject that you can watch The Falling Away Part 1: From the Bible and Church History and The Falling Away Part 2: Positions Presented by Others.
Do You Practice Mithraism? Many practices and doctrines that mainstream so-called Christian groups have are the same or similar to those of the sun-god Mithras. December 25th was celebrated as his birthday. Do you follow Mithraism combined with the Bible or original Christianity? A sermon video from Vatican City is titled Church of Rome, Mithras, and Isis?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.

Sermon: The Work per HWA and the Bible

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

GOTKOG Book Cover 2016 BOTH FINAL

COGwriter

The Continuing Church of God is pleased to announce this sermon from its ContinuingCOG channel:

1:20:20

What work should the most faithful Christian church be doing? What should be the priority for Christians? What did Jesus tell the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God? What did Herbert W. Armstrong teach? What does the New Testament teach? What is the open door? Does proclamation include reaching Gentiles? Did Herbert W. Armstrong fulfill Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:19-20? What church is working on that now? Should you remain ‘independent’ or Laodicean? Dr. Thiel answers these questions and more.

Here is a link to the sermon: The Work per HWA and the Bible.

Some items of related interest may include:

Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from lower level leaders, including evangelists? Here is a link to a related sermon: The Work per HWA and the Bible.
CCOG’s Four Years and God Revealing Philadelphia? Has God been revealing Philadelphia since CCOG formed? What has been happening? Can you see the hand of God in this? A related sermon is titled CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia?
The Final Phase of the Work What is the final phase of the work? Who will lead it? Do you have the courage to support it? Here is a related YouTube video titled The Final Phase of the Work.
Preparing for the ‘Short Work’ and The Famine of the Word What is the ‘short work’ of Romans 9:28? Who is preparing for it? Here is a link to a related video sermon titled: The Short Work.
Who Was Herbert W. Armstrong? How is He Viewed Today? Includes quotes from the 1973 edition of The Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong and explains who he was and how he should be viewed today.
15 Accusations and Truthful Responses About Herbert W. Armstrong He, even after his death, keeps being improperly maligned–here is the truth on these matters.

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, 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. There are links to literature is about 100 different languages there. 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? an CCOG: Four Years Revealing Philadelphia? Here is a written link to a version of that first 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.
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.
CCOGAfrica channel. This has messages from African pastors in African languages such as Kalenjin, Kiswahili, Embu, and Dholuo.
Bible News Prophecy online radio. This is an audio version of the Bible News Prophecy videos as well as some ContinuingCOG channel sermons. It is also available as a mobile app.
ContinuingCOG channel. Dr. Thiel has produced scores of YouTube video sermons for this channel. Note: Since these are sermon-length, they can take a little longer to load than other YouTube videos.

Feast of Tabernacles in the 1970s and 1980s

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

COGwriter

The Churches of God normally have over one hundred Feast of Tabernacles’ Sites in various places around the world every year. The Continuing Church of God has official sites in different countries in Africa and North America, as well as in New Zealand and the Philippines.

As many who are readers of this page at this time are not at the Feast of Tabernacles now, I thought a series on the sites we attended might be of interest.

I first began to attend the Feast of Tabernacles in 1977. My first feast was at Squaw Valley, California, with an attendance of around 10,000 (all attendance figures will be from my memory of estimated attendance), and this was when I saw Garner Ted Armstrong in person. In 1978, I went to Fresno, California, with an attendance of around 7,000. In 1979, I went to Tucson, Arizona for the feast, with an attendance of nearly 12,000 and this is when I saw Herbert W. Armstrong in person and met Stan Radar. In 1980, I attended the feast in Big Sandy, Texas and slept in a small tent–it rained a lot and this was quite wet–about 7,000 may have attended there that year.

In 1981, this was the first feast I did not drive to, it was Lihue, Hawaii, It had about 1,500 in attendance–this was the first time my wife and I were married and attended the same Feast site. In 1982, we went to Anchorage, Alaska with about 500 in attendance.

1983 was the first feast for either of us outside of the USA, as well as the first feast that we began to take slide pictures. We went to Hoogeveen, Netherlands (all of my wife’s grandparents came to the USA from the Netherlands). About 500 attended there that year. We wrote a list of things that were different there compared to the USA. Here are two photos from that feast:

Netherlands Windmill Netherlands Canal

Windmill and canal near Hoogeveen, Netherlands, 1983

In 1984, we went to Sri Lanka for the feast. About 100 or so attended. Sri Lanka was so different from the USA that we thought that perhaps we should write a list of what was the same as in the USA as that would have been a fairly short list. Here are two photos taken at that feast:

Village in Sri Lanka Fruit Stand in Sri Lanka

Below is the Riverina hotel where church services for the Feast of Tabernacles in 1984 was held:

Riverina Hotel

In 1985, we went to Durban, South Africa. About 1,000 were there. Below is a South African village and a picture of the building where services were held in Durban that year:

South African Village Durban, South Africa

In 1986, we went to Pasadena, California for the Feast. We did not take slides, but should we find the photos taken, perhaps they will be added. One thing that puzzled me in 1986, was the fact that I learned that J. Tkach (Sr.) generally did not go anywhere for the Feast of Tabernacles. Later, of course, he and his administration minimized the necessity to observe God’s festivals.

In 1987, we went to Rotorua, New Zealand for the Feast. About 1200 of so attended there that year. We stayed at the Geyserland Hotel where we saw geysers and boiling mud everyday. The city has a sulfur smell, which when you are there a while, you get used to. Below is the view from our hotel room as well as a countryside photo:

Rotarua Geysers and Mud Sheep Grazing on New Zealand Countryside

In 1989, we went to the south Pacific nation of Fiji. About 200 or so attended that year:

Michael in Fiji

In the 1980s, there were over 100 feast sites pretty much every year, and thus we tended to have a lot of choices about where to attend. Even now there are probably over 100 sites in total, though many are quite small. Back in the 1980s, upwards of 150,000 WCG people reportedly kept the Feast of Tabernacles. In the 21st century, it appears that less than 50,000 attend each year.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Did Early Christians Observe the Fall Holy Days? The ‘Fall’ Holy Days come every year in September and/or October on the Roman calendar. Some call them Jewish holidays, but they were kept by Jesus, the apostles, and their early faithful followers. Should you keep them? What does the Bible teach? What do records of church history teach? What does the Bible teach about the Feasts of Trumpets, Atonement, Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day? Here is a link to a related sermon: Should you keep the Fall Holy Days?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time to Learn the Law
The Bible teaches that every seven years that the law should be read at the Feast of Tabernacles. This is what I did at the first Feast site where I gave an actual sermon (as opposed to a sermonette) in 2006 and that is also what I did in 2014.
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia? A sermonette in English covers: Colossians, Galatians, and the Feasts of God.
How to Keep God’s Festivals Many have heard of God’s Holy Days and wonder how they are kept in the 21st century. This is an overview article. A related sermon is also available titled: How to Keep God’s Feasts.
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians?
Is There “An Annual Worship Calendar” In the Bible? This paper provides a biblical and historical critique of several articles, including one by the Tkach WCG which states that this should be a local decision. What do the Holy Days mean? Also you can click here for the calendar of Holy Days. (Here is a related link in Spanish/español: Calendario Anual de Adoración –Una crítica basada en la Biblia y en la Historia: ¿Hay un Calendario Anual de Adoración en la Biblia?
Holy Day Calendar This is a listing of the biblical holy days through 2024, with their Roman calendar dates. They are really hard to observe if you do not know when they occur 🙂 In the Spanish/Español/Castellano language: Calendario de los Días Santos. In Mandarin Chinese: 何日是神的圣日? 这里是一份神的圣日日历从2013年至2024年。.